'You Are a Priest Forever'

Second Temple Jewish Messianism and the Priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews


Scholars have long questioned the conceptual background for the priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, with suggestions including Gnosticism, the thought of Philo of Alexandria, common themes in early Christian theology and exegesis, and the creativity of the author of Hebrews himself. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls prompted waves of enthusiasm for understanding Hebrews in that context, both in terms of the Qumran sect’s priestly messianism and understanding of Melchizedek, but claims often were excessive and the approach was discredited. The present study reevaluates the priestly Christology of Hebrews and the presentations of the messianic priest and Melchizedek in the Qumran texts, arguing that the latter do indeed provide the closest parallels to Hebrews’ thought.

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Eric F. Mason, Ph.D. (2005) in Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity (New Testament), University of Notre Dame, is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Judson University, Elgin, Illinois.
...a valuable contribution to the study of both Hebrews and Second Temple messianism.

Jane Heath, University of Durham Expository Times 126(8), 2015
All those interested in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and messianism and Melchizedek traditions in Secon d Temple Judaism.