Pauline Authorship Of The Epistle To The Hebrews. -- By: George W. Gilmore

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 047:185 (Jan 1890)
Article: Pauline Authorship Of The Epistle To The Hebrews.
Author: George W. Gilmore


Pauline Authorship Of The Epistle To The Hebrews.

Rev. George W. Gilmore

The writer of this article has lately been engaged in a study of the “hypothetical period “of the New Testament. In the course of his investigations excursions into fields other than the one immediately under study were suggested. One inquiry thus opened was, What light would be afforded on the question of the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews by a comparison of the conditional sentence as found therein and in some writing generally conceded to be by St. Paul? This might prove somewhat new, as not a great deal of stress has been laid on a purely grammatical argument. Of course the results would not be decisive. But if they proved to be in the direction indicated by other arguments, the evidence would be cumulative, and thus contribute something towards a final settlement; while if opposed, some reason why usage should differ might be found, or else the indication would be that conclusions already reached might have to be modified. It was gratifying to find that though the differences were not always great, yet all pointed in one direction, and that one corroborative of the general consensus against Pauline authorship.

It is, of course, understood that the argument based on this study is purely grammatical, and entirely distinct from the lexical argument usually employed in the discussion of this question. It depends on the forms of sentences, not on the words employed.

Seven forms of conditions are found, temporal conditions and indefinite relatives with ἀν in the protasis being considered apart from the “vivid future” and “present general” conditions, for greater clearness, although they can be classed under those forms. The book chosen for comparison was the Epistle to the Romans, because the character of the contents more nearly coincides with that of the Epistle to the Hebrews, while the extent of the text is not much greater. The text used was that of Westcott and Hort, in which Romans occupies about twenty-six pages, and Hebrews twenty-one.

Professor Goodwin’s classification of the hypothetical period, and, in the main, his terminology, will be used.

Of temporal conditions having ἄν joined to some temporal particle (ὅτε, ἕως, etc.) and the subjunctive mood in the protasis, there were found in Romans three, one of which is a quotation—and therefore not to be taken into account; while in Hebrews only two were noted, of which one was a quotation. The ratio of occurrence in Romans, then, is one to every thirteen pages; in Hebr...

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