Friday, April 25, 2008

Church in Hebrews 1

A while ago I did an essay on the doctrine of the Church in Hebrews. Over the next few posts I’ll be putting up edited selections from that essay, for anyone who’s interested.

My essay was essentially divided along the lines of two (ultimately inseparable) themes:

  1. Hebrews and the Nature of the Church
  2. Hebrews and Church Life

My main point on 1. Can be summarised like this:

Hebrews teaches that the Church stands in a teleological and climactic relation to old covenant Israel. What Israel was promised, what faithful Israelites looked for, is the possession of the Church by virtue of Christ’s completion in his death-resurrection-ascension of what Israelite religion foreshadowed. That the Church is the eschatological Israel[1] is arguably the key concept in the writer’s theology of the nature of the Church.

[1] I use this phrase to denote a similar idea to Giles’ “Israel of the last days”. Giles, Church, 159.

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