You can also subscribe without commenting. Since all the books in the Bible come from men, having Priscilla as the author of Hebrews would stand as a delightful bonus. Why aren’t you bringing the discussion? I recommend the Ruth Hopping book referenced above! Having lived and worked among these churches as a leader and patron, Priscilla had a burden for their safety and success. Seriously, thanks for taking the time to read the ramblings of a random person. (23) There are a number of issues that arise when dealing with the idea that Priscilla wrote the book of Hebrews. It is crucial to notice the subtle yet astounding information Luke provided when he recorded a woman guiding one of the most noted teachers in the early church. Just read this. Who wrote Hebrews? I’m happy to hear why you believe me to be wrong. There are many other hints that it wasn’t Paul – but I won’t get into that any more as I think it is widely believed now not to have been Paul. Replies to my comments Priscilla: Christian, wife of a Jewish freedman, fellow worker with Paul, teacher of teachers, church planter — and author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (a letter whose writer’s name is mysteriously absent)? As far back as the third century, Origen3 wrote: “In the epistle entitled To the Hebrews the diction does not exhibit the characteristic roughness of speech or phraseology admitted by the Apostle [Paul] himself, the construction of the sentences is closer to the Greek usage, as anyone capable of recognizing differences of style would agree . You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”. Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks. the author was obviously well known to the original recipients. Verses used to exclude women from ministry have better interpretations than that. The evidence leans away from Apollos not only because the Epistle does not bear his signature, but because his conversion is unlikely to be that described in Hebrews 2:3. The authorship of Hebrews is a fascinating issue that continues to … Again, it’s not a huge deal either way. Further support for a non-Jewish, non-male author arises from the curious fact that the author never mentioned the temple in Jerusalem, but rather refers only to the tabernacle. I’m so convinced that Priscilla wrote Hebrews that I find myself referring to “the author of Hebrews” as “her” and “she” when interacting with others about this book. No. Hey there Brother Bart, Really like what you said. It is MAN that has created this issue of gender inequality. My response to Bart was mainly around women in leadership – which is an entirely different topic. In more recent times, some scholars have advanced a case for Priscilla having been the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The first being that the author is the reference to Timothy in Hebrews 13:23. Again, your presentation is excellent. Definitely worth taking a closer look at anyway. The brilliant theologian Dr. Harnack asserted that the author’s frequent use of the communicative “we” teaches, among other things, that there is possibly more than one author. It has always been sin that oppressed women, not God. There is plenty of evidence for women in ministry in the early years. What better way to ensure the advantage of these churches than to pen an Epistle for the guidance and exhortation of her leaders? Seems plausible anyway. Martin Luther made it his “guess” as the author. It almost feels like a little secret between God and the women who serve Him. Anyway… maybe some day. In any case Paul recalls how this couple had achieved a substantial reputation among the Gentile churches (Romans 16:3). This question has puzzled Bible readers for generations. Luther posited that it might have been Apollos. Hamack found that in Acts 18:26 Aquila’s name had been placed before Priscilla and in three different places Aquila’s name was inserted without Priscilla’s.14 After reviewing these ancient manuscripts Hamack made the following conclusion; “It is quite certain that the interpolator, taking up his corrections in the first third of the second century, suppressed Prisca’s authority, placing Aquila above her in converting Apollos, and withdrew from them a letter they had written. I have written a book on this topic, “Priscilla’s Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.” You can find a review of the book, and a link to my published articles, along with a 10-point summary of the case on Wiley Clarkson’s website, Paul is unlikely to make this comment, as he consistently reminded his readers that he received the gospel directly through special revelation. Some believe Paul to be the author, who wrote at least thirteen books in the New Testament and others attribute the book to Priscilla, a friend of Paul’s who accompanied him during part of his ministry. to anyone. Of the many attempts to identify the author of Hebrews, Priscilla can be overlooked, and yet she remains an obvious candidate: Priscilla, a Roman Christian, a co-worker with Paul and Timothy, a woman who had not seen the Lord Jesus but had received confirmation of salvation by those who had; Priscilla, pious and wise, a church planter who was familiar with the struggles of Gentiles, exiles, and women; Priscilla, a teacher of teachers, whose name was female enough to pose a threat to a later interpolator unsympathetic with the authority and approval a woman such as she had enjoyed. All letter authors know their audience and the same is true here. Though that is all conjecture on my part. But far from condemning Pricilla, both Luke and Paul promote Pricilla as one “who explained the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). May it never be! And for 18 solid months Priscilla and Aquila learned at the foot of the greatest Bible teachers this side of Christ himself. I suspect that most are just being polite rather than do a serious discussion about this and being thought of as anti woman. Regardless, we can see that the author of Hebrews is intimately familiar with the sufferings of the Roman church. Until about 200 years ago it was widely believed that Paul wrote Hebrews. And seeing as though it isn’t clear who the author of the book was it was serious conjecture fodder for discussion… its just ripe with possibilities!! clarify something; Priscilla as author of Hebrews did not hide her identity; At all? Not even one dissenting opinion? I really enjoyed this, Taylor. Your comments about her name being veiled is right to the heart of where I went with the blog posting. Ruth. Love that this post is still getting readers. 2. He spoke to tax collectors, Samaritans, to sinners of various stripes and even to harlots. The author was a teacher and catechist, like Priscilla who instructed Apollos concerning baptisms, compare Hebrews chapter 6:1-3. I’m thankful that the Anglican Communion in Australia has had women consecrated as bishops for over 5 years now, and hope the Church of England can soon get its acts together also. Priscilla and Aquila’s faith was confirmed by Paul, who had received the gospel by special revelation. And we see that she is admonishing them onwards towards the more lasting possession. The truth is, Apollos, who did not write Hebrews, may be the one to lead us to the author, if we keep our ears and eyes open.  Since that time, the possibility of his authorship has gained some support. Scholars posit that Pricilla and Aquila were Christians at the time of Paul’s visit, as Paul does not mention leading them to faith, and it is unlikely that unbelieving Jews would reside with believing Jews. I first came to the same conclusion while a Seminary student in the late 1970’s. Priscilla and Aquila had risked their lives for Paul and were a central backbone to not only their church but all the “gentile churches” as well [Romans 16:4]. 13:23). Moreover, Priscilla is called fellow worker or synergos, a term used by Paul to designate leaders.12 Priscilla is not the least among her fellow synergos, as “all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to her” and when apart from Priscilla and Aquila, Paul sends his greetings and appreciation (1 Cor. Over the next eighteen months Paul, Pricilla, and Aquila shared tent-making, their faith in Christ, and, perhaps along with Timothy, developed a plan to evangelize and church-plant not only in Corinth, but in Ephesus and Rome as well. Shortly after arriving in Ephesus, Pricilla and Aquila met the brilliant and eloquent Apollos. I am surprised that no one would disagree with this highly minority explanation. She was a co-laborer with Paul and devout follower of Christ and those were the only bona fides she needed to write the book. The fact that we have no author just screams loudly that it could be a woman. James Hope Moulton, New Testament scholar and Greek lexicographer, writing in 1909, referred to the "man-or woman" who wrote Hebrews. Some have said that Paul used a scribe maybe? Adolf von Harnac (1851-1930) suggested that Priscilla may have been the author but Robertson (1932) highlights that Hebrews 11:32 mentions a masculine participle that dismisses this theory. The most compelling comes from Scripture itself. 11:32 is the same in the masculine and neuter form, and the neuter Both had just arrived from Rome, from which city the Emperor Claudius had recently expelled the Jewish community. Well done. Regardless of the authorship of Hebrews, we know for a fact that Priscilla and Aquila are a really cool tag-team combo. Never did Paul refer to her alone. How is it possible that an Epistle such as Hebrews should lack a prescript indicating both the author and the city or persons to whom the letter was addressed? pretty cool. In the end, all of these are little more than guesses. I think I will take on board what you said. All six references of Prisca by Paul mentioned her husband as well. hahah. Did the author know the person that it was addressed to? For years I have been fascinated with the enigmatic Priscilla and Aquila mentioned six different times throughout the New Testament. In 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Paul uses a total of 278 personal pronouns. Priscilla: Christian, wife of a Jewish freedman, fellow worker with Paul, teacher of teachers, church planter — and author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (a letter whose writer’s name is mysteriously absent)? From Rome, she wrote Hebrews, pleading with her people in Ephesus to keep the faith. All of the details about her life, and the timeline of the gospels, and the intricate details held within the book, seem to point to this line of reasoning. I would love to debate the facts. To follow are her most salient arguments in favor of Priscilla’s authorship. Perhaps the most interesting modern proposal is that of Adolf von Harnack, who suggested that Priscilla wrote Hebrews. The blessed Judith ... went forth and exposed herself to peril ... for love of country, the Lord delivered Hologemes into the hand of a woman.”8, Does Priscilla draw parallels between her experiences as a Roman exile in Corinth and Ephesus, and the exiles in Hebrews 11? It was my argument in the first place that started this whole discussion around the authorship of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews also did something that has confounded many scholars. Apollos doesn’t seem like the type to not sign his letter and send specific greetings that would identify him. Would not a woman be inclined to empathize with the struggles of other women? And far be it from me to disagree with Luther, but I kind of doubt it was Apollos. F.F. Jim. Apollos had been preaching the baptism of John with great success, yet his understanding of redemption was somehow incomplete. They are really impressive – and honestly, outside of Christ, these two are the people I’d like to meet most from the Bible. was over. Scholars have suggested several names as possibilities for the author of this book, including Apollos, Barnabas, Luke, Priscilla, Silas, and, of course, Paul. We can see that the Roman church operated out of their Roman house in Romans 16:5 – “Greet the church that meets at their (Priscilla and Aquila) house.” It was written to them because during this time they had under gone lots of chaos and expulsions under Claudius and then took a turn for the worst under Nero in 64 AD. It’s rare to see someone consider another opinion or idea and watch them say… huh, you know what? haha. Who was the eminent intellectual associate of Paul who wrote the letter--if not Priscilla? Christ spoke to men and women alike. And outside of that one point, I can’t find other logical arguments against her authorship of Hebrews. Very good, convincing read! hahaha. Thanks again for commenting. Tertullian attributed the Epistle to Barnabus, though Origen and Clement argued for Paul or Luke, while Luther supported Apollos.5. Apollos and Priscilla. We do know for sure that they were tentmakers like Paul [Acts 18:3]. Excellent presentation and argument. However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. Since a woman’s word wasn’t worth much, and she was not encouraged to speak out, a woman disciple would probably have brought a lot of suspicion and scorn to Jesus’ work. Now I don’t know about you, but mentioning the wife first – AT ALL – in that day and age was unheard of. But it is an interesting side note to think about. Hamack had the opportunity to examine two early manuscripts (Greek capital letter text, and a Syro-Latin Recension and Cod. But its a reasonable assumption. It just makes sense from every angle. God bless you and thanks. It definitely does not. However, it … But it definitely isn’t in Paul’s voice nor does it follow many of his standard writing quirks. ... That being said, a fascinating theory is that Priscilla was the author and the logic of that argument makes a great deal of sense... but there isn't hard evidence, or at least not yet, that such was the case. Eusebius, the great historian of the church, recognizes that the letter Clement wrote from Rome to the Corinthian church in the late first century contained many allusions to and quotations from Hebrews and notes that on that basis some believed that Clement himself was the translator or author of Hebrews (Hist. Some think it was written by Luke or someone else close to Paul—even Priscilla has been suggested, but that idea is probably off the mark. Oh, It revealed that Judaism based upon the Mosaic Law, Levitical sacrifices, etc. Through personal experience Priscilla would have understood the challenge presented by a strange land and the need for a strong faith during forced exile. Not sure why this would be conclusive. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Was Priscilla one of the most successful teachers, evangelists, and writers in the early church? Take care. was likely intended as the phrase “Time will fail me in telling” can refer Just questioning the logic. So we can surmise that Priscilla had the schooling, the knowledge and early church pedigree to write something like the book of Hebrews. One could argue that this was the assumed context of the readers, but the text lacks specific details of Jewish worship, further indicating an unfamiliarity akin more to a non-Jew, non-male author. Gifts of Stock, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts, The Unavoidable Link Between Patriarchal Theology and Spiritual Abuse, Early-Church Heroines: Rulers, Prophets and Martyrs, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online. I’m certain she was a convert regardless. Hebrews is a "word of exhortation" - see Hebrews 13:22. Was Priscilla one of the most successful teachers, evangelists, and writers in the early church? Want a fun Bible study? Further evidence against Paul involves the statement “this salvation ... was confirmed to us by those who heard him” (Hebrews 2:3-4). When I wrote my 1997 book, Priscilla’s Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, I knew that the masculine and neuter forms were identical, but did not realize that the neuter might have been intended. He landed in Ephesus and headed for the synagogue. Interview with The Devil All the Time Scribe Paulo Campos!! So yeah, I totally am sold on the idea of Priscilla’s authorship. It is Paul’s theology… and continues his logic. posted on http://www.wherethespiritleads.org. (As Paul was want to say.) Hrmmm. We also know that Aquila was a native of Pontus [Acts 18:2] (a region just south of the Black Sea) – I would assume Prisca was too. “Prisca and Aquila, as husband and “wife, and through their common labors, praised by Paul and Luke, correspond so splendidly to these conditions as no other conceivable interpretation.”11. Priscilla and Aquila were obviously acquainted with Timothy and would have cared for him similarly to Paul. Though I doubt it as I’m sure he married a Jew and probably from his own home town. Wow. She backs this up with literary criticism, circumstantial evidence and archeological finds. Moreover, neither Luke nor Paul criticize Pricilla for having taught a man. But now scholars are almost of one mind that Paul did NOT write it. I agree with Charles. In November 1997, two events occurred. Seeing as though Hebrews is my favorite book of the entire Bible (yes, I’m that weird – I’m sure yours is Romans, or Corinthians or any one of a number of ‘better’ books. On the other hand the author of Hebrews follows a systematic line of reason from start to finish. Regardless, I am not arguing for or against on this one. I am totally taken by this idea as well. Priscilla, as a colleague of Paul, was a colleague of Timothy, with whom the author coordinates travel plans (Heb. Please read my article “Priscilla and Plausibility” for details. By Thomas Schreiner. Archaeological research suggests that someone named Priscilla held a position of tremendous honor in the early church. Does it belittle the message because it might have been written by a woman? Hebrews is unique among 14,000 extant letters of the time period: there is no introduction or greeting which mentions the author’s name. [2 Timothy 4:19]. I’m sure the early church knew who wrote it as you state… but I’m sure she didn’t care what others thought, or didn’t seek any sort of recognition. And on and on I could go. Thanks for the comments. Nero offered his own gardens for the spectacle.” Tacitus in his Annals (xv. I am going to refer to your scholarship in my sunday sermon just before Christmas. I want to state up front – this is one of these issues. | The Crowe's Nest, Did A Woman Write the Book of Hebrews? So, please don’t let this get to you in any sort of fundamental way. Well done, Taylor! Eventually he stopped teaching in the synagogue because of opposition and began teaching in the home of Titus who lived next door to Priscilla and Aquila [Acts 18:7]. You can find several articles on Wiley Clarkson’s website http://www.wherethespiritleads,org; click on “Where the spirit leads” and scroll down the left margin to my name. It tends to show that they SHOULDN’T be, or the early church didn’t think they should anyway – as it was a woman writing anonymously. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a look at the chronological timeline of Paul’s introduction to the couple and their comings and going throughout the New Testament: For a secondary character in the New Testament we know a surprisingly large amount (as illustrated by the above timeline). Some clues to determine who wrote it don ’ t know if being! Suggested author and information Zondervan Academic - Study from the original letter in to. 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