Worship in the Letter to the Hebrews
This book seeks a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the Letter to the Hebrews by examining it from the viewpoint of its prominent theme of worship. It aims to demonstrate the topic of worship in all of its rich...
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This book seeks a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the Letter to the Hebrews by examining it from the viewpoint of its prominent theme of worship. It aims to demonstrate the topic of worship in all of its rich and varied dimensions provides the major concern and thrust that embraces Hebrews from start to finish. The author of Hebrews encourages his audience to hold on to the letter he has written to them as "the word of the encouragement" (Heb 13:22). In a very carefully concerted and masterfully artistic way, the letter persistently encourages the members of its audience with regard to their worship. Indeed, Hebrews was intended to be presented orally in a public performance as a liturgical or homiletic letter, an act of worship in itself, heard by its audience gathered together as a worshiping assembly. Hebrews exhorts the members of its audience not only with regard to their liturgical worship in which they engage during their communal gatherings, but also with regard to their ethical or moral worship in which they engage by the way they conduct themselves outside of their communal gatherings. This close examination of Hebrews through the lens of worship is intended to inform and enrich the worship of Christians today. Hebrews presents important and unique points about worship not found in any other New Testament writing. The goal is to illustrate and illuminate these points for the benefit of those who desire to deepen their worship as Christians by deepening their understanding of the magnificent literary masterpiece that the poetically lively letter to the Hebrews articulates for all Christians.
John Paul Heil, S.S.L. (1976) and S.S.D. (1979), Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, is Professor of New Testament at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. His books include The Transfiguration of Jesus: Narrative Meaning and Function of Mark 9:2-8, Matt 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36 (Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico); The Meal Scenes in Luke-Acts: An Audience-Oriented Approach (Society of Biblical Literature); The Gospel of Mark as Model for Action: A Reader-Response Commentary (Paulist); and The Death and Resurrection of Jesus: A Narrative-Critical Reading of Matthew 26-28 (Fortress).