Four Questions for Hebrews

Gerald O'Collins and Michael Keenan Jones

in Jesus Our Priest

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199576456
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723032 | DOI:
Four Questions for Hebrews

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This chapter draws four conclusions from an attentive reading of the Letter to the Hebrews. First, even if many people are unable to reach explicit faith in Christ, all are offered salvation through the sacrifice of Christ. Second, while Hebrews understands Christ's death and exaltation to be the defining moment of his priesthood, the priestly language that this text uses in describing Christian existence also applies to his public ministry. From the beginning to the end, Christ led a priestly existence. Third, Hebrews understands Jesus to accept freely his role as priest and victim. But that does not mean that his death was an act of suicide; it was directly intended and perpetrated by others. Fourth, Hebrews speaks equivalently of the common priesthood of all the baptized; it also seems to allude to their celebration of the Eucharist. The chapter ends by summarizing under fourteen headings the New Testament witness to the priesthood of Christ.

Keywords: baptism; Eucharist; faith; new testament; priest; salvation; victim

Chapter.  4136 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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