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1 Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The writing commonly known as the "Epistle to the Hebrews" is every bit as mysterious as the Melchizedek figure it describes as "without father, without mother, without genealogy". Scholars approach the Christology of Hebrews with a variety of methodologies. Perhaps the most common approach is what may be termed the descriptive approach. Scholars using the traditionsgeschichtliche approach frequently claim to detect traces of testimonia/florilegia, confessions, and/or hymns underlying important christological passages in Hebrews. Religionsgeschichtliche approaches have sought to identify the religious background that influenced the thought world of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews has long been recognized as one of the most rhetorically skilled documents in the New Testament. Recently, Michael Martin and Jason Whitlark have offered a fascinating analysis of the structure of Hebrews based on the encomiastic topics of synkrisis.

Keywords: Christology; Hebrews; Melchizedek figure; Religionsgeschichtliche approaches; synkrisis; traditionsgeschichtliche approach

10.1163/9789004264458_002
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