Book Review: Types in Hebrews by Robert Anderson

“Types in Hebrews” left me wanting for clarity. I greatly respect a man who wrote during the 1800s and left a significant mark on Christendom, especially in the book of Hebrews, but I had difficulty reading cultural old English. My inadequacy.

Anderson begins by explaining that Paul the apostle is the author of Hebrews and that others agree, but then he also argues that positions held against Paul give no evidence that would dissuade his view without a great deal of evidence.

He begins to talk about the inspiration of the Old Testament as related to Hebrews and begins to describe “types.” For example, the priesthood from the Old Testament culminated in Jesus Christ in the New Testament, specifically in Hebrews. He emphasized how Jesus Christ is the great High Priest. He continued to discuss aspects of Jesus’ work from Hebrews and that Jesus is Christianity.

Jesus is Priest over all according to the order of Melchizedek. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane a prayer that would have brought legions of angels to His aid if He wanted. He represented man before His Father in Gethsemane before the cross and Hebrews presents Him as the tabernacle not the temple. His body was broken for us, but Anderson’s arguments seem weak regarding favoring the tabernacle over the temple. The first tabernacle was the place of service of sacrificing priests and that the way into the holiest was open.

Correctly, Anderson interprets the Jewish Christians were turning back to Judaism and Hebrews warns them not to return, but press on in Christianity.

He highlights chapter 11 is  significant as far as the patriarchs and the heroes of faith. Interestingly, Anderson points out David and Samuel are overshadowed by Rahab the harlot, which revealed Divine authorship, because no Jew would have given her as much space or credence.

Anderson noted that chapter 13 is a letter of few words, probably the most like any epistle describing the heavenly realities. The author wanted the Jewish audience to understand they were Divine partakers of the heavenly calling. The glories of the national calls were but types and shadows to which Jesus made full provision.

The author of Hebrews wrote during an age of persecution and Anderson partially wrote in confronting Romanism. The many appendices describe issues Anderson was facing in England in the 1800s. For example, Christendom related to Roman theology. His appendix on the doctrine of the blood was helpful to clarify the blood was symbolic, not a material reality that had to be put back into Emmanuel’s veins in resurrection body.  Again, an argument against Roman Theology. Additionally, the parousia, or the “appearance” is the return of Jesus as Lord and finally the visible church is described in baptism and communion in the Reformation. The old English style writing makes it difficult to understand, but there are principles interspersed that held my attention.

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