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Kal uffwepel <rx.o\ioypa<t>rio'a.vTos rd, elpr;/j.eva iiirb TOV St.5a.ff-
K&\OV, ap. Euseb. HE vi. 25). Eusebius himself,
while admitting that the Roman Church did not
accept the Epistle because it was not St. Paul's
(HE iii. 3), yet declares that it is reasonable ' on the
ground of its antiquity that it should be reckoned
with the other writings of the Apostle' (iii. 37).
Clearly, none of the three writers regarded the
Epistle as being Pauline in the full sense, yet for
the sake of convenience it was their practice to
quote it as 'of Paul.' Later Alexandrian writers
adopted this title as being literally true, and from
Alexandria belief in the literal Pauline authorship
of the Epistle spread throughout the Church. In
this, as in other matters, the Western Church
followed the lead of St. Hilary, St. Jerome, and
St. Augustine.

It is easy to imagine how the Epistle became
connected with St. Paul's name. When once an
anonymous letter bearing the simple title irpos
'E/3pafoia was appended to a collection of acknow-
ledged Pauline Epistles, the addition to the head-
ing of the words rov natfAov would only be a matter
of time.

Nevertheless, as Origen already felt, internal



540 HEBREWS, EPISTLE TO THE



HEBREWS, EPISTLE TO THE



evidence makes the theory of Pauline authorship
untenable. It is incredible that St. Paul, who in-
sisted so strongly that he received his gospel by
direct revelation (Gal 1), could have written the
confession of second-hand instruction contained in
He 2 3 . Nothing, again, could be more unlike St.
Paul's method of expression than the elegant and
rhythmical style of the Epistle to the Hebrews ;
and behind the difference of style lies a real
difference of mental attitude. The characteristic
Pauline antitheses 'faith and works,' 'law and
promise,' 'flesh and spirit,' are replaced by new
contrasts 'earthly and heavenly, 'shadow and
substance,' ' type and antitype.' The difference of
thought which separates the two writers becomes
apparent when they meet on common ground.
' Faith ' and ' righteousness ' are key- words in St.
Paul's theology. The Epistle to the Hebrews also
speaks often of ' faith ' and sometimes of ' righteous-
ness' (I 9 5 1S 7 2 II 7 - 33 12"), but the words have lost
their special Pauline sense. ' Faith ' no longer
means intimate personal union with Christ, but
expresses the more general idea of ' grasp on unseen
reality.' ' Righteousness ' is stripped of its forensic
associations. It simply means ' ethical righteous-
ness,' not ' right standing in the eyes of God.' The
same contrast is visible in the different applications
made by the two writers of the only two OT pas-
sages quoted by both (Dt S2 35 , quoted in Ro 12 19 ,
He 10 30 ; Hab2 3 quoted in Ro 1", Gal 3", He 10 37 - **).

The theory of Pauline authorship being therefore
necessarily abandoned, all attempts to discover the
author's name are reduced to mere conjecture.
Such conjectures have usually started from the
assumption that his acquaintance with Timothy
(13 23 ) places the writer of the Epistle amongst the
circle of St. Paul's friends. The early Church sug-
gested, as having at least a share in the authorship,
St. Luke (Clem. Alex. ap. Euseb. HE vi. 14), or
Barnabas (Tertullian, de Pudicitia, xx. ), or Clement
of Rome (' some ' known to Origen [ap. Euseb. HE
vi. 25]). Luther (e.g. Enarr. in Gen. 48 20 , Op.
Exeg. xi. 130) supported the claim of Apollos.
More recent conjectures have been Silas (e.g. C. F.
Boehme, Ep. ad Heb., 1825) ; Aquila (suggestion
mentioned but not approved by Bleek, Der Brief
an die Hebrder, i. 42) ; St. Peter (A. Welch, The
Authorship of Hebrews, 1898) ; Prisca and Aquila
in collaboration, Prisca taking the lion's share
(Harnack, ZNTW, 1900); Aristion, the Elder
known to Papias (J. Chapman, Revue Benedictine,
xxii. [1905], p. 50) ; and lastly, Philip the Deacon
(Ramsay, Expositor, 5th ser. ix. 401-422). The
evidence in favour of any of these conjectures is of
the flimsiest description. The affinities of language
and style between the Epistle and the Acts, or
the resemblances of thought between the Epistle
and 1 Peter, are quite insufficient to prove com-
munity of authorship. The quotation of long pas-
sages from the Epistle by Clement of Rome serves
only to emphasize their difference from his own
way of thinking and writing. Barnabas, Silas,
Aquila, Philip, Aristion remain as possible authors
chiefly because next to nothing is known about
them. Apollos, the learned Alexandrian Jew,
mighty in the Scriptures (Ac 18 24 ), companion of
St. Paul, is the sort of man who might have written
the Epistle, but no shred of positive evidence exists
'which would justify the assertion that he actually
did write it.

That a leaf has been accidentally lost from the
beginning of the Epistle which would perhaps have
told of its authorship and destination (Fritz Barth,
Einleitung in das NT 2 , 1911, p. 114), is a hypothesis
which cannot be verified. It is at least more
probable than the suggestion that the author's
name was intentionally removed by the prejudice
of & later generation which demanded that all



canonical Epistles should be of apostolic origin.
But it is not necessary to assume that the Epistle
ever had a formal address. It is clear from the
contents that the readers knew who was addressing
them and by what authority, and many reasons
for the omission of any formal superscription can
be easily imagined (cf. Jiilicher, Introd. to NT,
Eng. tr., p. 153).

7. Affinities of thought and language. (1) The
OT. The Epistle makes extensive use of the OT.
Twenty-nine distinct quotations occur, twenty-one
of which are not found elsewhere in the NT, and
there are frequent allusions to passages of the OT
which are not definitely cited. The writer shows
no acquaintance with the Hebrew text, but follows
the LXX even where it differs materially from the
Hebrew (e.g. Ps 95 10 , Jer 31 31ff -, Ps 40 6 ' 8 , Hab 2 s " 4 ,
Pr 3 11 , quoted in He 3 9 8 8 ' 12 10 5 ' 7 - - 12 s - 6 ). Three
of his OT quotations differ both from the LXX and
from the Hebrew (Gn 22 16 '-, Ex 24 8 , Dt 32 s5 ; cf.
He 6 1Sf - 9 20 10 30 ). The last of these occurs in the
same form in Ro 12 19 . Amongst the more general
allusions to the language of the Greek Bible may
be noticed the reference to stories contained in 1
and 2 Mac. (He II* 4 - 35 ; cf. especially 2 Mac 6. 7),
and the possible reminiscence in He I 3 of the words
of the Book of Wisdom in which Wisdom is de-
scribed as diraijya.ff!J.a . . . <pwrbs dl'diov . . . Kal elK&r
TT?S dya66rt]Tos afrrov (sc. TOU 0eoD, Wis I 26 ).

The mode of citation employed in the Epistle
is worthy of note. The name of the individual
writer is never mentioned, but in every case (except
2*% where God is directly addressed), the words of
the OT are ascribed to God, or to Christ (2 11 - 18
lO 5 *), or to the Holy Spirit (3 7ff - 10 16 ). In striking
contrast to the allegorical method of Philo, and to
St. Paul's custom of adopting OT phrases to express
ideas different from those of the original writer
(e.g. 'The just shall live by faith'), the author of
the Epistle is true to the historical method of inter-
pretation, and uses OT passages in the exact sense
which the first writer himself put upon them. This
is true even of the chapter dealing with Melchizedek
(He 7), where the Epistle seems to approximate
most closely to the Philonic method of exegesis.
Melchizedek remains the priest-king of Salem. He
is not a mere symbol, still less is he identical with
Christ. Lastly, it may be observed that the Epistle
lays stress on the continuity of revelation. The
same God who spoke by means of the prophets
speaks in the Son, and the principles which the
prophets revealed in part are the same principles
which He reveals in full perfection. Thus, it
appears to the writer, Christhpod is not a new
thing. The eternal Son 'inherited' the name of
' Christ ' from partial and imperfect Christs who
went before Him (I 4 ; cf. Nairne, op. cit. pp. 16 f.,
153, 249 ff. ). Words, therefore, which in the first
place were spoken of God's anointed ones of past
ages the king (i8-.8.9.]3 )j or t jj e na tion (2 12 ), or
the prophet (2 13 ) are unhesitatingly applied to
'the Christ' in whom that which they dimly
shadowed is at last fully realized. (On the use of
the OT in the Epistle, see Westcott, op. cit. pp.
471-497 ; Nairne, op. cit. pp. 248-289.)

(2) Philo. Much has been written about the in-
fluence exercised on the writer of the Epistle by
the Alexandrian school of pre-Christian Judaism,
whose chief representative is Philo. The evidence
bearing on the question may be arranged as follows.

(a) Resemblances. (i.) Both use the LXX in a
recension closely resembling Cod. A (Bleek, op.
cit. i. 369 ff.). (ii.) The custom in the Epistle of
quoting the OT as the direct utterance of God,
without mentioning the writer's name, finds an
exact parallel in the works of Philo. (iii. ) Striking
and unusual words and phrases used in the Epistle
occur also in Philo's writings, e.g. dirafryaa-fM (He 1 s ;



HEBREWS, EPISTLE TO THE



HEBREWS, EPISTLE TO THE 541



de Mundi Op. 51 ), x^p^r^p (He I s ; de Plant. A oe, 5),
Ovuuirtipiov in the sense of ' altar ' (He 9 4 ; Quis rer.
div. hcer. 46), irapair\rifflus (He 2 14 ; cf . TO vapairX^ffiov,
Quis rer. div. hcer. 30), nerpi.oira.0cTv (He 5 2 ; deAbrah.
44), rpax^l^eiv (He 4 18 ; de Vita Mas. i. 53), defoeis
re /cat kerijptas (He 5 7 ; rfe Cherubim, 13), tfiudev dtf
&v ZiraOev (He 5 8 ; cf. fl Tafl&p d/rflt/3<by (fM0ev, de Somn.
ii 15), tirpeirev used of God (He 2 10 ; rfe Ze<7. a^e*/.
i. 15), l\a<rH)pioy applied to the lid of the Ark (He 9 5 ;
de Vita, Mos. iii. 8). The Epistle describes Christ
as TrpwroYoKos and dpxtepefa (He I 6 2" 3 1 ) ; Philo
applies the terms w/wjSi/repoj vl6s, irptaroyovos (de
Agricult. 12), Apxiepefo (de Somn. i. 38) to the Divine
Logos, (iv. ) Both display the same habit of inter-
weaving doctrinal and practical passages, the same
unusual transposition of words (cf. ir<i\i.v, He I 6 ; de
Leg. atteg, iii. 9), the same use of S-f) irov (He 2 16 ; e.g.
de Leg. alleg. i. 3) and ws ftroj cfaeTv (He 7 9 ; e.g. de
Plant. Noe, 38). (v.) Both argue from the silences
as well as from the statements of Scripture, attach
importance to the meaning of OT names, and
emphasize the same particular aspects of the lives
of Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, (vi.) Philo
speaks of an eternal universe (6 K6a-fj.cs vorjr6s, de
Mundi Op. 4-6), of which the visible universe (6
/coV/to j ahOijros, ib. ) is a transitory copy. The writer
of the Epistle mentions the ' heavenly ' Tabernacle,
a copy of which Moses reproduced on earth (8 5 ),
and frequently alludes to earthly institutions as
copies or shadows of heavenly realities (Q 23 * 24 ).

(6) Divergences. (i.) While the Epistle resembles
Philo in its mode of citation of the OT, it presents
a radical diiference in its method of interpretation.
Men and institutions remain what they are said to
be in the OT. They do not become mere symbols
of transcendental ideas, (ii.) In the Epistle stray
expressions may be applied to the Son which Philo
applies to the Logos, but the personal 'Son' of
Hebrews is essentially different from the abstract
impersonal 'Logos' of Philo. (iii.) The writer of
the Epistle uses language which recalls the Alexan-
drian notion of the real invisible world which cor-
responds with the unreal world of sense. But that
idea is not the basis of his conception of Christianity.

'He does not identify Christian truth with an already exist-
ing system of thought : his Christian thought merely possesses
itself of the outlines of a mode of conception existing, which it
fills with its own contents' (Davidson, op. cit. p. 201).

It appears, then, that the Epistle does show some
affinities with Philo and the Alexandrian school.
It is at least probable that the writer was acquainted
with their ideas and their philosophical termino-
logy. But his message is all his own ; he owes little
to Alexandria beyond the outward expression. So
far as he borrows thoughts, he borrows from the
gospel tradition and the OT Scriptures (see G.
Milligan, The Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews,
pp. 203-211 ; Bruce in HDB ii. 335).

(3) The Synoptic tradition. The author shows
considerable acquaintance with the facts of our
Lord's life on earth. He knows of His human
birth (2 14 ), of His descent from the tribe of Judah
(7 14 ), of His human development (5 8 ), of His tempta-
tion (2 18 4 15 ), of His fidelity (3 2 ), of His sinlessness
(4 15 ), of His preaching (2 s ), of His gentle bearing
towards sinners (2 17 ), of the contradiction He
endured at the mouth of ignorant men (12 3 ), of
His circle of disciples (2 s - w ), of His agony in the
Garden (5 7 ), of His Ascension (6 20 1 26 9 s4 ). Though
the Resurrection occupies no large place in the
writer's doctrinal teaching, it is not because he
is ignorant of the fact (13 20 ). These things are
mentioned in the Epistle quite incidentally and
because of their bearing on the general argument.
It is not likely, therefore, that they represent the
whole of the writer's information concerning the
earthly ministry of Jesus. The additional fact
that he takes it for granted that his readers need



no explanation of his allusions indicates that an
evangelic tradition, not unlike that of the Synoptic
Gospels, was already in circulation, but whether it
had yet taken the form of a written record cannot
be ascertained (see Westcott, op. cit. p. 465 ; Bruce,
The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 63 f.).

(4) St. Paul. Allusion has already been made
to the differences between the Epistle and the writ-
ings of St. Paul. Attention must now be directed
to their similarities. Definite reminiscences of the
language of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians,
and Philippians have been discovered in the follow-
ing passages. He I 4 || Ph 2 9 '- ; 2 2 || Gal 3 19 ; 2* ||
1 Co 12 11 ; 2 14 || 1 Co 15 28 ; 5 12 || 1 Co 3 2 ; 5 14 || 1 Co 2 s ;
6 10 || 2 Co 8 4 ; 10 30 || Ro 12 19 ; 10 28 || 2 Co 13 1 ; 10 38
|| Ro I 17 ; 12 14 || Ro 14 19 ; 12 22 13 18 || Gal 4 2M - ; 13 16 ||
Ph 4 15 - 18 ; 13 18f - || 2 Co l u - ia ; 13 20 || Ro 15 28 ; 13 24 ||
Ph 4 21 - 22 (Moffatt, LNT, p. 453). It may be doubted
whether direct literary connexion can be proved in
any of these cases. Even where such connexion
seems most certain when the two writers agree
with each other, while differing both from the
LXX and from the Hebrew, in the text of an OT
passage (He 10 SO , Ro 12 19 ) it is possible that they
are quoting independently an interpretation which
is at least as old as the Targum of Onkelos. Yet
in many ways the Epistle presupposes the work
of St. Paul. Though they see things from a
different point of view, the two are in fundamental
agreement. Both display ' the same broad concep-
tion of the universality of the Gospel, the same
grasp of the age-long purpose of God wrought out
through Israel, the same trust in the atoning work
of Christ, and in His present sovereignty' (Westcott,
op. cit. p. Ixxviii). That the writer to the Hebrews
can take up an attitude of wide universalism with-
out mentioning the question of circumcision or even
naming the Gentiles at all, and can calmly put
aside the Law almost as though its futility were
self-evident, implies that the Pauline battle of
Galatia and Rome has been fought and won.

(5) The Fourth Gospel. In point of time the
Epistle to the Hebrews stands mjd-way between
the Pauline Epistles and the Johannine writings.
In the development of apostolic theology it occupies
precisely the same place. St. Paul had a hard
struggle to establish the principle of the universal
application of the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike.
The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Fourth Gospel
both take this for granted. St. Paul, though he
does not dwell on the idea, occasionally speaks of
Christ's death in terms of sacrifice (Eph I 7 2 18 5 2 ,
1 Co 5 7 , Ro S 23 8 s etc.). The Epistle to the
Hebrews deals fully with the sacrificial aspect of
Christ's death, and sets forth at length the corre-
sponding conception of His Priesthood. The root-
ideas contained in the doctrines of Christ's Priest-
hood and Sacrifice find their final expression in the
seemingly simple and unstudied language of the
Fourth Gospel, even though the terms ' priest ' and
'sacrifice' are never used (cf. Jn 10 1 ' 21 12 a2 16 7 17).
Lastly, the description of the person and work of
Christ given in the opening verses of the Epistle (He
I 1 " 4 ) might almost be taken to be a first sketch of
the completed picture of the ' Divine Word made
flesh' contained in the prologue to the Fourth
Gospel.

The teaching which St. John has preserved offers the final
form of the Truth. St. John's theory (if we may so speak) of
the work of Christ is less developed in detail than that which ia
found in the Epistles of St. Paul and in the Epistle to the
Hebrews ; hut his revelation of Christ's Person is more complete.
He concentrates our attention, as it were, upon Him, Son of
God and Son of man, and leaves us in the contemplation of facts
which we can only understand in part ' (Westcott, op. cit. p. Ixf.).

8. Importance. The Epistle to the Hebrews has
an interest peculiarly its own. It is the earliest
exposition of the Christian tradition by one who
had all the instincts of a scholar and a philosopher.



542 HEBREWS, EPISTLE TO THE



HEIFER



Wherever the author may have been born, he may
be regarded as the NT representative of the type
of mind which afterwards appeared in the great
teachers of the Christian school of Alexandria.
At the same time he is altogether free from the
particular limitations of that school. He agrees
with the Alexandrians in his philosophical bent
and his love of cultured and scholarly expression,
but he is also of one mind with the school of
Antioch in his appreciation of the importance of
fact. His doctrine of the Person of Christ com-
bines the two central truths, the isolation of one
of which was the cause of disaster both to Alex-
andria and to Antioch. For while he insists,
equally with the Alexandrians, on the cosmic work
and pre-incarnate glory of the Son, he is not less
emphatic than the Antiochenes in his statement of
the completeness of His participation in human
suffering and temptation and His exaltation in
human nature to the right hand of power. The
Epistle to the Hebrews rendered permanent service
to the Church by showing that the way to under-
stand something of the meaning of the Person of
Christ is not to minimize either the Divine or the
human nature, but to emphasize both.

In his interpretation of the OT, the writer of
Hebrews seems to be in sympathy much more with
Antioch than with Alexandria. His exegesis is
based on principles which have never been forsaken
without disastrous consequences. He recognizes
the OT as a Divinely-given revelation, and yet a
revelation which is partial and incomplete. He
realizes the true method of historical interpretation :
a passage of Scripture must be explained in the light
of its context : its real meaning is that which the
writer intended it to bear. These are the principles
which lie at the root of all sound biblical criticism.

But the greatest service which the Epistle to the
Hebrews has rendered to the Church is its inter-
pretation of the Death of Christ in terms of Priest-
hood and Sacrifice. The ideas so familiar to us
were new when the Epistle was written. The
writer was 'not repeating but creating theology'
(Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 10). He
offers no formal theory of the Atonement, but he
reveals principles on which it rests, and states them
in a way which appeals to the common instincts of
mankind. Salvation of others can be wrought only
through sacrifice of self. The priest must be also
the victim. He must give his life to others as well
as for others, and his life becomes available for
others only through death the death of self. The
priest who offers the perfect sacrifice must himself
be perfect perfectly one with humanity in nature
and in all human experiences ; else the sacrifice
would be impossible. He must be personally sin-
less; otherwise the offering would be incomplete
and of partial efficacy. If his act of self-sacrifice
is to be eternally valid, he must himself be eternal.
Christ has fulfilled these conditions, and He will
never change : ' Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever ' (13 8 ). The principles here set
forth leave some things unexplained, but they are
sufficient to strengthen faith to lay hold on what
must always remain deeply mysterious the in-
expressible Divine love which made the Eternal
Son lay down His life as man. To enkindle faith
was the sole object of the writer. In one sense he
may be called a visionary, but it is a practical
vision that he sees the vision of a few weak, halt-
ing Christians brought safely through an earthly
crisis by the outstretched hand of the eternal High
Priest who is enthroned in the heavenly sanctuary.

' Every student of the Epistle to the Hebrews must feel that
it deals in a peculiar degree with the thoughts and trials of our
own time. . . . The difficulties which come to us through
physical facts and theories, through criticism, through wider
views of human history, correspond with those which came to



Jewish Christians at the close of the Apostolic age, and they
will find their solution also in fuller views of the Person and
Work of Christ' (Westcott, op. tit. Pref. p. v).

LITERATURE. I. COMMENTARIES: F. Bleek (1828-40); F.
Delitzsch (Eng. tr., 1868-70); A. B. Davidson (1882); F.
Rendall (1883); C. J. Vaughan (1890); H. von Soden(1892);
B. F. Westcott (31903) ; E. C. Wickham (1910>

II. ARTICLES : ' Hebrews, Epistle to,' by A. B. Bruce in HDB
ii. (1899) ; ' Hebrews (Epistle),' by W. Robertson Smith and
H. von Soden in EBi ii. (1901).

III. NT INTRODUCTIONS: G. Salmon (71894); A. Julicher
(Eng. tr., 1904) ; T. Zahn (Eng. tr., 1909) ; A. S. Peake (1909) ;
J. Moffatt (1911).

IV. SPECIAL STUDIES : E. K. A. Riehm, Der Lehrbegrif des
Hebraerbriefes, 1867: E. Me"ne"goz, La TMologie de Vepltre
aux Hebreux, 1894 ; A. C. McGiffert, A History of Christianity
in the Apostolic Age, 1897 ; G. Milligan, The Theoloiiy of the
Epistle to the Hebrews, 1899 ; A. B. Bruce, The Epistle to the
Hebrews: the First Apology for Christianity, 1899; G. B.
Stevens, The Theology of the NT, 1899; W. P. DuBose, High
Priesthood and Sacrifice, 1908; A. Nairne, The Epistle of
Priesthood, 1913. F. S. MARSH.

HEIFER (8dfM\u=rr$, 'a cow') The writer
of Hebrews finds a parallel between ' the water (for
the removal) of impurity ' (vSup pavTioo-fj.ov = rr\^ vp,
'water of exclusion') and the blood of Christ (He
9 13f< ). The former element was a mixture of run-
ning (living) water with the ashes of a spotless
heifer slain and burnt according to the ritual pre-
scribed in Nu 19. As contact with a dead body,
a bone, or a grave involved defilement, and en-
trance into the sanctuary in a state of uncleanness
made the offender liable to excommunication, the
use of this holy water was prescribed as a means
of purification. Every detail in the ceremonial
leads the student of origins back to the childhood
of the Semites. 'Primarily, purification means
the application to the person of some medium
which removes a taboo, and enables the person
purified to mingle freely in the ordinary life of his
fellows ' (W. R. Smith, US 2 , 1894, p. 425). In those
days there was probably a cult of the sacred cow,
while juniper, cypress, and aromatic plants were
supposed to have power to expel the evil spirits
which brought death into the home. It is certain,
however, that, when Israel began to put away
childish things, the ancient consuetudinary laws
in regard to defilement came to be viewed by the
more enlightened minds as mere 'symbols of
spiritual truths.' To the awakened conscience
'sin was death, and had wrought death, and the
dead body as well as the spiritually dead soul were
the evidence of its sway ' ; while cedar- wood,
hyssop, and scarlet may ultimately have been
regarded though this is more doubtful as 'the
symbols of imperishable existence, freedom from
corruption, and fulness of life' (A. Edersheim,
The Temple, 1909, p. 305 f . ). Discarding all magical
ideas, the worshipper of Jahweh thus endeavoured
to change the antique ritual into an object-lesson
or sacramental means of grace. The writer to the
Hebrews uses it as a stepping-stone to Christian



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