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Spiritually Speaking Conflict and context in first-century christology – and Knedler on being concise

 

October 25, 2019



Many of you remember Dr. Mike Knedler. He was a great asset to NWOSU for more than three decades. He then lost his mind and moved to Edmond. There’s just no telling what some people will do.

During his tenure as head of the humanities department, Dr. Knedler had the joy-filled responsibility of guiding me into greater usefulness in my role as an adjunct (a role now handled with equal style and grace by Dr. James Bell). On one occasion, I asked Dr. Knedler if I could teach an “off-catalog” course from the New Testament letter of “Hebrews.” When he answered in the affirmative, I set about the task of coming up with a suitable course title.

After great deliberation, I came up with four possibilities I thought might be suitable for such a great undertaking: “Jesus and the Old Testament,” “Judeo Christian Conflict in the First Century Church,” “Traditional Jewish Thought in Light of the Gospel,” and, my absolute favorite, “A Cross Cultural Comparison of Judeo Christian Faith Issues in the Context of First Century Christology and Messianic Claims.” Dr Knedler replied to my missive with, “Let’s call it the Book of Hebrews.” There’s just no telling what some people will do.

As you might gather from the above list of prospective titles, the letter to the Hebrews is chock full of comparisons between the Old Testament and Jesus, the ultimate fulfillment of all it contains. The author (more on them, next week) sets out to make one important point from a myriad of angles. Once you’ve come to know Jesus, the Messiah, you have no further need of those things that led to, pointed toward, indicated that the most perfect messenger, High Priest, sacrifice and savior was coming.

I hope you are looking forward, as much as I am, to this series of articles from this Christ-centered first-century missive. We’ll be taking small bites and chewing them well, so if we go too slowly for your taste, feel free to leave the commentary behind and go read the text. I won’t be offended in the least and, Lord willing, will be here when you get back.

See you Sunday.

 

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