“You Have Become Dull of Hearing”: Hebrews 5:11 and the Rhetoric of Conversion

The long reprimand at the end of Hebrews 5 is set into the context of Greek religious treatises (starting with the 5th century BCE treatise contained in the Derveni Papyrus) that set out to convince their audience of a new and often surprising interpretation of known facts (such as the Theogony of Orpheus in the Derveni Papyrus). Setting Hebrews into this context, I try to understand better the personality of the speaker and the position of his teaching; I will also enter in a discussion with recent scholarship on sacrificial ideology and superstition in Hebrews and on its context in the Graeco-roman world.