Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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DCHindley
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Re: 'Hebrews' ie. the Epistle to the Hebrews

Post by DCHindley »

Thank you, Mr MacSon!

I'll have to review that ... :notworthy:

DCH
MrMacSon wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:45 am I went thru Hebrews in a series of posts three years ago

Starting here viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7585 ... but perhaps see / start at this post viewtopic.php?p=117106#p117106 and following ie. the rest of my posts on that page (page 3)

(so much of Hebrews is exegesis / new midrashim based on the Hebrew Bible and Tanakh)

Then the start of page 8: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7585&start=70

And page 9 viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7585&start=80 which includes
MrMacSon wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:39 am
Excerpts from David Runia's 1993 book, Philo in Early Christian Literature.

.
Chapter Four

Philo and the New Testament

... 3. The Epistle to the Hebrews

The New Testament book that shows the most affinity to Philonic thought is unquestionably the Epistle to the Hebrews ...

Hurst (1990) concludes that there seems to be a special affinity between Hebrews and the kind of OT exegesis found in Acts 7 (this again seems to have some affinities with what we find in Philo...).

< omitted here ie. omitted from this quote of 22/01/2024 >

Examination of the evidence has shown that the author of the Hebrews and Philo come from the same milieu; in a closer sense than in the case of Paul. I would not be at all surprised if that the author of Hebrews had had some form of direct contact with Judaism as it had developed in Philo’s Alexandria. Linguistic, hermeneutical and thematic correspondences are impressive. But the thought-worlds are markedly different. The antitheses ontological versus eschatological dualism and allegory versus typology sum up much of the difference. But the crucial point of divergence, as Weiss points out, lies in the area of Christology. It is the Hebrews author’s recognition of the Christ and his self-sacrifice which furnishes the dynamics that inform his eschatology, typology and soteriology, impelling them in a direction away from the Philonic heritage (in the broad sense) with which he must have been familiar.
.

In an introductory section in that same chapter, Runia wrote about the views about the different forms of Judaism

.
Chadwick, in [a 1966] article on Philo and Paul, to make the following bold claim:
... I believe the theology of the hellenistic synagogue, as recorded in long printed and familiar texts of Greek speaking Judaism, still throws more light on the world of St. Paul, St. John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, than any other single non-Christian source. There is nothing surprising in this conclusion. We cannot take too seriously the basic fact that the New Testament is entirely in Greek. It is orientated toward the non-Palestinian world. It would be very strange if its principal theologians did not disclose substantial parallels with the writings of Philo, Josephus, and the author of the Wisdom of Solomon . . . To me, at least, it seems clear that of all the non-Christian writers of the first century AD Philo is the one from whom the historian of emergent Christianity had most to learn ...
This statement makes us want to know more about the face of Judaism in the time of Philo. Is it legitimate to make such a clear-cut distinction between the Hellenistic synagogue which conducted its affairs in Greek and the Hebrew-Aramaic world of Palestinian Judaism?
.

And note the next and last post in that series:
MrMacSon wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 1:08 am Eric F Mason You Are a Priest Forever': Second Temple Jewish Messianism and the Priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews
  • The present study reevaluates the priestly Christology of Hebrews and the presentations of the messianic priest and Melchizedek in the Qumran texts, arguing that the latter [ie. Qumran texts]...provide the closest parallels to Hebrews' thought.


Eric Mason argues that the conceptual background of the priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews closely parallels presentations of the messianic priest and Melchizedek in the Qumran scrolls. In both Hebrews and Qumran a priestly figure is discussed in the context of a Davidic figure; in both cases a divine decree appoints the priests to their eschatological duty; both priestly figures offer an eschatological sacrifice of atonement. Although the author of Hebrews was not directly influenced by Qumran's "Messiah of Aaron", these and other conceptions did provide "a precedent...to conceive Jesus similarly as a priest making atonement and eternal intercession in the heavenly sanctuary" [p.199].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to ... omposition

Mason, You Are a Priest Forever, pp. 33–34:


In Heb 7:4-10 the author develops his assertion that Melchizedek's priesthood is greater than that of the Levitical priests Obviously the major concern here is to demonstrate the superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood over that of the Levites, the traditional Jewish priestly tribe. The author's primary critique of the Levitical priesthood is asserted in Heb 7:11 — it and the Law under which it served could not bring perfection. Thus a new priesthood and a corresponding new law are necessary (7:12). Jesus, as a descendant of Judah, does not fit the proper priestly paradigm of Levitical descent (7:14). Instead, he resembles Melchizedek, who has a priesthood which is not based on genealogy or a legal requirement but rather "through the power of an indestructible life" (7:16).1

  1. Perhaps the interruption to Jesus's "indestructible life" - the crucifixion - came later (?)
Hebrews 7:16 in context:


14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

... “You are a priest forever,
...... in the order of Melchizedek” .. [Psalm 110.4(b)]

.....

21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

... “The Lord has sworn
...... and will not change his mind:
...... ‘You are a priest forever’.” .. [also Psalm 110.4(a)]

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

lsayre
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

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How early is the first reliably dated independent attestation (commentary or other) for the book of Hebrews?
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Post by ebion »

lsayre wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:50 am How early is the first reliably dated independent attestation (commentary or other) for the book of Hebrews?
i'd like to know that too. All we can say so far is that Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is NotFaul.
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DCHindley
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Post by DCHindley »

Just check D Trobisch's book Paul's Letter Collection,

I recall a section about Hebrews and when, and in what mss, order of the books, it made its appearance.

DCH
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Post by Vanished »

lsayre wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:50 am How early is the first reliably dated independent attestation (commentary or other) for the book of Hebrews?
From what I gather, the earliest reference would be its interpolation in 1 Clement. I can't seem to find any commentary or other works that reference it prior to that book, but I'll keep looking.
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

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DCHindley wrote: Sat Jan 27, 2024 9:00 am Just check D Trobisch's book Paul's Letter Collection,

I recall a section about Hebrews and when, and in what mss, order of the books, it made its appearance.

DCH
That work (a nice read I didn't know of - thanks for the recommendation!) only covers 8 manuscripts, 7 of which Hebrews makes an appearance in. The oldest of these is p46, dated to 175-225 CE, which is a minimum of 35 years later than 1 Clement and potentially up to 165 years (depending on which date is used for either document).
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

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Vanished wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 4:39 pm
DCHindley wrote: Sat Jan 27, 2024 9:00 am Just check D Trobisch's book Paul's Letter Collection,

I recall a section about Hebrews and when, and in what mss, order of the books, it made its appearance.

DCH
That work (a nice read I didn't know of - thanks for the recommendation!) only covers 8 manuscripts, 7 of which Hebrews makes an appearance in. The oldest of these is p46, dated to 175-225 CE, which is a minimum of 35 years later than 1 Clement and potentially up to 165 years (depending on which date is used for either document).
Most to Trobisch's work is in German (his native tongue) and this is very intensive in its comparison of "p" manuscripts. I do not read German, unfortunately, and David seems to hold non German speakers to be hopelessly uninformed. I think he is correct about mss groupings, though, reflecting several earlier collections. I was sure he spoke of Hebrews' location within these mss a little more thoroughly than you suggested. There have been a number of posts here on BC&H on the subject of Trobisch and the back history of the Pauline corpus, by Ben, myself and others.

DCH
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Post by DCHindley »

Vanished wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 4:39 pm
DCHindley wrote: Sat Jan 27, 2024 9:00 am Just check D Trobisch's book Paul's Letter Collection,

I recall a section about Hebrews and when, and in what mss, order of the books, it made its appearance.

DCH
That work (a nice read I didn't know of - thanks for the recommendation!) only covers 8 manuscripts, 7 of which Hebrews makes an appearance in. The oldest of these is p46, dated to 175-225 CE, which is a minimum of 35 years later than 1 Clement and potentially up to 165 years (depending on which date is used for either document).
Most to Trobisch's work is in German (his native tongue) and this is very intensive in its comparison of "p" manuscripts. I do not read German, unfortunately, and David seems to hold non German speakers to be hopelessly uninformed. I think he is correct about mss groupings, though, reflecting several earlier collections. I was sure he spoke of Hebrews' location within these mss a little more thoroughly than you suggested. There have been a number of posts here on BC&H on the subject of Trobisch and the back history of the Pauline corpus, by Ben, myself and others.

Here was my summary in 2018:
DCHindley wrote: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:41 pm... In reality, Hebrews, when present in a ms of the "p" group (not always, and only later), is fit into the other letters in a wide variety of places.

Category
Total
Percent
e
a
p
r
e 2,123 67.2% 2,123 0 0 0
ap* 273 8.6% 0 273 273 0
p 222 7.0% 0 0 222 0
eap** 150 4.7% 150 150 150 0
r 130 4.1% 0 0 0 130
a 87 2.8% 0 87 0 0
apr 76 2.4% 0 76 76 76
eapr 59 1.9% 59 59 59 59
ea 11 0.3% 11 11 0 0
er 11 0.3% 11 0 0 11
pr 6 0.2% 0 0 6 6
ep 5 0.2% 5 0 5 0
ar 3 0.1% 0 3 0 3
ear 2 0.1% 2 2 0 2
Total 3,158 100.0% 2,361 661 791 287
TNT (p83) 2,361 662 792 287
Variance* 0 1 1 0
74.76% 20.96% 25.08% 9.09%

* variance probably should be added to category "ap"
** not in Trobisch's table. Number derived from TNT

e = Gospels (usually in order Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn)
a = Acts and General Epistles
p = Letters of Paul (Hebrews usually between 2 Thess & 1 Tim)
r = Revelation

Per Trobisch, Hebrews is usually sandwiched between the second group of letters to churches and the letters to individuals, but this is not the only place it is found. I suppose the idea was that "Hebrews" (as a people) constituted a kind of church.

I also just remembered that this table (I put it together from both Trobish's book & Aland's Text of the NT) shows that the vast majority (about 75%) of Christian mss contain Gospels, and only about 25% contain letters of Paul.
Hebrews was likely added to the corpus late, in varying positions, sort of like the Pericicope about the Adulterous Woman is in the Gospels.

DCH
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

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FWIW, here is how Trobisch sorted things out:

The NT Pauline corpus is comprised of:
1) a self-edited set of 4 instructional letters (some may be composite made from further letters, and thus redacted) addressed to communities (Romans, 1&2 Cor & Galatians);
2) a smaller collection of 5 letters addressed to communities (Eph, Phil, Col, 1& 2 Thes), which was appended to #1 at the end; and
3) a collection of 4 personal letters to individuals (1&2 Timothy, Titus, Phlm) is appended after the combined #1 & #2.

I think this outline is essentially correct. Folks had been collecting Pauline letters of various kinds for a while before they were collected and republished in the NT as we now know it, as mss set "e."

DCH
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Re: Making sense of the Pauline Epistles

Post by Vanished »

DCHindley wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 7:33 pm
Vanished wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 4:39 pm
DCHindley wrote: Sat Jan 27, 2024 9:00 am Just check D Trobisch's book Paul's Letter Collection,

I recall a section about Hebrews and when, and in what mss, order of the books, it made its appearance.

DCH
That work (a nice read I didn't know of - thanks for the recommendation!) only covers 8 manuscripts, 7 of which Hebrews makes an appearance in. The oldest of these is p46, dated to 175-225 CE, which is a minimum of 35 years later than 1 Clement and potentially up to 165 years (depending on which date is used for either document).
Most to Trobisch's work is in German (his native tongue) and this is very intensive in its comparison of "p" manuscripts. I do not read German, unfortunately, and David seems to hold non German speakers to be hopelessly uninformed. I think he is correct about mss groupings, though, reflecting several earlier collections. I was sure he spoke of Hebrews' location within these mss a little more thoroughly than you suggested. There have been a number of posts here on BC&H on the subject of Trobisch and the back history of the Pauline corpus, by Ben, myself and others.

Here was my summary in 2018:
DCHindley wrote: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:41 pm... In reality, Hebrews, when present in a ms of the "p" group (not always, and only later), is fit into the other letters in a wide variety of places.

Category
Total
Percent
e
a
p
r
e 2,123 67.2% 2,123 0 0 0
ap* 273 8.6% 0 273 273 0
p 222 7.0% 0 0 222 0
eap** 150 4.7% 150 150 150 0
r 130 4.1% 0 0 0 130
a 87 2.8% 0 87 0 0
apr 76 2.4% 0 76 76 76
eapr 59 1.9% 59 59 59 59
ea 11 0.3% 11 11 0 0
er 11 0.3% 11 0 0 11
pr 6 0.2% 0 0 6 6
ep 5 0.2% 5 0 5 0
ar 3 0.1% 0 3 0 3
ear 2 0.1% 2 2 0 2
Total 3,158 100.0% 2,361 661 791 287
TNT (p83) 2,361 662 792 287
Variance* 0 1 1 0
74.76% 20.96% 25.08% 9.09%

* variance probably should be added to category "ap"
** not in Trobisch's table. Number derived from TNT

e = Gospels (usually in order Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn)
a = Acts and General Epistles
p = Letters of Paul (Hebrews usually between 2 Thess & 1 Tim)
r = Revelation

Per Trobisch, Hebrews is usually sandwiched between the second group of letters to churches and the letters to individuals, but this is not the only place it is found. I suppose the idea was that "Hebrews" (as a people) constituted a kind of church.

I also just remembered that this table (I put it together from both Trobish's book & Aland's Text of the NT) shows that the vast majority (about 75%) of Christian mss contain Gospels, and only about 25% contain letters of Paul.
Hebrews was likely added to the corpus late, in varying positions, sort of like the Pericicope about the Adulterous Woman is in the Gospels.

DCH
Oh, of course - Trobisch covered Hebrews extensively in what he wrote, but as far as the earliest reliably-dated attestation of Hebrews, that would be p46 which is dated later than 1 Clement. I do agree based on the evidence he presented there that it was added to the corpus late, however, and that may well be the first time it appears in a Christian canon/codex.

My personal theory, from what I've researched thus far, is that Hebrews was likely written by someone in the same circles as Paul - my current candidate is Clement himself - who would've travelled alongside Timothy, around 80-90 CE. Clement would then use it to write 1 Clement around 95 CE. While he would've written Hebrews around 80-90 CE, I think it may not have made it into wide circulation until after his death - perhaps not with his permission - and its authorship was unknown as a result, and Pauline authorship was assigned decades later to work it into the Pauline corpus. I'm still working on gathering all the evidence and sources I would need to properly argue this point though, and Hebrews isn't my main focus at the moment, as I'm currently concerned with the authorship of the Pastoral epistles.
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