First of all, the author of Hebrews gives special deference to those who actually heard the Lord speak, strongly implying that he himself had never heard the Lord. Rather, the author includes himself among those unto whom the words spoken by the Lord were “confirmed … by them that heard him.”
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
By contrast, Paul speaks often of his encounter with the Lord at his conversion, and how he preached by special revelation.
1 Corinthians 15
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles….
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery….
Additionally, Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, a man who would have been brought up with a background of Hellenistic Judaism. Hellenistic Jews were Greek-speaking Jews. This would have given him a very strong basis for writing a book to the Greek-speaking Hebrews in Greek, and he would also have a profound familiarity with the Septuagint–the Greek language Old Testament which is frequently quoted in the book of Hebrews.
And finally, Apollos was qualified to be the author of the book of Hebrews, seeing that he was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures” [Acts 18:24].
It is highly remarkable to note that, at Corinth, Apollos publicly “mightily convinced the Jews … showing by the scriptures that Jesus was [Messiah]” [Acts 18:28]. It should be noted that these are the same Jews with whom Paul reasoned and to whom he testified in vv.4-5! Yet, Paul’s words were viciously rejected, while the words of Apollos were apparently graciously received!
Another very significant point in favor of Apollos being a credible candidate as the author of the book of Hebrews is found in the fact that he is listed in the eminent company of Paul, Peter and Jesus Christ in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 1
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Apparently, Apollos was held in equal regard with Peter, Paul and Jesus by the Corinthian church. He also was eloquent and mighty in the scriptures. And he was able to convince Jews that Jesus was their Messiah after Paul had tried and failed.
Paul, it should be noted, was by his own words the “apostle of the Gentiles” [Romans 11:13; Gal. 2:8; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11]. On more than one occasion he abruptly stopped ministering to the Jews and turned to the Gentiles.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
It would make sense that Paul would NOT be chosen by God to author this book to the Hebrews, seeing that he was the Apostle of the Gentiles, and there was another man—Apollos—who was actually more successful at convincing the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
Pastor Tim D. Cormier