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Hebrews: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC)

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Jesus' final cry on the cross--"it is finished"--captures the theology of Hebrews. Thomas R. Schreiner clarifies Hebrews's complex argument by keeping a sustained focus on its logical flow. He interprets Hebrews in light of its prominent structures of promise and fulfillment, eschatology, typology, and the relationship between heaven and earth. Schreiner probes the letter's Jesus' final cry on the cross--"it is finished"--captures the theology of Hebrews. Thomas R. Schreiner clarifies Hebrews's complex argument by keeping a sustained focus on its logical flow. He interprets Hebrews in light of its prominent structures of promise and fulfillment, eschatology, typology, and the relationship between heaven and earth. Schreiner probes the letter's unique theological contributions, such as its presentation of Jesus' divinity and humanity, his priesthood and sacrifice, the new covenant, warnings and exhortations, and the reward for those who persevere in Christ. The Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) series locates each biblical book within redemptive history and illuminates its unique theological contributions. All EBTC volumes feature informed exegetical treatment of the biblical book and thorough discussion of its most important theological themes in relation to the canon--all in a style that is useful and accessible to students of Scripture.


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Jesus' final cry on the cross--"it is finished"--captures the theology of Hebrews. Thomas R. Schreiner clarifies Hebrews's complex argument by keeping a sustained focus on its logical flow. He interprets Hebrews in light of its prominent structures of promise and fulfillment, eschatology, typology, and the relationship between heaven and earth. Schreiner probes the letter's Jesus' final cry on the cross--"it is finished"--captures the theology of Hebrews. Thomas R. Schreiner clarifies Hebrews's complex argument by keeping a sustained focus on its logical flow. He interprets Hebrews in light of its prominent structures of promise and fulfillment, eschatology, typology, and the relationship between heaven and earth. Schreiner probes the letter's unique theological contributions, such as its presentation of Jesus' divinity and humanity, his priesthood and sacrifice, the new covenant, warnings and exhortations, and the reward for those who persevere in Christ. The Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) series locates each biblical book within redemptive history and illuminates its unique theological contributions. All EBTC volumes feature informed exegetical treatment of the biblical book and thorough discussion of its most important theological themes in relation to the canon--all in a style that is useful and accessible to students of Scripture.

30 review for Hebrews: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zach Hollifield

    Excellent work. I read the introduction and the theological commentary at the end straight through while saving the textual commentary for when I walk through Hebrews in teaching or personal devotion. Schreiner is just so good!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A Brief Overview The Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) is a new commentary series from Lexham Press. However, this commentary series was formerly named Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (BTCP), published by B&H Publishing Group. While B&H came out with a couple of commentaries for this series—starting with Thomas Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary—they discontinued the BTCP series. Thankfully, Lexham Press picked up and revamped this series as a “new” series (EBTC)! For those A Brief Overview The Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) is a new commentary series from Lexham Press. However, this commentary series was formerly named Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (BTCP), published by B&H Publishing Group. While B&H came out with a couple of commentaries for this series—starting with Thomas Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary—they discontinued the BTCP series. Thankfully, Lexham Press picked up and revamped this series as a “new” series (EBTC)! For those who have Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary in the BTCP, the Lexham cover is different, but the content is the same. So, for anyone considering Schreiner’s Hebrew EBTC commentary, nothing is new regarding his content (i.e., Schreiner didn’t revise or re-word anything for this new Lexham series). More on that later. Schreiner splits his commentary into three sections: (1) Introduction (1–49), (2) Exposition (51–433), and (3) Biblical and Theological Themes (435–99). The benefit of this commentary is that you are getting two books in one—a commentary on Hebrews (introduction and exposition) and a biblical theology (hereafter BT) of Hebrews, which makes this commentary useful in more than one setting. For example, some might use the BT themes section to work through the theology of Hebrews and how its themes fit with the whole canon (xi). In contrast, others might use the exposition section to work through the meaning of the text of Hebrews exclusively. Still, Schreiner provides helpful footnotes throughout the exposition section, pointing to further elaboration in the BT theme sections (and vice versa). While the introduction goes through the typical sequence—e.g., author, date, destination, addressees, genre, purpose, and historical background (2–20)—Schreiner includes additional sections that help orientate readers with BT elements. For example, Schreiner also has a section on “Hebrews and the Story Line of the Bible” (20–28) and “Biblical and Theological Structures” (which includes: promise-fulfillment; already-but-not-yet eschatology; typology; the spatial orientation of Hebrews) (29–49). So, yes, the reader gets a typical commentary introduction. But also, much more—a biblical theological commentary introduction. Characteristic of Schreiner’s usual writing style, this commentary is not unnecessarily technical (xii, 1)—where some readers might lose sight of the meaning of the text (2). Instead, Schreiner gives context for each passage (i.e., what’s come before and what’s coming next), explains each section, provides footnotes for differing views/interpretations and further study, and includes a bridge section that summarizes and applies each passage section. (I found the bridge section feature particularly beneficial in helping readers reflect on each passage). As a result, readers will easily grasp what Schreiner thinks each passage means, whether one agrees with him or not. There are tons of commentaries on Hebrews. So besides EBTC’s emphasis on biblical theology, why read this one? A quick look at a handful of Hebrews commentaries will display differing perspectives on the warning passages. That is, who are the warnings addressed to, and how do they function? Schreiner offers a unique perspective (i.e., neither about loss of salvation, loss of rewards, or pseudo-Christians) where he sees the warnings functioning as a means of salvation (481). While Schreiner, a well-known Pauline scholar, presents his unique view on the warning passages, it’s not a new perspective (see what I did there?) (482). One will have to consult his commentary to see how Schreiner handles the warning passages (34, 43–44, 78–84, 126–49, 179–91, 323–29, 403–8, 480–91). Simply put: The warnings in Hebrews are God’s means of preservation, and Christians always heed those warnings (i.e., they persevere)—indeed, they must (132, 188, 253, 336, 482). For Schreiner, the warning passages play a major role in the purpose of the letter to the Hebrews: “don’t fall away” (14, 82, 151). Or, as Schreiner positively restates it: “The readers are called on to persevere, to hold on, and to keep believing until the end” (14). Nonetheless, I think all Christians would agree God uses means, even if disagreeing with Schreiner’s view on how the warning passages function (489–90). But then again, maybe—just maybe—God also used the means of a commentary on Hebrews to help Christians properly understand the warning passages of Hebrews. (Let the reader understand). A Few Friendly Quibbles Here are a few minor things that I think could’ve improved this new commentary series, particularly Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary in the EBTC series. (1) While most will not find Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary in the Lexham series any different from the B&H series, in terms of the content inside, one new comment—or rather, adjustment—from the general editors might be a bit perplexing. The BTCP preface says: “What distinguishes the present series is its orientation toward Christian proclamation. This is the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation commentary series!” (xii). Got it; the aim is in the name. However, the EBTC says: “What distinguishes the present series is its orientation toward Christian proclamation. This is the Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary series!” (xii). The second sentence is understandable in the BTCP preface. Still, it doesn’t seem very clear why an orientation toward Christian proclamation makes sense as to why it’s called the Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary. Of course, one might rather say it’s called the Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary because the authors are evangelical, and its orientation is toward biblical theology. But readers might find it a tad confusing how Christian proclamation fits with (or implies) it’s an evangelical biblical theology commentary without explanation or clarification. (2) Schreiner primarily quotes from the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) and points to other translations that he believes better represent the Greek. Considering Schreiner’s BTCP Hebrews commentary was published in 2015, this makes sense. Yet, since the HCSB was revised to the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) in 2017, readers might find it more helpful if Schreiner quoted from the CSB (2017) in the EBTC. In many ways, the CSB interprets the passage in the way Schreiner corrects the HCSB (68, 99, 118–19, 128, 137–38, 141, 184–85, 195, 203, 264, 386, 406). However, I understand people are busy working on other projects, and it would take more time to go through it again to make slight adjustments. Either way, I don’t think these minor quibbles will deter readers from understanding and benefitting from this commentary in any way but could provide a little more clarity, especially with Schreiner’s Hebrews commentary in the EBTC. A Few Favorite Quotes “It is imperative to understand that the warnings, with all their diversity, essentially make the same point. In other words, the warnings should be read synoptically. . . . The main point in the theology of the letter (8:1), then, provides a foundation for the central purpose of the letter: don’t fall away.” (14) "We won't truly understand Hebrews unless we see how it relates at least in some fashion to the rest of Scripture." (20) “Faith places its confidence in what God will do in the future. Faith recognizes, then, that God hasn’t yet given everything he promised, and it reaches out to the future, believing that God will make good on everything he has said.” (35–36) “The NT nowhere teaches that an initial acceptance of the saving message is sufficient without perseverance in faith.” (84) “Encouragement and exhortation, the author believes, are a community project and a mutual endeavor. . . . They should be reminded of the goodness of God and the dangers of unrepentant sin. Occasional encouragement does not suffice. Instead it is needed daily. . . . The author explains why constant encouragement is necessary. He does not want the readers to be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. . . . No one is exempt from the warning given here; everyone needs encouragement. . . . The means of deception is the deceitfulness of sin. Sin may blind the readers to the danger before them. They may mistakenly think they are safe when they are actually on the precipice. Advice, correction, and encouragement from others are means by which the deception of sin can be unmasked.” (127) “Perseverance is the author’s main concern. . . . The Lord is gracious and compassionate, but we should continue to trust in him and to obey him until the end.” (149) “We see . . . that the author is making the same argument throughout the book, but that argument is advanced from different angles or by considering various persons or institutions in the old covenant. If readers keep this in mind, they will be able to trace the main theme and not get lost in a welter of details as the author progresses. . . . In other words the theology of the book serves the warning passages.” (151) “God’s grace is poured out as believers request help when they are overwhelmed. . . . The author emphasizes in 4:16 that help is granted when the need is greatest. These verses are among the most comforting in the Bible. . . . Our great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God, knows and cares what our lives are like. But he is also powerful. He has passed through the heavens. He has come into the presence of God. He is tender and transcendent.” (154–55) “The entire purpose of the book is to warn believers about the danger of falling away.” (171) “One of the central issues in Hebrews is fellowship with God. The author reminds them that true fellowship with God, genuine access to God, is only possible through Jesus Christ.” (233) “NT writers read the psalms in light of the fulfillment realized in Jesus Christ. They didn’t believe the psalms should only be read historically. . . . Hence, psalms about David were read typologically and eschatologically and messianically. What was said about David anticipated the coming of the Christ. Typology also usually includes escalation, so Jesus is the greater David.” (296–97) “The aim of the letter is to provoke the readers to persevere.” (331) “The author begins by explaining how faith behaves [in Heb 11:1–2]. Faith is confident and sure that what is hoped for will be given; it is assured that what is promised but unseen will come true (v.1). It is the kind of faith, trusting in what has not yet been seen or given that gave OT ancestors favor before God (v.2). . . . Faith is assured that what is hoped for will become a reality. It is convinced that the unseen promises of God will be fulfilled.” (338) “Endurance comes when we look to God for strength and put our trust in his promises. Faith means we put our trust in what God has promised, even if those promises seem impossible to us. Chapter 11 reminds us that we are not the first to take this journey; many have walked this path ahead of us, and thus we are not alone in our journey of faith.” (341) “The main point in the entire letter-sermon is this: don’t fall away from Jesus.” (375). “The point of the entire letter is that believers now have access to God through the high priestly atoning work of Jesus Christ.” (400) “The author begins the prayer [in Heb 13:19] by designating God as the ‘God of peace.’ The phrase is fairly common in Paul (Rom 15:33; 16:30; Phil 4:9; 1 Thess 5:23) and should be interpreted to mean the God who gives peace. . . . the author reminds the readers that true peace hails from God. . . . The author reminds his readers that only God gives peace in the midst of the anxieties and worries of everyday life.” (428, 432–33) A Final Thought Whether consulting the introduction, the exposition, or the BT themes section, Schreiner’s primary aim for this Hebrews commentary is “to focus on the letter’s biblical theology” (1). So if you’re looking for a biblical theology of Hebrews, you’ve come to the right commentary series—the Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary. *Thanks to Lexham Press for providing a complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nick Roark

    Excellent

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Lee

    With everything happening in the world, the book of Hebrews serves as a beautiful call to remain in Christ. One of the first volumes to launch Lexham Press’ new Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) series, Schreiner’s Hebrews serves as an incredible entry. Introduction and Exposition In the introduction, Schreiner states his focus on the Biblical-theological structures and themes as follows: (1) promise-fulfillment, (2) already-but-not-yet eschatology, (3) typology, and (4) the spatial With everything happening in the world, the book of Hebrews serves as a beautiful call to remain in Christ. One of the first volumes to launch Lexham Press’ new Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC) series, Schreiner’s Hebrews serves as an incredible entry. Introduction and Exposition In the introduction, Schreiner states his focus on the Biblical-theological structures and themes as follows: (1) promise-fulfillment, (2) already-but-not-yet eschatology, (3) typology, and (4) the spatial orientation of Hebrews. The exposition section of the commentary is formatted in this way: (1) outline, (2) Scripture, (3) context, (4) exegesis, (5) bridge. It is a simple format that is conducive to studying small sections as well as seeing the overall flow. Authorship and Purpose In regards to who really wrote Hebrews, Schreiner finds Barnabas attractive and Apollos appealing. But he ultimately states that we don’t really know who wrote Hebrews. With Hebrews 8:1 as the main point in the theology of the letter, Schreiner sets out to show that the entire purpose of the letter written is for believers to not fall away. Hold On, Hold Firm, Hang On In Hebrews 1, Schreiner shows how Christ being the “firstborn” is referring to his exaltation, sovereignty, and rule. Angels are addressed throughout the book, and they worship the superior Son. Schreiner is quick to point out the author’s love for Psalm 110, and he makes it a point to review what is being referenced. The warnings of Hebrews 3 are there to reassure us that falling away from God can be prevented if believers encourage one another daily. We should not be hardened by sin’s deception. We are to hold on, hold firm, and hang on to our confidence in Christ. In Hebrews 7, Schreiner shows how Melchizedek was greater than Abraham, and he anticipates and corresponds to Jesus Christ. Jesus’ priesthood is superior. His is a fitting, holy, innocent, undefiled, and separated one. Remain in Christ By the time the book gets to Hebrews 11, the examples of faith are a fitting exhortation to remain in Christ. Running the race seems doable, exciting, and ultimately rewarding. This commentary moves at a quick pace, but it doesn’t miss the details, and it is one that I will refer to when studying Hebrews. The book ends with a generous look at the Biblical and theological themes found throughout Hebrews. (1) God, (2) Jesus Christ, (2.1) Divine Son, (2.2) The Humanity of the Son, (2.3) The Priesthood of Jesus, (2.4) Jesus’ Better Sacrifice and Human Anthropology, (2.5) Perfection and Assurance, (2.6) Jesus’ Resurrection and Exaltation, (3) The New Covenant, (4) The Spirit, (5) Warnings and Exhortations, (6) Sojourners and Exiles, (7) Faith, Obedience, and the Situation of the Readers, (8) Assurance, (9) The Future Reward. Cling to Hope At 550 pages, this book is better than a simple Study Bible, NT Survey, or online article. Schreiner immerses you in the author’s mindset and helps you follow his train of thought. It is a priceless connection with the text that makes it overwhelmingly compelling. Feel the weight of these words, and follow the call to cling to the hope we have in Christ. I received a media copy of Hebrews: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary and this is my honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Travis Minogue

    A very helpful verse-by-verse analysis of my favorite book of the Bible. A great reminder as to why it is called an "anchor for the soul," no matter how difficult the circumstances of the day. A very helpful verse-by-verse analysis of my favorite book of the Bible. A great reminder as to why it is called an "anchor for the soul," no matter how difficult the circumstances of the day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liam

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amiel

  8. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  9. 5 out of 5

    Braley Chambers

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Halloran

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andres Valencia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shane Williamson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wyatt Graham

  14. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Gaut

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hiram Kemp

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brad McNutt

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jake Brock, Ph.D., CPA

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jake

  21. 5 out of 5

    William Schrecengost

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeylen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gwilym Davies

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Roberts

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Barlow

  26. 5 out of 5

    Павел Тогобицкий

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Ames

  28. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Bunce

  30. 5 out of 5

    Keith Pinckney

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