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    • #23320

      Under what classification does the epistle to the Hebrews fall: under Pauline epistles or the General epistles? Give three cogent reasons for your position supported by at least one reference.

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    • #23395


      Under what classification does the Epistle to the Hebrews fall: Pauline Epistles or the General Epistles. This book is classified under the General epistles.

      The book of Hebrews which author is unknown, but many believe it to be the work of Apostle Paul. This book was written primarily to the Jews who were renouncing their belief in Christ because of persecution. They were reverting to their former Jewish beliefs and practices.

      The Epistle to the Hebrews; this book gives a wonderful revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, His priesthood and the work that He accomplished for us. Hebrews shows how our position in Christ and His sacrificial work is far superior to what was available under the old covenant. The word better is the keyword in this letter. We have a better hope, covenant, substance, country and resurrection.

      The Epistle to the Hebrews is classified under The General Epistles; (James, first and second Peter, first John, second John, third John, and Jude). These seven letters are often called The General Epistles because they seem to speak to the Christian Church in General rather than individual Churches. They are also united by their interest in practical matters (share some common themes and assumptions as they address the problem of sin). They are heavy on exhortation. The authors direct their epistles to insiders – those who already belong to the community of believers in Jesus.

      1- To a large extent, the exhortation of these letters focuses on the need to remain firm in one’s commitment to this belief and to the community of the faithful. One of the central characterizations of sin in this text is, therefore, turning away from Jesus and the believing community or returning to a past state and past behaviors.

      2- Each of these epistles also seeks to reinforce a reorientation of disordered desires. Sin arises when one’s primary orientation or inclination is towards the present, visible world. This entails accepting the logic and values of the evil age. Humanity in general is inclined to desire the corruptible things of this world. These texts argue that a proper orientation for life looks instead towards unending life in unhindered fellowship in the future age.

      3- The General Epistles were written to guide Christians experiencing tensions in the world around them. They can be helpful to workplace Christianity. Two major principles underlie the variety of items treated in these letters; ‘’the need to trust God to provide for us and we must work for the benefit of others in need’.

      • #23531

        Jesus is the fulfilment of the Hebrew scriptures. The Book of Hebrews compares and contracts Jesus to key historical people and events from the bible. Through these comparisons, we see his superiority. He is greater than the Angles, the Torah, Moses, the promised land, earthly priests, sacrifices, and the covenant, He is the hope for a new creation, our eternal priest, and the perfect sacrifice. Although the author of Hebrews remains a mystery because even as learned as Origen, had to admit his ignorance of the true author. But the fact remains that the Epistle of Hebrews makes important theological contributions to the biblical Canon.

    • #23503

      The classification of the Epistle of Hebrews is a bit controversial as many believe the author is anonymous. Hence, neither a classification under the Pauline Epistles or the general Epistles. However, few comparisons to the Pauline Epistles could be found in the Epistles of Paul to which I would classify it as one of Paul’s letters. Such comparisons or similarities are as follows:

      1. Similarly of Phraseology.
      The style is notably different from the rest of Paul’s epistles, a characteristic noted by Clement of Alexandria (c. 210), who argued, according to Eusebius, that the original letter had a Hebrew audience and so was written in Hebrew and later translated into Greek, “some say the evangelist Luke, others had written the letter to the Hebrews but the thoughts were that of Paul [by Clement of Rome]. Reason being that, in view of the similarity of phraseology shown throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in absence of any great difference between the work in the underlying thought.” He concluded that “as a result of this translation, the same complexion of style is found in this Epistle and in the Acts: but that the [words] ‘Paul an apostle’ were naturally not prefixed. For, he says, ‘in writing to Hebrews who had conceived a prejudice against him and were suspicious of him, he very wisely did not repel them at the beginning by putting his name.” So possibly, Luke the writer of Acts must have written the letter but conveying the thoughts of the Apostle Paul. Other points following, will indicate more why the thoughts of the Epistle was of Paul.

      2. The mention of Timothy as a companion and the location Italy.
      Some theologians and groups, who continue to maintain Pauline authorship, repeat the opinion of Eusebius that Paul omitted his name because he, the Apostle to the Gentiles, was writing to the Jews. They conjecture that Jews would have likely dismissed the letter if they had known Paul to be the source. They theorize that the stylistic differences from Paul’s other letters are attributed to his writing in Hebrew to the Hebrews, and that the letter was translated into Greek by Luke.

      Now, in the 13th chapter of Hebrews, Timothy is referred to as a companion of the writer or person whose thoughts were being communicated. Timothy was Paul’s missionary companion in the same way Jesus sent disciples out in pairs. He was also a loyal son of Paul, 1 Timothy 1:2, ” To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith…”

      Also, the writer states that he wrote the letter from “Italy”, which also at the time fits Paul, Hebrews 13:24, “…they of Italy salute you”. The difference in style is explained as simply an adjustment to a more specific audience, to the Jewish Christians who were being persecuted and pressured to go back to old Judaism.

      3.Stylistic similarities to Paul’s greetings.
      The epistle contains Paul’s classic closing greeting, “Grace… be with you…” as he stated explicitly in 2 Thessalonians 3:17–18, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.” And as implied in 1 Corinthians 16:21–23, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.” and Colossians 4:18, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”

      This closing greeting is included at the end of each of Paul’s letters. And the same we see in Hebrews 13:25, “Grace be with you all. Amen.”

      Although the writing style varies from Paul in a number of ways, some similarities in wordings to some of the Pauline epistles have been noted. In antiquity, some began to ascribe it to Paul in an attempt to provide the anonymous work an explicit apostolic pedigree.

      • #24939
        Soton Iselobhor

        As much as I recognize the compelling facts, especially in relation to the mention of Timothy and his relationship to Paul, and the presumption that the writer was writing from Rome, it is important to note that Timothy had other close companions like Silas. The mere mention of “our brother Timothy” is insufficient in my view, to ground this argument. The greeting that refers to the people of Italy too is insufficient reason. The book does not name its author and there is no unanimity of tradition concerning his identity.
        Paul may have ended his letters with warm greetings but this was not unique to him as we see in 3rd John verse 13 “Peace to you, our friends greet you…”, 1 Peter 5:14 “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus”. It seemed to be the acceptable way to end epistles.
        According to DA Carson and Douglas J Moo in 2005, “The last major defence of the Pauline authorship of the book of Hebrews was written more than half a century ago. Today virtually no one would repeat the effort” They went on to state further that the Greek of Hebrews is more polished than that Paul and the consistent quality of the rhetoric is quite remarkable.

    • #23506

      The book of Hebrews follows just right after the book of Philemon which we clearly know is written by Paul. Also, we see that many of the thoughts of Hebrews is similar to those found in the Pauline epistles;
      Let’s see some examples of the similarities
      a. Hebrews 1: 3 and Colossians 1:15-17
      “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word Hebrews 1:3
      Colossians 1:15 – 17
      “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
      b. Hebrews 2:4 and 1Corinthians 12: 1
      c. Hebrews 2:14-17 and Philippians 2:7-8
      d. Hebrews 8:6 and 2 Corinthians 3:6
      e. Hebrews 10: 14 and Romans 5:9,12:1
      Without a closer look we might at this point allude to the fact that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews; however, I’ll consider the similarity to be Unity of doctrine by Paul and the Writer of Hebrew; which is one of the evidences of the authenticity of the Bible.

      The Epistle of Hebrews fall under the general epistles for the following reasons;

      1. Paul had a habit of introducing himself in his epistles. From the book of Romans all the way to Philemon, we see that pattern. But the author of Hebrews does not introduce himself as Paul typically did. See Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians. 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians. 1:1; Philippians 1:1, Colossians. 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Timothy. 1:1; and 2 Timothy. 1:1, Titus 1:1 and Philemon 1;1.

      2. Its theology, though very compatible with that of the Pauline letters, is very distinctive. The apostle Paul, for instance, never alludes to Jesus as a priest, which is the major motif of Hebrews. In fact, Hebrews is the only New Testament writing to expound on Jesus as the Great High Priest and final sacrifice.

      3. The style of Hebrews, except in the closing verses (13:18 – 25), is quite unlike any other writing of Paul’s that has survived.
      i. In keeping with the style of a person well educated in formal rhetoric, the Greek of Hebrews is highly literary and very ornate.
      ii. The vocabulary is sophisticated, and it includes 150 words that are not found elsewhere in the New Testament and 10 that do not occur in any other Greek writings that have survived for our study.
      iii. The structure of the epistle conforms to conventions found in Greek rhetoric used when a speech was designed to persuade its audience to action. Much of this rhetorical achievement is lost when the original Greek of Hebrews is translated into modern language, but in the original it is elegant and euphonious Greek prose. The high rhetorical quality of Hebrews indicates that its author most likely had the most advanced literary education of any of the New Testament writers.

      4. The way the author alludes to himself in Hebrews 2:3, stating that the gospel was confirmed “to us” by those who heard the Lord announce salvation.
      The apostle Paul always made the point that, even though he wasn’t one of the twelve original disciples who walked with Jesus during his earthly life, he was nonetheless an apostle of Jesus Christ, and usually identifies himself as such in his letters. It seems unlikely that Paul here in 2:3 would refer to himself as simply someone who received the gospel from those who had heard the Lord.

      In conclusion, the book of Hebrews was written by someone other than Paul .

      Reference: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/who-wrote-the-book-of-hebrews

      • #23513

        Replying Wechie

        Your claims is that the book of Hebrew is part of the general epistles with the reasons you have given which is good enough. However, you also alluded to the fact that some thoughts expressed or revelations given in Hebrews share likeness with some of the revelations of Christ in some of the Pauline epistles. I totally agree, however, you concluded that that wasn’t enough to prove that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews but, that the similarity of revelation could be based on same doctrinal stand of both Paul and the writer of Hebrew.

        Not disregarding your stand but drawing on further similarities or traits in Paul’s writings, I would like to suggest even as some scholars assume to be the case. That the book of Hebrews could have been authored by Paul. Now, the writer might have not been Paul but anyone. However,the thoughts conveyed or the message communicated might have been Paul’s.

        Now, even in these present times we have what is known as ghost writing. An author of a book can contract a ghost writer to pen down his thoughts. At the end of the day, the author of the book wouldn’t be the ghost writer but the author of the ideas. Because the ideas form the text.

        Now, those traits or possible pointers to be considered for Paul to be seen as the author are:

        1. The same greeting or nature of benediction with Paul is what we see closing the epistle of Hebrew, “Grace be with you all. Amen” Hebrews 13:25. And Paul had said in 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18, ” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine,it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.”

        2. The author of that work said in Hebrews 13:24, ” …they of Italy salute you.” Paul was at Italy at some point in his ministry and could it be that was when he authored the epistle to the Hebrews? Possibly.

        3. The epistle to the Hebrews made mention of Timothy who was Paul’s son and companion in most of his ministry journey. Which again could be indictive of Paul writing or authoring the epistle of Hebrews.

        Although, the epistle didn’t start with Paul’s normal way of greeting but it ended with how Paul said he will always acknowledge his letters. So where the usual introduction of the Pauline epistles could show that Paul wrote them, it is safe to say that the way he said he would indicate ownership of his letters in closing, should also hint us strongly that he wrote or authored the book of Hebrews.

    • #23543

      Yes, if I’m to suggest or make a point on my personal view, i will say the Writer or author of the Epistle of the Hebrews is Apostle Paul. Because the format and the addressing of the letter are similarly like the writings of Apostle Paul and writing to same people (the Church). Yes, when compared with the greetings from Apostle Paul’s letters to the Church from other books like the book of Romans all to Philemon, we see the introductions at the first verses of the books are same unlike that of The book of Hebrews. And that is the more reason it should be classified under the General Epistle because there is no definite fact about the Author but the writings is to the Christian Church in General and not individual just like the other books/letters which are often called The General Epistles (James, first and second Peter, first John, second John, third John, and Jude).

      • #24065

        The Book of Hebrews fall under general epistles. Other General epistles include (James, 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John, 2John, 3John and Jude).
        The book of Hebrews circulated independently for a long period of time before been accepted into the New Testament.
        I choose the stance that Hebrews fall under the General epistles because of the following reasons.

        The anonymity of the book of Hebrews does not seem to be an accident. The first sentence of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-4), which is where Apostle Paul would normally identity himself as the author, if Apostle Paul wrote the book of Hebrews why did he not claim authorship of the book as he does in every letter he wrote? Usually in most of the Pauline epistles, Paul claims authorship by introducing himself as a “Bondservant of Jesus Christ” or “An Apostle of Jesus Christ”.

        Apostle Paul could not have been the author of the book of Hebrews because no letter of Paul refers to Jesus as High Priest. This is an important theological difference between the letters of Paul and Hebrews.
        The style and language of the book of Hebrews are different from Apostle Paul’s other letters.


        It is suggested that Apostle Paul could not have been the author because the author of Hebrews includes himself among those to whom the gospel was confirmed by those who heard Jesus Christ(Hebrews 2:3) . Apostle Paul however argued strongly in Galatians that he had not recieved the Gospel from anybody but directly from God (Galatians 1:11-12).
        No other book in the New testament ties together old testament history and practices with the life of Jesus Christ as thoroughly as the book of Hebrews. Just as Jesus taught that the old testament was fulfilled in Himself. So the author of Hebrews taught that the old covenant was brought to completion in the new covenant . The book of Hebrews also shows that because the old covenant has been fulfilled in the new covenant , the new covenant is actually better. The new covenant was made superior by the ministry of Jesus Christ.

    • #23573

      The book of Hebrews is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written mainly to the Hebrew believers. The author is anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the author. It was written approximately 67 A.D. Its purpose was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as perfect and superior in comparison to anything Judaism and the old covenant had to offer. The author was writing to a group of Christians who were under intense persecution and some were contemplating a return to Judaism. He admonished them not to turn away from their only hope of salvation.
      • In chapters 1-10:18, the author repeatedly demonstrates Jesus Christ as preeminent over the angels, “let all the angels of God worship Him” (1:6); over Moses, “He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses” (3:3); over the Old Testament priesthood, “being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (5:10). The writer explains that the New Covenant is greater than the Old Covenant because Jesus was the perfect, permanent sacrifice, rather than the Old Testament sacrifices. The author also presents the power and authority of the Word of God, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12). In chapters 10:19-13, the writer explains that Faith is superior to the work of the Old Covenant. He writes, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). Chapter 11 is Faith’s Hall of Fame where all of the faithful individual’s from the Old Testament are highlighted in this chapter. Faith in Jesus Christ is our source of salvation because He is “the author and perfect faith” (12:2).
      All are able to trust in Jesus Christ knowing that He is “the same yesterday and today and forever
      The author of the letter to the Hebrews remains shrouded in mystery. Even early in the church’s history, a Christian as learned as Origen had to admit his ignorance of the true author of Hebrews. Several theories regarding the author’s identity have been proposed over the years, but all of them contain significant problems. Most of the churches in the eastern part of the Roman Empire believed Paul to have authored the book, leading to its early acceptance into the Canon by the churches in those areas. Even though Clement of Rome drew much from Hebrews in his late-first-century letter to the Corinthian church, many in the Western church pointed away from Paul as the source of the book. Authors such as Luke, Barnabas, Apollos, and even Clement have been considered as possibilities. The unknown authorship of this book should not shake our confidence in its authority. Hebrews makes important theological contributions to the biblical Canon, it has been drawn upon as sacred Scripture since the late first century, and Christians have for two millennia consistently upheld the divine inspiration and, therefore, the canonicity of the book of Hebrews.
      Where we now, the strongly Jewish character of the letter to the Hebrews helps to narrow down its date of composition, most likely AD 64–69. Significantly, the book makes no reference to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in AD 70, and the author wrote as if the sacrificial system were still in existence (Hebrews 10:1–2, 11). With its myriad references to Hebrew customs and the Old Testament, the book was likely sent to a Jewish Christian community, possibly in Rome.
      The big idea is Hebrews makes clear that Jesus Christ exceeds all other people, pursuits, objects, or hopes to which human beings offer allegiance. Hebrews pictures Jesus as better than the angels, as bringing better lives to humanity through salvation, as offering a better hope than the Mosaic Law could promise, as a better sacrifice for our sins than a bull or a goat, and as providing a better inheritance in heaven for those who place their faith in Him (Hebrews 1:4; 6:9; 7:19; 9:23; 10:34). Jesus is indeed superior to all others. This message of the superiority of Jesus would have been particularly important to Jewish Christians in Rome, who were struggling under Nero’s persecution and were considering moving back toward the Mosaic Law. The writer to the Hebrews showed these Jewish Christian believers that, though they were faced with suffering, they were indeed following a better way and they should persevere.
      The letter to the Hebrews makes clear that only one Person deserves to hold the primary place in our lives. While we are busy idolizing our move up the corporate ladder or placing all our hopes in our kids, Jesus offers us a better position, a better priest, a better covenant, a better hope, and a better sacrifice.
      Only when we give Jesus His rightful place in our lives will everything else in life fall into its rightful place.

    • #24780
      Soton Iselobhor

      I am inclined to take the position that the book of Hebrews falls under the General Epistles rather than the Pauline Epistles for a few reasons, three of which are hereunder considered.
      1. Authorship:
      In the words of Paul Enns in his book, The Moody Handbook of Theology, “The Authorship of Hebrews has posed a problem throughout the history of the church and has been vigorously debated without resolve. The author nowhere identifies himself in the book, yet it seems he was known to the readers…”
      The authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is unknown. While some early Christian writers attributed it to the apostle Paul, this claim is disputed. The Pauline Epistles, on the other hand, are explicitly attributed to Paul as their author. The absence of a clear attribution to Paul in the book of Hebrews is one of the main reasons it is categorized as a General Epistle. Although the highly scholarly and excellent vocabulary seems to support an argument for Apostle Paul, in the face of several other arguments, it is safe to classify the book of Hebrews under the general epistles. As concluded by D.A Carson and Johnson J. Moo in the book, An Introduction to the New Testament
      “It is far better to admit our ignorance. We do not know who wrote it; almost certainly, the first readers did”
      2. Unspecific Audience:
      The intended audience of Hebrews is not specified within the book itself, except that the title states “To the Hebrews” which suggests that it was likely written to Jewish Christians or Jewish converts to Christianity. The Pauline Epistles, on the other hand, were generally addressed to specific churches or individuals, such as the Corinthians, the Galatians, or Timothy. The lack of a specific recipient designation aligns with the style of General Epistles.
      3. Distinct Theological Differences
      The Epistle to the Hebrews exhibits several emphases on themes like the Christology and High priesthood of Jesus Christ, the superiority of Christ and the New Covenant over the Old Covenant and the Mosaic Law, eschatological themes and emphasis on the age to come. On the other hand, Pauline Epistles, focus more on themes like justification by faith, reconciliation, the role of Christ as the head of the Church.
      It is important to note that while there are differences in emphases, there are also significant theological similarities between Hebrews and the Pauline Epistles, such as the themes of faith, the role of Christ’s death and resurrection, and the call to persevere in the Christian life.
      Further Reference:
      Metzger, B. M., & Ehrman, B. D. (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Oxford University Press

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