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Sunday School

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BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. Hebrews is a letter written by an unknown Christian to present the superiority and sufficiency of Jesus Christ, and how He had replaced Judaism as God’s perfect revelation of Himself. The Epistle to the Hebrews has no greeting or any identification of its author, therefore the author is unknown. The authorship has been debated since post-apostolic days. In certain places of the letter, the language is like Paul’s and on account of the personal reference to Timothy (see Hebrews 13:23), some scholars have attributed the letter to Paul. Although there is no conclusive proof that Paul is the author, Hebrews as a part of Scripture speaks with divine authority. It is believed that the letter was probably written before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by Rome, since religious sacrifices and ceremonies are referred to in the book. In addition, there is no mention of the temple’s destruction in the letter (see Hebrews 10:11). The letter was written to encourage its Hebrew readers who had professed faith in Jesus as the Messiah, but were wavering in their faith. Hence the author gives the exhortation to “hold fast” (see Hebrews 10:23) and to “go on unto perfection” (see Hebrews 6:1). As Hebrews begins, the writer first sets forth Christ’s superior revelation (see Hebrews 1:1-4). Then he expressed Christ’s superiority over the law-giver Moses (see Hebrews 3:1-4:13), and in our lesson text the author began to stress the priesthood of Christ as superior to the priesthood of Aaron, which had been established under the law.

Sarah Ann Simmons
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