This course will explore in depth the somewhat mysterious Epistle to the Hebrews, which combines rhetorical skill and a complex method of interpreting the Hebrew Bible in order to create a convincing “word of exhortation” for a challenged Christian community. The rich imagery of the text, depicting Christ as a heavenly high priest and mediator of a new covenant, had a long and influential history in Christian theology and practice.
Instructor: Harold Attridge is The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School and The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament. He has made scholarly contributions to New Testament exegesis and to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church. His publications include Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, First-Century Cynicism in the Epistles of Heraclitus, The Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius Josephus, and Nag Hammadi Codex I: The Jung Codex, as well as numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals. He has edited eleven books, most recently, with Margot Fassler, Psalms in Community. He has been an editorial board member of Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Harvard Theological Review, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and the Hermeneia Commentary Series. He has been active in the Society of Biblical Literature and served as president of the society in 2001.