When is a letter not a letter? When it is the Letter to the Hebrews. Daniel J. Harrington describes this text as "the greatest Christian sermon ever preached or written" and its author as "the patron saint of preachers." The basic theological point of the sermon is that Christ is both the perfect sacrifice for sins and the priest who offers himself as a sacrifice.
The anonymous author of this work addresses Jewish Christians who had embraced Christianity with enthusiasm but were becoming discouraged and falling away in the face of suffering. The biblical text and Harrington's uncomplicated commentary are ideal components for individual and group study. Reading and reflection will produce a renewed appreciation of the saving work of Jesus.
Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, PhD, is professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and editor of the Sacra Pagina series, published by Liturgical Press.
Also available with Little Rock Scripture Study Set: Hebrews
Daniel Harrington's contribution The Letter to the Hebrews in the New Collegeville Bible Commentary is a fresh look at a difficult piece of Biblical literature. The Letter to the Hebrews presents several problems for the reader. Harrington's contribution is a clear, balanced and readable commentary that analyzes the contents from the point of view of a written sermon. His treatment of the thorny issues of Christ's priesthood, the priesthood of Christian priests and the sacrificial nature of Christ's death is ecumenically and theologically solid. The reader will profit much from meditating with this text.
James Puglisi, SA
The commentary is clear and detailed, building careful links to the culture in which the `letter' was written and to the Old Testament. . . . a valuable resource for individuals and groups interested in learning more about Scripture and its implications for today's Christians.