From: Daniel Buck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 10:38:08 EST
> From: Rob Somers [mailto:email@example.com]
> Secondly, and this maybe sounds like a silly question, -- how difficult is
> the book of Hebrews to work through? I have heard some "ominous" things
> said by someone, about the Greek in that book. I would be really
> in going through it, but of course, I am nowhere near as
> proficient in Greek
> as the person who told me, in as many words, that Hebrews is a very
> difficult book. The reason I want to know, is that I am
> considering working
> through the book with my church -- I think it is a very rich book
> to preach
> out of. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I would encourage you to preach through this wonderfully rich book which
uses the theological truths of the life and ministry of Christ to exhort the
believers who hear God's voice speaking to them to enter into all that God
has prepared for them through the access of Jesus Christ.
As to the designation "ominous" there are a couple ways to look at it.
Hebrews has one of the highest percentages of hapax legomena (words only
used one time in the NT) and employs a broad vocabulary in expressing his
ideas. He also discusses topics and events which are much less common in
the epistles so that will stretch your hand to the lexicon more regularly.
The book is also masterfully designed and written as something to be heard
(maybe more than read; i.e.. a sermon for the ear and the heart) which may
challenge interpretive choices at several locations. Then there is the use
of the OT citations. How are they to be interpreted? I would suggest that
they form the essential backbone to the argument of the sermon. Along with
this is the use of rhetorical design and devices used throughout the book as
the author moves from expository communication (genre) to hortatory
(exhortation). Finally, you will want to keep your LXX handy as you read, as
the author seems to have known this as his scriptures; they have shaped his
thinking and serve as his source of terms and images.
All in all, YES it will challenge you. But what a thing to be challenge by
the Word of God. "Today if you hear his voice (calling you to study this
precious book) do not harden your heart..."
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