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Hebrews, by Alan Mitchell
Scarcely any book of the New Testament (with the possible exception of Revelation) is so perplexing as the "Letter to the Hebrews." Not really a letter, but a sermon with some features of a letter added to it, not really by its putative author, Paul, but by an anonymous Christian who wrote some of the most elegant Greek in the Bible, not really addressed to the "Hebrews," but to Christians, probably in Rome—this is the work that Alan Mitchell explains in this commentary. Many scholars have written fine commentaries on Hebrews, and Mitchell stands on their shoulders, noting where he proposes alternate interpretations. Mitchell pays particular attention to the reliance of the author of Hebrews on the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint). He also compares the language of Hebrews with similar usage and ideas of first-century Hellenistic Jewish authors, notably Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria. Furthermore, he situates Hebrews against the background of the tradition of Hellenistic Moral Philosophy, where that is appropriate. Mitchell thus locates Hebrews in its proper thought-world, something that is essential for the modern reader in dealing with some of the thornier questions raised by this biblical book. Chief among these are the role of sacrificial atonement, the question of "second repentance," and the spiritual and moral formation of the Roman Christians who were its recipients.
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Author: Alan Mitchell
Published: May 2007