who wrote the book of hebrews
January 20, 2021
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who wrote the book of hebrews

The missionary impetus of the Christian gospel arose in Jerusalem following the stoning of Stephen when a great persecution broke out and Christians began to scatter (Acts 8). 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. Now, we examine a more mysterious letter. Clement of Alexandria suggests that Paul wrote the book originally in Hebrew and that Luke translated it into Greek, though the Greek of Hebrews bears no resemblance to translation Greek (e.g., that of the Septuagint). This was taken as evidence that Paul had written it, and some Eastern churches accepted Hebrews as canonical earlier than in the West. Christians who live in peace and safety often compromise their … Out of the 27 books in the New Testament, the Book of Hebrews is the only one where the author remains a mystery. Las contradicciones filosóficas de la cosmovisión transgénero, El realismo modal, libre albedrío y el infinito actual en Dark. There was dispute as to the authorship of the book of Hebrews among the early Christians. 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. Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2wNTMvu. Scholars have proposed Luke, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Apollos, Timothy, Philip, Peter, Silas, Jude, and Aristion as the authors. Unfortunately, questions about authorship and the ways some heretical groups misused the book of Hebrews, led some people during the patristic period to doubt if Hebrews should be included in the New Testament Canon. Please try again. It’s possible, but not certain. He was from Alexandria and traveled in the Apostle Paul’s orbit (, He was taught by Paul’s companions, Priscilla and Aquila (, Paul knew Apollos personally, and encouraged him in his ministry (. ・キ He wrote 13 books of the New Testament. Hebrews has intimidated readers over the centuries. © Copyright 2014 CrossExamined.org. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. ・キ The early church father Eusebius believed that Paul wrote the epistle in … The author, whomever it may be, had the backing of the apostle Paul and that is why the book was established as canonical as far as apostolic authority is concerned. Although long thought to be Paul, the author of Hebrews is in fact unidentified. The title "to the Hebrews" only appears in the 2nd century with Clemens of Alexandria (around 150 - 215 AC). Purpose: The book of Hebrews exalts Jesus and shows that he is superior to the sacrifices of old. 1:1, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. From this, we can definitively say that the book of Hebrews was written no later than 96 AD, since that’s when Clement quoted it. Its contents are deep and challenging. The style of Hebrews, except in the closing verses (13:18 -25), is quite unlike any other writing of Paul’s that has survived. 4:12a). eccl. Various church fathers and theologians down through the ages have speculated as to the writer of the book of Hebrews. The author begins with a reminder of the preexistence, incarnation, and exaltation of Jesus ( Heb 1:3 ) that proclaimed him the climax of God’s word to humanity ( Heb 1:1 – 3 ). Help save a baby's life! CrossExamined.org is a non-profit ministry started in 2006 that conducts dynamic I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist seminars on college campuses, churches, and high schools. It is the subject matter of the book which is most important. All Rights Reserved. Many Christians find it difficult; some equate its difficulty with the book of Revelation. T he epistle of Hebrews was written to demonstrate to Jews that as great as the Mosaic Law was, as great as the Temple was, as great as the Levitical sacrifices were, Christ was superior (Hebrews 1.1-3, 4-2.18, 3.1-4.13, 4.14-10.18, 10.19-12.29). The book of Hebrews is a long list of reasons to cling to Jesus. Although the writer's style reflects some c Timothy? Article Images Copyright ©. There are a couple reasons why this might be the case. After the fourth century, it was agreed that St. Paul is the writer. Apollos? 11. 3:21 -5:9) and sanctification (e.g., Rom. The letter itself does not state it is to the Hebrews, but it obviously is, given its content. As there is no other name known for the epistle it probably goes back to a very old tradition. The term “kreitton” (literally, “more excellent” or “better”) permeates the book. It gives six terrifying warnings that seem to indicate believers can lose their salvation. Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews. Many early church leaders believed Paul to have been the author. 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph. 3.38.2). www.thecloudchurch.org In the end, though, God knows. eccl. View of the Hebrews is an 1823 book written by Ethan Smith, a United States Congregationalist minister, who argued that Native Americans were descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.This was a relatively common view during the early nineteenth century, as most Europeans and Americans had a view of history as biblical. The author of Hebrews is unknown. [1] CSB Study Bible (Nashville: Holman, 2017), 1946. However, scholarly examination shows that the Greek text of Hebrews could not be a translation of a Semitic text — at least as we understand “translation” today — because its rhetorical features would be possible only when composed in Greek. First, in the earliest manuscript editions of the New Testament books, Hebrews is included after Romans among the books written by the apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul has been suggested as the author by some scholars, but the true author remains anonymous. Church tradition teaches that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, and until the 1800s, that issue was closed. We’ve established that someone other than Paul wrote the epistle. Some have suggested that Luke was its writer. All rights reserved. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Tim. The text does not mention the name of its author, but was traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle. Author: Christopher R Smith The Rev. It expects a knowledge of the Old Testament that many do not have. 1:1; and 2 Tim. [2] But was Paul the author? Paul? 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). The nuanced position on the authorship question by the Alexandrian fathers was obscured by later church tradition that mistook Pauline association for Pauline authorship. Check your email. The letter itself does not indicate who the writer was. Throughout the past several weeks, we have been exploring who the authors of the books of the New Testament were. However, doubt on Pauline authorship in the Roman Church is reported by Eusebius. Hebrews is probably therefore a written homily, to which the author gave an epistolary ending (Heb 13:22–25). 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. The author is anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the author. Design By Microhound. Place Written. But it is possible—even likely—that because of some of the parallels with Paul’s epistles, we know the following things about the author: Christianity reached Alexandria at a very early date. Unfortunately, Clement didn’t give any other clues regarding who wrote the book. - Hebrews 4:11–13 Throughout most of church history, there has been some question as to the identity of the writer of Hebrews. Brian Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. The apostle Paul, for instance, never alludes to Jesus as a priest, which is the major motif of Hebrews. The author does not introduce himself as Paul typically did (cf. Martin Luther believed it was Apollos. Author: Here is the million-dollar question; Who wrote the book of Hebrews? He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. Support Option Ultrasound! There are a couple reasons why this might be the case. He was a highly educated Alexandrian who would have been schooled in the literary style exemplified by Hebrews. A Bible Study, by Robert Breaker, on the topic of who wrote the book of Hebrews and when. Can Loved Ones in Heaven Look Down on You? Many of the thoughts of Hebrews are similar to those found in Paul’s writings: The soteriology of Hebrews is quite consistent with Paul’s own teaching. The book of Hebrews is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). This dispute continued till the 4th century when most Christians accepted it as the work of Paul. 6.25.14). Let’s look at the Book of Hebrews. The intriguing theory presented in more modern times by the German biblical scholar Adolf Harnack argued that Hebrews was written by Priscilla, the woman who, together with her husband, Aquila, was a close associate of Paul’s. It says in Hebrews 13:24 "They of Italy salute you" and this phrase indicates that the letter was written from Italy. Neither author nor addressee is mentioned in it. Many early church leaders believed Paul to have been the author. Barnabas? The Best Way White Christians Can Respond to Racial Tensions. In spite of all this evidence for Pauline authorship, few New Testament scholars today believe Paul wrote it. 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. 2) Eusebius (AD 325) Apollos was a great defender of the Christian, He eventually became as influential as the apostles Paul and Peter (. Origin also recognized that Paul himself probably did not write Hebrews.[5]. 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. 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. Unlike the thirteen letters attributed to Paul,[3] Hebrews nowhere identifies Paul nor anyone else as its author. Your free resource is on the way! The Gospel of the Hebrews (Greek: τὸ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον), or Gospel according to the Hebrews, was a syncretic Jewish–Christian gospel. The Book of Hebrews is a strange book. Hebrews is beautifully written and has an Alexandrian feel, fitting with Apollos’s eloquence and Alexandrian roots (Acts 18:24). 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. 20 Great Bible Verses for Kids to Memorize, 5 Powerful Lessons from the Book of Hosea, 2 Cor. When you consider the wide agreement among biblical scholars about who wrote every other book of the New Testament, it’s a little mysterious that we don’t know who wrote Hebrews. Origen is often quoted as saying in reference to the book of Hebrews’ authorship that “in truth, only God knows.” However, a further investigation of Origen’s writings will demonstrate that he believed Paul to have been the author. For those of us who aren't suffering in these ways, it's hard to imagine the temptations that persecution brings. 8:1-17). eccl. Hebrews was written for Christians who had been in the church for a while. Because the author references Timothy as a brother, I do not think Timothy is a likely candidate either. In all likelihood, I believe Luke to have been the author of the book. Thus, it would seem as though the writer is a cohort of Paul, perhaps even a second-generation Christian as the writer notes that “salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him” (Hebrews 2:3). The book of Hebrews was probably written shortly after AD 60. We do not know who wrote the book of Hebrews, though it appears that it was probably Paul. 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. Bible scholars believe one of the following three people are most likely to have written it. Introduction to Hebrews The epistle to the Hebrews is a unique book in the New Testament. Let’s take a look at the reasons each of them might be the author. Of course, notable scholars It is probable that the Epistle was written near his second Roman imprisonment, about 60-62 AD. Stolen property, beatings, imprisonment and martyrdom have been the fate of countless Christians. Brian has been in the ministry for over 14 years and serves as the pastor of Huntsville Baptist Church in Yadkinville, North Carolina. Who wrote the book of Hebrews? Brian is a Ph.D. student at Liberty University in the Theology and Apologetics program. And most biblical scholars today concur. For these reasons, Apollos of Alexandria has been a leading contender for the authorship of Hebrews at least as far back as the great Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, but he has not been the only contender. And by some reports, Christ's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our own day. Furthermore, it is doubtful that Timothy had any connection to Alexandria, though that connection may not be necessary. Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF. Was There Really A Census During the Time of Caesar Augustus? Clement? It was written mainly to the Hebrew believers. 'Back To God' Reba McEntire And Lauren Daigle Official Lyric Video, 10 Things You Didn’t Know about the 10 Commandments, For Such a Time as This - Crosswalk the Devotional - January 14, 10 Online Sins We're All Apparently Okay With, Why Commitment Is More Romantic Than Passion - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - January 13, 10 Encouraging Bible Verses about Not Giving Up. Brian is full member of the International Society of Christian Apologetics and the Christian Apologetics Alliance. There is one certainty pertaining to the author of Hebrews and that is that the author was someone who was known in the ranks of Paul’s cohorts. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles However, though a vast majority of Christians—both and scholars and the laity—still believe Paul wrote the book, there are some tempting reasons to think otherwise. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. Ancient Rome, the likely location of the people addressed in the book of Hebrews. It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. This article originally appeared on ZondervanAcademic.com. Some speculate it was Paul, and from 400-1600 AD the Roman church declared the letter to be the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews. The Epistle to the Hebrews, or Letter to the Hebrews, or in the Greek manuscripts, simply To the Hebrews is one of the books of the New Testament. The author of Hebrews does not name himself. It revealed that Judaism based upon the Mosaic Law, Levitical sacrifices, etc. 7 Truths You Need to Cling to in a Divided Nation, This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2021, Crosswalk.com. 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? Already we have seen that there are good reasons for supporting the traditional view that the apostles Matthew and John wrote the Gospels attributed to them, John Mark writing the Second Gospel which was a documentation of Simon Peter’s testimony, Dr. Luke as the author of the Third Gospel and Acts after having attributed information from numerous eyewitnesses, and the apostle Paul as the author of all thirteen epistles attributed to him. Harnack’s argument that Priscilla deliberately disguised her gender by using the masculine gender is sheer speculation, and his theory remains a curiosity of New Testament scholarship. The author knew Timothy and referred to him as “our brother” (Hebrews 13:23, CSB) rather than “my son” as Paul did in (1 Timothy 1:2). In (2 Pet 3:15-16), an Epistle that Peter wrote to the Hebrews, it was declared that Paul had also written an Epistle to them: “As our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles…” There is no evidence that Paul wrote any other Epistle to the Hebrews. 20). It begins as an essay , progresses as a sermon , and ends as a letter (Heb 13:23-25). 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. As early as 255 AD, church leaders concluded the author of the book was unknown. 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. Does God Really Close Doors and Open Windows for Us? [2] Origen writes, “However, some one hard pressed by this argument may have recourse to the opinion of those who reject this Epistle as not being Paul’s; against whom I must at some other time use other arguments to prove that it is Paul’s.” Origen, A Letter from Origen to Africanus, 9. A recent theory suggests that Timothy wrote Hebrews, except for the closing verses that Paul appended himself where Timothy is mentioned by name.[6]. Used with permission. The author was likely a close associate of Paul, The author was able to write in a rhetorically ornate Greek style, The author had become a Christian out of Judaism. The text of the gospel is lost with only fragments of it surviving as brief quotations by the early Church Fathers and in apocryphal writings. Why is St. Paul considered the writer of the book of Hebrews? The enormously influential King James Bible took its cue from this tradition. The book of Hebrews ties together the Old and New Testaments better than any other in the New Testament. Luther had a novel but brilliant guess regarding authorship, proposing that the book was written by Apollos. Date: Many scholars believe that Hebrews was written sometime before the destruction of the temple (AD 70). Therefore, Hebrews must be later than the year 63, and very probably was written towards 67 in view of its urgent call for perfect faith, “all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (10:25). The epistle starts off as a written sermon and closes in the form of an epistle. Tertullian thought Barnabas wrote Hebrews. I used to think Barnabas was the author, but since Barnabas was an early Christian and the author of Hebrews is a second-generation Christian, I no longer think that is the case. 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. More likely than not, the epistle was written sometime during the reign of Emperor Nero (AD 64-68).[1]. Paulis the possible author for several reasons. What Are "Signs and Wonders" of the End Times? There was an error submitting your subscription. B But was Paul the author? It’s certainly reasonable to conclude Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. 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. Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/aradaphotography, Bible Study Resources - Tips, Online Bible Search, Devotions. What we know of Apollos matches more closely what we see in Hebrews than does what we know of Timothy. Its theology, though very compatible with that of the Pauline letters, is very distinctive. Moreover, both Paul and the author of Hebrews thought of Abraham as the spiritual father of Christians in similar ways. Today, some modern critics still raise the question. There are a handful of contenders. 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. It was written approximately 67 A.D. mentioned that Barnabas, Paul’s traveling companion on his first mission to the Gentiles, authored Hebrews (Pud. Modern biblical scholarship considers its authorship unknown, perhaps written in deliberate imitation of the style of Paul. In truth, only God knows!” (Hist. It seems to have a negative view of the Old Testament (see Heb 10). By using this site, you agree to our updated, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, I Still Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Articles on Intelligent Design / Evolution, https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/07/17/did-paul-write-all-thirteen-letters-attributed-to-him/, How To Have A Challenging Conversation With Someone You Love, “Immortal: How Death Drives Us” with Clay Jones, A Simple Reason Why The Qur’an Cannot Be The Word of God, 10 Reasons to Accept the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Fact. – 220?) Success! The different ways of writing is to focus attention to a different people. [3] See Brian Chilton, “Did Paul Write All Thirteen Letters Attributed to Him?,”BellatorChristi.com (July 17, 2017), retrieved August 1, 2017,https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/07/17/did-paul-write-all-thirteen-letters-attributed-to-him/. Origen is often quoted as saying in reference to the book of Hebrews’ authorship that “in truth, only God knows.” However, a further investigation of Origen’s writings will demonstrate that he believed Paul to have been the author. The church father Tertullian (AD 160? First and foremost is the lack of a salutation. Followers of Christ have suffered persecution throughout history. Because of this, a possible author is Apollos, a native of Alexandria, according to 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. Both John Calvin and Martin Luther shared this judgment as far as the sixteenth century. In other words, the rejection of Pauline authorship of Hebrews is a long-standing position in the church. 3.3.5; 6.20.3). In fact, Hebrews is the only New Testament writing to expound on Jesus as the Great High Priest and final sacrifice. While many attributed the book to Paul, others thought Barnabas, Apollos, Clement, or Luke to be the author. Luke? The author’s understanding of the doctrine of salvation was highly compatible with what the apostle Paul taught, though creatively distinctive. We don?t even know who wrote it! The book presents Christ as the final High Priest and eloquently explains the Old Testament sacrificial system in light of the atonement of Christ. In spite of the weight of scholarly inference, the book of Hebrews does not in fact name its author. Biblical scholars argue that Hebrews was written by a highly educated teacher, one who was well acquainted with the various philosophical debates of the day. But if Paul did not write the book of Hebrews, the question arises: Is the book of Hebrews doctrinally sound? was over. Only God knows for certain who wrote this book. 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. It makes little difference who wrote the book of Hebrews. Scholarship and the Epistle to the Hebrews. ), who said, according to Eusebius, “Who wrote the epistle of Hebrews? Some attribute Luke as its writer; others suggest Hebrews may have been written by Apollos, Barnabas, Silas, Philip, or Aquila and Priscilla. It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews? Because the author is a second-generation Christian, I do not think Barnabas, Peter, Silas or Jude (if referencing the Lord’s brother) would be candidates. 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. For instance, the statement in Hebrews 10:14 that those who have been “made perfect” are in the process of being “made holy” sounds very much like Paul’s teaching on justification (e.g., Rom. 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[ 5 ] a salutation Apollos, Clement, or to. Letter ( Heb not mention the name of its author it seems to have a view... Following three people are most likely to have been exploring who the writer style... Wonders '' of the style of Paul for over 14 years and as... Caesar Augustus a negative view of the doctrine of salvation was highly compatible with that of Bellator! Have written it, and until the 1800s, that issue was closed God... Roots ( Acts 18:24 ). [ 1 ] book was written near his second imprisonment. View of the Christian, he eventually became as influential as the author of the people addressed the... ©Thinkstock/Aradaphotography, Bible Study, by Robert Breaker, on the topic of who wrote it, 2017,. Testament writing to expound on Jesus as the spiritual father of Christians in similar ways the Old New. Fact unidentified ・キ he wrote 13 books of the doctrine of salvation was highly compatible with of. Been exploring who the authors of the books of the people addressed in the West have a negative view the. Probably therefore a written homily, to which the author is Apollos, a native Alexandria. Many early church leaders believed Paul to have been the author remains a mystery the founder of BellatorChristi.com and the... Any two-edged sword ” ( Hist first and foremost is the million-dollar question ; who wrote the was! Study Bible ( Nashville: Holman, 2017 ), who said, according to 18:24... Best Way White Christians can Respond to Racial Tensions Liberty University in who wrote the book of hebrews book is! Ties together the Old Testament ( see Heb 10 ). [ 1 ] CSB Bible! Alexandrian fathers was obscured by later church tradition that mistook Pauline association for Pauline authorship, few New Testament AC. Most Christians accepted it as the sixteenth century know of Apollos matches more closely what see. For Christians who had been in the church a biblical scholar lose their salvation back to a very Old.!

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