I don’t of course claim that the attribution to Priscilla is certain - Origen is clearly right to say “But as to who wrote the epistle, only God knows the truth”. But what I think we can say is that Hebrews was written by:
- A very wise and learned early Christian teacher
- Who was very close to Paul but not Paul himself
- Who had strong connections with the Jewish community in Rome
- Who was confident to reason from the scriptures but never appeals to personal authority
- Who for some reason the Church found it wise not to attribute authorship to widely - despite the fact that it must have been known to the first recipients.
We get some idea of how highly Priscilla was regarded by Luke from the fact that whenever he mentions "Priscilla and Aquilla" it in that order, as does Paul when he is sending greetings to them - interestingly when he is sending greetings from them he uses the conventional order of Aquilla and Priscilla (c/f “Andronicus and Junia” in Romans 16) and several scribes "corrected" the order on the occasions when Luke refers to them. Of course when Luke refers to Paul meeting them he says Paul first met Aquilla and then Priscilla but that is chronological.
There is also the very interesting detail that Luke refers to Priscilla and Aquilla taking Apollos aside and expounding the ways of God more accurately he uses the word ἐξέθεντο (exethento) which comes from ἐκτίθημι (extithEmi) which means expose of explain/expound. This occurs only 4 times in the NT and always in Acts:
- (7:21) when it refers to Moses being exposed
- (11:4) when Peter is explaining
- (18:26) when Priscilla and Aquilla are instructing Apollos
- (28:23) when Paul is expounding the scriptures to the Jews in Rome.
|From Brugger 2015 commenting on Rugani et al|
- In "Number-space mapping in the newborn chick resembles humans’ mental number line" (Science 30 January 2015: 534-536) Rosa Rugani and her colleagues show that 3-day old chicks (!) trained to find food behind a panel representing an abstract number (dots differed in color and shape but were matched for area and circumference) expect food behind the left of two panels representing a smaller number, but behind the right for a larger number (!!).
- In "Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata" (Science 30 January 2015: 536-539) Sandy Pentland and some of his colleagues show that "anonymised" information about credit card use uniquely identifies a user with about 4 transactions. This is in a special section gloomily entitled "The end of privacy".