34. Give Me That Old Time Religion (Hebrews 13:7-9)
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! 9 Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals [foods], 1 which have never benefited those who participated in them (Hebrews 13:7-8) 2
A number of years ago, my parents took my grandmother with them when they made a trip to Taiwan, where my sister Ruth and her husband, David, served as missionaries. It was perhaps the greatest time in my grandmother’s life. Her life had not been easy. She lived through the depression and had to work hard to provide for her family. What made her time in Taiwan so special was that the Chinese people have a great respect for age. Everywhere she went, she was treated like royalty. She loved every moment of it.
That’s a far cry from the way our Western culture views the elderly. Wisdom and maturity are looked upon with disdain, and sometimes the elderly get the impression that they are taking up oxygen and real estate that would be better used by others. The deplorable conditions in many of our nursing homes are but one example of our lack of respect and compassion for the aging. As a result, our culture tends to look down on anything old, preferring that which is “new and improved.” Sadly, this attraction to that which is new applies to religion. Ironically, this fascination with the “new” isn’t really “new” at all:
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was greatly upset because he saw the city was full of idols. 17 So he was addressing the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles in the synagogue, and in the marketplace every day those who happened to be there. 18 Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him, and some were asking, “What does this foolish babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” (They said this because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19 So they took Paul and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are proclaiming? 20 For you are bringing some surprising things to our ears, so we want to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there used to spend their time in nothing else than telling or listening to something new.) (Acts 17:16-21, emphasis mine)
In this lesson, I will seek to demonstrate that the only true religion is “that old time religion” described in the Bible – a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the Mediator of the New Covenant by means of His once-for-all-sacrifice for our sins on the cross of Calvary. We shall see that the Hebrew believers were instructed to remember their former leaders, to contemplate the example of their lives, and then to imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7). They are to recognize that the Lord Jesus does not change He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). And because of this, they are to avoid the new and novel departures from the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Hebrews 13:9 see also Jude 3).
Our Text In Context
Chapter 13 is a very practical text, for here the author spells out for his readers what “running with endurance the race set before us” should look like. In verses 1-6, the author calls upon his readers to persist in practicing brotherly love. Brotherly love is worked out when Christians show hospitality to strangers (13:2), remember those in prison and those persecuted because of their faith (13:3), when we hold marriage in honor by maintaining sexual purity in marriage (13:4), and when we have a lifestyle which is free from the love of money (13:5-6). As I have previously indicated, the manifestations of brotherly love spelled out in verses 1-6 of Hebrews 13 are similar to the qualifications which Paul sets down for elders in 1 Timothy:
1 This saying is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.” 2 The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3 not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. 5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? 6 He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. 7 And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3:1-7, emphasis mine).
Since the Lord Jesus is the same, and will not change (13:8), then not only is our hope sure and certain, our doctrine never needs revision, and thus we know better than to be drawn away by that which is new and novel (13:9). In particular, the author focuses on deviations from sound doctrine (grace) that are based upon distortions related to foods. The thought of foods leads the author to transition in verse 10 to the theme, “Outside the Camp” in verses 10-14, the subject of our next lesson.
Remember Leaders Of The PastHebrews 13:7
Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. Hebrews (13:7).
Allow me to make several observations concerning what is said in verse 7.
First, we have seen from the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3 that elders are to model brotherly love as it is described in Hebrews 13:1-6. It is therefore not at all surprising to find this instruction to remember and to imitate the faith of leaders of the past. 3
Second, leaders worthy of our remembrance and imitation are those who have spoken God’s Word to us. This is clearly the case with the apostles, 4 but it should also be true of any elder or church leader.
Third, worthy leaders are those who have finished well, men whose lives and leadership were completed in the past. 5 We should remember that chapter 12 began with the exhortation to run with endurance the race that is set before us. One does not do this without finishing well. When the author urges us to “reflect on the outcome of their lives,” he implies that these leaders have “finished their course” (to use Paul’s words). 6 In plain language, these leaders have died, and the ways that they handled dying and death were consistent with the faith, not unlike the Old Testament saints spoken of in Hebrews 11:13-16. I believe that some, if not most, of these leaders died well under adverse circumstances (such as the persecution described in Hebrews 10:32-34). Some may very well have died as martyrs. Just as the failure of leaders can adversely affect others, 7 so the faithfulness of leaders in difficult circumstances can be a blessing to others.
Fourth, the author speaks of more than one leader, using the plural “leaders.” This is very consistent with our understanding of church polity. The church is not ruled over by one man, but is governed by a plurality of elders. The plural “leaders” may also broaden the category of “leaders,” something I hope to demonstrate shortly.
Fifth, the word “leaders” is a rendering of a present participle, which explains the more exacting translation of the New King James Version: “Remember those who rule over you.” Why would the author use a present participle when referring to leaders of the past who finished well, but are dead? Let me suggest an explanation that is consistent with what we have read earlier about Abel in Hebrews 11:
By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead (Hebrews 11:4, emphasis mine).
We know that all the Old Testament saints died without having received God’s promises because these are spiritual blessings that we inherit after death (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16). Because of their faith, the Old Testament saints still “speak.” So, too, those men who have led in the past continue to lead by our memory of them, of appreciation for their ministry, and our imitation of their faith. Thus, the leaders the author is referring to are those who led in the past, but whose example and teaching persists in the present. I’ll have more on this point in my conclusion.
The Immutability Of Jesus ChristHebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
Bear with me a moment while I remind you of the way space (distance) can impact our faith. In Genesis 20, Abraham once again 8 passed off his wife Sarah as his sister – and thus as a woman who was eligible for marriage (and this not long before she was to bear the promised child). When Abimelech learned of Abraham’s deception, he rebuked him and asked him what had prompted him to lie. In effect, Abraham blamed geography:
9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done!” 10 Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife’” (Genesis 20:9-11, emphasis mine).
It was as though Abraham was saying, “I know that God promised to take care of me in the land of Canaan, but here I am in this God forsaken place. Who can protect me here? I had to look out for myself the best way I could, and that was by asking Sarah to lie by saying she was my sister.”
Another example of geographical rationalization is found in 1 Kings 20. Ben-hadad, king of Syria had attacked Israel, but God gave the Israelites the victory. 9 How could they explain the defeat of such a large and powerful army by such a small Israelite force? The Syrians found a way:
26 In the spring Ben Hadad mustered the Syrian army and marched to Aphek to fight Israel. 27 When the Israelites had mustered and had received their supplies, they marched out to face them in battle. When the Israelites deployed opposite them, they were like two small flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. 28 The prophet visited the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys,” I will hand over to you this entire huge army. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 29 The armies were deployed opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed 100,000 Syrian foot soldiers in one day (1 Kings 20:26-29, emphasis mine).
The Syrians explained their defeat by claiming that Israel’s “God” was a “god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys.” In other words, if the Israelites fought in the mountains, their “God” would give them the victory, but if they were to fight on the plains, the Syrians would have won. So it was that the Syrians staged a rematch and were once again defeated. My point here is to show how some people use geography to rationalize their decisions, actions, or failures.
Nowadays, “time” seems to be the better basis for rationalization. Think about it evolutional theory is based on the premise that over time everything will change and that given enough time, life will change from one form to another. Thus, evolutionary theory is used to explain the existence of creation.
But Christians have their own variation of this error. Time becomes my excuse for tossing aside a very clear command of Scripture. When Paul sets forth the way the church is to conduct itself when they gather weekly for worship, 10 there are many who don’t like his instructions. And so they tell us, “Well you must understand that the Corinthians had a certain kind of error that we don’t experience today.” Or they may say, “Well, that was just Paul, addressing those people in that time and in their circumstances. Now, times are different, so Paul’s instructions don’t apply to us.” The passing of time thus becomes our excuse for disobedience.
The false teachers Peter warns about in 2 Peter also sought to use time as their excuse for sin:
3 Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges 4 and saying, “Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
In this instance, the argument is that over a very long period of time, God has done nothing to judge sin, which proves (so they assert) that God doesn’t care about sin or that God is unable to act. Peter explains that the delay is not that long and that it is prompted by grace. 11
So as time passed, it would seem that some of the false teachers were suggesting that things needed to change indeed, they would appear to be claiming that Jesus Christ changes, and this is why new teaching is needed, teaching that moves on from Jesus. 12 But our author sets the record straight: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
We need to understand the great truth of verse 8 in the light of a couple of important observations.
First, the author has been very precise in designating our Lord by His name: Jesus Christ. He refers to our Lord by linking two important names, Jesus and Christ. “Jesus” is the earthly name of our Lord, the name He is given at the time of His incarnation. “Christ” is the name which identifies Jesus as the “anointed one,” the Promised Messiah who would come and bear the sins of men. To refer to Jesus as “the Christ” was to identify Him as the Messiah. Together, these two terms, “Jesus Christ,” refer to the incarnate Son of God who came to earth as the Promised Messiah. Both our Lord’s humanity and His deity are thus implied by the name “Jesus Christ”:
For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human (1 Timothy 2:5, emphasis mine).
There is a second observation which should help us to understand what the author is seeking to emphasize here: The promise of an unchanging God-man begins with “yesterday” and continues “forever” (literally “unto the ages” or “unto eternity”). Why did the author begin with “yesterday,” rather than with eternity past, as we see, for example, in Micah 5:2?
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity (Micah 5:2, NASB95, emphasis mine).
The fact is that the incarnation was a huge change: Undiminished deity (the Second Person of the Godhead) took on unblemished humanity for all time. In terms of His character and attributes, the Second Person of the Trinity was the same. In this sense, Jesus Christ did not change. The author of Hebrews points this out in chapter 1:
“You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord,
and the heavens are the works of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you continue.
And they will all grow old like a garment,
12 and like a robe you will fold them up
andlike a garment they will be changed,
but you are the same and your years will never run out” (Hebrews 1:10-12).
But in chapter 2, the author makes a big point of the incarnation and its importance, for it is the incarnation of our Lord that qualified Him to become our Great High Priest. This is foundational to the author’s development of the theme of Jesus Christ as the Great High Priest, the inaugurator of the New Covenant, and the once-for-all offering for sin. The incarnation was essential to the work of our Lord at Calvary. The point the author is making here is that our Lord will be the God-man for all eternity, thus making His offering and priestly ministry eternal. Because He does not change, He will not change. And because He will not change, all of the benefits of His mediatorial work are certain and eternally secure. Notice how this eternal/unchanging theme is played out in chapter 7:
14 For it is clear that our Lord is descended from Judah, yet Moses said nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. 15 And this is even clearer if another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest not by a legal regulation about physical descent but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For here is the testimony about him: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” 18 On the one hand a former command is set aside because it is weak and useless, 19 for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And since this was not done without a sworn affirmation – for the others have become priests without a sworn affirmation, 21 but Jesus did so with a sworn affirmation by the one who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever’” – 22 accordingly Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. 25 So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men subject to weakness, but the word of solemn affirmation that came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:14-28, emphasis by underscoring mine).
Let’s think of verse 8 this way: Perfection does not need change only imperfection does. Our Lord is the perfect High Priest. If Jesus Christ does not change, then He must be God, for God does not change. And if He will never change, then His work, in addition to His person, is perfect. And if He is both perfect and changeless, then all of His work, His promises, His purposes, His provisions, and His protection are certain and secure. No wonder the author can speak of an unshakable kingdom that awaits us.
28 So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. 29 For our God is indeed a devouring fire (Hebrews 12:28-29).
Having an unshakable kingdom, founded and secured by a perfect and unchanging Great High Priest, gives us every reason to finish the race set before us with endurance, knowing that He is the author and finisher of our faith. Or, as the writer to the Hebrews put it elsewhere,
17 In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, 18 so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:17-20).
Foods, Fads, Falsehoods, And FaithHebrews 13:9
Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals [foods], which have never benefited those who participated in them (Hebrews 13:9).
Of all that the author could have written about, why did he choose to address the matter of food? If we are honest, we would all have to admit that we have a strong attachment to food, especially to “good food.” We see also that food is a prominent subject in the Bible. For example, God seems to use food as an indication of a change of dispensation. As we move through the Bible, we move from eating only green things in Genesis 1:29 to eating meats (minus the blood) in Genesis 9:3-6, to eating only clean foods in the Law of Moses. Then in Mark 7:19 and Acts 10 and 11, we find that all foods are declared clean.
Food often got the people of God into trouble. His desire for food cost Esau his birthright. The Israelites “groused” (complained) in the wilderness and got quail – lots of it. They wanted to turn back to Egypt because of the foods they could eat there. Eating the wrong food made the Israelite unclean. At Mount Sinai, the Israelites had Aaron fashion a golden calf, and their worship of this idol was accompanied with food and “fun” (illicit sex). In the New Testament, some Christians got themselves into trouble by participating in heathen idol worship ceremonies, which included “meats offered to idols” – something God had forbidden. 13 The Corinthian church got into trouble for its conduct around the Lord’s Table. 14 And last, but not least, there was a fair bit of false teaching regarding the eating (or non-eating) of certain foods:
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 17 these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! 18 Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 19 He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. 23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence (Colossians 2:16-23, emphasis mine).
1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer (1 Timothy 4:1-5, emphasis mine).
We can tell from our text in Hebrews 13:9 that there were various and sundry teachings regarding foods, none of which contributed to true godliness and spiritual growth (contrary to the claims of their advocates). Neither the eating nor non-eating of these foods profited one spiritually. These were matters of Christian freedom and conscience and were thus not to be imposed upon others or allowed to become a source of division. This is entirely consistent with what the Apostle Paul taught:
1 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions. 2 One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister? And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” 12 Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:1-12, emphasis mine).
Now food will not bring us close to God. We are no worse if we do not eat and no better if we do (1 Corinthians 8:8).
From our author’s choice of words, we can discern that there was not just one variety of false teaching on foods, but various and sundry errors abounded. We might say (if you’ll pardon a pun) that teachings about foods came in all flavors. And the worst of it was that a number of saints were being “carried away” by these errors. Debates and divisions abounded, and all over a matter of freedom.
I might insert at this point that a particular teaching or practice regarding foods might not be heretical in and of itself. That is why foods are dealt with as a matter of Christian liberty in the New Testament. There is nothing wrong with eating a vegetarian diet or with trying to eat organically-raised food. But sometimes people can get so carried away with their food (or other) fetishes that they give it far too prominent a place, and it consumes too much time, energy, or money.
Lest I leave the impression that teaching and practice regarding foods is always a matter of liberty, I must also say that this can become a matter of serious doctrinal error. One only needs to read the Book of Galatians, and especially chapter 2, to see that serious error can be involved. From our author’s point of view, strange teachings about foods are especially wrong when they place too much emphasis on what we do, or do not do (legalism/works), as opposed to grace. We are saved by grace, and we are also sanctified by grace. It is not about our doing (or not doing) so much as it is about our dependence on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
5 He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).
For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:6-8).
Many are the teachings and practices which consume our time and energy but are really unprofitable:
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the law, because they are useless and empty (Titus 3:9).
Satan is the great deceiver, but he is also the master of distraction. The real issue is this: is the teaching we hear and embrace based upon the Scriptures, Christ-centered, and enabled by grace?
The author’s argument thus far in Hebrews 13 can be summarized in a few words: Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation and are living the Christian life with endurance and perseverance should persist in their practice of showing brotherly love to one another. This love should be characterized by hospitality to strangers, identification with, and ministry to, those believers who are being persecuted (and who may be imprisoned) for their faith in the Lord Jesus. Brotherly love will be evident as we honor marriage and practice the sexual purity that the divine institution of marriage requires. Brotherly love is demonstrated by a love for the brethren, rather than a love of money. Practicing brotherly love involves risk, but we are assured that our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. Thus we need not fear men, but only reverence God (verses 1-6).
Brotherly love should be apparent in the lives of Christian leaders. We are to reflect on the lives of those whose lives were lived well and have ended well. The faith demonstrated by such leaders should provide us with examples of faith to imitate (verse 7).
While human leaders come and go, and their lives are subject to change, we should focus on the fact that our Great High Priest does not change. He will ever be the God-man whose ministry on our behalf is not subject to change over time. Unlike the Old Testament priests who came and went, our Lord is eternally our High Priest, whose atoning sacrifice at Calvary saves and keeps us for all time (verse 8).
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is God’s full and final revelation to man (Hebrews 1:1-4). And since He never changes, the revelation we have from Him, recorded in the Scriptures (Hebrews 2:1-4), does not change either. Thus, all the new and novel teachings which appeal to the gullible are not only unnecessary, they are false. God’s Word never needs to be edited or updated because “times have changed.” And so new teachings about foods (or anything else) that set aside Scripture and sidetrack Christians are to be avoided like a plague. They contribute nothing to our spiritual lives rather, they turn our attention from Jesus and from the grace that God has provided in and through Him (verse 9).
So what did our text mean to those who first received and read it, and what does it teach us? The first thing we should learn is the importance of godly leaders. Godly leaders encourage the saints in a way that enables them to “run with endurance the race set before them.” They do this by continually proclaiming the Word of God and by setting an example of godly living and biblical faith. Ungodly leaders seek to obtain and maintain a following by departing from the Scriptures, blazing a trail of their own making. 15 In this case, some of the false teachers were advocating practices related to foods that turned people from Christ and from grace.
The fact that church leaders are mentioned on three separate occasions in chapter 13 (verses 7, 17, and 24) should signal us about the important role that leaders play. It also indicates to us the importance of following the right kind of leaders, leaders committed to practice and to teach the Scriptures, who point men and women to Jesus and the grace that is available through Him. 16
As I read verse 7 and its teaching regarding leaders, I think that a number of these leaders will be those men who have led these saints in the past, who have set a godly example of perseverance in the midst of persecution, and have finished their course faithfully. By inference, verse 7 also instructs us about the leaders we currently follow. Their commitment to the Scriptures and to living by faith is an essential qualification (not to mention those set forth in verses 1-6 of chapter 13).
But I am also wondering if there is not a larger group of leaders in the author’s mind. Would it not be right for us to think of the apostles as leaders of the past who continue to guide us with the Scriptures they penned (by the Holy Spirit), whose faith we should imitate? And what of the great men of church history? Wouldn’t Augustine, Calvin, and Luther also be considered men who have impacted our lives and continue to do so? What I am suggesting is that we may need to remember a much larger number of “leaders” whose faith we are to imitate. Since we did not live when these men lived, we will find it necessary to observe their teaching and manner of life by reading. There are many wonderful books that will help us here. Let us make good use of them as we seek to obey the instruction of our author in our text.
What an encouragement and challenge verse 7 leaves for those of us who are currently leaders or who aspire to the work of leadership. If we would lead well, then we must be grounded in the Scriptures, and we must speak God’s Word, rather than our own insights and novel ideas. We should be leaving a legacy through our leadership so that those who remain after our death may be challenged and encouraged by our faith and practice. Surely this challenge also applies to every parent.
Let us seek to take the words of verse 8 to heart and to put them into practice. The fact that our incarnate Savior is the same yesterday, today, and forever is a solid and unshakable foundation on which to base our lives. It is an anchor for our souls:
17 In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, 18 so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:17-20).
Because the living Word of God will not change, neither will His words need revision, updating, or supplementation. The canon of Scripture is closed, and there is no need to seek for revelation other than what our Lord has revealed.
A changeless Savior and a changeless revelation means that we should be suspicious about that which is new and novel and which has no clear foundation in God’s Word. These are changing times, but we are to live according to changeless truth, and a changeless Savior.
The last election in our country was all about change, and change is certainly taking place. I have never seen change occurring at such a rapid pace as I have seen in the past few months. Quite frankly, most of it is distressing, because it is a departure from the teaching of the Word of God. But in a changing world, we have a changeless Savior who is still “the way, the truth, and the life.” He is still the only means of forgiveness of sins and our only assurance of spending eternity in heaven. He is still seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us, and preparing a heavenly city in which every one of His blood-bought children will dwell for all eternity. Though false leaders arise and godly leaders pass away, our Great High Priest leads forever as He who is perfect and changeless.
Copyright © 2009 by Robert L. Deffinbaugh. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 34 in the series, Near to the Heart of God – A Study of the Book of Hebrews, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on May 3, 2009. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit.
1 While the NET Bible renders the Greek word for food “ritual meals” and the NIV renders “ceremonial foods,” I am not convinced that this specialized meaning is the author’s intent. The error was not merely concerning “ritual meals” but foods in general.
2 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the NET Bible. The NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION, also known as THE NET BIBLE, is a completely new translation of the Bible, not a revision or an update of a previous English version. It was completed by more than twenty biblical scholars who worked directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The translation project originally started as an attempt to provide an electronic version of a modern translation for electronic distribution over the Internet and on CD (compact disk). Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. In addition, anyone who wants to share the Bible with others can print unlimited copies and give them away free to others. It is available on the Internet at: www.netbible.org
3 The NASB actually renders, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7, NASB95, emphasis mine). While I agree with the sense of this translation, it is not exactly a precise rendering of the Greek participle, which is in the present (not past) tense. More on this later in this lesson.
4 See, for example, Acts 20:17-32 2 Peter 1:12-21.
5 Note that in Hebrews 13:7, “spoke” is in the past tense and also that “remember” implies thinking about something past.
11 In this instance, as in Hebrews 13:9, false teachers seek to turn grace into a pretext for sin.
What's New in iPadOS 13
iPadOS, released in the fall of 2019, is a version of iOS 13 that's designed to run on Apple's iPads. According to Apple, iPadOS is built on the same foundation as iOS, but with powerful new capabilities created for the larger display of the iPad.
First and foremost, iPadOS includes almost all of the features available in iOS 13, such as performance optimizations, a new systemwide Dark Mode, a revamped Photos app, a Find My app, Sign In with Apple, updated Maps, and tons more, so for an overview of the new iOS 13 features, make sure to check out our iOS 13 roundup.
The iPadOS roundup below highlights the iPad-specific features that are part of iPadOS, rather than the iOS 13 features available on both platforms.
iPadOS features a new Home screen for the iPad, which shrinks down the app icon size so you can fit more apps on each page. You can also now add Today Widgets from the left side of the screen onto the Home screen itself for easier access to your widgets and at-a-glance info like news headlines, weather, events, and more when your iPad is in landscape mode.
The Split View and Slide Over multitasking options now support multiple windows from the same app, so you can do things like open two Safari windows side by side. When in Slide Over view, there's a new option to view and switch between multiple apps with a new Slide Over card interface.
App Exposé, available when holding down an app's icon, lets you view all of the open windows from a particular app, and there's an option to swap between them with a tap, making it much easier to switch between your open windows on iPad.
Tapping on the corner of the iPad's display with an Apple Pencil opens up Markup, which can now be used for anything from webpages and documents to screenshots and emails. Apple has introduced a redesigned tool palette for quick access to tools, color palettes, shapes, a ruler, an object eraser, and a new pixel eraser. The new tool palette is available in Markup and is also available to third-party developers as an API.
In addition to the new Markup features, Apple has reduced the latency of the Apple Pencil, dropping it from 20ms to 9ms.
The iPadOS Files app supports folder sharing, so you can share whole folders of files with other people, and there's also support for external drives for the first time. You can plug in a USB drive or an SD card and pull data from it right in the Files app, a feature also available on the iPhone.
A new Column View in the Files app when the iPad is in landscape mode lets you see high-resolution previews of your files, and support for Quick Actions lets you do things like mark up and rotate images and create PDFs. iPadOS also brings support for local storage, zip and unzip, and 30 new keyboard shortcuts.
When you use Safari on the iPad, you're always going to get the desktop version of a website instead of the mobile version. Websites are scaled appropriately for the iPad's display and optimized for touch, so you can use your favorite web apps like WordPress, Squarespace, Google Docs, and Slack.
For the first time, Safari has a download manager, which is a game changer when it comes to managing files that you've downloaded on an iPad from the web, plus Apple has made improvements to tab management.
As with the iPhone, editing text on iPad is better than ever thanks to a new swipe gesture that lets you select text and new gestures for cut, copy, paste, and undo. A floating keyboard that supports the new QuickPath swipe feature allows you to type one handed, and there's support for installing fonts across the system.
Thanks to the inclusion of Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro models, a long press now replicates much of the functionality that was previously limited to 3D Touch devices. There's no haptic feedback, but long press gestures are available on the iPad across iOS 13 for doing things like Quick Actions, link previews, and more.
New to iPadOS, iOS 13, and tvOS 13 is controller support for the PlayStation DualShock 4 and Xbox One S controllers, which means you no longer need a Made for iPhone controller to play games on these devices. Connecting one of the new controllers is done using Bluetooth.
As mentioned above, take a look at our iOS 13 roundup for a list of features that are available on both the iPad and the iPhone, in addition to the iPad-specific features included in iPadOS. We've also got a roundup of the most important features in our iPad Tips and Tricks guide and in the video below.
Note: See an error in this roundup or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
Apple releases iOS 13.7 with support for new automatic COVID-19 notification system
Apple on Tuesday released iOS 13.7, adding support for a new exposure notification system for powering COVID-19 tracking. The system is an extension of the existing coronavirus contact tracing efforts, but it removes the burden on states of having to build a dedicated app. News of the new software framework was first announced earlier today in a joint statement from Apple and Google.
This native support was expected, as it was announced when the exposure notification API — developed collaboratively between Apple and Google — was revealed in April. But at the time, we didn’t know exactly when it would arrive.
Here’s how it will work, from The Verge’s report on the announcement:
Under the new system, participating health departments will assemble a configuration file, allowing them to set their risk scores, redirect users to their specific health department website, and modify the recommendation for users who have been exposed. Once the configuration is complete, iOS and Android can automatically generate the necessary software, although the two operating systems handle the task differently. In Android, the configuration file will automatically generate a custom Android app, while iOS will incorporate the settings into its OS-level contact system.
More broadly, the OS-powered contact tracing system is designed to inform someone when they may have been in contact with another person later diagnosed with COVID-19, primarily through a complex BLE Beacon protocol. Support for the protocol was first added to iOS in May with the release of iOS 13.5. But at the time, any given state needed to have an app developed by a public health agency that used the API. Now, though, states can simply provide Apple and Google with the necessary information and the auto-generated software framework will take care of the rest.
Apple and Google made sure to clarify that existing apps, of which there are six, will continue to work, and support for interoperability between states is built into the new framework to allow for contact tracing state lines. The first official app supporting the exposure notification system debuted in Virginia earlier in August. The University of Alabama at Birmingham launched a closed pilot for an exposure notification app last month as well.
“As the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app,” Apple and Google said in a joint statement today. “Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project’s core tenets of user privacy and security. Existing apps using the Exposure Notification API will be compatible with Exposure Notifications Express, and we are committed to supporting public health authorities that have deployed or are building custom apps.”
Should you turn on exposure notifications in iOS 13.7?
Given that you are reading this article, I am going to assume you are an Apple iOS user. If you go to your settings in iOS 13.7 and scroll down, you’ll find an icon labeled “Exposure Notifications.”
If you go to your settings in iOS 13.7 and scroll down, you’ll find an icon labeled “Exposure . [+] Notifications.”
If you open this, you’ll see the Covid-19 notifications are turned off by default. Whether you enable them is up to you. Although it does mean Apple is collecting more data, the process is pretty private—at least as much as it can be—as Apple explains: Your phone is not collecting or sharing exposure notification data with anyone. If you turn on Exposure Notifications, information related to your exposures can only be shared with (the public health authority) with your permission.
So the big question is, should you turn it on in iOS 13.7? It’s a tough question, especially so for someone who cares about their security and privacy, as most of us do.
With contact tracing, it comes down to whether you can prioritize the greater good—the process could work well to help stop the spread of Covid-19, but it needs as many people as possible to opt in. Then it comes down to trust. Do you trust Apple to have set a high enough standard to protect your privacy? The firm has been doing pretty well of late, and iOS 14 is set to boost that further.
IOS 13 Features: What’s New
iOS 13 comes with a plethora of new features and enhancements. Below are the best iOS 13 features for iPhone:
iOS 13 adds a native system-wide Dark mode to the OS. The theme has been beautifully executed by Apple and looks stunning on iPhones with OLED displays like the iPhone X and iPhone XS. Apart from looking good, the Dark mode will also help improve the battery life on OLED iPhones.
Users have the option of manually enabling Dark mode or setting up a custom schedule. They can even set Dark mode to trigger automatically depending on the sunrise/sunset schedule.
Apple has also added a Dark mode API to iOS 13 which third-party apps can take advantage of. Depending on the system theme, third-party apps can also change between light and dark theme.
New Reminders App, Improved Apple Maps
iOS 13 introduces a brand new Reminders app which is not only more functional but also smarter. With natural language input support, one can simply type in their reminder and the app will automatically figure out the time, day, location, and the reminder part automatically
Apple Maps is also getting a big upgrade as a part of iOS 13. Apart from improved and more detailed Maps data, it is also getting a Look Around which is Apple’s take on Street View and shows street-level imagery. Apple expects to roll out Look Around to the entirety of the United States and a few other popular cities across the world by the end of this year.
Sign In with Apple
Apple is going to launch its own SSO solution with iOS 13. Called ‘Sign In with Apple,’ the company’s approach is focused on privacy and security. Sign In with Apple will allow users to sign in to third-party apps without sharing their email ID, phone number, or any other personal detail.
Faster App Launch Times
Apple is promising faster app launch times with iOS 13 along with smaller app sizes. The company claims that app opening times under iOS 13 will be 2x fast, while app downloads and app updates will be about 50% and 60% smaller, respectively.
Faster Face ID
iOS 13 brings about major speed improvements to Face ID. Apple claims that Face ID under iOS 13 is 30% faster and the speed improvements are clearly visible when one will get around to trying out iOS 13 on their iPhone X/XS/XR.
New Photo and Video Editor
iOS 13 brings a more powerful and advanced photo editor and introduces a video editor as well. The new Photo editor gains control for highlights, variance, and an easier to use UI. As for the video editor, it allows one to crop, rotate, or add filters to their video.
Safari in iOS 13 gains a download manager which means one can download any type of file on their device. Safari also gains a new start page which provides one with quick access to their favorites, frequently visited, and recently visited websites.
Improved Share Sheet
Share sheet in iOS 13 has one tap suggestions for sharing a photo or document with some who is in the photo. There’s a new actions bar that comes up based on the content.
Redesigned Volume HUD
The new Volume HUD appears in the top-left corner of the screen in an unintrusive manner. It first shows up as a full sized slide. But it immediately shrinks and becomes unintrusive.
New Animoji and Customizable Memoji
iOS 13 three new Animoji to iPhone X/XS and iPhone XR: Octopus, Cow, and Mouse.
Additionally, iOS 13 makes Memoji more customizable and allows them to be used as stickers in third-party apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and more.
Also check out the best iPhone apps updated for iOS 13, and the top iOS 13 tips and tricks so you can most of the latest iOS software update for iPhone.
IOS 13 Jailbreak Status
Apple has released iOS 13 – iOS 13.7 which includes hundreds of new features and improvements.
On November 10, 2019, checkra1n jailbreak for iOS 13 was released which is based on the checkm8 exploit. The jailbreak team released an update on December 14 to add support for iOS 13.3 and later added support for iOS 13.7. So it supports iOS 13 – iOS 13.7. It also supports iOS 12.3 – iOS 12.4.4. It is a semi-tethered jailbreak which means that it requires you to have access to a PC to start the jailbreak process. You cannot jailbreak iOS 13 without a computer.
The checkra1n jailbreak supports all iPhones and iPads up until the iPhone X. However, the current beta (v0.9) lacks support for the iPad Air 2, 5th gen. iPad, and the 1st gen iPad Pro. Compatibility with the iPhone 5s, iPhone mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPad Air is also in experimental stages. It also means it does not support iOS devices powered by Apple’s A12 and A13 chips such as iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
On February 16, the Unc0ver team released Unc0ver Jailbreak 4.0, making it the World’s first tool to jailbreak iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR powered by A12 and A13 chips running on iOS 13. But it supports only iOS 13.5 or lower. It does not support iOS 13.5.1 – iOS 13.7.
On April 9, chechra1n team released a new version of the jailbreak tool to add support for iOS 13.4 – iOS 13.4.1.
On May 23, unc0ver team released Uncover 5.0, which allows you to jailbreak iOS 13.5 on all iPhones and iPads including the new iPad Pro and iPhone SE (2020). Unc0ver 5.0 supports all iPhones and iPad running iOS 13.5 including:
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone SE (2016)
- iPhone SE (2020)
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- 2020 iPad Pro
- 2018 iPad Pro
- 2017 iPad Pro
- iPad Air 3
- iPad Air 2
- iPad mini 5
- iPad mini 4
- 5th/6th/7th gen iPad
On June 1, Apple released iOS 13.5.1 which killed the iOS 13.5 jailbreak, so you can’t use Unc0ver jailbreak for iOS 13.5.1, iOS 13.6, iOS 13.6.1, and iOS 13.7.
Security & Compliance - New Quarantine Page not fit for purpose/Process does not work
This means that what is actually incorrectly classified spam cannot be flagged as false positive.
Also emails that are genuine phishing attempts using from addresses of our own domain name get through without issue!
Trying to delete messages from quarantine results in the error:
Message 'ID=<<MessageID>>' couldn't be deleted. 401: The request parameters are invalid
Request: /api/QuarantineMessage/DeleteMessage Status code: 500 Exception: Microsoft.Exchange.PswsClient.PswsException Diagnostic information:
Trying to delete message from Powershell results in:
Message 'ID=<<MessageID>>' couldn't be deleted. 401: The request parameters are invalid.
This is the same whether you try and delete using specific message ID or by position using
$ids = Get-QuarantineMessage | select -ExpandProperty Identity Delete-QuarantineMessage -Identity $ids
When you try to enable Exposure Notifications, your Settings app will let you know if the feature is available in your country, state, or region. If you live in an area participating in Apple's new "Exposure Notifications Express" feature, you can get Exposure Notifications without having to download an app. Otherwise, you need to use a contact tracing app through a public health authority.
According to Apple, Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington DC are among the first to join Exposure Notifications Express, but more states could follow in the future. Using Exposure Notifications Express requires iOS 13.7 and is entirely opt-in. Once you select your state or region and then opt-in, your iPhone can tell you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19, no other apps needed.
You can also sign up in Settings to be alerted when the feature is available in your area.
Jay Asher's career as a children's author started in his first year of college when he wrote and sent three children's books to be published.  Although none of his children's books sold over the course of nine years, he continued to write.  Asher continued to write children's books, while he simultaneously started the three-year process of writing Thirteen Reasons Why — Asher's first entrance into teen literature.  After facing twelve rejections, Thirteen Reasons Why was finally accepted and published on his thirteenth attempt.  The inspiration behind Hannah Baker's story came from a family member of a similar age who attempted to take her own life.  After hearing her story of how she saw suicide as the only escape from her pain, Asher was deeply affected.  To ensure he fully captured the emotions of the story's main character, Hannah Baker, he gathered information from women about their high school experiences.  After travelling to Las Vegas and attending an audio tour, he found the structure that he wanted his novel to be told through — cassette tapes.  Asher wants readers to understand that it was a conscious decision not to make any mention of mental health issues, as his story is more about how we treat people. 
The novel was published in trade paperback format by Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House, on June 14, 2011.  Thirteen Reasons Why had remained in hardcover long past the usual one-year release-to-paperback schedule due to its continued grassroots popularity and sales fuelled by author participation. 
On December 27, 2016, the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Thirteen Reasons Why was published in hardcover, also by Penguin Young Readers Group.  This edition includes new content including but not limited to, the author's original unpublished ending for the book, a new introduction, an essay from the author, and pages from the notebook that the author used while writing this novel. 
High school student Clay Jensen receives a mysterious package in the mail with seven cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who recently died by suicide. The tapes had also been sent to several other classmates, instructing each of them to visit each person mentioned and to pass them on to the person following them on the tapes.  As he listens to the cassettes, Clay learns that there is a side of the tapes for each person to whom Hannah attributes her reasons for killing herself. After sending the tapes to the next person, Clay returns to school and runs into his classmate Skye Miller, whom he suspects is also suicidal. The novel ends with Clay reaching out to Skye. 
Since its release, the novel has received both praise and criticism. Despite the mixed critical reviews, the novel became a bestseller after its release,  holding a spot at number 16 on USA Today ' s list of Top 100 Books of 2017  after the release of the Netflix adaptation earlier that year. While the show's popularity increased interest in the novel,  its notoriety among suicide prevention groups  drew criticism of the novel's premise. After the show's release, school psychologists criticized the novel's premise for failing to address mental illness and making Hannah's death seem like the result of "stressors or coping challenges." 
Due to its depictions of sexual assault, in particular, another question about the novel is whether it should be given a warning label to alert readers of the content. Alev Scott, a writer from the Financial Times, takes up this question, arguing that adding a precaution at the beginning of the piece could create a negative mindset that readers will carry with them into the reading, even if they might not have initially had this mindset.  Nevertheless, especially after the release of the Netflix show, critics are revisiting the novel to question whether it glorifies suicide. 
Ali Jan Maqsood, a writer at the DELTA school, suggests that this should be a book all young adults should read to inform them about how life events have the ability to transfer to negative thoughts which can lead to cynical views about one's life. 
Thirteen Reasons Why has frequently been challenged and removed from schools and libraries, according to the American Library Association. The book landed on the ALA's Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists in 2012, 2017, and 2018.  Ultimately, it became the third-most challenged book between 2010 and 2019.  The book has been challenged because it addresses teen suicide is sexually explicit includes drugs, alcohol, and smoking and is unsuited for the age group. 
- 2013 – Abraham Lincoln Award winner 
- 2010 – South Carolina Young Adult Book Award winner 
- 2009 – International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice list 
- 2009 – Writing Conference's Literature Festival 
- 2008 – Best Books for Young Adults YALSA
- 2008 – Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers YALSA
- 2008 – Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults YALSA
- 2008 – California Book Award silver medal – Young Adult 
Another concern of critics is how the novel's subjects of bullying and suicide impact young adult readers. Despite its controversial subject matter, Festus High is one example of a school that supports the novel.  Principal, Diana Allen, made it known that, “If we don't talk about it, we're hiding from it," and that she wants students to have conversations about the book and to be aware that counsellors are there to support them.  Further, educators James Chisholm and Brandie Trent argue that incorporating the novel into school curricula can not only increase students' reading comprehension and analytic skills but their ability to apply the themes of the novel in their own lives as well.  Other proponents of teaching the novel claim that its use in school anti-bullying efforts benefits young adult readers who are close in age to the characters the author encourages high schools to adopt the novel as a means of starting conversations on bullying.  More generally, the novel has been hailed by adults outside the classroom as being a supplement to local initiatives in starting the conversation between parents and their children about suicide. 
On October 29, 2015, it was announced that Netflix would be making a television adaptation of the book with Selena Gomez serving as an executive producer instead of the main character.   Tom McCarthy was hired to direct the first two episodes.  The series is produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television with Gomez, McCarthy, Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Mandy Teefey, and Kristel Laiblin serving as executive producers. Katherine Langford replaced Gomez for the role of Hannah Baker but left after two seasons. The series currently has four seasons extending the original plot from the novel.
Differences with the television series Edit
- In the book, Clay listens to all of Hannah's tapes in one night in the television series, he listens to them over the course of several days. 
- In the book, it is revealed that Hannah kills herself via swallowing a handful of pills. However, in the television series, there is a scene of Hannah cutting her wrists. Two years after the show's release, the graphic scene of her suicide was cut out. 
- In the book, Hannah's parents owned a shoe store. However, in the TV show, they owned a drugstore. 
- The book features Clay and Hannah as the primary narrators of the book while the series is told from multiple perspectives to present in-depth details of each character. 
- While the book leaves the race and sexual orientation of the characters up to the discretion of the reader, the series has depicted a multiracial cast. 
- In the book, there is no mention of Hannah's parents bringing forth a lawsuit, while in the series the school is on the receiving end of the lawsuit. 
- In the book, the name of the girl on the 11th tape is Jenny Kurtz but in the show, her name is Sheri Holland.
- The sequence of persons on tape is also changed:
In the book: Justin Foley, Alex Standall, Jessica Davis, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimson, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Clay Jensen, Jenny Kurtz, Bryce Walker, Mr. Porter.
In the TV series: Justin Foley, Jessica Davis, Alex Standall, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimson, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Sheri Holland, Clay Jensen, Bryce Walker, Mr. Porter.
In May 2017, the curriculum director in Mesa County School District in Colorado ordered librarians to stop circulating the book due to a rash of student suicides. After three hours of deliberation by librarians and counselors, the books were returned to circulation when it was determined that the book was not as graphic as the TV series. Notices were sent to parents within the school district alerting them to the possible influence of the series.