[ Hebrews Group ]


The famous and almost proverbial saying that Hebrews appears to its viewer as a melchisedekitisches Wesen ohne Stammbaum was uttered by Franz Overbeck in the year 1880, during the high noon of historicism. The missing genealogy that Overbeck lamented meant peculiarly to him a lack of historical context. This perceived “lack” was the consequence of flawed presuppositions originating in ideological frameworks, and consequently led New Testament scholarship to view Hebrews as the “enigmatic,” the “other” one, and furthermore led to the neglect of its historical context by Hebrews scholarship. Consequently, the context was judged as “irrelevant” for Hebrews interpretation. Recent scholarship on the contrary has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ context. Therefore, while maintaining the distinctiveness of Hebrews it is the aim of this Group to explore extensively and facilitate scholarly research on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic and Roman), so that Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity may be mapped in greater detail.



The “Hebrews Consultation” has been renewed as “Book of Hebrews in Context Group.” The group plans to sponsor each year two, or at most three sessions. The first session customarily contains papers by invited speakers on a specific topic. The papers of this first session—as usual for groups—will be made available to the group’s members in advance and will not be delivered in full at the session. The second session invites proposals either shaped around the same topic or any other topic concerned with the Book of Hebrews and/or its context. About every two to three years a third session will be added, either with book reviews or as joint session.

Whereas group members are given priority in attendance and participation at the first session—others may attend and participate as space and time allows—, attendance at the second and third session will be unrestricted. Application for membership in the Hebrew’s group is made through Dr. Gabriella Gelardini to the steering committee and is extended to those who agree to prepare and participate. Individuals interested in becoming members of the Hebrew’s group are invited to contact Dr. Gabriella Gelardini. The specific topics of the following years will be:

The socio-historical and cultural content and context of the Book of Hebrews

2008: Greco-Roman

2009: Jewish

The literary, philosophical, and theological content and context of the Book of Hebrews

2010: Comparative

2011: Methodological

The reception history of the Book of Hebrews

2012: In ancient, medieval, modern, and postmodern texts and culture

2013: In modern and postmodern scholarship

Dr. theol. Gabriella Gelardini

Wissenschaftliche Oberassistentin Neues Testament

Theologische Fakultät der Universität Basel
Nadelberg 10, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. ++41 (0)61 267 27 95
Fax. ++41 (0)61 267 29 02

Theologische Fakultät der Universität Basel