|Overview: The Purpose of the Epistle|
|The Message and the Warnings: Four Views|
|Summary Verses and Thematic Development|
|The Summary Verses|
|Summary of the Summary Verses|
|The Thematic Development of Hebrews|
|The Thematic Development of the First Two Chapters|
|Analysis of the Evidence|
|"Salvation" in the Epistle to the Hebrews|
Clear Gospel Campaign
Ronald R. Shea, Th.M., J.D.
The Epistle to the Hebrews
Q. What was the purpose of the Epistle to the Hebrews?
A. Believers were defecting to a cultic form of Christianity that included, among other features, animal sacrifice and excessive speculation on angels. They were moving on to "bigger and better things." The author argues against this theological defection with two primary lines of thought: The Carrot and the Stick. (Or, as they say in Russia, the Cookie and the Whip.)
i) The Cookie: Jesus is better than the angels, and his sacrifice is better than animal sacrifice. Why would they want to embrace teachings that are plainly inferior to the pure Christian faith?
ii) The Whip: There are severe consequences for defecting from the Christian faith.
Overview: The Purpose of the Epistle