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J. [See page 232.]

ON THE AUTHOR OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.

It is not disputed by any, that, while the Western Church for nearly three centuries denies that Paul is the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the doctors of the Church of Alexandria are almost unanimous in attributing the epistle to him. But the opinion of the West, and of Rome in particular, has great weight in the question, since that Church must be supposed to have had most authentic information of all that related to the Apostle Paul, and especially of every thing connected with his captivity. Clement of Rome, makes constant allusions to the Epistle to the Hebrews. How would it be possible that he should never have named its author, if he had known who he was, and especially if he had known him to be the Apostle Paul? It is easy to understand how the Church of Alexandria should have arrived by a philosophical synthesis, natural to its genius, at the conclusion that Paul was the writer of an epistle which bears the impress of his thought. The internal evidences which vindicate the judgment of the Western Church are admirably set forth in Bleek's "Commentary." The following are the principal: ist. The striking difference of style; the diversity of opinion on this point seems to us inexplicable. 2d. The relation of dependence, in which 499the author places himself, upon the immediate witnesses of Jesus Christ. Heb. ii, 3. Now, Paul never took this position. One of the great objects of his polemics against his adversaries always was to establish that he was in the same rank with the first Apostles. 3d. If the ideas of the writer have much in common with those of Paul, they, nevertheless, bear, in the detail of their exposition, the impress of a different individuality. In favor of the hypothesis which ascribes the Epistle to the Hebrews to Paul, the two following passages are quoted: 1st. Γινωσκετε τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν Τιμόθεον ἀπολελυμένον. Heb. xiii, 23. It is inferred, from the close relations of Paul and Timothy, that the former was the writer of these words. But it is impossible to base a whole argument on so trifling a point of detail. For Paul was not the only person who was in connection with Timothy. One of Paul's other disciples might very naturally use such an expression. The sense given to the word ἀπολελυμένον is of very little weight, whether it signify that Timothy is absent, or whether it contain the idea that he is just set at liberty, this difference of interpretation in no way affects the solution of the question. 2d. The second passage adduced as an argument is Heb. xiii, 24. It is asserted that the expression, "They of Italy salute you," shows that the epistle was written at Rome; but do not these words, on the contrary, seem to convey the idea that the writer is not in Italy, since he sees in the qualification, οἱ ἀπὸ τῶς Ἰταλίας, a special designation?

The hypothesis, which ascribes the Epistle to the Hebrews to Apollos, is the most plausible. He was certainly a warm advocate of Paul's principles; he was well versed in the Scriptures; he was at Alexandria, where great prominence was given to the typical and allegorical style. He was a man eloquent and learned. All these various characteristics are remarkably displayed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

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