Letter to a Jewish Christian Community
Author: Many believe it was written by the apostle Paul, but this cannot be confirmed.
The recipients were Jewish believers in Jesus. They were well versed in Scripture, and they had professed faith in Christ. Whether through doubt, persecution, or false teaching, however, they may have been in danger of giving up their Christian faith and returning to Judaism.
These Jewish Christians were probably undergoing fierce persecution, socially and physically, both from Jews and from Romans. The people needed to be reassured that Christianity was true and that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
The message of Christ was difficult for Jews to accept. Although they had sought the Messiah for centuries, they were entrenched in thinking and worshiping in traditional forms. Following Jesus seemed to repudiate their marvelous heritage and Scriptures. With caution and questions they listened to the gospel, but many rejected it and sought to eliminate this “heresy.”
Christian Jews had to make a choice. They could not continue in Judaism and be Christians. They must decide which way to go. It was either to go back to being Jews or to go on to be Christians.
It seems that their nation had now turned against Christians. They could not now go to the temple as the Jews would not let them. The writer tries to show his readers that the right choice was to continue to trust in Jesus.
That was much better than all the ceremonies of their former religion, which Jesus had replaced.
This is a letter to the Hebrew Christians in danger of returning to Judaism. The writer of Hebrews continually makes mention of the superiority of Christ.
This letter shows the greatness of Jesus’ new covenant over the old covenant. Jesus’ sacrifice is better than the old sacrificial system.
This book repeatedly makes the case that Christ and Christianity is better or superior to the old way of the old covenant. Jesus Christ made a better sacrifice and established a better covenant, ensuring that the old way is obsolete and that faith is the better way to live.
Christianity surpasses Judaism because it has a better covenant.
Hebrews was written to wean Jewish Christians from depending on the old covenant, as the final rule for life. Rather the author emphasized the superiority of Jesus and the new covenant he brought.
This letter was written to explain to the Jewish Christians that animal sacrifices, to which they were so attached, were no longer of any use, that the killing of a bull or a lamb could never take away sin. God’s people must look only to Christ for redemption and salvation.
Hebrews was written to wean Jewish believers in Jesus from depending on the law of Moses or the old covenant, represented by the Old Testament, as the final rule for life. In order to do this the author emphasized the superiority of Jesus Christ.
Christ is superior to the old sacrificial system. This book repeatedly makes the case that Christianity is better or superior to the old way of the old covenant.
Jesus fulfills the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ made a better sacrifice and established a better covenant, ensuring that the old way is obsolete and that faith is the better way to live.