Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The Epistle to the Hebrews has been noted as one of the most intricate documents of the New Testament. The author artistically employs a multiplicity of well-known images and ideas which resonate with his audience while simultaneously exemplifying Christ as the paragon of these images. The author of Hebrews presents a portrait of Christ that places him in relation to other figures known to his audience and uses figures to convey his intricate Christology. This dissertation investigates how the author of Hebrews places Christ in the context of Greco-Roman heroic references to portray Christ's superiority over all other heroes.

Chapter one includes the literature review and discusses the major archetypes that scholars have proposed as potential backgrounds to the imagery in Hebrews. Chapter two establishes characteristics for discussing heroic references and language, and introduces the legendary and philosophic portrayals of Heracles--one of the most popular and prevalent Hellenistic heroes of all time. Chapter three examines Hebrews 2 and 11-12 as the main passages where the author of Hebrews portrays Christ as a hero. Chapter four places traditions about Christ present in the New Testament (excluding Hebrews) and the Hellenistic traditions of Heracles within the heroic paradigm. Chapter five concludes the study with a presentation of heroic portrayal of Christ in the epistle to the Hebrews.

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Creative Commons License
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