This article examines the rhetorical contribution of intertexture, particularly from the First Testament, to the development of "priestly discourse" in Hebrews. The rhetorical analysis of each instance of intertexture within sections evocative of priestly discourse is followed by the construction of an intertextual "map" of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus traditions, and Pauline traditions contributing to priestly discourse in Hebrews. The foregoing analysis and intertextual map provide the data for an analysis of the strategic selection from and re-presentation of the larger "story line" of priestly discourse and become the basis for concluding suggestions concerning the inner "logic" of priestly discourse. Hebrews nurtures the premises that initiative remains with the Deity to establish the space, name the priestly agents, determine what sacrifices are acceptable, and decide what benefits will be offered, making priestly discourse inherently "traditional" as it goes about legitimating sacerdotal arrangements in the authoritative expressions of the divine will. The retention of more ancient rites as archetypes for the newer also evidences this inherent conservatism, seen most baldly in the use of the topic of the "necessary" in Heb 9–10. Finally, argumentation in priestly discourse evinces the logic of social codes of reciprocity and of approaching social superiors for needed benefits.

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