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This commentary is illuminating and instructive for anyone seeking to understand the Epistle to the Hebrews from the perspective of the Orthodox Church. Frequent mention is made of the specific placement of selected readings from the Epistle in the Church's liturgical and sacramental celebrations, and therefore this book is particularly useful for those responsible for preaching and teaching in the Church.
Noteworthy here is the fact that readings from Hebrews are prescribed during the two most important times in the Orthodox liturgical year: the days prior to the celebration of the Nativity of Christ and the Great Fast before Pascha.
The author's exposition of Hebrews 3:13 summarizes well the purpose and pastoral tone of the whole Commentary: "exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
His Eminence Dmitri is Archbishop of Dallas and the South, of the Orthodox Church in America.
Fr. Tarazi explains how the very concept of a New Testament "scripture" came into being, beginning with Paul's letters. Paul's death then left a void in the leadership of Gentile Christianity, which was still under attack by Jewish Christianity. In order to defend the faith as it was preached by Paul, some of his followers created what is now the Gospel of Mark.
Fr. Tarazi provides essential background un the language, history, and culture of those who first wrote, used, and edited these psalms, leading to sometimes surprising new understandings of common terms such as "king," "God," "Lord," and "righteousness." Along the way he explains how and why the psalms were used in prayer, and what we can learn about prayer itself.
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