Who wrote the book of Hebrews ?

The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews does not identify himself. Bible scholars have debated for centuries over the identity of the writer of Hebrews. There are clues in the writing as to who the writer was. We believe that the question is settled through evidence that verifies the original Greek text of the New Testament.

Who wrote the book of Hebrews?

In the New Testament book of Hebrews the writer is not identified. So, whatever anyone may say, the answer to the question of who wrote the book of Hebrews has to be treated as speculation. Those who say it's a particular writer need to give reasons.

I believe that the book was written by the apostle Paul. At the end of this video are my reasons. They aren't the usual reasons for identifying Paul as the writer of Hebrews.

Among scholars today, the book is most often attributed to “author unknown”. Ideas have been put forward that Hebrews was written by Barnabas, or Clement or Luke or Apollos or others. But there’s really no evidence to support those claims.

The oldest theory as to the writer has been the apostle Paul, and this is because of two clues in the writing:

  • Timothy is mentioned at the end of the book of Hebrews. Paul was very close to Timothy. Paul called Timothy "my true son in the faith" (1 Tim 1:2). Timothy is the only disciple of that time who is mentioned by name in the book of Hebrews. That says something. And the writer of Hebrews wrote that he hoped Timothy would be with him on his next visit (Hebrews 13:23). That makes it seem that the writer was Paul.
  • Second clue ... Hebrews was obviously written by a Jewish believer in Jesus, someone who was knowledgeable about the Hebrew Scriptures and practices. That describes Paul. Paul described himself, before conversion, as a "Hebrew of Hebrews ... a Pharisee" (Philippians 3:5). Paul had been instructed under the rabbi Gamaliel (see Acts 22:3). Gamaliel was a leader who is esteemed by Jews to this day. So, when the writer of Hebrews goes into detail about the role of the High Priest, and the story of Melchizedek, and the Scriptures that foretold a new covenant, and the tabernacle furnishings, and the heroes of faith of old, and the sacrificial system, and he quotes extensively from the Hebrew Bible, it sounds like Paul.

    Paul, more than anyone else of the time, fits the qualifications to be recognized as the writer of the book of Hebrews, but he didn't identify himself as the writer. That's mysterious, because in all his other writings, Paul identifies himself but, in this book he doesn't. It seems like it was Paul, but people aren't sure ... but I am sure.

    What we can say for a certainty is that the book of Hebrews was addressed, primarily, to Jewish believers in Jesus. And that's relevant, not just for the times of the writing of the New Testament, but for the future, because the Bible has a promise for the remnant of Jews at the end of the age: "... all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26).And how will Israel be saved? ... in the only way that it is possible for anyone to be saved ... (see John 14:6) by coming to faith in Jesus; by believing that He died for their sins, was buried and He rose from the grave on the third day (see 1 Cor 15:1-4).

    And how will this Truth be confirmed to them? Through the Bible; through the New Testament Scriptures ... the testimony of their own people, Jews, who had been with Jesus and who witnessed His life, and His sacrifice, and His resurrection.

    Jews, in faith in Jesus, will come to accept the Bible that we know and love ... the Bible, comprising 66 books - Old and New Testaments.

    Of course, Jewish rabbis already accept what we call the Old Testament. They don't call it the Old Testament. They call it the Tanach. That's from three Hebrew letters ( Tav, Nun, Khaf ) for Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim ... which means Law, Prophets, Writings ... the Law, the Prophets and the holy Writings.

    Jews divide their Scriptures into these three groups: the first five books (Genesis to Deuteronomy, we say) are the Law of Moses; the next 21 books (in a different order to our Bibles) are the Prophets; and the remaining books (also in a different order to us) are the Writings.

    Jews wrote the books of the New Testament. They wrote in Greek, because that was the most widely spoken language in the world at that time. When they referred to the Hebrew Scriptures they didn't call them the Old Testament. They called them "the Law and the Prophets" (Mt 7:12, Mt 11:13, Mt 22:40, Lk 16:16, Lk 24:44, Acts 13:15, Acts 24:14, Acts 28:23, Rom 3:21). Jesus called the Hebrew Scriptures the Law and the Prophets.

    Will the saved remnant of Israel call the Bible something else ? I don't think so. They won't need to ... Consider this: The Bible, in the way we Gentiles arrange it, may be divided into three sections ... three sections of 22 books each, that still conform to the categories "Law, Prophets and Writings."

    The first section (the Law) may be seen as: 5 books (Genesis to Deuteronomy) ... the Law of Moses was given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; to the 12 tribes of Israel.

    Then 12 books (Joshua to Esther) is the history of Israel trying to live under the Law.

    And then 5 books (Job to Song of Solomon) are books of wisdom derived from the Law.

    That's a total of 22 successive books all about Israel and The Law.

    This might hardly be worth noting except that the next section of 22 books covers the Prophets, and that can also be divided 5 ...12 ...5. 5 books (Isaiah to Daniel) are the major prophets; then 12 books (Hosea to Malachi) are the minor prophets; and then 5 books (Matthew to Acts) cover The Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, and the spread of the message of Him.

    That's a total of 22 successive books covering all the prophets.

    We Gentiles tend to see the Bible in two parts ... the Old and the New. But that doesn't mean that a regenerate Israel will see it that way. It's one complete Book. It's fully integrated. It flows naturally to Jesus. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies. He is The Prophet, promised by Moses (see Dt 18:17-19).

    And the last section of 22 books are the Writings ... from Romans to Revelation. This section is different. It can't be divided 5 ... 12 ... 5 but, there's still a pattern: 7 7 7 and 1.

    The last book is unique ... it's Revelation, the end of the Bible. And a pattern of 7 7 7 remains. 7 books (Romans to Colossians) are the general epistles of Paul. Then 7 books (1 Thess to Hebrews) are the pastoral epistles of Paul. And then 7 books (James to Jude) are by other New Testament writers.

    This pattern is only apparent if we accept Hebrews as the last of the pastoral epistles of Paul.

    And the 14 books by Paul (general and pastoral epistles) add up to 100 chapters, exactly ... 100. I don't think that's an accident.

    Of course, there are people who think that chapter divisions in the Bible are a device of man; that they weren't there in the beginning, and that therefore they shouldn't be there at all, but I disagree.

    Could it really be an accident that Psalm 22 (note that number: 22) is the 500th chapter of the Bible? Psalm 22 is the chapter that foretells the crucifixion of Jesus. "... they pierced My hands and My feet. I can count all My bones ... they cast lots for My clothing" (Psalm 22:16-18).

    And the 1,000th chapter of the Bible is John 3, where Jesus says "you must be born again".

    These are such important chapters that it surely can't be by chance that they are the 500th and 1,000th chapters of the Bible. And that's the way we order the Bible, and that's what the saved remnant of Israel will come to see.

    And it tells me that 100 chapters (including the book of Hebrews) were written by the apostle Paul.

    Now, see this: The seven general epistles of Paul (Romans to Colossians) have exactly 26,244 Greek words in the original text, and 26,244 is 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 12.

    26,244 may also be expressed as 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 18 x 18. Those results look to me like they are there by design. The Bible says "...three testify..." (1 John 5:7), and the testimony is of Jesus. Twelve points to the tribes of Israel, and 18 is the numeric value of the Hebrew word "khai", meaning "life" ... life for two groups, Jews and Gentiles.

    And finally, and only if we accept that the book of Hebrews was written by Paul, all 14 of his letters have exactly 37,312 Greek words in the original text, and 37,312 is 8 x 88 x 53. And that, to me, is a convincing pattern of numbers to confirm the apostle Paul as the writer of Hebrews, because 88 and 8 suggest Jesus, 888 being the numeric value of His name in the original Greek text, while 53 points to Isaiah 53 which is prophetic of Jesus, and the 53rd chapter of the Bible is Exodus 3 where we are introduced to the LORD in the statement "I AM".

    There is an underlying mathematical structure in the original text of the Bible ... and it's there for a reason.