THE BOOK OF THE COFFEE MAKER
The main criteria for books to be included in the New Testament are:
- They must have been authored by a disciple, of someone closely associated
with a disciple. (This of course, creates some exceptions, notably Hebrews)
- They must claim to be the Word of God and be accepted as inspired (e.g. as Peter accepted the letters of Paul)
- Books with serious dogmatic or historical misrepresentations were rejected.
We do not know who authored Hebrews, but from the text it is clear that it is inspired and does not contain any doctrinal of historical misrepresentations.
The book, however, is different in that it deals at length with the theme of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifices that He made on our behalf. Another theme is that of judgement. Also the theology is well developed and does not address certain issues in specific congregations of Christians, as the Pauline letters tend to do.
The themes of the functions of the high priest, sacrifices and judgement would have been well-known themes to first century Jews and Christians alike.
Now consider these additional facts:
- Although there was no definite 'Council of Jamnia' (as previously postulated) Jewish scholars at Jamnia (Babilonia) definitely had great influence on Jewish (and possibly anti-christian) thought in the first & second centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jamnia)
- An ongoing series of events that caused a rift between Jews and Christians during the first & second centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_events_in_early_Christianity)
During these stormy times, Is it then not reasonable to suppose that Hebrews was an attempt to seek appeasement and common ground between Jews and Christians by addressing these themes which were so familiar to both religions alike? Is it too farfetched to suppose that this book was an attempt to reach a hand of friendship to Jews in the hour of direst need with the destruction of the temple and following diaspora?
From this point of view, it is just as well that we don't know who the author was because then it cannot be attributed to any one apostle and his specific 'doctine.' In such a case the book would probably have been rejected by the whole of Judaism and (maybe) half of christianity as well
But hey, this is just speculation on my part! Biblical scholars would probably disagree with this viewpoint. So please do check my up and set the record straight.