Nov 11, 2010

Hebrews 1:1-3

God has spoken.[1] Here the author both indicates the continuity of divine revelation through the ages and also the contrast between the Old Testament prophets and Jesus.[2] This contrast involves at least three points of comparison: (1). “long ago” vs. “last days;” (2). “in the prophets” (plural) vs. “in a Son” (singular); 3. “many portions and ways” vs. “in a Son (qualitatively).” Furthermore, the first three verses introduce three functions of Christ (prophet [1:2]; priest [1:3]; king [1:3]), which, will be emphasized later in the book. Additionally, this introductory section functions as a precursor to the discussion on angels, since angels were regarded as mediators of divine revelation, namely the Mosaic Law.

[1] Morris notes that, “It is significant that the subject of the first verb is ‘God,’ for God is constantly before the author; he uses the word sixty-eight times, an average of about once every seventy-three words all through his epistle. Few NT books speak of God so often” (Leon Morris, “Hebrews” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol 12., ed. Frank E. Gaebelein [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981], 12).

[2] “Hebrews gathers all its leading ideas around two great themes, revelation and redemption, the word of God and the work of Christ” (Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews, Bible Speaks Today [Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 1982], 17).

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