During the start of the early church, a number of the Jewish converts tried to convince the Gentile converts of Christianity that they needed to be circumcised (Ephesians 2:11). Thanks, Floyd . But, as I have said, there was a human author. The most persuasive argument against Pauline authorship. For instance, when Paul talks to a Greek audience, he quotes their philosophers back to them (Acts 17:22-28). In fact, Hebrews is the only New Testament writing to expound on Jesus as the Great High Priest and final sacrifice. Since the time of Origen (185 - 256 AD.) Others have suggested a number of Paul’s companions such as Barnabas (Acts 4:36) or Apollos (1 Corinthians 3:4), among others. “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.”, 2 Corinthians 3:6 After all, if we do not know who penned the book, how can we trust that it’s scripturally sound? . But we've come to Mt. And all this has nothing to do with Gentiles (all non-Hebrew people) because Gentiles were never under the Law of Moses to begin with, and never will be. In short, not exactly. Philippians 2:7 – 8 She was the teacher of Apollos and was married to Aquila and traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples (see Luke 10:1), and also thought to have been the first example of a female preacher. The soteriology of Hebrews is quite consistent with Paul’s own teaching. In any case, the church believed that the contents of the book spoke for themse… 1:1). The author now proves, Hebrews 8:4, that He cannot be a priest in the earthly sanctuary, whence it then follows of itself that He must be so in the heavenly one. In spite of all this evidence for Pauline authorship, few New Testament scholars today believe Paul wrote it. Got Questions explains that Luke, given his Greek and Gentile background, may have favored the Septuagint translation over the Masoretic translation and compiled the book, after having heard Paul’s preaching and examples he used in sermons. Apollos was “mighty in the Scriptures” and he “refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:24-28). Hebrews, as one may guess from the title, is written to the Hebrews, particularly Jewish people who had converted to Christianity during the first century, prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. . Moreover, Barnabas is referred to as an “apostle” (Acts 14:14) and, being a Levite (Acts 4:36), would have had the interest in and knowledge about the priesthood that forms such a dominant theme in Hebrews. It revealed that Judaism based upon the Mosaic Law, Levitical sacrifices, etc. Every skeptic and nonbeliever has "an evil heart of unbelief." Identifying the author of Hebrews is not as simple as it is with many other New Testament books because the author never identified himself. It’s certainly reasonable to conclude Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. (Q) According to Hebrews 8:4, does the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews believe that Jesus was never on Earth? “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”, Colossians 1:15 – 17 Luke? This article from Biblical Training digs into this question. It is impossible for fallen-away Christians to be saved. The association of Barnabas with the book of Hebrews may be because he was described as a “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36), and Hebrews 13:22 describes the letter as a word of encouragement (or exhortation). It is impossible for fallen-away Christians to be saved. Many of the thoughts of Hebrews are similar to those found in Paul’s writings: Hebrews 1:3 1:12; 3:4 – 6, 22; 4:6; 16:12). She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. Although there are a variety of options for the authorship of Hebrews, it seems to me that most likely the author of Hebrews was Apollos. Whoever the author of Hebrews is had authority with the little flock Here's proof Hebrews thirteen verse number seven, says remember them, which have the rule over the author of Hebrews writes to the people. The Book Of Hebrews Author: Unknown; The East (i.e. Church history until the past few centuries had attributed the authorship to him as well. Who was the author of Hebrews?" Finally, does the book speak the truth? 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph. Books and articles that equip you for deeply biblical thinking and ministry. and in him all things hold together.”, Hebrews 2:4 We can present a few possible authors that scholars have suggested throughout all of church history. This article will also discuss the context of Hebrews, and why the church decided to include the book in the Scriptural canon, even with the author being an unknown factor. it's rather looked down on now, but i still value it. So I don't think there is much of a case the Paul wrote it, but when I read the beginning of Hebrews, it … Those who have rejected Pauline authorship are divided as to who did write Hebrews. “Since we have now been justified by his blood”; “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”. The author of the letter to the Hebrews does not give his name, so a number of names have been offered throughout the years. And being found in appearance as a human being, Hebrews 8:6 Although many scholars have debated the authorship of various books of the Bible, Hebrews is the only one that does not have a majority rule as to who wrote it. First, he states that the ancients who were commended, received this commendation because they had true faith. While many accredit the section to Paul, others give credit to a woman name Priscilla that is mention throughout the New Testament. . And so if you were ever asked about the authorship of Hebrews, the correct answer is well expressed by the church father Origen (AD 185? Even centuries earlier in the fourth century, the church of Rome did not believe Paul wrote Hebrews, possibly retaining a latent memory of the actual author (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. Apollos was a great defender of the Christian faith, vigorously refuting the opposing Jews in public debate and proving from the Old Testament that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 18:28). Rome) was much less willing to accept Pauline authorship. However, the book also seems to miss some of the hallmarks of this author that we see in other books. In spite of the weight of scholarly inference, the book of Hebrews does not in fact name its author. Luther himself believed that Paul wrote Hebrews, but also suggested that Apollos could have been the author. The author of Hebrews begins by expounding on the preeminence of Christ’s person and shows that because He is the magnificent sovereign of the universe and the ultimate revelation of God, He is inherently greater than the angels, Moses and the priests of the old covenant. Eusebius believed that Paul was the author of Hebrews but acknowledged that this opinion was not universal. There are a few reasons why the author may have written to a Jewish audience in these terms. It is believed that the intended readers lived in the region of Palestine. It has been shown that when Origen speaks of who wrote the epistle he was referring to the author, not merely the secretary. Please check errors and resubmit. There are a handful of contenders. The style of the book is sometimes like his style, but sometimes it seems different. 3:12. He was a highly educated Alexandrian who would have been schooled in the literary style exemplified by Hebrews. Alexandria) as a whole believed that Paul was the author, while the West (i.e. It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Sinai, which he had described in the verses just before, that terrifying mountain that Moses, even Moses who was invited up to the mountain was fearful about ascending. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death. The author of Hebrews believed that he was living in the "last days." The nuanced position on the authorship question by the Alexandrian fathers was obscured by later church tradition that mistook Pauline association for Pauline authorship. In Titus 3:13 Paul mentions Apollos It is also assumed that the author of Hebrews was very much influenced by Greek culture because of his constant citations from the Septuagint. In the first few centuries, the book was grouped together with Paul’s 13 NT letters. The reason for this is that the persecutions described in Acts 8: 1 and Hebrews 10: 32-34 were intense; Jewish Christians outside Palestine suffered relatively less compared to their counterparts in Palestine (Ogden, 1994). Many people have thought that he was Paul. By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. The author of Hebrews extensively argues that God had ‘liberated’ (freed) the ethnic/cultural/religious line of Hebrew people from the Law of Moses to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 3-4). Your form could not be submitted. Why Apollos might have been the author of Hebrews. In the same way, the author tries to use concrete comparisons from the text they would’ve known best, the Old Testament. Apollos, Paul, Priscilla, Luke, Barnanabas, and anyone else to whom scholars attribute authorship of this book would have been apostles. First, although we do not have the list of criteria used at the Council of Nicea, there would have been works that the early church would have deemed “apostolic” or having the authority of an Apostle. The book survived the test of time because the apostles, who had not perished or been martyred yet, approved of its authority and made copies to send throughout the churches. Enhance your school’s traditional and online education programs by easily integrating online courses developed from the scholars and textbooks you trust. Barnabas? 3.3.5; 6.20.3). Apostates will burn in hell with the other non-believers. The Author . The apostle Paul, for instance, never alludes to Jesus as a priest, which is the major motif of Hebrews. Though we cannot be absolutely sure who the writer was, the letter does give a few hints that help us identify certain characteristics about him. The author (known to scholars as Pseudo-Cyril) refers to the Gospel of the Hebrews in a polemical dialogue between a monk and Cyril over the nature of Mary, whom the monk contends was a divine Power sent from heaven. Some traditions hold that the author may have been St. Barnabas or perhaps one of Paul’s other associates or later disciples. Here the author writes to illustrate what this means to the readers. There is a consensus that the “brother of James” identifies the author... Get expert commentary on biblical languages, fresh explorations in theology, hand-picked book excerpts, author videos, and info on limited-time sales. Yea, he desired to be restored unto them as one that had been with them before. While Timothy was a close associate of Paul, he was from Lystra, a small town in Asia Minor where it is unlikely he could have received the formal rhetorical training reflected in Hebrews. H. E., VI, 25, 14. Paul? Footnotes 1 The epistle was written some time prior to 70 A.D., before the Romans destroyed the Temple. Clement? For instance, it misses the salutation we often see in Paul’s writings (1 Corinthians 1:1-2), and the book uses the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament instead of the Masoretic, which Paul often used. The church father Tertullian (AD 160? In the first few centuries, the book was grouped together with Paul’s 13 NT letters. The author begins with a reminder of the preexistence, incarnation, and exaltation of Jesus that proclaimed him the climax of God’s word to humanity (Heb 1:1–3). The author of Hebrews believed that he was living in the "last days." Yea, he desired to be restored unto them as one that had been with them before. What evidence have you that it was Paul who wrote Hebrews, the way he starts and ends some believe is not Paul's way of writing. However, not all in the East were in agreement. One twentieth-century scholar named William Manson suggested that Christians who were of the same mind as Stephen brought the Christian message to Alexandria, noting several elements common to Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 that are also shared by the book of Hebrews. Clement believed Hebrews was written by Paul in the Hebrew language, then translated into Greek by Luke. 6:4-6. This description of the author's purpose helps orient us to the main ideas found in the book of Hebrews. If not Paul, then who are the other possible authors? eccl. Traditionally, Paul the Apostle was thought to be the author. 6.25.14). There are a couple reasons why this might be the case. Although Harnack’s idea generated much discussion in its day, the author refers to himself in Hebrews 11:32, using a masculine participle in the Greek original, and there is no manuscript evidence for a feminine variant reading. Those who have rejected Pauline authorship are divided as to who did write Hebrews. Pauline letters are ordered from longest to shortest, and Hebrews suddenly “pops up,” because scholars have never quite known for sure. Second, the author knows that by using examples from the Old Testament, they can better appeal to the audience. But ultimately, we do not have a conclusive answer to who wrote this book. Martin Luther believed Apollos was the author. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. By ‘Jewish’, we mean that his family came from the families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, most will agree, that in all their efforts, conclusions have been uncertain and many resolve, like Origen, that "God only knows" who is the author. The Book of Hebrews is one of the disputed books of the Bible when it comes to authorship. This use of Scripture suggests that the author believed the Old Testament to be the inspired word of God. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”, Hebrews 10:14 3.38.2). People believed and taught that Paul was the author of Hebrews for centuries, despite reservations which explain why it is placed at the end of the rest of Paul’s letters. Practically speaking, however, the identity of the author does not affect the scope of this study. Paul emphasizes the certainty of salvation in Romans 8:28-39, yet in Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10, the author clearly states that it is impossible to be brought back to repentance. The Author of Hebrews While the Book of Hebrews does not reveal its author, it is safe to say with “a great deal of certainty that it was a man who belonged to Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Christianity.”9 Besides that, the Book of Hebrews has been attributed to many authors; some think it was Paul or even 4 Priscilla while other people think it was either Apollos or Barnabas. (Didn't the author know about confession or the finality of being saved?) However, since the third century this has been questioned, and the consensus among most modern scholars is that the author is unknown. Find out more about her at her website. Jesus is our priest (Hebrews chapters 5-9). Though we cannot be absolutely sure who the writer was, the letter does give a few hints that help us identify certain characteristics about him. Although perhaps Paul had written the book, perhaps someone who had followed him closely in ministry, and heard his sermons and the examples he used compiled this book. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. He eventually became as influential as the apostles Paul and Peter (1 Cor. How did the author of Hebrews affirm the continuing validity of the old covenant for his readers? A work could apparently still be accepted as authentic and canonical if the exact identity of the author was in doubt, but not if the author claimed to be someone he was not. The author of Hebrews writes, “After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Heb. Let’s take a look at the reasons each of them might be the author. Letter to the Hebrews, also called Epistle to the Hebrews, abbreviation Hebrews, anonymous New Testament letter traditionally attributed to St. Paul the Apostle but now widely believed to be the work of another Jewish Christian. While many accredit the section to Paul, others give credit to a woman name Priscilla that is mention throughout the New Testament. eccl. Fortunately, our ability to apply the powerful message of Hebrews doesn’t depend on our knowledge of the identity of the author. These connections make it very likely that the author was originally from the Alexandrian church, regardless of where he was when he penned the letter, and regardless of to whom it was originally sent. i don't doubt that the author of hebrews believed that, but he was wrong.

when i was a yound man there was a piece or writing that was very popular. Some early Church fathers believed the author to be St. Paul. All Rights Reserved. As we've just suggested, the author of Hebrews wrote to exhort his audience. “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”, 1 Corinthians 12:11 Jesus is God. He was the son of Joseph, a construction worker who originally lived in Nazareth in Galilee. The King James Version assumes Pauline authorship. It is thought that at one point the author had been recognized and revered by its audience. 6:8. Because of this, a possible author is Apollos, a native of Alexandria, according to Acts 18:24. Some people think that Paul wrote Hebrews. But as it doth not appear that this Clement was ever in Palestine, so what reason he should have to leave his own charge now to go thither, no man can imagine. Moreover, as a Jewish believer (Acts 18:24), he had the thorough knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures in their Greek version that the book of Hebrews exclusively uses. Cyril condemns the monk's teaching as a heresy, which the author attributes to Carpocrates, Satornilus, and Ebionites. The author of Hebrews wrote to exhort his audience to reject local Jewish teachings and to remain faithful to Jesus. Both John Calvin and Martin Luther shared this judgment as far as the sixteenth century. Some early Church fathers believed the author to be St. Paul. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Tim. Several theories regarding the author’s identity have been proposed over the centuries, but all of them carry significant obstacles. Moreover, both Paul and the author of Hebrews thought of Abraham as the spiritual father of Christians in similar ways. Second, both Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 150 – 215) and Origen (AD 185 – 253) claimed a Pauline association for the book but recognized that Paul himself probably did not put pen to paper for this book, even though they did not know the author’s name. scholars have sought to identify the author of Hebrews. And when Stephen talks to a Jewish audience, he uses examples from the Old Testament (Acts 7). The internal evidence presented by the book of Hebrews itself indicates an author other than Paul. 8:1 – 17). What we know of Apollos matches more closely what we see in Hebrews than does what we know of Timothy. Eusebius believed that Paul was the author of Hebrews but acknowledged that this opinion was not universal. No other book so eloquently defines Christ as high priest of Christianity, superior to the Aaronic priesthood, and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. . The author of the Book of Hebrews refers to themselves only seven times in the entire book.” 5 Several modern scholars are leaning toward Priscilla as the author. 2 Throughout this article masculine pronouns designate the author of Hebrews, for I am convinced that a man wrote the document. Even at its beginning, the … The first word of 1 Peter is the author’s name, Petros, and he identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. [28] Believing the author to have been Priscilla , Ruth Hoppin posits that the name was omitted either to suppress its female authorship, or to protect the letter itself from suppression. The author of Hebrews writes, “After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Heb. was over. Let's take a look at the context and some clues to determine who wrote the book fo Hebrews. I don’t absolutely know that Priscilla wrote Hebrews. 2:3-4). The author does not introduce himself as Paul typically did (cf. He was from Alexandria and traveled in the Apostle Paul’s orbit (Acts 18:24). Eusebius, the great historian of the church, recognizes that the letter Clement wrote from Rome to the Corinthian church in the late first century contained many allusions to and quotations from Hebrews and notes that on that basis some believed that Clement himself was the translator or author of Hebrews (Hist. Eusebius, the great historian of the church, recognizes that the letter Clement wrote from Rome to the Corinthian church in the late first century contained many allusions to and quotations from Hebrews and notes that on that basis some believed that Clement himself was the translator or author of Hebrews (Hist. 13:22). Its theology, though very compatible with that of the Pauline letters, is very distinctive. It is possible that his name is completely unknown to Christians today. I have always believed the apostle Paul wrote Hebrews, but some question him being the writer. Rome) was much less willing to accept Pauline authorship. After all, a number of the apocryphal books and pseudepigraphal books (books written under a false name) did not make the cut for the New Testament canon. Instructor: Ultimately, the author of Hebrews was God the Holy Ghost; the human writer is anonymous. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. The Author of Hebrews While the Book of Hebrews does not reveal its author, it is safe to say with “a great deal of certainty that it was a man who belonged to Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Christianity.”9 Besides that, the Book of Hebrews has been attributed to many authors; some think it was Paul or even 4 Priscilla while other people think it was either Apollos or Barnabas. If you have any questions, please review our. Timothy? 3:21 – 5:9) and sanctification (e.g., Rom. 5. A recent theory suggests that Timothy wrote Hebrews, except for the closing verses that Paul appended himself where Timothy is mentioned by name.[6]. After all, many of the examples he uses, such as running the race of faith (Hebrews 12:1, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27), and a great deal of the language appears to reflect the style of Paul. While we can’t say for certain who the true author is, we can deduct from the different style of writing that Paul probably wasn’t the true author. And so if either Clement or Luke were involved in the production of the extant book of Hebrews, he would have had a very free hand in working with Paul’s material, to the point that he would be an author, not a translator by any modern definition. Footnotes 1 The epistle was written some time prior to 70 A.D., before the Romans destroyed the Temple. “The Son is the image of the invisible God. Conjectures as to the author have ranged from the Apostle Paul, who wrote at least thirteen books in the New Testament, to Priscilla, a friend of Paul’s who accompanied him during part of his ministry. Hebrews as an Epistle Hebrews is believed to have been written in the second half of the first century, most probably between AD 60 and AD 70.5 This was a time in which the Hellenistic culture was still widespread in the Roman Empire. The author had knowledge of the Jewish system leading many to think that the author was Jewish. As noted above, the stylistic differences influenced Origen, Clement’s student, to such a degree that he finally concluded: “Who wrote the epistle only God knows. However, not all in the East were in agreement. Some believe Paul to be the author, who wrote at least thirteen books in the New Testament and others attribute the book to Priscilla, a friend of Paul’s who accompanied him during part of his ministry. The style of Hebrews, except in the closing verses (13:18 – 25), is quite unlike any other writing of Paul’s that has survived. An even more persuasive argument that the apostle Paul was not the author of Hebrews is the way the author alludes to himself in Hebrews 2:3, stating that the gospel was confirmed “to us” by those who heard the Lord announce salvation. Hebrews and Revelation never claimed to have been written by Paul and the apostle John respectively. This seems to be a description of the Book of Hebrews. Circumcision, a stumbling block for many converts, had been a Jewish practice when a child was weaned, or when a man converted to the Jewish faith. 16:12). But Jesus became a man. What can we infer from the book of Hebrews itself? Paul knew Apollos personally, and encouraged him in his ministry (1 Cor. Hebrews is one of the many section of the bible with an unknown author. In fact, in the KJV, you’ll find the title translated as it was found in some manuscripts: “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.” The tradition of Pauline authorship continued. The apostle Paul always made the point that, even though he wasn’t one of the twelve original disciples who walked with Jesus during his earthly life, he was nonetheless an apostle of Jesus Christ, and usually identifies himself as such in his letters. The Book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus was not an angel (a servant of God from heaven) (Hebrews 1). When Acts 6:1 mentions both Hellenistic and Hebraic Jews, the phrase pros tous hebraious is used in that context, the exact phrase by which Hebrews is later known. No matter who wrote it, God helped those on the Council of Nicea to decide to include the book in the Scriptural canon. Although the writer is nowhere identified in the epistle, it is widely believed that the book was written by the apostle Paul. Black’s interpretation of Origen should be rejected. Alexandria) as a whole believed that Paul was the author, while the West (i.e. Secondly, regardless of who wrote it or spoke it, an unbelieving Jew wanted nothing to do with God’s Word. Why would the audience need this proof, using several comparisons of Scripture like Hebrews 2:5-9 compared with Psalm 8:4-6? 1:1; and 2 Tim. Parallels between Hebrews and Paul’s writings. He said Paul didn’t prefix his normal introductory greeting because his audience was suspicious of Paul and he didn’t want to turn them away from the beginning. Throughout Hebrews the author attributed all of the Scriptural quotes to God. Paul is the author of most of the New Testament. Hebrews is probably therefore a written homily, to which the author gave an epistolary ending (Heb 13:22–25). Get started with a free online course. 2 Cor. It is likely that the writer was a well-educated Hellenistic Jew (a Greek-speaking Jew) who had become a Christian. It seems unlikely that Paul here in 2:3 would refer to himself as simply someone who received the gospel from those who had heard the Lord. The author brings us through history. Here’s what we know about Apollos from the Bible: We also know from the very early history of the church that Apollos would also fit the memory handed down to both Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 150 – 215) and to Origen (AD 185 – 253), who claimed a Pauline association.