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8221RE: [XTalk] Dating of Hebrews

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  • David C. Hindley
    Sep 1 12:44 PM
      Stephen Carlson said:

      >>I'm not sure this follows. The upper limit to the date of Hebrew
      (terminus ad quem) is in the late 90s because of 1 Clement, esp.
      36:1-5 (so Brown 1997: 696). I believe that other have argued that
      the near contemporaneous Shepherd of Hermas is also dependent on
      Hebrews. Generally, this put Hebrews written anywhere from c. 60 - c.
      90, which could be before one or more the other epistles in the NT,
      depending on which part of the interval you place Hebrews. In fact,
      most introductions tend to date Hebrews earlier than the Pastorals in
      the Pauline corpus and 2 Peter in the Praxapostolos, both of which are
      thought to be late, even post 90.<<

      My statement was entirely based on mss evidence within the Pauline
      corpus, while you are allowing other evidence. Of course, I am
      assuming that because Hebrews is not associated with the three
      collections which ultimately formed the basic 13 letter corpus, or
      with the Praxapostolos, it is more likely that it was composed after
      than before these collections. I concede that there is no absolute
      surety in that assumption.

      Regarding 1 Clement, I am on the fence about it as a reliable primary
      source. It seems to quote ACTS 20:35; 1 COR 02:09; HEB 01:03-04; JAS
      01:08, 02:23; LUKE 06:36-38, MATT 06:12-15, 07:02; 2 PET 03:03-04; ROM
      01:32, 12:05; and TIT 03:01, plus, it also seems to allude to COL
      01:18; 1 COR 03:13, 12:12, 13:04, 15:20; HEB 13:17; JAS 02:21, 05:20;
      LUKE 17:02; MARK 09:42; MATT 18:06, 26:24; 1 PET 02:17, 03:20,
      04:08; 2 PET 02:05, 02:06-09; PHI 04:15; 1 THE 05:12-13; and 1 TIM
      05:21. That indicates a much more intimate familiarity with NT
      documents (it never seems to quote unknown gospels like Barnabas - 3
      times!, Ignatius Smyrneans - I will ignore the additional one in the
      longer Greek version of Ephesians, and Justin's apologies) than I
      would feel comfortable with if it is truly a genuine (or at least
      unadulterated) product of 90-100 CE, as it represents itself.

      As to the Shepherd, I was always under the impression that it was
      almost completely free of any direct NT quotations. The phrases in the
      Shepherd that resemble phrases in Hebrews are either echoes of phrases
      from Jewish scriptures (3 of the 6 listed in the index to the Loeb
      text in _Apostolic Fathers_, vol. II) or short phrases that may be
      commonplace sayings shared by the writers of both documents (Vis
      II.iii.2 "having broken away from the living God", Vis III.vii.2
      "apostatise from the living God", both supposedly referring to Heb
      3:12, and Sim IX.xix.2 "fruits of righteousness" which is supposed to
      resemble the phrase in Heb 12:11 but is actually an exact match with
      Phil 1:11). In all cases the wording would have to be pretty loose to
      have actually been references to passages in Hebrews. Also, the only
      firm dating for this work is its listing in the Muratorian canon,
      which dates it to about 148 CE, but there is question as to the
      canon's own date and what the author of the canon meant by "quite
      recently, in our own time," when ascribing its composition to the
      brother of Pius, bishop of Rome.


      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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