Aspects of the priestly cosmology of the Letter to the Hebrews Insert name (s) Course Aspects of the priestly cosmology of the Letter to the Hebrews Introduction Throughout the epistle of Hebrews, there are numerous instances where different aspects of priestly cosmos are revealed…
There are several chapters in the book of Hebrews that are primarily devoted to the early Christians’ view of cosmos. One of the aspects of priestly cosmology in the book of Hebrews is found in the author’s description of Melchizedek priesthood which the author largely considered to be raised by eternal life and is superior to Aaron’s priesthood (Heb.7.11-19). As the Melchizedek, Jesus was believed to have the power to rescue his people from the power of evil. The role of Jesus Christ is, therefore, to restore the true temple (Barker, 2004, p. 11). Another possible aspect of priestly cosmology in the epistle is the imagery of the temple. Throughout the book, there are a number of instances where various practices in the temple such as the offering of sacrifice are described. Incarnation and resurrection are also presented as some of the ways through which human beings can become divine and move to the eternal world which is believed to be the true temple. Scholars agree that the aspects of cosmology depicted in the book of Hebrews fit well in the world of the first century. For example some of the elements of cosmology contained in the Epistle include the description of the metaphysical dualism between the natural world and the highest heaven. Scholer (1991, p.17) also concurs that the Epistle was generally meant to exalt Jesus Christ as the high priest and son of God. The contemporary view of cosmos is, however, based on the today’s astronomical understanding of the universe, rather than the on the aspects of priestly cosmology found in the Letter to the Hebrews. This paper discusses the various aspects of priestly cosmology in the Epistle of Hebrews, its comparison to the contemporary world view of cosmos and the potential insights which can be used in teaching Christianity faith. Comparison between priestly cosmology and the contemporary view of cosmos Cosmology is generally concerned with the origin, organization, structure, as well as the beauty of natural laws that ensure order in the universe. The contemporary view of cosmos is based on the today’s astronomical understanding of the universe, rather than the on the aspects of priestly cosmology found in the Letter to the Hebrews. As opposed to the first biblical view that the earth and heaven are the center of the universe, several discoveries have proven that the sun is the center of the solar system and the vast cosmos. On the other hand, the theological view of cosmos depicted in the Epistle of Hebrews is based on the belief that God is the maker of the universe and Jesus is seen and his true manifestation (Hughes, 1997, p.45). Jesus Christ is seen as the perfect son of God and is the source of salvation to humanity. The book also highlights the first century’s understanding of cosmos with regard to God controls the universe. Throughout the letter to Hebrews, Jesus is depicted as high priest, son of God; everything brings out the aspects of the beginning of the universe that is from creation to the eternal end (Bruce, 1990, p.79). Irrespective of the views attributed by individuals in the modern world, it remains clear that there is a spiritual being that ensures order in the universe and to whom we all attribute our origin from. Science alone has failed to explain this and in the context of spiritual wellbeing, this is God whom Christians put their faith ...
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