Jesus as Faithful in Testing: A Key to the Rhetorical Connection Between Hebrews 3:1-6 and 3:7-4:13
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Institution Granting Degree
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Cedarville University School or Department
Biblical and Theological Studies
Philosophy, religion and theology; Hebraism; Hebrews 3; Hebrews 4; Psalms 95; Septuagint
This dissertation argues that, in Hebrews 3:1-4:16, Jesus' entrance into rest, as a result of his successful testing, demonstrates why Auctor (i.e., the author) views him as a faithful High Priest. A corollary to this thesis is that as a result of Jesus' faithfulness, believers are exhorted to enter into "that" (Heb 4:11) rest (i.e., Jesus' rest) via faithful obedience. This does not deny the evident exhortation in Auctor's argument; however, the exhortation is subsumed under, and only made possible by the theological point of Jesus as faithful High Priest.
Chapter 1 introduces five areas of tension in current exegetical explanations of Hebrews 3 and 4. Significant authors are discussed who have written on Hebrew 3 and 4. Chapter 2 argues that "testing" is a significant connecting theme between Hebrews 3:1-6 and 3:7-4:13. This is demonstrated by lexical and thematic connections, an inclusio in 2:17-3:1 and 4:14-16, and a narrative substructure based on Numbers 12 and 14.
Chapter 3 examines Psalm 94:11 b LXX/OG as it is used by the author in Hebrews 3:11, 4:3, and 4:5 in order to determine whether it should be translated into English as an emphatic negative statement (which is the current scholarly consensus), or as an open-ended conditional statement. The conclusion is that reading the verse as an emphatic negative is problematic, and, therefore, an open-ended conditional better fits the evidence. Chapter 4 examines Hebrews 4:8 and 4:10 in order to determine whether they should be read christologically, or whether they refer to Joshua (Heb 4:8) and believers (Heb 4:10) respectively. The conclusion is that both verses should be read as referring to Jesus. Based on the conclusions of chapters 2-4, chapter 5 provides an abridged commentary on Hebrews 2:17-4:16 which focuses on how the author emphasizes Jesus' faithful completion of testing and what that means for believers.
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McKay, Michael, "Jesus as Faithful in Testing: A Key to the Rhetorical Connection Between Hebrews 3:1-6 and 3:7-4:13" (2016). Faculty Dissertations. 130.