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Pastor’s Bookshelf: Hebrews

posted by Scot McKnight

We don’t know who wrote Hebrews, but it surely wasn’t Paul even though some still contend he did. Anyway, no major commentary today argues that Paul wrote it, and these are the major ones I turn to … and, once again, there is an abundance of really fine commentaries. No one can suggest we are in serious need of a good commentary on Hebrews. I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones, so speak up if you think I have.

I begin with Harold Attridge, in part because I worked through it carefully with a class years back when it first appeared: Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible)
.

After Attridge, I read W.L. Lane’s 2-volume Word commentary: Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 47a, Hebrews 1-8
and Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 47b, Hebrews 9-13
.

Then Craig Koester’s more recent Anchor Bible: Hebrews: A New Translation With Introduction and Commentary
.

Then Paul Ellingworth’s thoroughgoing commentary in the NIGTC series: The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary)
.

And I check Luke Timothy Johnson: Hebrews: A Commentary (New Testament Library)
.



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Keith

posted August 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm


Scot,
James Thompson’s Hebrews in the Paideia series by Baker Academic is outstanding as well. While the commentary itself isn’t as extensive as those of Attridge, Lane, or Koester (it’s about half as long as these), all of which are very good, Thompson brings just as much quality scholarship to the table as those perhaps more well-known scholars. I referenced those you mentioned extensively while completing multiple research projects and papers. I only wish Thompson’s had been available then to complement the others. I highly recommend it.



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Josh Reich

posted August 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm


Scot,
I just got done preaching through Hebrews, what an amazing 22 weeks for us as a church. It really is an amazing book. In fact, chapters 11 & 12 took on a whole new power because of this series. Wow.
For me, the NIV Application Commentary by George Guthrie was amazing. And even though I don’t agree with all of his theological stances, John MacArthur’s commentary went into incredible depth concerning the high priest system and the sacrifices and how to make sense of them.



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Josh Reich

posted August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm


Scot,
I just got done preaching through Hebrews, what an amazing 22 weeks for us as a church. It really is an amazing book. In fact, chapters 11 & 12 took on a whole new power because of this series. Wow.
For me, the NIV Application Commentary by George Guthrie was amazing. And even though I don’t agree with all of his theological stances, John MacArthur’s commentary went into incredible depth concerning the high priest system and the sacrifices and how to make sense of them.
If anyone is interested in any of the series and what we did to communicate this book on a weekly basis, check out our site http://www.tucsonrevolution.com.



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Marcus

posted August 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm


What do you think of David deSilva’s commentary? What Ive read in it has been helpful and I found it somewhat distinct in perspective.



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Scot McKnight

posted August 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm


Marcus, thanks for this. I don’t have it and now want to see it. He’s got so many creative ideas and his commentary will open new and fresh insights on Hebrews.



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Joshua

posted August 12, 2009 at 12:36 am


I really enjoyed deSilva’s commentary on Hebrews, particularly his work on patron/client relationships in Greco-Roman life, this aspect of his commentary (among others!) really brought Hebrews to life for me. You’ll love it!



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John W Frye

posted August 12, 2009 at 11:58 am


Scot,
Do Attridge and Lane take a similar serious look at the warning of chapter 6 in context with all the warning passages of Hebrews as you did in your Trinity Journal article?



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Matthew

posted August 16, 2009 at 5:55 pm


I have found DeSilva’s commentary very helpful in teaching and application. Outstanding.



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