In our fifty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the book of Hebrews. Although the author of the book is not fully known, this well written letter reveals a man with a great desire to encourage Jewish believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ, instead of trying to escape persecution by bowing to the rites and rituals of Judaism. The key chapters to review are Hebrews 1-2, 6, 11, and 13.
The author of this Epistle is unknown. Many think it was Paul, but others believe it was someone else. We know the author was a Jew born and educated in the Greek-speaking world. He had an excellent Greek vocabulary and was obviously trained in logic and rhetoric. It appears that he attended the finest schools of the first century. He had a well organized mind that was capable of ordering numerous details to produce a well reasoned argument.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
c. 65 A.D.
Writing of the book of Hebrews
The Book of Hebrews was written because many of the early Jewish believers were slipping back into the rites and rituals of Judaism in order to escape the mounting persecution. This letter, then, is an exhortation for these persecuted believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Rome - The capital city of the Roman Empire was home to over a million people. It had scores of temples to pagan gods, and it was a symbol of paganism and idolatry in the New Testament.
PEOPLE OF INTEREST:
Paul - A rabbi born in Tarsus who studied Jewish Law under Rabbi Gamaliel. He is one of the possible writers of Hebrews.
Timothy - A young disciple who was Paul's companion on many of his journeys. His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are mentioned as eminent for their piety.
Melchizedek - In the Old Testament, he was the King of Salem and priest of the most high God. In Hebrews 6:20 and 7:17, Jesus is called a high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
The "Hall of Fame of Faith" - Hebrews 11 lists over a dozen people in biblical times who were commended for their faith, including Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, and Samuel.
Messiah - A Hebrew word meaning "anointed one." In Greek, the word is "Christos" or "Christ." Jews expected a king or political leader who would bring peace and prosperity. Christians know Him as the spiritual deliverer who sets His people free from sin and death. Christ is therefore not Jesus' last name but his title.
Covenant - A mutual agreement betwen two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.
Tabernacle - A movable building, designed to be easily taken apart and reconstructed, so the Israelites could carry it in the wilderness. It was rectangular, 45 feet by 15 feet, and 15 feet high. The interior was divided into two rooms by a veil or curtain, and it was covered with four different spreads or carpets.
Keywords: grace, persecution, believers, judaism, exhortation