Sunday, July 12, 2015

Who Penned Hebrews?

My friend Louie and I had a conversation via the internet this past week, as we do from time to time..

The part of the discussion which is germane to this Sunday morning post was a statement I made to him that when I sought encouragement or believed I was undergoing chastening I turn to the twelfth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (Emphases added.)
 What greater encouragement might we hope for than to look to the example of our Christ who laid down His very life for our sins!  The chapter continues
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
While I may endure chastening, I am a son of God!

End lesson.

Now Louie and I know that we both agree on the essentials of the Scriptures, but we also know that we disagree on a couple of points that are not critical to salvation.  To wit, and in this instance, Louie is a firm believer that Paul was the writer of The Hebrews.  I am just as firmly convinced that Paul did not write the book.

He wrote back to me, "I Love  Hebrews. Dave, I cannot  believe how these nut cases  cannot see that Paul is the writer.  That is if they read his other books,  Also He knew more about The Hebrew  law than any other  person that was in The Church of God that The Lord Jesus started. Blessings on you this weekend!"

To which I replied (remember, we each knew the position of the other before this conversation):   "Thank you for your (repeated) position on the authorship.   May the blessings of the Lord be yours, and may there be peace between you and
Your Fellow Nutcase in Christ. 
(Who can’t see how you can read the Letters and still believe Paul penned Hebrews. Oh, well.  We both believe God is the Author of His Word, the Author and Finisher of our faith.)"

Quickly, my case, in a nutshell, if you are interested.

In my opinion, Paul could not have written:

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;" (KJV  Heb 2:3)

for Paul was certainly one of “them that heard him.”  Acts 9 
"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
To me, this is the most compelling reason to believe Paul was not the writer.  There are others, e.g., the missing “salutation” which we see in Paul’s letters.

Romans 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle
I Cor 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ
Ii Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
I Thess 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus
II Thess 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus
I Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
II Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
Titus 1:1  Paul, a servant of God
Philemon 1:1  Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ
Compare these with
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets
Yet Louie may have as good a chance of being right as I have.  But you have probably perceived that I doubt that is the case.

No comments: