Commentaries | Hebrews | Series: Cambridge Greek New Testament

Cambridge Greek Testament: Hebrews by Alexander Nairne

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

A commentary on the Greek text of Hebrews in the Cambridge New Testament for Schools and Colleges series by Alexander Nairne. It is worth oting that the author devotes a considerable space in the introduction to the theology of Hebrews.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922. Hbk. pp.141. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. Plan and analysis of the epistle
    2. History of the reception, criticism and interpretation of the epistle
    3. The theology of the epistle
    4. The text of the epistle
    5. The style of the epistle
  • The Greek Text
  • Notes
  • Index of Contents

Disussion of authorship

That no doubt had already struck Luther when he conjectured Apollos as the author. Possibly Luther, and the modems who have accepted his conjecture, read more into the few lines in which .Apollos is described (Acts xviii. 24 f.) than is really to be found there. The conjecture is not supported by tradition. Harnack’s idea that Priscilla was the authoress is a development from Luther’s inference. Blass in the short preface to his rythmical text pays no attention to the philosophical colouring, and accepts the Barnabas tradition, because Barnabas as a Levite would have been familiar with the cadences of the Greek Psalter. Barnabas is the only name which can be connected with anything like a. real tradition. Scholarship is more respectful to tradition of late. It is felt that there are few fresh starts in thought; tradition generally lies behind, and what seems to be tradition is at least to be respectfully examined. That is the spirit of a book which has not yet been so carefully criticised as it deserves. Mr Edmundson thinks Hebrews was written to Judaeo-Christians in Rome by Barnabas in 66 A.D. S. Paul was still living; had been released from his captivity; and at the close of the same year was himself in Rome, again in prison and soon to die. I Peter had been already written and is quoted in Hebrews. The Apocalypse was written three years later, at the beginning of A.D. 70. Early in the same year, A.D. 70, Clement, a younger brother of M. Arrecinus Clemens and the same Clement as is named in Phil. iv., gave literary expression to the message from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth ; he was not yet the official head of the Roman Church. That is a consistent view of our epistle and the other epistles that are related to it. Without necessarily adopting the whole of it, we may at least welcome the support Mr Edmundson gives to the early date of Hebrews. That judgement is hardly fashionable at present, but, as will presently be shown, it does fit many important characteristics of the epistle.

As for the author’s name, that search may as well be given up. The Barnabas tradition only emerges for a moment or two and is lost in darkness on either side. The other names proposed, Luke, Clement, Apollos, Silas, Philip the deacon, Aristion – one writer has even suggested S. Peter – are mere conjectures; some of which are surely impossible. That there should be one letter in the New Testament which was not written by any person who happens to be mentioned in the other books, is quite in accordance with the analogies of literary history. It may be added, though not as an argument, that our interest in the apostolic Church and our reverence for its rich inspiration would be increased hereby. The character, education and to a large extent the circumstances of the author may be gathered from the letter itself. The mere precision of a name would not illuminate the background very much….

Pages iv-lvii

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