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The Epistolary Closing of Hebrews and Pauline Imitation

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Chapter Summary

The Epistle to the Hebrews is an anonymous document that makes no direct claims to the identity of its author. This chapter reexamines Hebrews' postscript in order to assess its value in discussions regarding the epistle's relationship to Paul. After a survey of previous scholarship on Heb 13:20-25 and Pauline pseudepigraphy, it argues two things. First, despite appeals to the contrary, Hebrews 13 is best understood as original to the composition and not a later addition. Second, a comparative reading of Hebrews' letter closing with other New Testament and ancient closings shows that there is not enough distinctly Pauline parallels to warrant the conclusion that the author of Hebrews was attempting to pass his letter off as from Paul. While certain formal parallels do exists, many of these parallels are found within other New Testament and ancient letter closings.

Keywords: Hebrews' letter; New Testament; Pauline pseudepigraphy



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