This Intro was put together with prayer and assist from The Holy Spirit and different historical resources from my own personal library. This helps to keep my ego in check, because I am not that smart. I will let it be known when I’ve drawn from others extra-biblical resources. However, truth be told, all Bible-based literature comes from standing on the shoulders of those who’ve come before us, but it’s the work of The Holy Spirit who leads us on this journey. So there’s very little room for boasting. Hebrews is an excellent example of this.
Over the centuries there’s been much debate over the authorship of this eloquently written letter. Some believe it to be the work of Apollo, based on Acts 18: 24-28. He was a scholarly Hellenistic Jew from Alexandria in Egypt. Some said that Martin Luther also believed this. But looking much further back (A.D. 150-230), Tertullian attributed this masterful work to Barnabas born Joseph, a Jew from Cyprus. But the traditional belief is that The Apostle Paul wrote it. This is one of the few books of The Bible in which the author chose to remain anonymous, thus making this fascinating book even more intriguing. But one thing is for sure, the writer had a deep understanding and concern for Jewish believers because of divided loyalties. Many of them wanted to worship as a Christian with Christians, on the other hand, some continued to worship and practice animal sacrifice at the Herodian Temple which continued to stand until it’s destruction. This was problematic because we know the New Covenant maintains that Christ was the final sacrifice for the sins of the world, past, present, and future: (John 3:16; Heb.4:14-16; 7:27; 9:26; and 10:8-22). However, many became double-minded, desiring to have both bases covered.
This also gives us a rough estimate as to when the Book was written. Jesus prophesied of the Temple’s imminent destruction in (Matt. 24:1-25; Mark 13:1-37; and Luke 21:5-36). Historically, the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, so the Book was likely written somewhere between A.D. 60-69. Now that the intro is done, LET US look at the author’s purpose for writing the letter.
Heb. 13:22 “And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.” The word “exhortation” in Greek it’s: paraklēsis Thayer Definition: 1) a calling near, summons, (especially for help) 2) importation, supplication, entreaty 3) exhortation, admonition, encouragement 4) consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment 4a) thus of the Messianic salvation (so the Rabbis call the Messiah the consoler, the comforter) 5) persuasive discourse, stirring address 5a) instructive, admonitory, conciliatory, powerful hortatory discourse; Part of Speech: noun feminine. This Greek word “paraklēsis” should be familiar to some of us. It happens to be closely associated with attributes ascribed to The Holy Spirit “paraklētos”. And the phrase “written a letter” means: “epistellō” (or letter)Thayer Definition: 1) to send one a message, command 2) to write a letter 3) to enjoin by letter, to write instructions: Part of Speech: verb. We’ll touch on that later on in the study.
It’s always a good practice to look words up in their original language. God specifically chose each word for the purpose of carrying a specific meaning. How can I live my life as a doer of The Word of God (Jam. 1:22) if I’m not willing to understanding some of the languages it was first written. We must apply ourselves to knowing something about who wrote it, to whom each book was written, their culture and traditions, and the problems the writer meant to address. The Word exhorts us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2nd Tim. 2:15; KJV).
Solomon said: “My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path.” (Proverbs 2:1-9; KJV). To be continued…