Again, before closing his letter, the writer of Hebrews informs them of his desire and intentions of coming to them soon. In Hebrews 13:23 he says, “You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon.” Gromacki’s comments are, “The author then informed the readers that Timothy had been ‘set at liberty’ (apolelumenon). No epistle records an imprisonment for Timothy, but he could have been placed in jail or under house arrest after he received his two epistles from Paul.”[1]

Some argue that this wraps up the discussion on who was the author of the book of Hebrews. This verse does sound like something that Paul would say because he and Timothy were co-workers on many journeys. But we can’t be sure. I agree with Carter who says, “The simple use of the name Timothy suggests someone well known to the members. Although this name was relatively common in antiquity, the Timothy who is consistently mentioned in early Christian sources was Paul’s ‘brother’ in the faith, his co-worker (Rom. 16:21), companion of the apostle in his missionary work, a trusted delegate who was associated with Paul in the writing of six of his letters. Timothy received two letters from Paul, one as his delegate in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:1–3) and one to encourage him when Paul was in prison (2 Tim. 1:1–2, 8). The mention of Timothy here as our brother suggests that he was well known to members of the community. The familiarity with which the author speaks of Timothy may suggest that he was linked to the Pauline circle, but of this we have no certainty (see the Introduction, 4–9).”[2]

Many will argue that this proves that Paul is the author of this epistle, but we still can’t be certain. Guthrie says, “In any case, Timothy is a companion of the author and is known to this church. The author expects him to arrive soon and anticipates that they will travel together to see the recipients of Hebrews.”[3] But there is a problem with the way Timothy is mentioned in this verse. Allen explains it. Concerning Timothy, He writes, “He is described as ‘our brother.’ In every Pauline reference to Timothy where he is referred to as ‘brother,’ Paul places the name ‘Timothy’ first followed by the articular noun. Here, however, the author places the noun ‘brother’ first, followed by ‘Timothy.’ This is further evidence of the overall dissimilarity of this epistle with Pauline style even in a verse that sounds very Pauline.”[4] The authorship of this letter has remained a subject of debate but has remained steady throughout history is that subject of the letter is Jesus and His superiority to religion. The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!

[1] Robert Gromacki, Stand Bold in Grace: An Exposition of Hebrews, The Gromacki Expository Series (The Woodlands, TX: Kress Christian Publications, 2002), 226.

[2] Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 539.

[3] George Guthrie, Hebrews, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 443.

[4] David L. Allen, Hebrews, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2010), 630.