Hebrews - Patterns for Living

  • This book was written by an unknown human author. Many have been suggested, but probably the favorite choice has been Paul, perhaps because the King James translation lists him as author.
  • Even though no one knows for sure who the human author was, we do know that, as with all Scripture, it was inspired by God.
  • Neither do we know the exact date it was written. However, many Bible scholars say that it must have been written after Christ’s ascension, which was about A.D. 30, and before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
  • Also, we do not know what particular assembly it was addressed to, but whoever these people were, it is clear that they had suffered great persecution (10:32-34).
  • It is called the book of Hebrews simply because the early church was at first exclusively composed of Hebrews. There are no references to Gentiles in the book.
  • Some say this book was written exclusively to Christians, warning them of the danger of losing their salvation. Another group teaches that the people addressed were not truly born-again believers, but merely professing Christians who had come only part way to Christ. It seems to me that perhaps it was written to a church, much like we may attend today, where there were born-again Christians, professing Christians, and those who didn’t profess anything.
  • Because of persecution, many of these Jewish believers thought it might be better to go back to Judaism. The writer of Hebrews exhorted them to “press on” to maturity in Christ.
  • The following appeals were made to these believers based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system:
  1. Christ is better than the angels, for they worship Him (1:4-2:18).
  2. Christ is better than Moses, for Moses was created by Him (3:1-4:13).
  3. Christ is better than the priesthood, for His sacrifice was once for all time (4:14-7:28).
  4. Christ is better than the Law, for He mediates a better covenant (8:1-13).

An outline for the book is:

  1. Superiority of Christ’s way (1:1-4:13).
  2. Superiority of Christ’s work (4:14-10:18).
  3. Superiority of the Christian’s walk (10:19-13:25).