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epistles He is brought forward in His great title as Head over all things to the church,
which is His Body (Eph. 1: 22-23; 4: 15; Col. 2: 19), and this is inclusive of all other
titles. It was absolutely necessary for the Apostle to develop the theme of Christ as
High Priest after the order of Melchisedec in Hebrews, as one of the main aims of this
letter is to demonstrate to these Hebrew believers that the Lord Jesus was better than
angels, or any position that any leader of Israel occupied in the O.T. days. He was
infinitely better than Aaron, or the priesthood from Levi, and this could only be stressed
by comparing the Melchisedek priesthood of the Lord with the Levitical.
We see, therefore, that such objections cannot be sustained. Unless the theme of
Hebrews is clearly understood, its links with Pauline doctrine cannot be appreciated. It is
not a manual showing the sinner how his sins may be forgiven, or how he may escape
condemnation and receive eternal life. In other words, it does not cover the same ground
as Romans. It is for the saved, specially the Hebrew believers, undergoing the trials of
the wilderness journey, and with its perfecting or maturing effect spiritually, leading to
the recompense of reward, or if failing and turning back to Judaism, eternal loss and
Divine disapproval. If we give this great epistle an unbiased examination, we shall
certainly find the mind and doctrine of Paul therein, even if it is expressed by another
hand, and to this we propose to devote our next study.
No.3. Verbal links between Paul's Epistles
and the Epistle to the Hebrews (1).
pp. 73 - 77
To all conversant with the subject of style, it must be clear that it is not the mere
occurrence of a peculiar word, but the manner and connection or background in which it
occurs, that stamps it with the impress of a particular author. We shall now consider not
only words that are peculiar to Hebrews and Paul's epistles, but their context and
background, and in doing so we are bound to note many links between the two. The
figure of a race, with its striving and running with a reward in view, is peculiar to Paul
and the Hebrews letter. Agon occurs six times in the N.T., five times used by Paul and
once in Hebrews (12: 1), ". . . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race (agon) that is set before us". The
same conception is found in Phil. 3:, where the Apostle is reaching forth to the things
that are ahead and pressing forward to the goal for the prize of the high calling.
Similarly in I Cor. 9: 24, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one
receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain". Linked with agon is athleo and its
cognates sunathleo and athlesis, to strive in the games, all of which are peculiar to Paul
and Hebrews. In connection with these are the same words and ideas such as: hupomene
endurance; trecho to run; out of 20 occurrences Paul uses this latter word 10 times, and
the author of Hebrews exhorts his readers to "run with patience the race set before us"
(12: 1). Apekdechomai to wait for, is used only in Paul's epistles and Hebrews, where it
occurs seven times. In the Pauline writings it is used exclusively for the hope of the