hebrews, epistle to the Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
hebrews, epistle to the in Smith's Bible Dictionary
1. The author --There has been a wide difference of opinion respecting the authorship of this epistle. For many years Paul was considered the author; others think it may have been Luke, Barnabas, or Apollos. Much of the theology and the language are similar to Paul's, but the authorship of the epistle ia still disputed.
2. To whom written. --The epistle was probably addressed to the Jews in Jerusalem and Israel. The argument of the epistle is such as could he used with most effect to a church consisting exclusively of Jews by birth, personally familiar with and attached to the temple service.
3. Date. --It was evidently written before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, probably about A.D. 62-64.
4. Place. --It was probably written in Italy, while Paul was a prisoner at Rome.
5. Contents. --With respect to the scope of the epistle, it should be recollected that while the numerous Christian churches scattered throughout Judea, #Ac 9:31; Ga 1:22| were continually exposed to persecution from the Jews, #1Th 2:14| there was in Jerusalem one additional weapon in the hands of the predominant oppressors of the Christians. The magnificent national temple might be put against the Hebrew Christian; and even if this affliction were not often laid upon him, yet there was a secret burden which he bore within him, the knowledge that the end of all the beauty and awfulness of Zion was rapidly approaching. The writer of this epistle meets the Hebrew Christians on their own ground, showing that the new faith gave them Christ the Son of God, more prevailing than the high priest as an intercessor; that his Sabbath awaited them, his covenant, his atonement, his city heavenly not made with hands. Having him, believe in him with all your heart, with a faith in the unseen future strong as that of the saints of old, patient under present and prepared for coming woe, full of energy and hope and holiness and love. Such was the teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews.