Human Authorship of the Book of Hebrews: Hebrews 13:18-25
“18) Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19) And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.” Hebrews‬ ‭13:18-19‬
We are now approaching the conclusion to the book of Hebrews. The author asks for prayer that “we might be restored to you sooner.” It sounds like the author and a few others were under arrest. He reminds his readers that they have a good conscience and have conducted themselves honorably.
It is with this request and the next several verses that many scholars believe Paul was the author of the book of Hebrews. The following seven observations make that argument:
1) He was constantly seeking release from captivity. (Compare Philippians 1:12-30) 2) He was a strong advocate of a clear conscience. (See 1 Timothy 1:5 & 19) 3) Verse 22 includes mention of his habit of concluding his letters with his personal hand writing. (See Colossians 4:18) 4) Verse 23 makes mention of Timothy being released. (Compare with Philemon 1:1) 5) He makes mention of those from Italy sending a greeting. This could be a reference to Aquila and Pricilla. (See Acts 18: 2) 6) As a former Pharisee, Paul was more qualified to write the book of Hebrews with all of its Old Testament comparisons, types, shadows, festivals, comparisons and illustration than any other Apostle. Paul certainly had a strong desire to reach his own countrymen. (See Romans 10:1-4) 7) His pattern was to close most of his writings by sending greetings and commending them to the grace of God. (Read the conclusion to his many Epistles)
As you can guess, I hold to the authorship of Paul for the book of Hebrews. Some may wonder why the book does note open with the usual introduction of Himself? My guess is that would have deterred many Jewish readers for picking up this amazing apologetic of the gospel to the Hebrews. Paul was hated by many of his own country men.
Though I concede a degree of uncertainty to the human authorship of this book, it stands out as one of the two most profound Epistles in the New Testament. When the books of Romans and Hebrews are placed side by side, we have a Gospel Defense to the Gentiles and a Gospel Defense to the Hebrews. They are amazing sequels to one another. I believe the man who’s life was devoted to the defense of the gospel was responsible for both books. (See Philippians 1:7)
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global