Who Wrote The Epistle to the Hebrews?

Hebrews

I have always been fascinated by the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. I recently asked the community here who they thought was the author of the Book of Hebrews and I felt encouraged to write an article on the subject because of the interest of fellow writers.

Some other names for the Book of Hebrews are Letter to the Hebrews and the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Book of Hebrews is one of my favorites book of the bible because to me it seems very unique. The Book of Hebrew's author has been debated throughout history and remains an enigma, even today. Many people have attributed the book to the Apostle Paul. Others have been put forth as the author of the Book of Hebrews such as Barnabas, Apollos and Priscilla, as well as others.

I am not an expert on the Bible, but I have read and studied it as a layman for many years. I lack the expertise to even speculate on who possibly wrote the Book of Hebrews. I did want to write an article about how I believe the book is an extraordinary work, in so many ways. It is extraordinary to me personally, as I consider it a masterpiece of biblical literature and literature in general.

I cannot speak as an expert, but I did want to convey my personal opinions of the Book of Hebrews, as well as the author, whoever that should be. I was also hoping for possible commentary in the comment section below. Perhaps someone that is more knowledgeable can give more insight. Or perhaps, others can give opinions or ideas on who they think authored the Book of Hebrews, whether they are an expert or not and possibly we can come to a consensus.

I thought it would be helpful if the personality traits of the writer was explored and discussed. I want to investigate the author's personality and get to know them as much as possible. If other people would like to express their perspective of the personality that authored or possibly even coauthored or collaborated, in the writing of the Book of Hebrews, I think it might help in getting a clearer picture of that personality, based upon different views of the same person. With that information, or varied views, that personality could be compared to other books, verses or writings and it could become possible, to come closer to finding the true author.

In my opinion, the writer of the Book of Hebrews, writes with assertive, almost commanding confidence. They seem to know scripture, backwards and forwards. They seem to know scripture so well, that they can pick verses throughout the Bible and put them together, in a linear and coherent fashion, with such a remarkably eloquent result.

Who wrote the Book of Hebrews? What are the personality traits of the author of the Book of Hebrews? What does the Book of Hebrews mean to you? What lesson or message in the Book of Hebrews is the most significant or what stands out the most? Do you think the Book of Hebrews is unique in any way?

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Interesting that you put it this way. The writer of the book of Hebrews was clearly a Jew who knew the scriptures well. He (or she) was probably a Rabbi who had studied the scriptures.

Paul (or Saul) was a rabbi who studied under the Great Gamaliel (one of the greatest teachers of Ancient Judaism) and was the 'front runner' for who wrote the book.

Barnabas was a Levite whom we first meet when he gives a gift to the fledgeling Church (Acts 5) Ananias and Sapphira try to imitate this but keep part of the proceeds back and lie about it. Barnabas was clearly instructed in the Rabbinical schools of Jerusalem. But read Hebrews 6 and ask yourselves can the man who gave Saul a second chance, argued with Paul so violently that they split up over wanting to give John Mark a second chance (Acts 15) Could he have written that it's impossible for some to repent?

We don't know a lot about Apollos except that he was from Alexandria (another center of Jewish learning) and was well versed in 'the way'. He did come under Paul's teaching and was familiar with much of the ways that the Rabbis reasoned.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

Thank you so much Mr. Lawrence Hebb. The question and answers section is limited for discussion. I am not grasping what you are referring to regarding Chapter 6 as you mentioned it before and I really want to know exactly what you mean. If you will, I would really like to understand what you mean, but you may have to really spell it out for me indepth and you may have to almost teach me what you are saying exactly. There is no hurry, and I would really like to get what you mean.

It is a difficult, question on the author, one we may never know because of the limits of written documents available. But I love the book of Hebrews, so I don't think I will ever tire of the subject.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

I know I have read the book of Hebrews in times past. You have piqued my interest, so I will be reading the book again. Thank you for sharing..


favored profile image

favored 21 months ago from USA

Although the text doesn't seem to follow the style of writing of Paul, it was clearly a time of transition for the apostle which lead us to believe he may have been the author. The faith road is paved for believer's in this book and it is a good one to study if you're finding it shaken.

Good topic and questioning. I hope to read more comments.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

Thanks for the comment Always exploring. I find the Book of Hebrews really interesting too.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

Thank you Favored. I am not quite sure I understand what you mean by a time of transition, if you would like to expound on your thoughts there I would really be interested because this book is fascinating to me. Sometimes I think maybe the Book of Hebrews could be a collaboration, because authorship seems elusive.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back with a reply for you folks but I'll try to answer the question you asked about Hebrews Chapter 6.

The book was written to a group of Jewish believers who were still struggling with whether they should still follow the Laws of Moses or is there freedom in Christ.

You've got to remember that the believers in New testament times didn't have the luxury of being able to turn to a Bible, the most they had was the Old Testament and their Theologians were hundreds of miles away and still working things out themselves.

Barnabas, Paul and Apollos were three of those Theologians. Barnabas was an amazing guy.

When Saul had the vision on the road to Damascus none of the Apostles or any leaders of the Church would believe him. Barnabas was the one who believed Saul and took him to Peter (Acts 9 vs 27).

After the first Missionary trip when John Mark had really blown it with Paul it was Barnabas who stood up to Paul and had such an argument that they actually split up and Barnabas took Mark eventually rehabilitating him (John Mark was later to prove vital to Peter and wrote the Gospel of Mark). Barnabas was the man who believed in second and third chances. His name itself means 'Son of encouragement' and that's the kind of guy.

Hebrews Chapter 6 verse 4-8 says 'It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the power of the ago to come. If they fall away to renew them again to repentance since they crucify again the son of God and put him to open shame'

Basically the writer is saying that once they came to faith if they then turn back to Judaism they are literally walking away from the faith and 'crucifying Christ' all over.

That's what I mean by Barnabas not being the writer (in my opinion) as I can't see him writing something like that.

This isn't a group of Christians who have their church rules that they're somewhat strict on but a group that is literally saying that the salvation brought by Christ's death and resurrection isn't enough and they need the rules to get into heaven!

I hope this helps


always exploring profile image

always exploring 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

lawrence, Your explanation of the scripture is helpful. Thank you kindly.


DabbleYou profile image

DabbleYou 21 months ago

I think that for most people who are reading The Bible, the teachings and the stories are more important than whoever wrote it.

Interesting topic. :)


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

I agree Always exploring, I really like Lawrence's ideas.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

So true DabbleYou, the teachings and stories are the most important!


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

Mr. Lawrence01 I really like how you are seeing and explaining this particular scripture from a perspective that would be taking into consideration the time, place and people. That is excellent.

I remember Ananias of Damascus, was reluctant after hearing Paul was to be a chosen vessel at first. I have never looked at chapter 6 from the perspective you have, so that is just amazing to me for another perspective to try and bring that scripture to life in another way. I have always tended to see it from my place,time and personally.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

I'm glad you found the explanation helpful. Hebrew is actually one of the harder book of the Bible to really come to grips with it's meaning. That's when you need to go back to look at what was going on. I love the Bible but I'm also an avid history buff so I really enjoy digging this stuff out.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

It sounds like you have done a lot of research Mr. Lawrence01. This is exactly as I was hoping for was to get as many different views as possible and as you say: dig this stuff out. Some of the books in the Bible are really special to me. Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Psalms, Proverbs, Jonah, Job, just to name a few. Sometimes I feel like there is some hidden things in books like Jonah etc, something more or beneath just the stories. I love digging this stuff out, and I enjoy it so much, I started wanting to hear other peoples ideas, opinions, views and perspectives, in the hopes that I might see some gem that I missed, if that makes sense.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

For me it's like books like Jonah, Job and Ecclesiastes just for instance could stand alone as short story literary masterpieces. And the The Book of Hebrews is what I consider a densely, almost a synopsis of the entire bible, yet amazingly eloquent, like in the fashion or style of those other books I mention.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

If I had stacks of blank pieces of paper in front of me, and I was tasked with the impossibility of creating a copy of the Bible just from my bad memory and the limited amount of reading and studying I have done, and someone said I could choose only one book from the Bible to help me, I would choose the Book of Hebrews.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

A friend of mine once told me that the Bible is amazing in that no matter how much you study it you'll always find another deeper layer of meaning in it each time.

You can read it at face value and enjoy the stories for being just that but the deeper you go the more it reveals itself to you. Jonah, Job and Ecclesiastes are also amazing books as they are clearly one story that has a second and third meaning that we can apply to our age.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 21 months ago from USA Author

I have always believed that too Lawrence01. I think a person could easily spend a lifetime, studying the Bible. It does seem to be layered.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

I love the story of Karl Barth. He spent his life studying the Bible and one day was asked by a student 'what's the most profound truth in the Bible? '

He replied 'Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so '


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 8 months ago from The Midwest, USA

Phoenix, I agree with you. What an enigma the book of Hebrews is. I have a similar opinion to your thoughts in the second to the last paragraph in your article. You have caused me to rethink things, and go back and study the book more, as you ask great questions in the final paragraph. I hope to come back and share my findings because I think its an amazing work of literature and definitely worth the discussion you mention. Thanks for your thoughts on the amazing book of Hebrews!


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 7 months ago from USA Author

Thank you all for the insightful comments.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 7 months ago from Minnesota

I don't have the answer as to who wrote the book of Hebrews, but it was likely Paul who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it down into words.


tsmog profile image

tsmog 7 months ago from Escondido, CA

I am enamored with "Who the author of Hebrews is?" and prefer it be left a mystery. Why? Because it offers in an odd sense hope. That hope is the author could have been anyone like you, me, or another. Best left a mystery . . .


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Lawrence's answer is partly validated by this quote from Bible Hub: "The book of Hebrews is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written mainly to the Hebrew believers. The author is anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the author. It was written approximately 67 A.D. Its purpose was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as perfect and superior in comparison to anything Judaism and the old covenant had to offer."


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 5 weeks ago from USA Author

Thank you so much for the comment Ms Dora.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 5 weeks ago

I quote many verses from the book of Hebrews on faith. The author certainly knew how to inspire people to achieve this quality to discover personal intimacy with God. You have peaked interest as to the author really is but whoever wrote it (most likely Paul) has affected our lives forever.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working