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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53142
Doc. No:TL23096
Call number:‭3206698‬
Main Entry:Michael Duane Morrison
Title & Author:Rhetorical function of the covenant motif in the argument of HebrewsMichael Duane Morrison
College:Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:241
Abstract:Although covenant is a major theme in Hebrews, all mention of covenant can be deleted without damaging the coherence of the epistle or its christological conclusions. So what role does the covenant motif have, and how does it support the parenesis? The arguments in Hebrews are aimed at a Jewish audience, for they ignore the needs and religious options relevant to Gentiles. They also imply that the readers had a high view of the Sinai covenant; it would praise Jesus too faintly to say that he was better than an arrangement the readers already considered useless and obsolete. For the readers, the Sinai covenant was the only relevant conceptual competitor to Christ. Heb 10:19-25 is a key transition. The author argues that since the readers have a high priest in heaven, they should not quit meeting together. He apparently assumes that people who share religious beliefs form a mutual-support community. This assumption is found in the Jewish concept of covenant. Covenants are oaths of loyalty, often with explicit obligations and penalties. Two covenants are particularly important for this study: (1) God promised to be the God of Abraham's descendants, and (2) God made a covenant with the Israelites detailing for them what it meant for them to be his people. First-century Jews looked to these covenants as the basis of their obligations to God and his promises toward them. Although most Jewish writers amalgamated these covenants, referring to only one covenant, New Testament writers separated them, retaining the Abrahamic promises as relevant to salvation while rejecting Mosaic laws. Paul argues that law cannot negate promise, while Hebrews uses Jeremiah's prophecy of a new covenant to argue that the Mosaic covenant is obsolete. But as shown in the eucharistic words, covenant was still associated with community solidarity. The covenant concept supports the parenesis of Hebrews in two major ways: (1) it provides the link between priesthood, worship rituals, and other laws, and (2) it enables the author to argue for allegiance to the community as concomitant with allegiance to Christ. It also helps explain why the author issues dire penalties for apostasy.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Covenant motif; Hebrews (letter to the); Paraenesis; Rhetorical function; Bible; 0321:Bible
Added Entry:D. Scholer
Added Entry:Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology