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Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study. Faithlife Your digital faith community. Logos Powerful Bible study tools. Faithlife TV A Christian video library. Faithlife Proclaim Church presentation software. Chapters 3 vols. The Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible 43 vols. Proverbs John Phillips Commentary Series 27 vols. Therefore, people can also choose to lay down their Christianity and walk away from Christ.

Warning Passages Ahead

It is this latter sin — total repudiation of Christ — that Osborne believes is the climax of the warnings. His interpretation is that the nature of the sin being committed is not merely allowing sin to crowd out Christ, but actively turning away from Jesus. Osborne also argues that the consequences pointed out by the author of Hebrews are of an eternal nature. In fact, he draws the conclusion that repudiating Christ is the unpardonable sin — that no sacrifice remains for those who willfully continue in sin.

While Osborne does confirm that the, promises of God are absolutely guaranteed, he claims this truth with a caveat — that the believer perseveres in faith and hope. He places the responsibility for continued perseverance on the believer — not Christ. While Osborne has done well in explaining his interpretation, he has focused too little on the ability of Christ to save and sustain and has given too much responsibility to fallen man to accomplish what only God can accomplish. Fanning calls his view a synthesis. He argues that there are several issues at play that all must be taken into consideration in order to come to a proper understanding of the book of Hebrews.

He agrees that it is difficult to escape the strong language describing the recipients as true believers.

Frequently bought together

However, he proposes that the author is speaking pastorally, addressing the church as a whole in Christian terms, but knowing full well that some are not true believers and are in danger of eternal judgment. As I ponder this view, it seems to make good sense especially given the fact that this letter is written in sermonic form. If someone is truly a Christian, Christ will see them through to the end.

He asserts that the conditional statements should not be understood as having a cause and effect relationship, but should rather be understood as evidence-to-inference relationships.

Warning Passages Ahead

He explains this relationship: I generally agree with the interpretation of Fanning. He does well to focus on the person and work of Christ in his evaluation and interpretation. The goal of Hebrews is to elevate Christ. Therefore, the interpretation must reflect that truth. The argument concerning the conditional statements is not as clearly explained as it might have been, but does, nonetheless, offer a solution to the dilemma of the contradictions in theology that are clearly seen by a cursory reading of the letter.

Another critique is that very little attention is given to the comparison of the recipients to the Kadesh-Barnea community. As will be shown in my critique of Gleason below, I believe that this, in addition to the superiority of Christ, as an important component of correctly understanding Hebrews. Gareth Cockerill puts forth a view of the warning passages that is nearly identical to that of Grant Osborne. He poses obedience to Christ and Christian community as the means by which to avoid such a pitfall.

They are going in one direction or the other, either toward or away from God. Cockerill brings very little to the conversation. Rather, the majority of his essay contains overview and exposition of the key texts. He spends very little time defending his opinions.


  • Mothers Notes.
  • Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews - Logos Bible Software.
  • Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane, Book 1);

Cockerill sums up his opinions at the end and I sat baffled by why he did not better explain how he had come to those conclusions. While Cockerill attempts to explore the pastoral implications of his opinions, his cocksureness concerning the ability of true believers of apostatize seems rather un-pastoral. I have made some very poor decision in my life and have openly stiff-armed Christ after giving my life to Christ at a young age.

It seems that Cockerill would tell me that there is no salvation left for me. He calls pastors not to be concerned about whether or not people have made a decision to follow Christ, but rather the direction of their lives. Does a pastor have a unique power of discern this? Surely this cannot be for there are many unregenerate people who do good things! Additionally, how good is good enough? When have you gone far enough in the God direction to ensure that you are in the Kingdom? Is there any way to know that you truly belong to Christ? According to Cockerill, it would seem that, no, there is no way to have assurance of salvation until the very end.

Of all of the authors, Gleason takes the most liberty with the text, bordering on allegory at some points. He cites the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and comparison of the Kadesh-Barnea community as the keys for the interpretation and Hebrews. It is difficult to avoid this pitfall.

Apostasy and Falling Away in Hebrews (Joshua Bloor)

One area where Gleason disagrees with Fanning the other Reformed contributor is in the identification of the recipients. Gleason sides with Osborne and Cockerill believing that the audience is a truly Christian audience. He shows how the Kadesh-Barnea community was a group of people that truly believed in God but, due to lack of faith, were not able to enter the Promised Land. Gleason does a masterful job of drawing attention to the way in which the author of Hebrews compares the current situation of the audience to the Exodus generation.

Gleason also does well to draw attention to the fact that Moses and Aaron also lose their admission to the Promised Land based on their unbelief. This punishment, however, should not be understood as a loss of their redemption. This is an important truth to understand in order to fully grasp Hebrews. Some of the correlations that he makes, however, are too much of a reach exegetically.