Difference between revisions of "Mystery:Did Jesus Write the Epistle to the Hebrews?"

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(Objections -- and Rebuttals to the Objections)
(Many have attributed the Epistle of James to a brother of Jesus, and if His brother wrote a letter, then why wouldn't Jesus?)
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*In light of the rejection of Jesus by some Hebrew leaders, it makes sense that Jesus would write a post-Resurrection letter to the Hebrew people anonymously.
 
*In light of the rejection of Jesus by some Hebrew leaders, it makes sense that Jesus would write a post-Resurrection letter to the Hebrew people anonymously.
 
*The Epistle to the Hebrews is unique in its attempt to explain the concept of [[faith]] -- something that Jesus emphasized in His ministry, and perhaps only He could explain as this Epistle does.
 
*The Epistle to the Hebrews is unique in its attempt to explain the concept of [[faith]] -- something that Jesus emphasized in His ministry, and perhaps only He could explain as this Epistle does.
*Jesus spent 40 days on Earth between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and it is implausible that He did not continue His ministry in an effective way.  Writing an Epistle is most plausible activity, given what had transpired.
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*Jesus spent 40 days on Earth between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and it is implausible that He did not continue His ministry in an effective way.  Writing (or distributing) an Epistle is most plausible activity, given what had transpired.
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*Many have attributed the [[Epistle of James]] to a brother of Jesus, and if His brother wrote a letter, then why wouldn't Jesus?
  
 
== Objections -- and Rebuttals to the Objections ==
 
== Objections -- and Rebuttals to the Objections ==

Revision as of 09:01, 28 October 2012

The Epistle to the Hebrews is at the highest intellectual level, and yet its authorship is a complete mystery. Not even modern, sophisticated analysis of authorship can suggest a plausible writer for this great work. Whoever wrote this apparently wrote virtually nothing else.

It was written after the Passion of Christ, as made clear by its references in the past tense to Jesus's work.

Did Jesus write this epistle during the 40 days after the Resurrection and before the Ascension? Reasons to think so include:

  • Jesus occasionally visited the Apostles during this time, but spent most of this time doing something else - perhaps writing this Epistle?
  • the Epistle was directed at the Hebrew population, which was Jesus's first priority in His ministry.
  • Jesus was surely capable of writing a great work, and there is no other known written work by Him.
  • It is fitting that Jesus would make one last attempt -- post-Resurrection -- to persuade the Hebrew people for whom His ministry was originally intended.
  • In light of the rejection of Jesus by some Hebrew leaders, it makes sense that Jesus would write a post-Resurrection letter to the Hebrew people anonymously.
  • The Epistle to the Hebrews is unique in its attempt to explain the concept of faith -- something that Jesus emphasized in His ministry, and perhaps only He could explain as this Epistle does.
  • Jesus spent 40 days on Earth between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and it is implausible that He did not continue His ministry in an effective way. Writing (or distributing) an Epistle is most plausible activity, given what had transpired.
  • Many have attributed the Epistle of James to a brother of Jesus, and if His brother wrote a letter, then why wouldn't Jesus?

Objections -- and Rebuttals to the Objections

But of course there are many reasons which shed doubt on such an idea:

  • Jesus didn't leave any writings while he walked the earth. Therefore a note from the grave would have been doubly surprising for his pupils.
But this rebuttal is circular, assuming what it attempts to prove.
No, it just stresses the point how surprising this idea of Jesus's authorship is.
No, it would be more surprising if Jesus, as intelligent as He was, never ever ever wrote anything.
Pythagoras never ever ever wrote anything.
But scripts were plentiful in Jesus's time, and the importance of writing was widely recognized. The Old Testament relied on it.
  • Traditionally we expect God's word to be carved in stone, not scribbled on parchment...
But humor is no substitute for logical argument ...
Humor comes into place when there isn't any logical argument in the first place: your reasons are at best circumstantial, and the question "what did Jesus do during the forty days" is amusing - perhaps he had 39 days of a writer's block, and then started scribbling?
  • In light of the rejection of Jesus by some Hebrew leaders, it makes sense that Jesus would write a post-Resurrection letter to the Hebrew people not anonymously, as this would persuade them more easily.
No, it's clear that people who rejected Jesus when He was alive would not be persuaded by something attributed to him after the Passion for Christ.
So, why writing then at all?
Because Jesus would not have simply given up.
  • The idea of the authorship Jesu doesn't fit the first verses of the letter, where the author takes the position of one to whom God spoke in his Son:
But in these the Last Days He has spoken to us through His Son, whom He determined to be the inheritor of everthing, the Son, by whom He made the worlds,

Hebrews 1:2

The idea that this letter was written before the Ascension is ridiculous and stems from ignorance: the last verses include greetings from "those in Italy"...

The last verses could have been added later.
  • There is zero archeological or documentary evidence to support such a claim.

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