The Letter to the Hebrews


Theological Book Review
“Provides a convenient summary of previous scholarship, while also advancing discussion at several crucial points.”

When I was a freshman or sophomore in college I won my first Greek New Testament in a Bible quiz by answering a question about the Letter to the Hebrews. Little did I realize at the time that, under the influence of my doctoral mentor at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Professor Mathias Rissi, Hebrews would become the focus of my dissertation and a guiding concern throughout the rest of my life. Studying Hebrews also led to a deep interest in the continuing relevance of the Old Testament. This life-long pursuit of Hebrews reached its climax in the ten years of intense study that resulted in the publication by Eerdmans in 2012 of a new commentary on Hebrews in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series (NICNT). See the picture above.

  • Click the category “Hebrews” in the list on the right side of this blog for posts that pertain to Hebrews.

For a recent publication on Hebrews see:

Gareth Lee Cockerill, “The Truthfulness and Perennial Relevance of God’s Word in the Letter to the Hebrews,” Bibliotheca Sacra 168 (April-June 2015): 190—201. To subscribe to Bibliotheca Sacra go to

ABSTRACT (This is the abstract printed in BSac on page 190 at the beginning of the article as cited above.)

“Two distinguishing characteristics of Hebrews combine to convey the author’s confidence in the truthfulness and perennial relevance of Scripture. Hebrews affirms that God speaks today through the Old Testament Scriptures, and that the exalted Son at God’s right hand is the all-sufficient Savior who is now available for the people of God. God’s speaking through the Old Testament is accurate and continues to be relevant because it is fulfilled in the always-contemporary reality of the exalted Son. This insight gives confidence for proclamation, it clarifies the relationship between Scripture’s truthfulness and effectiveness, and it hinders diluting the Scripture’s message through cultural reductionism.”

What leading scholars have said about Gareth Lee Cockerill, Hebrews (NICNT), Eerdmans, 2012.

Grant Osborne
— Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“We are living in an age of incredibly good evangelical commentaries. Gary Cockerill’s Hebrews is among the best, a first-rate work that is both readable and very deep. The centrality of rhetorical analysis and structural concerns adds a lot to the value of this work, and his insights about the use of the Old Testament in understanding the book’s message are extremely helpful. . . . Readers will gain a fine understanding of this incredibly important epistle and its place in the life of the church.”

I. Howard Marshall
— University of Aberdeen
“It is no easy task to write a replacement for the work of such a scholar as F. F. Bruce on so demanding a book as Hebrews, but Cockerill amply justifies the trust placed in him by the editor of this series. In particular the attention that Cockerill pays to the author’s use of the Old Testament and to the book’s structure takes readers beyond Bruce’s work. The exposition of the letter is profound and practical and yet so clearly presented that preachers will be particularly grateful for this volume.”

David A. deSilva
— Ashland Theological Seminary
“As in the best commentaries, this volume is more than a rehashing of scholarship; it is also a contribution to the same. Cockerill advances new proposals regarding the structure of the sermon and its author’s hermeneutics of the Jewish Scriptures. Cockerill’s Hebrews will proudly take its place alongside Attridge’s, Lane’s, and Koester’s commentaries as an essential resource.”

George H. Guthrie
— Union University
“Gary Cockerill successfully integrates a thorough immersion in contemporary research on Hebrews with exegetical insight and pastoral sensitivity. This masterfully organized, crisply written commentary pulls together Cockerill’s untiring work over the past three and a half decades. I highly recommend it.”