Hebrews, Epistle to
A book in the New Testament. Paul wrote this letter to Jewish members of the Church to persuade them that significant aspects of the law of Moses had been fulfilled in Christ and that the higher gospel law of Christ had replaced it. When Paul returned to Jerusalem at the end of his third mission (about A.D. 60), he found that many Jewish members of the Church were still committed to the law of Moses (Acts 21:20). This was at least ten years after a conference of the Church at Jerusalem had determined that certain ordinances of the law of Moses were not necessary for the salvation of gentile Christians. Apparently, soon thereafter Paul wrote to the Hebrews to show them by their own scripture and by sound reason why they should no longer practice the law of Moses.
Chapters 1 and 2 explain that Jesus is greater than the angels. Chapters 3–7 compare Jesus to Moses and to the law of Moses and testify that he is greater than both. They also teach that the Melchizedek Priesthood is greater than the Aaronic. Chapters 8–9 describe how the Mosaic ordinances prepared people for Christ’s ministry and how Christ is the mediator of the new covenant (Alma 37:38–45; D&C 84:21–24). Chapter 10 is an exhortation to diligence and faithfulness. Chapter 11 is a discourse on faith. Chapter 12 gives admonitions and greetings. Chapter 13 relates the honorable nature of marriage and the importance of obedience.