Monday, October 25, 2010

The New Testament in a Year: Hebrews 7-11

For my own personal study, I am using a combination of tools. These include listening to an audio version of the Bible (TNIV) and a series of commentaries in addition to the text itself. I recognize that not everyone will have access to these materials. I can at least provide a link to the Biblical text itself. For this purpose, I've found that is a very useful tool. Not only does it include the TNIV, which enables me to link to the same text as what I'm listening to with the audio version, but one can easily switch to another translation (if one so desires) simply by using the drop-down menus. I hope that this is helpful.

This week, I am working through Hebrews, chapters 7-11.

Chapter 7

Chapter 8
Chapter 9
  • Verses 1-5 - Scholer points out that the fact that Hebrews references the tabernacle (as opposed to the temple, which would have been more relevant to the era) is a sign that the author is concerned less about religious abuses of his Jewish contemporaries, and more with the tradition itself.
  • Verses 16, 17 - The TNIV uses the word "will" to translate the same Greek word previously translated as "covenant," presumably because "will" connects better to the point the author is making in reference to death (and, indeed, we know of covenants the don't require either of the parties making them to have died, despite what verse 17 would sound like if "covenant" were used there).  But it's probably worth remembering that the same word previously translated "covenant" is being used here, and not some new term.
  • Verse 26 - I imagine that this verse (and parts of Chapter 10 that follow it) is one of the reasons some Protestants have trouble with the idea that of communion as a "sacrifice" (not a term Presbyterians tend to use, anyway) in which the real body and real blood of Christ are present (in the bread and the wine, as in beliefs that argue for transubstantiation).
Chapter 10
  • Verse 1 - Sounds like Plato's Forms....
  • Verse 25 - The author clearly intends that Christians should keep meeting each other regularly.  Today we talk of "going to church" in this vein.  Besides the admonishment to do so, I do feel that people need to be given reasons why continuing to go to church is important.  The author gives at least one such reason right here: so that believers may encourage one another.
  • Verse 26 - This verse must be a source of great anxiety for many.  After all, who among us can claim to have not "deliberately" sinned at some point after becoming Christians?
Chapter 11
  • Why does the author mention the particular people he does, in his litany of "faith"?

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