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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning About Priscilla, June 19, 2003
This review is from: Priscilla's Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Paperback)
A generation or so ago, when we all read the King James Bible, we accepted that the Letter to the Hebrews was written by the apostle Paul. Today, with so much scholarly research and archaeological findings available to us, not to mention numerous modern Biblical translations that reflect these discoveries, no serious scholar believes that anymore.
Indeed, the authorship of Hebrews has been a question from the early days of the Church. It is strikingly different from any other book/epistle in the New Testament. And, as any Greek student can tell you, its sophisticated style and vocabulary make it the most difficult of all the books in the New Testament to translate.
Ruth Hoppin in "Priscilla's Letter" systematically walks the reader through the arguments for and against possible authors of Hebrews, examining not only Paul but also Clement, Barnabas, Apollos, and Aristion, along with Priscilla, who, with her husband Aquila, was co-worker and co-traveler with Paul (and thus heavily influenced by him).
She presents Priscilla as a logical candidate, considering her church leadership, family background, personal history, and the very fact of her own femininity. In fact, even for those who remain vehemently opposed to the thought of a woman writing Scripture, this book will be useful as a biography of an important Biblical character and as a history lesson about the status of women in the Jewish and Roman cultures of the early church.
Hoppin quotes from historical resources (as well as Scripture) and takes readers on a tour of the archaeological discoveries that relate to Priscilla and her time. She analyzes different verses in Hebrews that illustrate her contention, and she persuasively debates verses that would seem to argue against it.
Her argument for a woman, especially this woman, being the author of a document that became part of Holy Scripture, is methodically, convincingly presented. Along the way, readers will learn more about the theological arguments within Hebrews and about the Christian Church at the time Hebrews was written.
Thus, this is an important book for anyone interested in the history of the Christian Church. Readers may also find Hoppin's detailed argument most persuasive, and they may be surprised to find themselves joining her in her belief that one of the authors of the books of our Bible was indeed a woman.
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