Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Daniel R. Russell


Warning Passages of Hebrews, rhetoric, deliberative rhetoric, Hebrews, New Christian Position, NCP, Covenant Formulary, New Covenant, classical Greek, exhortations in Hebrews, salvation, eschatology


Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Different interpretative approaches (historical-cultural, social-scientific, intertextual, oral-critical, rhetorical) and methodologies are applied when the so-called warning passages in the book of Hebrews get interpreted. Inevitably, these different interpretative methodologies have created different perspectives or views that the original author may not have intended and that the audience may not have gathered. The author of Hebrews was seeking to help the audience of his writings understand a new position through his extensive use of the Greek word κρείττων (kreittōn). Similarly, a Greek background is also evident because of the tremendous use of classical rhetoric within the Epistle. In addition, it is also noticeable that the author massively used a classical Greek literary tool called the ὑπέρβατον (hyperbaton), which was prolific during the Hellenistic period within the classical Greek rhetorical genre. Finally, a Hebrew background is apparent in the readers because of the copiously used OT references. THE AUTHOR CHOSE these OT examples from the past purposefully to lead the audience to a specific future. As a result, a dual analysis of the Epistle should consider the two different backgrounds that the book of Hebrews enjoys (a blend of two distinct cultures) to arrive at a very different interpretation of the book other than where scholarship finds itself now. The Hebrew and Greek cultures blended into one just as the people needed to see themselves together in a new covenant position. The currents of biblical research show that blended exposition is feasible and the next logical step of exposition, particularly within debated passages.