The theme of divine speech appears at the opening of the Hebrews (1.1-2) and recurs throughout the book, often in contexts suggesting connections to other areas of scholarly interest (christology, soteriology, cosmology, and the writer's understanding of the nature of his discourse). This study begins with a consideration of the genre and structure of Hebrews (offering a new structural outline), concluding that Hebrews constitutes the earliest extant complete Christian sermon and consists of a series of Scriptural expositions. The investigation then turns to consider Hebrews' theology of divine speech through an exegetical analysis of eight key passages. Throughout it examines the widely held (but largely untested) assumption that logos and rhema function as key terms in the author's presentation of divine speech. Analysis of the exegetical data shows that Hebrews presents God's word, which finds full expression in the incarnate Christ, as the central means by which salvation is made available and the place of divine rest is accessed.
The study finds that the terms logos and rhema are used with a high degree of consistency to signify forms of divine speech, logos usually signifying verbal revelation (and three times specifically identifying the author's own discourse) and rhema typically signifying non-verbal revelation in the cosmos. The investigation leads to the ultimate conclusion that the author believes that, through his discourse, he himself communicates that divine word and effects an encounter between his hearers and the God who speaks.
Hebrews and Divine Speech by Jonathan I. Griffiths was published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC in August 2014. The ISBN for Hebrews and Divine Speech is 9780567655523.