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, (1940-2014), was 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.
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