For many readers the Epistle to the Hebrews is among the most difficult books of the New Testament. Korean scholar Bong Chur Shin’s work provides a welcome insight into interpretive issues for the biblical scholars. The book provides an exegetical framework which helps readers navigate the meaning of the text. Shin examines the epistle in the light of the New Testament’s ‘New Exodus’ imagery.
This book discusses the underlying themes of Hebrews. First of all, corporate deliverance, and Christ as a royal priest who (by means of his redeeming sacrifice) leads his people out of exile. He also provides for them during their pilgrimage journey. The author provides an interpretative key which helps unlock a fuller understanding of the epistle in its original context.
Dr. Shin’s exploration of the new exodus motif in Hebrews adds to works that have taken place in other portions of the New Testament, namely sections of the Gospels, Acts, the Pauline corpus, and Petrine and Johannine literature. Broadly the work is useful in considering the conceptualization of the new exodus in New Testament, and specifically in understanding how aspects of the new exodus are realized in Hebrews, including corporate deliverance through a wilderness journey, Melchizedekian and Davidic imagery applied to Christ the royal priest who leads out of exile, Paschal substitution and redemption, and pneumatic sustenance during the pilgrimage journey-all parallel to the embryonic nation’s experience out of Egypt and later as a remnant in Babylonia-Persia.
I recommend this work for serious students of biblical theology and others who seek to understand the paradigmatic underpinnings of the epistle. Readers can benefit from the volume’s contextualization of difficult sections by providing interpretive backgrounds that better explain otherwise baffling passages.
– Dr. Richard M. Cozart, Professor of Biblical Studies, CBS, Houston
Rev. Dr. Bong Chur Shin has been diligent in pursuing in depth the Old Testament roots and theology within Hebrews. He makes good use of the Hebrew and Greek languages to establish that the New Testament writers had a dominant Hebraic lens in their interpretation of the Old Testament For them, the exodus remained a prominent theme.
The author interacts extensively with contemporary scholarship yet dares to probe, question assumptions and to argue his position persuasively. For example, he establishes that the new exodus expectations highlighted by the Old Testament prophets in the second Temple of Judaism can be clearly identified in the text of the Hebrews epistle. Further, the theme of deliverance proclaimed by these Old Testament prophets is confirmed as the framework around which the new exodus Old Testament expectations are unified and expounded in the New Testament. If read carefully, this book will yield rich results for scholars, preachers and serious students of the Word. There is much more treasure within the text of Hebrews than many imagine. This book will assist you in mining that treasure and sharing it with others.
– Rev. Dr . D. Eryl Davies, MA, BD, PhD, Principal Emeritus (1985-2006) , 2006-present. Bangor University, Wales, UK.
Bong Chur Shin has provided an invaluable study of the New Exodus motif which controls the theology of the entire letter to the Hebrews. It is an essential read for any who teach or preach from this important letter because it guides the reader to see things that are otherwise missed.
– Dr Tom Holland, Senior Research Fellow, Union School of Theology, Oxford.