Agamben cites Rudolf Sohm ( Opus Dei: An Archaeology of Duty , 9), who argued that “the primitive church [was] a charismatic community, within which no properly juridical organization was possible.” There was no “legal power to rule” but instead “the organization of . . . . Continue Reading »

Before the ark

Hebrews 9:4 makes the strange claim that the golden altar of incense was part of the equipment of the Most Holy Place, the “second sanctuary” beyond the “second veil.” This seems to directly contradict the Torah, which says that Moses put the altar in front of the veil . . . . Continue Reading »

Trampling Blood

Hebrews 10:29 warns about those who tread underfoot the Son of God and count the blood of the covenant “wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing.” This clearly presents a problem for Owen’s argument for definite atonement in The Death of Death in the Death of Christ . If . . . . Continue Reading »

Raised to Song

After beginning with the lament “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Psalm 22 turns to thanksgiving and praise: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren” (v. 22). In his study of Hebrews 2:12 ( Proclamation and Praise: Hebrews 2:12 and the Christology of Worship ), . . . . Continue Reading »


Did Jesus make atonement on the cross? Not exactly, says David Moffitt in Atonement and the Logic of Resurrection in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Supplements to Novum Testamentum) . According to the reviewer in Review of Biblical Literature, Moffitt appeals to the atonement rites of the Old . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacrifice of praise

When Hebrews 13:15 exhorts believers to offer a continuous sacrifice of praise to God, we naturally think of a continuous offering of verbal or sung praise. That is how the verse ends: “the fruit of lips that confess His name.” The sacrifice of praise is verbal, but I suspect that . . . . Continue Reading »