A study in Hebrews 6

Photo used under Creative Commons from phil_h

I have written before about the graduate degree I am working toward. Right now I’m taking a class in Advanced Bible Interpretation, and our main homework project is an in-depth paper on one of the difficult passages in Scripture. I chose one that people ask me about frequently, Hebrews 6:1-8, a passage that has instigated many a late-night-discussion among Bible students and scholars alike.

Many people have trouble with this passage because it seems to teach 1) that a Christian can lose his salvation and 2) that he can’t get it back once it’s lost. While that’s a big deal to many people (me included!), even worse is that is seems to contradict the many passages that teach eternal security (such as Ephesians 1:13-14 and Hebrews 7:25).

Over the next several weeks, as I finish my paper, we will study this passage together. We’ll look at the background of the book, some of the key words and important grammatical features, this passage’s context, and what others have written about it. Finally, I’ll present my conclusion.

I hope you’ll find this beneficial, both as a study of this specific passage and in how to do an in-depth study like this. For now, start by reading it and post below any comments or questions you would like to have addressed.

“Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this is what we intend to do, if God permits. For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, and then have committed apostasy, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding him up to contempt. For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed; its fate is to be burned.” (Hebrews 6:1-8 NET)