The Book of Hebrews focuses on Jesus’ fulfillment of and superiority to every institution in the Old Testament. Use this overview and download free study questions to guide your reading.
Introduction to Hebrews
The Book of Hebrews focuses on Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of and superiority to every institution in the Old Testament—Sabbath, sacrifices, and priesthood.
Authorship of Hebrews
The Early Church argued over whether the Book of Hebrews belonged in the Bible, because the identity of its author was unknown. Some suggestions for author have included Paul, Luke, Apollos, and Barnabas, but each of these is problematic. The book was finally accepted into the canon without knowing the author because it agrees with the teaching of the apostles and puts Jesus Christ and His salvation at the center. We know it was written before AD 70 because the writer talks about the priests offering sacrifices—an activity that ended with the destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70.
Purpose of Hebrews
Hebrews is really a sermon written to Jewish Christians who were suffering persecution for their faith—and contemplating a return to Judaism, which was legally protected in the Roman Empire, unlike early Christianity. This letter reminds them of the glory they would be giving up—and the divine judgment they would bring upon themselves—if they returned to Moses.
Outline of Hebrews
- Introduction/Theme: Christ Is the True and Final Revelation of God (1:1–3)
- Jesus’ Superiority (1:4–10:18)
- Over the Angels (1:4–2:18)
- Over Moses (3:1–4:13)
- Superiority of Jesus’ Priesthood: Jesus, the New Melchizedek (4:14–7:28)
- Superiority of Jesus’ Sacrifice (8:1– 10:18)
- Exhortation to Faithfulness (10:19–12:29)
- Invitation to Faithfulness (10:19–39)
- Old Testament Examples of Faith: Following in the Faith of our Fathers (ch. 11)
- Jesus as the Ultimate Example of Faithfulness (12:1–13)
- Warning against Disobedience, Using Old Testament Examples (12:14–29)
- Final Exhortations (13:1–19)
- Blessings and Greetings (13:20–25)
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