Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Christology of Hebrews

I am giving a lecture on the Christology of Hebrews tomorrow. It occurred to me I have never exactly done this. Here are my first draft PowerPoints.


  • "through whom God made the worlds" (1:3)
  • "You, O Lord, founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands" (1:10)
  • These may originally have had the connotations that Jesus was God's wisdom for the creation, but whatever their original connotations, the church would come to hear in them an expression of Christ as the agent of creation, the one through whom God literally made the universe.
  • Other possible allusions: "without father, without mother, without genealogy, neither having beginning of days nor end of life" (7:3); "Christ entering into the world said" (10:5)

  • "Since the children shared blood and flesh, he similarly partook of them" (2:14)
  • "He had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might be a faithful and merciful high priest" (2:17).
  • "a body you prepared for me" (10:5)
Earthly life

  • "In the days of his flesh, he offered up prayers and supplications to the One able to save him from death, with loud crying and tears, and he was heard because of his reverent fear" (5:7)
  • "He was tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin" (4:15).
  • "We see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while... that he might taste death for everyone" (2:9)

  • "... that he might destroy the one who has the power of death: the Devil" (2:14)
  • "When he had made a purification for sins, he sat on the right hand of Majesty" (1:3).
  • "... to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people" (2:17)
  • "it was fitting for the One for whom and through whom all things exist to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (2:10)
  • "having been made perfect, he became a cause of eternal salvation" (5:9)
  • "He entered into the Holies with his own blood" (9:12)/"through an eternal Spirit he offered himself to God" (9:14)
  • "with one sacrifice he has perfected forever those who come to be sanctified" (10:14)
  • "I will remember their sins no more, and where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin" (10:18)
  • "You have come to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant, and to sprinkled blood that speaks better than Abel" (12:24)
  • "Jesus suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his blood" (13:12).

High Priesthood

  • "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" (5:6, 10; 7)
  • "He takes away the first to establish the second" (10:9); "For when there is a change of priesthood, there is a change of Law as well" (7:12).
  • "it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens" (7:26)
  • "he always lives to make intercession for them" (7:25)
  • "God of peace brought him up from the dead our Lord Jesus" (13:20)
  • "we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens" (4:14)
  • "he did not enter into handmade Holies but into heaven itself (9:24)
Exaltation and Session
  • "You are my Son; today I have begotten you" (1:5; 5:5)
  • "Your throne, O God, are forever and ever. Therefore GOD, your God, has anointed you." (1:8)
  • "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for his feet" (1:13)
Second Coming
  • "So he will appear a second time... to save those who are eagerly waiting for him" (9:28).


Amy said...

This looks good. You cover all the necessary territory, I think. I might organize it differently and make Jesus' Sonship a separate and preeminent category (could that be because this is the topic of my dissertation? :)) What class is it for?

Ken Schenck said...

This was for the undergraduate course in Hebrews. I suppose someone else will have to teach it in the future since I'm in the seminary...

I decided to approach Christology from a narrative approach, and realized that it was ironic I spent so little time on Christ's sonship. It is interesting to me (maybe an insight) that I ended up spending so little time on Christ's sonship when I approached it this way. If I had approached it from a titular perspective, I would have gone with Son of God and high priest. :-)

It would be fun to write an article on the Christology of Hebrews from my point of view and dialog with theological interpretation of it.

Hope you and Lance are well!