This is a question that has been asked since the final stroke of the pen. It is a question that has been debated by all sides. I have just finished reading the introduction in Ellingworth’s commentary on Hebrews, and he has surveyed all of the possibilities of authorship. They range from Paul to Apollos; Barnabas to Luke; Priscilla to the virgin Mary. Ellingworth has left no stone unturned. He has interrogated the suspects, which in turn have left us many clues to consider.
The majority if church history has regarded Paul as the author of Hebrews. But in light of Heb. 2.3, it would seem that Paul could not have been the author of this sermon/epistle. Heb 2.3 says that the gospel “was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard.” It is hard to see Paul as the author of this epistle, because he says that he “did not receive it [the gospel] from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” Gal. 1.12. There is also the matter of style, vocabulary, theology. Also, according to Ellingworth “the idea of Pauline authorship of Hebrews is now universally abandoned.” (Ellingworth, pg. 3).
But who then is the author of this literary masterpiece? There is no clear answer, for the evidence for each of the suspects is not as conclusive as one would hope. Involved in the question of authorship is also the question of the date of Hebrews composition, the geographical place if was written to, the circumstances that led to it’s writing, and the ethnicity of the recipients. All of these make factors make it quite impossible for us to know who the guilty party is.
Some of the things we can deduce from Hebrews is that whoever the author is, he knew his readers quite well. There is a pastoral care and concern that runs throughout Hebrews. Whether it is a concern that his readers do not fall away, or a concern that they understand some important doctrinal truth, the author deeply cared for his readers.
So in determining the author of Hebrews, we are not on solid ground. All of the evidence for a particular author is not as air tight as we would like. I do think that the evidence for non-Pauline authorship is quite strong, but nevertheless it to is not air tight. So I would agree with the words of Origen: “But who wrote the epistle, in truth God knows” (taken from Ellingworth, pg. 5).