By Mike Chaffin
Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.
The writer’s last words here are closing comments on what most people consider the second most important book in the New Testament. It is eloquently written and espouses much on Christian doctrine and faith. The writer closes with a plea that the reader take it in and live it out. But, unlike every other book in the Bible, no one is sure who wrote Hebrews.
Generally, most people attribute this book to Paul because of these last words. However, this book has several differences to all other Pauline letters. There is no greeting to the Hebrew people at the opening. In fact, while the last words seem to indicate this is a letter, the rest of the book doesn’t read like a letter. Paul’s usual handwritten close is missing. The author of Hebrews uses the Greek text when he quotes the Old Testament. Paul always quoted the Hebrew Old Testament.
The main reason most people point to another author is Hebrews 2:3
how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
Paul claimed apostleship and received his instructions form the Lord. The writer of Hebrews states he was taught these things by an apostle.
So other names have been put forth for authorship. Some suggest this is a sermon Paul gave that Luke recorded and later sent it out to the Hebrew people. Since Timothy is referenced, the writer is likely a co-worker with Timothy and Paul. This would expand the possible writers to Barnabas, Apollos, Clement, or Priscilla.
Not all these suggestions hold equal weight though. Whoever wrote it had a marvelous grasp of Christian doctrine, Hebrew history, and a mastery of the Greek language.
What we can take away from the last words in Hebrews is important today. It shows we don’t have to be famous, need our name in lights, or receive recognition for our work to further Christ’s kingdom. We do it all for the glory of Christ.
Prayer: Lord thank you for the book of Hebrews. Thank you that you didn’t choose to reveal who wrote the book. Not all your children will become famous, but that doesn’t matter. You can use anyone to tell someone about your love and offer of salvation. You love us all. In Jesus’s name, amen.