Adding immeasurably to the understanding of the faithful

"Paul is at his theological best in Hebrews," wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie in Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 133.

"There are other epistles, notably Romans, in which he expounds more excellently the doctrine of the atoning sacrifice and the salvation which comes by God's grace. There are other places, as in First Corinthians, where the gifts of the Spirit and the wonders of the resurrection are more extensively taught; and there are other writings, as Ephesians, where church organization and the world wide nature of the message of salvation are more explicitly delineated. But in Hebrews, as an inspired theologian, Paul takes the revelations of the past, the dead letter of the ancient law, and ties it into the living Christianity of the present. He shows how the gospel grew out of the preparatory law which prevailed in Israel and which in fact had as its purpose the preparing of the way before the coming of that Prophet who led Israel of old and was the Author of both covenants."Above all, this Epistle - as seems natural when addressed to a people who had looked forward to the delivering might of their Messiah; a people who had great difficulty in accepting Jesus as their promised Redeemer - above all, this Epistle is a witness of the divine Sonship of Him of whom the Jews had said: `Is not this the carpenter's son?' (Matt. 13:55.)

"And so we find Paul teaching that the Great God, the Almighty Elohim, has a body of flesh and bones, and that His Son, the Lord Jehovah, was in very deed born among men as the Son of God.

"We find Him teaching that Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, was the same personage who appeared as the Lord Jehovah on Sinai.

"In Hebrews we learn that Jesus was made a little lower than Elohim; that He has precedence over the angels; that He took upon Himself mortality to bring salvation to man.

"In Hebrews our understanding is refreshed with the knowledge that salvation is available through His intercession; that He sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world; that by His blood the saints are sanctified.

"In it we are taught that the Mosaic ordinances prefigured His ministry; that His gospel was offered to ancient Israel; that He is the Mediator of the new covenant.

"There is no other biblical source for detailed knowledge of the Holy Priesthood; of Christ's status as the great High Priest and the Apostle of our profession; of the oath which God swore that His Son would be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

"And nowhere else in the Bible do we find the oath and covenant of the priesthood set forth; or that through this priesthood the gospel is administered; or that it is the power whereby eternal life is gained.

"And what of the heroes of faith! From Abel to Samuel they are named - all of them men whose mighty works were wrought by faith in that same being, the Lord Jehovah, whose power enabled Peter to say to the man, lame from his mother's womb, `In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.' (Acts 3:6.)

"And so this Epistle stands - giving doctrine and glory and knowledge; adding immeasurably to the understanding of the faithful. . . .

"Think of the gospel knowledge that would not be available in the Christian world, if we did not have the Epistle of Paul the apostle to his Hebrew brethren! Truly the Lord has preserved this priceless treasure for our blessing and benefit!"

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