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What constitutes a faithful life? At its most basic level, the New Testament book of Hebrews considers this essential question and pleads with its audience to find in faithful living the rest that Christ offers. The book begins with a poetic reflection on the one who lived the most faithful of lives—Jesus—and concludes with words of exhortation to go and do likewise.  

In the 37th volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, scholars Debra J. Bucher and Estella Horning examine at great length one important aspect of Hebrews: Jesus as the “new covenant” and the “once for all,” better sacrifice who replaces the daily and yearly sacrifices offered in the temple in Jerusalem. The authors give attention to the ways this idea has been used to minimize the value of other religious traditions and even to legitimize the horrors of the mid-twentieth century. They carefully unpack the language around sacrifice and covenant based on the saving work of Jesus, drawing out encouragement found in Hebrews to live as individuals and as a community led by Jesus, the pioneer and high priest. 

Bucher and Horning don’t shy away from the difficult language in Hebrews, but rather help readers understand its historical context and then how to use the text with love within our own context. 

About the Believers Church Bible Commentary series 

This readable commentary series is for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today—Sunday school teachers, members of Bible study groups, students, pastors, and other seekers. —From the Series Foreword 







Abbreviations and Sigla
Series Foreword
Authors’ Preface
Introduction to Hebrews
Brief Outline
Recurring Themes
Names, Categories, and Definitions
Important Biblical Passages
Literary Form or Genre
The Intended Audience
Dating and Location of Intended Audience
Broader Cultural Context
Is Hebrews Anti-Jewish?
The Method of This Commentary
The Essays
Using the Commentary: An Invitation

Prologue: Prophecy about the Son and His Place Next to God, 1:1-4
* Wisdom, Kingship, and Priesthood in Scriptural Traditions
+ The Politics of Jesus as Son and Heir
+ The Prologue in the Revised Common Lectionary

Part 1: Listen to What Is Said about Jesus and Follow His Example! 1:5–4:13
The Son Is Greater Than the Angels, 1:5–2:4
* Hearing
* Warnings
* Angels
+ Methods of Interpreting the Scriptures
Jesus the Son Is a Human Being, like Us in All Things, 2:5-18
* Understanding Texts through Shared Scriptures
* Understanding Texts through Shared Themes
+ The Nature of Jesus
+ Perfection through Suffering
The Faithful Are to Enter into Rest, 3:1–4:13
* The Word
* The Wilderness
* Jesus and Moses
* The Sabbath Rest
+ Hold On!

Part 2: Jesus’ High Priesthood, 4:14–7:28
Jesus: Son and Great High Priest, 4:14–5:10
* A Great High Priest Who Has Passed through the Heavens
* The High Priesthood
+ Suffering in the Revised Common Lectionary
Grow Up! (A Message on Group Identity), 5:11–6:20
* Agricultural Motifs
* Abraham
+ Baptisms and Laying On of Hands
+ Repentance of Apostates
Jesus the Son Is Foreshadowed by the Priest-King Melchizedek, 7:1-28
* Melchizedek
* Priests in the Jewish Scriptures
* Priests during the Second Temple Period and in the New Testament
* Priests in the Greco-Roman World
+ Priesthood in the Christian Church
+ Hebrews 7 in Anabaptist Thought
+ As Read in the Revised Common Lectionary
+ Melchizedek as Other

Part 3: Jesus’ Priestly Ministry in a New Covenant, 8:1–10:18
Christ Is High Priest and Minister of a New Covenant, 8:1-13
* Covenants
* Earthly and Heavenly Sanctuaries
+ Hebrews in the Revised Common Lectionary
+ The New Covenant and Supersessionist Readings of Scripture
+ The Term “New Testament” in the Early Church
The Two Covenants, 9:1–10:18
* The Tabernacle/Temple
* Sacrifice
+ Responding to Jesus’ Once-for-All Sacrifice

Part 4: A Call to Perseverance, Endurance, Faithfulness, 10:19–12:2
Perseverance Is Essential, 10:19-31
* Apostasy in the Bible
+ Apostasy as a Breaking of Fellowship
+ Mutual Encouragement
What Faithfulness Looks Like, 10:32–12:2
* Exhortations throughout the Bible
* Summaries of Faithful People
+ The Faith of Our Fathers and Mothers

Part 5: A Call to Service, 12:3–13:19
Recapitulation of Argument, 12:3-29
* Esau, the Notorious Bad Boy
* Earthquakes in Biblical Literature
* God as Fire
+ Trials as Divine Discipline?
+ A Willingness to Come with Reverence and Awe
Exhortation for Service Pleasing to God, 13:1-19
* Outside the Gate: Aliens and Exiles
+ Community and Hospitality
+ Prison Ministries
+ Redefinition of Sacrifice

Epilogue:Benediction and Greetings, 13:20-25
* Jesus as the Great Shepherd
* Epistolary Conclusions
+ A Word of Hope
Christology in Hebrews
Jewish Literature in Antiquity
The Parting of the Ways
Perfection in Greco-Roman and Jewish Thought
Philo, Neoplatonism, and Hebrews
Priscilla as Author
Rhetorical Habits of the Author
The Role and Use of the Jewish Scriptures by Early Christians
The Septuagint in Hebrews
Supersessionist and Anti-Jewish Interpretation of Hebrews
Textual Variants
Map of the New Testament World
Primary Sources
Other Books and Articles
Selected Resources
Other Books and Articles
Index of Ancient Sources
The Authors

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