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Hebrews 8 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

Better Ministry, Better Covenant

The point of all this now appears. We have just such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the heavenly Majesty, as a minister of the holy things and of the true Tabernacle, the one set up by God rather than by humans.

Every high priest, you see, is appointed in order to offer gifts and sacrifices, which is why this one, too, must have something to offer. If he were on earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest, since there already are priests who make offerings in accordance with the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly realities, in line with what Moses was told, when he was getting ready to construct the Tabernacle: ‘take care that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain’. Now, you see, Jesus has obtained a vastly superior ministry. In the same way, he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is established on better promises.

The Promise of a New Covenant

If the first covenant had been faultless, you see, there wouldn’t have been any reason to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says:

See, says the Lord, the days are coming,
when I will complete, with the house of Israel,
with Judah’s house, also, a covenant that’s new:
not like the one which I made with their ancestors
on the day when I reached out and took them by the hand
to lead them away from the land of Egypt.
They didn’t remain, after all, in my covenant,
and (says the Lord) I ceased to care for them.
10 This is the covenant I will establish,
after those days with the house of Israel:
my laws will I place in their minds, says the Lord,
and write on their hearts; thus I shall be God
for all of them; they’ll be my people indeed.
11 No more will they need to teach their own neighbours,
or their brothers and sisters, to know me, the Lord;
for from least unto greatest, each one shall know me,
12 For I shall be merciful to their injustices
and as for their sins, I’ll forget them for ever.

13 Thus, when it speaks of a new covenant, it puts the first one out of date. And something that is out of date, and growing old, is about to disappear.

New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

Scripture quotations from The New Testament for Everyone are copyright © Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011.

Hebrews 8 New International Version (NIV)

The High Priest of a New Covenant

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[a] But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said[b]:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
    and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.[c]

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 8:5 Exodus 25:40
  2. Hebrews 8:8 Some manuscripts may be translated fault and said to the people.
  3. Hebrews 8:12 Jer. 31:31-34
New International Version (NIV)

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