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Hebrews - Introduction (1 of 11)
INTRODUCTION: The Preeminent Bible teacher R.C. Sproul - said that if he were thrown into prison and could only have one book of the bible with him it would be Hebrews. REASON - it is so rich, it covers the entire scope of the history of redemption as well as showing how Christ fulfills all of redemptive history.
Anytime we approach new study we typically spend the first sermon explaining WHO was the human author, WHERE was the author when he wrote the book, WHO was he writing to, WHAT were the circumstances that set the context for writing? But when we comes to Hebrews we cannot be certain about the answer to any of those questions.
We are forced to do some detective work and some educated guessing.
IN ORDER TO BE INCLUDED IN THE NT CANON 3 CRITERIA HAD TO BE MET:
1. It had to be of Apostolic Origin - that is it was either penned by an Apostle or an Apostle signed off and granted permission for it to be penned. LUKE for example was not an Apostle but Luke worked closely with Paul and wrote under his Auspices.
2. It had to be widely accepted by the Christian community - So there were collections of letters and copies of letters in all of the various churches. The question that the early councils had to answer were - what letters have they ALL accepted as authoritative.
3. It had to speak in concert with previously accepted Christian truth.
HEBREWS - was included in the canon so it had to meet those criteria. However, we lack any information as to who they believed wrote it.
POSSIBLE AUTHORS THAT HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED:
1. Clement of Alexandra wrote of his conviction that PAUL wrote Hebrews. Not in greek but in Hebrew. He was a Jew, he wrote to Jews about Jewish concerns... then the Hebrew version in the year 215 was then translated to Greek.
2. Erasmus of Rotterdam (during the renaissance) - argued that the differences between Paul's writing style a ...
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