I finished the main text of a chapter on Hebrews I hope to send off to a publisher later in the week. The publisher invited me to submit seven months ago--I hope they'll still take it. ;-) It needs a footnote glazing and then I'll send it off.
My argument prior to this chapter is that most scholars read Paul anachronistically to believe that Christ's atonement covered all people past, present, future. It's not that Paul says anything that contradicts this idea...
(which might get us into some interesting discussions of what meaning of Scripture is important. Is it what is in the bubble above Paul's head or the potentialities of the text in front of us? Others might say that such a discussion in itself is already too bibliolatrous. I'm happy to announce I will not be discussing any of these issues ;-)
My argument in this chapter is that Hebrews represents a crucial step in the development of early soteriology (thinking about salvation). I'm arguing that, in part catalyzed by the destruction of the temple, Hebrews argues shockingly that the Levitical system was never intended actually to take away sins. The audience need not be troubled by its destruction or by mainstream Jews enticing them to engage in synagogue means that, until the temple is rebuilt, serve as a kind of temporary substitute.
Christ's death was not merely an atonement for the recent sins of Israel, yet another reset button on God's relationship with Israel. Christ's death was not merely an atonement for anyone alive (or recently alive) who was baptized into his name, Jew or Gentile. Christ's death was an atonement for all the sins of all the Jews in the past who ever lived and were in right relationship with God.