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The Perfect Saviour

By Jonathan Griffiths
April 2013 | Review by John Crosby


Too often, valuable New Testament scholarship never finds its way to the preacher's or pastor's study because it is presented in a form that is not practically digestible in the time available for sermon preparation. The motivation for this volume is the desire to bridge the gap between the work of evangelical scholars in universities and colleges and the world of the busy preacher and Bible teacher. Specifically, it offers a theological introduction to the New Testament book of Hebrews, by way of a set of expositions of some significant themes and difficult questions, by some well-known scholars. Topics covered are: the new covenant (Peter O'Brien); the word of God (Jonathan Griffiths); the priesthood of Christ (Richard Gaffin, Jr); the tabernacle (David Gooding); warning and assurance (Thomas Schreiner); access and arrival (Peter Walker); perfection (David Peterson); and suffering (Bruce Winter). These studies are accessible to all serious students of the Bible. The contributors share the conviction that theological research is ultimately only valuable insofar as it aids the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-583-8
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: 8.99
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Book Review

The perfect Saviour — key themes in Hebrews

Edited by Jonathon Griffiths

IVP, 175 pages, £ 8.99, ISBN: 978-1-84474-538-8

Star Rating: 3


This book is not a commentary as such, but rather a treatment of eight important themes in the epistle to the Hebrews. The editor and the seven other contributors correctly view the epistle as a long exhortation written to Jewish converts. These converts are wavering in their faith and are under a strong temptation to return to Judaism.

The aim of the authors is to make the work of conservative evangelical scholars in universities and theological colleges accessible to the busy preacher and Bible teacher.

Most often, a conclusion is given at the end of each chapter which summarises the argument the writer has advanced. Footnotes relating to the work of other conservative scholars are clear and well expressed.

In the first chapter, the writer (Thomas R. Schreiner) deals with the subject of assurance and warning. He examines helpfully the difficult passage Hebrews 6:4-8 by relating it to the other warning passages in the letter.

In the final chapter, Bruce Winter describes in a moving way the difficulties of these believers. I had not fully appreciated before the demands of responding to the injunction, ‘not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together’ (Hebrews 10:25).

In the context of a totalitarian regime, the temptation to return to Judaism, which was more favourably treated by Rome, was considerable. Such privations are echoed in the sufferings of our fellow believers in countries such as Iran, North Korea and China today.

On balance, this is a good book, well worth reading, particularly for the targeted group. The authors have achieved the editorial objective of making New Testament scholarship accessible to preachers, at least within the scope of this epistle.

There is little doubt that all the contributors share the conviction that theological research is most valuable when it aids the proclamation of the glorious gospel of Christ.

John A. Crosby


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