Jim West, http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com/, posted yesterday a link to the most recent issue of SBL. In looking at the prior issues, I noticed two articles of interest to me that I will be reading more closely this weekend.
One, Brotherly Love and the High priest Christology of Hebrews, in the 2003 summer issue, http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/JBL/JBL1222.pdf, by Patrick Gray deserves a brief comment. The focus of the article is upon this verse: “He therefore had to become like his brothers in every respect so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in God’s service.” Gray concludes his article stating, inter alia, “Hebrews weaves together a wide range of concepts related to the role of brothers in the Hellenistic world—inheritance, affection, trustworthiness, sympathy, moral uprightness, accountability, guardianship—to develop the image of Jesus as high priest.” Gray then asks, “What originally inspired the author to merge these two disparate roles to make sense of the Christ-event?”
Both James, brother of Jesus, and John, the beloved, had close attachments to the Temple and John, according to Eusebius, even wore the vestments of the High Priest. Perhaps, the unknown author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, whom I consider to be Luke, was looking to the extended family of Jesus rather than the Hellenistic world to develop his image of the high priest when he wrote his epistle.