A Pre-Lenten Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews will be our constant companion on the Saturdays and Sundays of the Great Fast, and many of its verses are incorporated in hymns and prayers of the Divine Liturgy. As such, this epistle should naturally generate many questions among the faithful, such as the eternal Sonship of Christ, the person of Melchizedek, the office of high priests, Christ as the Great High Priest, the wrath of God, the overcoming of the Old Covenant, ancient Hebrew Christians of Palestine, interpretation of various passages from the Epistle to the Hebrews and relevant Old Testament books, et al.
As a sort of "pre-Lenten stretching" to get us ready for the marathon of ascesis that lays ahead, we will spend the four Wednesday evenings during February, trying to familiarize ourselves with the very important text, with a special emphasis on Christ as OUR Great High Priest.
- Feb. 3, Class 1: “Great Lent: Fixing our Eyes on our High Priest”
- Leading Text: Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-12:2 (Epistle, First Sunday of Great Lent)
- Feb. 10, Class 2: “Christ: A High Priest like Melchizedek”
- Leading Text: Hebrews 7:26-8:2 (Epistle for St. Gregory Palamas, Second Sunday of Great Lent)
- Feb. 17, Class 3: “Christ: Our High Priest”
- Leading Text: Hebrews 4:14-5:6 (Epistle, Third Sunday of Great Lent
- Feb. 24, Class 4: “Pressing on to Maturity as His Priests”
- Leading Text: Hebrews 6:13-20 (Epistle, Fourth Sunday of Great Lent)
We will be using the following book (available on the SJOTL Bookshelf and as a downloadable "e-book"):
Father Lawrence does an excellent job of structuring his commentary around every single important point in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and clarifying issues by citing corresponding Biblical passages. We have taken as the leading texts epistle readings from the first four Sundays of Great Lent, so we can tie this in to the approaching Lenten season. The titles above are taken directly or closely from his subtitles for each section, so as to provide for close correspondence with the themes.