Q&A: Similarities and Dissimilarities Between Hebrews and Other Letters

Similarities and Dissimilarities Between Hebrews and Other Letters

How is the Letter to the Hebrews similar to and different from other New Testament epistles?

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Answer

The book of Hebrews is similar to other New Testament epistles, but it's also dissimilar. It's similar in that it holds up the supremacy of Christ. It begins this way: "In days past God spoke through various means in various ways, but in these final days he's spoken to us in his Son." So, it's the supremacy of Christ and what God has done in Christ. And that's a similar theme to other New Testament letters.

Perhaps what's dissimilar is it's, rather than being more geographically directly, it's directed at the Jewish believer, and one of the striking dissimilarities might be the degree to which the writer of Hebrews warns believers, or warns the church as a whole about persevering in faith and not presuming upon their status as members of the household of God. So, the warnings of Hebrews are pretty stark compared to many other New Testament books.

But again, we can return to a similarity which is, say, in comparison to 1 Peter, affirming the pilgrim status of the people of God, that we are not home yet, that the world is not yet a consummated kingdom of God, that though he's been exalted, we do not yet see all things subjected to Christ the way we will one day see them as Hebrews 2 says.

Answer by Rev. Michael J. Glodo

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