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EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL,
EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.
BY ALBERT BARNES.
NEW YORK :
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS
329 & 331 PEARL STREET,
Yale Dlvinity Library
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand
eight hundred and forty-three, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
§ 1. Preliminary Remarks.
i'r need no: be said that this epistle has given rise to much discussion among writers on the New Testament. Indeed there is probably no part of the Bible in regard to which so many conflicting views have been entertained The name of the author ; the time and place where the epistle was written; the character of the book ; its canonical authority ; the language in which
it was composed ; and the persons to whom it was addressed, all have given - rise to great difference of opinion. Among the causes of this are the fol: lowing :-The name of the author is not mentioned. The church to which
it was sent, if sent to any particular church, is not designated. There are no certain marks of time in the epistle, as there often are in the writings of Paul, by which we can determine the time when it was written.
It is not the design of these Notes to go into an extended examination of these questions. Those who are disposed to pursue these inquiries, and to examine the questions which have been started in regard to the epistle, can sind ample means in the larger works that have treated of it; and especially in Lardner; in Michaelis' Introduction ; in the Prolegomena of Kuinoel; in Hug's Introduction ; and PARTICULARLY in Prof. Stuart's invaluable Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. No other work on this portion of the New Testament is so complete as his, and in the Introduction he has left nothing to be desired in regard to the literature of the Epistle.
Controversies early arose in the church in regard to a great variety of questions pertaining to this epistle, which are not yet fully settled. Most of those questions, however, pertain to the literature of the epistle, and however they may be decided, are not such as to affect the respect which a Christian ought to have for it as a part of the word of God. They pertain to the inquiries, to whom it was written; in what language, and at what time it was composed ; questions which, in whatever way they may be settled, do not affect its canonical authcrity, and should not shake the confidence of Christians in it as a part of divine revelation. The only inquiry on these points which it is : proper to institute in these Notes is, whether the claims of the epistle to a
place in the canon of Scripture are of such a kind as to allow Christians to Li read it as a part of the oracles of God ? May we sit down to it feelirg that
we are perusing that which has been given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost as a part of revealed truth? Other questions are interesting in their places,
and the solution of them is worth all which it has cost; but they need not embarrass us here, nor claim our attention as preliminary to the exposition
of the epistle. All that will be attempted, therefore, in this Introduction, will be such a condensation of the evidence collected by others, as shall show that this epistle has of right a place in the volume of revealed truth, and is af ruthority to regulate the faith and practice of mankind.