Johnson: We Can Learn To Interpret The Bible The Way The Apostles Did

The epistle to the Hebrews, our one New Testament example of apostolic preaching addressed to an established congregation, illustrates the integration of Christ-centered biblical interpretation with hearer-contoured communication and application. Its exhortation to enduring faith, expressed in the sacrifices of good deeds and generosity, is grounded in exposition of Scripture and persuasive demonstration that the Old Testament bears testimony to a new and better covenant, established by a Mediator superior even to Moses, the faithful servant. This preacher’s blunt warnings and hard-hitting admonitions never wander into moralism because his “word of exhortation” is grounded in divine grace, which has reached its “last days” expression in the incarnation, suffering, and resurrection of Jesus the Son, whereby he assumes the office of eternal high priest on behalf of his people. His elaboration of Jesus’ mediatorial roles as both Lord and Servant of the covenant, and as the prophet, priest, and king who unites God to his people in truth, reconciliation, and righteousness suggest categories of thought that point the way for our imitation of the apostles in proclaiming Christ to our contemporaries in the twenty-first century.

Dennis Johnson | Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures, ed. John J. Hughes (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007), 196–97.


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