Hebrews, Christ, and the Law

I just received yesterday my copy of Barry Joslin’s new book Hebrews, Christ, and the Law: The Theology of the Mosaic Law in Hebrews 7:1-10:18 (Paternoster, 2008). The book comes with high recommendations. Tom Schreiner writes:

“Scholars in the last few years have focused on the Pauline view of the Law, but other parts of the New Testament have not received the same attention. . . Future studies of the Law in Hebrews will have to reckon with Joslin’s careful reading of the text.”

Gareth Cockerill is writing the new NICNT commentary on Hebrews, and he also gives Joslin’s work high marks:

“Dr. Joslin has given us a thorough, balanced discussion of this crucial topic and has made a significant contribution to New Testament theology.”

I am excited about the book’s appearance for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Joslin is a faculty member at Boyce College. I’m always proud of faculty publications. But more so than that, I am intrigued by the book’s subject matter. In short, Joslin is trying to ask and answer the question, “What is the theology of the Mosaic Law in Hebrews?”

The answer Joslin gives will be surprising to some because he does not believe that Hebrews abrogates the Law under the new covenant. According to Joslin, the New Covenant does not abrogate the Old, rather it transforms it. He writes:

“The work of Christ has transformed the law, and this transformation involves both its internalization and fulfillment in the NC [new covenant]; the law has forever been affected Christologically. . . The writer of Hebrews does not suggest that the law itself (the OC’s regulations) in toto has been abrogated” (pp. 2, 4).

I intend to write a fuller review of this book in the coming months. In the meantime, I’m posting this notice so that you theologues can go buy a copy of this very important book for yourself:

Hebrews, Christ, and the Law: The Theology of the Mosaic Law in Hebrews 7:1-10:18 (Paternoster, 2008).


  • Trish

    Denny – I am writing a paper on this topic that is due tomorrow! I need this book :-(.

    How does he define the law in his book? Is it just the 10 commandments, or does he include the priesthood and sacrificial system? How is it transformmed? So many questions! Argh, you’ve put some wrinkles in my writing plans for the day!

  • Blake White

    I am excited about this one. I read a chunk of it in dissertation form and found it insightful, although IMHO I don’t think one can separate diatheke and nomos in Hebrews like he does. I see it all as having been superceded.

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