Every once in awhile I come across something in the Bible that I swear was added since the last time I read it. This is one of the benefits of reading straight through repeatedly with no minimum or maximum to be read each day. I am learning to just take my time and see what stands out to me.
I don’t know if you would call it Biblical minutia or fodder for a Trivial Pursuit card but one of the questions about the Bible is “Who wrote the book of Hebrews?” If you have an old edition of the King James Bible you might wonder why the question because, if my memory serves me correctly, it used to say “The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”. That is actually not in the text so it has been changed to just say “Hebrews”.
The authorship is one that I have discussed in the last two years. My opinion was that I had no idea. Scholars have many suggestions but, again, no one knows because it doesn’t say.
Which brings me to my current eye opening moment.
I was in the last chapter and reading along when I came upon this,
(Heb 13:19 KJV) But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.Who in the Bible would write this way? The apostle Paul. He spent a good deal of time in prison, ending up under house arrest in Rome.
A few verses later I came across this,
(Heb 13:23 KJV) Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.This again points to Paul. He mentions Timothy other places and wrote two letters to him that we have in the Bible.
And the next verse,
(Heb 13:24 KJV) Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.This fits in very well with Paul being in a Roman prison. Does this prove anything? No. It still does not say that Paul was the author. Paul’s pattern was to identify himself at the beginning of the letter and we don’t have that here. Adam Clarke shares an observation,
“I have sometimes thought that a part of the beginning might have been lost, as it not only begins without a name, but begins very abruptly.”I swear I have never noticed this before. Since the Bible I am reading was copyrighted in 1977 and I have had it for years, I can’t take refuge in my opening shock. It was not added since I read last time. I just didn’t pay attention.
I wonder what will shock me next. I look forward to the revelation.
homo unius libri