Exposition of Hebrews 12:2 -- By: Boyce Johnny Littleton

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 16:3 (Summer 1999)
Article: Exposition of Hebrews 12:2
Author: Boyce Johnny Littleton

Exposition of Hebrews 12:2

Boyce Johnny Littleton

B.A. Student
Southeastern Baptist Theological College
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

1998 Cowinner of the Baxter C. Phillips
and Wanda L. Phillips Greek Exposition Award
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina

In order to expound the meaning of Heb. 12:2 properly, one must consider the background information regarding the book as well as the broader and more immediate contexts. One would require a paper of at least equal length as the present one to discuss these issues adequately; therefore, since this is beyond the scope of this paper, a brief synopsis of the background material will be given along with a discussion of context. Other more-detailed information will be given at the appropriate locations in the exposition.

The Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written to Hellenistic Jewish Christians (possibly second-generation Christians, cf. 2:3) who had experienced (and were experiencing) persecution for their faith. The most substantiated view is that they were contemplating returning to Judaism. The superiority of Christ and the New Covenant is proven at length, and the author strongly warns his readers against apostasy in six parenetic passages (2:1–4; 3:7–4:11; 4:14–16; 5:11–6:12; 10:19–39; and 12.-1–13.-17).1

Guthrie divides this work into three main divisions: I. The Superiority of Christ and Christianity (1:1–10:18), II. Exhortations Based on Preceding Arguments (10:19–13:17), and III. Conclusion (13:18–25). Our verse falls into the second major division. The author has proven that Jesus is superior to the old revelation, angels, Moses, Joshua, and the Levitical priesthood in the first section. He goes on to exhort his readers to draw near to God and not to forsake the assembly (10:19–25), warns them against continual sinning (10:26–31), and exhorts them to remember past days (

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