Says Who? … The Baffling Anonymous Bible (3)

Anonymous WriterNow faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

~ Anonymous


A bit more:

Hebrews had trouble from the beginning. No one really knows who wrote Hebrews, and in the end it became canonized because people held it dear. Though it was ostensibly written by Paul, per the King James Bible, one immediate problem was apparent: Paul stated that he was the author in all his letters. The reader will note that Hebrews is entirely anonymous.

By the end of the first century there was confusion over the author’s identity. Clement of Rome, Barnabas, the Apostle Paul, and other names were proposed with little conviction and no unanimity. Later, others have suggested Luke the Evangelist, Clement of Rome, Apollos and Priscilla as possible authors.

Though no author is named, the original King James Version of the Bible titled the work “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews”. However, the KJV’s attribution to Paul was only a guess, and not a very good one according to recent majority scholarship. Its vastly different style, different theological focus, different spiritual experience—all are believed to make Paul’s authorship of Hebrews increasingly indefensible. At present, neither modern scholarship nor church teaching ascribes Hebrews to Paul.

Because of its anonymity, it had some trouble being accepted as part of the Christian canon, being classed with the Antilegomena. Eventually it was accepted as scripture because of its sound theology, eloquent presentation, and other intrinsic factors. In antiquity, certain circles began to ascribe it to Paul in an attempt to provide the anonymous work an explicit apostolic pedigree.

In Christianity, we maintain that faith is a virtue. But we do so based on verses written by God-knows-who, and placed in the canon for God-knows-why. There is no reason to suspect that Hebrews was apostolic at all. But it did say things that people liked to hear.

And now the necessary repetition of an inconvenient truth:

There is not the slightest evidence that Hebrews is the Word of God.

We have evidence only that it was held sacred by people.


  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    RE:But it did say things that people liked to hear.” – and that was the plan, according to The New American Bible (the Catholic Bible), it was a half-time locker room pep talk.

    “The author saw the addressees in danger of apostasy from their Christian faith. This danger was due not to any persecution from outsiders but to a weariness with the demands of Christian life and a growing indifference to their calling….The author’s main theme, the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus, is not developed for its own sake but as a means of restoring their lost fervor and strengthening them in their faith.”


  2. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Rah, Rah, Rah, Sis, Boom, Bah! Yeeeeeeaaaaaay god!
    (That kinda thing –)


    • LOL, sad but true.

      One of my objectives is to bring into question this off the cuff presupposition that the Bible an “the word of god” are synonymous at all. To point out the baseless nature of that rather sweeping presumption.


      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Well, studying Paulianity should certainly help you with that —


      • With all due respect, sir, how would who held the pen affect whether or not the work was the “Word of God”? Doesn’t He dictate His stuff to whoever is handy? It is only sinful man who needs things like named authorship and other such details, right? If logic and data could affect Christian thought, there wouldn’t be any would there?


        • Ok, you caught me. I was interested in whether our claims were any better founded than the religions we decry as false. And questioning is symptomatic of thinking. Such a bad habit, better never to start. 🙂


        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”
          ~ Dr. Gregory House ~


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