The High-Priestly Christology of the Letter to the Hebrews: A Fusion of Late Second Temple Theology and Early Christian Tradition

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Fishbeck, Nadine Braunda
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Christology , Christian theology , Temple cult , Priestly tradition , Jewish theology and Christian tradition , School of Theology thesis 2012 , School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee , University of the South
The high-priestly Christology of the Letter to the Hebrews is unique in the New Testament canon. As an early Christian writing, this letter may help us in our understanding of what ideas, concepts, and traditions of late second temple Judaism influenced the development of early Christian theology and Christology. The author of Hebrews inherited the apocalyptic world view of second temple Judaism and of the early Christian church. The author’s theology also has antecedents within the second temple priestly tradition. One of these antecedents included the hope of a savior figure as seen in the expectation of a priestly messiah. The author also believed in the efficacy of the temple cult and drew from the cultic tradition as he developed his high-priestly Christology. The author fused elements from the Jewish priestly theology with the early Christian tradition that he had received to argue that the exalted Jesus Christ was Son of God as well as the heavenly high priest of the heavenly sanctuary.