[ Hebrews Group ]


11/20/2010 – 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: International 7 – Marriott Marquis

Ekkehard Stegemann, Universität Basel, Presiding

Fritz Graf, Ohio State University
“You Have Become Dull of Hearing”: Hebrews 5:11 and the Rhetoric of Conversion (30 min)

The long reprimand at the end of Hebrews 5 is set into the context of Greek religious treatises (starting with the 5th century BCE treatise contained in the Derveni Papyrus) that set out to convince their audience of a new and often surprising interpretation of known facts (such as the Theogony of Orpheus in the Derveni Papyrus). Setting Hebrews into this context, I try to understand better the personality of the speaker and the position of his teaching; I will also enter in a discussion with recent scholarship on sacrificial ideology and superstition in Hebrews and on its context in the Graeco-roman world.
Pamela Eisenbaum, Iliff School of Theology, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (10 min)

David M. Allen, Queen's Foundation, Birmingham
Faithfulness in the Things before God: Caleb Typology in the Letter to the Hebrews (30 min)

Research into Hebrews’ use of the Jewish Scriptures is a long-standing discipline, and one which is commonly focused around the epistle’s appeal to key characters such as Moses, Abraham or Melchizedeck. A primary figure in this retinue is Joshua; consideration of how Hebrews links him with Jesus is particularly invited by the epistle, partly because of the common name, partly because of the tantalising reference of 4:8, partly because of the deafening silence of 11:29-30, and partly because the mantle assumed by Jesus bears such a strong resemblance to that bequeathed to Joshua upon entry into the land. The association, however, only works up to a point; the Joshua typology sits well with the hortatory aspects of the letter, but less easily with its doctrinal portions. To put it another way, Joshua imagery works well for Jesus’ archegos role, but is less compelling in its insights for his archiereus function. This paper will explore this other high-priestly aspect, and tease out whether Hebrews has a similar OT prototype in mind for the role, beyond the obvious affinity with Melchizedeck. In particular, it will examine the suitability of Caleb for this function; as the one who shares, with Joshua, a leadership role upon entry into the land, to what extent does Caleb inform Hebrews’ portrayal of Jesus? To what extent does Caleb complement, shape or supplement the Joshua typology, and can one even talk profitably about a Caleb typology? As such, the paper will explore the Caleb tradition in more depth, particularly the extent to which he may be said to bear a priestly – or high-priestly? – mantle. Is he indeed one who ultimately deals with “things pertaining to God” (Heb 5:1; cf. 2:17)?
Gabriella Gelardini, University of Basel, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (10 min)

James W. Thompson, Abilene Christian University
Strangers on the Earth: Philosophical Perspective on the Promise of God (30 min)

The acknowledgement that “we do not see all things in subjection to him” (Heb. 2:8b) addresses the cognitive dissonance of the first readers of Hebrews, whose experience conflicts with their confession. The author responds by reinterpreting the promise, making it the leitmotif of the argument. Unlike Paul, the author does not describe the promise as fulfilled in the coming of Christ (cf. Gal. 3:19) or in the inclusion of Gentiles (Rom. 4:16), but as “things not seen” (11:1), the heavenly city and homeland (11:14-16), which remain unfulfilled for believers. The example of the patriarchs, who never obtained the promise during their lifetime (11:13, 39), is a guide for the disoriented readers. Those who do not see all things in subjection to the son may, however, see the invisible (11:1, 26-27) in the distance (11:13). While believers have not obtained the promise, the death of Christ is the guarantee of their hope (6:19-20; 7:22). In the meantime, to be a believer is to be a refugee and a stranger on the earth. The author has reframed the community’s understanding of the promise with images derived from the philosophical categories of the first century. Middle Platonists recognized the distance between the visible and invisible realities, maintaining that one may see the invisible. Those who see the invisible will be “strangers on the earth” (cf. Heb. 11:13). While the author maintains the eschatological hope of the earlier Christian tradition, he interprets the community’s situation with images drawn from Middle Platonism, pointing to the stable reality of the unseen in order to restore its confidence in the promise.
Kenneth Schenck, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (10 min)



Hebrews: Emerging Studies
11/21/2010 – 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Hanover Hall E - Hyatt Regency

Kenneth Schenck, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, Presiding

Matthew D. Larsen, Church of the Incarnation (Episcopal), Dallas, TX, USA and Michael Svigel, Dallas Theological Seminary
The First Century Two Ways Catechesis as the Background of Hebrews 6.1–6 (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

David M. Moffitt, Duke University
Blood, Life, and Purification: Reassessing Hebrews’ Christological Appropriation of Yom Kippur (20 min)
Break (5 min)

Eric F. Mason, Judson University
Hebrews and Second Temple Jewish Traditions on the Origins of Angels (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

Scott D. Mackie, Independent Scholar
Early Christian Eschatological Experience in the Warnings and Exhortations of Hebrews (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

D. Jeffrey Bingham, Dallas Theological Seminary
Irenaeus and Hebrews (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

Discussion (25 min)

Dr. theol. Gabriella Gelardini

Wissenschaftliche Oberassistentin Neues Testament

Theologische Fakultät der Universität Basel
Nadelberg 10, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. ++41 (0)61 267 27 95
Fax. ++41 (0)61 267 29 02

Theologische Fakultät der Universität Basel