Who were the addressees of the Letter to the Hebrews in the Christian New Testament? This is the
question Matthew Marohl attempts to answer in his publication, in the Princeton Theological Monograph
Series, titled Faithfulness and the purpose of Hebrews. Marohl teaches the New Testament scripture at the
In this book, he uses a sociological tool, namely the categories of social identity theory, to assist him in
finding the answer. He argues that the addressees arranged the world into two groups: ‘us’ and ‘them.’
They (the addressees) understood their group, the ‘us,’ to be the ‘faithful’ ones. They understood ‘them’
(a symbolic out-group of ‘all others’) to be the ‘unfaithful’ ones. Faithfulness, then, is the primary
identity descriptor for the addressees and plays an essential role throughout the text.
Book review : Faithfulness and the purpose of Hebrews : a social identity approach / Matthew J. Marohl. ISBN : 978-1-5563-5512-7. Publisher : Wipf & Stock, Oregon, 2008, pp. 210.