Hebrews Chapter 13

 

KEEP ON LOVING

Keep on loving each other as brothers.  Hebrews 13:1  

With this last chapter the author focuses mainly upon exhortations concerning the practical aspects of Christianity.  In the Jewish world this practical side of faith is called “ha-lak-hah” taken from the Hebrew word “walk.”  We see here that there is also a Christian halakhah or a Christian walkThe Christian walk or manner of life in the first century made a great impression upon unbelievers.  Nothing impacted them more than the love these Christians had for each other.  The church father Tertullian around AD 200 reported what the pagans were saying about Christians: “‘Look,’ they say, ‘how they love one another’ (for they [the pagans] themselves hate one another); ‘and how they are ready to die for each other’ (for they themselves are readier to kill each other).” 1

Jesus had said that the mark of true disciples would be seen in their love for one another (Jn. 13:35).  The author exhorts these early believers that their love must continue.  This implies that they already possessed this love. 2  The word for love here is philadelphia, the special Greek word for brotherly-love (cf. Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9; 2 Pet. 1:7).  Barclay mentions how this love was so great that “there were actually cases where Christians sold themselves as slaves to find money to ransom their friends.” 3

Coffman tells the story of how love is the secret of growing effective churches.  In a Manhattan church there was an elderly lady who had attended a number of years when she finally made a decision for Christ and agreed to be baptized.  When asked of her motivation she mentioned another Christian lady who was her friend and companion saying: “Yetta holds my hand when we cross the street!” 4  Suddenly, the secret was out.  A simple act of love in the church had changed the eternal destiny of a soul.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (13:2).  In the early Christian world it was of great importance to look out for strangers and wayfarers.  After all, the faith ancestors of these Christians as well as they themselves were aliens and strangers on earth (11:13).

It was very important that they entertained the strangers who were believers because many traveling ministries needed food and lodging (3 Jn. 1:5-8).  There were Christians, especially in the time of this letter, who were driven from their homes due to persecution.  Also, many poor saints from other places could not afford the price of an inn. 5  The inns of the first century, where they did exist, were notoriously bad and terribly expensive. “Both their price and their moral atmosphere made the public inns impossible.” 6

It is clear that the Old Testament patterns for this exhortation were those of Father Abraham (Gen. 18:1 ff.) and his nephew Lot (Gen. 19:1 ff.).  Their concern for the travelers was instant and extravagant.  Little did they know that their visitors were angels from heaven and in Abraham’s case, even the Lord himself.

So with our hospitality to strangers we can sometimes entertain angels without knowing it.  This should make us want to err on the side of hospitality when we are confronted with such instances.  I remember many years ago in my early ministry as pastor of a small Kentucky church, an unusual event took place.  At the time my wife and I felt the Lord was leading us to serve him somewhere in the western US.  On one of my hospital visits I encountered a trucker from the western state of Wyoming.  He had gotten sick on his run and his partner brought him to the hospital and then he continued on with the truck.

This poor man was almost without clothes or means.  I felt great compassion for him and when he was released I took him to the church and we all began to care for him.  The church members pitched in and together we fed him, bought him some new clothes and arranged for him to work a little so that he could get some spending money.

The man continued with us for several days but one day when I tried to find him he had simply disappeared.  None of us ever saw him or heard from him again.  Over the years I have often thought that we were visited by an angel and that God was testing our love for people in the west before allowing us to go there and minister.  Shortly thereafter my wife and I were called to a church in Colorado and we ended up spending a good portion of our lives in the Rocky Mountain west.

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (13:3).  These Hebrew Christians at one time had a great record of caring for those in prison as we saw earlier in 10:33-34.  Now they are exhorted to remember and keep on.  In 2 Timothy 1:16 we see that Onesiphorus was an outstanding example of this principle. 7  The imprisoned Paul commends him with these words: “He often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.”

Barclay reports how the heathen orator Aristides spoke of the Christians: “If they hear that any one of their number is imprisoned or in distress for the sake of their Christ’s name, they all render aid in his necessity and, if he can be redeemed, they set him free.” 8  The Christian practice of love and hospitality to prisoners was so great that it finally became a concern to the Roman authorities.  In the early fourth century the Emperor Licinius passed legislation forbidding people to show such kindness to prisoners. 9

SEXUAL IMMORALITY

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Hebrews 13:4  

The old King James Version of the Bible had this verse reading: “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled…”  From this translation many have no doubt assumed that all was well within the bonds of marriage.  However, recent study and experience have shown that this is not the case.  Many of our newer translations correct this verse and read similar to the NIV translation above, or else they read “Let marriage be held in honor” as the English Standard Version and New Revised Standard Versions have it.  Utley comments on the Greek usage here saying that “verses 4-6 seem to be governed by the unexpressed, but understood, imperative ‘must be:’ marriage (must be) honored; the bed (must be) undefiled; your lives (must be) free of the love of money.”10

Since marriage between a man and woman is a cornerstone doctrine in Judaism, in Christianity and even in the world at large, we can understand why the enemy has attacked it throughout history and why he is so viciously attacking it today.  Although Judaism has a strong view of marriage there were some groups like the Essenes that frowned upon marriage and even prohibited it. 11

The New Testament teaching is highly favorable to marriage, still there were certain Gnostic groups like the Montanists that forbade it. 12  Later in Christian history the monastic movement did much also to discredit marriage.  This type teaching was clearly forbidden by Paul in 1Timothy 4:2-3: “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods….”

Today the attack on marriage between a man and woman is unyielding.  George Guthrie remarks about this saying: “For many in modern culture the sanctity of the marriage bed is a nonissue.  Adultery and sexual immorality are so widely accepted in the Western world as to barely raise a yawn, much less and outcry….”13

We need to realize that there are many things today that can defile the marriage bed.  First and foremost, adultery can do so.  Adultery may be defined as any voluntary sexual intercourse with someone outside the marriage union.  We are told in this verse that God in no uncertain terms will judge the adulterer.  Fausset remarks: “Most whoremongers escape the notice of human tribunals; but God takes particular cognizance of those whom man does not punish.”14

In the Greek text there are two important words used in this verse, pornous meaning fornicators and moichous meaning adulterers, both of whom God will judge.  Pornous is translated as “sexually immoral” in the above passage.  Be sure, God will judge not only the adulterer but the sexually immoral.  The word pornous is the basis of some of our modern words like “fornication,” “porn” and “pornography” as we might expect.  Utley says of fornication:  “The term in the OT means sexual relations between two unmarried people, but in the NT it has the wider connotation of sexual immorality of any kind.” 15

One of the biggest threats of sexual immorality today is the widespread usage of pornography.  In recent years it has become a worldwide plague due to the rapid spread of the internet.  A few years ago we heard statistics like 20 percent of Christians were frequenting porn sites.  Now that figure has apparently exploded to 50 percent. 16  On top of that we are getting the shocking statistics that even 40 percent of our ministers have also tuned in to porn sites. 17

Pornography is extremely destructive to the marriage bed and to the mind of the guilty party as well.  Due to the ever increasing pull of evil it is a handy door-opener to even more serious and destructive sins.   Charisma Magazine says: “Addiction to cyberporn can take hold in a matter of hours or days…but rehabilitation from habitual pornography takes six to 18 months, just to get free…A person addicted to pornography faces a more complex recovery than an adulterer.”18

Perhaps the greatest threat to the normal marriage relationship is the one posed by homosexuality and lesbianism.  While homosexuals claim they are capable of a monogamous relationship the truth is that homosexuals have hundreds of relationships on the average. 19  This poses a terrible health threat to marriage partners or to mates involved in such relationships.  Dr. Daisy Stern in a medical study presented to the Israel Health Ministry traced the rapid rise of HIV infections in Europe after large international Gay Pride events.  “Similarly, Stern writes, a study in Rome found that new HIV infections increased between 2000-2003— right after ‘half a million gays and lesbians reveled there in a week-long homo-lesbian extravaganza.’” 20

Homosexuality strikes at the very heart of the Creator’s plan for marriage and family. In its haughtiness it tries to present a better idea of marriage than God had.  Yet, we do not have to be statisticians to understand that if everyone on earth became truly homosexual, the human race would shortly disappear.  God sternly forbids homosexuality in all its forms.  In the past he destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of this sin.  In blistering terms Paul deals with homosexuality in Romans 1:25 ff.  Also in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 he says: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Well, there are many other abuses that could fall under these categories.  One common area of abuse even in Christian churches is the matter of “live-in” relationships and sex before marriage.  The popular television host and psychologist, Dr. Phil, stated in his show (Apr 7, 2005) that the likelihood of a marriage succeeding that is born out of such infidelity is less than 10 percent.  He was speaking specifically of live-in relationships.

God is unabashedly pro-marriage and this is seen all over the Bible.  It is God’s great plan for the advancement of humanity and for bringing forth godly children (Mal. 2:15).  It is God’s plan for the shelter and protection of the weak and young. Once a Roman matron asked Rabbi Jose bar Halafta, “How long did it take the Holy One, blessed be he, to create the world?”  He said to her “Six days.”  “And from then until now what has he been doing?”  “The Holy One, blessed be he, is occupied in making marriages.”21

COVETOUSNESS AND FEARFULNESS

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5  

Immediately after his discussion of sexual sins the author deals with covetousness.  It is interesting that sexual sins and covetousness are often linked in the New Testament (cf. 1 Cor. 5:11; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5).  This may occur because these commandments are given side by side in the Decalogue.22  It may also occur because sexual lust is very closely connected with lust for money and power.

The word covetousness (philarguros) is made up of two Greek words, phileo “to be fond of,” and arguros “silver.”23  The compound word is thus “to be fond of silver.”  It is unfortunate for us today that the motto of many Americans is “Keep up with the Joneses.”

This catchphrase means that one must live in a nice house, have a nice salary and nice car like the Jones family next door.  The idea is that they should even exceed the Jones family in these things.  Another word for this is covetousness.  We excuse our covetousness in several other ways like calling it “ambition.”24  Paul once said about all this: “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:11-12).

There are several problems with loving silver and being covetous for things.  The Bible says: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:10).  We note that it is the love of money and not the money itself that is the root of evil.  Money itself can be a good thing if we use it to serve the Lord.  Another problem with money is that no one ever seems to get enough of it.  The millionaire Bernard Baruch was once asked how much money it would take for a rich man to be satisfied.  He replied, “Just a million more than he has.”25

Another thing about the love of money is that it tends to worry us a lot.  “John D. Rockefeller was the world’s first billionaire.  It is said that for many years, he lived on crackers and milk because of stomach troubles caused by worrying about his wealth. He rarely had a good night’s sleep, and guards stood constantly at his door. Wealthy—but miserable!  When he began to share his wealth with others in great philanthropic endeavors, his health improved considerably and he lived to be an old man.”26

The Lord says Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (cf. Deut. 31:6; Psa. 118:6-7).  Wuest describes this statement in the Greek language saying: “There are three negatives before this word, making the promise one of triple assurance.  It is, ‘I will not, I will not, I will not let thee down, leave thee in the lurch, leave thee destitute, leave thee in straits and helpless, abandon thee.’”27  After all, in Matthew 6:25-28 Jesus tells us not to worry about things like food and clothing.  He assures us that if God can care for the birds of the air and feed them he will surely feed us.  If he can so beautifully clothe the flowers of the field he can surely clothe us.

So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (13:6). Oswald Chambers, that noted Scottish minister and teacher once said: “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”  Once the great evangelist D.L. Moody was approached by a woman who excitedly exclaimed to him: “I have found a promise that helps me when I am afraid.  It is Psalm 56:3 – ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.’  Mr. Moody replied, ‘I have a better promise than that!  Isaiah 12:2— I will trust and not be afraid’” 28

It cannot be denied that in our troubled age there are many people who are afraid.  They are afraid of the economy, they are afraid of a nuclear war, they are afraid of their health, and they are afraid of a thousand other things.  In the US, it is said that 2.4 billion prescriptions are written each year.  Of these 118 million, or the largest group, are for anti-depressants.29  Even children are afraid.  It is now said that today’s children have the anxiety level of the psychiatric patients of the 1950s. 30

In our worries and fears we need to resort to that old scripture that Mr. Moody used in Isaiah 12:2: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”  

REMEMBERING OUR LEADERS

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.   Hebrews 13:7  

The use of the Greek aorist tense elalesan (spoke) probably indicates that these leaders had passed on. 31   This can also be gathered from the word ekbasis (outcome) which seems to refer to the sum total of their life accomplishments. 32  Nevertheless, these early leaders had left a lasting impression on these saints and they were encouraged to remember this.  Perhaps some of these leaders had even died as martyrs for their faith.

Supposedly a memorial marker stands to John Wesley in Westminster Abbey.  It bears this inscription: “God buries his workmen, but he carries on his work.”33  Such workmen of God are worthy of our deepest respect.  This may be difficult for us to understand in a day such as ours, when ministers of God have come to be held in such low esteem by
the masses.

These Hebrew Christians were urged to consider how the founders of their faith had lived and perhaps how they had died for their beliefs.  These were the days before there was a New Testament in circulation and therefore their leaders were “the local deposit of the truth.”34  The Hebrew believers were charged to “imitate” and to carefully observe the lives of these faithful leaders.  No doubt these were true servants, as the Lord had said in Mark 10:43-44, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”

We know from our own bad experiences that our earthly Christian leaders are not all good.  The scripture tells us that there are some false shepherds who do not care for the sheep.  Others tend to be unstable in other ways and thus they injure the flock.  There is however one leader whom we must remember above all: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”(13:8).  This verse stands out in scripture like the Rock of Gibraltar.  It is probably the most famous verse in this whole epistle. 35

Over the centuries many troubled saints have clung to this word.  “How fortunate, then, are Christians who may find amidst the ‘wreck of atoms and the crush of worlds’ the changeless and invariable glory of the Son of God!”36  These have found as Hebrews 1:12 says concerning Christ, “…You remain the same, and your years will never end.”

STRANGE TEACHINGS

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.  Hebrews 13:9  

The “strange teachings” mentioned here were connected somehow to foods and they seem to reflect the kind of tensions over food that would be expected in a mixed Jewish/Gentile church.  It is likely that these Jewish believers were being drawn back into Judaism through the observance of certain food customs.  Even today many Jewish people who become believers in Christ insist on keeping Jewish kosher standards in their homes.  This should not in itself be a problem providing these believers maintain a biblical view of such foods.  They should not try to force their beliefs upon others and they should not allow themselves not be drawn back into their old faith through the myriad food laws.

In the 14th chapter of Romans Paul deals with such problems in great detail.  The problems related to food are called “disputable matters” which are not matters of real spiritual concern, unless the Body of Christ is being fractured by them.  Paul terms those who are bound up in such matters as “weak.”  However, he does not go on to shame these but he accepts them in faith (Rom. 14:1).  Paul had become convinced that there was no food unclean in itself (Rom. 14:14).  So he instructs the Romans with these words:  “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…” (Rom. 14:17).

Today, as Paul did long ago, we need to realize that all the food laws have been fulfilled in Christ (cf. Matt. 15:11; Mark 7:18-23; Acts 10:15; Col. 2:16-23).37   For us these Old Testament rules and regulations about food have simply passed away.

There is also the possibility here that the doctrine concerning foods had to do with meat that was offered to idols.  Paul deals with this question in 1 Corinthians chapter 8.  He says that an idol is nothing and that we have freedom to eat.  However, we must not use this freedom to make other believers stumble (1 Cor. 8:13).

“There has never been a shortage of various and strange doctrines in the church.”38   In our day there are many questions about food, which ones are good for us and which ones are not.  There are many different ideas on diets and eating programs.  Some have ascribed almost an aura of holiness to their particular diets.  We must remember the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:8: But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”

Instead of concerning ourselves with foods we need to remember the real food mentioned in John 6:57-58: “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Our author continues on with the matter of real food saying: We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.” (13:10). Although it seems at first to be a natural conclusion, scholars feel that this verse has no connection to the Eucharist. 39  Clark probably sums up the real idea here saying: “the Christian altar is the Christian sacrifice, which is Christ Jesus, with all the benefits of his passion and death.” 40  Obviously, those Jewish priests of old had no right to eat at this altar without accepting the sacrifice and salvation of Christ.  Long ago the church leader Ignatius cried out to Israel with these words: “Hasten to come together as to one temple, even God; to one altar, even to one Jesus Christ.”41

MINISTRY “OUTSIDE THE CAMP”

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.  Hebrews 13:11  

The offering spoken of in this verse was the sin offering made on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus Ch. 16).   On this day the animals were slain and their blood was applied to the altar with the select portions being offered on the altar fire.  Hughes notes that the priestly order could not have their normal portions of the offering on this day but the animals were totally burned outside the camp. 42  We know that at other times the priests could partake of their allotted portion, even of the people’s sin offerings (Lev.6:26; 10:17; Ezek. 44:29).  Perhaps on this day part of the offerings represented the sin of the priests themselves and thus the offerings could not be eaten.  Of this we cannot be sure and it is not mentioned in the Mishnah which gives much detail of the Day of Atonement.

And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood” (13:12).  Now we begin to see the beautiful type of Jesus suffering for us outside the camp (cf. John 19:17-20).  The expression “outside the camp” has great spiritual significance.  The statement itself seems to have two distinct meanings.  In ancient Israel “outside the camp” was a place reserved for sinners (Lev. 24:23), the sick (Lev.13:46) and the unclean (Deut. 23:10).  Now we see that Jesus was sacrificed outside the camp to bring forgiveness, healing and cleansing for just such people.  As Slemming says: “Outside, Christ met man’s need; inside, Christ met God’s demands, and so a reconciliation was made…The blood went in— the body went out.”43

But there is another meaning of the expression “outside the camp.”  Bruce explains, “What was formerly sacred was now unhallowed, because Jesus had been expelled from it… What was formerly unhallowed was sacred because Jesus was there.”44  Gench adds to this: “Christ’s death outside the camp: made every secular space potentially holy, and those who follow him are to claim every arena of life as God’s own and subject to
God’s rule.”45

Today in Israel the large twin-domed Church of the Holy Sepulcher stands on the supposed spots of Christ’s crucifixion and burial.  This site was just outside the western wall of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day.  Although there is an alternate site on the north side of the city near the Damascus Gate this ancient site seems to have the weight of history behind it.  Of course most of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and this would have included any early structure that might have been built on the spot.  However, after the Bar Kokhba War (132-135) the Roman Emperor built a shrine to Venus on the spot of today’s church.

In the fourth century when the Roman Empire began to be ruled by the Christian Emperor Constantine the shrine to Venus was destroyed and removed with a new structure being built.46  Through the centuries the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has somehow survived fires, earthquakes, renovations, wars and the ravages of time.  Every year millions of pilgrims visit this very important archaeological site.

Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore” (13:13).  Jesus was crucified in the place of sinners, the sick and the unclean as we have said.  His followers may also find themselves suffering in the same kind of places.

Jesus was cast outside the camp of Israel and exiled from its worship and its temple.  We may at times find ourselves in a similar position as his followers.  We remember how God was once rejected in the camp of Israel.  After that Moses pitched a tent in a place outside the camp (Exo. 33:7).  It was named the “Tent of Testimony” and all those who sought the Lord could go outside the camp to the tent. 47

It is possible that we may sometimes find ourselves exiled outside the camp of religion.  A word of caution is in order here, for some in the past have used this text to cause great divisions in the Body of Christ.  We need to be extremely careful when we find ourselves “standing apart” from the Lord’s church (cf. Heb. 3:12).  This can be legitimate when the church has departed from the teaching of Christ, and often in such cases the true saints are rather forced out of such fellowships.  Jesus didn’t go outside the city by his own choice.

Of course such a thing happened to Martin Luther.  We recall that Luther had no desire initially to leave Catholicism.  A similar thing happened to the great evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791).  Wesley, who shook two continents with his preaching, became almost a persona non grata in his own Anglican denomination.  Wesley was not deterred and since he believed his task was to call the people to repentance and revival, he began to preach to large groups of people in the open air.  Wesley became the founder of Methodism and eventually had great impact on the holiness movement with Wesleyan, Nazarene, and Missionary Alliance churches. Wesley’s emphasis on personal holiness, evangelism and a personal relationship with Christ has also greatly influenced Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement. 48

So we must be prepared to go outside the camp bearing the reproach of Jesus.  We cannot help but think here of Simon of Cyrene (Mt. 27:32) who no doubt was very surprised when the Romans compelled him to carry the cross of Jesus outside the city.  He might have been alarmed and humiliated at first.  But as he saw Jesus suffer on his way to the crucifixion something must have happened deep within his soul.  Later in Christian history we hear of his sons Alexander and Rufus who were well known to the Christian church in Rome (Rom. 16:13).

For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (13:14). Jesus in being forced “outside the camp” initiated a break with the old system of Judaism.  The truth is that he was not seeking the natural city of Jerusalem but a city that had foundations.  When we are sent outside the camp or are forced outside the city we must remember that we seek a city with foundations whose builder and maker
is God. 49

The religious leaders clung to the city of Jerusalem and cast Jesus from it.  They surely did not realize that within a short span of some forty years the city of Jerusalem and the Temple they trusted in would be totally destroyed.  On the Temple Mount platform there would not be one stone left standing upon another exactly according to Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:2.

OFFERING THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise— the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15  

In ancient days some Jewish rabbis believed that the time would come when all sacrifices would cease and instead there would be praises.  Also the First Century Jewish writer Philo spoke of a time when the best sacrifice would be the ones glorifying God with hymns. 50  Indeed, in Palm 50:23 it is written:  He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

We see that the Christian is to offer to God continual praise.  Praise needs to be our constant habit.  Such praise can only arise as we are filled with the Spirit of God and as Jesus lives comfortably inside us.  We are to offer to God continually the fruit of our lips.  Scholars feel this expression is taken from Hosea 14:2.  In the Hebrew of this verse it reads literally “the young bulls of our lips” (par-im  se-fa-te-nu).  Praise is indeed a sacrifice.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (13:16).  As Christians we sometimes think that the days of sacrifice are over but the scripture disputes this.  The concept of sacrifice has not passed away.  Real religion still demands it as we see in this verse.

In response to the all-important sacrifice of Christ, which was made once for all for our salvation, there are some sacrifices we can make.  There is the matter of doing good and sharing with others as we see in this verse.  The word used for sharing is koinonia, the word often used for fellowship.  Undoubtedly, this has to do with sharing our gifts with others in need (Phil. 4:18); Then there is the sacrifice of prayer (Psa. 141:2) and the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart (Psa. 51:17).  Finally, there is the sacrifice of  the  whole  life offered up to God as seen in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s  mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this  is your spiritual act of worship.”  If we want to know how meaningful our religion is, we should count up what it is costing us in time and money, and that will be a
good indicator.

Like our fathers of old we need to get into the practice of building altars everywhere we go and offering our precious things upon them.  Abraham did this regularly.  It is our altars that break open the heavens for us, for our children, and for others around us.  I personally feel that it was the result of Abraham’s sacrifice in Genesis 12:8, that Jacob was able to see heaven opened in Genesis 28:10-15.  Both events occurred at exactly the same spot, with only time separating them

In Leviticus 6:9, 12, and 13, we see that the fire must never be allowed to go out on God’s altar.  His altar is never to be without sacrifice.  Let us keep the fires kindled.   It will bring us a warmer, more blessed relationship with the Creator.

THE SPIRITUAL CHAIN OF COMMAND

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.  Hebrews 13:17  

The writer now returns to the subject of church leadership and the focus this time is clearly on their current leadership. 51  In the natural world around us there is leadership displayed everywhere.  Every school of fish has a leader and every flock of birds has a leader.  Although the church is a spiritual body it too has leadership established by God.  Even though the church is an organism it is still organized to some degree.  Otherwise it would have to function somewhat like a jellyfish.

There are six or seven titles used interchangeably for the church leader in the New Testament.  Coffman mentions them all.  There is the bishop or overseer, the presbyter or elder, the pastor or shepherd, and steward.  There may be some doubt attached to the last designation when used as an actual title. 52

As we see in this verse the pastor must give an account of his flock just as Jesus had to give an account of his own disciples (Jn. 17:12).  We, as sheep of the flock, need to do our best to make their work easy (cf. 1 Thess. 5:12-13).  It would be greatly to our disadvantage if our pastors have to give an account of us to the Lord with grief, deep signing and groaning (stenazonten).53   There is a beautiful passage in 1 Peter 5:1-4 that aptly describes the work of a shepherd or pastor:

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:   Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers— not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never
fade away.

We should note that the pastor or elder must not rule with an authoritarian spirit but with that of a servant.  Authority in the ministry works very similar to authority in the marriage.  It must be always exercised with love, humility and in a spirit of service.  The scripture never exhorts us to submit ourselves to leaders who are unsound, unfaithful, or sinful. 54   The great apostle Paul bade his sheep to follow him in this way: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

The author of Hebrews then asks a favor of the flock: “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way” (13:18).  We can see by this statement that in spite of all the stern warnings he has given to this flock he still regards them as bona-fide Christians. 55  We note here that it was quite customary for early Christians to support their leadership with faithful prayer, especially those traveling ministries (1 Thess. 5:25; Eph. 6:18-19; 2 Thess. 3:1).

I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon” (13:19).  Most commentators do not feel that the author was in prison at this time since this seems to be ruled out in verse 23. 56  He may have been beset with troubles or detained by some persecution. 57  It is possible that the author was deeply involved in some outreach or ministry that he could not leave at that time.   In any event the author needed the prayers of the saints of God going up on his behalf.

THE BENEDICTION

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  Hebrews 13:20-21  

The benediction used here has been called “one of the noblest in holy writ.” 58  It has some similarities to the great priestly blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27.

“In the ancient world benedictions were important to an address, and in the Jewish context specifically a benediction was an aspect of worship.” 59  A benediction could also be crafted to make a quick summary of the message and that is exactly what the prayer does in this case.  He simply ends by summarizing the essential elements of his letter.60

This benediction evokes beautiful pictures of the great Shepherd of the sheep who was long promised and who had now come (Eze. 37:24-28; Isa. 40:11).  The Good Shepherd would not only carry the sheep in his bosom but he would lay down his life for the sheep (Jn. 10:11, 14-18).  In the end he would appear, bringing his sheep into glory, giving them crowns that would never fade (1 Pet. 5:4). 61

We see, as we have previously mentioned, that it is God who equips for his work and works in us to perform it (cf. Phil. 2:13).  The Greek word used here is katarizo and it has the meaning of “equipping for service.” 62   With his short summary of prayer and praise the author ends his benediction with the traditional “Amen” or “so be it.”

CONCLUSION

Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.  Hebrews 13:22  

The author refers to his book as an exhortation or sermon but he closes it like a letter.  It is thought by some that the sermon or letter actually ended with the benediction but these last few verses are sort of an addendum attached when the manuscript was actually sent by the courier. 63

 “I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.” (13:23) It is generally assumed that this Timothy is the same as the young companion of Paul mentioned so often in scripture.  If this is truly the case then this is the only record we have of Timothy being in prison. 64  The fact that Timothy is mentioned here may reveal a time-frame for the composition of Hebrews indicating that it was published during the lifetime of Paul or else soon after his death. 65

Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.   Grace be with you all” (13:24-25).  As he has done earlier in this chapter he once again honors the leaders.  The fact that these leaders are mentioned in the plural suggests that this letter was to be read to all saints or churches in the given area (cf. Col. 4:16).  66  Again we are reminded that the expression “Those from Italy” does not give us any conclusive indication as to the place of its writing or to who the recipients actually were.  We still do not know for sure if it was written to Italy or from Italy.

The epistle then ends in a very traditional Christian manner “Grace be with you all.”

 

 

 

Dear reader, if this little book has been a blessing to you would you please drop us a line and let us know?  We would appreciate any comment, whether positive or negative. You may reach us at the following address: Gerrishes@aol.com

 

______________

Notes

 

Several sources I have cited here are from the electronic media, either from websites or from electronic research libraries.  Thus in many of these sources it is not possible to cite page numbers of the works.  Instead I have cited the verse or verses in each chapter of Hebrews (e.g. verses 1-2) about which the commentators speak.

 

INTRODUCTION

1.  William Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, Revised Edition (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 5.

2.  George H. Guthrie, Hebrews, The NIV Application Commentary, Terry Muck, Ed. (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998), p. 23.

George Guthrie says:  “The question of Pauline authorship has been answered with a resounding ‘no’ from virtually all modern scholars, regardless of theological orientation.”

3.  Donald Guthrie, Hebrews, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1983), p. 18.

4.  F.B. Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest: Expositions of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1951), http://www.ccel.org/ccel/meyer/into_holiest Comment in the introduction.

5.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 6.

6.  Frances Taylor Gench, Hebrews and James (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), p. 13.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

1.  David Guzik, Hebrews: David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Siegen, Germany: 1997-2003), comments in the introduction (http://studylight.org/com/guz/view.cgi?book=heb).

2.  Ray C. Stedman, Hebrews Commentary Part I, IVP New Testament Commentary Series Grant R. Obsorne, series editor (Downers Grove, IL: 1992, http://www.raystedman.org/hebrews2/heb2comm1.html), comment on verse 2.

“That leaves Apollos as the most likely author… he was a Jew from Alexandria, where the Septuagint originated and was widely employed, and where the religious philosopher Philo had lived and taught… Luther felt that Apollos wrote Hebrews as do more modern scholars such as Manson, Spicq, Alford, Moulton, Farrar and A. T. Robertson.” (Stedman introduction).

3.  Ibid., in the introduction.

“One argument against Apollos is that the Alexandrian church never credits him with authorship. Even though philosophical and exegetical evidence points to an Alexandrian author, doubt still lingers about Apollos being the one.”  (Stedman introduction)

4.  Kenneth S. Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, Vol. 9 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951), p. 31.

5.  Albert Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, comments on verse 1, (http://studylight.org/com/bnn/view.cgi?book=heb).

6.  Ibid., comments on verse 2.

7.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 65.

8.  Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1977), p. 36.

9.  James Burton Coffman, Hebrews: Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament (Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/bcc/), comment verse. 2.

10.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 61.

11.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 37

12.  On several instances in scripture we see that natural things responded to assist God’s elect.  In Judges 5:20 we see that the “stars fought from their courses” to help Israel against the evil commander Sisera.  An even more extreme case of this is that the sun once stood still for a whole day while Joshua defeated his Canaanite enemies (Josh. 10:12-13).  Jesus once told his disciples that if they believed and spoke the word, the Mount of Olives would be removed and thrown into the sea (Mt. 21:21).  We remember that the mountain he spoke of was probably the second most important mountain in the whole world.  It is the one from which he ascended and the one to which he will return.

13.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 41.

14.  Coffman, Hebrews, verse 4.

15.  Guzik, Hebrews, verse 4.

16.  Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 21.

17.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 78.

18.  Guzik, Hebrews, verse 5.

19.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 73.

20.  F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Revised Edition (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), p. 53.

21.  A.R. Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Christian Classic Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/ccel/jamieson/jfb.xi.xix.ii.html), comment on verse 5.

22.  Guzik, Hebrews, verse 5.

23.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 46.

24.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 74.

25.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, pp. 17-19.

26.  Ibid., p. 19.

27.  Guzik, Hebrews, verses 8-12.

28.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 70.

29.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, verse 7.

30.  John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), p. 274.

31.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 68.

32.  Coffman, Hebrews, verse 5.

33.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 77.

34.  Coffman, Hebrews, verses 10-12.

35.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, verses 7-14.

36.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 49.

37.  Adam Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, The Adam Clark Commentary, 1832 (Study Light Organization, http://studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=heb), verse 12.

38.  Edward Fudge, Our Man in Heaven: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews (USA 1973, Distributed by Christian Classic Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/fudge/ourman.v.html), verse 13.

39.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 70.

40.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, verse 13.

41.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, verses 7-14.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

1.  Michelle & Rachelle Hamilton, A Mighty Tempest (Victoria, Australia: Jonah Ministries, 1992).  To see a video of Michelle Hamilton go to: http://www.ganges.com/A_Mighty_Tempest_video_6716297/ 

2.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 21.

3.  Guzik, Hebrews, v. 2.

4.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 1.

5.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 74.

6.  Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary NT (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Distribution, 2007), p. 807.

7.  Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, I, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956), p. 214.

8.  Ibid., p. 409.

9.  Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 91.

10.  Ibid., Vol. 4, p. 415.

11.  John Wimber, with Kevin Springer, Power Evangelism, Signs and Wonders Today, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1985), p. 155.

12.  Ibid., p. 155-56.

13.  Ibid., p. 157-58.

14.   Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v..5.

Fudge notes some biblical indications that the angels have a part in the Lord’s administration of the present world (Daniel 10:20-21; 12:1; Ephesians 6:12).

15.  Guzik, Hebrews, verses 5-6.

16.  William L. Lane, Hebrews 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, Dallas: Thomas Nelson, 1991), p. 47.

17.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, verse 8.

18.  Ibid., verses 5-9.

19.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 89.

20.  Guzik, Hebrews, verses 8-9.

21.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, verse 9.

22.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 99.

23.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, verse 23.

24.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 114.

25.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, verses 10-13.

26.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 26.

27.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 808.

28.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p.119.

29.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 27.

30.  Bob Utley, Hebrews, http://freebiblecommentary.org/pdf/EN/VOL10.pdf., page 27.

31.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 91.

32.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 120.

33.  Ibid., p. 111.

34.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, verses 14-15.

35.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 16.

36.  Coffman, Hebrews, p. 16.

37.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 94.

38.  Coffman, Hebrews, verses 17-18.

39.  Guzik, Hebrews, verses 17-18.

40.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, verse 17.

41.  Coffman, Hebrews, verses 17-18.

 

CHAPTER 3

 

1.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v.1.

On the subject of Christian togetherness Utley (p. 129) also remarks: “No Christian is an island (cf. I Cor. 12:7). Christianity is a team sport! The term “saint” is always plural (except one time in Phil. 4:21, where it is used in a corporate sense).

2.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 68.

3.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 97.

4.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 69.

5.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 31.

6.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, verse 2.

7.  David A. deSilva, Hebrews, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, John, Hebrews, Revelation, Craig Evans Gen. Ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications, 2005), p. 211.

8.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, verse 6.

9.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 34.

10.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 36.  He says of this passage:  “Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me.”   “ The historical allusion is to Israel’s wilderness wandering period. The Masoretic Hebrew text lists the geographical sites of Israel’s rebellion as Meribah (cf. Exod.17:7; Num. 20:13) and Massah (cf. Exod.17:7; Deut. 6:16). The Septuagint translates them by their etymology (Meribah=place of strife and Massah=temptation). The term “heart” refers to the entire person (cf. Deut. 6:4-5). These Israelites initially believed but later did not act in faith. They did not lose their eternal salvation, but they were not permitted to enter the Promised Land.”

11.  C.S. Keener & InterVarsity Press, Romans, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, Logos Research Systems, 1993), comment on Romans 9:16-18.

12.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 76.

13.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 38.

14.  Ibid., p. 36.

15.  Quoted in Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 31.

16.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 78.

17.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 38.

18.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 77.

19.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 12-15.

20.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 42.

“Most biblical doctrines come in dialectical or paradoxical pairs. The Bible is an eastern book which uses figurative language expressing truth in very strong statements, but then balances it with other seemingly contradictory statements. Thereby truth is found between the two stated extremes. Western people tend to proof-text one side of the paradox and radicalize truth by literally and dogmatically interpreting one expression of truth without seeking and being open to the opposite truth. In many ways this is the major source of tension among modern western denominations!”

21.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 79.

22.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 107.

23.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 13.

24.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 13.

25.  Quoted in Herbert W. Bateman IV, Gen. Ed., Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007), p. 173.

26.  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press

1932-22, Renewal 1960). v. 14, http://studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=heb.

27.   Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 87.

28.  John Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, (Christian Classics Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom44.vii.html)

29.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 82.

30.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 19.

31.  Ibid., v. 19.

 

 CHAPTER 4

 

1.  The Franklin Expedition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin%27s_lost_expedition.

2.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 110-111.

3.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 83.

4.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 2.

5.  Augustine, Confessions, Book 1:1 Christian Classics Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/ccel/augustine/confessions.iv.html.

6.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 38.

7.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, pp. 35-36.

8.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 4.

9.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 3-7.

10.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 86.

11.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, vs. 6-7.

12.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 101.

13.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 47 remarks: “ [For] ‘Joshua’ The King James translation has ‘Jesus,’ which follows the Geneva and Bishops Bibles’ translations, but the context demands the OT ‘Joshua.’ Both Hebrew names are spelled the same! The Early Church often used Joshua as a type of Jesus (cf. Acts 7:45, where the same error in translation is made). Utl47

Wuest, (Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 86-87) also remarks: “The Greek form of the Hebrew name Jehoshua is Iesous.  This Greek word refers to the Lord Jesus in the New Testament except in two places where the context clearly indicates that it speaks of Joshua, Acts 7:45 and in this passage.”

14.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 154.

15.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, pp. 101-102.

16.  Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible and The Future, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979), pp. 17-18.

17.  Ibid., p. ix.

18.  Ibid., p. 14.

19.  Ibid., p. 21 as quoted.

20.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 155.

21.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 812.

22.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 88.

23.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 12.

24.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 113.

25.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 89.

26.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 12.

27.  Peter Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews,

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/lifetruth/hebrews1.html

28.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 813.

29.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 42.

30.  Ibid., p. 43.

31.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 115.

 

CHAPTER 5

 

1.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, intro.

2.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 125.

3.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v.1.

4.  Josephus, Flavius, Antiquities, Book 13, Chapter 13, paragraph 5.

5.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 119-120.

6.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annas

7.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 117.

8.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 5-6.

9.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 8-9.

10.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 55.

Calvin in commenting on verse 6 says: “For we know that it was not lawful for kings to exercise the priesthood. On this account, Uzziah, that is, for the sole crime of intermeddling with an office that did not belong to him, so provoked God that he was smitten with leprosy. (2 Chronicles 26:18.) It is therefore certain that neither David nor any one of the kings is intended here.

Bruce adds: “Indeed, the most pious groups in Israel strongly disapproved of the Hasmoneans’  assumption of the high priesthood, and some of them – in particular, the community of Qumran- refused to recognize their usurpation of the sacred office…” Bruce p. 125.

11.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 123-124.

12.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v.6.

13.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 7.

14.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 5-10.

15.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, vs. 7-8.

16.  The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary 7-11.

17.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 99.

18.  Ibid., p. 100.

19.  Ibid., pp. 100-101.

20.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 130.

21.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 191.

22.  Ibid., p. 216.

23.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 49.

24.  deSilva, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, p. 217.

25.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 12-14.

26.  Ibid.

27.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 135.

28.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 14.

 

CHAPTER 6

 

1.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 1-3.

He notes: “Elementary teachings is not a reference to regeneration, but means introductory information that could lead to regeneration…The point is that they do not represent anything but the barest beginnings of Christian faith.”

Other commentators remark about these elementary teachings.  Wuest says: “Thus the words, ‘the principles of the doctrine of Christ,’ must refer to the First Testament sacrifices, for these Jews are exhorted to abandon them.” (Wuest pp. 109-110).  He also says: “A study of the Greek text here will substantiate this.  The words, ‘the principles of the doctrine of Christ,’ are literally, ‘the word of the beginning of the Christ.’…The phrase, ‘the beginning word of the Christ,’ refers to the teaching concerning him which is first presented in the Bible. (Wuest 110).

Lane also remarks concerning this subject: “In none of the six items mentioned in 6:1-2 is there any reference to anything specifically Christian…each of the six articles, however, is related to the high priestly Christology developed in the subsequent chapters, which makes explicit the Christological structure of the foundation” (Lane p. 140).

Pett adds: “Thus his readers are to recognize that there is a need to go on from the basic teachings of Judaism” (Pett vs. 1-2).

2.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, pp. 107-108.

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 52.

4.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 60.

5.  Quoted in Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 2.

Bruce adds to this: “This has commonly been regarded as a reference to Christian baptism, but it is doubtful whether Christian baptism is directly in view here at all.  Apart from the fact that the word translated ‘ablutions’ is in the plural (baptismoi), it may be significant that our author does not use baptisma, the Greek noun regularly employed in the New Testament to denote Christian baptism (and the baptism of John), but baptismos, which in its two other indubitable New Testament occurrences refers to Jewish ceremonial washings. “Instruction about ablutions” (RSV) or “instruction about cleansing rites” (NEB) expresses the sense more adequately than ‘the teaching about baptisms (ERV/ARV)’” (Bruce 141).

Guzik in quoting Bruce states: “When we consider the ‘rudiments’ one by one, it is remarkable how little in the list is distinctive of Christianity, for practically every item could have its place in a fairly orthodox Jewish community. . . . Each of them, indeed, acquires a new significance in a Christian context; but the impression we get is that existing Jewish beliefs and practices were used as a foundation on which to build Christian truth” (Guzik vs. 1-3).

This is also the position of Utley who says about it: “Washings,” the PLURAL is never used for Christian baptism, but for OT ceremonial ablutions (cf. Mark 7:4; Heb. 9:10). These three pairs of doctrines are not uniquely Christian. They seem to be common doctrines with Judaism, particularly those which Pharisees shared with Christianity (Utley p. 61).

Even the older commentator Clark says: “I am inclined to think that all the terms in this verse, as well as those in the former, belong to the Levitical law, and are to be explained on that ground” (Clark on v. 2).

Donald Guthrie adds: “Part of the problem facing the Hebrews was the superficial similarity between the elementary tenets of Christianity and those of Judaism, which made it possible for Christian Jews to think they could hold on to both”  (D. Guthrie p. 140).

No doubt these observations from several scholars throw some cold water on many great sermons from Hebrews 6:1-3, but we must hold to truth even if it destroys some great sermons.

6.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 2.

7.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 62.

8.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 2.

9.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 216.

10.  Bateman, Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, pp. 440-441.

11.  Ibid., p. 336.

12.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 818.

13.  Bateman, Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, p. 438.

14.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 224.

15.  Quoted in Bateman, Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, p. 132.

16.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 4-8.

17.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 218.

18.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 59.

19.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 208.

20.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 4-8.

21.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 4-6.

22.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 114.

23.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 230.

24.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 56.

25.  Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 37.

26.  Quoted in Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 4-6.

27.  Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 37.

28.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 6.

29.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 818.

30.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 8.

31.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 65.

32.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 8.

33.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 150.

34.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 248.

35.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 67.

36.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 17-18.

37.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 124.

38.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 154.

39.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 819.

40.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 247.

41.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 20.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

1.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 159.

2.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 1-3.

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 68.

4.  Ibid., p. 67.

5.  deSilva, Hebrews, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, p. 221.

6.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, pp. 160-161.

7.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, vs. 1-3.

8.  deSilva, Hebrews, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, p. 222.

9.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 1.

10.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, pp. 69, 74.

11.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 1-3.

12.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 63.

13.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 128.

14.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 158.

15.  Ibid., p. 159.

16.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 8.

17.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, v. 4.

18.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 9-10.

19.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 4-10.

Also Coffman points out here regarding tithes: “We have already seen that, prior to Judaism, tithing was an established custom with reference to the worship of God…The well-known story of Jacob  and his pledge of a tenth of all that he had to God should be understood as a promise on Jacob’s part to honor a duty already in existence.”  (Coffman, v.8).

20.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 274.

21.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 169.

22.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 11.

23.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 133.

24.  Ibid., p. 134.

25.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 11-19.

26.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 161.

27.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 15-17.

28.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 17.

29.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 21.

30.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 80.

31.  Guzik, Hebrews, v. 22.

32.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 28.

33.  For additional information on Israel’s priesthood consult the following sites: http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/highpriest.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phannias_ben_Samuel.

34.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 25.

35.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 85.

 

CHAPTER 8

 

1.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 204.

2.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 204.

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 88.

Hughes adds here: “This mode of thought is no mere reproduction of the idealism of Plato and his followers….” (Hughes p. 262).

4.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 1-4.

5.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 205.

6.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 140.

7.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 3.

8.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 3.

9.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 4

10.  Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 207.

11.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 172-173.

12.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 5.

13.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 5.

14.  Utley, Hebrews, pp. 181-182.

15.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v.  6.

16.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 282.

17.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 190.

18.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 8-12.

19.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 144.

20.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 285.

21.  Quoted in Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 146.

22.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 10.

23.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 10.

24.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 10.

Regarding the making of this covenant Donald Guthrie remarks: “It is striking here that God himself made the covenant.  He did not consult with men. (D. Guthrie, p.175).

25.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 148.

26.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 12.

27.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 178.

28.  Quoted in Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 13.

 

CHAPTER 9

 

1.  C.W. Slemming, Made According to the Pattern (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, reprinted 1974), p. 28.

2.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 302.

3.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, vs. 1-10.

4.  deSilva, Hebrews, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, p. 228.

5.  Slemming, Made According to the Pattern, p. 79.

6.  Ibid., p. 91.

7.  For some examples of the Tabernacle consult:  http://www.the-tabernacle-place.com/tabernacle_articles/tabernacle_basic_layout.aspx     http://www.bibleplaces.com/tabernacle.htm

8.   Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 200-201.

9.   Several scholars have commented on the placement of the censer.  Meyer in commenting on verse 2 says: “The censer, or altar of incense, is classed with the most holy place; not because it stood inside the veil, but because it was so closely associated with the worship rendered there.”

Wuest (p. 151), in citing Alford adds: “Neither the incense-altar nor the censer was kept in the Holy of Holies.  He quotes from the Mishnah to the effect that there was a censer used on the day of expiation that was different from that used on any other day, different in that it was made of gold…the meaning of the writer therefore would be that the golden censer had to do with the Holy of Holies, but was not a permanent article of furniture which it contained.”

Fudge in commenting on verse 4 gives us more insight into this problem: “Although this altar was in the outer holy place (Exodus 30:6), the smoke from it filled the most holy place on the Day of Atonement so that the high priest never came into God’s clear presence (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:12-13).”

Pett in commenting on verses 3-5 remarks: “The golden altar of incense was physically placed in the Holy Place ‘before    the veil’. But it was carried annually into the Holy of Holies in the form of the censer which was filled from it, the only thing from the Holy Place that ever went in to the Holy of Holies. And in fact the exact literal translation of the Greek here is ‘the golden censer’, the altar being named after its most important function. …The altar and the censer together could thus be called ‘a golden censer’ (both Josephus and Philo call the golden altar of incense this), for both acted as censers and were involved in the work of offering the incense. (Note the lack of the definite article compared with other items).”

10.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 151.

11.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 202.

12.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 6-10.

13.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 6-7.

Author’s note: The pattern is that blood must be shed for sin.  We see it everywhere and in Hebrews 9:7 we see that on the Day of Atonement when all sin of Israel was dealt with the High Priest could not enter the sanctuary without blood.

14.  Mishnah, tractate Yoma 5:7.

15.  Ibid.,

16.  Ibid., Yoma 3:8.

17.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 183.

18.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 7-8.

19.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 829.

20.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 156.

21.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 211.

22.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 829.

23.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 212.

24.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 11-14.

25.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 11.

26.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 213.

27.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 187.

28.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 311.

29.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 13.

30.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 321.

31.  Ibid., p. 317.

32.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 317.

33.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 92.

34.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 162.

35.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 107.

36.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 12-15.

37.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 15.

38.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 16-17.

39.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 223-224.

40.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 16-22.

41.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 95.

42.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 21.

43.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 226.

44.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 24.

45.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 23.

46.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 196.

47.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 23-28.

48.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 26.

49.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 23-28.

50.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 200.

 

CHAPTER 10

 

1.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 1.

2.  Ibid., v. 2.

3.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 1-10.

4.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 3-4.

5.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 238.

6.  Fudge, Our Man in Heave, v. 5.

7.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 5.

8.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 5-6.

9.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 102.

10.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 175.

11.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 103.

12.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 14.

13.  Refer to website, http://www.wanpela.com/holdouts/list.html

14.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 104.

15.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 11-18.

16.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 16-17.

17.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 326, 331.

18.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 831.

19.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 119.

20.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 19-20.

21.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 179.

22.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 20.

23.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 19.

24.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 213.

25.  Quoted in Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 181.

Wuest citing Vincent says that while most expositors refer to water baptism in this passage, he agrees with Vincent who says that it: “indicate[s] generally the thoroughness of the cleansing process undergone by one who surrenders himself, soul, body, and spirit to God.”

Calvin remarks of this passage: “What follows, our bodies washed with pure water, is generally understood of baptism; but it seems to me more probable that the Apostle alludes to the ancient ceremonies of the Law.”

Coffman adds on this passage: “Nearly all eminent scholars are now agreed that here is a manifest reference to the ordinance called Christian baptism.”

Robertson (commenting on verse 22) says: “If the reference here is to baptism (quite doubtful), the meaning is a symbol (Dods) of the previous cleansing by the blood of Christ.”

26.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 214.

“This appears to be an allusion to Christian baptism, although the view is not without its difficulties…Since the other conditions are not external it seems strange that the fourth should be so.  The cleansing of the body might find some explanation from Ephesians 5:26 where Christ is said to have cleansed the church ‘by the washing of water with the word,’ which is most intelligibly interpreted in a spiritual sense.”

27.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 106.

28.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 22.

29.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 23.

Note: It is from this word that we get catechumen, a word describing those early Christians who were being instructed in the principles of Christianity.

30.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 121.

31.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 24.

32.  Quoted in Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 122.

33.  find the quote about this in the Bible.

34.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 256.

35.  Ibid., p. 259.

36.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 355.

37.  Bateman,  Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, p. 132.

38.  Ibid., p. 138.

39.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 262.

40.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 833.

41.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 217.

Utley adds to this (p. 107), “sinning willfully” ‘Willfully’ is placed first in Greek for emphasis. The word is possibly analogous to the ‘high handed’ sin of the OT (cf. note on 10:7).”

42.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 185.

43.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 219.

44.  Fudge, Our Man in Heave, v. 29.

45.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 264.

46.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 30.

47.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 268-269.

48.  D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 221.

49.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 187.

50.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 270.

51.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 110.

52.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 36.

53.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 37.

54.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 38.

 

CHAPTER 11

 

1.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 373.

2.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 835.

See also the comments of Utley, Calvin and Coffman on verse 1.

3.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 193.

4.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 374.

5.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 193.

6.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 835.

7.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 1.

8.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 277.

9.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 3.

“To be sure, Aristotle held to the eternity of matter; and said that it was the common opinion of naturalists that  ‘Nothing can be made out of nothing’ …the writer of Hebrews is more biblical in his reasoning and affirms the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, a doctrine uncongenial to Greek thought.”

10.  David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth (Eugene OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991), p. 806.

“Science has been arriving at the conclusion that ultimate substance is not matter at all.  The further the search into the subatomic world, the more it appears that ultimate reality is something spiritual.  Sir Arthur Eddington referred to this reality as ‘spiritual’ or ‘mind stuff.’  Indeed, Eddington writes, ‘The idea of a universal Mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory; at least it is in harmony with it.’”

11.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 4.

12.  Ibid.

13.  Quoted in Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 133.

14.  Jewish Encyclopedia, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=281&letter=C#ixzz0uXyWHhsC

15.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 5.

Barnes in commenting on verse 5 adds: “It is, except in this case, the uniform custom of Moses to mention the age and the death of the individuals whose biography he records, and in many cases this is about all that is said of them. But in regard to Enoch there is this remarkable exception, that no record is made of his death-showing that there was something unusual in the manner of his removal from the world.”

16.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 5.

17.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 4-7.

18.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 199.

19.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 7.

20.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 16.

21.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 7.

22.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 200.

23.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 836.

24.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 17.

25.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 203.

26.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 11-12.

27.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 146.

28.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 12.

In commenting on Abraham’s being “as good as dead” he says this: “indicates that not merely Sarah, but Abraham also, was past the time of life when any children might have been expected of him; and although God, true to his promise, gave them strength for the birth of Isaac, it was plainly through the intervention of the divine will. If that was the case, the question arises, how then could Abraham have later married Keturah and have fathered by her numerous sons (Gen. 25)? The explanation is that Moses, in giving a history of Keturah and her sons, did not do so chronologically; but, as the best historians do, he dealt with the primary line of Isaac first, though Isaac was the last of Abraham’s sons. Keturah was probably one of the many concubines that Abraham owned.”  (See 1 Chronicles 1:32 where Keturah is mentioned as a concubine).

29.  Ibid.

30.  Quoted in Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 835.

31.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 13.

32.  Ibid., p. 14.

33.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 149.

34.  Ibid.

35.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, pp. 15-16.

36.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 16.

37.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 17-19.

He comments on the typical nature of Isaac and his being sacrificed saying: “The typical importance of Isaac is seen in the following: (1) He was supernaturally the son of Abraham; Christ’s birth also was supernatural. (2) He was the “only begotten” of his father (in the sense noted above), and Christ was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). (3) Both Isaac and Jesus consented to be sacrificed. (4) Both of them bore the wood, Isaac the firewood, Jesus the cross. (5) Both were sacrificed by their fathers, Isaac by Abraham, and Jesus by the heavenly Father. (6) The sacrifice of each of them occurred upon the very same location, one of the mountains of Moriah. (7) Both were in the prime vigor of life when offered, and very likely of the same age. (8) Isaac (in a figure) was dead three days and nights, this being the time lapse between God’s command that he be offered and their arrival at Moriah, during which time, to all intents and purposes, Isaac was already dead; Christ also was dead and buried three days and nights. (9) Isaac was a model of love and affection for his wife, symbolizing the great love of Christ for the church.”

38.  Quoted in Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 17-19.

39.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 152.

40.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 19 .

41.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 307.

42.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 23-29.

43.  Ibid.

44.  Quoted in Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 25.

45.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 836.

46.  To see an estimate to King Tut’s wealth: http://baptistbiblehour.org/2009/02/20/greater-riches/.

47.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 26.

48.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 27.

49.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 208.

50.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 380.

51.  Guzik, Hebrews, v. 29.

52.  Go to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Armada.

53.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 161.

54.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 317.

55.  Ibid.

56.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 161.

57.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 32-33.

58.  Fudge, Our Man in Heave, v. 32.

59.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 321.

60.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 163.

61.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 32-38.

62.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 209.

63.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 387.

64.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 326-327.

65.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 36-38.

66.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 36-39.

67.  Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 68.

68.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 32-38.

69.  Quoted in Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 211.

70.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 40.

71.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 386.

 

CHAPTER 12

 

1.   Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 171.

2.   D. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 248.

He says: “The heroes of the past are now viewed as spectators…the writer identifies himself with those in the arena…The word used here for witness (martys) does not usually denote ‘spectator’, and yet the use of the imagery here presupposes such a meaning.”

Bruce seeks to modify this view somewhat saying: “It is not so much they who look at us as we who look at them-for encouragement.” (Quoted in George Guthrie, p. 397).  See also Utley p. 123.

Barclay states concerning this: “They have witnessed their confession to Christ and they are now witnesses of our performance.” (Barclay p. 172).

Utley in quoting from The Handbook on The Letters to the Hebrews by Ellingworth and Nida, says: “The thought is that the Old Testament heroes are watching how the writer of Hebrews and his readers run their race in the Christian life, since their own salvation is linked with that of Christians (11.40)”  (Utley p. 124).

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 172.

4.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 124.

5.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 397.

6.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 124.

7.  Ibid.

8.  Guzik, Hebrew.s, v. 1.

9.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 125.

10.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 338.

11.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 525.

12.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 125.

13.  Guzik, Hebrews, v. 2.

14.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 400.

15.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 3-4.

16.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 4-13.

17.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, vs. 5-6.

18.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 176.

19.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 6.

20.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 6.

21.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 218.

22.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 10.

23.  Quoted in Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, v. 10.

24.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 11.

25.  Guzik, Hebrews, v. 11.

26.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 4-13.

27.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 12.

28.  Eusebius Pamphilus, The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 8th printing 1976), p. 76.

29.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 222.

30.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 256.

31.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 222.

32.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 14.

33  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 182.

34.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 15.

35.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 129.

36.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 16-17.

37.  Fudge, Our Man in Heave, v. 16.

38.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 130.

39. G. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 424-425.

40.  Ibid., p. 428.

41.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 20.

42.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, v. 22.

43.  Berel Wein in his Jerusalem Post article dec. 6, 07, remarks:

“The rabbis taught us that there is a heavenly Jerusalem perched over the earthly Jerusalem.  In order to truly appreciate the earthly Jerusalem one must also be able to glimpse the heavenly Jerusalem as well.”

44.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 22.

45.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 357.

46.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, pp. 419-420.

47.  Ibid., p. 420.

48.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 23.  See also Fudge in commenting on the same verse.

49.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 131.

50.  Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 23.ge

51.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 361.

52.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 187.

53.  Meyer, The Way Into the Holiest, vs. 22-24.

54.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 25-29.

55.  George Guthrie, p. 169 quotes Donald McCullogh, The Trivialization of God: “Reverence and awe have often been replaced by a yawn of familiarity.  The consuming fire has been domesticated into a candle flame, adding a bit of religious atmosphere, perhaps, but no heat, no blinding light, no power for purification…the worst sin of the church at the end of the twentieth century has been the trivialization of God.”

 

CHAPTER 13

 

1.  Tertullian,  Apologeticum ch. 39, 7.

2.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 1.

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 193.

4.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 1.

5.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 842.

6.  Quoted in Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 191.

7.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, v. 3.

8.  Barclay, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 192.

9.  Ibid., p. 192.

10.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 136.

Fudge also in commenting on verse 4 says: “The original text has no verb here and the statement may be translated either as an indicative (as in the King James Version) or, perhaps better in this context, as an imperative.”

11.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 566.

12.  Ibid.

13.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 444.

14.  Fausset, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, v. 4.

15.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 136.

16.  Michael Reagan with Jim Denney, Twice Adopted (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004), p. 210.

17.  Newsweek Magazine, Apr. 12, 2004, p. 52.

18.  Charisma Magazine, Jan. 2001, p. 24.

19.  David Guzik, Hebrews: David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Siegen, Germany: 1997-2003), comments on Romans 1:29-31 (http://studylight.org/com/guz/view.cgi?book).

20.  Arutz 7 News, July 24,2006, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/

21.  Genesis Rabbah 68:4

22.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 437.

23.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 233.

24.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 5-6.

25.  Ibid., v. 5.

26.  Wiersbe – Comm. on Ephesians.

27.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 234.

28.  Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 843.

29.  July 31 2007 ABC News.

30.  Max Lucado on the 700 Club, Nov. 24, 2009.

31.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 7-19.

32.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 438.

33.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 7-19.

34.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 7-8.

35.  deSilva, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary, p. 253.

36.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 8.

37.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 139.

38.  Guzik, Hebrews, vs. 9-13.

39.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 379.

For a similar conclusion see D. Guthrie, p. 273; Utley, p. 139; and Hughes p. 577.

40.  Clark, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 10.

41.  Quoted in Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 237.

42.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 575.

Wuest also remarks that on the Day of Atonement the priests were not allowed to eat of the atoning sacrifices (Wuest p. 236).

43.  Slemming, Made According to the Pattern, p. 48.

44.  Quoted is Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 582.

45.  Gench, Hebrews and James, p. 75.

46.  John J. Rousseau and Rami Arav, Jesus and His World: An Archaeological and Cultural Dictionary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), p. 112.

47.  Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 381.

48.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wesley

49.  Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 591.

50.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 289.

Clark also commenting on verse 15 says: “The Jews allowed that, in the time of the Messiah, all sacrifices, except the sacrifice of praise, should cease. To this maxim the apostle appears to allude; and, understood in this way, his words are much more forcible. In Vayikra Rabba, sect. 9, fol. 153, and Rabbi Tanchum, fol. 55: “Rabbi Phineas, Rabbi Levi, and Rabbi Jochanan, from the authority of Rabbi Menachem of Galilee, said, In the time of the Messiah all sacrifice shall cease, except the sacrifice of praise.”

51.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 441.

52.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 17.

53.  Barnes, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 17.

54.  Coffman, Hebrews, v. 17.

55.  Ibid., vs. 18-19.

56.  Ibid., v. 19.

57.  Calvin, Commentary on Hebrews, v. 19.

58.  Coffman, Hebrews, vs. 20-21.

59.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 443.

60.  Ibid.

61.  Pett, Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, vs. 20-21.

62.  Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 242.

63.  G. Guthrie, Hebrews, p. 434.

64.  Stedman, Hebrews Commentary, vs. 22-25.

65.  Utley, Hebrews, p. 44.

66.  Fudge, Our Man in Heaven, v. 24.