Although the Book of Hebrews "is not exactly what most of us would regard as a user-friendly book," notes Donald Hagner, "Hebrews has always been popular among Christians." "Encountering the Book of Hebrews" was written to help students more fully appreciate the complexities of this favorite section of Scripture.
Hagner begins by exploring introductory issues (e.g., historical backgrounds, author, audience, date, purpose, structure, genre) and overarching themes (e.g., heavenly archetypes and earthly copies, the use of the Old Testament, the attitude toward Judaism). The heart of the book then offers a chapter-by-chapter exposition of Hebrews. Unlike commentaries, it does not try to be exhaustive—examining all details and answering all questions—but instead guides students to the issues that are most important for their study of this difficult book. Hagner concludes with a final look at the contribution of Hebrews to the New Testament, New Testament theology, the church, and the individual Christian.
As with other volumes in the Encountering Biblical Studies series, "Encountering the Book of Hebrews" is designed for classroom use and includes a number of helpful features, including further-reading sections, key terms, chapter objectives, and outlines along with numerous sidebars and illustrations.