Home | Examination

The Book of Hebrews


This course is worth two (2) credits toward your certificate program.

Instructions : Read the text (below) for this course. Take thorough notes as you read the text. When you are finished and you are ready to take the examination, click on the above link titled Examination. Print the examination out. Complete all of the answers and mail it to the address listed below.

The Epistle to the Hebrews



The Book of Hebrews is a very unique book in the New Testament. It is often considered to be a “stand alone” book, even though it harmonizes beautifully with the rest of the New Testament  theologically and even historically as it reaches deep into the rich accounts of the Old Testament.

It has not always been such a well accepted canonical asset to scriptures like we know it today. The second century Gnostic teacher named Marcion did not include Hebrews in his canon of scriptures even though he was very interested in the Pauline epistles. The Muraturion Canon of the late second century did not include Hebrews or James in its list either. The sixteenth century reformer Martin Luther, struggled greatly with its canonization also. 



So who wrote the book ? We really are not able to identify the exact author, but contemporary theologians are fairly certain that it probably was not the Apostle Paul. There are some strong evidences to this probability. Paul commonly uses phrases such as “in Christ” “the resurrection” “Christ Jesus”. Those phrases never appear in the manuscript copies we have of Hebrews. Paul always refer to “the law” in the moral sense of the word. Hebrews always refers to “the law” in the ritual connotation.

One of the most commonly suggested authors is a man by the name of Apollos who was an eloquent speaking Jew and had a good working knowledge of God’s word. Acts 18:24-25 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;

Another suggested author would be Barnabas who was by geneology believed to be a Levite and a person who by that knowledge could very well have been capable of giving a dissertation like is rendered in the book of Hebrews Acts 4:36 And Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means, Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

And yet another author that is sometime considered would be Clement of Rome. This is because of the closing of the epistle makes reference to those in Italy which may have very well included one of the leaders of the church there at the approximate time of the writing of the book. Hebrews 13:23 & 24 Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I shall see you. Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.



The date if the writing is unknown. It would be safe to assume that it was probably written before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem since that event is not mentioned and would probably have changed and/or complimented much of the book’s content had Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple been destroyed by the time the book was written.



It seems obvious that it would have been written to those who were devout Jewish practitioners. While the book reveals a large amount of details about ritualistic Jewish worship, the content also makes assumptions that the reader has a working knowledge of Judaism. 



The purpose of the book is to show that Jesus Christ has replaced Judaism as the perfect revelation of God to mankind. A catalyst for the author to write such a dissertation may have been the perception that some may have been considering returning to Judaism after their consideration or participation in Christianity.

Three passages that indicate this may be as follows: Hebrews 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. Hebrews 5:11-12 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.



In Hebrews Jesus Christ is identified in nine different descriptive terms. These descriptive terms give us a foundation for the theological premise that the author is depicting to us in the epistle.   


1). Superior to Angels

Hebrews 1:3-4

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.


2). The High Priest of God

Hebrews  3:1

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.


3). Better than Moses

Hebrews 3:3

For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.


4). The Son of God

Hebrews 4:14

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.


5). The Guarantee of a Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:22

so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.


6). The Author and Perfector of our Faith

Hebrews 12:2

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


7). The Mediator of a New Covenant

Hebrews 12:24

and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.


Luke 22:20

And in the same way {He took} the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.


8). Eternally enduring and consistent

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, {yes} and forever.


9). The Source of our Sanctification

Hebrews 13:12

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.





I. The Person of Jesus Christ   (Hebrews 1:1 through Hebrews 3:19)


a). Jesus Christ is positioned with God

(1:3 He sat down at the right hand of the Father) 


b). Jesus Christ is God

(quotes various Psalms as examples)


c). Warning against neglect

(2:3 “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”) 


d). Jesus Christ was a human being

(2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same)


e). Warning against hardening of the heart           

(3:13 lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.)



II. The Accomplishments of Jesus Christ   (Hebrews 4:1 through Hebrews 10:18)


a). The importance of resting / abiding in Him

(4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest )


b). The experienced and superior Priest

(4:15 one who was tempted in all things as we are, but without sin)


c). The Melchizedek Priesthood

(5:10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek)


The person of Melchizedek is only mentioned in two other references in the entire Bible.


Genesis 14:17-20

Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tenth of all.


Psalms 110:4-5

The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.


d). Jesus Christ calling the mature believer

(6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)


e). Jesus Christ is the High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek

(7:24 but He, on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently.)


f). Jesus Christ replaces the Old Covenant with a New Covenant

(8:13 When He said, "A new covenant" He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.)


g). Jesus Christ is present in the sanctuary of Heaven

(9:24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us)


h). The Type and Shadow of Jesus Christ

(10 :1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.)


III. Living in Jesus Christ   (Hebrews 10:19 through Hebrews 13:25)


a). We are to be faithful as Jesus Christ is faithful

(10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;)


b). The definition of genuine faith

(11:1 Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.)


c). The results of genuine faith

(11:2 For by it the men of old gained approval.)


The “Hall of Faith”


Abel – His faith caused him to offer the acceptable sacrifice  

Enoch – His faith pleased God so that he did not suffer mortal death

Noah – His faith caused him to forsee his need of salvation.

Abraham – His faith caused his life to be non-traditional

Sarah – Her faith gave her the ability to accept the miraculous

Issac – His faith caused him to bless his son Jacob

Jacob – His faith looked into the future to see Israel as a nation

Joseph – His faith proclaimed future deliverance

Moses’ Parents – Their faith was not diminished by fear

Moses – His faith caused him to lead other in pursuit of God

Joshua – His faith caused him to conquer the impossible enemy

Rahab – Her faith cause her to beat the odds.


Hebrews 11:39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

What makes these people continue in faith?

Obedience is the common denominator of continued faith.


d). Jesus Christ is the ultimate example 

(12:3-4 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;)


e). God’s discipline in our lives produces righteousness

(12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.)


f). We are to live in the presence of Jesus Christ

(Hebrews 12:22-29 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. )


g). God’s Kingdom is secure

(Hebrews 12:25-29 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.26 and His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying," Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven (sky)."27And this expression "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;29 for our God is a consuming fire.)


h).  Christian faith should reflect in your public life

(13:5 Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,")


i). Love each other and serve together in worship

(13:15-16 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders, and submit to them for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.)



In the epistle of Hebrews we find a very interesting passage of scripture in which we can pivot our understanding of the author’s original intent as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the book. It is found in the fourth chapter of Hebrews. It shows us the definitive of how the author is portraying the differences between that which is of the Spirit of God and that which isn’t. When this is applied to the purpose of the book which is to show that Jesus Christ has replaced Judaism as the perfect revelation of God to mankind, it becomes obvious that we are to see and experience Jesus Christ from that perspective.     


Hebrews 4:12-16


Verse 12        For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


There are four words in this verse that display to us the purpose and work of God’s word in the entity of humanity.

division =  SW 3311 “merismos”  dived asunder as in a surgical process

soul =  SW 5590 “psuche” mind and mental processes of our thought life   

spirit = SW 4151 “pneuma” spirit of life; the very breath of life

judge = SW 2924 “kritikos”  to discern, to be decisive, to be discriminative   


Verse 13        And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.


Here we see that God’s Word shows us who we really are from the way God sees us. He knows our thoughts, our motivations and our intentions.


Verse 14        Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.


In this verse the phrase “passed through the heavens”  depicts Jesus Christ as superior in everyway to anyone. Often times the Roman Caesars were depicted as immortal or even divine when a comet would pass through the night sky shortly after their physical death. This more than likely is the superior presentation of Jesus Christ that is being made from the Roman Empires cultural language regarding the Caesars.     


Verse 15        For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.


This verse shows us the ability of Jesus Christ to be both God and man. The example of His superiority is the faultless and sinless physical life of Jesus Christ and resisting the universal and natural temptations we face in the physical life we live. 


Verse 16        Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.


                        This verse shows us that Jesus Christ is the source of all that we need in our spiritual existence. In Christ we can find both grace (the receiving what we don’t deserve) and mercy (not getting what we actually do deserve) 


Paul’s epistles confirm this same theological position regarding the flesh and the Spirit. 


Romans 8:3-8

3          For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

4          in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

5          For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

6          For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

7          because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so

8          and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


1 Corinthians 15:50

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.


(Flesh and blood specifically refers to the practice of “Judaism” or any other religion that requires certain works or physical commitments.)



Central Institute of Theological Studies

P.O. Box 750491 Dayton, Ohio 45475