Who Needs a New Covenant?: Rhetorical Function of the Covenant Motif in the Argument of Hebrews  -     By: Michael Morrison
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Who Needs a New Covenant?: Rhetorical Function of the Covenant Motif in the Argument of Hebrews

Pickwick Publications / 2008 / Paperback

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Although covenant is a major theme in Hebrews, Morrison contends all mention of covenant can be deleted without damaging the coherence of the epistle or its christological conclusions. What role, then, does the covenant motif have in the epistle?

The arguments in Hebrews are aimed at a Jewish audience-they ignore the needs and religious options relevant to Gentiles. For the readers, the Sinai covenant was the only relevant conceptual competitor to Christ.

First-century Jews looked to the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants as the basis of their obligations to God and God's promises toward them. Although most Jewish writers merged these covenants as if they were one, the author of Hebrews does not-he retains the Abrahamic promises while arguing that the Mosaic covenant is obsolete.

The covenant concept supports the exhortations of Hebrews in two ways: 1) it provides the link between priesthood, worship rituals, and other laws, and 2) it enables the author to argue for allegiance to the community as allegiance to Christ.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 226
Vendor: Pickwick Publications
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 1556358040
ISBN-13: 9781556358043
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Princeton Monographs

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Peer Reviews & Endorsements

Michael Morrison's fine work on Hebrews is characterized by a crisp, clear writing style and careful, substantial arguments for his approach to understanding Hebrews. His discussion of the recipients of Hebrews, which he concludes were Jewish readers, is especially strong. Morrison carefully distinguishes Hebrews on the issues of the covenant with Israel from both Paul and the Epistle of Barnabas. This is an important addition to the literature on the ever-fascinating exhortation of Hebrews."
—David M. Scholer
Professor of New Testament, School of Theology,
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA

"Here is a fresh, stimulating, and insightful exploration of one of the key ideas of the book of Hebrews. In his careful treatment of the theme of covenant, Morrison deals with the text reverently and responsibly, all the while engaging the latest and best scholarship. Seldom in an academic discussion does one at the same time encounter such a theological feast as provided here. Highly recommended!"
—Donald A. Hagner
George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA

"I have always appreciated Morrison's ability to make his scholarly work easy to read, and I am happy to see here that his extensive research on Hebrews is being made accessible to a wider audience. I especially appreciate how Morrison is able to discern clues about the audience of Hebrews from the way that the author argues his case and varies the rhetorical style from one section to another. This monograph clarifies the purpose and strategy of the epistle. As the title suggests, Morrison focuses on the kind of audience that needed the information that Hebrews gives. The analysis of covenant is comprehensive and insightful—more informative than an encyclopedia article."
—Joseph Tkach
President, Worldwide Church of God

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