Recently the book of Hebrews has come under the scrutiny of a prominent Messianic leader and has caused quite a stir within the Messianic/Torah community. This particular leader has cast doubt upon the creditability and the canonization of this book. Unfortunately, this has stemmed from what I term “Reactionary Theology.” This particular leader was publicly humiliated in a debate nearly a year ago (at which I was present), and pistol-whipped with the book of Hebrews. Since, this book was used to discredit him, instead of re-examining the book to better understand the author and be better prepared, this leader has decided that since our English translations of the book of Hebrews seems to disagree with his theology, it must not truly be a part of the canon of Scripture.
Although we should never just accept any document as authoritative without due cause and validation, when you begin to publicly question the authority of accepted Scripture, you must be 1) willing to examine the text in question with a high level of sophistication in regards to validation (i.e. being able to read in the entire text in it’s original — or at least “extant” — version), and 2) be willing to take the heat from the fallout that will inevitably result from such accusations. Unfortunately, neither has been the case in this scenario. There has been both positive and negative results from this recent set of events. I see them as follows:
-It has brought shame and a discrediting to the ministry from which these claims have been made
-It has brought reproach to the Messianic/Torah Community in the eyes of those who might have given this walk consideration
-It has brought division within the Messianic/Torah Community
-It has revealed a shallow level of understanding of Scripture among those who would be easily accept this claim, without the necessary in-depth examination of this book of Scripture
It has also brought some positive results:
-It has spurred some on to do a close, and careful examination of the book of Hebrews in order to determine if these claims were justified or not
-It has caused the Messianic/Torah Community to realize the importance of good scholarship, and the wisdom of holding one’s tongue
-It has forced us to re-examine the Scriptures with a closer diligence than previous, in order to be able to provide answers to tough questions such as these
More resources on this topic:
- Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Part 1
- Blinded to the Gospel?
- The Book of Acts and Moral Relativism
- Welcome Back, Mr. Kotter
- Final Session, Shavuot ’09