Hebrews on Melchizedek, Abraham, and the New Covenant

Dennis Johnson brings his expertise in the book of Hebrews back to Office Hours  this week as we work through Hebrews 6:13–7:10. What did God promise Abraham? What does it mean that the pastor to this Christian congregation turned to Abraham to help explain the nature of the new covenant? Who was Melchizedek, why did Abraham, the “father of all who believe” revere him, and why should we care? We tackled these questions and more.

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  1. An argument I heard against this non-prefigurment understanding of Melchizedek is that, since the theme of the book is ‘Jesus is better’, …than Angels, than Moses, than the levitical priests, etc; why isn’t it clearly stated that Jesus is better than Melchizedek? ….because He can’t be better than Himeself, they answer. How would you respond?

    • It is possible that Mechizedek was a manifestation of the Son but it isn’t certain. The writer to the Hebrews had multiple literary devices at his disposal. Comparison is one of them but not the only one. When he appeals to Melchizedek he is making an analogy. A comparison would not have served his argument as well.

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