Is the epistle to the Hebrews addressed to Christians?

I'm interested in getting the whole range of rationale as to why or why not.  Example points might be "No, because he has to differentiate the Son of God from angels" or "Yes, because he addresses them as partakers of a heavenly calling."

Clarify Share Report Asked March 13 2014 Mini Walrus theCat

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Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Yes, though it was written targeting Jewish Christians specifically. It was applicable to all Christians (Jewish background or Gentile background), but many of the examples are jewish (vs. The greek oriented exampled of say, Galatians). Paul does a good job of explaining the jewish symbolism so even a gentile hearer can understand.

Some specific reasons - {} for emphasis; # are chapter numbers:

#1 He addresses a jewish audience in the 1st chapter. "In the past God spoke to {our ancestors} through the {prophets} at many times and in various ways..." Heb 1:1

#2 He addresses a christian audience: "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, {to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away}" Heb 2:1 
Also, Jewish background (high priest, Abraham's descendents, etc)

#3 He addresses christians with a jewish background "Therefore, {holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling}, fix your thoughts on Jesus, {whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest}." He also assumes an understanding of jewish history (Heb 3:7-19)

#4 Christian audience & Jewish symbolism. "Therefore, since we have a {great high priest} who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, {let us hold firmly to the faith we profess}." (Heb 4:14)

#5 He addresses christians, albeit one's who are immature in their faith: "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. {In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again}... {But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil}." (Heb 5:11-14) He also implies a jewish audience, due to more frequent mentions of the High priest and of jewish history. "Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek." (Heb 5:8-10)

#6 He addresses Christian: "not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in God"..."tasted the heavenly gift", "partakers in the holy spirit"..."tasted (experienced) the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come" "we want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized", "to the heirs of what was promist" "we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us" etc. (Heb 6:1-20). The jewish references are continued (high priest, Melchizedek, holy of holies, etc).

#7 He addresses a jewish audience (and more largely, any christian audience willing to learn the jewish history) Melchizadek, the law, Abraham, the levitical priesthood, and Moses feature. (Heb 7:1-28)

#8 Again, the symbolism is Jewish (as the jewish law and symbols were types, Jesus the antitype and fulfillment). (Heb 8) He alludes to the audience being christian "We do posses such a high priest" (Heb 8:1)

#9 yet more jewish symbolism (first covenant, tabernacle, ark, cherubim, etc) Heb 9

#10 Jewish Christians (sacrifices, etc) "brothers and sisters..."the hope we profess" "after you had received the light" "you had better and lasting possessions" "receive what He has promised" "have faith and are saved" Heb 10:19-39

#11 A Christian audience "confidence in what we hope for", "something better for us" with a reminder of the jewish background (historical people from jewish history) Heb 11:1-50

#12 Christian audience "what children are not disciplined by their father" "you have come to Mt. Zion...to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven..to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant" "we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken" Heb 12

#13 Christian audience "brothers and sisters" "do not be carried away" "pray for us" "equip you" "greet all your leaders and all the Lord's people" Heb 13

July 22 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Dsc 0043 Tim Collinson Tim Collinson
The letter to the Hebrews are those Jews who came to faith in Yeshua their Messiah.

The problem is that believers in Yeshua were not called Christians or Christ ones until the term was first used in Antioch. A Hebrew (or Jew) does not become in quotes "Christian" he becomes a complete Jew... Yeshua was a Jew, he came for the Jews that was his purpose, but they rejected him. However the Gospel was first preached to the Jews; to the Jews first and then also the Greeks (Gentiles)... so The book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrews (Jews).

However as the apostle Paul said there is neither Jew nor Gentile but one body. This however does not mean that a Jew who has accepted Yeshua loses his identity. This is the context of who the initial audience was by the way. 

As believers in Christ yes we can take application and teaching from the book of Hebrews.. The chapter on faith is especially a blessing and the truth of Yeshua being our High Priest who stands before the throne of God making intercession for us.

March 14 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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