This academic commentary on the original languages and NIV and Greek text of Hebrews focuses on the thought, beliefs, message, that are unique to this biblical author, without reference to any possible person tradition has considered as the author lest such a reference determine all possible outcomes of this study.. The various theories of authorship are studied in the Introduction, but the message in its entirety is of unusual significance for Christian Jewish thought and relationships, and the development of the Christian-Jewish church in the first century and today. The So-called epistle in shell is actually a theological treatise and impassioned sermon to those facing extreme forms of persecution and efforts to coerce denial of the faith. These believers are faced with an accepted legal status as Jews in the Roman Empire versus the people of 'the Way' that was viewed as sectarian by the Jews and as an illegal sect by Rome. The quick expansion of the church into the Roman world under the emphases and apologetics of Paul combating some opposition to his message both in the Jewish leadership as well as in the Jewish Christian churches. The cruciality of holding on to the eternal truths of the past and not compromising the truth in Jesus of Nazareth places this writing front and center to the basic questions of the relationships of church and Judaism. The stance of this author is that of mainline Evangelical thought, with awareness of the Wesleyan, Lutheran, Anabaptist and Calvinistic emphases as well as others. The issues of text, canon, and history of interpretation are specialized studies not covered in this commentary.
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