Well who wrote Hebrews. No one really knows but there are three clues. The first is that no one really knows. The authorship was not publicised in the early church. This might be deliberate. There might be a reason why it was kept quiet.

Secondly the writer was an intimate of Timothy. See Ch13v23: I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. Timothy was the elder at Ephesus where Priscilla and Aquila were members.See 2Tim4v19.

Thirdly Priscilla and Aquila were from Italy. They along with other Jews had been expelled from Rome by Claudius. See Acts18v1to4. I expect there was a group of refugees from Rome in Ephesus of whom Priscilla and Aquila were leaders. So they would have a special reason for writing, Those from Italy send you their greetings. Heb13v24.

Priscilla and Aquila were tent makers and workers in leather. Paul shared with them this trade and so spent a lot of time working with them to pay his own way. See Acts18 v3. What a tremendous opportunity for Priscilla and Aquila to learn. They were sufficiently confident after listening to Paul for hours on end to teach the eloquent Apollos the way of God more adequately. Acts19v26.

It is highly significant the Priscilla is always named first in the partnership. She must have been the more influential Christian of the two.

So, perhaps, the epistle to the Hebrews was sent from Priscilla and Aquila - but in fact written by Priscilla. That would be one reason the authorship was hidden!


I find it quite ironical that the first response to my web site should be concerning the authorship of Hebrews. I do not expect Ruth Hoppin and I would agree on many matters but I am glad that on one topic at least we are in agreement. I am adding as a footnote her:

1. Priscilla, as a colleague of Paul, was a colleague of Timothy, with whom the author coordinates travel plans.

2. She was a well-educated Roman aristocrat whose knowledge of literature, philosophy, and rhetoric qualified her for authorship. Her pre-eminence in the church and higher social standing are denoted by the appearance of her name first, four of the six times Priscilla and Aquila are named in the New Testament. Chrysostom (fourth-century Bishop of Constantinople) named her the sole tutor of Apollos.

3. a) Apollos, knowing only the baptism of John (Acts 18:25,26), needed instruction on baptisms- a topic covered by the teacher/catechist author of Hebrews (Heb. 6:1,2).

b) After receiving instruction from Priscilla, Apollos preached on the theme that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in Old Testament scripture- a main theme of Hebrews.

4. The conversion story in Heb. 2:1-3 checks out for Priscilla, but not for Barnabas, Apollos, or Paul.

5. Philo's influence in Hebrews has been noted; Priscilla knew Philo in Rome and had access to his writings in Roman libraries.

6. The letter was written to Hebrew Christians in Ephesus; Ephesus was the locale of Priscilla's ministry.

7. The letter was written from Rome (Heb. 13:24) about 65 A.D. Priscilla and Aquila may have accompanied Timothy to Rome during the Neronian persecution. One of her relatives was a former consul whose influence could possibly have freed Paul.

8. The naming of two women as role models of faith in the eleventh chapter- with direct and indirect allusions to many others- was a break with precedent.

9. The early, inexplicable loss of the author's name, with no consistent pseudonym being provided, is explained if a woman wrote the epistle.

10. No other candidate matches the profile of the author, as outlined.

*Ruth Hoppin, Priscilla's Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews
(Fort Bragg, CA: Lost Coast Press), 2000.

I am grateful to Ruth for taking the time and trouble to send me her ten point summary.