Who wrote the books of the Bible and when?
The author of Hebrews is unknown. It is a letter (or epistle, but more of a sermon) written in Greek to Jewish Christians sometime between 60 and 70 A.D., before the destruction of the temple, and is believed to have been sent from Italy (Hebrews 13:24). Since there is no mention of the author it is debated as to who really wrote Hebrews, although it was a second generation believer (Hebrews 2:3) and a Christian brother of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23). Many scholars and the King James Version Bible attribute its authorship to Paul, however, unlike all of Paul's other letters included in the New Testament, there is no personal greeting from him, which was his distinguishing mark (2 Thessalonians 3:17). Hebrews is also written in a style unlike any of Paul's other letters. Other possible authors include Barnabas, Luke, Apollos, Aquila, Priscilla, Silas, Philip, and Clement of Rome. The author was knowledgeable with priestly duties, the temple in Jerusalem, and Old Testament scripture, which would make Barnabas a likely candidate, since he was a Levite (Acts 4:36). Apollos was also learned and knowledgeable of the Scriptures and spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately (Acts 18:24-28). The argument for Priscilla resides primarily on the anonymity of the letter as possibly written by a woman, however, the author's personal reference in verse 11:32 is masculine in the Greek. This letter was mainly about the superiority of Christ, as supported by the Old Testament scriptures, and how it would be useless to return to Judaism. The Epistle to the Hebrews includes:
- The Son superior to angels, with references to 2 Samuel, Chronicles, Deuteronomy, and Psalms
- Warning to pay attention to the gospel and the signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Spirit that testify to it
- Jesus made perfect through suffering
- Jesus worthy of greater honor than Moses
- Warning against unbelief with reference to Psalms
- Entering God's Sabbath rest, with references to Genesis and Psalms
- God swears on oath by his own name
- Priesthood of Melchizedek versus the Levitical priesthood
- Jesus the great high priest in the order of Melchizedek and of a new covenant, with reference to Jeremiah
- Ceremonial rituals of the first covenant
- Jesus' blood of the new covenant atones for all sins
- Christ's sacrifice once for all, with references to Psalms and Jeremiah
- Persevere in Christ or face God's wrath
- All men of God lived by faith (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses)
- God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness
- Do not refuse the Lord, who is now approachable through Christ
- Love your brother, entertain strangers, remember those in prison, honor marriage, imitate the faith of leaders
- Through Jesus, continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's words all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefopre let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of god and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
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