Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hebrews' authorship

I love your study series of the book of Hebrews.  I have always read Hebrews as if Paul was writing to believers in this current age of grace; so obviously I am in the process of untangling a lot of bad teaching.  Do you believe that Paul wrote Hebrews, because if he didn’t, that changes everything!

Of course we know that first and foremost, God wrote the book of Hebrews.  We know from our Sunday series in Hebrews that Paul wrote 13 epistles (Romans through Philemon) and that he began each one with his name.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Although many bibles label Hebrews as ‘The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews,’ that is just something that man added.  It is not part of scripture; the publishers added it to “help” readers.  If Paul did write Hebrews, God did not want it to be known.  People speculate, but I don’t believe that he did.  The writer of Hebrews includes himself in the doctrine of the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 2:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

A lot of that doctrine is about falling away from the Lord—a warning that pertains to the performance-based acceptance system that God had placed the nation of Israel under.

Hebrews 6:6
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

In his epistles, our Apostle Paul includes himself with us the church the body of Christ; we are saved by God’s pure grace, no works.

Ephesians 2:5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Romans 4:24-25
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

We have justification unto eternal life.

Romans 5:21
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Titus 3:7
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

So obviously the doctrine of Hebrews doesn’t fit in with Paul’s 13 epistles.  He begins them all with “Paul;” but the book of Hebrews begins with “God.”

Hebrews 1:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

God wrote it and he didn’t want the human author to be known.  Most people believe that Paul wrote Hebrews because bible publishers say that he did.


You went on to say, “I believe a Jew other than Paul wrote this around 66 A.D. to the Little Flock, not knowing about the dispensation of grace, but thinking that the Kingdom was quickly approaching and was preparing the Jewish people for what was to come.”

That is true; the writer would be a Jew—a Hebrew. 

There is a lot of speculation about when it was written.  That topic is debatable and not the real issue.  Rather, the issue is where it fits in with the rest of scripture.  Hebrews does not take into account the dispensation of grace, and that is another reason why I don’t believe that Paul authored it.

Ephesians 3:1-2
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

God gave Paul the dispensation of grace.

1 Corinthians 9:17
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel [of grace] is committed unto me.

The focus of Hebrews is not the dispensation of grace.  Like all the other Hebrew epistles outside of Paul (James through Revelation), it is written without the dispensation of grace in view.  In fact, the books of Hebrews through Revelation fit a time future to us. (These are the books Jews will have to study….rightly divided…after the catching away of the body of Christ. They will not obtain salvation by Paul’s gospel through grace, but will once again be under the performance-based acceptance system—Law. ‘Wrongly dividing’ can be hazardous to one’s spiritual well-being.)  

All of God’s word is for us and for our learning.

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

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