The Hebrews epistle was addressed to the Hebrews of Palestine. This letter is said by some to be included among the Pauline letters by accident, it nowhere claims to be written by Paul. One writer says it was written by an unknown author at an unknown place to people at an unknown destination and at an unknown date. This epistle is different in style and thought to the mind of Paul and is generally recognized as an anonymous letter in the early church, it comes close to the style of Barnabas, and Priscilla has also been suggested as the source. Whenever it is quoted by scholarly writers, it is usually "the writer of Hebrews is quoted as saying" rather than naming an author. Clement of Alexandria thought that Paul wrote it in Hebrew, and that Luke translated it into Greek. It is written in most excellent Greek but the quotes from the Septuagint would suggest the original was Greek also. We can infer by reading that the writer was Jewish, familiar with Philo as well as with the Old Testament, acquainted with Timothy and known by those to whom he addressed. The author is not of the twelve, but it is still apostolic in nature and of an Alexandrian flavor. Luther thought that Apollos must have written it.

Hebrews was written somewhere around 61-69 from Italy. It had to be written before AD 70 for its eloquence belongs to the language in which it is composed, it assumes the Temple is still standing, and the priesthood, and whose sacrificial system were then in their normal operation but "waxing old and ready to vanish away.. destruction near at hand..." No one has ever denied the canonicity of the book of Hebrews.

The writer has proved from scripture there is a Sabbath Rest for the people of God. Barnabas connects this with the world to be burned up around the year 6000 after the creation. The danger which the writer of Hebrews sought to avert was the lapse back into Judaism. The book was known and prized especially in the east but also in the west. It has long been recognized that Hebrews betrays a close kinship to Philo - the Logos in Philo, the Christ in Hebrews. But Christ for Hebrews is not just the anointed agent (Messiah) for bringing in the kingdom; he is the agent through whom God created the world, who "reflects the glory of God, and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. The writer aims to establish the supremacy of Christ and Christianity. The readers had evidently been Christians for a long time and had suffered severely. It is a warning to those who accepted Christ of the dangers of apostasy. The book of Hebrews is a masterful defense for the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. Jesus is superior to the angels, superior to Moses and superior to the high priest, so that the new covenant which Jesus mediates is superior to the old covenant which is now obsolete. Hebrews exhorts us to break with Judaism.

In this superiority that Jesus has, Christians must give earnest heed to the things which we have heard and beware lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. We must not fall away but hold unswervingly to the hope we profess by fixing our eyes constantly on the example of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We as Christians are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved and in thankfulness we must worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
[293, 330, 338, 339, 369, 358, BD]

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