Hebrews : Christian Community Bible
Introduction to Hebrews
“Hebrews” was the name given to the Jews who lived in Palestine, unlike the majority who had emigrated to other countries. This letter is addressed to the first Christian communities of Palestine, formed by Jews—by race—who had been persecuted and punished and whose possessions had even been confiscated, all because they had become followers of Christ. They no longer had anything in this world and they had to encourage one another with the assurance that, at the conclusion of their exile, they would find the true Home where Jesus went after his suffering. In this way they were like their Hebrew ancestors who had lived in the desert, hoping and searching for the Promised Land.
To confirm their faith, this letter shows them that the Jewish religion with its imposing ceremonies in the Temple of Jerusalem, was but the image of something greater. The pardon of sin and the spirit of religion—the aspiration of the entire Old Testament—was to be the work of the authentic priest of all humanity, Jesus, the Son of God. There is now no other sacrifice but his, which begins on the cross and ends in glory.
Are there not many “Hebrews” in today’s world? The sick who no longer have hope, the persecuted Christians, the people who do not accept the injustice and mediocrity of the society in which we live. Although many of them may not understand all the premises and biblical quotations in this letter, they will feel encouraged in the faith.
NOTE: excerpted from the introductory material for this book.