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Hebrews 1; Hebrews 2; Hebrews 3; Hebrews 4; Hebrews 5; Hebrews 6 (Good News Translation)

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. 3 He reflects the brightness of God's glory and is the exact likeness of God's own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for the sins of all human beings, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power. 4 The Son was made greater than the angels, just as the name that God gave him is greater than theirs. 5 For God never said to any of his angels, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." Nor did God say about any angel, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son." 6 But when God was about to send his first-born Son into the world, he said, "All of God's angels must worship him." 7 But about the angels God said, "God makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire." 8 About the Son, however, God said: "Your kingdom, O God, will last forever and ever! You rule over your people with justice. 9 You love what is right and hate what is wrong. That is why God, your God, has chosen you and has given you the joy of an honor far greater than he gave to your companions." 10 He also said, "You, Lord, in the beginning created the earth, and with your own hands you made the heavens. 11 They will disappear, but you will remain; they will all wear out like clothes. 12 You will fold them up like a coat, and they will be changed like clothes. But you are always the same, and your life never ends." 13 God never said to any of his angels: "Sit here at my right side until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet." 14 What are the angels, then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by him to help those who are to receive salvation. 1 That is why we must hold on all the more firmly to the truths we have heard, so that we will not be carried away. 2 The message given to our ancestors by the angels was shown to be true, and those who did not follow it or obey it received the punishment they deserved. 3 How, then, shall we escape if we pay no attention to such a great salvation? The Lord himself first announced this salvation, and those who heard him proved to us that it is true. 4 At the same time God added his witness to theirs by performing all kinds of miracles and wonders and by distributing the gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will. 5 God has not placed the angels as rulers over the new world to come - the world of which we speak. 6 Instead, as it is said somewhere in the Scriptures: "What are human beings, O God, that you should think of them; mere human beings, that you should care for them? 7 You made them for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor, 8 and made them rulers over all things." It says that God made them "rulers over all things"; this clearly includes everything. We do not, however, see human beings ruling over all things now. 9 But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through God's grace he should die for everyone. We see him now crowned with glory and honor because of the death he suffered. 10 It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share his glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation. 11 He purifies people from their sins, and both he and those who are made pure all have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family. 12 He says to God, "I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their meeting." 13 He also says, "I will put my trust in God." And he also says, "Here I am with the children that God has given me." 14 Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, 15 and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. 16 For it is clear that it is not the angels that he helps. Instead, he helps the descendants of Abraham. 17 This means that he had to become like his people in every way, in order to be their faithful and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people's sins would be forgiven. 18 And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered. 1 My Christian friends, who also have been called by God! Think of Jesus, whom God sent to be the High Priest of the faith we profess. 2 He was faithful to God, who chose him to do this work, just as Moses was faithful in his work in God's house. 3 A man who builds a house receives more honor than the house itself. In the same way Jesus is worthy of much greater honor than Moses. 4 Every house, of course, is built by someone - and God is the one who has built all things. 5 Moses was faithful in God's house as a servant, and he spoke of the things that God would say in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son in charge of God's house. We are his house if we keep up our courage and our confidence in what we hope for. 7 So then, as the Holy Spirit says, "If you hear God's voice today, 8 do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God, as they were that day in the desert when they put him to the test. 9 There they put me to the test and tried me, says God, although they had seen what I did for forty years. 10 And so I was angry with those people and said, "They are always disloyal and refuse to obey my commands.' 11 I was angry and made a solemn promise: "They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!' " 12 My friends, be careful that none of you have a heart so evil and unbelieving that you will turn away from the living God. 13 Instead, in order that none of you be deceived by sin and become stubborn, you must help one another every day, as long as the word "Today" in the scripture applies to us. 14 For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning. 15 This is what the scripture says: "If you hear God's voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God." 16 Who were the people who heard God's voice and rebelled against him? All those who were led out of Egypt by Moses. 17 With whom was God angry for forty years? With the people who sinned, who fell down dead in the desert. 18 When God made his solemn promise, "They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest" - of whom was he speaking? Of those who rebelled. 19 We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe. 1 Now, God has offered us the promise that we may receive that rest he spoke about. Let us take care, then, that none of you will be found to have failed to receive that promised rest. 2 For we have heard the Good News, just as they did. They heard the message, but it did them no good, because when they heard it, they did not accept it with faith. 3 We who believe, then, do receive that rest which God promised. It is just as he said, "I was angry and made a solemn promise: "They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!' " He said this even though his work had been finished from the time he created the world. 4 For somewhere in the Scriptures this is said about the seventh day: "God rested on the seventh day from all his work." 5 This same matter is spoken of again: "They will never enter that land where I would have given them rest." 6 Those who first heard the Good News did not receive that rest, because they did not believe. There are, then, others who are allowed to receive it. 7 This is shown by the fact that God sets another day, which is called "Today." Many years later he spoke of it through David in the scripture already quoted: "If you hear God's voice today, do not be stubborn." 8 If Joshua had given the people the rest that God had promised, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 As it is, however, there still remains for God's people a rest like God's resting on the seventh day. 10 For those who receive that rest which God promised will rest from their own work, just as God rested from his. 11 Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith. 12 The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart. 13 There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves. 14 Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God - Jesus, the Son of God. 15 Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. 16 Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. 1 Every high priest is chosen from his fellow-men and appointed to serve God on their behalf, to offer sacrifices and offerings for sins. 2 Since he himself is weak in many ways, he is able to be gentle with those who are ignorant and make mistakes. 3 And because he is himself weak, he must offer sacrifices not only for the sins of the people but also for his own sins. 4 No one chooses for himself the honor of being a high priest. It is only by God's call that a man is made a high priest - just as Aaron was. 5 In the same way, Christ did not take upon himself the honor of being a high priest. Instead, God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." 6 He also said in another place, "You will be a priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek." 7 In his life on earth Jesus made his prayers and requests with loud cries and tears to God, who could save him from death. Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him. 8 But even though he was God's Son, he learned through his sufferings to be obedient. 9 When he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him, 10 and God declared him to be high priest, in the priestly order of Melchizedek. 11 There is much we have to say about this matter, but it is hard to explain to you, because you are so slow to understand. 12 There has been enough time for you to be teachers - yet you still need someone to teach you the first lessons of God's message. Instead of eating solid food, you still have to drink milk. 13 Anyone who has to drink milk is still a child, without any experience in the matter of right and wrong. 14 Solid food, on the other hand, is for adults, who through practice are able to distinguish between good and evil. 1 Let us go forward, then, to mature teaching and leave behind us the first lessons of the Christian message. We should not lay again the foundation of turning away from useless works and believing in God; 2 of the teaching about baptisms and the laying on of hands; of the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment. 3 Let us go forward! And this is what we will do, if God allows. 4 For how can those who abandon their faith be brought back to repent again? They were once in God's light; they tasted heaven's gift and received their share of the Holy Spirit; 5 they knew from experience that God's word is good, and they had felt the powers of the coming age. 6 And then they abandoned their faith! It is impossible to bring them back to repent again, because they are again crucifying the Son of God and exposing him to public shame. 7 God blesses the soil which drinks in the rain that often falls on it and which grows plants that are useful to those for whom it is cultivated. 8 But if it grows thorns and weeds, it is worth nothing; it is in danger of being cursed by God and will be destroyed by fire. 9 But even if we speak like this, dear friends, we feel sure about you. We know that you have the better blessings that belong to your salvation. 10 God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to other Christians. 11 Our great desire is that each of you keep up your eagerness to the end, so that the things you hope for will come true. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to be like those who believe and are patient, and so receive what God has promised. 13 When God made his promise to Abraham, he made a vow to do what he had promised. Since there was no one greater than himself, he used his own name when he made his vow. 14 He said, "I promise you that I will bless you and give you many descendants." 15 Abraham was patient, and so he received what God had promised. 16 When we make a vow, we use the name of someone greater than ourselves, and the vow settles all arguments. 17 To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise. 18 There are these two things, then, that cannot change and about which God cannot lie. So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary. 20 On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a high priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
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