Hebrews 12 Exegesis


The beginning of Hebrews chapter twelve draws the lessons from what the preacher began in chapter three.[7] There the Son is faithful over God’s household. A household that has existed both past and present. Having described ‘Christ’s high priesthood in 4:14-10:18’[8], Jesus’ faithfulness has been proven. Now we see both the past in chapter eleven and the faithful High Priest in these verses being implemented to make the preacher’s strongest and most motivating appeal to an audience in desperate ‘need of endurance’ (Heb 10:36).[9] This very endurance is made possible by fixing their eyes on Jesus who endured.

The chapter ‘is framed by an inclusio formed by the Greek hortatory subjunctives’ in 12:1 and 12:28.[10] With a change in the indicative mood to exhortation (12:1, 3)[11], ‘the dominant tone of this chapter is paraenetic’[12]. There is also the ‘concomitant shift from the third person to the use of the first and second person’[13]. Despite these changes, there are clear connections between chapter eleven and chapter twelve. The ‘two sets of linking words, “attested witnesses” (11:39) with “witnesses” (12:1)…while the strong conjunction therefore (12:1) brings them into full view’[14]. Furthermore, without chapter eleven, chapter twelve’s ‘exhortatory thrust’ would lose its contextual significance.[15] Yet there is still evidence in the transition of a ‘difference between the old order and the new’[16]. The spectators are the heroes of the past and Christians are the ones in the arena. ‘The focus shifts to the present, but the value of the examples of the past is incorporated into the total picture.’[17] This amalgamation and clarification pushes the audience to Jesus as the preacher has desired to do throughout this entire sermon.

Employing the use of ‘vivid athletic imagery’[18], the preacher says run (Heb 12:1) looking to Jesus (12:2) who endured (12:3). Then returning to the ‘indicative of description’[19] he begins to develop verses 1-3 for Jesus’ followers in verse 4.[20]

Scroll down to the end for a link to the rest of the essay on the topic

The full question:

Provide and exegetical paper on Hebrews 12:1-4, 22-29.


These books are ordered from the most useful to the least used resource in my research. There are a few journal articles and websites at times as well. (scroll down to the end for my essay on the topic)

The Epistle to the Hebrews – Cockerill, Gareth Lee

The Letter to the Hebrews – O’Brien, Peter Thomas

The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Greek Text – Ellingworth, Paul

The Letter to the Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary – Guthrie, Donald

The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews – Attridge, Harold W.

Hebrews – Hagner, Donald A.

Commentary on Hebrews – Schreiner, Thomas R.

Hebrews 9-13 – Lane, William L.

Hebrews | Preaching Source Website – Allen, David

The Message of Hebrews: Christ Above All – Brown, Raymond

Exalting Jesus in Hebrews – Mohler, R. Albert

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament – Beale and Carson

Epistle  of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews and the First and Second Epistles of St Peter – Calvin, Jen

Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament – Wallace, Daniel B.

The Epistle of the Hebrews: The English Text with Introduction, Exposition and Notes – Bruce, F. F.

A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament – Metzger, Bruce M.

New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Epistle of the Hebrews – Kistemaker, Simon J.

Hebrews for Everyone – Wright, N. T.

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