Poll Question: Who is the Author of Hebrews?

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  • Poll Question: Who is the Author of Hebrews?

    Over the years numerous scholars have pondered this question: Who wrote the book of Hebrews? Many names have been suggested (i.e. Peter, Jude, Stephen, Philip the deacon, Aristion, Epaphras, Apollos, Priscilla and\or Aquiala etc.). The problem is that none of these have any early support. They are all, more or less, modern suggestions. Therefore I will stick to only authors that have some early support within church history.
    8
    Paul
    25.00%
    2
    Clement of Rome
    0%
    0
    Luke
    0%
    0
    Barnabas
    0%
    0
    Other: Please explain in post.
    12.50%
    1
    Don't Know
    62.50%
    5
    Last edited by Origen; 03-30-2016, 07:49 PM.

  • #2
    If I were to guess, and that is all this would be, I would say most likely Paul but he used an amanuensis.
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    • #3
      Thought to include a write up from Gotquestions.org: Who wrote the Book of Hebrews? Who was the author of Hebrews?


      Answer: Theologically speaking, scholars generally regard the book of Hebrews to be second in importance only to Paul's letter to the Romans in the New Testament. 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. This book presents Christ as the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). However, both the authorship and audience are in question.

      The title, "To the Hebrews," which appears in the earliest known copy of the epistle is not a part of the original manuscript. There is no salutation, the letter simply begins with the assertion that Jesus, the Son of God, has appeared, atoned for our sins, and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven (Hebrews 1:1-4).

      The letter closes with the words "Grace be with you all" (Hebrews 13:25), which is the same closing found in each of Paul's known letters (see Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:24; Philippians 4:23; Colossians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; and Philemon 25). However, it should be noted that Peter (1 Peter 5:14; 2 Peter 3:18) used similar—though not identical—closings. Possibly that it was simply customary to close letters like this with the words "Grace be with you all" during this time period.

      Church tradition teaches that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, and until the 1800s, that issue was closed. 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.

      First and foremost is the lack of a salutation. Some sort of personal salutation from Paul appears in all of his letters. So it would seem that writing anonymously is not his usual method; therefore, the reasoning goes, Hebrews cannot be one of his letters. Second, the overall composition and style is of a person who is a very sophisticated writer. Even though he was certainly a sophisticated communicator, Paul stated that he purposely did not speak with a commanding vocabulary (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:6).

      The book of Hebrews quotes extensively from the Old Testament. Paul, as a Pharisee, would have been familiar with the Scripture in its original Hebrew language. In other letters, Paul either quotes the Masoretic Text (the original Hebrew) or paraphrases it. However, all of the quotes in this epistle are taken out of the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), which is inconsistent with Paul's usage. Finally, Paul was an apostle who claimed to receive his revelations directly from the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23; Galatians 1:12). The writer of Hebrews specifically says that he was taught by an apostle (Hebrews 2:3).

      If Paul didn't write the letter, who did? The most plausible suggestion is that this was actually a sermon Paul gave and it was transcribed later by Luke, a person who would have had the command of the Greek language which the writer shows. Barnabas is another likely prospect, since he was a Levite and would have been speaking on a subject that he knew much about. Martin Luther suggested Apollos, since he would have had the education the writer of this letter must have had. Priscilla and Clemet of Rome have been suggested by other scholars.

      However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. The most compelling comes from Scripture itself. Remember that Peter wrote to the Hebrews (that is, the Jews; see Galatians 2:7, 9 and 1 Peter 1:1). Peter wrote: "...just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him [emphasis added]" (2 Peter 3:15). In that last verse, Peter is confirming that Paul had also written a letter to the Hebrews!

      The theology presented in Hebrews is consistent with Paul's. Paul was a proponent of salvation by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9), and that message is strongly communicated in this epistle (Hebrews 4:2, 6:12, 10:19-22, 10:37-39, and 11:1-40). Either Paul wrote the epistle, or the writer was trained by Paul. Although it is a small detail, this epistle makes mention of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23), and Paul is the only apostle known to have ever done that in any letter.

      So, who actually wrote Hebrews? The letter fills a needed space in Scripture and both outlines our faith and defines faith itself in the same way that Romans defines the tenets of Christian living. It closes the chapters of faith alone and serves as a prelude to the chapters on good works built on a foundation of faith in God. In short, this book belongs in the Bible. Therefore, its human author is unimportant. What is important is to treat the book as inspired Scripture as defined in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Holy Spirit was the divine author of Hebrews, and of all Scripture, even though we don't know who put the physical pen to the physical paper and traced the words.
      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

      • #4
        Luke wrote in a more sophisticated Greek style. Paul wrote with greater knowledge of scripture. If between their own handwritten works, there would never be a question of who wrote what. But, what if Luke wrote Paul's sermon? I doubt Luke would reword Paul's sermon.

        I'm confidant Hebrews was accepted as canon in the days of the Apostles, so it belongs in the Bible, regardless of who wrote it. For the sake of tradition, I'll attribute it to Paul. And, Hebrews lacks the Greek sophistication of Luke's writing.
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        • #5
          I don't know who wrote Hebrews but I don't believe it was Paul because of this statement in Hebrews 2:3: "It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard." The author of Hebrews heard the message of salvation from someone else. Paul heard it directly from Jesus.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #6
            Anyone else have any thoughts on the topic?
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            • #7
              Lots of new people here. Any thought?
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              • #8
                I personally think it is Paul who wrote it, though I don't hold any weight behind it. If someday we find a manuscript with Luke's name on it or something I have no issue switching sides.

                The reason I think it was written by Paul mostly comes from my understanding of the audiences of the books. The majority of Paul's letters were written to Gentiles, and so they were written in a manner that was familiar to them. Using language, idioms, and allusions that the audience would be familiar with and would understand. The book of Hebrews was written for the Jews, a completely different audience with a completely different history and background. And consequently Paul changed his writing style to match the people he would have been writing too.

                Ultimately though I don't feel it's a very important issue, the book was meant to be in the bible so that's good enough for me.
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