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Hebrews 7:11-19

06.03.2011

Full disclosure: I really liked taking the passage all at once this week instead of breaking down the references over three days.  I’ll go back to the normal schedule next week, but don’t be surprised if I come back to this way every once in a while at least.

Continuing in his role as ‘anti-Matt,’ our author lays into the old covenant and the Levitical priesthood some more.  In fact, this is one of those areas that suggests to me that Paul is not the author; although he was the apostle of grace, even Paul saw the law as holy and useful.  Our author goes so far as to call it weak and useless.

This whole passage raises some interesting questions for me.  Does our author believe:

  • That the law was always useless and disposable, clung to erroneously by stiff-necked Israel, meaning that OT believers were saved in spite of the law;
  • That the law was meant to show us that we were sinful (a la Paul), to set up the ‘punchline’, so to speak, and can now be discarded, meaning that OT believers were saved because the law led them to realize how much they needed God’s grace; or
  • That the law was always good and still is and that the Old and New Covenants can coexist with the law as an instrument of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying us?

I think the middle option is the most widely accepted view of the law.  I have, elsewhere, mused on the possibility of the last option being appropriate.  But our author here seems to be firmly espousing the first option: the law was always an outgrowth of a sham priesthood that Jesus came to expose.  This may be an extreme reading, but it sure seems like that’s what he’s arguing.  Am I allowed to disagree with an inspired author of God’s Word?

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