From the Forward by Haddon W. Robinson in the book entitled Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today by Edward William Fudge:

“They (first readers of the letter to the Hebrews), and possibly their parents, had come to believe that Jesus was the long prophesied Messiah in the First Testament. They had become Christ Followers. No longer did they worship in the temple but instead they met in homes. They gave up the trappings of the religion of the Jews that appealed to the senses. The massive temple dwarfed other buildings in Jerusalem. Worshipers smelled the incense and heard the bells of the garments of the priest and the bleating of the animals being brought to sacrifice. At the temple a worshipper could feel the mystery. The interior of the temple grew increasingly darker with a huge curtain that guarded the sacred center. That curtain had shut God in and the people out.

Christians had traded all of that for small groups gathering in homes. No wonder some of them were tempted to go back to the old familiar forms. The author of the letter to the Hebrews faced a rhetorical challenge. ‘How do I convince my readers that what they have in Christ is infinitely better than what they have given up?'”

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