'You Are a Priest Forever'

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


Eric Mason

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.

A Teacher for All Generations (2 vols.)

Essays in Honor of James C. VanderKam


Edited by Eric F. Mason

This collection of essays honors James C. VanderKam on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday and twentieth year on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame. An international group of scholars—including peers specializing in Second Temple Judaism and Biblical Studies, colleagues past and present, and former students—offers essays that interact in various ways with ideas and themes important in VanderKam's own work. The collection is divided into five sections spanning two volumes. The first volume includes essays on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near East along with studies on Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Essays in the second volume address topics in early Judaism, Enoch traditions and Jubilees, and the New Testament and early Christianity.

Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews

A Resource for Students


Edited by Eric F. Mason and Kevin B. McCruden

Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews: A Resource for Students addresses major issues in the interpretation of this important but complex biblical text and provides an introduction to contemporary scholarship on Hebrews. With contributions from leading scholars on Hebrews and in related fields, this volume reflects the most recent trends in the study of Hebrews and is designed for classroom use by students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The various chapters emphasize the importance of interpreting Hebrews in light of its ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman contexts and address major interpretive issues, including genre, conceptual backgrounds, Hebrews’ use of Scripture and biblical themes, the theology of the letter and major theological issues in its reception, emerging interpretive approaches, and the use of the book in the history of Christian thought and worship. The contributors are Harold W. Attridge; Gabriella Gelardini; Patrick Gray; Rowan A. Greer; Craig R. Koester; Eric F. Mason; Frank J. Matera; Kevin B. McCruden; Alan C. Mitchell; David M. Moffitt; Jerome H. Neyrey, SJ; Kenneth Schenck; James W. Thompson; and Mark A. Torgerson.


Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.


Edited by Eric F. Mason, Samuel I. Thomas, Alison Schofield and Eugene Ulrich