Hebrews 6:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

New Living Translation
and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

English Standard Version
and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Berean Study Bible
and then have fallen away--to be restored again to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame.

Berean Literal Bible
and then having fallen away--to restore them again to repentance, crucifying in themselves the Son of God and subjecting Him to open shame.

New American Standard Bible
and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

King James Bible
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt.

International Standard Version
and who have fallen away, as long as they continue to crucify the Son of God to their own detriment by exposing him to public ridicule.

NET Bible
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.

New Heart English Bible
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Who would sin again and again crucify The Son of God, and become contemptible, cannot be renewed to conversion.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Yet, they have deserted [Christ]. They are crucifying the Son of God again and publicly disgracing him. Therefore, they cannot be led a second time to God.

New American Standard 1977
and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and have backslidden, be renewed again by repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God and putting him to an open shame.

King James 2000 Bible
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

American King James Version
If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

American Standard Version
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And are fallen away: to be renewed again to penance, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making him a mockery.

Darby Bible Translation
and have fallen away, crucifying for themselves [as they do] the Son of God, and making a show of [him].

English Revised Version
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Webster's Bible Translation
If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Weymouth New Testament
it is impossible, I say, to keep bringing them back to a new repentance, for, to their own undoing, they are repeatedly crucifying the Son of God afresh and exposing Him to open shame.

World English Bible
and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.

Young's Literal Translation
and having fallen away, again to renew them to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame.
Study Bible
A Call to Maturity
5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— 6and then have fallen away — to be restored again to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame. 7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is tended receives the blessing of God.…
Cross References
Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Hebrews 4:14
Therefore, since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess.

Hebrews 10:26
If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains,

Hebrews 10:29
How much more severely do you think one deserves to be punished who has trampled on the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

2 Peter 2:21
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them.

1 John 5:16
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask God, who will give life to those who commit this kind of sin. There is a sin that leads to death; I am not saying he should ask regarding that sin.
Treasury of Scripture

If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

to renew. See on ver.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have …

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Isaiah 1:28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall …

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure …

they crucify.

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, …

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of …

Matthew 23:31,32 Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of …

Luke 11:48 Truly you bear witness that you allow the deeds of your fathers: …

an open.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the …

Matthew 27:38-44 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right …

Mark 15:29-32 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, …

Luke 23:35-39 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided …

(6) If they shall fall away.--Rather, and (then) fell away. There is no doubt that the ordinary translation is altogether incorrect, the Greek admitting of one rendering only. At the same time, the suspicion sometimes expressed that this is one of the (very few) instances in which our translators have been misled by dogmatic bias seems altogether unfounded. On tracing back the translation we find it due, not to the Genevan versions, in which the influence of Calvin and Beza is predominant, but to Erasmus, Luther, and Tyndale. The contrast with the preceding description is presented in the fewest possible words. The successive clauses have shown that all the marks of the divine working in and with His word (Hebrews 2:4) have been found in these men, who, notwithstanding, "fell away."

To renew them again.--A second time to make "the old" into a "new man." In this place "renew" is distinctly used in reference to the action of man. Similarly, by the side of 1Peter 1:3, "God . . . who hath begotten us," we may set St. Paul's words to the Corinthians, "In Christ Jesus I have begotten you;" so also St. Paul can say, "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit;" and St. James can speak of a man's saving a soul from death. In these and the many other examples of a similar kind there is no thought of human power acting by itself, but of the human appropriation of divine power, in accordance with the laws of the kingdom of God. The verse before us is often read as an assertion that men who have thus fallen cannot be renewed; and therefore it is the more necessary to lay stress on the simple meaning of the words, as relating neither to the absolute power of God, nor to the efforts of the Christian teacher in unassisted human strength, but to the economy of God's spiritual kingdom, in which Christ's servants achieve every great result by claiming and obtaining the "fellow-working" of their Lord.

Seeing they crucify.--The apostasy was indicated by a single word; these added clauses describe the depth of the fall, whilst they explain the futility of all effort towards recovering the fallen. Both the writer and his readers knew well what was involved in "falling away" in such a case as this. To go back to Judaism implied an acceptance of all that Jews had said and done against the Son of God, a return to the bitter hate cherished by the falling nation against the Crucified, a repetition in spirit of all that Pharisees had done, and without the palliation of ignorance; for the highest evidence for Christianity--that of true and deep Christian experience--had been given to them. Again, the words used clearly describe a continuing state. Not the punishment for a past act, but the hopelessness of an existing state, is brought before us here. It is therefore of those who, with a distinct conviction of the divine mission of Jesus, have deliberately joined His foes, unite in denouncing Him as a "deceiver" (Matthew 27:63), rejoice in His shame, and thus "for themselves crucify a second time the Son of God," that the writer says, "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance."

That this impossibility relates to the action of man is shown very clearly by the writer's words in Hebrews 6:3, "This will we do if God permit; . . . . for it is impossible." He is ready to lead his readers on with him--unless, indeed, he is addressing any whom no man can thus lead. In that case the means which God has appointed have no application; such wilful and persistent hardening of heart must be left with Him.

The perplexity and trouble of mind to which these verses have given rise will furnish an apology for the length of these remarks. It is a true Christian instinct that has protested against the misuse of this passage by men who have doubted whether those who, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, fall under temptation, can again receive forgiveness; but the difficulty has been met by hazardous expedients. Some have denied that Hebrews 6:4-5 necessarily describe real Christian experience. By others it has been held that "impossible" was not intended to express more than the great difficulty of the attempt; others, again, have believed that in Hebrews 6:6 the writer brings before us a supposed case only, one that cannot really occur. The passage, together with Hebrews 10:26-29, Matthew 12:32, 1John 5:16 (see the Notes), occupied an important place in early controversies, as those of the Montanists and Novatians, who refused absolution to those who, after baptism--or, in the language of the early Church, after "illumination" (Hebrews 6:4)--fell into heinous sin.

If they shall fall away,.... This is not supposed of true believers, as appears from Hebrews 6:9 nor is it to be supposed of them that they may fall totally and finally; they may indeed fall, not only into afflictions and temptations, but into sin; and from a lively and comfortable exercise of grace, and from a degree of steadfastness in the Gospel; but not irrecoverably: for they are held and secured by a threefold cord, which can never be broken; by God the Father, who has loved them with an everlasting love, has chosen them in Christ, secured them in the covenant of grace, keeps them by his power, has given them grace, and will give them glory; and by the Son, who has undertook for them, redeemed and purchased them, prays and makes preparations in heaven for them, they are built on him, united to him, and are his jewels, whom he will preserve; and by the Holy Ghost, whose grace is incorruptible, whose personal indwelling is for ever, who himself is the earnest and seal of the heavenly inheritance, and who having begun, will finish the good work of grace: but falling away, so as to perish, may be supposed, and is true of many professors of religion; who may fall from the profession of the Gospel they have made, and from the truth of it, and into an open denial of it; yea, into an hatred and persecution of what they once received the external knowledge of; and so shall fall short of heaven, and into condemnation: for,

to renew them again unto repentance, is a thing impossible: by "repentance" is meant, not baptism of repentance; nor admission to a solemn form of public repentance in the church; nor a legal repentance, but an evangelical one: and so to be "renewed" unto it is not to be baptized again, or to be restored anew to the church by repentance, and absolution; but must be understood either of renovation of the soul, in order to repentance; or of the reforming of the outward conversation, as an evidence of it; or of a renewing of the exercise of the grace of repentance and to be renewed "again" to repentance does not suppose that persons may have true repentance and lose it; for though truly penitent persons may lose the exercise of this grace for a time, yet the grace itself can never be lost: moreover, these apostates before described had only a show of repentance, a counterfeit one; such as Cain, Pharaoh, and Judas had; and consequently, the renewing of them again to repentance, is to that which they only seemed to have, and to make pretensions unto; now to renew them to a true repentance, which they once made a profession of, the apostle says is a thing "impossible": the meaning of which is not only that it is difficult; or that it is rare and unusual; or that it is unsuitable and improper; but it is absolutely impossible: it is impossible to these men to renew themselves to repentance; renovation is the work of the Holy Ghost, and not of man; and repentance is God's gift, and not in man's power; and it is impossible for ministers to renew them, to restore and bring them back, by true repentance; yea, it is impossible to God himself, not through any impotence in him, but from the nature of the sin these men are guilty of; for by the high, though outward attainments they arrive unto, according to the description of them, their sin is the sin against the Holy Ghost, for which no sacrifice can be offered up, and of which there is no remission, and so no repentance; for these two go together, and for which prayer is not to be made; see Matthew 12:32 and chiefly because to renew such persons to repentance, is repugnant to the determined will of God, who cannot go against his own purposes and resolutions; and so the Jews (l) speak of repentance being withheld by God from Pharaoh, and, from the people of Israel; of which they understand Exodus 9:16 and say, that when the holy blessed God withholds repentance from a sinner, , "he cannot repent"; but must die in his wickedness which he first committed of his own will; and they further observe (m), that he that profanes the name of God has it not in his power to depend on repentance, nor can his iniquity be expiated on the day of atonement, or be removed by chastisement:

seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh; who is truly and properly God, begotten of the Father, and of the same nature with him, in whom he greatly delights; this is Christ's highest name and title; and it was for asserting himself to be the Son of God that he was crucified; and his being so puts an infinite virtue in his sufferings and death; and it heightens the sin of the Jews, and of these apostates, in crucifying him. He was once crucified, and it is both impossible and unnecessary that he should be, properly speaking, "crucified afresh", or "again"; it is impossible, because he is risen from the dead, and will never die more; it is unnecessary, because he has finished and completed what he suffered the death of the cross for; but men may be said to crucify him again, when, by denying him to be the Son of God, they justify the crucifixion of him on that account; and when they lessen and vilify the virtue of his blood and sacrifice; and when both by errors and immoralities they cause him to be blasphemed, and evil spoken of; and when they persecute him in his members: and this may be said to be done "to themselves afresh"; not that Christ was crucified for them before, but that they now crucify him again, as much as in them lies; or "with themselves", in their own breasts and minds, and to their own destruction. Now this being the case, it makes their renewal to repentance impossible; because, as before observed, the sin they commit is unpardonable; it is a denial of Christ, who gives repentance; and such who sin it must arrive to such hardness of heart as to admit of no repentance; and it is just with God to give up such to a final impenitence, as those, who knowingly and out of malice and envy crucified Christ, had neither pardon nor repentance; and besides, this sin of denying Christ to be the Son of God, and Saviour of men, after so much light and knowledge, precludes the way of salvation, unless Christ was to be crucified again, which is impossible; for so the Syriac version connects this clause with the word "impossible", as well as a foregoing one, rendering it, "it is impossible to crucify the Son of God again, and to put him to shame"; and so the Arabic version. Christ was put to open shame at the time of his apprehension, prosecution, and crucifixion; and so he is by such apostates, who, was he on earth, would treat him in the same manner the Jews did; and who do traduce him as an impostor and a deceiver, and give the lie to his doctrines, and expose him by their lives, and persecute him in his saints.

(l) Maimon. Hilchot. Teshuba, c. 6. sect. 3.((m) Vid. R. David Kimchi in Isaiah 22.14. 6. If—Greek, "And (yet) have fallen away"; compare a less extreme falling or declension, Ga 5:4, "Ye are fallen from grace." Here an entire and wilful apostasy is meant; the Hebrews had not yet so fallen away; but he warns them that such would be the final result of retrogression, if, instead of "going on to perfection," they should need to learn again the first principles of Christianity (Heb 6:1).

to renew them again—They have been "once" (Heb 6:4) already renewed, or made anew, and now they need to be "renewed" over "again."

crucify to themselves the Son of God—"are crucifiying to themselves" Christ, instead of, like Paul, crucifying the world unto them by the cross of Christ (Ga 6:14). So in Heb 10:29, "trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith … sanctified, an unholy thing." "The Son of God," marking His dignity, shows the greatness of their offense.

put him to an open shame—literally, "make a public example of" Him, as if He were a malefactor suspended on a tree. What the carnal Israel did outwardly, those who fall away from light do inwardly, they virtually crucify again the Son of God; "they tear him out of the recesses of their hearts where He had fixed His abode and exhibit Him to the open scoffs of the world as something powerless and common" [Bleek in Alford]. The Montanists and Novatians used this passage to justify the lasting exclusion from the Church of those who had once lapsed. The Catholic Church always opposed this view, and readmitted the lapsed on their repentance, but did not rebaptize them. This passage implies that persons may be in some sense "renewed," and yet fall away finally; for the words, "renew again," imply that they have been, in some sense, not the full sense, ONCE RENEWED by the Holy Ghost; but certainly not that they are "the elect," for these can never fall away, being chosen unto everlasting life (Joh 10:28). The elect abide in Christ, hear and continuously obey His voice, and do not fall away. He who abides not in Christ, is cast forth as a withered branch; but he who abides in Him becomes more and more free from sin; the wicked one cannot touch him; and he by faith overcomes the world. A temporary faith is possible, without one thereby being constituted one of the elect (Mr 4:16, 17). At the same time it does not limit God's grace, as if it were "impossible" for God to reclaim even such a hardened rebel so as yet to look on Him whom he has pierced. The impossibility rests in their having known in themselves once the power of Christ's sacrifice, and yet now rejecting it; there cannot possibly be any new means devised for their renewal afresh, and the means provided by God's love they now, after experience of them, deliberately and continuously reject; their conscience being served, and they "twice dead" (Jude 12), are now past hope, except by a miracle of God's grace. "It is the curse of evil eternally to propagate evil" [Tholuck]. "He who is led into the whole (?) compass of Christian experiences, may yet cease to abide in them; he who abides not in them, was, at the very time when he had those objective experiences, not subjectively true to them; otherwise there would have been fulfilled in him, "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance" (Mt 13:12), so that he would have abided in them and not have fallen away" [Tholuck]. Such a one was never truly a Spirit-led disciple of Christ (Ro 8:14-17). The sin against the Holy Ghost, though somewhat similar, is not identical with this sin; for that sin may be committed by those outside the Church (as in Mt 12:24, 31, 32); this, only by those inside.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.
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Account Afresh Apostasy Commit Cross Crucify Crucifying Disgrace Exposing Fall Fallen Fell Hearts Impossible Loss Making New Open Openly Possible Public Renew Repeatedly Repentance Second Shame Shaming Show Subjecting Themselves Turned Undoing
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