The Biblical Illustrator, or Anecdotes, Similes, Emblems, Illustrations, Vol. 1: Expository, Scientific, Georgraphical, Historical, and Homiletic, ... on the Verses of the Bible: Hebrews.
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Publisher: Forgotten Books (18 Oct. 2016)
By: Joseph S. Exell (Author)
That the Epistle was counted spurious by many, but thought it might perhaps be a translation from an Aramaic original. Even in the Eastern Church it did not meet with unhesitating acceptance as a work of St. Paul. A Jewish rule, which has found unconscious acceptance in all ages, says that Custom is Law. But if the Epistle to the Hebrews owes its recognition among the Epistles of St. Paul far more to an unthinking custom than to careful argument, how is it that such a custom arose? The answer is simple. It arose mainly in the Eastern Church from the initiative of Pantaenus, and it was only accepted in the Western Church, after considerable hesitation, by the force of example. In both Churches it origi usted, not from trustworthy tradition, but from the superficial acceptance of prima facie phenomena. The general theology of the Epistle was Pauline, and the finer differences escaped notice. Many characteristic phrases coincided with those in St. Paul's Epistles, and were current in his school of thought. The allusions at the close of the Epistle led to the careless assumption that they were penned by St. Paul. The observation of similarities in easy to any one: the detection of differences, which, however deep, are yet to some extent latent, is only perceptible to students who do not rely upon authority and tradition except so far as they are elements in the sacred search for truth. Nothing can more decisively prove the incompetence of a mechanical consensus than the fact that millions of readers have failed to perceive, even in the original, the dissimilarity of style, of method, and of theologic thought, which proves that the same pen could not have written, nor the same mind have originated, the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Epistles of St. Paul. Luther showed his usual insight and robust sense when he saw that Heb. Ii. 3 could not have been written by the author of Gal. I. 1, 12. Again, though the.
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