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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Hebrews

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WRITER: Paul (?)

Although the Authorized Version has the heading, “Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews,” there is still a question as to authorship. The American Revised Version corrects this and gives the heading, “The Epistle to the Hebrews.” In spite of the fact that the Pauline authorship cannot be confirmed in a dogmatic fashion, there is abundant evidence that Paul was the author. Both internal and external evidence support the authorship of Paul. The writer had been in bonds (Heb 10:34); he wrote from Italy (Heb 13:24); his companion was Timothy (Heb 13:23). The writing is Pauline and, in my opinion, Peter identifies Paul as the writer (2 Peter 3:15, 16; cf. 1 Peter 1:1).

DATE: Hebrews 10:11 reveals that it was written before the destruction of the temple by Titus in A.D. 70.

THEME: Coleridge said that Romans revealed the necessity of the Christian faith, but that Hebrews revealed the superiority of the Christian faith. This thought is expressed in the use of the comparative word “better,” which occurs 13 times. Here are some other words that express the theme:

“Perfect” — occurs 15 times (cognate words);
“Let us” — occurs 13 times;
“Let” — occurs 5 times.

Two verses, likewise, convey this “better” way:

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:3)

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