The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.




There are not wanting those who reject the commonly received opinion that St. Paul wrote this Epistle. It may therefore be interesting to look at the historic proof of Paul being the writer.‘

There are several particulars relating to the personal history of the writer [found in the Epistle itself] :—

(1) He was not one of our Lord’s disciples, and probably did not know Christianity till after our Lord’s ascension (Heb. ii. 3). St. Paul, we know, was converted after the ascension of our 'Lord' (Acts ix.).

(2) The Epistle was written from Italy (Heb. xiii. 24). Paul was in Italy for some time.

(3) The writer mentions some hindrance which prevented, his leaving Italy (Heb. xiii. 19.) This agrees with what we  know of Paul, who was in prison there (2 Tim. i. 16).

(4) The writer desired the prayers of his brethren for the removal of this hindrance- (Heb. xiii. 19). This is conformable to the custom of Paul in his other Epistles (Rom. xv. 30; Ephes. vi. 19).

(5) The writer knew of Timothy’s release from prison (Heb. xii. 23). Paul mentions this in writing to Timothy (1 Tim. vi. 12).

(6) Timothy was not with the writer in Italy, but was shortly expected (Heb. xiii. ‘23). This agrees with what we know of the situation of Paul when in prison (2 Tim. iv. 9).

(7) The writer looked forward to travelling with Timothy to visit the Hebrew Christians (Heb. xiii. 23). Timothy was Paul’s constant companion in travel.

Here, then, are several particulars respecting the writer of the Epistle, all of which agree with what we know of the history of Paul, but do not suit with what is known of any other eminent New Testament saints. It is highly improbable, therefore, that any other ‘New Testament writer but Paul wrote this Epistle.

Further: to ,none of the assigned writers do all the circumstances here noted suit, as far as we are acquainted with their histories. We know not that Apollos Or Barnabas was ever in Rome, or suffered imprisonment there for the truth’s. sake. Luke and Clemens were. in Rome, but we have no information of their having been imprisoned there: and, further, neither were Jews (Col. iv. 11, 14), which it is probable the writer of this Epistle was.

In the absence of certainty, there is evidence enough from the personal "remarks of the writer, to lead us to the concision that Paul wrote-to the Jewish saints.



It ought not to surprise any that scripture has settled the authorship of the Epistle; and this not by men reasoning on the reference to imprisonment and release in Italy, and the relationship to Timothy, but by a sufficiently determinate statement of Peter. in his Second Epistle, addressed, as we know it is, to. the elect Jews of the dispersion (cf; 1 Peter i. 1, 2; and 2 Peter iii. 1), as the Epistle to the Hebrews contemplates those in the land. - In either case believing Jews are contemplated;

"What, then, can be plainer than the apostle Peter’s Word? “Even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; as also in all epistles speaking in them of these things ”. (2 Peter) iii. 15, 16). New this Epistle repeatedly speaks of the day of the Lord, with some things as usual hard, especially for Jewish minds, to understand, as in Chapters ix., x., xii.

Thus it is certain that Paul as well as Peter wrote to the Hebrew Christians; and that these are spoken of as “scriptures” by implication in the Words that follow: "Wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, 'unto their own destruction ” (2 Pet. iii. 16).

Either then the Epistle to the Hebrews is what Paul wrote to them; or that portion of the "scriptures" is lost. It has been shown plainly that the scope of truth is eminently that. of Paul; and the peculiarity of his task to any reflecting mind , would readily account for an elaborate handling. of types, most desirable for Jews, but out of place in his writing to Gentile saints.

W. K.