The following outline of Hebrews is a work in progress. As I publish studies of the epistle, I intend to update the outline, until all the epistle's arguments and OT references are represented.
As you use the outline, keep in mind that two covenants, Moses and Christ's, are being contrasted throughout. The ultimate covenant that fulfills all promises has been established in and through Jesus Christ. My prayer is that through these studies your appreciation of the inheritance that now belongs to God's people by faith will be substantially enhanced.
First Pericope: The Ultimate Word of God, 1:1-4
- God of the Fathers (a particular people)
- The ultimate revelation in the Son
1. Logos and Wisdom
2. Glory and Image
- Purification and Enthronement
- As an heir who has received his inheritance, he occupies the superior state his title signifies.
First Pericope Continued: The Superiority of the Son over the Angels, 1:5-14
- By his unique title of “Son” (Ps. 2:7; 2 Sam. 7:14)
- The subservience of the angels
1. They are commanded to worship him (Ps. 97:7; Cf. Lk. 2:8-20).
2. They are his ministers (Ps. 104:4; Cf. Gal. 4:1-7 servitude vs. sonship).
- The exaltation of the Son over all things
1. As God (Elohim) he has been ordained to a higher throne (Ps. 45:6ff.)
2. As Lord he is eternal, while all creation (including the angelic beings) is finite (Ps. 102:25-27).
3. To a position of equality with the Father (Ps. 110:1).
- The angels are ministers on behalf of those destined to receive the inheritance
First Exhortation: Do not neglect the great salvation, 2:1-4
- A covenant greater than the old covenant of Sinai.
- The covenant announced (by Christ) and confirmed (by the Apostles)
- The Testimony of God (signs, wonders, miracles, & gifts of the Spirit)
Second Pericope: The Necessity of the Incarnation, 2:5-3:6
- To achieve man's original created purpose (2:5-2:9)
- For solidarity with the redeemed family (2:10-14)
- To receive the inheritance of Sonship (3:1-6)
Second Exhortation: Do not harden your hearts like the Israelites
in the wilderness, 3:7-19
- “Today” (vv. 7,13)
- The “Rest”
- Disobedience and Unbelief
Third Pericope: The Present Reality of the Sabbath-Rest, 4:1-5:10
- The promise of the original Sabbath, 4:1-5
- Joshua unable to achieve it, 4:6-13
- Jesus has entered the rest as High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek, 4:14-5:10
Third Exhortation: Move on to full maturity in the faith, 5:11-6:12
Fourth Pericope: The Order of Melchizedek Contrasted with that of Aaron, 6:13-7:28
- The Foundation of the order: two things that cannot change
1. God’s promise
2. God’s oath
- Abraham’s Tithe
- The oath that effected a new and better priesthood
- The indestructible Life of Christ
Fourth Pericope Continued: A Better Covenant Founded on Better Promises, 8:1-13
Fourth Pericope Continued: The Transcendence of the New Cult, 9:1-10:18
- The Old Sanctuary and its Sacrifice
- The Effectual Sacrifice of the New Covenant
- The Blood and the Life of Obedience
Fourth Exhortation: Enter into the holy sanctuary by virtue of Christ and do not shrink back under threat of persecution, 10:19-39
Fifth Pericope: The Coming of Faith, 11:1-40
- Faith’s fundamental importance
- The Holy City
- The Inheritance Postponed
Fifth Exhortation: Endure to inherit the blessing, 12:1-29
- The Discipline of the Loving Father
- The Heavenly Mount Zion
Final Exhortations, 13:1-21
Closing Remarks, 13:22-25