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21. Interpreting Scripture: Hebrews

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Introduction to New Testament (RLST 152)

There are many ways of interpreting the text, and ancient methods of interpretation may seem bizarre to our modern sensibilities. The New Testament offers us many examples of how an early Christian might interpret the text of the Hebrew Bible, which was their scripture. The Letter to the Hebrews, which is not really a letter but a speech of encouragement, structures its argument around the thesis that Jesus' liturgy and priesthood is superior to that in the Hebrew Bible. The author of Hebrews proves this through several interesting interpretations of passages from the Hebrew Bible.

00:00 - Chapter 1. What Does A Text Mean? Methods of Interpretation
14:23 - Chapter 2. The Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament
23:42 - Chapter 3. The Letter to the Hebrews: A Speech of Encouragement
29:35 - Chapter 4. The Outline of the Epistle
34:39 - Chapter 5. Hebrews As Synkrisis: A Comparison between the Superior and the Inferior

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.