Some thoughts on Hebrews:
- It seems likely that Hebrews was a sermon that the author sent to the church, perhaps in Rome.
- We don't know who the author was. It wasn't likely Paul, not least because it's hard to see Paul writing this verse, which places the author at a further distance from Jesus than Paul saw himself.
- I'm not sure that the assumptions of the introduction to the reading are as obvious as the writer seems to think. For example, the beginning teachings of Hebrews 5:11-6:2 do not read like the kinds of first teachings a Jew would need to learn.
- Similarly, if Hebrews were written before the destruction of the temple, we can wonder why the author does not just come out and say not to rely on the temple. Why speak so obliquely and theoretically about the wilderness tabernacle and make allusions to having no remaining city here and being wanderers on the earth?
- Hebrews 1 starts off the sermon with a celebratory hymn of sorts. It is a poetic celebration of Christ's enthronement at God's right hand. It's hard, IMO, for us to read these verses without post-Nicaean glasses on. But all the verses can be read in relation to Jesus being enthroned as Son of God as he was enthroned king at God's right hand.
- Hebrews 2 gives us the human problem and Christ's solution. God created humanity to have glory in the creation but we do not have this glory because of sin and death. So Jesus has partaken of human flesh so that he can finally lead many sons and daughters to glory.
- Hebrews 3-4 warns the audience to keep going in faith. They, like Israel, have left Egypt. They have started the journey of faith. But if they do not continue in faith all the way to the end, their corpses will fall in the desert like the Israelites did. We have the opportunity of entering God's rest. We had better do so.
- Significant to realize that the word of God in 4:12 is not the Bible. There is a history here in Jewish wisdom speculation. The word of God is the will of God in action. Here is an interesting parallel.
- Hebrews 4:13 says that the whole creation is laid bare before God's eyes, whose word is for us. God sees. God knows. Do we live as if he does?