When Was the Book of Hebrews Written?

17 Aug

The book of Hebrews says in 12:4, “in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” If this verse refers to persecution and Hebrews was written to Rome or even to some other places, this would have to place the date before around AD 65, when Nero began widespread persecution against Christians, a time in which the shedding of blood would have been a reality for Christians.

In Acts 18:8 an expulsion of Jews, which included Priscilla and Aquila, from Rome took place. This expulsion occurred around AD 49. The book of Hebrews speaks of the church earlier enduring persecution well, even accepting the plundering of their property. But now the church has grown discouraged and is more tempted to give up than to press on in faith. This situation would fit nicely with the dates outlined above and the situation described in Hebrews for if the book were written in  AD 60-65, the community could have still remembered the events of AD 49 while also feeling the rumblings of coming persecution.

One other bit of evidence for a date in this range is the many words in Romans about the services and sacrifices of the temple in Jerusalem. The way things are portrayed in 7:27-28; 8:3-5; 9:6-7; 10:1-2; 13:10-11 we get the picture that offerings are still happening in Jerusalem. We know that the temple was destroyed in AD 70, so this brings us to a date sometime before AD 70.

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