“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” -Heb. 1:1-3
Authorship, Date & Context:
The author to this epistle is unknown, yet some scholars would suggest either Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Philip, Priscilla, Aquila, and Clement of Rome maybe have penned this letter. In the Reformation era, Luther had made a suggestion that Apollos may have been the author.
“it was first declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard.”
– Heb. 2:3
Suggesting that the writer was a second-generation Christian and not an eyewitness to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Possibly composed around 66 A.D. written to the Hebrew converts, who were considering giving up Christianity to return to Judaism due to heavy persecution of this new Way.
Purpose & Application:
The book of Hebrews is grounded in old testament theology and the Levitical laws, such as the sacrificial system of atonement for sins by Jews, representing repentance and forgiveness. These laws were a tutor and symbolized a greater covenant that was to come. This new covenant is in Christ, who is Supremely “better” than any old testament prophet or angel, in Jesus we have a greater covenant, high priest, and hope. And because of his sacrifice, we who believe have the assurance of salvation through the redemptive work on the cross and now are being made holy waiting to be in his presence and glory.