Sunday, December 1, 2013

"A Milestone in Contemporary Hebrews Research"

In his recent book from the Topical Line Drives series, The Authorship of Hebrews: The Case for Paul, David Alan Black makes a reference to fellow Bring the Books blogger Josh Walker's work with Andrew Pitts regarding Pauline authorship of Hebrews. Here is what Black has to say from the book's introduction:
[A] recent study by Andrew W. Pitts and Joshua F. Walker has challenged the consensus opinio by reexamining the raw data, drawing heavily from my previously published work on the subject. Their essay is entitled "The Authorship of Hebrews: A Further Development in the Luke-Paul Relationship." In it they conclude that Hebrews is "Pauline" in a very real sense, in that Luke took a discourse given by Paul in a diaspora synagogue and subsequently published it as a written text. They write, "Although Hebrews has been handed down to us without an author, we have argued that both external and internal considerations suggest that Hebrews constitutes Pauline speech material, recorded and later published by Luke, Paul's traveling companion." In my view, this essay marks a milestone in contemporary Hebrews research. Few have attempted this kind of close scrutiny of the text because it necessitates a highly critical stance toward recent tradition, in this case at least a century of tradition that has rejected the Paulinity of Hebrews. I am grateful for essays like this one. They ask us to "revision" the text in ways that are perhaps more faithful to the evidence, both external and internal. Revisioning is a difficult process. It is difficult because it is hard for us to look past our own traditional blinders in the light of serious exegesis. It can create dissonance between ourselves and our theological heritage. It is fraught with problems and challenges. Yet the rewards can be remarkably satisfying.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to brag on the work of my friend Josh Walker, as well to draw attention to Black's book. You can find Black's book The Authorship of Hebrews: The Case for Paul by clicking here (it is quite affordable!). You can also find the book containing Walker and Pitts' chapter on Amazon by clicking here (it is quite unaffordable - but still worth it).

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