Hebrew Lesson 1: “Who is Jesus?”
Motivation: As we begin this study of Hebrews, some introductory material might be helpful:
Author: Although the author is not named, this has not kept Bible Scholars from speculating through the centuries. Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) referred to Paul as the author and Luke as the translator. If this is accurate, the contents may be based on Paul’s address to the Jewish elders in Rome (Acts 28:23). However, skeptics have pointed to the author as referring to “those who heard Him (Jesus)” (2:3); Whereas, Paul claimed to be a first hand witness (1 Cor 15:8; Gal 1:12). The author also refers to Timothy as “brother” (13:23) while Paul referred to him as “my son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2). Other proposed authors include Luke, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Apollos, Timothy, Philip, Peter, Silas, Jude, and Aristion.
Date: AD 64-69, After widespread persecution began (AD 64), but prior to the destruction of the Temple (AD 70).
Audience: Because of the extensive use of OT references, especially to the sacrificial system, most assume an audience of Jewish converts to Christianity, especially former priests and rabbis.
Theme: “The author of Hebrews wanted to exalt Jesus Christ. A verbal indication of this desire is the consistent and repetitive usage of the Greek word kreitton, which means “more excellent,” “superior,” or “better.” This word is the common thread that binds together the complex and subtle theological argumentation of the book. In comparison to everything else in the divine plan for creation and redemption, Jesus Christ is superior. The author described the superiority of the new covenant to the old covenant because he wanted his readers to remember that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law and God’s promises in the OT. In this light, readers should be careful about “recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt” (6:6). The author wanted to move these believers from their arrested state of development into a pattern of growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ.” (HCSB, p. 2113).
Structure: Hebrews is less a letter and more a sermon. It is an exhortation to follow Christ above all and to persevere. It contains five “warning passages” that begin mildly “so that we will not drift away,” and increase in severity until the final passage warns “How much worse punishment to you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (10:29). Taken together, Hebrews is a warning against what Dietrich Bonhoeffer termed “cheap grace.” It is a call to faithfulness and concludes with “Brothers, I urge you to receive this message of exhortation.” (11:32).
Last Updated (Monday, 01 September 2014 18:53)
Daniel Lesson 6: “Be Ready For Tribulation”
Motivation: Daniel’s amazing prophecy contained in this study gives God’s overall plan for the ages. It is specific to the point of individual intrigues but so broad in scope as to affect every person. Contained within are great studies in prayer and spiritual warfare.
Daniel Lesson 5: "“Live to Win in the End”
Motivation: Do you ever get depressed watching world events in the news? From the Middle East to Africa, things sometimes seem out of control. But in this passage, Daniel reminds us that world events don’t catch God off guard. He knows what will happen and assures us of His eventual triumph. HCSB, p. 1446: 7:1-28 “This chapter of Daniel is one of the most important in the entire OT, an essential guide to biblical prophecy. Moreover, the vision of the Son of Man is the centerpiece of OT revelation concerning the Messiah. The Aramaic section of Daniel begins in chapter 2 with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the colossus and ends at the end of Chapter 7. One reason for repeating the similar information in chapters 2 & 8 is that chapter 2 presents the world kingdoms from a Gentile perspective, while chapter 8 views the Gentile empires from the perspective of the Jewish people. Another reason for the repetition is to confirm the certainty of the predictions. As Joseph said, Pharaoh’s dreams were repeated because “the matter has been determined by God, and He will carry it out soon” (Gn 41:32). The vision was included to give hope to Israel in captivity, informing the nation that life in the times of the Gentiles would get worse for God’s covenant people, but ultimately the messianic kingdom would be established.”
Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 August 2014 19:41)
Daniel Lesson 4: “Never Give Up on Prayer”
Motivation: One measure of our faith in God is our prayer life. If we truly believe in His power, we’ll demonstrate that belief by turning to Him in prayer.
Daniel Lesson 3: “Tell It Like It Is”
Motivation: Paul writes to the Galatians “Don’t be deceived, God is not mocked” (6:7). In this passage we see judgment upon two powerful kings who exalted themselves and were judged.