Social Justice Project #20

What does the Bible say about justice?

Part 15: The Letters: Hebrews

The Epistle to the Hebrews is unique in the Christian Scriptures in that the letter has no named author. Many names have been suggested, including Biblical figures such as Paul and Apollos, but no conclusive answer can be given. The immediate audience of the book was Jewish converts to Christianity. The book was probably written before 70 AD, the date of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.

The author uses the word justice twice, as translated in the Holman Christian Study Bible.

In the first chapter of the book, the author quotes the Psalms, specifically Psalm 45, and applies that description of God to God the Son. The throne of God the Son will last forever. His scepter, symbolizing His rule, is one of justice (Hebrews 1:8). The Greek word used here is euthytēlos, meaning straightness or uprightness. The rule of the Son will be epitomized by an honest display of justice.

Hebrews 11 is commonly called a roll call of faith. The writer notes many of the faithful figures from the Hebrew Scriptures, ones with which his hearers would be familiar. In the last eight verse of the chapter, the author summarizes the actions of the saints he had named. One of the actions of these saints was to “administer justice” (Hebrews 11:33). The author used the word dikaiosynēn, meaning equity. There is a sense of impartiality in their administration of justice.

Each of these usages is consistent with our working definition.

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