The text is traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, but doubt on Pauline authorship in the Roman Church is reported by Eusebius. Modern biblical scholarship considers its authorship unknown, perhaps written in deliberate imitation of the style of Paul. Although the writer's style reflects some characteristics of Paul's writing, there are some differences.
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". The book has earned the reputation of being a masterpiece. It has also been described as an intricate New Testament book. Scholars believe it was written for Jewish Christians who lived in Jerusalem. Its purpose was to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. At this time, certain believers were considering turning back to Judaism (the Jewish system of law) to escape being persecuted for accepting Christ as their saviour, now following this system of grace (saved by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross). The theme of the epistle is the doctrine of the person of Christ and his role as mediator between God and humanity.
The epistle opens with an exaltation of Jesus as "the radiance of God's glory, the express image of his being, and upholding all things by his powerful word".[1:1–3] The epistle presents Jesus with the titles "pioneer" or "forerunner", "Son" and "Son of God", "priest" and "high priest".
Hebrews uses Old Testament quotations interpreted in light of first century rabbinical Judaism. New Testament and Second Temple Judaism scholar Eric Mason argues that the conceptual background of the priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews closely parallels presentations of the messianic priest and Melchizedek in the Qumran scrolls. In both Hebrews and Qumran a priestly figure is discussed in the context of a Davidic figure; in both cases a divine decree appoints the priests to their eschatological duty; both priestly figures offer an eschatological sacrifice of atonement. Although the author of Hebrews was not directly influenced by Qumran's "Messiah of Aaron", these and other conceptions did provide "a precedent... to conceive Jesus similarly as a priest making atonement and eternal intercession in the heavenly sanctuary".:199
By the end of the first century there was no consensus on the author’s identity. Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Paul the Apostle, and other names were proposed. Others later suggested Luke the Evangelist, Apollos, or his teacher Priscilla as possible authors.
In the 3rd century, Origen wrote of the letter,
"In the epistle entitled To The Hebrews the diction does not exhibit the characteristic roughness of speech or phraseology admitted by the Apostle [Paul] himself, the construction of the sentences is closer to the Greek usage, as anyone capable of recognising differences of style would agree. On the other hand the matter of the epistle is wonderful, and quite equal to the Apostle's acknowledged writings: the truth of this would be admitted by anyone who has read the Apostle carefully... If I were asked my personal opinion, I would say that the matter is the Apostle's but the phraseology and construction are those of someone who remembered the Apostle's teaching and wrote his own interpretation of what his master had said. So if any church regards this epistle as Paul's, it should be commended for so doing, for the primitive Church had every justification for handing it down as his. Who wrote the epistle is known to God alone: the accounts that have reached us suggest that it was either Clement, who became Bishop of Rome, or Luke, who wrote the gospel and the Acts."
Further, "Men of old have handed it down as Paul's, but who wrote the Epistle God only knows".
In the 4th century, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo supported Paul's authorship: the Church largely agreed to include Hebrews as the fourteenth letter of Paul, and affirmed this authorship until the Reformation. Scholars argued that in the 13th chapter of Hebrews, Timothy is referred to as a companion. Timothy was Paul's missionary companion in the same way Jesus sent disciples out in pairs. Also, the writer states that he wrote the letter from "Italy", which also at the time fits Paul. The difference in style is explained as simply an adjustment to a distinct audience, to the Jewish Christians who were being persecuted and pressured to go back to traditional Judaism. Many scholars now believe that the author was one of Paul's pupils or associates, citing stylistic differences between Hebrews and the other Pauline epistles. Recent scholarship has favored the idea that the author was probably a leader of a predominantly Jewish congregation to whom he or she was writing.
Because of its anonymity, it had some trouble being accepted as part of the Christian canon, being classed with the Antilegomena. Eventually it was accepted as scripture because of its sound theology, eloquent presentation, and other intrinsic factors.:431 In antiquity, certain circles began to ascribe it to Paul in an attempt to provide the anonymous work an explicit apostolic pedigree.
The original King James Version of the Bible titled the work "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews". However, the KJV's attribution to Paul was only a guess, and is currently disputed by recent research. Its vastly different style, different theological focus, different spiritual experience, different Greek vocabulary – all are believed to make Paul's authorship of Hebrews increasingly indefensible. At present, neither modern scholarship nor church teaching ascribes Hebrews to Paul.
A.J. Gordon ascribes the authorship of Hebrews to Priscilla, writing that "It is evident that the Holy Spirit made this woman Priscilla a teacher of teachers". Originally proposed by Adolf von Harnack in 1900, Harnack’s reasoning won the support of prominent Bible scholars of the early twentieth century. Harnack believes the letter was written in Rome – not to the Church, but to the inner circle. In setting forth his evidence for Priscillan authorship, he finds it amazing that the name of the author was blotted out by the earliest tradition. Citing Chapter 13, he says it was written by a person of "high standing and apostolic teacher of equal rank with Timothy". If Luke, Clemens, Barnabas, or Apollos had written it, Harnack believes their names would not have been obliterated.
Also convinced that Priscilla was the author of Hebrews, Gilbert Bilezikian, professor of biblical studies at Wheaton College, remarks on "the conspiracy of anonymity in the ancient church," and reasons: "The lack of any firm data concerning the identity of the author in the extant writings of the church suggests a deliberate blackout more than a case of collective loss of memory." 
The use of tabernacle terminology in Hebrews has been used to date the epistle before the destruction of the temple, the idea being that knowing about the destruction of both Jerusalem and the temple would have influenced the development of the author's overall argument. Therefore, the most probable date for its composition is the second half of the year 63 or the beginning of 64, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.
However, there is no way to prove the actual dating of this writing, even from within the internal structure of the writing. Throughout the writing, all mentions of the priestly acts of worship are connected to the tabernacle in Sinai, as built by Moses, with no mention of the temple in Jerusalem. An argument for a later date of the Hebrew text can be assumed due to the absence of any mention of the temple in Jerusalem. If the Hebrew writer composed this message after the first century it would be entirely possible that the destruction of the Jerusalem temple and that of the city of Jerusalem would not be relevant to the writer. Thus, some academic scholars hold to a much later date of composition to the Hebrew writing.
Scholars have suggested that Hebrews is part of an internal New Testament debate between the extreme Judaizers (who argued that non-Jews must convert to Judaism before they can receive the Holy Spirit of Jesus' new covenant) versus the extreme antinomians (who argued that Jews must reject God's commandments and that Jewish law was no longer in effect). James and Paul represent the moderates of each faction, respectively, and Peter served as moderator.
It sets before the Jew the claims of Christianity – to bring the Jew to the full realization of the relation of Judaism to Christianity, to make clear that Christ has fulfilled those temporary and provisional institutions, and has thus abolished them. This view is commonly referred to as Supersessionism.
Those to whom Hebrews is written seem to have begun to doubt whether Jesus could really be the Messiah for whom they were waiting, because they believed the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures was to come as a militant king and destroy the enemies of his people. Jesus, however, came as a mere man who was arrested by the Jewish leaders and who suffered and was crucified by the Romans. And although he was seen resurrected, he still left the earth and his people, who now face persecution rather than victory. The Book of Hebrews solves this problem by arguing that the Hebrew Scriptures also foretold that the Messiah would be a priest (although of a different sort than the traditional Levitical priests) and Jesus came to fulfill this role, as a sacrificial offering to God, to atone for sins. His role of a king is yet to come, and so those who follow him should be patient and not be surprised that they suffer for now.[13:12–14]
Some scholars today believe the document was written to prevent apostasy. Some have interpreted apostasy to mean a number of different things, such as a group of Christians in one sect leaving for another more conservative sect, one of which the author disapproves. Some have seen apostasy as a move from the Christian assembly to pagan ritual. In light of a possibly Jewish-Christian audience, the apostasy in this sense may be in regard to Jewish-Christians leaving the Christian assembly to return to the Jewish synagogue. The author writes, "Let us hold fast to our confession".[4:14] The epistle has been viewed as a long, rhetorical argument for having confidence in the new way to God revealed in Jesus Christ.
The book could be argued to affirm special creation. It affirms that God by His Son, Jesus Christ, made the worlds. "God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son... by whom also he made the worlds". [1:1–2] The epistle also emphasizes the importance of faith. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear".[11:3]
...the Epistle opens with the solemn announcement of the superiority of the New Testament Revelation by the Son over Old Testament Revelation by the prophets. [1:1–4] It then proves and explains from the Scriptures the superiority of this New Covenant over the Old by the comparison of the Son with the angels as mediators of the Old Covenant, [1:5–2:18] with Moses and Joshua as the founders of the Old Covenant, [3:1–4:16] and finally, by opposing the high-priesthood of Christ after the order of Melchisedech to the Levitical priesthood after the order of Aaron. [5:1–10:18] (Leopold Fonck, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910)
Hebrews is a very consciously "literary" document. The purity of its Greek was noted by Clement of Alexandria, according to Eusebius (Historia Eccl., VI, xiv), and Origen of Alexandria asserted that every competent judge must recognize a great difference between this epistle and those of Paul (Eusebius, VI, xxv).
This letter consists of two strands: an expositional or doctrinal strand, [1:1–14] [2:5–18] [5:1–14] [6:13–9:28] [13:18–25] and a hortatory or strongly urging strand which punctuates the exposition parenthetically at key points as warnings to the readers. [2:1–4] [3:1–4:16] [6:1–12] [10:1–13:17]
Hebrews does not fit the form of a traditional Hellenistic epistle, lacking a proper prescript. Modern scholars generally believe this book was originally a sermon or homily, although possibly modified after it was delivered to include the travel plans, greetings and closing. [13:20–25] 
The Epistle to the Hebrews is notable for the manner in which it expresses the divine nature of Christ. As A.C. Purdy summarized for The Interpreter's Bible (1955):
We may sum up our author’s Christology negatively by saying that he has nothing to do with the older Hebrew messianic hopes of a coming Son of David, who would be a divinely empowered human leader to bring in the kingdom of God on earth; and that while he still employs the figure of a militant, apocalyptic king... who will come again..., this is not of the essence of his thought about Christ.
Positively, our author presents Christ as divine in nature, and solves any possible objection to a divine being who participates in human experience, especially in the experience of death, by the priestly analogy. He seems quite unconscious of the logical difficulties of his position proceeding from the assumption that Christ is both divine and human, at least human in experience although hardly in nature.
Mikeal Parsons has commented:
If the humanity of Jesus is an important theme for Hebrews, how much more is Jesus’ deity. While this theme of exaltation is asserted ‘in many and various ways’ we shall content ourselves by considering how the writer addresses this theme by asserting Jesus’ superiority to a) angels, and b) Moses. The first chapter of Hebrews stresses the superiority of the Son to the angels. The very name ‘Son’ indicates superiority. This exaltation theme, in which the Son is contrasted with the angels (1:4), is expanded in the following string of OT quotations (1:5-13). While some have understood the catena as referring primarily to Christ’s pre-existence, it is more likely that the verses should be understood, ‘as a Christological hymn which traces the entire Christ event, including the pre-existence, earthly life, and exaltation of Christ’. The overall structure of the catena seems to point to exaltation as the underlying motif... At least it may be concluded that the superiority of the Son is demonstrated by this comparison/contrast with angels.
Peter Rhea Jones has reminded us that ‘Moses is not merely one of the figures compared unfavourably to Jesus’; but rather, ‘Moses and Jesus are yoked throughout the entirety of the epistle’. Allowing that Moses is much more than a ‘whipping boy’ for the author, the fact remains that the figure Moses is utilized as a basis for Christology. While there are several references to Moses, only two will be needed to demonstrate Jesus’ superiority. The first passage to be considered is Hebrews 3:1-6. D’Angelo and others regard the larger context of this passage (3:1-4:16) to be the superiority of Christ’s message to the Law. While the comparison between Jesus and the angels is based on a number of OT citations, the comparison of Jesus and Moses turns on a single verse, Nu. 12:7. Like the angels (1:14), Moses was a servant who witnessed, as it were, to the Son. In other words, ‘faithful Sonship is superior to faithful servantship’. The Son is once again exalted. The exaltation theme finds expression in a more opaque way at 11:26. Here in the famous chapter on faith Moses is said to count ‘abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt’. The portrait of Moses drawn here is that of a martyr, and a Christian martyr at that. In effect, Moses joins that great cloud of witnesses who looked to Jesus as pioneer and perfecter of faith. Once again, Christ’s superiority is asserted, this time over Moses and the entire Mosaic epoch.
In summary, the writer [of Hebrews] stressed the Sonship of Jesus and expressed it in a three-stage Christology of pre-existence, humanity, and exaltation.
Online translations of the Epistle to the Hebrews:
Epistle to the Hebrews
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Books of the Bible
The Epistle to the Hebrews of the Christian Bible is one of the New Testament books whose canonicity was disputed. Traditionally, Paul the Apostle was thought to be the author. However, since the third century this has been questioned, and the consensus among most modern scholars is that the author is unknown.Hebrews 10
Hebrews 10 is the tenth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the exposition about Christ's effective sacrifice and the exhortation to continue in faithfulness and expectancy.Hebrews 11
Hebrews 11 is the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the exposition about the examples of faith's effective expression.Hebrews 12
Hebrews 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the call to respond gratefully and nobly to God's invitation.Hebrews 13
Hebrews 13 is the thirteenth (and the last) chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23), caused a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This closing chapter contains the author's concluding exhortations,
final benediction and epistolary postscript.Hebrews 4
Hebrews 4 is the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the admonition to press on toward 'God's Rest' and a reflection on the power of God's Word.Hebrews 6
Hebrews 6 is the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the admonition to progress and persist in faithfulness.Hebrews 8
Hebrews 8 is the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the exposition about the better ministry of the New Covenant.Hebrews 9
Hebrews 9 is the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the exposition about the ministry of the first covenant and Christ's effective sacrifice.Melchizedek
Melchizedek, Melchisedech, Melkisetek, or Malki Tzedek (; Hebrew: מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶֿק malkī-ṣeḏeq, "king of righteousness"; Amharic: መልከ ጼዴቅ malkī-ṣeḏeq; Armenian: Մելքիսեդեք, Melkisetek), was the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon (often translated as "most high God ") mentioned in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis. He brings out bread and wine and then blesses Abram and El Elyon.Chazalic literature—specifically Targum Jonathan, Targum Yerushalmi, and the Babylonian Talmud—presents the name מלכי־צדק)) as a nickname title for Shem, the son of Noah.In Christianity, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus Christ is identified as "High priest forever in the order of Melchizedek", and so Jesus assumes the role of High Priest once and for all.
It is speculated that the story of Melchizedek is an informal insertion into the narration, possibly inserted in order to give validity to the priesthood and tithes connected with the Second Temple. His name indicates he may have worshipped Zedek, a Canaanite deity worshipped in pre-Israelite Jerusalem.Papyrus 114
Papyrus 114 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 114, is a copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Letter to the Hebrews, containing verses 1:7-12 in a fragmentary condition. The manuscript has been paleographically assigned by the INTF to the 3rd century CE. Papyrologist Philip Comfort dates the manuscript to Middle-Late 3rd century CE. The manuscript is currently housed in the Papyrology Rooms (P. Oxy. 4498) of the Sackler Library at Oxford.Papyrus 116
Papyrus 116 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 116, is a copy of part of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Letter to the Hebrews. The surviving text of Hebrews are verses 2:9-11; 3:3-6. They are in a fragmentary condition. The manuscript palaeographically has been assigned by the INTF to the 6th century (or 7th century).
The text of the codex was edited by A. Papathomas in 2000.
The Greek text of this codex is too small to determine its textual character.
The codex currently is housed at the Austrian National Library (Pap. G. 42417) at Vienna. The fragments are also commonly referred to as P. Vindob. G 42417.
As of June 2017, Martin Shkreli bought the fragments for an unknown price.Papyrus 12
Papyrus 12 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), α 1033 (in the Soden numbering), designated by siglum 12, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews, it contains only Hebrews 1:1. The manuscript palaeographically has been assigned to ca. 285. It may have been a writing exercise or an amulet.Papyrus 126
Papyrus 126 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by siglum 126, is a copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews.Papyrus 13
Papyrus 13, designated by siglum 13 or P13 in the Gregory-Aland numbering, is a fragmented manuscript of the New Testament in Greek. It was copied on papyrus in the 3rd century at approximately 225-250 CE.Papyrus 17
Papyrus 17 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), signed by 17, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but only contains verses 9:12-19. The manuscript has been paleographically assigned to the 4th century. However, according to Philip Comfort it is from the late 3rd century.Papyrus 79
Papyrus 79 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 79, is a copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The surviving texts of Hebrews are verses 10:10-12,28-30.
The manuscript palaeographically has been assigned to the 7th century.
The text was not corrected. The letters have Coptic shape.
The Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Alexandrian text-type. Aland placed it in Category II.
It is currently housed at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Inv. no. 6774) in Berlin.Papyrus 89
Papyrus 89 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 89, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The surviving texts of Hebrews are verses 6:7–9,15–17.
The manuscript palaeographically has been assigned to the 4th century.
The Greek text of this codex is too brief for classification. Aland did not place it in any Category of New Testament manuscripts.
It is currently housed at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (PL III/292) in Florence.Priscilla and Aquila
Priscilla ( Greek: Πρίσκιλλα, Priskilla) and Aquila (; Greek: Ἀκύλας, Akylas) were a first century Christian missionary married couple described in the New Testament. Aquila is traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who described them as his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3 NASB).Priscilla and Aquila are described in the New Testament as providing a presence that strengthened the early Christian churches. Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgment of his indebtedness to them (Rom. 16:3-4). Together, they are credited with instructing Apollos, a major evangelist of the first century, and "[explaining] to him the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18:26).
It is thought by some to be possible, in light of her apparent prominence, that Priscilla held the office of presbyter . She also is thought by some to be the anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Epistle to the Hebrews