The Letter to the Hebrews is generally regarded as the most sacrificial text in the New Testament. This article argues that Hebrews, read within the wider context of sacrificial discourse in the ancient Mediterranean world, not only represents a textual moment in the rhetorical dissociation of the early Jesus movement from the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem but also reflects the rhetorical obfuscation of Jesus’s sacrificial self-offering as it was being replaced by an emphasis on the interpretation of Jesus’s death as sacrifice, with the result being the inevitable sacrifice of the former for the latter in early Christian discourse.

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