Historically, Hebrews is thought of as a letter from Paul, and it is therefore grouped with his other letters in the New Testament. However, Paul’s authorship has been questioned since the third century. Equally mysterious is the audience of this document. Hebrews does not follow the form of an early Christian letter; the author calls it a “word of exhortation.” To our ear, it sounds like a homily or collection of homilies.
Hebrews contains a rich message regarding the significance of Jesus’ life and death. The style of this writing is not familiar to twenty-first century readers, so some study and discernment is required to “mine the gold.” This study aims to help the learner reflect on each of the letter’s distinctive claims, to understand the context in which they were originally presented, and to reflect on the application of their understanding to a Christian life today.