“God had for a long time been sending advance sketches of himself to his people, but now he’s given us his exact portrait” (3).
The book of Hebrews is one of the most ignored books in the New Testament, and yet with just a little effort, one can find that it offers some of the richest defenses of the faith in all of Scripture. The idea that the author (whoever he was) expedited this letter to a group of believers who, midst growing persecution, had become tempted to give up on Christianity once and for all, ought to strike a chord with every believer alive today. Who hasn’t felt “down in the dumps” about his Christian faith, due either to persecution without or sin within? For those believers who find themselves in the valleys of spiritual life, the book of Hebrews offers the exact prescription they need! N.T. Wright’s commentary is an excellent little supplement to help such people work through the text.
With a great deal of down-and-personal illustrations, Wright provides a simple yet effective guide through this often-misunderstood text, and he does so intending to provide directions for immediate application. Any thoughtful reader will be able to learn a great deal of what God is teaching through this letter, and Wright is there to prod those readers along through the passages that are book more difficult to understand.
One thing I like to check before picking up a book on Hebrews is how the writer deals with Hebrews 6:4-6 and the eternal security of a believer. Wright’s dealing with this passage and others is spot-on and faithful to the rest of Scripture: that true believers cannot and will never lose their salvation. For this reason, I do not mind recommending this book to the person who has never yet tackled the essential book of Hebrews. As far as commentaries go, this one is about as devotional as you can get, but is certainly worth reading either alongside or after your personal study through Hebrews.