The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 119 of 249
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The scope of the Epistle decided by the structure.
pp. 108 - 110
We have satisfied ourselves as to the Pauline authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews,
and believe there is every reason to think that when Paul was dealing with the Galatian
problem of the place of the law in the economy of grace, he took the opportunity of using
the epistle to the Galatians as a covering letter, dealing with the same problems not from
the point of view of the believing Gentile, but from the point of view of the believing
Our next consideration must be to discover the scope of the epistle, "what it is all
about", and this is indicated best by the structure. Now while we must not "invent" a
structure, for that would stultify our very object, we must admit that the features that
constitute the structure of a book or epistle do not always appear on the surface. We look
at chapter 1:, and note its contents, and let our eye glance on to the opening verses of
chapter 2: As we do so, something seems to "click", we are conscious of the pressure of
a theme that may be the beginning of our quest.
Heb. 1: 1, 2. God hath spoken.
Heb. 2: 2, 3. If the word spoken . . . . . first began to be spoken by the Lord.
The intervening subject matter stresses the superiority of the "Son" to Prophets, of
the "Lord" to angels. We read of others who "spoke" in the chapters that follow, but we
are arrested at the reference in Heb. 12: 25 because it is a most evident allusion to
chapter 2:
"See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they ESCAPED NOT who refused
Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that
speaketh from heaven."
Here the apostle is most evidently resuming the theme of chapter 2:
"How shall we ESCAPE, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to
be spoken by the Lord" (Heb. 2: 3).
So far so good, but we remind ourselves that "one swallow does not make a summer"
and prosecute our investigation. In chapter 13: the apostle seems to sum up Christian
ministry under the heading,
"Who have spoken unto you the word of God" (Heb. 13: 7).
We can tentatively record our first findings thus:
A | Heb. 1:, 2: The word spoken, the Prophets, the Son.
A | Heb. 12:, 13: Him, and they, that speak the word.