The Four Gospels have a higher authority than the Old Testament.

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. (New American Standard)

The Two Testaments

These verses contrast the two testaments:

What God spoke long ago in the prophets represents the Old Testament.

Son of manWhat God spoke in these last days in His Son refers to the New Testament, or perhaps more accurately, the Four Gospels.

The writer is saying with this contrast that the Four Gospels have a much higher authority because God spoke it in His Own Son, who is the heir of all things, through whom also He made the world and who still upholds all things (Hebrews 1:2-3).

Hebrews frequently quotes the Old Testament.  It uses the Old Testament to show that the Four Gospels have a much higher authority.  For this reason, the writer starts in Hebrews 1:1 by affirming the Old Testament as the Word of God.

New TestamentSome Bible interpretations effectively classify the Four Gospels as part of the Old Testament, while the New Testament letters are used as the basis for Christianity.  But Hebrews tells us that the four gospels are the foundation of the New Testament.


God Spoke

In these verses it is God that spoke; not the prophets and not His Son.

We should be amazed that the infinite and eternal God should speak to man; a speck of dust floating in the unending expanse of the universe.  But this reflects His love for man; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

God exists outside the limits of space, time, and matter. If God had not spoken, we would have known anything about Him, and we would have floating around in this immeasurable universe without hope. But God has spoken, and we, therefore, do have hope.

The fathers include Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are also the spiritual fathers of Gentile Christian believers (Rom 4:16; Gal 3:29).

Last Days

Last DaysThe phrase last days is commonly understood as meaning ‘recently’.  However, Jesus said, His disciples believed and the entire New Testament—including Hebrews (Heb 9:26; 10:25, 36-37)—teach that the Lord is coming soon. The phrase “these last days” therefore indicates the writer’s belief that his generation was to be the last generation before Christ’s return. Please see Why did He Not Return in the First Century as He promised?

His Son

Even though Hebrews 1:2 says that God “has spoken to us in His Son”, the writer and his readers had not actually heard Jesus (Heb 2:3). They were second-generation Christians. Hebrews was written more than 30 years after Christ’s death.

The title “His Son” (Heb 1:2) signifies His unique relationship to God, just like the title “Son of man” designates His relationship to man.

Jesus as babyGod created everything through His Son (Heb 1:2). His Son therefore always existed. To become a human being, His Son emptied Himself of glory, power, and even wisdom. He became a helpless human baby, had to develop like any other human being, and was utterly dependent on God.

The most wonderful event ever in the existence of mankind is that the Son of God should have come from heaven to teach mankind. But equally amazing is how few listened to Him when He was on the earth, and how few still regard Him today.


This letter to the Hebrews does not have an introduction as we would find in other letters. In Hebrews, the first three verses serve as an introduction, but also immediately confront the reader with the main theme of this epistle, which is the superiority of Christ, and therefore the higher authority of His message.

This is a summary.
To read the full article, see God Spoke.

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