Did Paul write Hebrews?
There is a new “progressive” doctrine out there that says Paul did not write the book of Hebrews. It is based upon personal pet doctrine, not facts, or rules of evidence. This chapter addresses the pit falls of such an opinion to a Bible believer.
This isn’t really a matter of doctrine, but in a way it is. Everyone has a doctrine. Even Bible haters have a doctrine. To find clarity, the Rules of evidence apply here.
One of these courtroom rules rules of evidence says that written testimony is considered truth unless proven otherwise,”innocent until proven guilty”. And another rule is the longer that testimony stands without rebuttal, the more credibility is attributed to it.
The new progressive doctrine defies these rule of evidence. It denies the credibility of the translators of the original 1611 King James Version of the Bible. But THEIRS is the burden of proof, and they have none outside their own opinion. They would have to prove the Translators of the KJV 1611 first edition were mistaken, or lying. They are enemies of the Bible.
Another court room rule of evidence is that written testimony is more credible than a living witness after the fact. So the original text of the KJV stands without credible rebuttal. This is another rule of evidence the progressive doctrine, enemies of the Bible, and the atheist as well, ignore.
Here is the enemies logic: The Translators of the KJV Bible, in the first copies, first edition 1611, said Paul wrote Hebrews. If they did not know, they would not have placed it in the text. If they did know, and they lied about Paul, then what else did they lie about? It’s not hard to see where they would go with that line of reasoning.
But under the rules of evidence and logic, If they were wrong, then their error would have quickly been vetted by both friendly and hostile parties. Paul wrote Hebrews. The Bible translators, 54 of them, 400 years ago, all agreed. There is no reason to believe otherwise.
The KJV Translators also said Moses wrote Genesis, and several other books of the Bible. “the first book of Moses” for instance. The first five books of the Bible are Titled in such manner, attesting to their authorship. The Book of Hebrews is titled accordingly as well. All are correct.
That certification of authorship has stood for hundreds of years., CENTURIES, now, to say otherwise, based upon your own opinion, interpretation, or pet doctrine, is to give your own sword to the enemies of the Bible, who would produce an old KJV Bible with the words “The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews” and deny it. To that, you would have to agree. Then, from there, he’ll take you down his yellow brick road, and have you denying Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, because, logically, if the translators were wrong about one book, no doubt they were wrong, or lied about the others also right?, and you have no reason not to disagree. He just made a fool of you. From there, at that point, have just agreed with your enemys resolution, and fell on your own sword, becoming an enemy of the scriptures. Furthermore, you have became an enemy of the Bible and confirmed him in his opinion. Worse still, you have also given him every reason to NOT TO EVER BELIEVE the accuracy of the KJV original text.
Don’t give the enemy your own sword. Trust the translators over the latest Johnny come lately internet Bible guru, and avoid the progressive doctrine trap.
To defeat the enemy of the Bible, and to form sound doctrine, you must know the rules of evidence, and apply them to YOUR OWN opinions and doctrine, and know how to use them to defend your beliefs.
You will find a brief summary of rules of evidence contained in a previous chapter in this same book. Another great reference, for more detailed information, is Josh McDowell’s “a ready defense of Christianity”. I obtained a used copy of this amazing book on Ebay for about ten dollars. I highly recommend it.
As far as believers doctrine concerning Hebrews, just one explanation is to see Paul as a kingdom saint, writing to his fellow kingdom saints, (many believe Paul was a Grace saint), or Resurrection witnesses, who he knew were under a different gospel than the Gentiles at the time, and that was reflected in his writing. Why were they under a “different gospel”? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. These Hebrews had first hand knowledge of Jesus ministry and resurrection. Kingdom saints knew Jesus after the flesh. Grace saints know Jesus after the spirit, by faith, not sight. Paul was not the Jews Apostle, the twelve disciples were sent to them, and many Jews saw him as a traitor, but Paul cared deeply for Israel and his fellow Jews, so logically his emphasis in his letter was on Jesus, not his authority or Apostleship. Many Jews may have rejected the letter outright if they saw Paul’s name on it, or thought Paul was edifying himself in the letter.
Even Peter, in his Epistles, refers to Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. Did it get lost? Was it titled differently? What happened to it? Nothing happened to it. It’s the book of Hebrews.
Another explanation is that it was the first letter Paul wrote, and he titled all his subsequent letters to the Gentiles. There are dozens of logical explanations. No matter the reason though, there is no contradiction or doubt that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews except what comes from our own pet doctrine and understanding, and if you learn anything else down the road, in years to come, you will see your doctrine and opinions change, but the Word of God never changes.
Again, as I said, to deny Paul’s authorship of Hebrews is to go against the Translators of the Bible, it makes YOU an ENEMY of the Bible, and gives your own sword to your enemies, who will gleefully slay you with it.
The translators of the KJV put “Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews” in the Bible for a reason. If there had been any doubt at all, it would have been omitted, or they would have said there was some doubt.
These men were under threat of death for any willful mistake or mistranslation. If they put that in there, they had no doubts, and they meant for it to be there, just like they titled the first five books of the Old Testament “books of Moses”. A mistake or willful error would have been quickly vetted Hostile AND friendly sources, and by existing Bibles in other languages.
Even more evidence is provided from the first edition, 1611 King James version Bible. Three things to look at in Hebrews. “Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews”, “our brother Timothy has been set at liberty” , then Paul’s salutation (see my blog post “Paul’s salutation”). Then at the end, “grace be unto thee, amen” lastly, and a text not found in modern Bibles is a clue “by Timothy”.
The title page says “the epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”(Paul). If one reads further, Hebrews tells us Paul was in Italy when this letter was written.(Paul Speaking here) Reading further, Hebrews 23;13, Timothy has been set free ( Paul speaking, Timothy writing in the second person), “grace be unto thee. Amen.” (Paul speaking), and at the end “by Timothy” an indication of who wrote the letter. Looking at these clues alone, It is not hard to conclude that there were two men in the room when Hebrews was written. Paul dictated this epistle to Timothy, who penned it. Paul is the author.
Even more evidence is the P46 Beatty papyrus, some ancient documents that are much of Paul’s epistles. They date back to 100-200 ad, and what is left of them, Hebrews is bunched right in there with the rest of them, after Romans. Esubius, an early historian, said Hebrews was part of Paul’s epistles as well.
Don’t be taken in or seduced by this new progressive doctrine coming out of our seminaries and universities that basically implies that the ones before us were ignorant, uneducated morons who did not know what they were talking about. This is actually an evolutionists philosophy.
They either knew what they were talking about, or they are liars. It’s either a truth or a lie, you decide., and if they lied about it, or made a mistake, what other mistakes did they make? What else did they lie about? I stand with the Translators, and you should also.