Submitted by admin on Mon, 2010-05-10 17:58.

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In the book of Hebrews, the writer does not identify himself, and the customary introductory style for letters is not followed. The impressive literary introduction focuses on the greatness of the Son of God.

According to the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (Book VI, 14.2), Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215 CE) attributed Hebrews to Paul, saying that he wrote it in Hebrew but that Luke translated it for the Greeks. Clement mentioned that this explains the same style found in Hebrews and in Acts. The book of Hebrews does differ markedly in style from the letters in which Paul specifically identified himself by name. Origen (c. 185-c. 254 CE) rightly said, “The construction of the sentences is closer to Greek usage, as anyone capable of recognizing differences of style would agree.” In his view, the writer would have been someone who recalled Paul’s teaching, and the “primitive Church” was fully justified in handing it down as the work of the apostle. Origen then added that God alone actually knows who wrote Hebrews but mentioned as the suggested possible writer Clement of Rome or Luke. (Ecclesiastical History, Book VI, 25.11-14) Tertullian (c. 160-c. 221) attributed Hebrews to Barnabas. (On Modesty, chapter 20) A papyrus codex (P46), which preserves many of Paul’s letters and is thought to date from about 200 CE, includes the book of Hebrews after the letter to the Romans and before 1 Corinthians. This appears to suggest that Paul was regarded as the writer of Hebrews.

Hebrews 13:23 mentions Timothy’s release from imprisonment. This provides a basis for assigning the second half of the first century CE as the time for the composition.

The book of Hebrews highlights the exalted position of the Son of God. At the same time, it makes clear that the arrangement for worship based on faith in him is far superior to that associated with the law given to the Israelites through the mediator Moses.