Author of Hebrews

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Salty

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    Who wrote Hebrews?

    and why do you think that?
     
  2. Aaron

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    It isn't specified in the text. Tradition assigns it to Paul, and for good reason. But because the text isn't specific, then neither can I be.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    The Apostle Paul. Reads like Paul.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Well, the text goes out of its way to note that it isn't Paul.

    If you remove the epistolary end caps, the whole thing reads like a sermon. I'd say it could be someone like Barnabas or even Luke. Apollos has been floated but there is nothing to substantiate it. However, I generally date the book past the Temple's destruction in 70. It could be someone of the Pauline school, but the atonement language is too different.

    Most likely it is someone not named in the NT. A leader of a local church in the post-Tempe era talking bravely about the reality of the new covenant in light of the final destruction of the old ways.

    Maybe it was a woman.

    Speculation is nearly endless. I'll leave it with Luke or Barnabas.
     
  5. TCassidy

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    Clearly, and without any doubt, Paul was the writer.

    That is made abundantly clear in Chapter 10, verse 34:

    "for you had compassion on me in my chains,"

    Who but Paul was imprisoned in chains for his faith?

    "and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods,"

    Who but Paul was supported by love offerings taken up from the various churches?

    "knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven."

    The salutation of Paul's other epistles is practically the same in each letter. The Book of Hebrews ends with a similar salutation.

    Also Peter's statement (II Peter 3:15), in which Peter said that Paul had written a letter to those to whom he sent his epistle. From II Peter 3:1 we see that this is a second epistle sent to Hebrews. From I Peter 1:1,2 we learn that the Apostle's first epistle was sent to Hebrew Christians in the Dispersion scattered throughout central Asia Minor. We know that Peter's epistles were sent to these same Hebrew believers but represent a second epistle. The first? Hebrews, of course! :)

    Peter even call Hebrews "the hard sayings of Paul." :)
     
  6. go2church

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    Priscilla, no Luke , no Silas. Any is as good as any other guess. 2000 years of church history haven't settled the issue.

    Uh, Peter was in chains and lots of others though most are unnamed.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    It was settled and unquestioned that Paul was the author until around the 1800's. Of course a lot of things began to be unnecessarily questioned in that era.
     
  8. Rippon

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    Your certainty is actually conjecture. Well thought out and reasoned but still only conjecture.
    Peter,Silas and many others back in the day.
    How can you be so sure? Peter doesn't reference the Book of Hebrews in that phrase.

    I would think that a lot of "the hard sayings" are found in Romans,Ephesians etc.
     
  9. Rippon

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    If you are referencing higher criticism --the authorship of Paul has nothing to do with that. It has nothing to do with biblical liberalism whatsoever.

    Refer to Aaron's post #2.
     
  10. Greektim

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    Not a letter but a manuscripted sermon. That much we know for fairly certain.

    I believe it was Paul's sermon recorded by Luke. This actually accords w/ church history and tradition quite well.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    Exactly! :thumbs:
     
  12. Greektim

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    What? We agree?!?!

    That said, I think a lot of the rhetorical value is its anonymity. Many places, the speaker simply says "somewhere it was written" or "someone said". I think this rhetorical function is to point ultimately to its divine author.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Sssshhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    I suspect Apollos or Priscilla, but there's no way to know.

    It could also easily be a sermon from Paul, but it doesn't read like Paul to me. That was my impression from many years ago long before I knew there was a question about the authorship. The Bible I was reading claimed Paul was the author on the title page to the book.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    Well said and I agree! The Book of Hebrews is an extraordinary summary of God's dealing with His people!

    The basic theme of Hebrews is the superiority of the New Covenant. That is consistent with Paul's calling as Apostle to the Gentiles. Furthermore, the New Covenant contrasted with the Mosaic Covenant explains Paul's practice of preaching to the Jews when he came to a particular place!
     
  16. ktn4eg

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    Sarge:

    The question concerning the matter of just who exactly was the "human writer" of the Book of Hebrews (or, as its uninspired title implies, "An Epistle ["Letter"] to"), has been the subject of much debate for several centuries.

    Fro my limited research (which, admittedly is very limited!), I've come across at least 12 or more supposedly reliable conservative evangelical sources--each of whom have submitted their own particular writer of this book/letter, and why their choice is "the only creditable one who could have possibly written this book."

    Some of these sources tell us that Hebrews has "stylistic features" that closely resemble that of Paul. OTOH, others claim that its style is more akin to that of either Peter's or James's writing styles. Still others seem to be of the opinion that its style is much closer to that of either John or Jude.

    FWIW, I can't determine just exactly who the human author of this book/letter might be.

    I suppose that, if God really thought that it was that important for us mortals to know exactly what person it was who penned to words of Hebrews, I'm quite sure that He would have told us who that person was.

    At any rate, "That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!"
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Barnabas.

    First, why is this not Paul's work?

    If this is Paul's letter, why is there no salutation? The thirteen books we know Paul wrote all open with a greeting that identifies him, Paul, as the writer. Hebrews does not.

    Secondly, though many say "This is Paul's writing style," it is not. Paul deliberately did not write intellectually, and he said as much.
    1 Corinthians 1, NASB
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

    1 Corinthians 2
    1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. ​
    In fact, Paul may not have been an intellectual speaker at all, or perhaps, though learned, chose not to be.
    2 Corinthians 6
    6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things​

    Finally, in Paul's other works, when he quotes or paraphrases the Old Testament, he used the Masoretic Text. The writer of Hebrews uses the Greek Septuagint when citing ancient writings. That is the most inconsistent aspect of the potential for Hebrews to be Paul's fourteenth epistle.

    First, Barnabas was a Levite from Crete, and would have been intimately and deeply educated in the ancient texts, and would have been more comfortable using the Septuagint, given he was first educated in Greek before learning High Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament.

    Secondly, though strong in Judean historical and theological content, the author of Hebrews was much more ambiguous than Paul regarding grace. In fact, Barnabas was, at one point in his ministry, confused about grace.
    Galatians 2
    12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
    13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. ​
    Paul, however, pulled him back in line. The author of Hebrews embraces the concept of God's grace throughout the book, particularly in Hebrews 13:9-13, but he does not hammer on it with the consistency of Paul. The author, who as I said at the beginning I believe to be Barnabas, concentrates far more on the preeminence of Christ regarding His Person and His work on the cross. This is done primarily to convince wavering Jews of the reason Christ is the fulfillment of their faith, and who better to do so than a well-educated Levite?

    Finally, most of the early church rejected Paul as the writer of the epistle. Origen said that the Greek of Hebrews was superior to Paul's grasp of the language. Tertullian credited the work to Barnabas. Many other church fathers leaned toward or actually named Barnabas as the author. Still, none of these are authoritative. And as Origen also said, "As to who wrote Hebrews, God knows the truth."

    That, really, should be enough for all of us.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Because it is a sermon by Paul penned by Luke.
     
  19. Greektim

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    You should know that Origen actually talked about Hebrews as if Paul was the author (speaker). And he may have meant "wrote" in the sense of recorded instead of authored. This short article by David Alan Black is quite enlightening if you are willing to learn:

    www.daveblackonline.com/origen_on_the_authorship_of_hebr.htm
     
    #19 Greektim, Mar 28, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2014
  20. Judith

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    The bible does not say and there is no way to know.
     

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