How had the audience of Hebrews responded to the persecutions affecting their community?

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The original audience of Hebrews appears to be a primarily Jewish audience, and from the pastoral letter that Hebrews actually is, it appears that their struggle is, in the face of perhaps persecution and just general difficulties of living in a fallen world, they're tempted to turn back to what's familiar to them. For them specifically, it was to turn back to the synagogue and turn back to the ordinances of the Old Testament, which in some ways has direct relevance to us today, not that we would be tempted to turn back to the synagogue, but the general temptation to turn back to what is secure, what is familiar, and rest upon one's heritage or tradition rather than walk by faith in a world where faith is not generally well-received.

Answer by Rev. Michael J. Glodo

Rev. Michael J. Glodo is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL.