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Student Edition

Produced under the auspices of the
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Office of Education
Published by
Pacific Press· Publishing Association
Nampa, Idaho
Copyright © 1999
by North American Division Office of Education
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Si lver Spring, MD 20904

Your Religion Class
The CROSSROADS SERIES
Logo of the CROSSROADS SERIES
Goal of the CROSSROADS SERIES
Units of Study for Grades 11 , 12
Versions of the Holy Bible Used in the CROSSROADS SERIES
Memorization of Scripture

Hebrews
Lesson 1

A Preview of Hebrews

Lesson 2

Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in the Old Testament

Lesson 3

Sanctuary in the Old Testament

Lesson 4

Something Better

Lesson 5

Jesus-A Better Name

Lesson 6

Jesus-A Better Rest

Lesson 7

Jesus-A Better Priest

Lesson 8

Jesus and a Better Priesthood

Lesson 9

Jesus and a Better Covenant

Lesson 10

Jesus-A Better Sacrifice

Lesson 11

Jesus and a Better Country

Lesson 12

Jesus and a Better Mountain

Lesson 13

Jesus and a Better Life

Lesson 14

Jesus-The Best!

Acknowledgments and Thanks

Your Reliqion Class
This section provides you with some general inform ation about the CROSSROADS
SERIES and your religion class.

THE CROSSROADS SERIES
The CROSSROADS SER IES contains the reli gion curricu lum for Seventh-day
Adventist secondary sch oo ls, grades 9-12. This textbook is a part of the series.

LOGO OF THE CROSSROADS SERIES
The logo of the CROSSROADS SERIES symbolizes the und erlying
" 5
theme of the series- that the Cross of Jesus Chri st is at th e very <) to
s ~.p
center of the Ch ristian fa ith. God's revelation of Himself in the :: " " I/ ~ ~
Cross reveals the only sacri fice for sin and th e ultimate signifi- ... ~IX~
cance of life to each person and to every nation. Thus the Cross o~ . -- ",
sta nds as the decisive moment of truth for all humankind
,)
through all ages. The logo, in symbolic form , portrays the central ity
of the Cross with all paths (roads) of human experi ence and perso nal
decisions leading to and from it.

..

4

GOAL OF THE CROSSROADS SERIES
The goa l of the CROSSROADS SERI ES is to lead young people to the loving and
redeeming God of Scripture. His se lf-revelation has its focus and fu lfillmen t in the
life, death, resurrection, and in tercession of Jesus Christ, whose substitutionary
death on the cross is the sale basis of Christian assurance. With Christ as Savior
and Lord, each believer is enabled, through the Holy Spi rit, to experience a life of
worship, growth, and service, and to proclaim and stand ready for His return.

UNITS OF STUDY-GRADES 11 , 12
Th ere are ten units of stud y that compri se th e Religion curri culum fo r grades
11, 12. Each unit is publish ed in a sepa rate textbook. Th e u nits of study
(textboo ks) are:
Daniel a nd Revelatio n
Beli efs
Friendshi ps
Romans
Choices a nd C hallenges
Hebrews
Marriage and Fa mily
Wo rld vi ews a nd Rel igion
Life Phil osophy and Mora l Iss ues
John

VERSIONS OF THE HOLY BIBLE USED IN THE CROSSROADS SERIES
The NEW INTERNATIONAL VERS ION, referred to as NIV, is used as t he primary
version of Scripture fo r the Anchor Text, scriptural references quoted in the na rrative section of th e lesson , and answers to Bib le Sea rch activities a nd Practica l Appl ication. Oth er versions of Scripture have a lso been used when the pa rticula r version
enriches the m ea ning of a given reference.

MEMORIZATION OF SCRIPTURE
Each lesson conta in s a verse labeled Ancho r Text. Som e o r all of th ese ve rses wi ll
be assigned to memorize. Th e content of the references sho uld first be unde rstood,
both as to th eir m ea nin g and t heir applicatio n to yo ur life.

5

111~ illlllu~~lIlle luf' In~l\i[lllal) I[l Iparn \\11011l1l~!] 1I111l~ IIWi] all'[~a~!] Kllfm,

A Preview of Hebrews
Lesson Setting
When you think about reading the Bible for devotion and spiritual growth,
what are the first books that come to mind? What are yonr favorite books of
the Bible? Was Hebrews in your answer to either of these questions? Probably
not_ Hebrews isn't an easy book_There are several reasons for that, but perhaps
the most important is that all its talk about sacrifices, sanctuaries, and priests
doesn't seem to have much to do with our weekly visit to church for worship,
or any other I)art of our spiritual lives, for that matter. Nor are there many
stories in Hebrews. We like stories because we can usually relate them to everyday life more easily than we can essays, especially fairly heavy theological
essays. Hebrews is like a long sermon without stories.
Yet if you understand the background that would have been familiar to the
first readers, it is a book with lots of illustrations and analogies. It also contains a lot of practical advice. Although Hebrews isn't the easiest book to get
into, if you make the effort to understand and involve yourself in its world,
there are rich rewards. And the richest of these is the wonderful portrait of
Jesns it presents. No other book gives more reason for assurance and confidence
in Jesus than Hebrews does. So let's begin with a preview to get a glimpse of
what is coming.

6 -Bible Search
1. Read the beginning and ending verses
of Hebrews (1:1 -4 and 13:22-25) and
answer the following questions:
A. What does the book say about its
author?
B. What person had recently been set
free, according to the author?
C. The auth or sends greetin gs from
people of what country?
2. One of Hebrews' th emes is th e superio rity of Jesus. Look at the following
passages and tell either to whom o r in
wha t way Jesus is superior.
A. 1:4
B. 3:3

C. 7:23-25

0. 8:6
E. 9:24
3. What do you learn from each of the
following passages about the spiritual
condition or ge neral circumstances of
the Hebrews?
A. 2: 1
B. 3: 12
C. 5:11
D. 10:24,25
E. 10:32-35
F. 12: 1
G. 12:3, 4
H. 12: 12
4. Write a brief paragraph that character-

izes the Hebrews from what you
lea rned in question 3.
5. What names or titles for jesus do you
find in the following verses?
A. 2:10
B. 3:1
C. 4:14
D. 12:2
6. What does each of the fo llowing verses
tell you about jesus' ability to relate to
us in a sympathetic way?
A. 2:11
B. 2:17

C. 4:15
B

D. 11:16

7. Look at Hebrews 4:1 5 and 10:19. These
mark the beginning and ending of the
primary discussion of the sanctuary in
Hebrews. What theme is emphasized in
these two verses?
What Hebrews Says About Itself
Hebrews, unlike many of the letters in the
New Testament, tells us very little abou t
itself. When you read Romans, for instance,
by the time you have finished the book, you
know that Paul was the author, that the letter was written to the church at Rome, which
met in several different homes, that Paul was
in Corinth when he wrote, that a scribe
named Tertius wrote the letter as Paul dictated it, and that a woman named Phoebe
carried the letter from Corinth to Rome. We
even know within a two- or three-year period
when the letter was written.
Hebrews, however, tells us almost nothing about itself. There is no sta ndard greeting at the beginning that gives us the name

of the author and to whom the book was
written. In fact, nowhere does the book say
who wrote it, when it was written, or to
whom it was written.
This means that in o rder to discover
much of anyt hi ng about the historical background of the book of Hebrews, we have to
do a bit of detective work. 1 have to admit
I'm not always very good at playing detective. My wife is much better. For example,
very few times in thirty-four years of marriage have I surprised her with a gift. She
always figures out what it is before she
opens it. I, on the other hand, am always
surprised. I guess I' m just not that observant. One time my secretary moved all the
furniture around in her office outside mine,
and 1 walked through and didn't even
notice. just the other day I walked into an
offi ce and commented that it had been
newly remodeled. The receptionist said,
"That happened over a year ago. You've
been in dozens of times since." My wife
tells me that her superior powers of observation come from reading Sherlock Holmes
stories when she was growi ng up. Wherever
she got it, I find her ability to play detective
and guess what she's getting for Christmas,
birthdays, Mother's Day, etc., frustrating.
But let's try doing some detective work
on Hebrews. The greeting at the very end
gives us about the onl y two clues we have
regarding the historica l background of the
book. Hebrews 13:23 tells liS that Timothy
was a fellow worker of the author and was
presumably known to the readers. The next
verse sends greetings to the readers from
"those from Italy."

These two clues do help a bit. The first
one helps us set the parameters of time
within which Hebrews must have been writ·
ten. If Timothy was ministering, the book
had to be written in th e first century, when
he lived. Timothy began working with Paul
when the former was a young man and Paul
was beginning his second missionary jour·
ney (see Acts 16) . This wou ld have been
around A.D. 50. Timothy could have lived as
long as the end of the first century. We
know that one of the ea rl y church fathers,
Clement of Rome, in a letter that he wrote
to Corinth in A.D. 96, quoted from
Hebrews. Therefore, the book must have
been written between the sixties (the first
occasion when Timothy might have been
imprisoned) and the nineties of the first
century.
Scholars differ over whether the contents
of th e book point to a tim e before or after
the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was
destroyed in A. D. 70. This seems uncerta in,
for Hebrews doesn't rea ll y talk about the
first·century temple but rather abo ut the
tabernacle in the wilderness when the chil·
dren of Israel left Egypt. Of course, if Paul
was the author, Hebrews had to be written
before his death in the midsixties.
The second clue says something about
place, but no one is sure what it says! The
autho r sends greetings from "those from
Italy." This could mea n one of two things.
Either the author was in Italy and was talk·
ing about the people around h im who sent
greetings, or the author was writing to peo·
pie in Italy and was acknowledging the fact
that some of their fellow citizens were with

him and we re sending their greetings back
home.
For exa mple, I live in Walla Walla, Was h·
ington. If I were writing from Walla Walla
to Ca li forn ia, I might say, "The folks from
Walla Walla greet you." But if I were in
California writing to Walla Wa lla, I might
also say, "Those who are down here from
Walla Wa lla send you greetings." So all we
can say for sure is that this letter was written
either to or from Italy. The traditional view
has been that Hebrews was written to Jewish
Christians back in Pa lestine, but there is no
evidence to prove this.
9

The Original Readers of Hebrews

There are a few things we ca n say about
the ori gina l readers of Hebrews. They cer·
ta inl y had a knowledge of the Old Testa·
ment and the sacrificial system of the Jews.
This makes the ass umption that they were
Jewish Christians probable, but not certain.
The Old Testament was the on ly "Scripture"
that the early Christians had (the New Testa·
ment was still in process and had not yet
been collected as Scripture), so even Genti le
converts to Christianity were ta ught the Old
Testament, and we know that many of th em
came to understand it well . Even if the read·
ers were Jewish Christians, this doesn't
prove that the book was writte n to Palestine,
for dur ing the first century, th ree·fourth s of
all Jews lived outside of Palestine through·
out the Greco·Roman wo rld.
We do know that the readers had
accepted Ch rist and had even suffered perse·
cutio n (10:32-35) but not to the point of
death (12:3, 4). However, they were in dan·


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