Who wrote Hebrews?

Hebrews 1

Q. Who wrote the book of Hebrews?

A. The short answer is no one knows for sure, but there are guesses. Some say Paul, but it appears unlikely:
• Paul always identifies himself (refer 1:1 from Romans to Philemon), but Hebrews has no such self-identification.
Heb 2:3 ” This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” tells us that the author did not hear the Lord directly, but Paul did. Gal 1:12 “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
• The writing styles are different.
• Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13, Ga 2:8), but Hebrews is addressed to Jews.
Based on the above I don’t think it was Paul.

Tertullian (about AD 200) suggested Barnabas, as Hebrews is full of teachings explaining the OT to Christians, and Barnabas was a teacher, listed first among the prophets and teachers in Antioch:
Acts 11:26 So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people..
• Acts 13:1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, …
• Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

Martin Luther (about AD 1500) suggested Apollos, based on the fact that Apollos knew the Scriptures and was regarded on par with Paul and Peter:
Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
• 1 Co 1:12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” (See also 3:4-6, 22)

Both are possible, but neither has any direct evidence. Of the two, Barnabas appears more likely as Tertullian was closer in time, but we just can’t be sure. In the end, it does not really matter as the Holy Spirit is the ultimate author who inspired the book, and we can be sure that what it teaches is reliable and trustworthy.

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