WHO wrote it? We don’t know for sure, for we aren’t told. There are those who firmly believe it was written by the Apostle Paul, while others state dogmatically that it could not have been written by Paul because the writing style is so different from the other books that bear his name. Personally, I believe it was written by Paul and I base this especially on 2nd Peter 3:15-16 where Peter (who was also writing to Jewish believers) said, “And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, HAS WRITTEN TO YOU, AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also THE REST OF THE SCRIPTURES” (NKJV). Here Peter states clearly that Paul had written a letter to Hebrew Christians and by mentioning “all his epistles” and “the rest of the scriptures” it must have been “an inspired letter”; in other words, a part of the Canon of Scripture. If we look at all of Paul’s other inspired letters, he was writing to either Gentile churches or individuals (i.e. Timothy, Titus and Philemon). So, it seems logical to assume that Peter must have been referring to the book of Hebrews. Having said that, let’s remember that no matter who wrote it, it was GOD WHO INSPIRED THEM TO DO SO. This means that the REAL AUTHOR of Hebrews (and every other book of the Bible) is GOD HIMSELF! See 2nd Timothy 3:16.

WHEN was it written? The INTERNAL EVIDENCE would seem to suggest that it was NOT one of the early books of the New Testament (we will see this when discussing the purpose of the book) yet it must have been written before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (which took place in AD 70) since there are references indicating that temple sacrifices were still going on (see 8:4 and 10:11). Many believe it was around AD 66.

WHY was it written? I believe the main purpose of the book of Hebrews was to encourage Jewish believers in Christ to leave, once and for all, their former religion (i.e. Judaism) and to identify solely with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At the end of the letter they are exhorted to do this, “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). The “camp” is definitely a reference to Judaism (see Number 5:2 and 15:35-36). As one reads through Hebrews, we see that Jewish believers, who had confessed Christ as Savior many years ago, (see 5:12-6:2) were still clinging to the Old Covenant of Law (see 5:12-6:2). They are now being told in 13:13 to “make a clean break with the Jewish system and cling to Christ.” Throughout the whole book they are being taught that when Christ came and offered up His life on the cross for their salvation, the Old Covenant of Law had passed away and the New Covenant of Grace was now in force. In order to make them understand this truth the “superiority of Christ over everything connected to the Old Covenant” is given in great detail. If they would come to appropriate this truth, their hearts would be prepared to separate from Judaism and to “go forth to Him.” Here is a very brief outline on the Superiority of Christ:

1:1-3………….Christ is Superior to the Prophets

1:4-2:18……..Christ is Superior to the Angels

3:1-4:13……..Christ is Superior to Moses & Joshua

4:14-7:28……Christ’s High Priesthood is Superior to Aaron’s Priesthood

8:1-13…………Christ’s Ministry is Superior to Aaron’s Ministry

9:1-10:18……Christ’s Offering of Himself is Superior to Old Testament Sacrifices  (392.3)  (DO)