Hebrews 7 to 13 – “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”
The author of Hebrews places Jesus Christ as the great high priest, the only one who could perform the eternal atoning sacrifice. Faith in Christ is manifest in righteous works, and the faithful will be blessed under the chastening of God.
Read here the full epistle of Hebrews in a new rendition, with headings that help identify themes. This new rendition clarifies that “it does not seek to replace the authorized King James Version adopted by the Church as its official English text. Rather, it aims to enhance readers’ understanding conceptually and spiritually by rendering the Greek texts into modern English with LDS sensitivities in mind.” Formats available are reading online (HTML), Amazon Kindle, Deseret Book, and PDF (best for printing).
“Faith, Pistis,” by Brent Schmidt, from the BYU New Testament Commentary conference, “In the Beginning Were the Words: A Closer Look at Key New Testament Terms,” 26 January 2019, in video, PDF transcript
The books of Hebrews and Romans use the word pistis (faith) more than any other New Testament books. The Greek word pistis tells us that faith is not a mere belief in Christ or a decision to follow him, it is action. “To demonstrate faith we need to keep Jesus’ commandments, give assistance to the poor and the needy and follow him. When we keep his commandments and we do good works, we show we’re faithful. In Hebrews, many patriarchs are listed and they become faithful models of discipleship. How do you become faithful? How do you become trustworthy of a God who can now trust you? Follow these patriarchs!”
“LDS Church Leaders’ Use of Hebrews 8-13,” Chris Brockman, paper presented at BYU New Testament Commentary conference, “New Mormon Ideas about Mark and Hebrews,” 29 July 2016
This paper shows what passages Church leaders have cited most frequently; which Church leader cited that passage most often; and examples of how they incorporated the passage into their teachings.
Christ, His High Priesthood and Eternal Sacrifice, Chart 8-14, from Charting the New Testament
This brief list identifies key verses in Hebrews: “The Epistle to the Hebrews drives home the point that Jesus was the greatest High Priest who performed an eternal sacrifice of everlasting covenant with God. Nowhere in the New Testament is the atonement of Jesus Christ more comprehensively taught than in the heart of this important text,”
Kevin Christensen agrees that the temple was the preeminent background of Hebrews. But what does that mean? Temple-goers reading this book can find answers when they encounter, embedded within this text, the Atonement, the knowledge of the whole creation, Aaron, Melchizedek, faithfulness, the veil, the interception of our transgressions, and the invitation to "be at one" (Hebrews 13:1-3).
Brent J. Schmidt, Understanding Pistis: Trust Becoming Faithfulness (Hebrews 11)
Before reading Hebrews 11, any reader should listen as Brent Schmidt shows how the ancient concept of "faith" (in Greek, pistis; or in Latin, fides) has everything to do with faithfulness, active loyalty, trustworthiness, and covenant keeping. For the early Christians, faith was much more than simply a belief, an emotion, or a state of mind. Hebrews strives to help all people develop stable relationships and friendships, with God, with spouses, and with others, through faithfulness and fidelity.
Julie Smith sees Hebrews chapters 1-10 as "doctrinal," while chapters 11-13 are "devotional." Don't miss the grand finale of Hebrews. It is the "therefore, what" of this epistle. While many witnesses bear testimony of the truthfulness of the glorious promises made by the Firstborn of God, among those witnesses especially were women. Indeed, the primary witnesses of people being raised from the dead were women. One can readily agree that no one can be a Christian without taking the witness of these women seriously.
Matthew Grey puzzles over the question, was Hebrews written before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, or was it written afterward? Readers today should not jump to conclusions about this, for differences between pre-70 Judaisms and post-70 Judaisms may not have been as immediate or as complete as has often been assumed. From a pre-70 perspective, the author of Hebrews may have been trying to persuade people not to rely on the practices of the Temple of Herod. From a post-70 perspective, Hebrew may be offering Jesus as the new High Priest replacing the old temple system. And indeed, Hebrews can be read from both of these perspectives.
Tom Roberts see forgiveness as the everlasting opportunity to get right with God. Jewish backgrounds of sacrifice, redemption, praise, covenant ratification, curses, ordinances, holy days, and many Jewish practices are referred to in Hebrews. They cumulatively bear witness that while early Christians may well have been in the Gentile world, they were not of that world, and neither should we be.
Avram Shannon, How Hebraic Is Hebrews?
Avram Shannon asks, "How Hebraic is Hebrews?" In reality, Hebrews resists easy categorization. The idea of "Jewish-Christianity" may not be a proper category. Thus Hebrews may be read legitimately from an eternal and dispensational point of view. Its principles cross boundaries. Its doctrines transcend time.
Richard Draper and Michael Rhodes, Panel Discussion
Richard Draper and Michael Rhodes, the authors of the forthcoming New Testament Commentary volume The Epistle to the Hebrews, share personal insights that research for the volume brought them. Rhodes tells how Jesus's sacrifice is "once for all" (hapax), a favorite word in Hebrews 9:27, 27; 10:2; 12:26, 27, meaning once for all time, for all reasons, and for all people. Other presenters at this conference share comments and respond to questions.