"In Acts...Paul is denied the title of Apostle." (Hengel & Schwemer, Paul between Damascus and Antioch (John Knox Press, 1997) at 321.)


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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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 Who Wrote The Epistle to the Hebrews?


"The nearest approach to a ‘tradition’ is one quoted by Tertullian as current in North Africa at the close of the 2nd century ascribing the epistle to Barnabas." (New Commentary on Holy Scriptures.) See Tertullian, De Pudicitia, 20.

Tertullian writes: "Hebrews, a work of Barnabas...." See Tertullian, De Pudicitia (Latin & French translation by A.Picard)(1906 edition) at 184 (Latin) and 185 (French)

Tertullian does so again in On Modesty XX (ca. 207 AD):

"For there is extant withal an Epistle to the Hebrews under the name of Barnabas—a man sufficiently accredited by God, as being one whom Paul has stationed next to himself in the uninterrupted observance of abstinence...."

Tertullian is clearly referencing our Epistle to the Hebrews 6:1, 4-6 in the NT for he next quotes:

"Warning, accordingly, the disciples to omit all first principles, and strive rather after perfection, and not lay again the foundations of repentance from the works of the dead, he says:  “For impossible it is that they who have once been illuminated, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have participated in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the word of God and found it sweet, when they shall—their age already setting—have fallen away, should be again recalled unto repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and dishonouring Him.”

More proof is as follows. Because this epistle to the Hebrews has the most excellent Greek in the NT, and Barnabas was known to have such erudition (being from Cyprus which was renown for excellence in writing Greek)(Barclay:8), many Christian authorities support Barnabas as the author. These include:

i)     A.M. Stibbs, V. Principal, The New Bible Commentary (Oak Hill Theological College, London) at 1088

ii)     Dr. Allan J. McNicol, Prof. of N.T.,  Harper’s Bible Dictionary (Bangalore, Inst. for Christian Studies, Austin, Texas, 1994) at 94.

iii)     Myles M. Bourke, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Bangalore, 1994) at 920.

iv)     Dr. Robert W. Ross, Dept. of History, N. W. College, Minneapolis, Minn., The Wycliffe’s Bible Commentary (1987) at 1403 f.

v)     William Smith, A Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988) at 238.

vi)     Dr. F. F. Bruce, Ryland’s Prof. of Biblical Criticism & Exegesis, Manchestor University, in Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, (Thomas Nelson Ltd, London, 1967) at 1008.

Source: "Barnabas, His Gospel, Credibility."

Bruce says Tertullian does not attribute the epistle to Barnabas as if he were merely expressing opinion, but rather as if it were a commonly held ascription among those of his circle. Thus, Tertullian attributes it to Barnabas as a matter of fact.


Different Teachings than Paul

However, in the later 200s, Origen said no one knows who wrote Hebrews. Then even later, in the 300s, many began saying Paul wrote it. Many today say this is unlikely because of the following differences in soteriology and Christology:

Paul's Patterns

Hebrew's Presentation

Christ being the Head of the Body of believers (I Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:22,23; 4:14,15; 5:23; Col. 1:18; 2:10,19).

Christ is the High Priest over the People of Israel (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14,15; 5:5,20; 9:11,12,19-23; 13:11,12).

The Believer's unconditional eternal union with Christ (Rom. 8:26-36; I Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:3-5,13,14; 2:5-9; 4:30).

The Believer's potential to "fall away" from eternal union with Christ (Heb. 6:4-6,9-12; 10:26-39).

Preoccupation with showing the equal status between Jew and Gentile as the people of God (Rom. 1:16; 3:9-11, 22,23; 4:9-12; ch. 9-11; I Cor. 1:24; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11-22; 3:6; Col 3:11).

Preoccupation with showing Israel as THE PEOPLE of God (2:17; 4:9; 5:3; 7:5,11,27; 8:8,10; 9:7,19; 11:25; 13:17).

Use of the word WORLD over 40 times with special reference to the global aspect of Christ's redemption (II Cor 5:19; Col. 1:4-6; I Tim. 3:16). Paul uses kosmos in a broad manner. It is a common Pauline term.

Not one usage of the word WORLD is in reference to Christ's act of redemption. Rather Israel is seen as the only beneficiary (2:17; 7:27; 13:12). Kosmos used only 5 times in a narrow context.

Israel's FALL into a state of "Lo Ammi" (Rom. 11; Eph 2).

Israel's RISE into the promised Covenant (8:8-13; 10:16,29; 12:24; 13:20)

Source: "The Authorship of the Book of Hebrews"



This study of authorship gives us some idea of what caused Barnabas and Paul to split. Barnabas was pro-Israel, but Paul was perceived as anti-Israel.


Study Aids


However, Hebrews does share some common ideas with Paul. Paul taught, as the Pharisees were known to teach, that the Law was given by angels. Now the book of Exodus says it was Yahweh. But the Pharisees contended it was angels. This unbiblical view appears in Paul's words to the Galatians 3:19: "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." (KJV).

The same idea appears in Hebrews 2:2-3.

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment3how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? (KJV)


Clearly Lacks Inspiration As Contradicts Facts in Book of the Law. 

Heb 11:11 reads:

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seedand was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

This is wrong! Sarah did not believe, and instead laughed at the promise of God which Abraham relayed to her. It was Abraham who believed. Sara then lies to Abraham that she had not laughed at the possibility, and Moses adds she lied out of "fear," not faith! God even tells Moses that Abraham's wife had laughed at the promise to God's obvious sore displeasure. So how can one say "through faith Sara herself received the strength to conceive seed?" We read in Genesis:

Gen 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Gen 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Gen 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Gen 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

Gen 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Gen 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Another inaccurate passage is Heb 11:27:

By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27 is not true. Moses was convicted of murdering one of Pharaoh's officers and Pharaoh's court sentenced Moses to death. Moses received the death penalty for murder. Moses did not want to die so Moses fled in fear for his life to the land of Midian.

Exodus 2:14 plainly says that "Moses feared," however, the writer of Hebrews plainly says the opposite.

Heb 11:27 By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

This is thanks to Bernard Harland's work.