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Den levitiska offerkultens funktion enligt Hebreerbrevets författare - en argumentationsanalys av Hebreerbrevet kapitel 7-10

Imberg, Johannes LU (2012) TEOM72 20121
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
Abstract
In this essay, I examine how the author of Hebrews argues in 7:1-10:18 with respect to the Levitical sacrificial cult and its function. Many scholars claim that the author disqualifies and condemns the Levitical cult as ineffective and unsuccessful at the same time as he is building his argument on the cult. This conclusion has led some to question the sustainability of his argumentation. Furthermore, it has led others to question the trustworthiness of God in Hebrews, if God can create a sacrificial cult that seems to be meaningless and then cancel it. I, on the other hand, propose the thesis that his argumentation is sustainable. In this study I have therefore examined how the author of Hebrews argues with respect to the Levitical... (More)
In this essay, I examine how the author of Hebrews argues in 7:1-10:18 with respect to the Levitical sacrificial cult and its function. Many scholars claim that the author disqualifies and condemns the Levitical cult as ineffective and unsuccessful at the same time as he is building his argument on the cult. This conclusion has led some to question the sustainability of his argumentation. Furthermore, it has led others to question the trustworthiness of God in Hebrews, if God can create a sacrificial cult that seems to be meaningless and then cancel it. I, on the other hand, propose the thesis that his argumentation is sustainable. In this study I have therefore examined how the author of Hebrews argues with respect to the Levitical sacrificial cult, and have as well been asking what function the cult had according to his argument.

In this essay I show that there is an accommodative argumentation in Hebrews. The author operates consistently with synkrisis (comparative) as a rhetorical method, using a comparison with the Levitical sacrificial cult in order to explain and praise the expiatory act of Christ. In the praise and explanation of the atoning work of Christ the author constantly describes Christ as a better and perfect priest and sacrifice. This comparison does not mean that he is polemical against the cult, nor that the Levitical sacrificial cult according to him was ineffective or a failure, only that Jesus' atoning work was better and perfect. According to Hebrews, Jesus has done so much more than the Levitical cult, his atoning work is complete; therefore nothing can be supplemented or improved.

Rather than criticizing the Levitical sacrificial cult, the author of Hebrews ascribes to it a divine origin and function. It is described as having a historical function as a vehicle for reconciliation as well as having a simile and prophetic role for Jesus' atoning work. In the Levitical cult it is possible to discern God's plan for humanity and understand the principles of sin and redemption. The new covenant with its new cult is described as a renewal, continuation and fulfilment of the first covenant with its Levitical cult. This does not mean that the first covenant was ineffective or meaningless, just that the new is better and perfect, and to that nothing can be added.

In my analysis of the argumentation in Hebrews I have therefore found that the author does not undermine his own arguments, but rather builds an argument based on continuity with and fulfilment of the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial cult. For this reason, there can be no doubt about God's trustworthiness arising from the argumentation of the Epistle to the Hebrews. (Less)
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author
Imberg, Johannes LU
supervisor
organization
course
TEOM72 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Epistle to the Hebrews, Levitical sacrificial cult, Hebr 7-10, Argumentation analysis. Levitiska offerkulten, Hebreerbrevet, Heb 7-10, Argumentationsanalys.
language
Swedish
id
2701769
date added to LUP
2012-06-05 16:34:36
date last changed
2015-12-14 13:35:27
@misc{2701769,
  abstract     = {In this essay, I examine how the author of Hebrews argues in 7:1-10:18 with respect to the Levitical sacrificial cult and its function. Many scholars claim that the author disqualifies and condemns the Levitical cult as ineffective and unsuccessful at the same time as he is building his argument on the cult. This conclusion has led some to question the sustainability of his argumentation. Furthermore, it has led others to question the trustworthiness of God in Hebrews, if God can create a sacrificial cult that seems to be meaningless and then cancel it. I, on the other hand, propose the thesis that his argumentation is sustainable. In this study I have therefore examined how the author of Hebrews argues with respect to the Levitical sacrificial cult, and have as well been asking what function the cult had according to his argument.

In this essay I show that there is an accommodative argumentation in Hebrews. The author operates consistently with synkrisis (comparative) as a rhetorical method, using a comparison with the Levitical sacrificial cult in order to explain and praise the expiatory act of Christ. In the praise and explanation of the atoning work of Christ the author constantly describes Christ as a better and perfect priest and sacrifice. This comparison does not mean that he is polemical against the cult, nor that the Levitical sacrificial cult according to him was ineffective or a failure, only that Jesus' atoning work was better and perfect. According to Hebrews, Jesus has done so much more than the Levitical cult, his atoning work is complete; therefore nothing can be supplemented or improved.

Rather than criticizing the Levitical sacrificial cult, the author of Hebrews ascribes to it a divine origin and function. It is described as having a historical function as a vehicle for reconciliation as well as having a simile and prophetic role for Jesus' atoning work. In the Levitical cult it is possible to discern God's plan for humanity and understand the principles of sin and redemption. The new covenant with its new cult is described as a renewal, continuation and fulfilment of the first covenant with its Levitical cult. This does not mean that the first covenant was ineffective or meaningless, just that the new is better and perfect, and to that nothing can be added.

In my analysis of the argumentation in Hebrews I have therefore found that the author does not undermine his own arguments, but rather builds an argument based on continuity with and fulfilment of the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial cult. For this reason, there can be no doubt about God's trustworthiness arising from the argumentation of the Epistle to the Hebrews.},
  author       = {Imberg, Johannes},
  keyword      = {Epistle to the Hebrews,Levitical sacrificial cult,Hebr 7-10,Argumentation analysis. Levitiska offerkulten,Hebreerbrevet,Heb 7-10,Argumentationsanalys.},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Den levitiska offerkultens funktion enligt Hebreerbrevets författare - en argumentationsanalys av Hebreerbrevet kapitel 7-10},
  year         = {2012},
}