Hebrews and the Pauline Tradition

  Sponsors: Madison Pierce and Bryan Dyer

For much of Christian history the Epistle to the Hebrews was understood as a Pauline letter. Today the overwhelming scholarly consensus is that Paul is not the author of Hebrews. Still the connection to Paul is difficult for Hebrews to shake. Even if Paul did not write Hebrews, there is some connection—even if just merited by the epistle’s canonical placement immediately after Paul’s letters—that is significant. Surprisingly, in recent decades little scholarly attention has been devoted to investigating this connection.

This research group explores the relationship between Hebrews and the Pauline tradition. While Hebrews must be able to speak on its own terms, historical and canonical imperatives call for it to be read alongside Paul’s letters.


3:30 to 5:30 pm
Conference Room 4

This year we will have four invited papers that address various “historical” connections between Hebrews and the Pauline tradition. On the one hand, papers might engage with the question of Pauline authorship of Hebrews. They may develop new or engage with prior arguments for or against Pauline authorship but might also include explorations of Pauline influence, Pauline pseudepigraphy, and Pauline tradition. On the other hand, papers might explore the canonical implications of Hebrews appearing within or near the Pauline corpus in New Testament manuscript traditions as well as papers that explore the effects of these associations on the interpretation of Hebrews, including (but not limited to) explorations of “harmonization” and manuscript evidence.

Madison N. Pierce, Western Theological Seminary, Presiding

Félix H. Cortez, Andrews University
Recent Research on the Early History of the Pauline Collection and Its Implications for Hebrews (30 min)

Jennifer Strawbridge, University of Oxford
Early Christian Writings, Paul’s Letters, and the "Priestly Discourse" in Hebrews (30 min)

Matthew J. Thomas, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Augustine and Paul’s Fourteenth Epistle: The Authorship of Hebrews in Augustine’s Writings (30 min)

Bryan R. Dyer, Baker Academic/Calvin University
Influence or Imitation: Exploring the Relationship between Hebrews 13:20–25 and the Pauline Letter Form (30 min)