The Greek Text of Hebrews 1:1-2a (Dr. Thomas Schreiner of Southern Baptist Seminary)
The nuances of the Greek text of Hebrews 1:1-2 are beautiful.
Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις
ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ . . .
Dr. Schreiner notes the illiteration of the letter π (p), and the parallels of contrast between “of old” vs. “in these last days” and “spoke through the prophets” vs. “has spoken in His Son” and “spoken to the fathers” vs. “has spoken to us”.
Dr. Schreiner makes a great point of the contrast between the participle (“speaking” or “was speaking” = λαλησας – in the past in the prophets) vs. the aorist Active Indicative (“spoke”, or “has spoken” in these last days in His Son – ελαλησεν).
The idea is, “In the past, God was speaking progressively through the prophets in the OT (and they were written down); and in these last days, God has spoken finally and decisively in His Son. (and the “speaking of God through His Son” was written down by the apostles of Jesus Christ (and those under apostolic authority) in the NT, 4 gospels, letters, Acts, Revelation)
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15
“For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.” John 17:8
The words of the apostles that were eventually written down, were the words of Jesus that God the Father gave to Jesus. The Holy Spirit revealed the rest of the truths of the faith to the NT writers.
Hebrews was probably written around 68-69 AD – definitely before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. We know this because of the verb tenses of the descriptions of the work of the priests in the temple, when the writer of Hebrews describes them, they are in the present tense. (see Hebrews 5:1-2; 8:3-5; 9:6-7) Also, if Hebrews had been written after 70 AD, for sure the writer would have made a point about that, since he has already said several times that Christ was the final “once for all” sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 9:26; 9:27; 10:10; 10:12; 10:14)
God inspired this book, as “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16; see also 2 Peter 1:20-21), as the content has all the qualities and heavenly marks of being “God-breathed”.
The human writer of Hebrews is unknown dogmatically, and several have been proposed throughout church history: the Apostle Paul, Luke, Apollos, Silas, and Barnabas. Personally, I think the evidence points to Barnabas, who was on Paul’s missionary team on his first missionary journey (Acts 13-14). Barnabas is called an Apostle (Acts 14:4; 14:14), he was a Levite (Acts 4:36), which explains his great familiarity and details about the priesthood and the temple sacrifices in Hebrews chapters 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement/ exhortation” and he seems to leave a clue for that in Hebrews 13:22 (bear with this brief letter of encouragement/ exhortation). Tertullian also proposed that the writer of Hebrews was Barnabas. (De Pudicitia = “Of Modesty”, 20) The fact that the writer does not say “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ . . . “, etc., which Paul always did in all his other letters, along with the different Greek style, points to the fact that Paul probably did not write Hebrews. Some believe that Luke wrote it for Paul, since the Greek is very high and elegant, like Acts and Luke are.