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which would require many pages to exhibit. The finest statements of the case are given by Professor Bruce (Exp. vii. p. 162 f. ; The Epistle to the Hebrews, 1899; and in DB, ii. article “Hebrews”), Weiss (-Meyer, and INT, ii. p. 30 f.), and Westcott (Epistle to Hebrews). Rendall (Theology of Hebrew Christians, pp. 70-76), Professor Mackintosh (Essays tow. a New Theology, 1889, pp. 291–297), and Adeney, BI, p. 429 (c. 68 A.D.), prefer to place the writing as near as possible to the crisis of 70 A.D., while a more or less earlier date (65–70) is chosen by Bleek, Beyschlag (NTTh, ii. pp. 286–288), Renan (l'Antéchrist, chap. ix.), Hilgenfeld (Einl. pp. 377–383), Clemen" (Chron. pp. 277-279), Burton (RLA), Farrar (CGT, “Hebrews”), Roberts (Greek the Language of Christ and his Apostles, 1897, chap. viii.), Salmon (INT, pp. 430, 431), S. Davidson (İNT, i. pp. 183-250), Bovon (NTTh, ii. pp. 387-389), Ménégoz, (La Théologie de l'épître aux Hebreux, 1895), Professor G. G. Findlay (Epistles of Paul, p. 263 f.), Stevens (NTTh, p. 485 f.), Schäfer (Eini. pp. 149–157), Trenkle (Einl. pp. 88–91), and G. Milligan (Theol. of Epistle to Hebrews, 1899). With many others, these critics keenly defend the Jewish Christian character of the writing (“Le monument le plus éloigné du judaisme,” Havet) and its date in the seventh decade of the first century. As a phase of this theory, it may be noted that Ramsay, retracting his former adhesion to the 64-66 date (CRE, p. 307), now regards the writing as addressed to the Jewish party of the Jerusalem church by Philip the Deacon, who wrote from Caesarea (59 A.D.) after discussions with Paul (Exp.5 ix. pp. 407-422); while W. M. Lewis (Thinker, Oct.-Nov. 1893 ; Biblical World, Aug. 1898, April 1899) had already conjectured on similar lines that the epistle was a joint production of Paul and Luke, written from the Caesarean imprisonment (Ac 2335). Such attempts possess the merit of novelty. But even upon the ordinary theory, as argued by the critics already named, it seems impossible to demonstrate that Hebrews was composed before the fall of the temple in A.D. 70, in the sense in which one can determine, for example, that a book like Tobit was written previously to its building in B.C. 25. Ultimately, the question of the date rests upon the question of the destination—the character and situation of the readers.
Of the localities to which the epistle is conjectured to have been addressed-Palestine (Jerusalem or Syria 4), Alexandria, Rome (Italy)
1“Nous devons nous résigner à ignorer le lieu ou se trouvaient les destinataires. Tout ce qu'il nous est permis de conjecturer, c'est qu'ils vivaient dans une ville ou dans une contrée ou l'influence des Juifs-cultivés plutôt qu' incultes, ritualistes plutôt que légalistes—constituait un danger pour la prospérité de la communauté chrétienne." Cp. also Dr. J. B. Crozier, Intell. Development (1897), i. pp. 333337.
2 The (a) seventh decade date is usually held with (6) the Jewish-Christian hypothesis, and the (v) Domitianic date with (B) the Gentile-Christian. But some, e.g. Dr. A. B. Davidson and Zahn, accept (6) and come down later than 70, while others, like Pfleiderer, accept (B) with a second century date (Urc. pp. 620-640 ; so Hausrath), or—like Häring-admit (o) with a modified form of (6).
3 Cp. a critique by G. Milligan, Exp.5 x. pp. 154-160 ; Bartlet (AA, pp. 210 f., 281 f.) also dates it c. 62 A.D. as addressed to Caesarea.
4 Kübel (Kurzgefasster Comment. NT. 4, pp. 151–153) thinks the epistle was written by Barnabas between 67 and 68 A.D. to the Syrian Jewish-Christians. Rendall (Theology of Hebrew Christians, pp. 67-69) also inclines to a Syrian audience, possibly Antioch itself. Mr. Ayles (Destination, Date, and Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 1899) makes Barnabas the author, and dates the book C. 64 A.D. ; but, like e.g. Professor Ramsay, he unfortunately decides for Jerusalem as the destination. Passages like 23 511 124.-to mention no others—absolutely prohibit this idea of Jerusalem as the circle of “Hebrews.”
the last-named is upon the whole to be preferred (cp. Heb 1310-16, Ro 14), although the destination 1 of the letter is almost as dim as its authorship. Rome suits the internal evidence of the letter, its connection with Clem. Rom., and especially the reference in 1323, 24, where oi årò rñs 'Italias (read in the light of Mt 151, Ac 2127 2418) surely means Italian residents abroad. Possibly it was written from Alexandria.3 At any rate its direct audience were the members of the particular church (1324) the rank and file, not the leaders, still less a group of evangelists (Heinrici, ThL%, 1895, p. 289). Probably enough it was some special community of older Christians at Rome, who are not to be identified with the whole church (cp. the expressions in 51 1025 1324), but may have formed a household church by themselves (Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 146– 148; Harnack, ZNW, 1900, pp. 19-23, the latter, oddly enough, attributing the authorship of the writing to Prisca and Aquila, chiefly Prisca).
It looks almost a paradox to assert that the epistle to the Hebrews 4 was addressed to a church (in Rome or Italy) whose body and complexion were predominantly Gentile. Yet the evidence of the writing seems to leave no alternative (so Schürer, Harnack, von Soden, Pfleiderer, Wendt, Weizsäcker, Jülicher, and McGiffert among others). The copious and elaborate reasoning that fills page after page, the verbal illustrations and arguments from the LXX, the interest implied among the readers in the OT and their acquaintance with its contents and scope, these and many other characteristics spring, not from the fact that this circle of Christians was specially rooted in Judaism, but from the whole groundwork of OT and Jewish associations, traditions, and presuppositions, which underlay early Christianity. The epistle of Clem. Rom., e.g., is sinıply woven through and through with OT quotations and references. Yet it was addressed to a predominantly Gentile church, which was evidently expected to understand and be profited by such a treatment of the subject. So, too, in Paul's letters to Rome (413. 10) and Galatia (329)4.
i Taking the title após 'Espacious with the other Alexandrian titles of the gospel ze6''Espoious and the gospel zat'Aiyuttious, Harnack (Chron. p. 479 n.) conjectures that'Elp. might mean the Hellenistic Jewish-Christians in Egypt, in which case the epistle would be taken as addressed to Egypt at a time when the churches contained Jewish-Christians, not Egyptian Gentile Christians (Aiyuttiot). On our ignorance, however, of Jewish-Christianity in early Egypt, cp. the caveat of Zahn, Einl. ii. p. 153.
2 Cp, the discussions in Dr. A. B. Davidson's edition (pp. 13-18; he dates the epistle from Rome to some community of the Dispersion in the East) and Holtzmann (Einl. pp. 303-308). Neither Rome nor Alexandria completely satisfies the evidence of the epistle, but perhaps there are fewer difficulties on the Roman hypothesis than upon any other (Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 142–158). On the ouveywan Aißpéw (CIG, 40, 9909), cp. Exp. Ti. x. p. 422.
3 For an estimate of Alexandria and its significance in early Christianity, cp. J. S. Riggs, AJT (1897), pp. 927-949 ; also, from another standpoint, Friedländer, Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Christenthums, ein excurs von den Septuaginta zum Evangelium (1894), espec. pp. 143-172.
4 The title após Espacious was, of course, added by later tradition. The superficial appearance of the letter and its contents made it a very natural guess, but it has no more weight or value than that of the Pauline authorship (“hardly more than a reflection of the impression produced on an early copyist,” W. R. Smith). Both rose out of an age which had already lost all direct knowledge of the writing's origin and standpoint (cp. Zahn's decisive remarks, Einl. ii. pp. 111-113, 118-120, a recapitulation of his researches upon the canonical tradition). Klostermann (Zur Theorie d. bibl. Weissagung u. zur Char. d. Hebr. p. 55 f.) conjectures após Βιρυαίους =Βεροιαίους as the original form of the title, in which case the epistle was written by Apollos to the Jewish-Christian community of Beroea (Ac 1710).
There, Jewish Christians formed certainly the minority of his audience ; yet Abraham is termed “our forefather according to the flesh” (Ro 4, cp, also 2 Co 616), and Gentile Christians are over and again assumed to be the people of God. Besides, such a use of the OT for didactic purposes was quite a conventional method of instruction, as may be seen in Philo (quis rer. divin. her., 1. 511; de Monarch, 11. 222 ; épunveis yáp εισιν οι προφήται, θεού καταχρωμένου τους εκείνων οργάνοις πρός δήλωσιν ων àv ¿Delson), far too general to be confined merely to Jewish Christians. The OT had been familiar to many members of the church, even before they became Christians. Their first acquaintance with Jewish history and hopes did not date from their reception of Christ. It was originated by the propaganda, especially of Hellenistic Judaism. And even after their entrance into the Christian faith, the OT rather grew in significance. It was their religious codex, authoritative on worship and theology; any writer could with confidence appeal to it and argue from it, as in the nature of the case it was certain that his readers and he would be thus occupying common ground.
Positive arguments which tend to support this conclusion are drawn (Jacoby, NT Ethik, p. 202 f.) from allusions such as those in 61f. 134 1312. The principles mentioned in 61f. are not such as would naturally be required for Jewish Christians (Schürer, SK, 1876, p. 776 f.); they distinctly point, like 134, to the first steps not of Jewish but of pagan converts, and the lapse feared in 1312 is a fall not into Judaism but away to idols and pagan faith.
The church addressed, then, is Christian. Gentiles form the major part of it, but the readers are viewed under no distinctions of race. At the same time one or two passages (66 139-16 etc. ; cp. Hort, Jud. Christianity, p. 156 f. ; Haupt, SK, 1895, pp. 388-390) certainly seem to suggest that the situation of the church included temptations of a specifically Jewish character, which might appeal with especial force to Jewish Christians, and an attempt has been made to explain these as the efforts of a speculative Judaism which beset Gentile Christians during the second decade after the fall of Jerusalem (Häring, SK, 1891, pp. 589– 598). At any rate, during the closing quarter of the century Jewish propaganda flourished throughout the Empire. The genuine morality and monotheism preached by the Hellenistic Jews especially must have proved not merely a rival to Christianity in the eyes of the outside pagans, but a dangerously attractive movement for those weaker and less intelligent members of the Christian church who lay open, through birth or circumstances, to such Jewish influences. Vivere more judaico was a specious watch-word. It represented, as we find from Cerinthus afterwards, a distinct and subtle danger, prompting Gentile Christiansespecially proselytes—to revert to their old life.3 “Better," urges the
1 It is scarcely necessary to add that the occasional use of the present tense (78. 20 83-5 96-9. 13 1310) in the epistle is no argument for the contemporary existence of the temple and its services. The writer is using a literary method, in common with Jewish (Josephus, Antiq. iii. 6-12) and Christian writers (Clem. Rom. 404_413 ; Diognet. 3, etc. ; Fourth gospel, 52), who had occasion to refer to the Jewish cultus and customs after 70 A.D. (cp. Schürer, HJP, 1. ii. p. 268 f. ; Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 141, 142).
2 On the exposure of provincial Christianity in the East to such Jewish apostasy, cp. Wellhausen, Skizzen u. Vorarbeiten, III. p. 196 f., and Harnack, TU, 1. 3, p. 73 f.
3 Although Judaism may be reckoned-in spite of Bar-kokhba's revolt—as a lost cause after 70, it was far from being a forsaken belief. It became, in spirit and
shrill dogmatist some thirty years later—“better listen to Christianity from a circumcised man than to Judaism from one uncircumcised” (Ignat. ad Philad. 6).
In Hebrews some unknown Alexandrian 1 scholar uses the OT in a characteristic fashion to state the superiority and finality of the Christian religion. This feature is distinctive. Yet the application of Philonic methods and phrases should not, by their very strangeness in the NT, blind us to the dominating Christian spirit which is master of these characteristics. Philonist and student of the wisdom literature as he was, the author of Hebrews was supremely and essentially a Christian. No more than his successor, the author of the fourth gospel, does he suffer himself to be carried far away by the terminology and conceptions which press upon him out of his early training. Their use is strictly modified. They are at best subordinate to his leading principles and beliefs. Consequently in Hebrews, as in the fourth gospel, the fact that philosophic terms are employed in a sense occasionally different to their original setting is a proof, not that these Christian authors stood wholly remote from such speculative influences, but that they assimilated them and used them freely as accessories to their own purposes. The able thinker? who composed Hebrews used his contemplative philosophy and command of rhetoric for genuinely religious ends. situation, a rival of Christianity. This explains the differences of attitude to the Jews, in Paul and in the fourth gospel (or Apocalypse), and the later keenness of tone in the references to them made by Barnabas and Justin Martyr.
Besides the well-known exposition of Pfleiderer, cp. for the Alexandrian culture of the author of Hebrews, Wendt, ZwTh (1895), pp. 157-160; with Holtzmann, NTTh, ii. 281-295. The Philonic parallels are amply stated by Siegfried, Philo von Alexandria als Ausleger des AT, p. 321 f., and reproduced by Ménégoz, op. cit. p. 197 f., and Pfleiderer, Urc. p. 629 f.
? He was “the finest and most cultured genius of the primitive church. ... The fact that a writer of such rare power and grace should have left us only a single monument of his genius, and that a mere letter, written for a definite practical purpose, and that his name should have been entirely forgotten within less than a century after his death, serves to remind us in a very forcible way of the limitations of our knowledge respecting the early days of Christianity” (McGiffert). Ménégoz has his bright antithesis: “l'auteur de l'Épître aux Hébreux est un évolutionniste; saint Paul est un révolutionnaire, en prenant ce terme en son sens exclusivement moral et religieux ... si l'on a pu comparer saint Paul à Luther, nous comparerions volontiers l'auteur de l'Épître aux H. à Melanchthon."
It is obvious that our Hebrews were familiar with the law, and had a high regard for the ordinances of temple worship. In particular it appears that they had not fully understood how the mediatorial functions of the OT were superseded by the mediatorship of Christ. But their ritualism seems to have been rather theoretical than practical. ... The most natural view of the apostle's argument, as it comes to a point in such passages as viii. 13, ix. 9, is that the disappearance of the obsolete ritual of the old covenant is no blow to Christian faith, because in Christ ascended into glory the church possesses in heavenly verity all that the old ritual presented in mere earthly symbol. It was the ruin of the Jewish state and worship which compelled Christianity to find what is offered in our epistle—a theory of the disappearance of the old dispensation in the new.-W. Robertson Smith.
Dogmatic: JESUS BETTER THAN
(a) ANGELS—as son of God : his humanity and career. (6) Moses—as son over Swarning against unbelief,
God's house: the opportunity of rest. (c) THE HIGH-PRIEST--as perfect in his Sympathy: its grounds and character,
a remonstrance and a warning. Priesthood, “after the order of Melchizedek.”
(i.) superiority of new to old covenant, (ii.) superiority of new to old Levitical ministry, (iii.) finality of new covenant and new ministry.
faith1019–1317 Appeal and counsel : need of a historical panegyric upon
mutual care :
a résumé of the old and the new economies : 131-17
a table of duties.
1318-25 Epistolary conclusion.