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11: A More Excellent Ministry (Heb 8:1-13)
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11: A More Excellent Ministry (Heb 8:1-13)

The Basics


In the preceding chapter, the author expounded on the priesthood of Christ in the order of Melchizedek. He demonstrated how Christ is their superior and perfect High Priest. In this chapter, we will study how Jesus’ ministry is superior to that of the earthly priests and how He is also Mediator of a better covenant.

Key Verse

“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (8:6).

Did You Know…?

1.         Tabernacle (8:2): “The Israelite tent sanctuary frequently referred to in the Hebrew Bible. It is also known as the tent of meeting (Heb ’o-hel mô‘e-d) and, occasionally, as the Tabernacle (or tent) of testimony (miskan ha‘e-dût). It is the central place of worship, the shrine that houses the ark of the covenant, and frequently it is the location of revelation. It is presented in biblical narrative as the visible sign of Yahweh’s presence among the people of Israel. More verses of the Pentateuch are devoted to it than to any other object. It contains the ark, an incense altar, a table, a seven-light candelabra, an eternal light, Aaron’s staff that miraculously blossomed (Num 17:23–26), the vessels that are used by the priests, possibly a container of manna (Exod 16: 33–34), and a scroll written by Moses (se-per hattôrâ).” 2vol6/292

2.         Mediator (8:6) “is a legal term for one who arbitrates between two parties.” 3/76

3.         Covenant (8:6) denotes an agreement, which usually includes terms and conditions. This word sometimes also carries the meaning of a will or a testament (cf. ), in which the testator initiates the agreement and lays down the terms.







Key Words/Phrases

General Analysis

1.   How does the first paragraph (1-2) serve as a summary and a transition? (To answer this question, you need to look at the larger context.)

Segment Analysis


1.         Where is our High Priest seated? What significance does this have?

2.         What is different about the tabernacle of which our High Priest is a Minister?


3.         What distinguishes Jesus from the earthly high priests in terms of what they offer (cf. ; ; )?

4.         What contrast is made in verses 4 and 5 between Jesus’ ministry and the ministry of the earthly priests?

5.         What does verse 5 imply about the duration of the earthly tabernacle?

6.         What was the better covenant based on (6)? Explain what this means.

7.         How is Christ the Mediator of the better covenant?


8.         What was lacking in the old covenant?

9a.        What promises did God make in the new covenant?

9b.        How are these promises fulfilled in Christ?

10.        Does your relationship with God still reflect some of the characteristics of the old covenant?

11.        How can you participate in the better covenant?  

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