The Rhetoric Of The Book Of Hebrews

3186 words - 13 pages

. INTRODUCTION
The book of Hebrews is hailed by many scholars particularly for its Christology. The authorship of this great has been a complex puzzle that scholars are yet to provide the needed solution. Roger Haln confirmed the above when he said “The literary form of the book is uncertain. The author and time of writing are unknown. The logic and flow of thought are unusual for most modern people.” Some scholars even call Hebrews as a delight for the person who enjoys puzzles.
The rhetorical skills of the author coupled with the background of the addresses make the book of Hebrews instructive for understanding of mother tongue biblical interpretation. The book of Hebrews like any other work in mother tongue uses categories, examples, and cultural assumptions best understood by addressees to communicate profound truths. Mother tongue biblical interpretation enables indigenes to build their own theology without necessarily having to think and reflect about God; in other words doing theology through other people’s cultural assumptions and language. The book of Hebrew makes a strong case for mother tongue biblical interpretation that which this paper seeks to establishes and makes a case for mother tongue biblical interpretation in Ghana. The arguments will be made considering the literary form,
BACKGROUND TO THE BOOK OF HEBREWS
The document was known and quoted before the end of the first century, but not under its traditional title ‘Pros Hebraious’; the title goes back to the last quarter of the first century.
Luke Timothy Johnson has observed that cotemporary scholars find Hebrews fascinating for the subtle combination it gives to diverse philosophical and religious symbols of the first century. Indeed Hebrews is a fantastic masterpiece of literary work. The rhetorical skills, the insightfulness and the theological astuteness of the author make it a great literary work to consider at any given time. Johnson continues to argue that Hebrews provides a witness to Christian experience that is clear and compelling. As a theological treaty Hebrews stands next to Romans as a reflection on the mystery of God’s work in Christ; chapters 1- 3 and 7-10 reveal fantastic Christology that effect. The author maintains that the book is exhortation and a short letter (13:22). In spite of the authors descriptions of the book scholars generally agree that the book falls short of the characteristics of letters of it kind of that dispensation. Rather Hebrews is seen more as a homily with strong pastoral orientation. The author’s focus was to encourage the addressees to stand firm in Christ in spite of persecution and threats of death. Apostasy according to the author needn’t be the choice for the addressees and he attempts to persuade them by straightening up their theology about Christ.

Authorship
Scholars have not been able to agree on who is the author of this instructive book. The debate continues, hopeful there will be a consensus among...

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