Journal Article Critique

Topics: New Testament, Jesus, Ministry of Jesus Pages: 6 (1464 words) Published: July 11, 2013


McLeod, David J. “The Present Work of Christ in Hebrews.” Bibliotheca Sacra 148, (April 1991): 184-200.

THEO 510 B08-LUO (Summer 2013)

Survey of Christian

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Thomas Wehner (ID# 22593609)

June 25, 2013


Title ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------pg1



Commencement of Christ’s Present Ministry----------------------------------------------pg3

Activities of Christ’s Present Ministry -----------------------------------------------------pg4

Critical Evaluation-----------------------------------------------------------------------------pg5



David McLeod has written this journal article in large part in response to a number of writers who have charged that the present work of Christ has largely “been neglected” [1] by systematic theologians of the church today. In McLeod’s estimation such neglect would not be understood by the New Testament authors, as Christ’s present work was one of their most important themes in the New Testament. McLeod states that, “The purpose of this article is to examine the work of one of those authors, the epistle to the Hebrews, and to outline its contribution to the subject.”[2] McLeod gives three reasons for his study. First, no theme that was central to apostolic Christianity can be overlooked, second, added attention needs to be directed to earlier studies in Hebrews and finally, McLeod’s hope is that material covered in this article will aid those who teach and study the Bible to be more fully informed about the subject of the work of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Commencement of Christ’s Present Ministry

With the purpose of this article being to examine the work of the New Testament author of Hebrews intent, and outline said New Testament’s author’s work regarding the work of Christ, McLeod does so two fold. First, McLeod addresses the Commencement of Christ’s Present Ministry, and secondly the Activities of His Present Ministry. The commencement of Christ’s present ministry begins with His ascension which “is one of a series of events that marked the beginning of Christ's present ministry.”[3] With His ascension Christ entered into the sanctuary where He took up His place of honor in the holy of holies. This place of honor was at the right hand of the father, where Christ was exalted and rested from His completed work. It was at this point that Christ was installed as High Priest and given His present ministry. McLeod writes that, “The Son of God has obtained (τετυχεν) a more excellent ministry (λειτουργίας) than that of the Levitical priests who served the earthly tabernacle (8:5-6).”[4] ”The perfect tense (τέτυχεν) suggests not only that Jesus obtained this ministry in the past but also that He still possesses it”.[5] Once Christ obtained His ministry, the text in Hebrews suggests that this ministry is still in Christ’s possession and that it continues. Activities of Christ’s Present Ministry

The activities of Christ’s present ministry are six fold. As the High Priest of mankind, one of Christ’s present ministries is to stand before God and represent those who have accepted His sacrifice. Representation can be thought of in McLeod’s opinion as Christ being "in the immediate presence of God”,[6] representing “sinners on the basis of a finished sacrifice...
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