A A A A A
Bible Book List

Hebrews 8-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Mediator of a Better Covenant

Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent[a] that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent,[b] was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But Jesus[c] has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.

God[d] finds fault with them when he says:

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah;
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
    on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach one another
    or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

13 In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

The Earthly and the Heavenly Sanctuaries

Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent[e] was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence;[f] this is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a tent[g] called the Holy of Holies. In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.[h] Of these things we cannot speak now in detail.

Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent[i] to carry out their ritual duties; but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent[j] is still standing. This is a symbol[k] of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right.

11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,[l] then through the greater and perfect[m] tent[n] (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit[o] offered himself without blemish to God, purify our[p] conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.[q] 16 Where a will[r] is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will[s] takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats,[t] with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent[u] and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Christ’s Sacrifice Takes Away Sin

23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 8:2 Or tabernacle
  2. Hebrews 8:5 Or tabernacle
  3. Hebrews 8:6 Gk he
  4. Hebrews 8:8 Gk He
  5. Hebrews 9:2 Or tabernacle
  6. Hebrews 9:2 Gk the presentation of the loaves
  7. Hebrews 9:3 Or tabernacle
  8. Hebrews 9:5 Or the place of atonement
  9. Hebrews 9:6 Or tabernacle
  10. Hebrews 9:8 Or tabernacle
  11. Hebrews 9:9 Gk parable
  12. Hebrews 9:11 Other ancient authorities read good things to come
  13. Hebrews 9:11 Gk more perfect
  14. Hebrews 9:11 Or tabernacle
  15. Hebrews 9:14 Other ancient authorities read Holy Spirit
  16. Hebrews 9:14 Other ancient authorities read your
  17. Hebrews 9:15 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  18. Hebrews 9:16 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  19. Hebrews 9:17 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  20. Hebrews 9:19 Other ancient authorities lack and goats
  21. Hebrews 9:21 Or tabernacle
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Gateway Recommends

NRSV Award Bible, Imitation leather, burgundy
NRSV Award Bible, Imitation leather, burgundy
Retail: $14.95
Our Price: $9.99Save: $4.96 (33%)
4.0 of 5.0 stars
Buy Now
The Life With God Bible, New Revised Standard Version Softcover
The Life With God Bible, New Revised Standard Version Softcover
Retail: $37.99
Our Price: $18.49Save: $19.50 (51%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Buy Now
  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes