We launched Reading The Bible Together in October 2018. It is a way for the whole church community to read through the same book(s) of the Bible at the same time. It also forms the content for our monthly Home Groups. Each month we will meet to discuss what we have read, what we have learned and any questions we have.
We will be reading Hebrews together during April. Take your time, go at your own speed and begin in chapter 1 and keep reading through. This is much smaller than last month’s book (Ezekiel) many of you will be able to read Hebrews a number of times. As you read do ask the Lord to make clear to you what He is saying through his word. Write down anything that strikes you, puzzles you, or encourages you.
Who wrote it?
We don’t know. We could say a lot more on this issue and we’d come back to the same point we don’t know. In the early centuries some attributed the letter to Paul, most scholars now doubt Pauline authorship. Barnabas, Luke, Apollos are other possibilities. An interesting case can be made for a number of people, but a decisive case can’t be made for anyone. We rest then in the knowledge that God is the Author of his word.
Who received it?
Again, we don’t know. With the amount of Old Testament references and the focus upon the Old Covenant and priestly activities it would seem to be aimed at Jewish Christians who have come to faith in Christ are in danger of slipping back to Judaism.
We are not sure where they were located though the reference to a greeting from Italian believers (13:24) might indicate that it is written to a church in Italy.
What type of writing is it?
The book of Hebrews is not an easy book to classify. It ends much like a letter, but it doesn’t begin like one. It seems to be a sermon in written form, with a tight argument until the end when it is signed off with some personal remarks. The writer refers to their work as a ‘word of exhortation’ (13:22)
What is the book about?
The book is a call to faithfulness to those who have professed faith in Christ. It encourages them to persevere by presenting Christ as he really is the supreme revelation of God and the one means of peace with God. Having heard such a great salvation there is the responsibility to live in the light of it and not to fall back.
The book shows repeatedly that Christ is superior to all that has come before, Angels, Moses, Old Covenant, Priestly order & Sacrificial system. Again and again the writer point to Jesus as better, greater, more than what has come before.
What to look out for?
Christology – Who is Christ? Notice that both the divine and the human nature of Christ is emphasised in this book. He is the unique God-Man, exclusively able to save.
Old Testament References and Quotations – Notice how the writer uses the Old Testament as a foundation for his teaching on Christ. The new revelation of Christ hasn’t just replaced the Old but fulfilled it.
The Warnings – The writer does not pull any punches, there are some weighty warnings in the book. It is sobering to read these warnings directed at those professing faith in Christ. The warnings are there to steer us back to the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ.
Bay Church Reflections
Each month we will look to refer to the book of Hebrews as often as possible. We hope this will increase our familiarity with the book and provide more opportunity to learn from it. As they happen this page will be updated.
- Introductory Sermon – 7th April
- Home Groups April 10th & 24th
- Children’s Address during Morning Meeting. “Jesus: Better Than…”
Greater: Hebrews Overview – 2019.04.07 am
If you have any questions about the book of Hebrews as you read please contact Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may find these Resources helpful in your understanding of Hebrews
– The Bible Projects Overview of Hebrews– See here
– D.A. Carson has some excellent video lectures on Hebrews – See here