Russell, 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. was likely intended as the phrase “Time will fail me in telling” can refer 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]. . However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. Regardless, I am not arguing for or against on this one. And outside of that one point, I can’t find other logical arguments against her authorship of Hebrews. Priscilla's authorship of Hebrews, clearly validated by Hoppin's exquisite scholarship, and made accessible as a result of her cogent writing, provides a clear rebuttal to those traditionalists who assert that women were, from the Church's inception, relegated to subordinate positions. More importantly, the author’s grasp of the Greek language is much better than Paul’s… the author of Hebrews is more eloquent and poetic in style. 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. It just makes sense from every angle. 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. The fact that we have no author just screams loudly that it could be a woman. Since all the books in the Bible come from men, having Priscilla as the author of Hebrews would stand as a delightful bonus. I think Apollos is still a viable candidate. Inside Llewyn Davis Is Impossible To Comprehend, Wander Darkly Movie Recommendation and Explanation, Interview with Active Shooter Screenplay Author Toby Osborne, The Machinist: Plot Analysis And Ending Explained. Compare this to Hebrews 10:32-34, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Really like what you said. 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. Hamack had the opportunity to examine two early manuscripts (Greek capital letter text, and a Syro-Latin Recension and Cod. 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!! And the clincher for me is that it was Paul’s style to continually refer to himself with the use of personal pronouns like “I”, “me”, “my”, and “mine”. However, it … In the following excerpt adapted from Lexham Press’ new Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary volume: Hebrews by Thomas R. Schreiner, 1 we see whose names have been put forward—and why the author of Hebrews probably isn’t Paul.. It is good for your hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them” (Hebrews 13:9). 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? Just questioning the logic. All six references of Prisca by Paul mentioned her husband as well. Seriously, thanks for taking the time to read the ramblings of a random person. It was my argument in the first place that started this whole discussion around the authorship of Hebrews. The debate has been going on for a long time. Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. Now how do I figure out how to do that?! Looking at Romans 16 we see that Priscilla was an Apostolic teacher that was known throughout Christendom. Until about 200 years ago it was widely believed that Paul wrote Hebrews. By sharing the gospel, clarifying the truth and giving of herself, I’m certain Prisca was an enormous help to the growth and support of the Church to come. Eventually Paul returned to Ephesus and wrote 1 Corinthians and Priscilla and Aquila were there at that time too [1 Corinthians 16:19]. I recommend the Ruth Hopping book referenced above! Priscilla and Aquila as the Authors: This view is supported by Adolf Harnack, who suggested Priscilla, because of her close ministry and working relationship with Paul. Interview with The Devil All the Time Scribe Paulo Campos!! The Book of Hebrews is one of the disputed books of the Bible when it comes to authorship. After the death of Claudius, Pricilla and Aquila returned to Rome. And would have wanted to encourage them in the faith. But one commentator has observed that the feminization of Hebrews 11 is actually more extensive once the reader notices the “roll of saints changes into a roll of virtues of saints; the names of the heroes and heroines are dropped, and their deeds only are commemorated.”7, For example, most readers agree that it was Daniel “who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames.” Similarly, some suggest that it was Judith who as alluded to in Hebrews 11:34, “strengthened by the grace of God have performed many manly deeds. Required fields are marked *. By the spring of 52 A.D. Paul, Pricilla and Aquila set sail for Ephesus where Pricilla distinguished herself as a gifted teacher. And they were probably in Ephesus with Timothy when Paul wrote his last letter to Timothy from Rome. By Thomas Schreiner. No. Does this topic matter? Regardless, we can see that the author of Hebrews is intimately familiar with the sufferings of the Roman church. (23) 2. Hebrews 11 recounts the exile of Sarah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and the children of Israel who wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 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. I’m certain she was a convert regardless. Donald Guthrie ’s commentary The Letter to the Hebrews (1983) mentions Priscilla by name as a suggested author. And never forget that it was Prisca and Aquila who helped Apollos get his theology straight when all he knew was John’s baptism [Acts 18:18-28]. Those that disagree with the Priscilla authorship of Hebrews use a couple of arguments. 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. And in any of Paul’s other letter’s his thought-lines tend to run off on tangents. posted on http://www.wherethespiritleads.org. Perhaps the most interesting modern proposal is that of Adolf von Harnack, who suggested that Priscilla wrote Hebrews. It i God’s best to you…. I am sure that people knew who it was in the beginning, but it had to be hidden when Greek/Roman concepts of women became too popular for the truth.  Since that time, the possibility of his authorship has gained some support. My thoughts parallel yours and I have argued If one removes gender, the obvious choice is Priscilla. Take care. Remember that Peter wrote to the Hebrews (that is, the Jews; see Galatians 2:7, 9 and 1 Peter 1:1). Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Though that is all conjecture on my part. 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. Really cool. Now I don’t know about you, but mentioning the wife first – AT ALL – in that day and age was unheard of. They had also seen the martyrdom of Paul and Peter [Hebrews 13:7 & 10:32] Priscilla would have been very concerned for her old house church. 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. So kudos to you to even be open to having your opinion change at all. (A German Lutheran, he felt his calling as a theologian was to open up “freedom of thought, of pursuing truth on every path, the freedom from interference by those who have been given authority in human institutions.” Not in any dogmatic way, but because it makes as much sense, maybe more, as anything else I have read, even in academic circles. He picked the people that would have the most impact on the community. Arguments Against Priscilla’s Authoring Hebrews. This article is awesome and thought provoking. “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. In more recent times, some scholars have advanced a case for Priscilla having been the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The author of Hebrews also did something that has confounded many scholars. It almost feels like a little secret between God and the women who serve Him. 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In Romans Paul uses 103 pronouns. James Hope Moulton, New Testament scholar and Greek lexicographer, writing in 1909, referred to the "man-or woman" who wrote Hebrews. hahaha. Both Paul and Luke attach some sort of significance to Priscilla by virtue of placing her name first in four of the six Biblical references to Priscilla and Aquila. 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. Greg is also right that Aquila would by the same logic be a viable candidate and perhaps a more viable candidate than Priscilla, though she could have been a "co-author". My own mother was ordained for heavens sake. on Priscilla’s authorship of Hebrews. And nonbiblical sources give us no clarity. And I am probably wrong. He proposes that Priscilla is the author of Hebrews for a number of reasons: 1) the author was highly educated and seems to have held a prominent teaching position. Her name was found inscribed on Roman monuments, churches, and on an ancient Roman burial site called the Coemeterium Priscillae. While Paul was in Corinth for a year and a half he lived with Priscilla and Aquila. Through personal experience Priscilla would have understood the challenge presented by a strange land and the need for a strong faith during forced exile. Too bad the church played along so long. First, the strongest reason to reject the Priscilla view is the use of a first person masculine participle in the book of Hebrews. Donna, Why thanks Donna – always great to hear that something I’ve written was pleasant for a change! She backs this up with literary criticism, circumstantial evidence and archeological finds. 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. Priscilla, as a colleague of Paul, was a colleague of Timothy, with whom the author coordinates travel plans (Heb. But did she? the author was obviously well known to the original recipients. Wow. Martin Luther made it his “guess” as the author. We do know for sure that they were tentmakers like Paul [Acts 18:3]. It revealed that Judaism based upon the Mosaic Law, Levitical sacrifices, etc. I of all people agree with you Ann. I also think that Prisca had spent so many years under Paul’s tutelage she would have had his theology down to a T. It is recorded that she corrected Apollos – one of the most dynamic New Testament speakers – without his even giving it a second thought. Who wrote Hebrews? I really am not pro or con women in the pulpit. Please read my article “Priscilla and Plausibility” for details. The Roman Emperor Claudius apparently ordered them out of Rome probably just before meeting Paul [Acts 18:2]. If I were asked my personal opinion, I w… That would account for the similarity of the theology between Paul and this other author. This suggestion came from Adolf von Harnack in 1900. In November 1997, two events occurred. And you know what? I shall most certainly quote from it in future discussion and sermons. One must not overlook the key fact that Apollos accepted Priscilla’s instruction without reservation. Scholars have suggested several names as possibilities for the author of this book, including Apollos, Barnabas, Luke, Priscilla, Silas, and, of course, Paul. So yeah, I totally am sold on the idea of Priscilla’s authorship. Definitely worth taking a closer look at anyway. Was Priscilla one of the most successful teachers, evangelists, and writers in the early church? Finally, Harnack argued that because of the lower status given to most women in ancient times, Priscilla would have had a greater incentive to have written anonymously than any of the other possible authors. Shortly after arriving in Ephesus, Pricilla and Aquila met the brilliant and eloquent Apollos. — A Study of Priscilla – The Outlaw Bible Student, When Paul came to Corinth (probably in the year 53 AD), he met Priscilla (or Prisca) and her husband Aquila. I first came to the same conclusion while a Seminary student in the late 1970’s. Again, it’s not a huge deal either way. Instead of constantly using the pronoun “I”, she regularly used the pronoun “We”. (As Paul was want to say.) I would love to debate the facts. Image source. Verses used to exclude women from ministry have better interpretations than that. I’ve thought casually about expanding the argument into a book that is buttressed on the importance of women throughout the New Testament, heck, the entirety of the Bible. Its a fascinating area of scholarship. “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. Apollos was a self-assured teacher driven by a spiritual quest. Who was the eminent intellectual associate of Paul who wrote the letter--if not Priscilla? No. Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?,Zondervan Academic - Study from the Bible and be encouraged to grow your faith! (22) Years later, in his Greek Testament lexicon, Priscilla is referred to primarily in terms of Harnack's carefully reasoned hypothesis. And on and on I could go. And she herself wouldn’t have shied away from her love and devotion to her husband and would have used the “We” pronoun as a further indication of their co-laboring together. There is plenty of evidence for women in ministry in the early years. But if you are one of those Pauline folks – I’d love to hear your logic!! Taylor. Regardless of the authorship of Hebrews, we know for a fact that Priscilla and Aquila are a really cool tag-team combo. We know where the two of them had come from Italy [Acts 18:2] (Rome more specifically – Romans 16:5) and that they had met Paul in around 53 AD. [2 Timothy 4:19]. You can also subscribe without commenting. Even more appealing would be if Priscilla wrote it. With Priscilla’s instruction, Apollos’ message was made complete. 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