- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers - other
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:48
The book was written to Hebrews. The evidence of this is its title, its theme, drawing so much from Old Testament ceremonies, and its thread of Old Testament promises through the book. In addition, the message to "us" (1:1) is contrasted to the message to "the fathers," ("our forefathers," Weymouth). The epistle addresses not only believers, but also unbelievers. This is clear in 3:12-14, "let there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief," "lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin," "if we hold the beginning of our confidence." These expressions point to the four kinds of hearers in the Lords Parable of the Sower, the good ground being those who hear the Word and keep it (Luke 8:14, same word as "hold," Hebrews 3:14). Those who "sin willfully" must likewise be unbelievers, for they will "fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:26-31).
Over 80 times, the writer uses first person plural pronoun forms (we, our, us) either in a general sense (1:3; 2:8,9; 3:19), of those who are writing (5:11; 8:1), or of believers (8:1; 9:24; 10:10). On other occasions, he includes himself with those of Jewish background who claim to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, although they are proving to be unbelievers (10:26; 12:25). In 3:12, he addresses "brethren" who may have an evil heart of unbelief. This cannot refer to "brothers in Christ," but to Jewish brothers (see also Acts 13:38; 22:1; 23:1; 28:17). In Hebrews 2:1-3, he views himself as part of that nation and addresses his people, some of whom are not genuine believers in Christ.