Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
When you consider the wide agreement among biblical scholars about who wrote every other book of the New Testament, it’s a little mysterious that we don’t know who wrote Hebrews.
There are a handful of contenders. Let’s take a look at the reasons each of them might be the author.
Did Paul write Hebrews?
It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. There are a couple reasons why this might be the case.
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
It is sometimes argued that Christ descended into hell after he died.
The widely used Apostles’ Creed reads, “was crucified, dead, and buried, he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead.”
But the phrase “he descended into hell” does not occur in the Bible.
Where did the phrase come from?
Did Jesus Know When He Was Going to Die?
Did Jesus expect to die? Did he intend to? If so, how did he view his death?
According to the Synoptic Gospels, from Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi onward, Jesus warned his disciples of his impending fate.
Historical evidence for the passion predictions
Some have argued that these passion predictions are prophecies created after the fact by the church, since Jesus could not have predicted his own death. Yet there is good evidence for their historicity:
Jesus uses the title Son of Man, which…
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
Much of the scholarly discussion about the circumstances of Jesus’ death relates to the question of who was responsible for his arrest and crucifixion.
Who was responsible? The Jews or the Romans?
Historically, the primary responsibility has been placed on the Jewish leadership and the Jews in Jerusalem. Throughout the centuries, this has sometimes had tragic consequences, resulting in anti-Semitism and violence against Jews.
More recent trends in scholarship have shifted the blame to the Romans.
The tendency to blame the Jews, it is said, arose in the decades after the crucifixion with the church’s growing conflict with the synagogue and its desire to convince Rome that Christianity was no threat to the empire.
Most contemporary scholars recognize that there is not an either-or solution to this question, but that both…
Why People are Reluctant to Talk about Their Christian Convictions
We recently sat down with Greg Koukl to talk about what prevents people from articulating their faith to non-believers. Take a look at what he said:
The best way to start
In the Tactics online course, Gregory Koukl offers practical strategies to help you stay in the driver’s seat as you maneuver comfortably and graciously in any conversation about your Christian convictions.
In fact, we think this is so important that we’re giving away free access to the first lesson.
Tremper Longman III Reflects on the Challenges of Studying Genesis
Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand.
After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways. For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.
The book of Genesis is also distant from us in terms of culture. It was written in an Ancient Near Eastern culture,…
Zondervan Academic Online Courses to Offer Academic Credit from Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School
We’re thrilled to announce a new relationship with Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School that lets you get academic credit when you take a course online from Zondervan Academic.
This is a great option to receive academic credit while working through an online course on your own—whether you’ve already begun a course, or you’re thinking about doing so.
With Zondervan Academic Online Courses, you can now earn up to 12 credits of advanced standing toward the following certificates/degrees at LBC | Capital:
a certificate an undergraduate degree an M.A. an M.Div.
You can also transfer LBC | Capital credit toward another accepting institution of your choice.
How it works
To get 12 credits of advanced standing:
Complete a defined track of 10 online courses from Zondervan…
How to Read the Old Testament Prophets
J. Daniel Hays recently sat down with us to talk about why the prophets are difficult to interpret, about Jesus’ use of the prophets, and about the prophets’ importance for understanding the whole Bible. His Message of the Prophets online course is now available for everyone. Learn more >
When people first read them, they think, wow, I just don’t have any idea what exactly what these guys are talking about.
The prophets are using poetry and figures of speech. They have this scathing critique and criticism against the kings and the people of their day.
The other critical thing about the prophets that makes them difficult is they are very much embedded in a specific historical timeframe, and the geo-political events around them are influencing what they’re saying and what’s taking place. It’s important to place…
Old Testament Prophecy is Not About the Future (Mostly)
This post is adapted from The Message of the Prophets online course, taught by J. Daniel Hays.
When many people think about prophecy, they think about predictions about the future. For modern Christians, this usually means predictions about how the world will end.
But this wasn’t what the prophets in the Old Testament thought—or how they were heard.
Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart write:
“Less than 2 percent of Old Testament prophecy is messianic. Less than 5 percent specifically describes the new-covenant age. Less than 1 percent concerns events yet to come in our time.” 1
So if the prophets aren’t talking about the future, what are they talking about?
Most of the material in the prophetic books relates to the indictment of Israel and Judah for breaking the Mosaic…
“When They Approach the Old Testament, They Think It’s Boring”
We recently sat down with Gary Schnittjer to talk about why the Pentateuch is often read less frequently than other parts of the Bible, as well as some ways to encourage and deepen your study of the Pentateuch. Take a look:
One of the problems Christians have when they approach the Old Testament is they think it’s boring.
I think especially a book like Leviticus or Numbers or Deuteronomy—they’re not often read and studied carefully by Christians. They seem irrelevant and get sort of stirred up together. People say, “Well luckily Jesus…
Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis
We recently sat down with Tremper Longman to discuss some of the challenges in studying the book of Genesis. Take a look at what he had to say:
Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand. After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways.
For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.
The book of Genesis is also distant from us in terms of culture. It was…
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
The birth narratives in both Matthew and Luke help answer the question, “Who is Jesus and where did he come from?” One of the ways each book does this is by recounting Jesus’ genealogy.
The problem is: the genealogies are different.
The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies of Jesus that confirm he was a descendent of David—therefore, a legitimate Messiah. He was a legitimate claimant to the throne of Israel.
But they differ in an important way: Matthew follows the line of David’s son Solomon, while Luke follows the line of Nathan, another Son of David. The end result is two distinct genealogies.
How do we account for this?
Some argue that either Matthew or Luke got it wrong. They created or borrowed a genealogy in…