A lot of mystery surrounds the book of Hebrews, especially regarding its authorship, date, and audience. But by asking the right kind of questions, one can move beyond the impasses typical of historical investigation. In this volume, David deSilva explores Hebrews through a social-scientific lens, asking one of the most important questions when interpreting letters and sermons: What was going on in the community to occasion such a response? DeSilva looks for clues concerning the anonymous author, his education level, the influence of the Greek environment, and his perception of his own authority. In addition, by forming a social profile of the audience that includes location, ethnicity, and class status, deSilva brings to light the author's aims of helping protect Christian converts from persecution and social shame. This book not only helps the sermon to the Hebrews take on flesh and blood for contemporary readers; it also expands the readers' tools for asking fresh questions and exploring new dimensions in biblical texts.