Some believe Paul to be the author, who wrote at least thirteen books in the New Testament and others attribute the book to Priscilla, a friend of Paul’s who accompanied him during part of his ministry. Timothy, Hoppin concludes that Priscilla wrote from Rome to the church in Ephesus where she was an acknowledged and respected pastoral leader. Thus it is proven that a tendency existed at that time to weaken the remembrance of Prisca’s significance, or to destroy it vigorously.”15. So we can surmise that Priscilla had the schooling, the knowledge and early church pedigree to write something like the book of Hebrews. Well, it was because the author of Hebrews was never separated from her husband and spoke together with him in all things. Hoppin, as well as others, also believes that Priscilla was the author of Hebrews. Priscilla, as a colleague of Paul, was a colleague of Timothy, with whom the author coordinates travel plans (Heb. Why Paul Could Have Wrote the Book of Hebrews I buy it. Ruth. Biblical scholars argue that Hebrews was written by a highly educated teacher, one who was well acquainted with the various philosophical debates of the day. One could argue that this was the assumed context of the readers, but the text lacks specific details of Jewish worship, further indicating an unfamiliarity akin more to a non-Jew, non-male author. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. It almost feels like a little secret between God and the women who serve Him. This question has puzzled Bible readers for generations. Not even a little bit. Very impressive presentation. I’ve thought casually about expanding the argument into a book that is buttressed on the importance of women throughout the New Testament, heck, the entirety of the Bible. Arguments Against Priscilla’s Authoring Hebrews. Christ spoke to men and women alike. . However, it … In August of 64 AD Nero blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians and here is what follows: “First those were seized who confessed that they were Christians. Eventually he stopped teaching in the synagogue because of opposition and began teaching in the home of Titus who lived next door to Priscilla and Aquila [Acts 18:7]. Let's take a look at the context and some clues to determine who wrote the book fo Hebrews. In the following excerpt adapted from Lexham Press’ new Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary volume: Hebrews by Thomas R. Schreiner, 1 we see whose names have been put forward—and why the author of Hebrews probably isn’t Paul.. HAHAH. Could be. Not only was she a great teacher but Priscilla probably housed the first Christian Church in Rome at her house. James Hope Moulton, New Testament scholar and Greek lexicographer, writing in 1909, referred to the "man-or woman" who wrote Hebrews. Her name was found inscribed on Roman monuments, churches, and on an ancient Roman burial site called the Coemeterium Priscillae. I think Apollos is still a viable candidate. So kudos to you to even be open to having your opinion change at all. A survey of Priscilla’s ministry in Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus reveals a woman whose abilities and life’s circumstances beg the question: Was it Priscilla who wrote Hebrews? Compare this to Hebrews 10:32-34, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. It definitely does not. I want to state up front – this is one of these issues. Interview with The Devil All the Time Scribe Paulo Campos!! In my last post, I explored the reasons why Hebrews in the New Testament might have been written by a woman, as outlined by Ruth Hoppin, in her book Priscilla’s Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.Setting aside for a moment the feminine characteristics of the epistle, let’s explore the variety of possible authors that have been proposed over the centuries. We do know for sure that they were tentmakers like Paul [Acts 18:3]. Heb. He landed in Ephesus and headed for the synagogue. 44), I believe it is in this shadow that Priscilla wrote her old friends and church goers. Aquila and Priscilla befriended him and explained the Gospel to him more fully. Not only your research, but you attitude. I really do believe Priscilla is the author of this book. Regardless of the authorship of Hebrews, we know for a fact that Priscilla and Aquila are a really cool tag-team combo. Its a forgone conclusion to me. Thanks again for commenting. If I were asked my personal opinion, I w… Ann & Ruth, It was because of Priscilla that Apollos went on to become so well known that it even caused divisions within the church – but who ultimately knew his place in the Kingdom of Christ [1 Corinthians 3:6]. And I am probably wrong. I appreciate this great discussion of the authorship of Hebrews. Though I doubt it as I’m sure he married a Jew and probably from his own home town. It is strange enough that any epistle in the New Testament should be anonymous, but that this masterpiece among the epistles (is anonymous), seems doubly strange.”4, The mystery concerning the author of Hebrews has intrigued the scholarly community, beginning with the Church Fathers. Harnack claimed that the Epistle was "written to Rome—not to the church, but to the inner circle"; that the earliest tradition 'blotted out' the name of the author; that "we must look for a person who was intimately associated with Paul and Timothy, as the author" and that Priscilla matched this description. © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. The authorship of Hebrews is a fascinating issue that continues to … Too bad the church played along so long. Moreover, neither Luke nor Paul criticize Pricilla for having taught a man. Priscilla and Aquila were apparently in Rome when Paul wrote to that congregation [Romans 16:3]. Want a fun Bible study? The author of Hebrews also did something that has confounded many scholars. Really appreciate the kind words. They were human after all. Having lived and worked among these churches as a leader and patron, Priscilla had a burden for their safety and success. If Pricilla had violated Paul’s Alleged prohibition against the teaching ministry of women it seems likely that either Luke or Paul would have criticized her for having taught a man. It is Paul’s theology… and continues his logic. pretty cool. Next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of hating the human race. But they moved frequently amongst Ephesus, Rome & Corinth. to anyone. Donald Guthrie ’s commentary The Letter to the Hebrews (1983) mentions Priscilla by name as a suggested author. The author of Hebrews was probably among Paul’s more intimate co-workers, some of whom he introduced in Romans 16. Very interesting stuff. And on and on I could go. However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. Love that this post is still getting readers. Apollos was a self-assured teacher driven by a spiritual quest. Archaeological research suggests that someone named Priscilla held a position of tremendous honor in the early church. Read about Jesus’s revelation of Himself as the Christ in John 4 to the “horrible” woman at the well. She was intimately familiar with her audience and longed for them to continue the race with excellence. Does it matter in the scale of things in the world of Christendom? In any case Paul recalls how this couple had achieved a substantial reputation among the Gentile churches (Romans 16:3). I really enjoyed this, Taylor. Priscilla of Scripture was most probably born a Roman Gentile who later married a Jew, as emphasized by Luke who “used an unusual order of words in Acts 18:2 in order to call attention to the fact that Priscilla, unlike her husband, was not Jewish.”2 In 49/50 A.D. the Jews were banished from Rome by decree of the Roman emperor Claudius, perhaps as a result of flaring disputes over the teachings of Christ.3 Although there is no evidence that Priscilla and Aquila were directly involved in the disruption, they did leave Rome, arriving in Corinth about 51 A.D. Like Priscilla and Aquila, the apostle Paul had also recently arrived in Corinth, apparently in need of employment. “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him” (Hebrews 2:3). This article is awesome and thought provoking. No. The Greek and Roman influence on the church was what seemed to reverse it. Thanks for the comments. An important detail in ascertaining the authorship of any letter is the audience. The argument that all the disciples were men doesn’t hold much water to me. the author was obviously well known to the original recipients. Even more appealing would be if Priscilla wrote it. Over the next eighteen months Paul, Pricilla, and Aquila shared tent-making, their faith in Christ, and, perhaps along with Timothy, developed a plan to evangelize and church-plant not only in Corinth, but in Ephesus and Rome as well. Some have said that Paul used a scribe maybe? All letter authors know their audience and the same is true here. They are really impressive – and honestly, outside of Christ, these two are the people I’d like to meet most from the Bible. Finally, Harnack argued that because of the lower status given to most women in ancient times, Priscilla would have had a greater incentive to have written anonymously than any of the other possible authors. Required fields are marked *. 6 (July/August 1980), p. 3-6. was over. The larger goal of driving us all to a closer walk with Christ being the larger goal. It is MAN that has the issue with place, and roles, and rules. I really am not pro or con women in the pulpit. Take care. Please read my article “Priscilla and Plausibility” for details. If you are offended at this possibility – why exactly would that be? The list of possible authors of Hebrews is narrowed down to a close associate of Paul (and Timothy) with a career centered along the Rome-Ephesus axis. Hahaha. In truth, the book of Hebrews does not indicate who wrote it. You may find it convincing – at least that is my goal. Would I consider this canon? Priscilla and Aquila’s faith was confirmed by Paul, who had received the gospel by special revelation. Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones will cry out.” In some small way the stones have cried out on behalf of Priscilla. Or even more likely, was it a sermon of Paul’s that was later written out long hand by another author – like Luke? Did the author know the person that it was addressed to? eccl. But if you are one of those Pauline folks – I’d love to hear your logic!! More importantly, the author’s grasp of the Greek language is much better than Paul’s… the author of Hebrews is more eloquent and poetic in style. It can be argued that Hebrews 13:9 served not only as a warning against a particular form of apostasy, but also reflects the mind of a Roman who would have found the preparation of Kosher food not only culturally strange, but arduous as well. By the spring of 52 A.D. Paul, Pricilla and Aquila set sail for Ephesus where Pricilla distinguished herself as a gifted teacher. Hebrews is a "word of exhortation" - see Hebrews 13:22. Those that disagree with the Priscilla authorship of Hebrews use a couple of arguments. Through personal experience Priscilla would have understood the challenge presented by a strange land and the need for a strong faith during forced exile. Russell, — A Study of Priscilla – The Outlaw Bible Student, When Paul came to Corinth (probably in the year 53 AD), he met Priscilla (or Prisca) and her husband Aquila. (As Paul was want to say.) Your comments about her name being veiled is right to the heart of where I went with the blog posting. Mary Magdalen also was the first to witness the resurrection and so arguably the founder of the whole Jesus movement and hence the Christian Church. Her … My response to Bart was mainly around women in leadership – which is an entirely different topic. I’m sure the early church knew who wrote it as you state… but I’m sure she didn’t care what others thought, or didn’t seek any sort of recognition. With Priscilla’s instruction, Apollos’ message was made complete. 16:3-5), referring affectionately to Prisca with the diminutive Priscilla. And outside of that one point, I can’t find other logical arguments against her authorship of Hebrews. But I do believe Christianity really is just that progressive. Seems plausible anyway. There is plenty of evidence for women in ministry in the early years. Apollos had been preaching the baptism of John with great success, yet his understanding of redemption was somehow incomplete. Ten of the twenty-nine names mentioned are women, and Priscilla is the only one mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament. But I love this discussion all the same. I agree with Charles. Seeing as though Hebrews is my favorite book of the entire Bible (yes, I’m that weird – I’m sure yours is Romans, or Corinthians or any one of a number of ‘better’ books. . So who wrote Hebrews?If you step back and look at all the possible candidates — Luke, Barnabas, Apollos, Priscilla and Clement — you’ll notice that they all have one thing in common: They had contact with or were disciples of St. Paul. Believing the author to have been Priscilla, Ruth Hoppin posits that the name was omitted either to suppress its female authorship, or to protect the letter itself from suppression. If you disagree with me on this issue – I want to let you know ahead of time, you are probably right. But its a reasonable assumption. This story was compiled in a 10th century work known as the Acts of St. Prisca.1 These ancient remembrances indicate that someone named Priscilla had an impressive impact on the early church. Including his disciples. I’d like to God’s best to you…. 2. Shortly after arriving in Ephesus, Pricilla and Aquila met the brilliant and eloquent Apollos. [2 Timothy 4:19]. There can be no doubt that Priscilla and Aquila were vital members of the Pauline circle, and partners in ministry with Timothy. Any evidence that Apollos wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews is absent, never having been mentioned as the author in antiquity. In 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Paul uses a total of 278 personal pronouns. No. Generally the debate centers around Paul: Did he or did he not write the book? Not sure why this would be conclusive. Again, it’s not a huge deal either way. Jim. He wrote, “...for he did not say, ‘Great Aquila and Priscilla’ but ‘Priscilla and Aquila.’ He does not do this without a reason, but he seems to me to acknowledge a greater godliness for her than for her husband... She took Apollos, an eloquent man and powerful in the scriptures, but knowing only the baptism of John; and she instructed him in the way of the Lord and made him a teacher brought to completion.”13. Priscilla and Aquila had risked their lives for Paul and were a central backbone to not only their church but all the “gentile churches” as well [Romans 16:4]. Priscilla's name is mentioned first on four occasions; this may indicate her equal status with her husband, or even possibly that Priscilla was thought of as the more prominent teacher and disciple. In more recent times, some scholars have advanced a case for Priscilla having been the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Yes, laws were neanderthal in nature, and still the Church valued the women. The Epistle itself provides some information about the author. Were Pricilla and Aquila returning to a church they had planted and continued to function in as patrons? But it definitely isn’t in Paul’s voice nor does it follow many of his standard writing quirks. Hey there Brother Bart, F.F. I also think that Prisca had spent so many years under Paul’s tutelage she would have had his theology down to a T. It is recorded that she corrected Apollos – one of the most dynamic New Testament speakers – without his even giving it a second thought. Just questioning the logic. Not even one dissenting opinion? But we just can’t know that. The Roman historian Suetonius reported that the Jews were persecuting their Christian neighbors and causing a “considerable disturbance in the city.” Suentonius reports this occurred in 52 A.D. God bless you and thanks. Apollos doesn’t seem like the type to not sign his letter and send specific greetings that would identify him. Liked it? Taylor, Your email address will not be published. But you never know – he could have met her in Rome. It i The Greek scholar Zodhiates comments that some Greek experts attribute the writing of Hebrews to Priscilla. In Romans Paul uses 103 pronouns. Both had just arrived from Rome, from which city the Emperor Claudius had recently expelled the Jewish community. “Prisca and Aquila, as husband and “wife, and through their common labors, praised by Paul and Luke, correspond so splendidly to these conditions as no other conceivable interpretation.”11. There are many other hints that it wasn’t Paul – but I won’t get into that any more as I think it is widely believed now not to have been Paul.
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