Index: Hebrews

Hebrews seems to be a combination of an epistle (personal letter) and a sermon.

Hebrews 1:2
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds... It is objected that one cannot be an "heir" until someone dies or is incapacitated, which therefore indicates that God is said here to be dead or incapacitated. The objection fails to realize that in this societal context, one could pass on an inheritance well before death and irregardless of it. Remember the parable of the prodigal son.
Hebrews 1:3
Does this wrongly place us in the last days?
Hebrews 4:15
Could Jesus have sinned?
Hebrews 5:7
It has been noted that some critics of the Muslim variety point to this verse as some sort of "proof" that Jesus did not die on the cross, apparently reasoning that because Jesus prayed to the one who "was able to save him from death," the "was able" may be equated with "therefore, he did indeed save him from death." The absurdity of this is quite obvious, but we may add that this would make no sense in light of Hebrews 12:2, which says Jesus "endured the cross," as well as the allusion to Jesus' death in Hebrews 2:9, 9:15, and 13:12.
Hebrews 6:1
Is this verse Gnostic?
Hebrews 6:18
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie... Skeptics ask, how is this so, if Jesus says all things are possible with God (Matt. 19:26)? This is a category mistake: the objection confuses God's nature vs. his power to do something. This is basic philosophy in that an all-powerful, all-knowing, etc. being cannot do things that go against his nature. In this case, God can't lie because he is all-Good. God can't destroy himself because he is a necessary being. God can't make 2+2=5 because his own nature follows logic. Such obvious logic is implicity included in statements that "all things are possible" -- philosophical impossibilities are not "things".
Hebrews 7:3
If Eve is the "mother of all living" then what of Melchizedek, who is described as "without mother"? A point to begin is that "living" in Hebrew carries the meaning of fleshly life. Then we need to know that Melchizedek was regarded by the Qumaranites as a heavenly being, and that Hebrews shares this idea (see Pate, Communities of the Last Days, index cites of Melchizedek). Therefore Melchizedek is not considered in the category delineated in Gen. 3:20.
Hebrews 7:11
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? It is objected that the Law was given to the Israelites before the priesthood emerged. This is not so, for the official "giving" of the Law was the Deuteronomic covenant, which was the last event recorded in the Pentateuch and after the creation of the priesthood. All other previous accounts of the Law being given were merely recitations. (And if you really want to get technical, since the establishment of the priesthood was part of the law, it would hardly be incorrect to say that the law was received under the priesthood, even if chronologically it happened that the priesthood was the last part of the law established.)
Hebrews 7:21
Is the Bible contradictory about swearing?
Hebrews 7:24
Is Mormonism right in claiming the Melchizedek priesthood?
Hebrews 8:6-8
Was the law perfect, or not?
Hebrews 9:4
What was in the Ark of the Covenant?
Hebrews 9:26
Does this wrongly place us in the last days?
Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment... One Skeptic claims that this clashes with passages like 1 Thess. 4:16-17, which refer to living saints being translated, and Enoch not being brought to death, because this indicates that all men "must" die. The Greek word here, apokeimai, does not carry the strength of a requirement, however: It carries the sense of "reserved". Obviously, something that is "reserved" can be "un-reserved". Note this parallel usages of the word: Luke 19:20 "Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth."
Hebrews 10:10-12
Does God endorse human sacrifice?
Hebrews 10:37
Does this wrongly place us in the last days?
Hebrews 11:1
Is this "blind faith"?
Hebrews 11:17
How many kids did Abraham have?
Hebrews 11:26
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. It is asked where Moses (referred to here) believed in Christ. All Jews looked forward to the Messianic hope ever since the prophecy of Jacob in Genesis 49:10.
Hebrews 11:27
By faith (Moses) left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king. How can this be, when Ex. 2:14-15 says Moses left Egypt in fear? DeSilva in his Hebrews commentary notes that Jewish writers of the NT period (Josephus, Artapanus) added more to this story. As they report, Pharaoh was the one afraid of Moses, and plotted to assassinate him, so that Moses left, not out of fear, but out of practical necessity. (Note that Moses' "fear" in Ex. 2 is not connected to Pharaoh's reaction, but with the knowledge that others heard about Moses' killing of an Egyptian.)
Hebrews 11:35
Is this verse historically accurate?
Hebrews 12:6
Is Jesus' burden easy or hard?
Hebrews 12:23
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect... A Skeptic asks how this is reconciled with 1 Cor. 6:2, Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? It is asked who is to judge - God or the saints. This fails to distinguish between the senses that "judge" is used in each verse. In the former, it is a titular noun (cf. Matt. 5:25, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer), and does not exclude what the second verse describes, where "judge" is used as a verb. Obviously God may, as supreme Judge, assign judging duties to His subjects. Since in Jewish and ancient thought representation is identification, a saint who judges on God's behalf does so as though God Himself were the judge.
Hebrews 13:14
Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. How does this square with Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth? Simple: The Heb. 13:14 passage is talking about the new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem. In line with Jewish eschatological expectation, expressed in the OT and the NT, the earth will be renewed; as stated in Revelation, there will be a new Jerusalem. (Indeed, note that Hebrews refers to just a city, not the whole earth!)