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One subject is dealt with exhaustively in Galatians, namely the place that circumcision
holds in the economy of grace. If Hebrews was sent together with Galatians, we have a
sufficient explanation. When writing of the better things to the Hebrews, the apostle did
not deal with circumcision. The omission even of the word is inexplicable if Hebrews
stand alone. If however the covering letter be Galatians then the matter is dealt with once
and for all, and the way is open for the Apostle to address the Hebrews with his "word of
exhortation" (Heb. 13: 22).
Returning to the question of authorship, let us consider the evidences that Scripture
itself produces that bear upon the reason why the title "Apostle" and the name "Paul"
should be withheld from the epistle to the Hebrews.
When we turn to the epistle to the Hebrews, no reference to Paul by name is found
either in the salutation or in the body of the epistle, but that the Hebrews to whom the
epistle was written knew the identity of the writer is evident, for, toward the close of the
epistle he said "Pray for us . . . . . that I may be restored to you the sooner" (Heb. 13: 18,
19). "Timothy" is also closely associated with the writer (Heb. 13: 23), and the epistle
ends with the words "Grace be with you all. Amen", a salutation which constituted the
token of Paul's authorship in each of his epistles, as he states in II Thess. 3: 17, 18.
We an but conjecture the reasons that made Paul omit his name, but we have more
positive ground to stand on when we consider the omission of the title "apostle".
Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 11: 13; Gal. 2: 8; I Tim. 2: 7; II Tim. 1: 1).
He was about to write to the Hebrews concerning their calling and confession, and to urge them
to consider the Lord Jesus Christ as "The Apostle and High Priest" of this calling and
confession (Heb. 3: 1).
While keeping within the bounds of his commission to the Gentiles, Paul spoke with
the full authority that apostleship brings, but when he addressed Hebrews he asked them
to "suffer the word of exhortation" (Heb. 12: 22), and omitted both his name and the
credentials of his authority.
Peter was the Apostle of the Circumcision, and includes the title in the salutation of
his two epistles. Towards the close of the second epistle he alludes to something that
Paul had written, which must refer to either to some writings now lost and never heard of
throughout the history of the church, or to this epistle to the Hebrews. Peter had
addressed his first epistle "to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia,
Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia" (I Pet. 1: 1), and his second to the same scattered
companies (II Pet. 3: 1). There are other evidences that favour the idea that the epistle to
the Galatians was a covering letter to the Hebrews, but this must await the completion of
our studies in the comparison of Hebrews and Ephesians. For the present purpose
attention must now be concentrated on the following facts:
Paul's name, together with his office, appears in the salutation of Ephesians.
Paul's name and office are omitted from the opening of the epistle to the Hebrews.