Hebrews, Revelation and the Jewish Scriptures


Dr Catherine Playoust
Not Offered in 2020

This unit will explore two books of the New Testament from the late first century CE: the so-called Letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse). It will examine the context, structure and theology of these works from a historical-critical perspective, with some attention also to other ways in which they have been interpreted. There will be a particular focus on how these two texts engage with the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament); to this end, the unit will examine ways in which the Scriptures were interpreted and appropriated in Judaism and emerging Christianity during this period, as well as methods of identifying and studying such uses of the Scriptures.


BS8001C andBS8002C or equivalent

Prohibited Combination

any unit that is substantially on Hebrews and/or Revelation


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • two 3,500-word essays 2 x 50%
or (with lecturer’s approval)
  • one 1,000-word report (essay proposal, plus annotated bibliography) 15%
  • one 6,000-word essay 85% 

Set Texts Recommended for Purchase

  • Attridge, Harold W. The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Edited by Helmut Koester. Hermeneia. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989.
  • Blount, Brian K. Revelation: A Commentary. New Testament Library. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009.


  • Aune, David E. Revelation. World Bible Commentary 52A–C. Dallas: Word Books, 1997–98.
  • Beale, Gregory K., and D. A. Carson, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MN: Baker Academic, 2007.
  • Collins, Adela Y. Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984.
  • Gelardini, Gabriella, ed. Hebrews: Contemporary Methods—New Insights. Biblical Interpretation Series 75. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.
  • Howard-Brook, Wes, and Anthony Gwyther. Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now. Bible and Liberation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999.
  • Koester, Craig R. Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible 36. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
  • Kugel, James L., and Rowan A. Greer. Early Biblical Interpretation. Library of Early Christianity 3. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986.
  • Vanhoye, Albert. A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews. Translated by Leo Arnold. Rhetorica Semitica. Miami: Convivium, 2011.