Hebrews Bible Study

I’ve been wanting to post on this for a while, but it only became official yesterday when it was announced in church (the pastor can’t back out on it now) but during the fall semester I will be conducting a Bible study on the book of Hebrews. Not “Hebrew,” but Hebrews.

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so it should be interesting. All at the same time, I am nervous, excited, I can’t wait, and I am more than a little scared.

For resources I am using Donald Guthrie’s The Epistle to the Hebrews (Tyndale New Testament Commentary), Tom Wright’s Hebrews for Everyone, and Tyndale’s Hebrews, Life Application Bible Studies. Any other recommendations would be much appreciated.

I am thinking about writing about the experience, sharing what I learn, post questions raised, etc. The Bible study group will meet on Wednesday evenings, so I hope to have the related post up by the following Friday.

Pray for me ;)

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  1. #1 by Bitsy Griffin on August 17, 2009 - 6:06 pm

    You’ll be great! AND you’ll have at least one post ready each week during the fall ;)

    • #2 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:37 am

      Thanks, I appreciate the vote of confidence. And, yes, a ready-made post is always useful.

  2. #3 by Scripture Zealot on August 17, 2009 - 6:51 pm

    Congratulations.

    I like F.F. Bruce’s commentary and it comes recommended by quite a few others.

    I read N.T. Wright’s commentary for everyone on the first four chapters of 1 Cor and thought it was very good. I have a review of it on my site. Will you be having the students use a commentary in addition to the study book? That would be a good one if it’s anything like the 1 Cor.

    Have you taught before? I haven’t. I’m sure you’ll do well. How could you not? Your blog is #4.
    Jeff

    • #4 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:38 am

      I have taught Business Law and Public Speaking at a local college, but nothing in the church. I don’t expect to do a whole lot of teaching, I’d rather just lead discussion, if everyone cooperates. Thanks.

  3. #5 by wilma on August 17, 2009 - 7:06 pm

    Can’t wait…I’ll study along with you…

    • #6 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:39 am

      Thanks, and just in case you want to make the drive on a given Wednesday, the Bible study begins at 7pm on Wednesdays.

  4. #7 by Seth Ehorn on August 17, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    William Lane’s short book called, Hebrews: A Call to Commitment, is quite useful.

    • #8 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:40 am

      Thanks. I’m not familiar with that one. It’s not one I’ve seen at any of the bookstores. If I run low on info, I might have to check it out.

  5. #9 by Bryan on August 17, 2009 - 8:50 pm

    Congrats! I love teaching through books of the Bible… it is often how I am challenged and grow in the faith. It can be very tough, but is always rewarding!

    One book I might suggest looking at is Tremper Longman III’s “Immanuel In Our Place: Seeing Christ In Israel’s Worship.” You can find my review of it on my blog–but it will certainly come in handy when the author begins to talk about how Christ fulfills Israel’s worship.

    I haven’t looked at any commentaries for Hebrews yet, so I’m no help there. I know you come from a different theological perspective than they do, but here is a list of Ligionier’s top five commentaries on Hebrews:

    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/2009/04/top-5-commentaries-on-the-book-of-hebrews.html

    • #10 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:42 am

      Thanks, Bryan. I appreciate that, and one of the ones I’m using made their runner-up list, so that’s nice. I’m not too worried about theological perspectives, I expect a variety even in our church – it makes it so much more interesting.

  6. #11 by Jason on August 17, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    I just started a sermon series on Hebrews. I am referring to three primary commentaries: F. F. Bruce (NICNT), William Lane (WBC), and Paul Ellingworth (NIGTC). I have been pleased with them thus far. I also have a copy of Hebrews in the Life Application Bible Studies by Tyndale you mentioned (reviewed on my blog), which is a very helpful resource.

    • #12 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:47 am

      I actually got the Tyndale LABS a while back for review, now I can review it with decent perspective. I came across the Ellingworth commentary while I was investigating commentaries, but I ultimately settled on the two I did because they made my short list and the short list recommended by our church’s former pastor, who still remains in close contact with our current pastor. Since they were on both lists, I used those two.

      Best of luck with your sermon series. I’m sure it will be a huge blessing.

  7. #13 by mondaymorningreview on August 17, 2009 - 10:21 pm

    I’m looking forward to watching this semester unfold. I’m definately interested in the Friday blog posts. I think your best resource for the study will be your Bible — I recommend the book of Hebrews.

    • #14 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:48 am

      Thanks for the tip. I actually think my best resource might be my pastor :) He can check to see if I’m crossing any theological lines or stepping on doctrinal toes…

  8. #15 by Polycarp on August 17, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Peter, Start with us!

    But, I would then use Cornerstone Hebrews commentary.

    • #16 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:49 am

      Thanks for the offer to help. I’ll direct all questions your way ;)

      I think my pastor just mentioned the Cornerstone series to me last night. I’ll double check to see if I’m thinking of the right one.

  9. #17 by Brian Small on August 18, 2009 - 12:11 am

    If you have good technical skills, particularly in Greek, then the best commentaries are William Lane (WBC) and Harold Attridge (Hermeneia). Ellingworth is highly technical but in my opinion loses the forest for the individual trees–he gives a very detailed verse-by-verse analysis but doesn’t give a good overview of the argument. Craig Koester’s commentary is technical but doesn’t require Greek, and it would be an excellent choice also. Otherwise, if your technical skills are not that well honed, I would recommend the commentaries by Luke Timothy Johnson (NTL) and James W. Thompson (Baker Paideia).

    • #18 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:51 am

      Koester’s commentary came highly recommended by our church’s former pastor, but I didn’t have immediate access to it. I did find it online, and I’m determined to read it eventually. He described it as “not for the faint of heart” which really peaked my interest. Thanks.

  10. #19 by TC Robinson on August 18, 2009 - 2:16 am

    Peter L, we’re talking two different levels are: (1) your personal enrichment and preparation; and (2) what you want to share with the congregation.

    I guess there’s no harm in learning the deep stuff from which to share with the average believer.

    Among the others suggested above, Polycarp’s reference to “Hebrews” in the Cornerstone series is a good fit, for it combines both scholarly and pastoral stuff.

    I did a review here

    • #20 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:53 am

      tc, thanks. I have no doubt that I will be personally enriched and I hope to share a few useful things along the way. I will check out your review.

  11. #21 by Gary Zimmerli on August 18, 2009 - 8:30 am

    Just talking with a co-worker, he recommended John Owen’s multi-volume commentary on Hebrews, but in such a teaching situation you may not want to pursue things that extensively.

    When I was teaching the gospel of John, I found the Bible Gateway-IVP commentary to be outstanding. I see Bible Gateway doesn’t have a commentary for Hebrews from IVP on their website, but you might check with IVP.

    I found the most successful teaching I did was when I asked the students to study with me, rather than saying I was going to teach them. And also keep in mind who the REAL teacher of the scriptures is!

    • #22 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 9:54 am

      Gary, Guthrie’s commentary is an IVP title, a different series, but still IVP. Thanks.

  12. #23 by brianfulthorp on August 18, 2009 - 3:34 pm

    Luke Timothy Johnson is the man!

    I also suggest you read Hebrews through in one sitting 1-2 times a week when teaching the class but right now you need to be reading it and reading it and reading it.

    • #24 by petermlopez on August 18, 2009 - 4:27 pm

      That’s basically what I’ve been doing lately, just reading through Hebrews over, and over, and over. It’s great stuff. Thanks.

  13. #25 by Paul Wilkinson on August 18, 2009 - 7:45 pm

    I think that the wording of some of the questions was not at all representative of the variants of belief that exist. I found myself setting the priority “low” for many of my answers because none of the choices offered clarity on the issue; or else they bundled certain aspects of belief together that I would rather have seen as separate questions.

    • #26 by petermlopez on August 19, 2009 - 10:41 am

      Uh, I don’t follow??? Explain please.

  14. #27 by watchmancurtis on August 20, 2009 - 7:05 am

    I think Paul meant to post that on the “Which Christian Tradition are you?” area.

    • #28 by petermlopez on August 20, 2009 - 8:56 am

      I think you must be right. Maybe he’ll come back.

  15. #29 by Theo Helberg on February 21, 2010 - 7:19 am

    Hi, I just got to the site by looking for pictographs of the Hebrew alphabet. By accident I saw your Hebrews study. I know that you did this last year, but I guarantee you that will learn from this study (Epistle to the Hebrews, a Hebraic study of the book of Hebrews by Rick Spurlock – http://www.bereansonline.org/studies/hebworkbook.pdf) things that you have NEVER heard of before! You will see Hebrews through the eyes of the Hebrews it was originally written to. You will be challenged … but you will forever be changes by it, I guaratee it. Take the challenge, take the plunge.
    Shalom, Theo

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