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proper manner to the Hebrews: not because they were in themselves abstruse, but because the Hebrews were dull of apprehension, through their prejudiced attachment to the Levitical law and priesthood.1
The preceding considerations will show that the Epistle to the Hebrews was the identical letter which Peter had in view. We have insisted the more strenuously upon his testimony, because, as he was an inspired apostle, we think his evidence sufficient to determine the controversy respecting this Epistle, and to demonstrate (notwithstanding the skeptical declaration of Michaelis to the contrary) that it is a genuine and inspired production of the illustrious apostle Paul. There are, however, many other testimonies to prove the same point, which we shall now proceed to state; each of them singly outbalancing the weight of the conjectures advanced against it, but all of which, taken collectively, furnish such a body of evidence in favour of Paul being the author of this Epistle, as can be adduced for no other ancient anonymous writing whatever. We therefore proceed to remark, [ii] Secondly, that the Epistle to the Hebrews is found in the most ancient Oriental and Western Versions which are ex
It is found in the Peschito or Old Syriac Version of the New Testament, which was executed at the close of the first, or in the early part of the second century, and in the Old Latin Versions made during the former part of the second century. As these versions were in common use and authority among the churches of the East and the West, this is a fact of very great importance; because it affords palpable evidence that the Epistle to the Hebrews was widely circulated among Christians a short time after the apostolic age.
[iii] Thirdly, the testimony of ecclesiastica: antiquity decidedly ascribes this Epistle to Paul.
(1.) Among the fathers of the GREEK or EASTERN CHURCH, who wrote in the Greek language, we find allusions to it in the Epistles of Ignatius, about the year 107. The Epistle to the Hebrews seems to be referred to by Polycarp bishop of Smyrna, in his Epistle to the Philippians in the year 108, and in the relation of his martyrdom, written about the middle of the second century. This Epistle is quoted twice by Justin Martyr in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, A. D. 140. It is often cited as Paul's, without any hesitation, by Clement of Alexandria, about the year 194. It is received and quoted as Paul's by Origen about 230.2 It was also received as the apostle's by Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, in 247. It is plainly referred to by Theognostus of Alexandria about 282. It appears to have been received by Methodius about 292, by Pamphilus about 294, and by Archelaus bishop of Mesopotamia at the beginning of the fourth century, by the Manicheans in the fourth, and by the Paulicians in the seventh century. It was received and ascribed to Paul by Alexander bishop of Alexandria in the year 313, and by the Arians in the fourth century. Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, about 315, says, "There are fourteen Epistles of Paul before the public and well known: but yet there are some who have rejected (THE STи201) that to the Hebrews, alleging in behalf of their opinion, that it was not received by the church of the To the preceding argument it has been objected, that the Epistle par. ticularly intended by Peter may be that written to the Romans, in which Saint Paul speaks to the Jews by name (ii. 17.), and in which there is an exhortation to account the long-suffering of God to be salvation, or that which leads to repentance. But to this objection Whitby has well replied, (1.) That what is written in the Epistle to the Romans is addressed to the unbelieving Jews only, whereas Peter writes to the brethren (2 Pet. iii. 12.), the beloved (verses 1. 14. 17.), to those who had received like precious faith. (i. 1.) He therefore could not mean the Jews, of whom Paul speaks in the Epistle to the Romans. Nor (2.) can that Epistle with propriety be said to be written to the dispersed Jews, because it is addressed to those at Rome only (Rom. i. 7.), and chiefly to the Gentiles there. (i. 13. xi. 13. xv. 15, 16.)-(3). The words of Paul in Rom. ii. are not an exhortation to count the long-suffering of God salvation, but a reproof for despising this long-suffering: whereas in the Epistle to the Hebrews (xii.) he commends their patience under sufferings, and assures them that it would obtain salvation; and that, if they lived by faith, their Lord would come, and would not tarry. To which we may add, that in the Epistle to the Hebrews (iv. 9. xii. 14. 18. 24.) mention is made of the introduction of the righteous into the heavenly country, which is one of the topics mentioned in the second Epistle of Peter.
Romans as a writing of Paul." It is often quoted by Eusebius himself as Paul's and as sacred Scripture. This Epistle was received by Athanasius without any hesitation. In his enumeration of Paul's fourteen Epistles, this is placed next after the two to the Thessalonians and before the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. The same order is observed in the Synopsis of Scripture ascribed to him. This Epistle is received as Paul's by Adamantius, author of a dialogue against the Marcionites, in 330, and by Cyril of Jerusalem in 348; by the council of Laodicea in 363, where Paul's Epistles are enumerated in the same order as in Athanasius, just noticed. This Epistle is also received as Paul's by Epiphanius about 368; by the apostolical constitutions about the end of the fourth century; by Basil about 370; by Gregory Nazianzen in 370; by Amphilochius also. But he says it was not universally received as Paul's. It was received by Gregory Nyssen about 371; by Didymus of Alexandria about the same time; by Ephraim the Syrian in 370, and by the churches of Syria: by Diodore of Tarsus in 378; by Hierax, a learned Egyptian, about the year 302; by Serapion, bishop of Thmuis in Egypt, about 347; by Titus, bishop of Bostra in Arabia, about 362; by Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia, about the year 394; by Chrysostom in the year 398; by Severian, bishop of Gabala in Syria, in 401; by Victor of Antioch about 401; by Palladius, author of a life of Chrysostom, about 408; by Isidore of Pelusium about 412: by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, in 412; by Theodoret in 423; by Eutherius, bishop of Tyana in Cappadocia, in 431; by Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, about 440; by Euthalius in Egypt about 458; and, probably, by Dionysius, falsely called the Areopagite; by the author of the Questiones et Responsiones, commonly ascribed to Justin Martyr, but rather written in the fifth century. It is in the Alexandrian manuscript written in the sixth century, and in the Stichometry of Nicephorus about 806; and is received as Paul's by Cosmas of Alexandria about 535; by Leontius of Conabout 858; by Ecumenius about the year 950; and by Theostantinople about 610; by John Damascen in 730; by Photius phylact in 1070.
(2.) Among the fathers of the LATIN OR WESTERN CHURCH, we may first cite Clement, who was bishop of Rome, though he to some critics, about the year 70. In this Epistle there are several wrote his Epistle to the Corinthians in Greek A.D. 96, or, according allusions or references to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Irenæus, bipassages out of this Epistle in a work now lost; nevertheless it shop of Lyons about 178, we are assured by Eusebius, cited some does not appear that he received it as Saint Paul's. By Tertul lian, presbyter of Carthage, about the year 200, this Epistle is ascribed to Barnabas. Caius, about 212, supposed to have been presbyter in the church of Rome, reckoning up the Epistles of Saint Paul, mentioned thirteen only, omitting that to the Hethe Epistle to the Hebrews as Saint Paul's. This Epistle is not Hippolitus, who flourished about 220, did not receive quoted by Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, about 248 and afterwards, nor does it appear to have been received by Novatus, or Novatian, presbyter of Rome, about 251; nevertheless, it was in after times received by his followers. It may be thought by some that this Epistle is referred to by Arnobius about 306, and Lactantius about the same time. It is plainly quoted by another Arnobius in the fifth century. It was received as Paul's by Hilary of Poictiers about 354; and by Lucifer, bishop of Cagliary in Sardinia, about the same time, and by his followers; it was also received as Paul's by C. M. Victorinus. Whether it was received
3 Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. lib. iii. c. 3. It does not follow that the Tives of Eusebius were writers; but even if they were, they did not appeal to older Greek writers, but only to the Roman church. This word -SOMEindicates inerely an exception to the general opinion of the Greeks, there being some who were influenced by respect or prepossession for the Romans: and this exception is itself a proof that the Greek church at large acknowledged this epistle as a production of the apostle Paul, according to the well known principle, exceptio firmat regulam. The fact,that the Arians were the first in the Greek churches, whom history charges with denying Paul to be the author of this epistle, adds no ordinary degree of weight to the declarations of Eusebius; and recommends his character as a historian, whom no predilection for a party could betray into a departure from historical truth. Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. p. 509. Schmucker's Biblical Theology, vol. i. p. 109.
It is a singular circumstance that no book of the New Testament has been so frequently quoted by Clement as the Epistle to the Hebrews. Prof. Stuart has arranged his quotations under four different classes; viz. 1. Passages in which the exact words, or nearly so, of the epistle, are with-cited;-2. Passages containing the same sentiment, with more or less contraction of the expression, or an exchange of the original word for a synonymous one ;-3. Passages which are a paraphrastic imitation of the Epistle to the Hebrews; or in which the style or phraselogy of this epistle is more or less exhibited;-and 4. Passages similar to texts in the Old Testament, but which Clement probably quoted from the Epistle to the Hebrews. These different classes of quotations Prof. Stuart has elucidated with many valuable observations, for which the reader is necessarily referred to his Commentary, vol. i. pp. 77-84., or pp. 94-105. of the London edition.
a The words of Origen (who was of opinion that the ideas were those of Paul, though not the style) are very remarkable. He says that "not out cause did the ancients transmit this [epistle] as Paul's." (Euseb. Eccl. Hist. lib. vi. c. 25.) Now, it is very certain that the churches and writers, who were ancients with respect to Origen, must have conversed with the apostles themselves, or at least with their successors. And since this tradition was ancient in the times of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, about one hundred and thirty years after the Epistle was written, it must have had its rise in the days of Paul himself, and so cannot reasonably be contested. 2 Y
by Optatus of Milevi in Africa, about 370, is doubtful. It was received as Paul's by Ambrose, bishop of Milan, about 374; by the Priscillianists about 378. About the year 380 was published a commentary upon thirteen Epistles of Paul only, ascribed to Hilary, deacon of Rome. It was received as Paul's by Philaster, bishop of Brescia in Italy, about 380; but he takes notice that it was not then received by all. His successor Gaudentius, about 387, quotes this Epistle as Paul's; it is also readily received as Paul's by Jerome about 392; and he says it was generally received by the Greeks, and the Christians in the East, but not by all the Latins. It was received as Paul's by Ruffinus in 397; it is also in the catalogue of the third council of Carthage in 397. It is frequently quoted by Augustine as Paul's. In one place he says, "It is of doubtful authority with some, but he was inclined to follow the opinion of the churches in the East, who received it among the canonical Scriptures." It was received as Paul's by Chromatius, bishop of Aquileia in Italy, about 401; by Innocent, bishop of Rome, about 402; by Paulinus, bishop of Nola in Italy, about 403. Pelagius about 405 wrote a commentary upon thirteen Epistles of Paul, omitting that to the Hebrews; nevertheless it was received by his followers. It was received by Cassian about 424; by Prosper of Aquitaine about 434, and by the authors of the works ascribed to him; by Eucherius, bishop of Lyons, in 434; by Sedulius about 818; by Leo, bishop of Rome, in 440; by Salvian, presbyter of Marseilles, about 440; by Gelasius, bishop of Rome, about 496; by Facundus, an African bishop, about 540; by Junilius, an African bishop, about 566; by Cassiodorus in 556; by the author of the imperfect work upon Matthew, about 560; by Gregory, bishop of Rome, about 590; by Isidore of ville about 596; and by Bede about 701, or the beginning of the eighth century,2
who were so exceedingly dear to him? Knowing their prejudices concerning the Levitical law, what subject could he select more appropriate for their instruction and edification, than the abrogation of the Levitical priesthood, and the surpassing excellence of Christ's person and office, especially of his true, spiritual, and eternal priesthood, of which the Levitical priesthood was but a shadow, and of which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has treated so largely?
together with his manner of reasoning, is a sure mark by which [ii.] Secondly, If an author's method of treating his subjects, he may be ascertained (as all good judges of composition allow), we shall without hesitation pronounce Paul to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Epistle corresponds with that of Paul in his other Epistles. (1.) The general arrangement or method pursued in this which was also peculiar to him. He first lays down the doctrinal myste His method of procedure is the same with that of his other Epistles, ries of the Gospel, vindicating them from oppositions and exceptions; and then he descends to exhortations to obedience, deduced from them, with an enumeration of those inoral duties of which it was necessary to remind those Christians to whom he wrote. In this respect the Epistle to the Hebrews bears the greatest resemblance to the Epistle to the Galatians, and especially that addressed to the Romans. Like them, the former half of exhortations intermixed, which the strength of the writer's feelings plainly this Epistle (ch. i.-x. 19.) is principally doctrinal, but with occasional appears to have forced from him. From ch. x. 20. to the end, the Epistle is hortatory and practical. "In the Epistle to the Romans, just before the salutatory part begins, the writer earnestly asks for a special interest in the prayers of those whom he addressed, in order that he may be delivered from the power of persecution, and he follows this request with a petition, that the God of Peace-o sos The Brenns-night be with them, and concludes with an Amen. (Rom. xv. 30-33.) The very same order, petition, Se-style, and conclusion, appear, at the close of the Epistle to the Hebrews. (xiii. 18-21.) The writer begs an interest in their prayers, that he may be restored to them the sooner; commends them to the God of Peace (an expression used no where else but in Saint Paul's writings and in the Epistle to the Hebrews); and concludes with an Amen." Similar coincidences as to method occur in the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians (Professor Stuart adds, to the Philippians and Thessalonians also); which conclude with an Amen before the salutation.
From the preceding testimonies it is evident, that within about thirty years at most after this Epistle was written (for its date, see p. 356. infra) "it had acquired such currency and credit, that the church at Rome, the metropolitan of the world, in a letter addressed by Clement their bishop to the church at Corinth, made repeated appeals to it as a book of divine authority, and in such a way as to imply a knowledge and acknowledgment of it by the Corinthian church, similar to their own. Further, Justin Martyr has evidently appealed to its contents as sacred, A. D. 140; about which time, or not long after, it was inserted among the canonical books of the New Testament by the churches of the East and West: and consequently it must have had, a period yery little after the apostolic age, a currency and a credit not at all or at most very little inferior to that of other acknowledged books of the New Testament."3
2. INTERNAL EVIDENCE THAT THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS IS THE GENUINE PRODUCTION OF SAINT PAUL. [i] In the first place, Paul cherished an ardent zeal and affection towards his kinsmen according to the flesh. (Rom. ix. 1., &c.)
And can we think it likely that he should never write to those
The non-recognising of this epistle as St. Paul's production "by all the Latins," according to Jerome, and the circumstance of its being "of doubtful authority with some" in the Latin church, according to Augustine, are thus accounted for by Hug. The Western church was kept actively employed by the Montanists. In vindication of their tenet, that those guilty of grievous transgressions should be irrevocably cut off from the church, they relied especially on Hebrews vi. 4, 5. as we learn from Tertullian (de Pudicitia, c, 20.) and Jerome (adv. Jovinian, 1. ii. c. 3.); on which accouut the ministers of the Latin church made cautious and sparing use of this epistle. Not long probably after the death of Irenæus, the presbyter Caius assumed the tone of clamorous opposition against this epistle, in a work which he published against the Montanists: and from that time this opinion was adopted by the greater part of the Latin church. Even the Montanists themselves receded from their original position on this subject, and in their polemical works received this epistle only as far as its authority was acknowledged by their opponents, namely, as a production of an apostolical teacher, Barnabas, or Clement, &c. About forty years after Caius's attack, arose the Novatians; who, as we learn from Jerome, Augustine, Epiphanius, Theodoret, and others, also used the passage Heb. vi.4, 5. as the principal defence of their tenets. While the Greeks were calm spectators of the contest, and evaded the argument from Heb. vi. by their interpretations, the Latin churches were led by the pressure of circumstances to deny the authority of the book, whose contents they were unable to refute. But the Latin churches had no ecclesiastical tradition, no authority of earlier churches to which they could appeal: the whole controversy proceeded on the ground of internal evidence. It was for this reason that Jerome and Augustine could not adopt the opinion of the church to which they belonged; because they were convinced of the contrary by the testimony of the ancients: and their influence tended to give, at a subsequent day, a different turn to the opinion of the Latin church. Schmucker's Biblical Theology, vol. i. pp. 115, 116. Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 516-525.
2 Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 391-395.; 4to. vol. iii. pp. 329-331. In his notes there are references to the various parts of the preceding volumes, in which the extracts from the above named fathers are to be found.
Stuart's Commentary, vol. i. p. 109.
(2.) In this letter, we find that overflowing of sentiment briefly expressed, which distinguishes Paul from every other sacred writer.
thing subordinate, but at the same time connected with it; which, having pursued for a little while, the writer returns to his subject, and illustrates it by arguments of great force, couched sometimes in a short expression, and sometimes in a single word,-all which are peculiar to Paul. In this Epistle, likewise, contrary to the practice of other writers, but in Paul's manner, we meet with many elliptical expressions, which are to be supplied either from the foregoing or from the following clauses. In it also, as in of the reader, and answers to objections not proposed; because, being obvious, the writer knew they would naturally occur, and therefore needed to be removed. Lastly, after Paul's manner, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews has subjoined to his reasonings many exhortations to piety and virtue; all which, to persons who are judges of writing, plainly point out the apostle Paul as the author of this Epistle."
transitions from the in hand to some.
we find addressed to the
(3.) Many things in this Epistle (too numerous and indeea too obvious to require any enumeration) evidently manifest that its author was not only mighty in the Scriptures, but also exceedingly well skilled in the customs, practices, opinions, traditions, expositions, and applications of Scripture, then received in the Jewish church.
"In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find such enlarged views of the divine dispensations respecting religion; such an extensive knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, according to their ancient and true interpretation, which Paul, no doubt, learned froin the celebrated doctors under whose tuition he studied in his younger years at Jerusalem; such a deep insight also into the most recondite meanings of these Scriptures, and such admirable reasonings founded thereon for the confirmation of the Gospel revelation, as, without disparagement to the other apostles, seem to have exceeded, not their natural abilities and education only, but even that degree of inspira tion with which they were endowed. None of them but Paul, who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and who profited in the Jewish religion and learning above many of his fellow-students, and who in his riper years, was intimately acquainted with the learned men of his own nation (Acts ix. 1, 2. 14. xxvi. 4, 5.), and who was called to the apostleship by Christ himself, when for that purpose he appeared to him from heaven,-nay, who was caught up by Christ into the third heaven,-was equal to the subjects treated of in this most admirable Epistle."
[iii.] In the third place, Not only does the general scope of this Epistle tend to the same point, on which Saint Paul lays so much stress in his other Epistles, namely, that we are justified and obtain salvation only through Jesus Christ, and that the Mosaic institutions cannot effect this object; but there are
4 Stuart's Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, vol. i. pp. 152, 153.; or pp. 185-187. of the London edition. Schmidii Hist. et Vindicatio Canonis, pp. 665, 666. Owen on the Hebrews, vol. i. Exercitation 2.
Of these parenthesis see an example in Heb. i. 2-4., in which the truth of the Gospel is argued from the dignity of Christ's person; in verse 5. the discourse is continued from the first verse. See other instances in Heb. iii. 7-11. 14. and iv. 2, &c.
6 Macknight's Preface to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Sect. I. iii. Ibid.
various DOCTRINAL PROPOSITIONS in this Epistle, which are | Christ was offered to bear the sins of many. (Heb. ix. 28.) He tasted found in the other acknowledged Epistles of Paul.
Professor Stuart and M. De Groot have discussed this subject at length, especially the former: our limits will only permit a very few examples to be given, showing the superiority of the Gospel over the Mosaic dispensation:
death for every man. (Heb. ii. 9.) He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Heb. ix. 26.) The Jewish offerings being altogether insufficient to make expiation, Christ has by his own blood once for all made expiation (ix. 15. xii. 24.), which is better than the ancient one. (vii. 22. viii.) Exalted for sin. (ix. 9-15. x. 10-12. 14. 19.) He is the Mediator of a new covenant to the throne of the universe (ii. 6-10.), he appears in the presence of God for us (ix. 24.); he ever lives to make intercession for all that come unto God by him (vii. 25.); and he is ever able and ready to assist us. (iv. 14concerning the mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ, are not men tioned by any of the inspired writers, except Paul.
1. As to the superior degree of RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE 16.) Many of the doctrines explained in this Epistle, particularly those imparted by the Gospel.
"In his acknowledged Epistles, Paul calls Judaism Te TXT TOU XOσpov (Gal. iv. 3.), the elements or rudiments of the world, that is, the elements or principles of a religion accommodated to the ignorant and imbecile men of the present age or world; and again, TX XT (Gal. iv. 9.), weak and beggarty elements, to denote its imperfection. He represents it as adapted to children, vnio (Gal. iv. 3.), who are in a state of nonage and pupilage, or in the condition of servants rather than that of heirs. (Gal. iv. 1.) On the other hand, Christians attain to a higher know. ledge of God (Gal. iv. 9.): they are no more as servants, but become sons, and obtain the privileges of adoption. (Gal. iv. 5, 6.) They are represented as TX (1 Cor. xiv. 20.); as being furnished with instruction adequate to make them avopas TEASSOUS. (Eph. iv. 11-13.) Christianity leads them to see the glorious displays of himself which God has made, with an unveiled face, that is, clearly (2 Cor. iii. 18.); while Judaism threw a veil over these things. (2 Cor. ii. 13.) Christianity is engraven on the hearts of its votaries, SaxovVIX TOU #VEUμXTOS (2 Cor. iii. 8.), while Judaism was engraven on tablets of stone, έντετυπόμενη ἐν τοις λίθοις. (2 Cor. iii. 7.)” Let us now compare the preceding sketch of the apostle's views on this point, as contained in his acknowledged Epistles, with those which are developed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
[iv.] Fourthly, There is such a similarity between the modes of quotation, and style of phraseology of this Epistle, and those which occur in the apostle's acknowledged Epistles, as clearly shows that the Epistle to the Hebrews is his undoubted production.
De Groot, and above all Professor Stuart, have adduced numerous Braunius, Carpzov, Langius, Schmidt, Lardner, Macknight, instances at considerable length, from which the following have been abridged :
(1.) Modes of quotation and interpretations of some passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which are peculiarly Pauline, because they are to be found only in the writings of Saint
"This Epistle commences with the declaration, that God, who in times out of the Old Testament in this than his other epistles, is nothing more That the apostle should more abound with testimonies and quotations past spake to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to than the subject of which he treats, and the persons to whom he wrote, us by his Son. (Heb. i. 1. ii. 1.) Judaisin was revealed only by the media- necessarily required. Thus, Psal. ii. 7. "Thou art my Son: to-day I have tion of angels (ii. 2.), while Christianity was revealed by the Son of God, begotten thee;" is quoted and applied to Jesus (Heb. 1. 5.) just as Paul, in and abundantly confirmed by miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost. (ii. 3, 4.) his discourse to the Jews in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, cited and The ancient covenant was imperfect with respect to the means which it applied the saine passage of Scripture to him. (Acts xiii. 33.) In like furnished for the diffusion of knowledge; but the new covenant provides manner, the quotation and explanation of Psal. viii. 4. and of Psal. cx. 1., that all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest. (viii. 9-11.) given by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 25. 27. are found in Heb. ii. 7, 8. So also the exThe law was only a sketch or imperfect representation of religious bless-planation of the covenant with Abraham (Heb. vi. 14. 18.) is nowhere found ings; while the Gospel proffers the blessings themselves. (x. 1.) The worthies of ancient times had only imperfect views of spiritual blessings, but in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. (iii. S. 9. 14. 18.)3 while Christians enjoy them in full measure. (xi. 39, 40.5"
2. As to the views which the Gospel displays concerning God the Father, in the bestowment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
No one has spoken so frequently as Saint Paul concerning the Holy Spirit, nor has any one of the inspired writers adduced the gifts of the Holy Spirit as an argument for the truth of the Gospel, besides Saint Paul and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. (See 1 Cor. xiv. 22, &c.) The apostle expressly uses the word sp, to distribute, with regard to these gifts in Rom. xii. 3. and 2 Cor. vii. 17.; and in Heb. ii. 4. he says, that the mission of the apostles was confirmed by God with divers miracles, and IIVEUμTOS Ayo μspionos, distributions or gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts, Saint Paul exclusively affirms, are variously imparted accord. ing to the will of God (Rom. xii. 3-6. Eph. iv. 7. and especially I Cor. xii. 4.7-11. 28.); and in the Epistle to the Hebrews these gifts are conferred κατα την αυτου θέλησιν, according to his will.
3. Concerning the person and mediatorial office of the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
He is the Creator of all things (Col. i. 16. Eph. iii. 9. 1 Cor. viii. 6.), and by Him all things subsist. (Col i. 17.) He is the image or likeness of God, SIXWY TOU SOU (2 Cor. iv. 4.); the image of the invisible God, eixov TCU EDU TOU αoрTOU. (Col. i. 15.) He being in the form of God, iv open sou, -that is, in the condition of God-humbled himself, assumed an inferior or humble station,-taking the condition of a servant, being made after the similitude of men, and being found in fashion as a man, he exhibited his humility by obedience, even to the death of the cross, wherefore God highly exalted him to supreme dignity; and he must reign till he hath put all things under his feet. (Phil. ii. 6-9. 1 Cor. xv. 25-27.)
Correspondent to these representations are the declarations in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Son of God is affirmed to be the reflected splendour of the glory of God, that is, one in whom the divine majesty is conspicuous, the xxxxтp OTHσENS TOU IIXrpos, the exact image, representation, or counterpart of the Father (i. 3.), by whom God made all things (i. 2.), and upholds the universe by his word. Yet he was in a state of humiliation, being made a little lower than the angels (ii. 9.); he assumed flesh and blood, "in order that he might by his own death render null and void the destructive power of the devil. (ii. 14.) On account of the suffering of death he is exalted to a state of glory and honour. (ii. 9.) He endured the suffering of the cross, making no account of its disgrace, but having a regard to the reward set before him, which was a seat at the right hand of God. (xii. 2.) All things are put under his feet (ii. 8. x. 13.), where the very same passage from the Old Testament is quoted, which Paul quotes in 1 Cor. xv. 25-28., and it is applied in the same manner."
But chiefly does Saint Paul expatiate in his acknowledged Epistles on the death of Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin, and the reconciliation of sinners to God by means of this sacrifice. He is there said to have come into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. i. 15.); to have died for us and for our sins (Tit. ii. 14. 1 Cor. xv. 3.), and to be a propitiation for our sins. (Rom. iii. 25.) In him we have redemption through his blood. (Eph. i. 7.) This salvation it was impossible to obtain by the law; it could only be effected by Jesus Christ, who accomplished what the law could not do. (Rom. iii. 20-28. viii. 3. Gal. ii. 16. 21.) Finally, Jesus is our constant Mediator and Intercessor with God. (1 Tim. ii. 5. Rom. viii. 34.) In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find the same sentiments urged with the same ardour, particularly in chapters vii.-x. To adduce a few instances:
1 Stuart's Commentary, vol. i. pp. 143, 144. (174, 175. of the London edition.) in pp. 144-148. (175-178. of the London edition) he admirably illustrates the superiority of the motives to piety contained in the Gospel, as well as its superior efficacy in insuring the happiness of mankind, and the perpetuity of the Christian dispensation.
De Groot, de Epist. ad Hebræos, pp. 240, 241. Stuart's Commentary, vol. i. p. 149 (or p. 182. of the London edition.)
(2.) Instances of agreement in the style and phraseology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in the acknowledged Epistles of Paul.
i. PARTICULAR WORDS, PECULIAR TO PAUL, OR WHICH ARE MOST FREQUENT IN HIS WRITINGS.
forty-eight others; De Groot has considerably enlarged the list, which he Wetstein enumerates eleven instances, to which Schmidt has added refers to certain classes; as also does Professor Stuart, who has given upwards of sixty examples. Our limits will allow a few only to be subjoined.
The word of God, in Panl, is a sword, μazzipa. (Eph. vi. 17. Heb. iv. 12.) uninformed, are termed va in 1 Cor. iii. 1. Eph. iv. 14. Rom. ii. 20. Gal. Children in religion, that is, those who are comparatively ignorant and iv. 3. and Heb. v. 13.; and instruction for such persons is termed milk, and for strong persons (TX), or those who are well taught, it is proce meat, and σTEPE Tpon, or strong meat, in 1 Cor. iii. 2. and Heb. v. 14. and their advanced or mature state of Christian knowledge is called
MITS or Mediator, to denote Jesus Christ, is exclusively Pauline. (Gal. iii. 19, 20. 1 Tim. ii. 5. Heb. viii. 6.)
imputation of sin, to render God propitious, occurs in Eph. v. 26. Heb. ii Ayage, to cleanse from sin, that is, to expiate, to liberate from the 11. x. 10. and xiii. 12.
the perfect image, or delineation. (Col. ii. 17. Heb. viii. 5. x. 1.) Exia, a shadow, that is, a shadowing forth, or adumbration, as opposed Heb. iii. 1. iv. 14. x. 23.) Oμonoy, religion, religious or Christian profession. (2 Cor. ix. 13. ̔Οἶκος Θεού,
the house of God, that is, the church. (1 Tim. iii. 15. Heb. iii. 6.) Kanpovoμos, Lord or possessor. (Heb. i. 2. Rom. viii. 17.)
Kaтapy Ew, to annul, abolish, or abrogate. (Rom. iii. 3. 31. vi. 6. 1 Cor. 28. Gal. v. 11. Heb. ii. 14.)
iii. 29. and Heb. ii. 6. Σπρμα тоυ Аßрœœp, the seed of Abraham, or Christians, occurs in Gal.
ii. AGONISTIC EXPRESSIONS OR ALLUSIONS TO THE GAMES AND EXERCISES GREECE AND OTHER PARTS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, AND PARTICULARLY AT WHICH WERE THEN IN GREAT REPUTE, AND WERE FREQUENTLY SOLEMNIZED IN JERUSALEM AND CESAREA BY HEROD. (1 Cor. ix. 24. Phil. iii. 12-14. 2 Tim. ii. 5. iv. 6-8. compared with Heb. vi. 18. and xii. 1-3, 4. 12.)
(3.) Coincidences between the exhortations in this Epistle and those in Paul's other letters.
See Heb. xii. 3. compared with Gal. vi. 9. 2 Thess. iii. 13. and Eph. iii. 13., xiii. 16. with Phil. iv. 18. See also Rom. xv. 26. 2 Cor. viii. 24. and ix. 13. Heb. xii. 14. with Rom. xii. 18.; Heb. xiii. 1. 3, 4. with Eph. v. 2-4.; Heb.
and the conclusions of Paul's Epistles, in several respects. (4.) Coincidences between the conclusion of this Epistle 1 Thess. v. 25. and 2Thess. iii. 1.; Heb. xiii. 20, 21. with Rom. xv. 30-33. Compare Heb. xii. 18. with Rom. xv. 30. Eph. vi. 18, 19. Col. iv. 3. Eph. vi. 19-23. 1 Thess. v. 23. and 2 Thess. iii. 16.; Heb. xiii. 24. with Rom. xvi. 21-23. 1 Cor. xvi. 19-21. 2 Cor. xiii. 13. Phil. iv. 21, 22.; Heb. xiii. 25. with 2Thess. iii. 18. Col. iv. 18. Eph. vi. 24. 1 Tim. vi. 21. 2 Tim. iv. 22. and Tit. iii. 15.
[v.] Lastly, There are several circumstances towards the
3 Macknight's Pref. to Ep. to the Hebrews. Sect. I. iii. De Groot gives instances not only of the formulæ of quotation, but also of the design with which the apostle introduces his quotations. (pp. 245, 246.) Prof. Stuart principally elucidates the mode of appealing to the Jewish Scriptures, and pp. 187-195. of the London edition. the apostle's manner of reasoning. Cominentary, vol. i. pp. 153-160., or
De Groot, pp. 247-250. Stuart, vol. i. pp. 160-168., or pp. 196-204. of the Wetstein, Nov, Test. tom. ii. p. 386. Schmidii Hist. Canonis, pp 662-664. London edition.
close of this Epistle, which evidently prove that it was written | should lead to the conclusion that it was not written by Paul." by Paul. Thus,
(1.) Heb. xiii. 23. The departure of Timothy is mentioned; and we know from the commencement of the Epistles to the Philippians, Colossians, and to Philemon, that he was with Paul during his imprisonment at Rome. (2.) Heb. xiii. 24. They of Italy salute you: the writer, therefore, was then in Italy, whither Paul was sent a prisoner, and where he resided two years (Acts xxviii, 30.); where also he wrote several Epistles which are still extant. (3.) Heb. x. 34. The apostle makes mention of his bonds, and of the compassion which the Hebrew Christians showed him in his sufferings, and during his imprisonment. Now it is scarcely credible, that any other person in Italy, where Paul then was, should write to the Hebrew Christians, and therein make mention of his own bonds, and of Timothy being with him, who was a man unknown to them except through Paul, and not once intimate any thing concerning his condition. Besides, the constant sign and token of Paul's Epistles, which himself had publicly signified to be so (2 Thess. iii. 17, 18.), is subjoined to this:-Grace be with you all. (Heb. xiii. 25.) That this was originally written with his own hand, there is no ground to question; but rather appears to be so because it was written: for he affirms, that it was his custom to subjoin that salutation with his own hand. Now this was an evidence to the persons to whom the original of the Epistle first came, but not to those who had only transcribed copies of it. The salutation itself was their token, being peculiar to Paul; and all these circumstances will yet receive some additional force from the consideration of the time when this Epistle was written. (See par. iv. in the next column.)
Those who have thought differently have mentioned Barnabas, Luke, and Clement, as authors or translators of this Epistle. The opinion of Jerome was, that "the sentiments are the apostle's, but the language and composition of some one else, who committed to writing the apostle's sense, and, as it were, reduced into commentaries the things spoken by his master." Dr. Lardner conjectures that Paul dictated the Epistle in Hebrew, and that another, who was a great master of the Greek language, immediately wrote down the apostle's sentiments in his own elegant Greek; but who this assistant of the apostle was, is altogether unknown. But surely the writings of Paul, like those of other authors, may not all have the same precise degree of merit; and if, upon a careful perusal and comparison, it should be thought that the Epistle to the Hebrews is written with greater elegance than the acknowledged compositions of this apostle, it should also be remembered that the apparent design and contents of this Epistle suggest the idea of more studied composition, and yet that there is nothing in it which amounts to a marked difference of style."4 Besides the sublime subject of this Epistle, the grand ideas which the apostle developes with equal method and warmth, did not permit him to employ the negligent style of a familiar letter. On the other hand, as we have already seen, there are the same construction of sentences, and the same style of expression, in this Epistle, which occur in no part of the Scriptures except in Saint Paul's Epistles.6
Upon the whole, we conclude with Braunius, Langius, Carpzov, Pritius, Whitby, Lardner, Macknight, Hales, Rosenmuller, Bengel, Bishop Tomline, Janssens, De Groot, Professor Stuart, and almost every other modern commentator and biblical critic, that the weight of evidence, both Paul, that we cannot but consider the Epistle to the Hebrews external and internal, preponderates so greatly in favour of as written by that apostle; and that, instead of containing far-fetched analogies and inaccurate reasonings" (as the opponents of our Saviour's divinity and atonement affirm), its composition is more highly wrought, and its language more finished, than any of Paul's other Epistles, and that it affords a finished model of didactic writing.
Is it possible that all these coincidences (which are comparatively a small selection) can be the effect of mere accident? The arrangement and method of treatment, the topics discussed, and the peculiarity of sentiments, words, and phrases, are all so exclusively Pauline, that no other person could have been its author, except the great apostle of the Gentiles. Yet, notwithstanding this strong chain of proof for the authenticity of this Epistle, doubts have still been entertained, whether it is a genuine production of Saint Paul. These doubts rest principally on the omission of the writer's name, and the superior elegance of the style in which it is written. 1. It is indeed certain that all the acknowledged Epistles of Paul begin with a salutation in his own name, and that most of them were directed from some particular place, and sent by some special messengers; whereas the Epistle to the Hebrews is anonymous, and is not directed from any place, nor is the name of the messenger introduced by whom it was sent to Judæa. These omissions, however, can scarcely be considered as conclusive against the positive testimony already adduced. And they are satisfactorily accounted for by Clement of Alexandria, and by Jerome, who intimate, that as Jesus Christ himself was the pecu-A. liar apostle to the Hebrews (as acknowledged in this epistle, iii. 1.), Paul declined, through humility, to assume the title of an apostle. To which Theodoret adds, that Paul being peculiarly the apostle of the uncircumcision, as the rest were of the circumcision (Gal. ii. 9. Rom. xi. 13.), he scrupled to assume any public character when writing to the people of their charge. He did not mention his name, messenger, or the particular persons to whom it was sent, because (as Dr. Lardner judiciously remarks) such a long letter might give umbrage to the ruling powers at this crisis, when the Jews were most turbulent, and might endanger himself, the messenger, and those to whom it was directed. But they might easily know the author by the style, and also from the messenger, without any formal notice or superscription. But the absence of the apostle's name is no proof that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul, or, that it is a treatise or homily,2 as some critics have imagined; for, in our canon of the New Testament, there are Epistles universally acknowledged to be the production of an inspired apostle, notwithstanding his name is nowhere inserted in them. The three Epistles of John are here intended, in all of which, that apostle has omitted his name, for some reasons not now known. The first Epistle begins in the same manner as the Epistle to the Hebrews; and in the other two, he calls himself simply the elder or presbyter. That Paul, however, did not mean to conceal himself, we learn from the Epistle itself:-"Know ye," says he, "that our brother Timothy has been sent abroad, with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you." (Heb. xiii. 23.) The objection, therefore, from the omission of the apostle's name, necessarily falls to the ground. 2. With regard to the objection, that this Epistle is superior in point of style to Paul's other writings, and therefore is not the production of that apostle, it is to be observed, that "there does not appear to be such a superiority in the style of this Epistle as 1 Schmidii Hist. Canonis, p. 665. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 402,
403.; 4to. vol. iii. p. 335. Owen on the Hebrews, part i. exercitation 2. The hypothesis of Berger, that the Epistle to the Hebrews was originally an homily, is examined and refuted by Prof. Stuart. Commentary, vol. i. pp. 4-7., or pp. 4-9. of the London edition.
Michaelis thinks it highly improbable that Paul would visit Jerusalem again, and expose his life to zealots there. But surely, Dr. Hales remarks, he might revisit Judæa without incurring that danger. Analysis of Chronology vol ii book ii p 1130.
IV. With regard to the time when this Epistle was written, critics and commentators are not agreed, some referring it to D. 58, but the greater part placing it between A. D. 61 and 64. If (as we believe) Paul was its author, the time when it was written may easily be determined; for the salutations from the saints in Italy (Heb. xiii. 24.), together with the apostle's promise to see the Hebrews shortly (23.), plainly intimates that his imprisonment was then either terminated, or on the point of being so. It was therefore written from Italy, perhaps from Rome, soon after the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon, and not long before Paul left Italy, viz. at the end of A. D. 62, or early in 63. It is evident from several passages, as Lardner and Macknight have observed, that it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and probably, Professor Stuart thinks, but a short time before that event; for in Heb. viii. 4. ix. 25. x. 11. and xiii. 10. the temple is mentioned as then standing, and the Levitical sacrifices are noticed as being then offered. To which we may add, that in x. 32-37. the apostle comforts the believing Hebrews under the persecution which their unbelieving brethren were carrying on against them, by the prospect of Christ's speedy advent to destroy Jerusalem and the whole Mosaic economy.
V. The occasion of writing this Epistle will be sufficiently apparent from an attentive review of its contents. The Jews did every thing in their power to withdraw their brethren, who had been converted, from the Christian faith. To persecutions and threats, they added arguments derived from the infer, that the law of Moses was given by the ministration excellency of the Jewish religion. They observed, we may of angels; that Moses was far superior to Jesus of Nazareth, who suffered an ignominous death; that the public worship of God, instituted by their great legislator and prophet, was truly splendid and worthy of Jehovah while the Christians, on the contrary, had no established priesthood, no temple, no altars, no victims, &c. In opposition to such arguments, the apostle shows, what the learned doctors, scribes, and elders at Jerusalem strongly denied; viz. that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had lately put to death, was the Messiah, the
Bishop Tomline's Elements of Christian Theology, vol. i. pp. 455, 456.
The objections of Bertholdt and others, taken from the style of the
Son of God, and far superior to the angels, to Moses, to the high-priest of the Old Testament, and to all other priests: that from his sufferings and death, which he endured for us, much greater and more lasting benefits have resulted to the whole human race, than the Jews ever derived from their temple service, and from the numerous rites and ordinances of the Levitical laws, which were absolutely inefficacious to procure the pardon of sin. The reality of the sacrifice of himself, which Christ offered for sin, is clearly demonstrated. From these and other arguments, the apostle proves that the religion of Jesus is much more excellent and perfect than that of Moses, and exhorts the Christian converts to constancy in the faith, and to the unwearied pursuit of all godliness and virtue.
The great object of the apostle, therefore, in this Epistle, Is to show the deity of Jesus Christ, and the excellency of his Gospel, when compared with the institutions of Moses; to prevent the Hebrews or Jewish converts from relapsing into those rites and ceremonies which were now abolished; and to point out their total insufficiency, as means of reconciliation and atonement. The reasonings are interspersed with numerous solemn and affectionate warnings and exhortations, addressed to different descriptions of persons. At length Saint Paul shows the nature, efficacy, and triumph of faith, by which all the saints in former ages had been accepted by God, and enabled to obey, suffer, and perform exploits, in defence of their holy religion; from which he takes occasion to exhort them to steadfastness and perseverance in the true faith.
The Epistle to the Hebrews consists of three parts; viz. PART I. demonstrates the Deity of Christ by the explicit Declarations of Scripture. (ch. i.-x. 18.)
The proposition is, that Christ is the true God. (i. 1—3.) The proofs of this are,
SECT. 1. His superiority to angels, by whom he is worshipped as their Creator and Lord. (i. 4-14.) Inference. Therefore we ought to give heed to him. 1-4.)
The superiority of Christ over angels asserted, notwithstanding his temporary humiliation in our nature (ii. 5-9.); without which he could not have accomplished the work of man's redemption (ii. 10-15); and for this purpose he took not upon him the nature of angels, but that of Abraham. (ii. 16-18.) SECT. 2. His superiority to Moses, who was only a servant, whereas Christ is Lord. (iii. 1-6.) Application of this argument to the believing Hebrews, who are solemnly warned not to copy the example of their unbelieving ancestors who perished in the wilderness. (iii. 7 19. iv. 1-13.)
SECT. 3. His superiority to Aaron and all the other high-priests demonstrated. Christ is the true high-priest, adumbrated by Melchizedek and Aaron. (iv. 14-16. v.-viii.) In ch. v. 1-14. and ch. vi. the apostle inserts a parenthetical digression, in which he reproves the Hebrew Christians for their ignorance of the Scriptures.
Proofs, (x. 1939.-xiii. 1—19.) in which the Hebrews are exhorted,
SECT. 1. To faith, prayer, and constancy in the Gospel. (x. 19-25.) This exhortation is enforced by representations of the danger of wilfully renouncing Christ, after having received the knowledge of the truth, and is interspersed with warnings, expostulations, and encouragements, showing the nature, excellency, and efficacy of faith, illustrated by examples of the most eminent saints, from Abel to the end of the Old Testament dispensation. (x. 26-39. xi.) SECT. 2. To patience and diligence in their Christian course, from the testimony of former believers, and by giving particular attention to the example of Christ, and from the paternal design and salutary effect of the Lord's corrections. (xii. 1-13.)
SECT. 3. To peace and holiness, and to a jealous watchfulness over themselves and each other, enforced by the case of Esau (xii. 14-17.)
SECT. 4. To an obedient reception of the Gospel, and a reverential worship of God, from the superior excellency of the Christian dispensation, and the proportionably greater guilt and danger of neglecting it. (xii. 18-29.)
SECT. 5. To brotherly love, hospitality, and compassion; to charity, contentment, and the love of God. (xiii. 1-3.) SECT. 6. To recollect the faith and examples of their deceased pastors. (xiii. 4-8.)
SECT. 7. To watchfulness against false doctrines in regard to the sacrifice of Christ. (xiii. 9-12.)
SECT. 8. To willingness to bear reproach for him, and thanksgiving to God. (xiii. 13-15.)
SECT. 9. To subjection to their pastors, and prayer for the apostle. (xiii. 16—19.)
PART III. The Conclusion, containing a Prayer for the Hebrews, and Apostolical Salutations. (xiii. 20-25.)
The Epistle to the Hebrews, Dr. Hales observes, is a masterly supplement to the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and also a luminous commentary on them; showing that all the legal dispensation was originally designed to be superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian dispensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the profoundest knowledge of both. The internal excellence of this Epistle, as connecting the Old Testament and the cidating both more fully than any other Epistle, or perhaps New in the most convincing and instructive manner, and eluthan all of them, places its divine inspiration beyond all doubt. We here find the great doctrines, which are set forth in other parts of the New Testament, stated, proved, and applied to practical purposes, in the most impressive manner.1
1 Heidegger, Enchiridion. Biblicum, pp. 600-611. Dr. Owen's Exercitations on the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 1-44. fol. edit. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 381-415.; 4to. vol. iii. pp. 324-341. Macknight's Preface to the Hebrews, vol. iii. pp. 321-341. 4to. edit. or vol. v. pp. 1-27. 8vo. edit. Braunii Comment. in Epist. ad Hebræos, pp. 1-36. Carpzovii Exercitationes in Epist. ad Hebræos, pp. lxii.-cvi. Schmidii Hist. et Vindicatio Canonis, pp. 655-673. Langii Commentatio de Vita et Epistolis Apostoli bræos, pp. 1-8. 1173-1185. 8vo. Lipsiæ, 1815. Michaelis, vol. iv. pp. 192 Pauli, pp. 153-160. J. A. Ernesti Lectiones Academic in Epist. ad He-269. Dr Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. pp. 1128-1137. Pritii Introd. ad Lectionem Nov. Test. pp. 38-61. 312-318. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Nov. Test. vol. v. pp. 142–148. Moldenhawer, Introd. ad Libros Canoni11-cos Vet. et Nov Test. pp. 332-340. Alber, Institutiones Hermeneutice Nov. Test. toin. i. pp. 244-250. Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 488-533. Janssens, Hermeneutique Sacrée, tom. ii. pp. 61-68. Whitby's and Scott's Commentaries on the Epistle to the Hebrews.
SECT. 4. The typical nature of the tabernacle and its furniture, and of the ordinances there observed. (ix. 1-10.) SECT. 5. The sacrifice of Christ is that true and only sacrifice by which all the Levitical sacrifices are abolished. (ix. 28. x. 1-18.)
PART II. The Application of the preceding Arguments and