Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews
In favor of Paul of Tarsus
Rebuttal to writing style - Scholars of Greek consider its writing to be more polished and eloquent than any other book of the New Testament, and "the very carefully composed and studied Greek of Hebrews is not Paul's spontaneous, volatile contextual Greek". Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
1) Paul was highly educated in Judaism.
If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Philippians 3:4-6
“Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said: “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.” Acts 22:1-3
2) Paul had different writers for his epistles.
I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord. Romans 16:22
3) Paul was a favored prisoner while in Caesarea.
So, he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him. And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Acts 24:23-24
So, the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in. Acts 25:23
4) Paul had several years of confinement in Caesarea that gave him time to compose his epistle to the Hebrews with help from court recorders.
But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound. Acts 24:27
Purpose of Paul writing to Hebrews.
1) Paul discovered that Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were still zealous for the Old Covenant.
And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. Acts 21:17-21
2) Paul wanted to fully deliver his message of Jesus Christ to the non-believing Jews in Jerusalem.
And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!” Acts 22:22
Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Acts 23:1-2
3) Paul wanted to remind the Hebrews that faith instead of the law was the means of salvation.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:23-25
Why did Paul not identify himself as the author?
1) Paul wanted believing Jews to read the epistle without bias.
Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. Hebrews 2:1
2) Paul wanted non-believing Jews to read the epistle without bias.
And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Acts 23:12
3) Paul deferred to the original apostles so that his identity would be masked.
For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? Hebrews 2:2-4
Similar words used by Paul in his epistles.
These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 2 Thessalonians 1:9
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, Hebrews 4:14
and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:4
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 2 Corinthians 1:19
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4:13
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Romans (20); 1 Corinthians (5); 2 Corinthians (12); Galatians (7); Ephesians (13); Philippians (3); Colossians (7); 1 Thessalonians (2); 2 Thessalonians (4); 1 Timothy (4); 2 Timothy (4); Titus (5); Philemon (2) Grace is used an additional 6 times in Hebrews.
And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:15 Promise is used an additional 16 times in Hebrews.Romans (10); 2 Corinthians (3); Galatians (11); Ephesians (4); 1 Timothy (1); 2 Timothy (1); Titus (1);
What was the result of the publication of the Hebrews epistle after Paul had been confined for two years? (Acts 24:27)
Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. there shortly. me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.” Acts 25:1-5
What did Peter say about the epistles that Paul sent to the various churches and individuals?
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 2 Peter 3:14-16