An Outline of the Book of Hebrews

One of the most difficult tasks in studying the Epistle to the Hebrews is to outline it. A few stated reasons explain such a difficulty.

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One of the most difficult tasks in studying the Epistle to the Hebrews is to outline it. A few stated reasons explain such a difficulty. 1) The author mentions an idea in one place and returns to it many verses later. 2) The warnings often appear out of place. 3) Choosing one theme around which to structure the outline is complicated. I propose the following, brief outline as one possibility.

I. The believer’s High Priest is superior to any other kind of mediator because he is God. (1:1-2:4)

II. The believer’s High Priest is superior to any other high priest because he, though tempted, is sinless. (2:5-3:19)

III. The believer’s High Priestly ministry is superior because one may go to him prior to sinning. (4:1-16)

IV. The believer’s High Priest’s order is superior because it is the order of Melchizedek. (5:1-10, 7:1-28)

V. The believer’s High Priest’s sacrifice is superior because it atones for all sins. (8:1-10:25)

VI. The believer’s life of faith is like those who have come before. (10:26-11:39)

VII. The believer’s struggle against sin has great consequences. (12:1-29)

VIII. The believer’s faith is demonstrable. (13:1-19)

IX. Summation & closing of the letter. (13:20-25)

Chapter 4:14-16 summarizes the book: Therefore, since we have a great high priest … Jesus the Son of God…. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”