The Connection Between Stephen and the Book of Hebrews

25 Aug

There are quite a few parallels between Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 and the book of Hebrews. Both Stephen’s speech and Hebrews focus quite a bit on Israel’s history, especially in terms of Israel’s disobedience to God. Stephen and the book of Hebrews both focus on Moses as an example of faith. Both focus on the wilderness generation. There is a parallel between Stephen’s words on the temple and the book of Hebrews (Acts 7:47-50; Heb. 9:25).

Luke Timothy Johnson points out, “Both refer to the angelic mediation of the law (Acts 7:53; Heb. 2:2), the ‘living’ word of God (Acts 7:38; Heb. 4:12-13), ‘rest’ in the promised land (Acts 7:45,49; Heb. 4:3), and the command in Exodus 25:40 about making everything according to the pattern shown to Moses (Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:5). These similarities, along with some differences, do not suggest that Hebrews is an outgrowth of Hellenistic theology, rather, it presupposes familiarity with common Christian teachings.”

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