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speech--but'as to the texture of it, is elegant Greek, as every one will allow, who is able to · judge of the differences of style.' Again, he says, “The sentiments of the epistle are adınirable,
and not inferior to the acknowledged writings of the apostle. This will be assented to by every • one who reads the writings of the apostle with attention. Afterwards, he adds, If I was to
speak my opinion, I should say, that the sentiments are the apostle's, but the language and • composition another's, who committed to writing the apostle's sense, and as it were reduced into commentaries the things spoken by his master.' And what follows.
Eusebius* himself speaking of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, says, ' Paul having • written to the Hebrews in their own language, some think that the evangelist Luke, others, • that this very Clement, translated it into Greek. Which last is the most likely, there being • a great resemblance between the style of the epistle of Clement, and the epistle to the Hebrews. • Nor are the sentiments of those two writings very different. This passage has been already twice quoted by us : once in the chapter of Clement bishop of Rome, and again in that of Eusebius.
Philaster, bishop of Brescia, about 380, as formerly quoted, says, “ There are some, who do not allow the epistle to the Hebrews to be Paul's : but say, it is either an epistle of the apostle • Barnabas, or of Clement bishop of Rome. But some say, it is an epistle of Luke the evangelist,
Moreover, some reject it, as more eloquent than the apostle's other writings.?
Jerom, about 392, in his article of St. Paul in the book of Illustrious Men, as“ before cited also, says, • The epistle, called to the Hebrews, is not thought to be his, because of the difference
of the argument and style : but either Barnabas's, as Tertullian thought, or the evangelist • Luke's, according to some others; or Clement's, bishop of Rome: who, as some think, being * much with him, clothed and adorned Paul's sense in his own language.Moreover he wrote
as a Hebrew to Hebrews in pure Hebrew, it being his own language. Whence it came to pass « that being translated it has more elegance in the Greek, than his other epistles.'
I need not allege here any more testimonies relating to this matter. We sufficiently perceive by what has been said, that many ancient Christians supposed the Greek of this epistle to have a superior elegance to the received epistles of St. Paul. And to some of them the Greek was their native language. And others, as Jerom, though Latins, may be supposed to have been good judges in this matter.
Some learned men of late times, as Grotius and Le Clerc, have thought this to be an insuperable objection. Of this opinion likewise was Jacob Tollius : who in his notes upon Longinus, of the sublime, has celebrated the sublimity of this epistle, and particularly the elegance of the beginning of it. Which alone he thinks sufficient to show, that it is not Paul's. Others allow the fine contexture of the style of this epistle ; but do not see that consequence. These are obliged to account for it: which they do several ways.
Mr. Wetstein, who allows, that the epistle is St. Paul's, and that it was written in Greek, thinks, that & Paul having now lived two years at Rome, may have improved his Greek style. But in answer to that it may be said, that we have several epistles of Paul, written near the end of his imprisonment at Rome, in which we perceive his usual style.
Again, Mr. Wetstein adds, • That this is a learned epistle, and may have been composed • with more care and exactness than letters written to friends, or to churches, whose urgent • necessities obliged him to write in haste. But neither will this, I believe, be sufficient to account for the difference of style in this, and the epistles received as Paul's. For no care and attention will on a sudden enable a man to alter his usual style, in a remarkable manner.
It remains therefore, as seems to me, that if the epistle be Paul's, and was originally written
a H. E. I. 3. cap. 38.
Vol. i. p. 291.
syllabâ post singulas remanente, velut ad subsistendum, dum c Vol. ii. p. 381. d.P. 522.
ita in cælum ad Deum velut gradibus scriptor adscendit. J. . See Vol. i. p. 556.
Tollius ad Longin. de Sublim. sect. 39. not. 22. Ejusmodi σηριγμας, και αναπαυσεις statim in initio elo- f Potuit Paulus aliter scribere, cum esset in Græciâ, aliter quentissimæ, et nescio annon omnem gentilium scriptorum postea, cum in Italiam translatus ex usu frequentiori linguise sublimitatem superantis, certe adæquantis epistolæ ad Hebræos Græcæ, et Hebraïsmos vitare, et facilius scribere didicisset. reperias ; quam vel hoc uno Pauli non esse probaverim. Sed Wetst. N. T. tom. II. p. 385. sunt avaTAUTEIS illæ non deorsum ruentis orationis, verum Potuit hanc epistolam, quæ erudita est, longiori meditatione contra ea in cælum ascendentis smpyuob. Ita vero incipit : elaborasse, cum alias ad familiares amicos, vel ad ecclesias, ubi Πολυμερως, και πολυτροπως, παλαι ο θεος λαλησας τοις πατρα- necessitas urgebat, festinantius effudisset. Ιbid. 51. x. . Ubi tres consequenter sunt positi Pæones quarti cum
in Greek, as we suppose, the apostle must have had some assistance in composing it. So that we are led to the judgment of Origen, which appears to be as ingenious, and probable as any. • The sentiments are the apostle's, but the language and composition of some one else : who committed to writing the apostle's sense, and as it were reduced into commentaries the things spoken by his master.' According to this account, the epistle is St. Paul's, as to the thoughts and matter, but the words are another's. Jerom, as may be remembered, said, · He wrote as a • Hebrew to Hebrews in pure Hebrew, it being his own language. Whence it came to pass, that
being translated, it has more elegance in the Greek, than his other epistles.” My conjecture, which is not very different, if I may be allowed to mention it, is, that St. Paul dictated the epistle in Hebrew, and another, who was a great master of the Greek language, immediately wrote down the apostle's sentiments in his own elegant Greek. But who this assistant of the apostle was, is altogether unknown.
The ancients, beside Paul, have mentioned Barnabas, Luke, and Clement, as writers, or translators of this epistle. But I do not know that there is any remarkable agreement between the style of the epistle to the Hebrews and the style of the epistle commonly ascribed to Barnabas. The style of Clement, in his epistle to the Corinthians, is verbose and prolix. St. Luke 6 may have some words, which are in the epistle to the Hebrews. But that does not make out the same style. This epistle, as Origen said, as to the texture of the style is elegant Greek.' But that kind of texture appears not in Luke, so far as I can perceive. There may be more art and labour in the writings of Luke, than in those of the other evangelists: but not much elegance, that I can discern. This epistle to the Hebrews is bright and elegant from the beginning to the end. And surpasseth as much the style of St. Luke, as it does the style of St. Paul in his acknowledged epistles. In short this is an admirable epistle, but singular in sentiments and language: somewhat different in both respects from all the other writings in the New Testament. And whose is the language, as seems to me, is altogether unknown: whether that of Zenas, or Apollos, or some other of the apostle Paul's assistants, and fellow-labourers.
3. Obj. There still remains one objection more against this epistle being written by St. Paul; which is the want of his name. For to all the thirteen epistles, received as his, he prefixeth his name, and generally calleth himself apostle.
This objection has been obvious in all ages. And the omission has been differently accounted for by the ancients, who received this epistle as a genuine writing of St. Paul.
Clement of Alexandria, in his institutions, as cited by us a formerly from Eusebius, speaks to this purpose, • The epistle to the Hebrews, he says, is Paul's. But he did not make use of that • inscription, “ Paul the apostle.” Of which he assigns this reason. Writing to the Hebrews, "who had conceived a prejudice against him, and were suspicious of him, he wisely declined setting his name at the beginning, lest he should offend them. He also mentions this tradition: forasmuch as the Lord was sent as the apostle of Almighty God to the Hebrews, Paul out of modesty does not style himself the apostle of the Hebrews: both out of respect to the Lord, and that being preacher and apostle of the Gentiles, he over and above wrote to the Hebrews.'
Jerom also speaks to this purpose, • That ° Paul might decline putting his name in the in• scription, on account of the Hebrews being offended with him.' So in the article of St. Paul, in his book of Illustrious Men. In his commentary upon the beginning of the epistle 'to the Galatians, he assigns another reason, that' Paul declined to style himself apostle at the begin.
ning of the epistle to the Hebrews, because he should afterwards call Christ “ the high priest, • and apostle of our profession.” See ch. iii. 1.
Theodoret says, that Paul was especially the apostle of the Gentiles. For which he allegeth, Gal. ii. 9, and Rom. xi. 13. • Therefore ' writing to the Hebrews, who were not entrusted to his • care, he barely delivered the doctrine of the gospel, without assuming any character of • authority. For they were the charge of the other apostles.”
a Clement est diffus, &c. Beaus. Pref. sur l'épître aux * Et in epistolâ ad Hebræos propterea Paulum solità conHébreux, num. vii.
suetudine nec nomen suum, nec Apostoli vocabulum præpo• Lucam autem hujus epistolæ scriptorem ostendunt etiam suisse, quia de Christo erat dicturus : ' Habentes ergo princivocabula et loquendi genera quædam Lucæ velut propria. pem Sacerdotum, et Apostolum confessionis, Jesum;' nec Grot. Præf. in cp. ad Hebr.
fuisse congruum, ut, ubi Christus Apostolus dicendus erat, ibi © Tout le monde reconnoît de l'éloquence et de l'élévation etiam Paulus Apostolus poneretur. In ep. ad Gal. cap. i. dans l'epître aux Hébreux. Beaus. ibid.
T. IV. p. 225. in. d Vol. i. p. 394.
και Εβραιοις δε γραφων, ων εκ ενεχειρισθη την επιμέλειαν, + Vel certe quia Paulus scribebat ad Hebræos, et propter γυμνην των αξιωματων εικοτως την διδασκαλιαν προσηνεγκεν" * invidiam sui apud eos nominis titulum in principio salutationis υπο γαρ την των αλλων αποσολων προμηθειαν ετελέν. Τheod. amputaverat. De V. I. cap. v.
in Hebr. T. III. p. 392.
I need not quote any others; which would be only a repetition of the same, or like reasons.
All these reasons may not be reckoned equally good. And, perhaps, none of them arc sufficient and adequate to the purpose. But though we should not be able to assign a good reason, why Paul omitted his name; the epistle, nevertheless, may be his. For there may leave been a good reason for it, though we are not able to find it out. It is the work of a masterly hand, who for some reason omitted his name. Paul might have a reason for such silence, as well as another,
Lightfoot says, • Paul's not affixing his name to this, as he had done to his other epistles, • does no more deny it to be his, than the first epistle of John is denied to be John's upon that . account.'
Tillemont says, · Possibly · Paul considered it as a book, rather than a letter : since he • makes an excuse for its brevity, ch. xiii. 22. For indeed it is short for a book, but long for a • letter.' The same thought is in Estius. This may induce us to recollect an observation of Chrysostom to the like purpose, formerly · taken notice of.
It is, I think, observable, that there is not at the beginning of this epistle any salutation. As there is no name of the writer, so neither is there any description of the people, to whom it is sent. It appears from the conclusion, that it was sent to some people in a certain place. And, undoubtedly, they to whom it was sent, and by whom it was received, knew very well, from whom it came. Nevertheless there might be reasons for omitting an inscription, and a salutation at the beginning. This might arise from the circumstances of things. There might be danger of offence in sending at that time a long letter to Jews in Judea. And this omission might be in part owing to a-regard for the bearer, who too is not named. The only person named throughout the epistle is Timothy. Nor was he at that time present with the writer.
Indeed I imagine, that the two great objections against this being a genuine epistle of the apostle : the elegance of the style, and the want of a name and inscription, are both owing to some particular circumstances of the writer, and the people to whom it was sent.
The people, to whom it was sent, are plainly Jews in Judea ; and the writer, very probably, is Paul. Whose circumstances at the breaking up of his confinement at Rome, and his setting out upon a new journey, might be attended with some peculiar embarassments; which obliged him to act differently from his usual method.
IV. Thus we are brought to the fourth and last part of our inquiry concerning this epistle, the time and place of writing it. Mill was of opinion, that' this epistle was written by Paul in the year 63, in some part of Italy, soon after he had been released from his imprisonment at Rome. Mr. Wetstein : appears to have been of the same opinion. Tillemont · likewise placeth this epistle in the year 63, immediately after the apostle's being set at liberty; who, as he says, was still at Rome, or at least in Italy. Basnage' speaks of this epistle at the year 61, and supposeth it to be written during the apostle's imprisonment. For he afterwards speaks of the epistle to the Ephesians, and says, it * was the last letter, which the apostle wrote during the time of his bonds. Lenfant and Beausobre, in their general preface to St. Paul's epistles, observe, that ' in the subscription at the end of the epistle it is said to have been written from Italy. The
only ground of which, as they add, is what is said, ch. xiii. 24. They of Italy salute you." * This has made some think, that the apostle wrote to the Hebrews, after he had been set at • liberty, and when he was got into that part of Italy, which borders upon Sicily, and in ancient times was called Italy. Nevertheless, there is reason to doubt of this. When he requests the ' prayers of the Hebrews, that “ he might be restored to them the sooner," he intimates, that • he was not yet set at liberty. Accordingly, they place this epistle in the year 62.
• Verum est, Paulum omnibas aliis epistolis, si hanc exci- scripsi vobis.' Quod de epistolâ non erat dicturus, cum sit pias, et nomen suum præposuisse, et titulos addidisse, quibus epistola prolixa. Est. de Auct. Ep. ad Hebr. p. 893. sibi auctoritatem conciliaret. Nec tamen inde consequitur, e See Vol. ij. p. 604. hanc, de quâ agimus, Pauli non esse. Aut enim dicendum Interea, mox ut e carcere evasit Apostolus, recessit in alerit, nullius esse, quia nomen nullum præfixum est : aut si teriorem aliquam Italiæ partem, ibique scripsit epistolam ad alius quis contra morem receptum nomen suum reticere Hebræos. Proleg. num. 83.. potuit, idem æquo jure etiam Paulo licuit. Wetst. N. T. 8 Wetst. N. T. tom. II. p. 387. in, tom. II. p. 384. med.
n S. Paul, art. 46. See his Works. vol. I. p. 339:
i Ann. 61. num. ii.-vi. S. Paul. art. 46. Mem. T. I.
* Epistolarum omnium, quas primis in vinculis exaravit • Sed post hæc omnia, an vera ratio omissæ salutationis est, Apostolus, ea, quæ ad Ephesios, ultima esse videtur. Ibid. quod hæc epistola scripta est per modum libri, non per
num. vii. modum epistolæ ? Unde in fine dicit: Etenim perpaucis " Préf. gén. sur les épîtres de S. Paul. num. lii.
There is not any great difference in any of these opinions concerning the time, or place of this epistle : all supposing, that it was written by the apostle, either at Rome, or in Italy, near the end of his imprisonment at Rome, or soon after it was over, before he removed to any other country.
I cannot perceive, why it may not be allowed to have been written at Rome. St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians was written at Ephesus. Nevertheless he says, ch. xvi. 19. “ The churches of Asia salute you.” So now he might send salutations from the Christians of Italy, not excluding, but including those at Rome, together with the rest throughout that country.
The argument of Lenfant and Beausobre, that Paul was not yet set at liberty, because he requested the prayers of the “ Hebrews, that he might be restored to them the sooner,” appears . not to me of any weight. Though Paul was no longer a prisoner, he might request the prayers of those to whom he was writing, that he might have a prosperous journey to them, whom he was desirous to visit, and that all impediments of his intended journey might be removed. And many such there might be, though he was no longer under confinement. Paul was not a prisoner when he wrote the epistle to the Romans. Yet he was very fervent in his prayers to God, that he might have a prosperous journey, and come to them, ch. i. 10,
For determining the time of this epistle, it may be observed, that when the apostle wrote the epistles to the Philippians, the Colossians, and Philemon, he had hopes of deliverance. At the writing of all those epistles, Timothy was present with him. But now he was absent, as plainly appears from ch. xii. 23.
This leads us to think that this epistle was written after them. And. it is not unlikely, that the apostle had now obtained that liberty, which he expected when they were written.
Moreover in the epistle to the Philippians he speaks of sending Timothy to them, ch. ii. 19—23. “ But I trust in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.” Timothy therefore, if sent, was to come back to the apostle. “ Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me." It is probable that Timothy did go to the Philippians soon after writing the abovementioned epistles, the apostle having gained good assurance of being quite released from his confinement. And this epistle to the Hebrews was written during the time of that absence. For it is said, Heb. xiii. 23. “ Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty. With whom,, if he come shortly, I will see you.Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty:" or has been sent abroad.” The word · is capable of that meaning. And it is a better and more likely meaning, because it suits the coherence. And I suppose that Timothy did soon come to the apostle, and that they both sailed to Judea, and after that went to Ephesus; where Timothy was left to reside with his peculiar charge.
Thus this epistle was written at Rome, or in Italy, soon after that Paul had been released from his confinement at Rome, in the beginning of the year 63.
And I suppose it to be the last written of all St. Paul's epistles, which have come down to us, or that we have any knowledge of.
Who was the bearer of it, is not known. At the end of the epistle, in some manuscripts, is a subscription to this purpose: that it was carried from Italy by Timothy. But that subscription is esteemed of no authority by all learned men in general, Beza in particular. I put below part of what he says. It is inconsistent with what is said of Timothy, ch. xiii. *23. Timothy was to accompany the writer: the epistle was sent before.
* Et quidem paullo post missas hasce [' ad Philippenses'] ” Puto igitur hanc subscriptionem non satis considerate adliteras, libertatem adeptus, Timotheum in Macedoniam misit, scriptam fuisse a quopiam, qui occasionem ex eo arripuerit, uti liquet ex Hebr. xiii. 23. - Neque enim verbis istis sig- quod Timothei et Italorum mentio facta fuerat. Nam etiani: nificatum vult Apostolus, Timotheum tum temporis, secum et in Claromontano codice, et in Syrå interpretatione non unà vinculis liberatum fuisse, sed a se ob certa negotia fuisse exstat. Bez, ad cap. xiii. in fin. dimissum. Mill, Proleg. num. 68..
That the Epistle inscribed to the Ephesians was written to them.
The epistle to the Ephesians is one of the acknowledged epistles of St. Paul. There never was
Christians, who was the writer. But there has been, especially of late, a dispute concerning the persons to whom it was sent: some thinking that the common inscription is false, and that this is either a general epistle, or that it was sent to the Laodiceans. Of this opinion is · Mill in his Prolegomena to the New Testament, who has had many followers. Some of whom must be here mentioned by me. Mr. James Pierce, who likewise speaks of Mr. Whiston as of the same opinion. The author of a Latin letter, or dissertation in the third volume of Mr. La Roche's Literary Journal, published in the year 1731. That letter is anony
But the writer is Artémonius, otherwise Samuel Crellius, author of Initium Evangelii S. Joannis Apostoli restitutum. This I was assured of by Mr. La Roche, the editor. W. Wall in his Critical Notes upon the New Testament. Dr. Benson. The author of a letter at the end of the second volume of Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the Christian Religion. Which learned author has also since published a postscript to that letter, which is at the end of the third volume of the same work of Dr. Benson. The unknown author of an edition of the New Testament, in Greek and English, in two volumes octavo, published at London in 1729. Campegius Vitringa, the son, professor of divinity in the university of Franequer, wrote a dissertation on the same side of the question; and not having therein finished his design, his successor, Mr. Venema, added another dissertation, both together making more than one hundred and thirty pages in quarto. Lastly, Mr. J. J. Wetstein in his notes upon the beginning of this epistle. Who also has put a mark under the text, shewing Laodicea to be, in his opinion, the right reading, instead of Ephesus. I here mention no more. But perhaps some others may be taken notice of hereafter.
The common reading however has been defended by f several. I mention two authors of great note. One is Le Clerc, 8 in his Ecclesiastical History, whose words I have placed below. He had seen Mill's argument, and slighted it. He thought that few would be moved it.
a Quidni igitur scripta fuerit ad Laodicenses? Proleg. destinatam, adeoque pro encyclicâ habendam putat, examinanum. 74. vid. ib. num. 71–79. et num. 237.
tur, ac rejicitur. Bibliotheca. Hist. Phil. Theolog, Classis b) See an advertisement at the end of his paraphrase upon quintæ Fasc. tertius. p. 533, 534. Bremæ 1721. the Ep. to the Philippians, p. 114, &c.
8 Postea scripsit epistolam ad Ephesios, quam viri quidam c See La Roche's Literary Journal for April, May, and docti (Joan. Millius, in Prolegom. ad N. T. cujus conjectura June, 1731. vol. III. p. 163–153. Et Conf. Artemonii paucis
, credo, probabitur :) suspicantur ad Laodicenos datam, Initium Evangel. S. Joan. restitutum. p. 212. edit. Londini. sed sine ullo sat firmo argumento. Volunt quidem in hac 1726.
epistolâ quædam esse, quæ Ephesiis non conveniunt, ut cum d See Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the cap. i. 15. Paulus se 'audisse fidem et caritatem' Ephesiorum Christian Religion, Vol. II. p. 270-276. tirst. ed. p. 290—297. ait, quas ipse per se nôrat, non ex auditu. Sed nihil vetat, 2d. ed.
quin Romæ audiverit, Ephesios constanter eas virtutes coluisse, e Dissertat. de genuino titulo epistolæ D. Pauli, quæ vulgo ex quo ipse eos viderat, eoque in hisce verbis respexerit. Siinscribitur ad Ephesios. Ap. Campeg. Vitring. Fil. Diss. Sacr. militer, et quæ habet cap. iii. 2. 'Si tamen audîstis dispenFranequeræ. 1731. p. 247–379.
sationem gratiæ Dei, quæ data est mihi in vobis,' in Ephesios i Vid. J. C. Wolf. Curæ in N. T. tom. IV. p. 1–13. I optime quadrant, si ita intelligantur, ut si, Græce, ai ye non may be allowed likewise to take notice of a Commentary sit dubitantis, sed adfirmantis, et significet quandoquidem,' upon the epistle to the Ephesians, publisbed in the Dutch ut cap. iv. 21, et alibi. Ejusdem cap. iii. 4. ait Paulus posse language, by Peter Dinant, a learned minister at Rotterdam, eos, ad quos scribit, • legentes intelligere prudentiam ejus in in the year 1721. _Of which an honourable account is given mysterio Christi, quam non tam lectione eorum, quæ in hac in the Bibliotheca Bremensis, where we are assured: Ampla epistolâ antecesserunt, quam ex præsentis sermonibus inteloperi præmisit Prolegomena, in quibus primo loco Apostolum lexerant Ephesii. Sed nihil nos cogit eu confugere. Nam Paulum vere epistolæ ad Ephesios scriptorem esse demonstrat. reverâ poterat hoc intelligi, vel ex iis quæ superioribus capiti-Agit deinde de Epheso, ejusque, cum Apostolus hanc bus leguntur. Alia argumenta, leviora multo, et omnium epistolam conscriberet, statu: de Dianæ cultu.
Christianorum consensui opposita, non adtingam. Quare an futat Grotium, qui Marcionem secutus non ad Ephesios, sed ad Ephesios scripta sit hæc epistola, nihil est cur dubitemus. Laodicenses, scriptam hanc epistolam credidit. Sententia quo- Cleric. H. E. Ann. 62, num. viii. que Usserii, qui non ad solos Ephesios, sed plures ecclesias