A Scholar’s Devotion with David M. Moffitt

Going through seminary, students are taught to study the Bible and uphold its doctrines about God while also being encouraged not to neglect their devotional times with God. Yet during my own devotional time I, and probably many others, often ask, “Is this approach the best way to grow spiritually, or is there a better way? What could I do differently? Should I incorporate my studies with my devotions?”  

Each week, I ask a different scholar two questions about how he or she spends time with the Lord and continues to love him with all their mind, strength, and heart. While no one method or style is “the only way,” we can draw on one another’s experiences. 

This week, I have asked Dr. David Moffitt if he would share his thoughts with us.

1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord? 

I’m afraid that I don’t have anything special or exotic to say. I seek to spend 30 mins each morning in reading Scripture and praying. That is the foundation of my devotional life. We do have some family time a few times a week where we read through a book together (C.S. Lewis has contributed several).

2. How do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ? 

As for deepening my love for the Lord, I find that, apart from prayer and good worship music, this mainly takes the form of serving in various capacities at our local church. I also love being able to teach exegesis to students at various levels.

As I said, not very exciting, but I am grateful for the call on my life.

David M. Moffitt is the Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at St. Mary’s College at the University of St Andrews. His published dissertation is called Atonement and the Logic of Resurrection in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Thank you, Dr. Moffitt!

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The ‘Firstborn’ Enrolled in Mount Zion with God, the Consuming Fire (Heb 12.18-29)

For the last year and a half my small group has been going through the book of Hebrews. Last week we were in 12.18–29, a passage about the better Mount to which we as Christians have come. There is an interesting phrase in v.23 about the “assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven” which I want to expand on here along with how we can dwell in the midst of the God who is a “consuming fire.” 

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

The Firstborn

Who are these firstborn? It’s possible the Jewish readers would have thought of Psalm 87, which reads,

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 

the Lord loves the gates of Zion 

more than all the dwelling places of Jacob… 


Among those who know me I mention Rahab [Egypt; cf. Ezek 32.2] and Babylon; 
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush— 

“This one was born there,” they say. 

And of Zion it shall be said, 

“This one and that one were born in her”; 

for the Most High himself will establish her. 

The Lord records as he registers the peoples, 

“This one was born there.” Selah…

In Psalm 87, the Lord has founded a city, and it stands on his holy mount. He “loves the gates of Zion,” where the mount is. In the OT, God is said to dwell on Mount Zion.1 God’s giving birth certificates to foreigners and saying they are born in Zion!2 These foreigners are Israel’s enemies, but because they know Yahweh they are registered citizens. These are Gentiles, which includes myself and most of my readers. We are children of the Jerusalem from above,3 and we are citizens of the kingdom of God.4

Just prior to this, the author of Hebrews warned his congregation not to be like Esau, who was also a firstborn. The Hebrews should not imitate Esau because he was “sexually immoral,” “unholy,” and “sold his birthright for a single meal.” DeSilva says Esau “is not the master of his passions but their slave, and thus a degraded and sorry figure.”5 Esau the firstborn gave up his birthright for one, single, temporary meal, but Abel, though not a firstborn, was killed for doing what was right (by his firstborn brother, whom you also shouldn’t imitate).6 The author praises his congregation in 10.34 for joyfully accepting the plundering of their property, because they knew they had a better possession and an already-abiding one.

Jesus’ blood, which sanctifies us,7 speaks a better word than Abel’s. Both Cockerill and deSilva say that Abel’s blood (rightly) cried out for vengeance,8 but Christ’s blood provides salvation from judgment. The Firstborn became a curse for us, and his blood purifies our consciences to serve the living God, who gives salvation to all peoples, both Jew and Gentile. Yet to those who reject Christ (which too many of the Hebrews were close to doing), vengeance is the Lord’s, and he will judge his people.9

The author ends this section by saying “our God is a consuming fire.” In 12.18–29, Mount Zion has been contrasted with Mount Sinai. Israel came to a place of “blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest.”10 The people were fearful, even Moses trembled at Sinai.11 How can we stand at Mount Zion with a God who is a consuming fire? How can we live in the new creation, the New Jerusalem, with a burning fireball (Isa 30.27–30)?

A Consuming Fire

The Old Testament helps us out on that question. Isaiah 33.14 says,

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: ‘Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?’”

Verse 15 gives us the answer:

“He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil.”

Similar to Isaiah 33.14, Psalm 15.1 asks,

“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”

and Psalm 24.3 asks,

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?”

They both provide a similar answer—one who has clean hands, a pure heart, who is blameless, and speaks what is right. This is the King who embodied the Law of the Lord. He would “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”12 This King is Jesus who fulfilled the Law.13 This king ascended to God’s abode and poured out his Spirit onto his people.14 It is there, at the right hand of God, where Jesus, the firstborn, sits and rules.15

To those in Christ who fulfilled the Law, we fulfill the law when we love God and our neighbor. Then we can walk through fire and not be burned “and the flame shall not consume you.”16 But to those who reject Christ, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”17

Jesus was crucified outside the camp.18 There he bore our sins and became a festering curse—for us. The author of Hebrews tells us that we are to “go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.”19 Christ was shameful before the world’s eyes, and we are to join Christ and be shameful in their eyes too. Just as he despised their shame, so we are to despise it too. They do not have all the facts. In an ironic twist it is there with Christ where we receive the most honor. Through the shed blood of Christ we become children of God.20

The more we are dishonored in the eyes of the world because of Christ the more we are honored in the eyes of our living God, who dwells on Mount Zion, the lasting, eternal city to come, and is already here, with the innumerable angels, with the registered and enrolled firstborn citizens, and with Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant whereby we know that his blood washes away our sin and purifies our consciences. Be content with what you have, for that God is with us.21


1 Pss 2:6; 74:2; Isa 8:18; Joel 3:17; Gareth Lee Cockerill, Hebrews, 651.

2 Isaiah 49.6.

3 Galatians 4.26.

4 Philippians 3:20.

5 David A deSilva. Perseverance in Gratitude: Hebrews, 461.

6 Hebrews 11.4.

7 Hebrews 13.12.

8 Genesis 4:10.

9 Hebrews 10.30.

10 Hebrews 12.18.

11 Hebrews 10.21; cf. Deuteronomy 9.19.

12 Psalm 23.6.

13 Matthew 5.17; Luke 4.21; Romans 8.4; 13.8, 10; Galatians 5.14; James 2.8.

14 Acts 2.33.

15 Hebrews 1.3, 6, 8–9, 13.

16 Isaiah 43.2.

17 Hebrews 10.30.

18 Hebrews 13.12.

19 Hebrews 13.13.

20 Hebrews 2.10–14. Note the words “children” and “brothers.”

21 Hebrews 13.5.

If you hate footnotes, forgive me. I am a footnote hoarder.

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Book Review: Hebrews (BTCP), Tom Schreiner

Hebrews Tom Schreiner Book Review

Hebrews is among one of the harder books of the NT to understand. I’ve always found it easy to read, but nonetheless confusing when it comes to OT quotations, warnings not to fall away, and that Melchizedek character. While one commentary can’t do everything, the BTCP series aims at showing how Hebrews fits into the biblical storyline. Biblical theology is “the theology expressed by the respective writers of the various biblical books” and how it fits into the storyline of the Bible (pg. ix, emphasis original). Biblical theology is the theology of the Bible, and it is the attempt to understand and embrace the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors (ix). One of the greatest challenges that biblical theologians face is “how to handle the Bible’s manifest diversity and how to navigate the tension between its unity and diversity in a way that does justice to both” (ix).

Having a number of books, commentaries, and NT and whole Bible theologies under his belt (seen here), Thomas Schreiner writes the first volume in the new Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (BTCP) series. The BTCP series plans to span commentaries across both testaments, looking at the theology of the entire Bible. And while, like all commentaries, there will be an exegetical treatment of the text, the main focus of this series is in discussing the themes of the book and how they fit into the canon as a whole for Christian proclamation. This series doesn’t aim at being a dense, academic work. It seeks to present Biblical theology to the lives of all who sit in the pew every Sunday morning.

Schreiner says his “introduction and the commentary are relatively brief and nontechnical,” and he hits his goal (1). His introduction is roughly the same length as O’Brien’s, and his exegesis is a little over 100 pages shorter than O’Brien’s (385 pages of exegesis, with the rest being the Introduction and Biblical Theological sections). If you’re familiar with the PNTC series, it’s not quite as technical as the BECNT or NIGTC. This is even less technical than the PNTC, which will appeal to many.

  • Greek is always translated
  • Footnotes rarely take up half a page
  • Exposition on each verse is relatively brief (though sometimes too brief)

The commentary starts off with the Introduction which covers topics like Date, Authorship, Genre and Structure, Hebrews and the Storyline of the Bible, Biblical and Theological Structures [you can read my others posts about this section here], etc.

The commentary proper consists of:

  • Section Heading: “Hebrews 2.10-18”
  • Outline: While helpful, it’s also a bit much as it takes up a lot of space since every section has an outline, and they get longer as the book nears the end
  • Scripture: the passage of Hebrews 2.10-18 is given in full
  • Context: Explains how v10 picks up where v9 left off and how the argument continues through to v18
  • Exegesis: Schreiner carefully works through the text. Each verse can have between one and seven paragraphs
  • Bridge: This is the theology of the passage in a nutshell.

At the end of the commentary is the Biblical Theological section. Schreiner clearly and succinctly ties the letter together and reveals the unity of the letter under topics such as God, Jesus Christ (and his Divine Sonship, humanity, Priesthood, sacrifice, assurance, and resurrection and exaltation), the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit, Warnings, Assurance, and more.


While it may not be what the academic is looking for so much, this is volume is suited for the pastor, the student, and the layman. Hebrews has long been a difficult book for many a teacher and student. Having a commentary which comes from the deep well of a biblical scholar that is also easily accessible to many is hard to find, but a pleasure to read. If this is a taste of what is to come with this series, than there will be many who will be very pleased to eat up this series (and this volume).


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BTS: The Spatial Orientation of Hebrews


In the introduction of his new commentary on Hebrews, Tom Schreiner covers four different structures under the heading of Biblical and Theological Structures. These four structures are:

(1) Promise-Fulfillment
(2) Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology
(3) Typology
and now the fourth and final structure (4) the Spatial Orientation of Hebrews.

Typology and the spatial orientation are often grouped together. Yet typology is seen in just about every book of the NT, while the spatial dimension is quite distinctive in Hebrews. Here ”Hebrews quite frequently contrasts the earthly and the heavenly, so we have a vertical or spatial contrast. Hence, the author, in accord with the OT, ‘works with a two-story model of the created cosmos — heaven/s and earth’ (cf. Gen 1:1; 2:1; Jer 10:11)” (45).

In this, sometimes symbolism is employed to help us understand the greater reality that is in heaven. Other times, the author’s language is not symbolic. Schreiner gives two examples. Christ truly was resurrected, and so truly has a resurrected body. No symbolism there.

“The language about a heavenly tent (8:2; 9:11, 24) and a city, however, should not be pressed to say there is a literal tent or a literal heavenly city” (46).

Schreiner goes on to explain this imagery, “Spatial imagery may be appropriated to express the inexpressible, to convey a reality that transcends our understanding in symbolic language. Hence, the reference to God’s throne in the heavens points the readers to God’s transcendence (1:3; 8:1-2; 10:12; 12:2)” (46).

Heavenly Copies

Hebrews 9.22-23 says, “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

So the copies were purified by animal sacrifices (which were copies of the true sacrifice), and the “heavenly things themselves” needed that better sacrifice to be purified. Christ enters into the presence of God itself, not into the holy places which were made by the hands of (idolatrous) men. The holy places were where God’s presence was to be experienced, but Christ entered into God’s presence in “a better sanctuary, a heavenly one, ‘to appear in the presence of God for us’” (Heb 9.24, p 48).

As is fitting with Revelation 21-22, the heavenly, new Jerusalem will descend to earth which will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea. The Son, being heir of all things, must have something to inherit. Jesus will rule over the world, what we were supposed to do, and will fulfill Psalm 8.


As Doug Wilson has said in his book Father Hunger, “Faith sees opportunity in the world that God made, and in the way God governs that world. Unbelief always sees insurmountable obstacles” (158).

“Believers should follow the examples of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and look forward to a heavenly city instead of longing to fit into the present social order (11:13-16)” (49). We are “exiles and resident aliens” in this world now. We don’t seek a lasting city, but that which is to come (13.14). This world is where “Christ came to save his people (10:5-10)” and is where “he will return… to complete his saving work (9:28)” (49). We continue on in our life with Christ, walking by faith, looking at what God has done in times before, what he was accomplished for us in Christ, and trusting that he will complete that work in Christ, just as he has promised to do.


BTS: Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews

BTS: Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews

BTS: Typology in Hebrews

BTS: The Spatial Orientation of Hebrews

BTS: Typology in Hebrews


In the introduction of his new commentary on Hebrews, Tom Schreiner covers four different structures under the heading of Biblical and Theological Structures. These four structures are:

(1) Promise-Fulfillment
(2) Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology
(3) Typology
(4) the Spatial Orientation of Hebrews

Originally the third structure, Typology in Hebrews, was going to be the only section covered. However I enjoyed all four structures and thought I’d give them all their own fair share of space (links to the posts are above, in case you missed the dazzling blue color).

Schreiner defines typology like this: “Typology exists when there is a historical correspondance between events, institutions, and persons found in the OT and the NT” (36). Schreiner argues that “typology does not merely represent correspondence [between the OT and the NT] but a correspondence intended by God…. Biblical typology is characterized by escalation. This means the fulfillment is always greater than the type” (37). (You can also read my friend Lindsay’s post about typology which has helped me see some of the nuances in comparison to other ideas).

This is important, as all throughout the letter the author argues from the “lesser-to-the-greater.” If the message relayed by the angels is reliable, and every disobedience received its just retribution, how much more important is the word of Christ? How much greater is there a punishment to be received if his word is neglected (Heb 2.2-3)? If Jesus is greater than any and all of the OT persons and institutions, how can the readers turn away from him and go back to the Jewish rituals and sacrifices?

Psalm 45

Schreiner provides an example of the use of Psalm 45 in Hebrews 1.8-9. I was happy to see this here as Mari and I have been curious about this use of the psalm (and the psalm itself) for weeks.

Psalm 45 says,

1 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!
4 In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12 The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people.
13 All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her.
15 With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.
16 In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

Hebrews 1.8-9 quotes verses 6-7 saying, But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’

Schreiner says,

“[Psalm 45] is originally a royal psalm about the Davidic king. It is a wedding song celebrating the king’s majesty and greatness. When the king is identified as ‘God’ in the psalm (45:6), we have an example of hyperbole. The king (cf. Exod 7:1) is identified as God in the psalm given his stature and rule. As God’s vice-regent he is called ‘God,’ but no one in Israel interpreted the wording literally as if the Davidic king were actually divine. But what is said about the Davidic king was no accident, for it pointed forward in a deeper and truer sense to Jesus Christ. For this one truly is the Son of God, the one whom angels worship and who created the universe (1:2, 6, 10, 12). We see a prime example of escalation in typology here” (39).

Abel and Isaac

Both Abel and Christ were sacrificed as “innocent victims, but Christ’s blood speaks better than Abel’s, for Christ washes clean those who trust in him. Abel’s cries out for justice, but… through [Christ’s] death human beings can boldly enter God’s presence” (43).

The (almost) sacrifice of Isaac typologically portrayed the accomplished sacrifice of Christ (Heb 11.17-19). “Abraham was convinced that God would raise Isaac from the dead if he sacrificed him (Gen 22.4), but Jesus, in contrast to Isaac, was truly raised from the dead, fulfilling what was adumbrated in the ‘sacrifice’ of Isaac” (43).


Typology, therefore, is a pattern set in place by God. If all things have been created by, through, and for Christ (Col 1.16), then it’s reasonable to see that all things point to Christ. God could have created a clear box called “  ” (a.k.a. ‘nothing’) where millions of clear mannequins raise their hands to worship God in the same, equally-droning tone. Instead, we have colours, mountains, valleys, rocks, clouds, animals, and a variety of people and personalities. They all point to Christ, and they all represent God. Even more, events have been set in place to show us the greater-ness of Christ who is seated in the heavenlies. More on that in my next post.


BTS: Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews

BTS: Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews

BTS: Typology in Hebrews

BTS: The Spatial Orientation of Hebrews

BTS: Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews


In the introduction of his new commentary on Hebrews, Tom Schreiner covers four different structures under the heading of Biblical and Theological Structures. These four structures are

(1) Promise-Fulfillment
(2) Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology
(3) Typology
(4) the Spatial Orientation of Hebrews

This time we’ll look at the second structure, Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews.

Schreiner defines already-but-not-yet eschatology in this way: “God’s eschatological promises have been inaugurated through Jesus Christ but not consummated. Fulfillment has truly come in Jesus Christ, but the fulfillment isn’t complete” (31). Basically, OT prophecies are being fulfilled, but are not yet completely fulfilled. Read on to see how this plays out in Hebrews, along with providing examples of what the definition above really means (especially if you’ve never heard of the term “already-but-not-yet”).

As we saw in my previous post, Jesus fulfills Ps 110.1 and is sitting and reigning at the right hand of God. As is so, “the last days have arrived (1:2), for the Messiah reigns as the OT prophesied” (33). Hebrews 9.26b says, “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.“ Yet if Jesus has appeared at “the end of the ages” and reigns in heaven, why are there still enemies (Heb 1.13; 10.13)?

Hebrews 2.8b says, “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” But one day the heavens and earth will be shaken and removed, and all that will be left is God’s kingdom (12.26-28)

The “not-yet” part of the program requires faith (10.39-11.40). Schreiner adds, “If the promise were visible (cf. 11:3) and the reward were given now (11:6), faith in God’s future promises would be superfluous” (35).

We see in 2 Corinthians 1.20 that all of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ, and from that verse until chapter 7.1, Paul gives us a list of promises that have come through Jesus, though some of them we do not see now. We have been anointed, sealed, and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit (1.21-22), and we have life by the Spirit (3.3, 6). But while we have a building from God that is eternal in the heavens (5.1), we cannot currently see it (it is “in the heavens”). So what do we do? “We walk by faith, not by sight” (5.7).

So again in Hebrews, the author says in 10.10, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” and it is through “the blood of the covenant” (10.29). Sanctification is a completed reality. It’s a done deal. And yet the readers (including us) are to “strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (12.14). We also must recognize that we are not yet completely sanctified, as we have the command to “strive… for the holiness” if we want to see the Lord. We are perfected once and for all (10.14), and yet we are to strive for perfection (6.1) (p 34-45).


BTS: Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews

BTS: Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews

BTS: Typology in Hebrews

BTS: The Spatial Orientation of Hebrews

BTS: Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews


In the introduction of his new commentary on Hebrews, Tom Schreiner covers four different structures under the heading of Biblical and Theological Structures. These four structures are

(1) promise-fulfillment;
(2) already-but-not-yet eschatology;
(3) typology;
(4) the spatial orientation of Hebrews.

Each structure will have it’s own post, starting with the first structure, Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews.

Schreiner defines promise-fulfillment in this way: “It refers to predictions or promises in the OT that, according to Hebrews, are now fullfilled [in Christ]” (30). Though defined this way, it can overlap with typology (as we will see in a later post).

We find the first example of this in Hebrews 1.1-2 which says, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

So, while God’s word was versatile, making its way through the mouth of many speakers, and partial, giving another picture of who Yahweh was, here “OT revelation… finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ” (30). Now all of the OT should be read in light of Jesus Christ (this is similar to reading a detective novel or watching a TV crime series. In the beginning of the story you are clueless as to “who-dunnit.” But once the perpetrator is revealed, then all of the clues fall into place [a la, The Sixth Sense] and you can never read or see the story in the same way again).

Schreiner covers quite a few passages. I’ll cover only one.

Psalm 110

The author of Hebrews (from here on referred to as “the author”) finds special fullfillment of Psalm 110 by Jesus. Ps 110.1 says, The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The author alludes to or quotes this verse five times (Heb 1.2, 13; 8.1; 10.12-13; 12.2).

So how does Jesus fulfill this prophecy?

Schreiner gives us some OT background: After Adam and Eve gave their God-given dominion of the earth over to the serpent, God promised that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent, reclaiming his rule (Gen 3.15). In Genesis 12, Yahweh “reveals that the world will be blessed through Abraham’s offspring,” and this rule will be “restored through a Davidic king according to the promise of the Davidic covenant” in 2 Samuel 7 (p 30).

The author says that this Davidic son and Lord is none other than Jesus himself, and through him God’s kingdom will be established. So in Hebrews 1.3 the author states that Jesus “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” and it is tied to his “making purification for sins” (1.3; 10.12; 12.2). Jesus is higher than the angles (1.13) and is a better high priest (8.1). He “now waits until his enemies are made the footstool for his feet (10.13)” (31). He corules with God, and is worthy of and enjoys his divine stature and worship (1.6).

Reading Ps 110 in context, and then in light of how the NT authors use it can be confusing, but if we read it in context of the OT storyline (as Schreiner helps us to do), then it becomes clear how the author was able to delineate that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Other OT verses Schreiner covers are Ps 110.4 (Heb 5.5-6), Ps 2.7 and 2 Sam 7.14 (Heb 1.5), Jer 31.31-34 (Heb 8.8-12; 10.15-18), and God’s rest (Heb 3.12-4.13).


BTS: Promise-Fulfillment in Hebrews

BTS: Already-But-Not-Yet Eschatology in Hebrews

BTS: Typology in Hebrews

BTS: The Spatial Orientation of Hebrews