What is the point of Hebrews? Why did God write this book? God made Paul write this book in a process called Mechanical inspiration, literally forcing Paul to write it.
Most Bible teachers today reject this doctrine, including John Ankerberg (whose descent into theological modernism and liberalism has been documented on this blog, thank you kindly!). Yet it the 5 volume set The Fundamentals, there is an entire chapter defending this doctrine!
So, God commanded Paul to write it. this book is estimated at 64-66 AD at authorship, prior to the siege of Jerusalem. D. A. Carson places it at 60-69 AD. Guthrie estimates it at 64-70 AD, Walvoord places it at 69-70 AD, Malberg between 66-67 AD. The only additional point I have to make is, Hebrews speaks as if the Temple is still standing, and the High Priest still giving offerings. And.. it must be written before Paul’s death at 66 AD.
So, any time between 64-66 AD is the proper time.
What’s the situation? Jewish believers are beginning to feel a little uncomfortable. They’re undergoing persecution, and ostracizing from their own community. They’ve heard that Jesus Christ is not only the Messiah, but God. They’ve heard the Lord will return soon.
But…. it’s about 34-36 years after He rose into Heaven bodily. Doubt’s beginning to set in. Certainly, when Nero’s persecution heats up and these Jews are beginning to be killed for the onus of being a Christian, it tempers the enthusiasm a little. Don’t be so smug. I have suspicions that when this happens in the US (notice I didn’t say “If”), a lot of Evangelicals will deny Him.
So, the book serves to answer several things.
- What happens if I deny Christ?
- Can I get my salvation back if I lose it?
- Is Jesus Christ really the messiah?
- Wasn’t I saved as a Jew? I mean, what’s the point if I go back to Saduceeism?
One key to this I’ve read is this – Hebrews asks a lot of hypothetical questions. When we study this, according to one Bible handbook I’ve read, this book is a lot more understandable if we answer every hypothetical question with “no” or “None”.