Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hebrews 11-13~ Day 99~ Who's the mystery writer?

Since the writer of Hebrews isn't identified, Bible scholars are left guessing who the author was.  Speculation has listed the options as Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Apollos, Silas or Philip.  I had never really given it much thought before.  But, I read a verse today and thought, "Boy!  That sounds like my buddy Paul!"  Yes, I'm getting to know Paul's voice pretty well since I have been reading his letters over and over again!  I get why scholars aren't sure who the writer is, but the person was either Paul or taught by Paul directly or indirectly.  I'm sure all those early pioneers were "singing the same tune".

The first part of Hebrews is definitely written by one who knows Jewish writings well......like a Pharisee (Paul was one of those!).  Clearly, the writer is addressing an audience who grew up with a knowledge of all the Old Testament stories.  But then, today's reading, could be written to anyone (Jew or gentile), just as Paul wrote his letters to the gentiles.  The final chapter especially sounded like Paul's teachings!

For example, "Keep on loving one another, brothers and sisters.  Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have shown hospitality to angels with out knowing it.” (Heb. 13:1).  I perked up when I read that because it reminded me of the theme verse of this blog.  Paul wrote to the Romans, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.....Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (12:10-13)

Here are the other points I noticed that sounded a lot like Paul.
  • "remember those in prison" (13:3) Paul was in prison... a lot..he asked the Colossians to pray for them in prison. (Col. 4:3)
  • "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings" (13:9)  We just read about Paul's comments to that in 2 Tim. 4:3-4 and Titus 1:6-16.
  • "It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods. (13:9)   Paul takes about that in 1 Cor. 6:12 & 10:23-24.
  • "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority" (13:17).  Paul addressed that in Titus 3:1. 
  • "Equip yourself for every good work."(13:21)  He wrote that to the Ephesians in 4:12. 
The teaching in Hebrews is so similar to Paul's!  What is cool about Hebrews, to me, is to see how the teaching of Christian living is the same for everybody! Ones background, Jew or gentile, doesn't matter. God expects the same thing from all his children.
Like the writer says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (13:7)  and his teachings are the same for all!!

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