What does Hebrews 8:6 mean?
ESV: But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
NIV: But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
NASB: But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, to the extent that He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
CSB: But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been established on better promises.
NLT: But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
KJV: But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
NKJV: But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Verse Commentary:
This verse summarizes the next section of Hebrews, and could be considered a synopsis of the entire letter. Earlier passages explained why Jesus' priesthood and service are superior to that of the Levitical priests. Further, this "better" covenant is said to have been God's plan all along. Numerous Old Testament references were given to show that God, both before and during the era of the Levitical priesthood, had promised exactly what He delivered through Christ.

To this point, most of the book of Hebrews has focused on the unique characteristics of Jesus, in contrast to Levitical priests or spiritual beings such as angels. Some mention has been made, however, of the fact that the same God who created the old covenant had predicted something "better" in the future. Verse 7 re-states this logic in plain terms. Why would God replace the old covenant if it was the best He had to offer? This will be followed by a quotation from the prophet Jeremiah, which shows how God's plan, even then, was to bring people to salvation through Christ.

This verse is the first of three times where the writer of Hebrews will refer to Jesus using the Greek term mesitēs, which means "one who intervenes, or an arbitrator," and is often translated as mediator.
Verse Context:
Hebrews 8:1–6 foreshadows the idea that earthly things, such as the tabernacle, are meant to be symbols of heavenly things. In particular, Christ's role as priest is superior to the Old Testament system because it occurs in the ''true tent'' which God has arranged, rather than the earthly tent made by man. God's words to Moses prove this symbolic nature of the tabernacle. This also leads into a new reference from Jewish Scripture, proving that this was God's intention all along.
Chapter Summary:
Hebrews chapter 8 indicates that the temples, rituals, and objects of the old covenant were always meant to be symbolic. They were real, and valuable, but their ultimate worth was in their symbolism. Those were always intended by God to point towards a better covenant. Rather than something repetitive, earthly, and limited, God planned to offer something completed, personal, and eternal through Jesus Christ. As further proof of this, the writer of Hebrews offers yet another quotation from the Jewish Scriptures, this time from the prophet Jeremiah.
Chapter Context:
Hebrews chapter 8 builds on the points made in chapter 7. Jesus' service as High Priest is superior, since He is given a better position and serves in a better location than the priests of the Old Covenant. This chapter sets up the idea of earthly things being shadows of heavenly things, especially when it comes to the temple and sacrifices. This leads into the focus of chapter 9, which is the superiority of Christ's sacrifice compared to those of the Levitical system.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
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