|New International Version (©2011)|
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
New Living Translation (©2007)
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God,
International Standard Version (©2012)
Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about the Messiah, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead actions, faith toward God,
NET Bible (©2006)
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,
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Because of this, let us leave the beginning of the message of The Messiah, and let us go on to perfection; or are you laying again another foundation for conversion from dead works and for faith in God,
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn't repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto maturity; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
American King James Version
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
American Standard Version
Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Wherefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect, not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works, and of faith towards God,
Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore, leaving the word of the beginning of the Christ, let us go on to what belongs to full growth, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and faith in God,
English Revised Version
Wherefore let us cease to speak of the first principles of Christ, and press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God,
Weymouth New Testament
Therefore leaving elementary instruction about the Christ, let us advance to mature manhood and not be continually re-laying a foundation of repentance from lifeless works and of faith in God,
World English Bible
Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection--not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God,
Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore, having left the word of the beginning of the Christ, unto the perfection we may advance, not again a foundation laying of reformation from dead works, and of faith on God,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-8 Every part of the truth and will of God should be set before all who profess the gospel, and be urged on their hearts and consciences. We should not be always speaking about outward things; these have their places and use, but often take up too much attention and time, which might be better employed. The humbled sinner who pleads guilty, and cries for mercy, can have no ground from this passage to be discouraged, whatever his conscience may accuse him of. Nor does it prove that any one who is made a new creature in Christ, ever becomes a final apostate from him. The apostle is not speaking of the falling away of mere professors, never convinced or influenced by the gospel. Such have nothing to fall away from, but an empty name, or hypocritical profession. Neither is he speaking of partial declinings or backslidings. Nor are such sins meant, as Christians fall into through the strength of temptations, or the power of some worldly or fleshly lust. But the falling away here mentioned, is an open and avowed renouncing of Christ, from enmity of heart against him, his cause, and people, by men approving in their minds the deeds of his murderers, and all this after they have received the knowledge of the truth, and tasted some of its comforts. Of these it is said, that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. Not because the blood of Christ is not sufficient to obtain pardon for this sin; but this sin, in its very nature, is opposite to repentance and every thing that leads to it. If those who through mistaken views of this passage, as well as of their own case, fear that there is no mercy for them, would attend to the account given of the nature of this sin, that it is a total and a willing renouncing of Christ, and his cause, and joining with his enemies, it would relieve them from wrong fears. We should ourselves beware, and caution others, of every approach near to a gulf so awful as apostacy; yet in doing this we should keep close to the word of God, and be careful not to wound and terrify the weak, or discourage the fallen and penitent. Believers not only taste of the word of God, but they drink it in. And this fruitful field or garden receives the blessing. But the merely nominal Christian, continuing unfruitful under the means of grace, or producing nothing but deceit and selfishness, was near the awful state above described; and everlasting misery was the end reserved for him. Let us watch with humble caution and prayer as to ourselves.
Verses 1, 2. - Wherefore (since it is so incumbent on us to advance out of the state of milk-fed infants), leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us press on unto perfection (τελειότητα, continuing the image of maturity). The proper translation of τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Ξριστοῦ λόγον is doubtful, the question being whether τῆς αρχῆς is to be connected with λόγον as an adjective genitive (so taken, as above, in the A.V.; cf. Hebrews 5:12, στοιχεῖα τῆς ἀρχῆς), or with τοῦ Ξριστοῦ, the word of the beginning of Christ, meaning discourse concerning the first principles of Christianity. "Initium Christi, soil. Apud discentes Christum, saepe quippe Christus dicitur Paulo per metonymiam conereti pro Christianismo" (Bengel). A further question is whether the writer merely expresses his own intention of proceeding at once in this Epistle to the more advanced doctrine, or whether he is exhorting his readers to make spiritual progress, using the first person plural, φερώμεθα (as in Hebrews 2:1 and Hebrews 4:1, φοβήθωμεν) out of sympathetic courtesy. The correspondence of this delicate form of exhortation with that of the earlier passages, the very words φερώμεθα, "let us be borne on," "press forward" (implying more than mere passing to a new line of thought), and τελειότητα (which expresses personal maturity, not advanced subject of discourse), as well as the earnest warnings that follow against falling back, seem to necessitate the second of the above views of the meaning of this verse. The writer has, indeed, in his mind his intention of proceeding at once to the perfect doctrine; for he hopes that what he thus exhorts them to do they will do, so as to be able to follow him; but exhortation, rather than his own intention, is surely what the verse expresses. Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. What was meant by τὰ στοιχεῖα, etc., and τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς, etc., is here specified under the new image of a foundation on which a superstructure should be raised (cf. for the same figure, 1 Corinthians 3:11, a further instance of Pauline modes of thought). Of course no disparagement of the importance of this foundation is implied: it is necessary for the superstructure: it has in itself the elements of the superstructure, which rises from it in the way of growth. What is meant is, "With us this foundation has been already laid; I will not suppose any need for laying it anew: let us, then, go on to contemplate and understand the building that rests on and rises from it." The fundamentals enumerated are six - two essential principles of the religious life, and four heads of doctrine; for the word διδαχῆς rules βαπτισμῶν and the three succeeding genitives, but not μετανοίας and πίστεως which precede. These are the fundamentals, or first principles, of Christianity; but (as has been intimated) so defined as to express no more, by the language used, than what even enlightened Jews might accept and understand. Fully understood, they carry the Christian superstructure; but they are such as a "babe" in Christ might rest content with; without seeing their ultimate bearing. The principles first mentioned are repentance and faith, the requisite qualifications for baptism, the essence of John the Baptist's teaching, and announced by Christ at the commencement of his ministry as the first steps into his kingdom: "The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15; cf. also Acts 20:21). By the dead works, from which repentance is to be, the Fathers generally understand simply sinful works, which may be so called because of sin being a state of spiritual death, and having death for its wages (cf. "dead in trespasses and sins," Ephesians 2:1), or as being in themselves barren and fruitless (cf. τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀραρρποις τοῦ σκότους Ephesians 5:11). In an enumeration of elementary principles like this, the allusion, supposed by some commentators, to the deadness of "the works of the Law," as set forth by St. Paul, is not likely to have been intended. The faith spoken of is not faith in Christ, but simply "faith towards God," which is, of course, the foundation and necessary preliminary of Christian faith. The reason for the expression is to be found in the writer's intention to specify only the first principles of the gospel, in which the Christian was still on common ground with the Jew (cf. John 14:1, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me"). The four fundamental doctrines follow.
(1) Of baptisms. Observe, the word is not βάπτισμα, invariably used elsewhere for Christian baptism, but βαπτισμὸς, and that in the plural, βαπτισμῶν. In other passages βαπτισμοὶ denotes the various lustrations practised by the Jews - "washings of pots and cups" (Mark 7:8); "divers washings (Hebrews 9:10). Hence we may suppose these to be included in the general idea, and also the Jewish baptism of proselytes. On the other hand, the elementary doctrines of the gospel being here spoken of, there can be no doubt that the doctrine of Christian baptism is in the writer's view, but only with regard to the first simple conception of its recanting, which it had in common with other symbolical washings, the significance of which was understood by enlightened Jews (cf. John 3:10, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?").
(2) The doctrine of laying on of hands. This also was a Jewish rite, understood as signifying the bestowal of blessing and of power from above (cf. Genesis 48:14; Deuteronomy 34:9; Mark 10:13), and was, as well as baptism, adopted into the Christian Church, acquiring there a new potency. The apostles practiced it for conferring the gifts of the Spirit after baptism (Acts 8:17; Acts 19:6), for ordination (Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6), and also for reconciling penitents (1 Timothy 5:22), and for healing' (Mark 16:18; Acts 28:8). Mentioned here immediately after "the doctrine of baptisms," and in an enumeration of elements in which all Christians were concerned, we can hardly fail to understand special refer-once to the imposition of hands after baptism, i.e. to confirmation. The two remaining doctrines of
(3) the resurrection of the dead, and
(4) eternal judgment, were also understood and generally accepted by enlightened Jews, and at the same time are necessary to be mentioned for a complete account of the foundations of the Christian faith. These foundations are, as has been seen - repentance and faith (qualifying for admission into the Church), and then the doctrine of remission of sins (expressed and conveyed by baptism), of enabling grace (expressed and conveyed by confirmation), of the life hereafter, and of final judgment. Of these an elementary conception was level to even babes in Christ, fresh from Jewish training; fully understood, they form the basis of the whole structure of the highest Christian doctrine. It is obvious from the purport of the passage why neither the historical articles of the creed in which Christians were instructed (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 1 Timothy 3:16), nor the doctrine of the Eucharist (which belonged to the more advanced teaching), are included in this enumeration of the στοιχεῖα.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,.... The Gospel is the doctrine of Christ, and is so called, because Christ, as God, is the author of it; as Mediator, he received it from his Father; as man, he was the preacher of it; and he is also the sum and substance of it: the principles of this doctrine are either the easier parts of the Gospel, called milk in the latter part of the preceding chapter; which are not to be left with dislike and contempt, nor so as to be forgotten, nor so as not to be recurred to at proper times; but so as not to abide in and stick here, without going further: or rather the ceremonies of the law, which were the elements of the Jews' religion, and the beginning, as the word may be here rendered, of the doctrine of Christ; which were shadowy and typical of Christ, and taught the Jews the truths of the Gospel concerning Christ: in these the believing Jews were very desirous of sticking, and of abiding by them, and of continuing them in the Gospel church; whereas they were to be left, since they had had their use, and had answered what they were designed for, and were now abolished by Christ.
Let us go on to perfection: in a comparative sense, to a more perfect knowledge of things, which the clear revelation and ministry of the Gospel lead unto; and which the rites and ceremonies, types and figures of the law, never could:
not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works; the Syriac version reads this by way of interrogation, "do ye lay again, &c." and makes the third verse to be an answer to it: the phrase, "not laying again the foundation", is to be read in connection, not only with this article of repentance, but with each of the other five articles, the foundation of which is no more to be laid again than this: and not laying it again, either means not teaching it, and so refers to the apostle, and other ministers of the word, who should not insist upon the following things, at least not stick there, but go on to deliver things more sublime and grand; or not hearing it, and so refers to the Hebrews, who should seek after a more perfect knowledge of evangelic truths than the following articles exhibited to them: and the several parts of this foundation, which; are not to be laid again ministerially, by preachers, or attended to by hearers, design either the first things, with which the Gospel dispensation was ushered in; or rather, and which I take to be the true sense, the general principles and practices of the Jews under the former dispensation; for these are not the six principles of the Christian religion, as they are commonly called, but so many articles of the Jewish creed; some of which were peculiar to the Jews, and others common to them, with us Christians: thus,
repentance from dead works, does not intend evangelical repentance, the doctrine of which is to be ministerially laid, and the grace itself to be exercised over and over again; but a repentance which arose from, and was signified by the sacrifices of slain beasts; for by them the Jews were taught the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sin; and in and over them did they confess their iniquities; yea, every beast that was slain for sacrifice carried in it a conviction of sin, an acknowledgment of guilt; and it was tacitly owning, that they, for whom the creature was slain, deserved to be treated as that was, and die as that did. So the Jews (f) say,
"when a man sacrifices a beast, he thinks in his own heart, I am rather a beast than this; for I am he that hath sinned, and for the sin which I have committed I bring this; and it is more fitting that the man should be sacrificed rather than the beast; and so it appears that, , "by the means of his offering he repents".''
But now, under the Gospel dispensation, believing Jews, as these were to whom the apostle writes, were not to learn the doctrine of repentance from slain beasts, or to signify it in this way; since repentance and remission of sins were preached most clearly to them in the name of Christ: nor were they to lay again another part of this foundation, or a second article of the Jewish creed,
and of faith towards God; which article is expressed in language agreeable to the Jewish dispensation; whereas evangelical faith is usually called the faith of Christ, or faith in Christ, or towards our Lord Jesus Christ; but this respects faith in God, as the God of Israel: hence says our Lord to his disciples, who were all Jews, "ye believe in God": ye have been taught, and used to believe in God, as the God of Israel; "believe also in me", as his Son and the Messiah, and the Mediator between God and man, John 14:1, so that now they were not only to have faith towards God, as the God of Israel, and to teach and receive that doctrine; but to have faith in Christ as the Saviour of lost sinners, without the intermediate use of sacrifices.
(f) Nizzachon Vet. p. 11. Ed. Wagenseil.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Heb 6:1-14. Warning against Retrograding, Which Soon Leads to Apostasy; Encouragement to Steadfastness from God's Faithfulness to His Word and Oath.
1. Therefore—Wherefore: seeing that ye ought not now to be still "babes" (Heb 5:11-14).
leaving—getting further forward than the elementary "principles." "As in building a house one must never leave the foundation: yet to be always laboring in 'laying the foundation' would be ridiculous" [Calvin].
the principles of the doctrine—Greek, "the word of the beginning," that is, the discussion of the "first principles of Christianity (Heb 5:12).
let us go on—Greek, "let us be borne forward," or "bear ourselves forward"; implying active exertion: press on. Paul, in teaching, here classifies himself with the Hebrew readers, or (as they ought to be) learners, and says, Let us together press forward.
perfection—the matured knowledge of those who are "of full age" (Heb 5:14) in Christian attainments.
foundation of—that is, consisting in "repentance."
repentance from dead works—namely, not springing from the vital principle of faith and love toward God, and so counted, like their doer, dead before God. This repentance from dead works is therefore paired with "faith toward God." The three pairs of truths enumerated are designedly such as Jewish believers might in some degree have known from the Old Testament, but had been taught more clearly when they became Christians. This accounts for the omission of distinct specification of some essential first principle of Christian truth. Hence, too, he mentions "faith toward God," and not explicitly faith toward Christ (though of course included). Repentance and faith were the first principles taught under the Gospel.
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