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Hebrews Introduction

Hebrews Introduction

Hebrews is the work of the New Testament that helps us best to understand the distinctions between Christian and Jewish faith both in the First Century and now.  Earliest manuscripts carry the title, “To the Hebrews”, so it likely was written to Jewish Christians. It is a powerful teaching work and may have been originally a sermon.

It’s primary purpose was to help Jewish followers of Jesus resist the temptation to hide their Christian faith which was earning them pressure and even persecution from non-Christian Jews.  It is an amazing treatise on how Jesus fulfilled major tenets of Jewish faith, including the sacrificial system, the prophets, angels, and the rewards of belief.

The authorship is not specified though it was attributed for many years to Paul, though stylistically it is different. Because of the reference to Timothy in the final chapter, it does seem the author is most likely to have been a companion of Paul’s, such as Barnabus, Silas, or even Priscilla. The lack of name attribution would be explained if the author were female.

Many have pointed out the likelihood the letter was written around A.D. 64-66, since there is no mention of the fall of the Temple in A.D. 70.  It seems likely to have been intended for both Judean Jews and those in the communities around the Roman empire, since believers in Jesus were frequently in the same communities as the non-Christian Jews.

Hebrews Guide to the Transcommentary

Hebrews Guide to the Transcommentary

Hebrews Guide to the Transcommentary

This is a little bit more than a translation and a bit less than a full commentary.  It serves a similar function to the Amplified Bible, though that work’s purpose was to provide a complete sense of the meaning of the words used by the writers of scripture.  This work has a somewhat different purpose:

  • To convey as close as possible the actual meaning of the sentences as they would have been understood at the time they were originally spoken or written.  To accomplish this for twenty-first century Americans, dynamic equivalent words and sayings have been used at a sentence level.  An attempt has been made to preserve intended wordplay and irony from the original author.

  • We have attempted to clarify ideas, references, and thought sequences that would have been clear to first century audiences but are not clear to modern audiences because of differences in culture, customs, language, or degree of familiarity with Old Testament scriptures and Messianic prophecies.  The phrasing of the translation itself aims at that clarity, but we have also added words, phrases, and sentences to the narrative for improved understanding.  All such additions are in brackets [].  This allows the reader to have the explanatory additions when reading but also insulate these additions from the translated scripture – indeed, with a little effort they can be skipped entirely when reading aloud.

  • Color codes for different types of additional material are intended to further aid understanding:

- Green is used for words added to descriptive narrative because they are implied or as commentary to explain the context.

References to scriptures are shown in gold.

  • As in many translations and editions, we have added headings in bold to help understand when a new theme is introduced by the author.

  • The author frequently refers to "Christ" or to "Jesus Christ".  We have employed the words “the Anointed One” rather than "Christ", since that is the meaning of “Christ”.  We wanted to avoid the sense of "Christ" as Jesus’ surname, yet still recognize it as a well-known title.

  • We have also added study questions at the end of each chapter to help you think more thoroughly about the meaning and application of the author’s writing.

We will have succeeded in this translation if you the reader find that you can read this work of scripture with greater comprehension and enjoyment than ever before. Please let us know if you find the various supplementary materials helpful. or too distracting, or if you have any other suggestions about how to improve this approach to translation.

Richard Tittle, pneuma9@gmail.com

Hebrews Chapter 1

Hebrews Chapter 1

Jesus came to show the Father

God has spoken to our forefathers in many different times and ways through the prophets, but in these last days [he has spoken to us in word and action] by his Son. [As significant as the prophets’ role is in our spiritual history, the words and place of Jesus are so much greater. In fact, the prophets’ job was to prepare the way for Him.] [It is the Son alone] whom he [Father God] has appointed heir [and therefore co-ruler] of all things, and by him every world and period was created [John 1:3]. He is the glorious expression [John 1:1] and exact image of the Father. [In fact, he came to live on earth to demonstrate exactly what the Father is like – see John 10:30, John 14:9.] And he has [completely] carried out [and demonstrated every aspect of his Father’s intention] by his word of power. When he purified us from our sins [as his final act of obedience,], he sat down on the right hand of the Majestic One [Father God] [where he continues to powerfully act on our behalf in union with the Father].

Jesus came to show the Father

Jesus ranks higher than the angels

4 Thus [by all he is and has done] he became as much greater than them [the angels] as the name [“son”] he received through birth has more authority than theirs. 5 For to whom among the angels has he ever said, “You are my son. Today [I acknowledge] you came forth from me“ [and] “I will be to him a father and he will be a son to me”? [Jesus was acknowledged as the son of God at his birth by the angel’s announcement to Mary (Luke 1:35), at his baptism by God’s own voice (Matthew 3:17), and at his resurrection according to Paul (Romans 1:4). The verse, “I will be to him a father” is a reference to 2 Samuel 7:14 which applied originally to David and Solomon but was fulfilled more completely in Jesus.]

Jesus ranks higher than the angels

6 In another place [Psalms 97:1-7], where he introduces the firstborn to the world he also says, “Let all the angels worship Him.” [This psalm was considered by the time of Paul to be referring to the Messiah. The reference in the psalm to the "firstborn" could refer to the time after his birth or even to his resurrection but the references to judgment appears to describe the time of the Second Coming. It makes sense that the angels would worship the firstborn of all who would ever be resurrected.]

And concerning the angels, he [Father God] says, “He makes the angels [messengers] winds and his ministers flames of fire” [Psalms 104:4]. [At Pentecost, we note that a great wind and tongues of fire came upon each person.] But concerning the son [he says, in Psalms 45:6-7,] “Your throne is [your ruling place] for ever and ever. Your scepter is the scepter of righteousness. [Your commands are always just and correct]. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore, God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all other kings.” [It was the very nature of Jesus, who put aside his Godhood to live as one of us, that he always honored his Father’s will and set things in order around him. It always brought him joy to heal the sick and lift up the poor.]

10 And [you also said in Psalms 102:25-27, concerning the Anointed One,] “In the beginning, you, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth and made all the universe. 11 [Even when] all you created is destroyed, you will remain.” [And you continue in Isaiah 34:4,] “When [the creation] wears out like a garment 12 and you fold it up and exchange it into something new, you yourself will remain the same and never grow old.”

13 But to whom among the angels did he [Father God] ever say [Psalms 110:1], “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet”? 14 Aren’t they [the angels] all ministering spirits sent forth to serve those who are to receive salvation? [Angels serve the Lord by helping men come to belief in God. Therefore, we should see the how much higher the Lord Jesus ranks than the angels who were esteemed for bringing us the Law.]

Chapter 1 discussion questions

Discussion questions

1. If the author was writing to Jewish believers, why do you think he emphasized Jesus as being God’s son and representative? How would you compare or value Jesus’ words or acts in comparison to the prophets? (vs 1-3)

2. Did you realize that angels were regarded very highly by the Jews, especially as the ones who brought the Law to Moses? How does the author compare the authority and value of Jesus to that of the angels? What should your attitude be toward angels? How should you regard Jesus? (vs 4-14)

Hebrews Chapter 2

Hebrews Chapter 2

Jesus was made human like us so he could represent us

1 For this reason [that Jesus is more worthy than either the prophets or the angels], it is all the more important that we give full attention to what we have heard [from the Good News], or we may carelessly let it slip by. For if the word spoken through [the aid] of angels was considered unchangeable, so that any failure to follow it or lack of attention to it was given a just punishment, then how will we escape [punishment] if we neglect such a powerful salvation that was first spoken to us by the Lord [Jesus] but was later confirmed by those who first heard it from him, and was backed up by God [himself] through signs and wonders, many different powerful works, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to God’s own desire?

Jesus was made human like us s he could die in our place

[The Law was presented to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. However, the word translated God is “Elohim”, which is used to refer to the Godhead but is also to refer to the angels. Frequently, God seems to have used angels to carry his communication and his glory. It was the understanding among the Jewish teachers that angels were involved in the giving of the Law. Angels were sometimes falsely worshipped because of this, and entire philosophies developed that became the traditions of men around finer points of the Law. The writer of Hebrews explains that what Jesus spoke carried the direct authority of God and was both more powerful and took precedence over the Law.]

For it was not to the angels that he [God] placed the world under rulership, as we have been saying. For there is a certain place [Psalms 8:1-9] someone [David] said, “What is man that you think about him or the son of man that you visit him?” You [originally] made him a little lower than the angels. [In the garden,] you crowned him with glory and honor and set him over all your works [to rule over creation]. You placed everything under his rule, leaving nothing that wasn’t under his rule. But right now everything is not yet under his rule [because when Adam and Eve sinned, they gave up the rule of the world to Satan].

But we see Jesus, who was [also] made a little lower than the angels [when he was born as a human], who was crowned with glory and honor for suffering death, since by God’s grace, he experienced death on behalf of every man. 10 It was fitting for him, the one for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, as their leader [and forerunner] to complete [this act] through his sufferings. [But he had to be like them to deliver them.]

11 For both he [Jesus] who made them holy and those he made holy all came from one [Father], and so he [Jesus] is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying [Psalms 22:22], “I will declare your name [and make known who you are] to my brothers. In the midst of our gathering, I will sing praise to you [, our Father]!” 13 And again [in another scripture, Isaiah 8:17,], “I will put my trust in him”. And again [the following verse, Isaiah 8:18], “Watch, I and the children God has given me.” [This passage, like many in Isaiah, seems originally to have referred to the prophet himself, yet over time the teachers had applied the verse as well to the Anointed One, which is how it is used here.]

14 Since the children are flesh and blood, so too he is the same as them, [made of flesh and blood,] so that through [his own] death he might destroy the power of the one who caused death, that is the adversary [Satan, who in the disguise of the serpent brought death to mankind through his deception of Eve and Adam] 15 and deliver them who had been subject to bondage their whole lives because of the fear of death. [Not only did he die in our place but he also gave us eternal life, for all who accept him as Lord and Savior.]

16 For truly he laid hold not of angels but rather the seed of Abraham. [Angels who have sinned do not appear to have the capacity to repent and be saved (2 Peter 2:4). Man does have this capacity but still needed a savior. Abraham was promised that through his seed the nations would be blessed (Genesis 22:18). Jesus’ task, as the “seed of Abraham” was to reach out, lay hold of, and rescue man. As Romans 9:6-8 explains, all who would believe in Jesus would also by their faith be counted as the “seed of Abraham” and receive his rescue.] 17 To do that, he needed to be made just like us in every way, so that he might be a completely merciful and faithful high priest, in offering himself as the sacrifice that reconciled us to God in all things. 18 He himself was tested [through the temptations of human flesh] so he is able to help all those who are tested [every human being],

Discussion questions

1. Do you feel that God’s word has been validated for you by healings, supernatural experiences, and spiritual gifts? Do you ever give a testimony of your experiences, or does an unbelieving society tend to push you away from talking about faith? (vs 1-4)

Hebrews Chapter 2 discussion questions

2. How can man rank higher in God’s eyes than angels, who are supernatural beings? How would you say the life of Jesus affects the ranking of man, by living as a man, and then dying in our place, and rising again? (vs 5-10)

3. How important is it to you that Jesus experienced human life, including temptation and even death? How does that affect your ability to trust him? (vs 11-17)

Hebrews Chapter 3

Hebrews Chapter 3

Jesus has greater authority than Moses

Holy brothers, participants in heaven’s calling [to be witnesses for our Lord], [since we have seen how Jesus is greater both than prophets and angels, let us further] consider the apostle and high priest in whom we have placed our faith, the Anointed One, Jesus. He was as faithful to the one [God] who appointed him as was Moses among all his house [the Jewish people]. [Numbers 12:6-8 describes how faithful God considered Moses.] Yet he [Jesus] is more worthy of praise than Moses, in the same way the builder of a house deserves more honor than the house itself. Every house is built by someone, but all things were [ultimately] built by God. [Jesus was not only the complete expression of his father (Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15-17), he spoke and did only what the Father told him or showed him (John 5:19), but he carried out that faithfulness even to death (Philippians 2:8).]

Jesus has greater authority than Moses

5 And Moses was truly faithful among all his household [the Jewish people] as a servant to bear witness to the truth that would be spoken more fully later. [All of the Law and the sacrificial system, which were given through, were fulfilled or replaced later by Jesus and his sacrifice, as explained in the remaining chapters of Hebrews.] But the Anointed One[, Jesus], a son, presides over the whole house [of the worldwide Church], to which we ourselves belong if we hold on firmly with boldness and rejoicing in our hope to the very end. [A son, when he reaches the age of adulthood, has the right to preside over his household. All believers are part of the household of God and Jesus presides over that household.]

7 Therefore[, because Jesus has a greater authority than Moses, listen to him]. Just as the Holy Spirit says [Psalms 95:6-11], “This day, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as [the children of Israel did] in [what is known as] ‘the provocation’ [of Yahweh’s anger] during the time of testing in the wilderness, when your ancestors tried my patience since they examined me and saw my works [on their behalf] for forty years[, and still did not believe that I would care for and protect them]. [Psalms 95:8 is referring in turn to Exodus 17:7 where the Jews did not trust the Lord to provide water so the place was called Meribah (Hebrew for ‘disputing’) and Massah (Hebrew for ‘testing’).] 10 So I was grieved with that generation, saying, ‘They always stray in their hearts and [therefore] do not understand my ways.’ 11 So I swore in my anger, ‘They shall not enter my rest’.”

Open your heart and trust God

12 Learn [from your ancestors] so that none of you has an evil, untrusting heart, which departs from the living God. [When you are in a time of trial, don’t treat God as though he has withdrawn from you, which is to disbelieve in his goodness. This is the time to lean into God, knowing that he will meet your need.] 13 Instead, encourage one another each day, before the end of the day, in case any of you become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [Once you start believing Satan’s lies that God cannot be trusted, you heart becomes hardened, which makes it harder for God to reach you.]

Open your heart and trust God

14 For we are made partakers of the Anointed One if the confidence we had at the beginning [of our faith journey] we hold firmly to the end. 15 [Again,] while it’s still today [each day], when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as [the Israelites did] in ‘the provocation’ [Psalms 95:7-8, Exodus 17:7]. 16 For some who came out of Egypt with Moses did provoke the Lord [by not trusting Him], though not all. [In particular, of the twelve sent to spy the land, Joshua and Caleb trusted God (Joshua 14:6-9).]

17 And with some he was angry for forty years. Was it not those who sinned [by their failure to trust Him] whose carcasses fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did he swear they would never enter his rest, but to those who did not believe? 19 So we see that they could not enter his rest because of their unbelief.

Discussion questions

1. How would you compare Jesus to Moses in terms of both their responsibility to God and how faithful they were in carrying in out (vs 1-6)?

Hebrews Chapter 3 discussion questions

2. In what ways have you “departed from God with an unbelieving heart”? How has that affected living out your faith (vs 7-13)?

3. Is it possible to enter his rest if we don’t believe what he says to us (vs 14-19)?

Hebrews Chapter 4

Hebrews Chapter 4

Entering God’s rest means trusting him in all things

Therefore we should be afraid, even though there is [indeed] a promise [we have been given] of entering into his rest, that we might miss out [actually] receiving it. For just like them [the Israelites at the time of the Exodus], we have heard the word [of God], but has it been mixed with faith by those who heard? For if we have believed, we have entered into the place of rest, in contrast to those referenced whom he [God] swore in his anger [Numbers 14:22-23, Psalms 95:11,] “They [the Israelites who refused to believe] will never enter my rest”.

Entering God’s rest means trusting him in all things

[Indeed, we have the example of God himself, that] his work [of creation] began [long ago] at the foundation of the world. Yet he said about the seventh day [Genesis 2:2], “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works”. But he also said [Psalms 95:10-11], “They shall never enter my rest”. Even though the ones to whom this [entering into the place of rest] was first preached did not enter because of their unbelief, it is still true that the place of rest exists and some will enter it. [You who are subject to persecution need the rest that comes from trusting in God.]

7 In fact, David [Psalms 95:7-8] referred to “today”, even though much later [500 years after God offered the Promised Land as the place to enter God’s rest], when he said [in the same verse], “Today, when you hear my voice, if you will not harden your hearts… “ [Thus, the rest God was offering was not to be found in reaching the physical place of the Promised Land, but in the heart.] For if Joshua had [been able to] give them the rest [that had been promised when they conquered the Promised Land], then he [God] wouldn’t have spoken [through David] of another day [when through faith they would enter his rest].

Therefore, there still remains a rest for the people of God. 10 For anyone who has entered into his rest has stopped working - just as God did [on the seventh day]. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest so we don’t follow the example of [the Israelites’] disobedience [which came from their unbelief].

12 For God’s word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, able to cut through and expose our soul and spirit – [just like the best knives can even] separate joints and marrow from bone - examining our deepest thoughts and plans. 13 [In fact,] no created being remains hidden but is completely naked and exposed before him by his word. [When God makes a promise to us through his word, he will accomplish it if we respond in faith, but our own heart attitudes will be completely exposed in the process.]

14 Since we have such a great high priest, who has entered heaven [where he speaks on our behalf], Jesus, the son of God, let us hold to on to our belief in Him that we have declared. 15 For he is not the [type of] high priest who is unsympathetic to our weaknesses, but he has been tempted in all ways just like us yet did not sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace, so that we can gain both pardon [for our weakness] and favor [to overcome] to help us in our time of need.

Discussion questions

1. What is the place of rest? What are some examples of prayers that God answered when you felt afraid? When the prayers were answered, did you arrive at the place of rest or trust (vs 1-11)?

Hebrews Chapter 4 discussion questions

2. How does it help you to know that God sees every thought of yours? In what ways does his word reveal your heart to yourself (vs 12-13)?

3. Can you trust Jesus to understand you? If you approach the throne of grace, what would you ask for? What do you think it would feel like when you received help from God (vs 14-16)?

Hebrews Chapter 5

Hebrews Chapter 5

Jesus is high priest of an eternal order

For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and make sacrifices for sins before God, but he is selected from among men as one who would sympathize with those who lack knowledge [of God] or who have wandered from the path, since he himself was subject to the weakness [of humanity]. And because of that, he offered sacrifice for sins not only on behalf of the people but for himself as well.

Jesus is high priest of an eternal order

4 No one takes this honor [in the role of high priest] upon himself, but he must be called by God in the same way Aaron was [chosen by name]. 5 In the same way, the Anointed One did not raise himself to be made high priest, but it was He [Father God] who said to him, “You are my son. Today I proclaim I am your father![This is a quote of Psalms 2:7, where the coming Anointed One is declared both God’s son and king of Israel. Acts 13:32-33 also quotes the same Psalm to emphasize that Jesus is God’s son.]

Also in another place [Psalms 110:4], he [God] said, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” [Melchizedek’s story is told in Genesis 14:18-20. He was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest before God. Abraham acknowledged him as serving the same God he served by giving him a tenth of all the spoils he obtained by defeating the kings he defeated when he rescued his nephew Lot.  Psalms 110 was understood to apply to the coming Anointed One, and the psalm describes the Anointed One as having been appointed to an eternal priesthood like Melchizedek. This is explained in more depth in Hebrews 7.]

[Thus, Jesus is declared son of God, King of Israel, Anointed One, and High Priest. Jesus is the high priest who identifies with the pain and weakness of his people,] who when he was here in the flesh, prayed and pleaded with the one [his Father] who could save him from death, with great cries and tears, and was heard because he revered [the Father’s will]. [Though Jesus knew he must die, carrying all men’s sins took him beyond his ability, yet he submitted to this, as described in Matthew 26:39. That he was able to bear it showed that the Father heard and answered him though he did not deliver him from the tremendous pain.]

Even though he was the son [of God], he learned obedience through suffering. [As Philippians 2:8 says, “even to death on a cross”.] And when he was made complete [by his death in our place], he became the author of eternal life for all who submitted themselves to him, 10 called by God a high priest, in the order of Melchizedek. [As the high priest before Father God, he both made the sacrifice required by God and obtained the gift for men of eternal life.]

11 I have many more things to say about this, which are hard to explain since you have grown hard of hearing. 12 For enough time has passed for you to have become teachers [of others]. But instead you still need to be taught again the basic principles of what God has spoken. You still need milk rather than solid food. 13 Everyone that still needs milk is inexperienced in following God’s word to the right way of thinking. 14 But those who have grown mature can handle solid food, because they have trained themselves how to judge between truth and falsehood.

Discussion questions

1. A high priest performs sacrifices to deal with the sin of the people. Since Jesus was sinless, can he really understand the temptations and struggles of life on the earth? Do you trust him to be your representative before God (vs 1-3,7-10)?

Hebrews Chapter 5 disussion questions

2. The scriptures describe the Anointed One as Son of God, King of Israel, and High Priest.  Does it make sense to you that he is all of those things (vs 4-6)?

3. Do you see yourself as immature (still needing milk) or mature enough that you can handle the meat of deeper understanding of the scriptures (vs 11-14)?

Hebrews Chapter 6

Hebrews Chapter 6

Basic principles of our faith

So, let us leave the more basic principles of Christian doctrine, and move forward to complete [our education], not laying out again the foundation [that included]:

  • Turning away from dead works [both our former sins (Galatians 5:19-21) and religious observances not based on faith, especially the Jewish attempt to achieve righteousness by following the Law (Romans 3:28)],

  • Faith toward God [trusting our lives to Father God (Romans 5:5), Jesus who died for us (Romans 5:1-2), and the Holy Spirit who guides us (Romans 8:9)],

  • Instruction on baptisms [washing away the old and putting on the Anointed One through water baptism (Romans 6:3-4), and baptism in the Holy Spirit to receive power (Acts 19:5-6)],

  • Laying on of hands [to receive healing (Luke 4:40), to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17) the impartation of spiritual gifts (1 Timothy 4:14), and ordination to specific offices such as pastor or teacher (Acts 13:3)],

  • Resurrection from the dead [most of which is described in 1 Corinthians 15],

  • And eternal judgment [Matthew 13:40-43, John 5:28-29, Revelation 20:11-15].

Basic principles of our faith

Turning away from Jesus takes you out of God's promises

And we will do this [deeper teaching right now] if God permits[, but it also depends on the state of your  heart]. For once someone has received the light and tasted the heavenly gift and become a partaker of the Holy Spirit, 5 and tasted the goodness of the revelation of God’s word and the gifts and power from beyond this world, if they then fall away[, rejecting the truth of what Jesus truly has done for them], it’s impossible to restore their [original] conversion. [By their turning from the truth,] they are themselves crucifying the Son of God and publicly rejecting him.

Turning away from Jesus takes you out of God's promises

For when the earth receives a soaking from frequent rains and then produces the crops expected by those who care for it, then the land is [considered] blessed by God. But the ground that produces thorns and briers is rejected as though cursed, and its destiny is to be burned.

Even though we are speaking like this [about the consequences of falling away from belief], we are convinced of better things about you [to whom we are speaking], things that indicate [your] salvation. 10 For God is not unjust – he has not forgotten your work and labor of love you have shown toward his name in the way you have ministered and still do minister to the believers. [Your care for believers makes us believe that you are believers yourselves and that God himself has accepted you as his.]

11 And we desire that all of you continue with the same effort toward complete assurance in your hope [in Jesus] to the end [of your lives]. 12 Don’t be lazy but follow those who through trust and patient endurance have received the promises of God. [It is easy to say we believe but it is when our faith is tested that we are most likely to fall away. We must continue to act on our faith through every obstacle.]

God’s assurance of blessing

13 For when God made his promise to Abraham [that he would bless him and use him to bless all mankind], because he could swear by no one greater, he swore on himself, 14 when he said [Genesis 22:15-17], “Truly when I bless you, you will be greatly blessed, and when I [say I will] multiply you, you will be greatly multiplied”. 15 And when Abraham patiently endured, he did receive fulfillment of the promise. [God gave him Isaac as an heir after many years of waiting and overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles.]

God's assurance of blessing

16 For it is true that men swear by something greater than themselves, and to all men such an oath is sufficient confirmation [they will carry out what they promised]. 17 Likewise, God was willing to validate the unchangeable nature of his commitment by an oath to the heirs of his promise [the descendants of Abraham]. 18 So it is by two unchangeable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, that we, who have fled for refuge, might have a strong confirmation to hold on to the hope set before us [by God’s promises]. [The first unchangeable thing is God himself and the second unchangeable thing is a priest who eternally serves us and makes a perfect sacrifice on our behalf, that is Jesus.]   

19 This hope is both a secure anchor for our souls and is rooted in the place behind the veil [where God himself lives]. 20 Jesus has preceded us into this place [of promise] since he has been made our high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

[The story of Melchizedek shows us that God, from earliest times, has watched over his people to ensure his promised blessing is carried out. While he has given us priests to enact ceremonies to enact our obedience to his laws, he has also give us a different order of “watchers” who are heavenly in their origin, holiness, and ability to save and protect us.]

Discussion questions

1. Do you feel like you understand what the author calls “the basics” (vs 1-2)? Does it help to look up the scripture references?

Hebrews Chapter 6 discussion questions

2. Do you have any doubt about your own conversion or about the basic truths of your faith?  Do you need to talk to your church leader or someone whom you believe is solid in their belief, so you can become solid yourself (vs 3-12)?

3. Did God need to make an oath for us to trust him? Do you think the life and death of Jesus bolstered our trust in God (vs 13-19)?

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