Dr. Pappas, below is something I ran across while preparing my lesson on "The Inspiration of the Scriptures" for Sunday morning. I've
always known that the writer of the book of Hebrews is debated. I was taught in my Sabbath keeping church growing up that it was Paul.
Then my studies as an adult proved it couldn't be Paul. Look at what he wrote in Galatians and then what the writer of Hebrews wrote:
Paul wrote: Gal 1: 11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The book of Hebrews author wrote: Heb:4:2: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
So, the Hebrews author couldn't be Paul, right? No one preached the gospel to him.
Answer: I do not know who wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Your point is a good one. But here is what I do know. The Greek of the letter to the Hebrews is closer to the Greek school of Alexandra and is definitely not Paul. Paul’s works are clearly written in a consistent Greek. The character of the Greek in Hebrews is more closely aligned with the type of Greek of the LXX. The LXX is the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek by the “group of 70” in Alexandria Egypt around 300 BC. The Greek is called Koine Greek because it was the common Greek language of the day after Alexander the Great conquered the area.
With 300 years of time between the Greek of the LXX and the New Testament, the language changed. Like the English of the Pilgrims verses modern American English. Some words become obsolete and the language in general becomes simpler. If you look at the text, its structure, the words used, etc., it is obvious that the signature of the text is fundamentally different from that of Paul.
Also, some authors are more classically trained (e.g. Luke the doctor), while others are trained in a localized school that is notable enough to be recognized. The Greek of Hebrew’s is clearly from someone that is classically trained and from a city of classic Greek heritage (e.g. Alexandria Egypt). The letter to the Hebrews has too many unique features that differentiate it from any other work of the NT. The author is clearly a one of a kind.
Thank you for your question.
John Pappas, ThD