What are the scriptural proofs that the book of Hebrews was written to the Jews?
The book of Hebrews was written to Jews who claimed to be Christians. The book was written before Jerusalem was destroyed and during the persecution. We discover later in the book that the readers of this letter had been persecuted.
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one. Hebrews 10:32-34
So it is safe to say that Hebrews was written about A.D. 65-69. How do we know it was written to people who claimed to be Jewish Christians or Hebrew Christians?
Written To Christians? The first clue comes in the first chapter of Hebrews when the Holy Spirit tells us that the angels are spirits who minister to those who inherit salvation.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 1:14-2:1
In Hebrews 3:1 the Holy Spirit calls them “holy brethren,” but then questions if they are real Christians. It becomes apparent later that some are and some are not acting as if they are believers. He encourages these men and women to pay attention to the truth they have been taught about salvation. This is a Christian term. Later in Hebrews 5 and 6 the Holy Spirit encourages them to grow in maturity by desiring more than the soft, warm comfortable sermons (Heb. 5:11-14).
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity . . . Heb. 6:1
Then later in Hebrews 6:9-10 the Holy Spirit encourages them when He tells them that God has not forgotten their care for the other saints. That clearly implies that these men and women are attending a Christian church.
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. Heb. 6:9-10
This fact is repeated again in Hebrews 10:24-25.
Jewish Christians? This letter was written to Christian men and women who were also Jews. In this book the Holy Spirit reasons with them by referring to many Old Testament passages and Jewish references. This would only have meaning to real Jews. Here are a few of the references.
|Heb. 1:1||The fathers and prophets.|
|Heb. 1:5-14||Extensive Old Testament quotes.|
|Heb. 3:12-19||Israel’s wilderness wanderings and unbelief.|
|Heb. 5:1-10||Aaron, the high priest, and Melchizedek.|
|Heb. 6:13-20||Abraham and the promise.|
|Heb. 7:1-28||Melchizedek, Abraham, and the Levites.|
|Heb. 8:7-13||Old and new covenants.|
|Heb. 9:1-27||The tabernacle, sacrifices, and cleansings.|
Even today very few Gentiles can quickly follow the reasoning. But a Jewish man and woman can.
The book of Hebrews is a serious book, but it is also a wonderful book since it gives us a pattern for spiritual growth. God does not call them to do many things, but to study God’s Word (Heb. 5:11-14) , to use their spiritual gifts (Heb. 10:24-25), to imitate godly leaders (Heb. 13:7), and to believe in Jesus (Heb.11; 12:25-28).