Epistle to the Hebrews


Written at Rome, c.63, after Saint Paul‘s release from his first Roman imprisonment. It was addressed to a Church whose members were almost entirely converts from Judaism, who were subject to persecutions, and for whom the splendor of the Temple and the pomp of its services were a constant danger; all of which shows that the Christians of Jerusalem were the recipients of this epistle. Its purpose is to encourage the Christians to perseverance in the faith, and to warn them against apostasy to Judaism; to accomplish this purpose, it sets forth the excellence of Jesus Christ and the superiority of the New Law. The epistle is divided:

  • the dogmatic part (1:1 – 10:17), in which is shown the Dignity of Christ who, as the Son of God, is far superior to the Angels and Moses through whom the Old Law was given (1:1 – 4:13), the eternal Priesthood of Christ, which is infinitely superior to the priesthood of the Old Law (4:14 – 7:28), and the Sacrifice of the New Law which possesses an excellence and efficacy far superior to the sacrifices of the Old Law (8:1 – 10:18)
  • the Moral Part (10:19 – 13:17), in which the Christians are exhorted to perseverance in the faith and to Christian life according to the faith. The unbroken testimony of the Eastern Fathers, the perfect accord in the Western Church since the 4th century, the decrees of popes and councils, the constant practise of the universal Church, the similarity and harmony existing between this and other epistles of Saint Paul prove that he is its author; the differences in style and language are perhaps due to one of Saint Paul’s disciples who put it in the form in which it now stands (Biblical Commission, 24 June, 1914)

MLA Citation

  • “Epistle to the Hebrews”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 13 June 2010. Web. 1 December 2021. <http://catholicsaints.info/epistle-to-the-hebrews/>