The Epistle to the Hebrews is a very unique book in the New Testament. It’s authorship has been under debate for generations. It is the 58th book of the Bible, has 13 chapters, 303 verses, and 17 questions.
There are 270 verses that are considered history, 9 verses of fulfilled prophecy, and 24 verses of unfulfilled prophecy. Yet we have questions about who wrote the book. Many scholars have settled on Paul as the author, but still questions abound. More importantly, however, is not who wrote it, but why was it written and does it satisfy its purpose?
Beyond question in my mind, the theme of the book, and thus its purpose, is to promote understanding of the transition from the Judaic form of worship to that of the universality of priesthood through Jesus Christ as our High Priest. We can come to God without going through another human being, but by coming to Him through Jesus.
Let me provide some perspective from the scriptures about the NT concept of priesthood.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…”(I Pet. 2:9). We have a high priest, Jesus Christ, but we are also made priests unto God.
We are chosen, we are royal, we are holy, and we are peculiar. We are made spiritual beings, and we fill this role by faith. (Our future role as priests is revealed also – Rev. 20:6) The earthly temple worship of the Hebrews was only a pattern of heavenly things. “For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things …” (Heb. 8:4-5).
“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Heb. 9:23). The blood of animals, shed by human priests, satisfied God’s requirement under the OT law. But these things were only a pattern and shadow of the real things that are located in heaven, and only the blood and priesthood of Christ will provide entrance into the presence of God for us.
Each born-again child of God is made a priest according to Peter, and has entrance to the presence of God. This was typified by the rent veil in the temple when Christ was crucified (Matt. 27:51).
The way was opened for everyone to enter and worship the Father. Will you come to Him?