Checking Facts and the Authorship of Hebrews

Checking Facts and the Authorship of Hebrews

Dave Black just posted a note on the authorship of Hebrews which brings up an important point: Fact checking. This comes up all over the place these days. It’s so easy to just quote something you’ve heard or to reference a secondary source when a primary source is available. As an editor I’m reminded of this constantly when I look up quotes in books or check references. Sometimes one must cite a secondary source, but most commonly one can find a way to access the information directly.

So assuming you read Dave’s post (which I copied to our Topical Line Drives site so we’d have a permanent link), did you follow his advice: “Look up these verses for yourself if you like”?

I remain unconvinced that Paul wrote Hebrews, and I actually find the issue less critical than others do. I think one can look at the book itself and figure back to the issues that were important to the author. It’s nice to know authorship, but when it’s uncertain, I dislike making conclusions that depend on a specific answer to a complicated question. I’ve switched from the “anyone but Paul” school to the “uncertain authorship, but Paul is possible” option after reading (and publishing) Dave’s book.

But that conclusion is less important than the broader one: Do you get as close to the source as you can in checking facts?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.