Suffering and death are two topics that are frequently referred to in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but have rarely been examined within scholarship on this important New Testament text. Dyer redresses the balance in this study of these topics, conducting a thorough investigation using semantic domain analysis. He incorporates recent advancements in modern linguistics, in particular the ’context of situation’, and then connects these topics to the social situation addressed in Hebrews. In so doing he is able to reveal how the author is responding to the reality of suffering in the lives of his audience. With this awareness, it becomes clear how the author also responds to his audience’s pain by creating models of endurance in suffering and death. These serve to motivate his audience toward similar endurance within their own social context.
Dyer shows that it is possible to make significant determinations about the social setting of Hebrews based upon an examination and analysis of the language used therein.