Hebrews 10:29 and Apostasy

For a while now, I have promised Todd that I would post something on this verse so as to continue the discussion of whether baptized persons are sanctified, and if so, what does that mean? Here is the passage in English:

“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”

And in Greek:

πόσῳ δοκεῖτε χείρονος ἀξιωθήσεται τιμωρίας τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καταπατήσας, καὶ τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης κοινὸν ἡγησάμενος ἐν ἡγιάσθη, καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος ἐνυβρίσας;

It must be pointed out that what we normally mean by “sanctification” cannot be the meaning of the word here. The normal progressive becoming-more-holy of a believer cannot be what is meant, since the word describes an event that took place in the past. We do not need to over-read the aorist’s “point-like” action to come to this conclusion, although this is certainly a once-for-all type of action. It happened only once. Aorist is the normal past tense in the NT. To parse it, the word is an aorist passive indicative, 3 person singular: “hegiasthe.” It is the word right before the last comma.

Now, the context is obviously talking about apostasy (see verses 26ff). But what is the nature of this apostasy? Clearly, the apostasy is that of treating as common something which is not common. The contrast here is between “hegiasthe” and “koinon.” In effect, the person is denying the very nature of what Christ’s blood is. The very nature of Christ’s blood of the covenant is sanctifying, a set-apart quality which it has in and of itself, but also the language refers to that which it does: namely, it sets apart the people of God.

One contextual issue must be dealt with here. What is the relationship between this use of “hegiasthe” and the same root in verses 10 and 14? Verse 14’s use is obviously different, given the different form of the verb. It is a present participle, describing something that is ongoing. Also, the terms of the verse (perfected for all time) indicates that he is talking about those who really are saved for all time. This raises the distinct possibility that verse 10 is not talking about the same thing as verse 29, since verse 14 comes in-between the two verses. Verse 10 is, however, also talking about something in the past, since we have here a perfect passive participle, masculine plural nominative. However, note again that it is a different form yet from the present participle of verse 14 and the aorist of verse 29. The perfect form indicates completed action with continuing relevance for the present (e.g. “I have now finished” is a perfect example of the perfect tense). The aorist might be translated “I finished,” whereas the present might be translated “I am finishing.” I think, therefore, that verse 10 is talking about something different than verse 29. That for two exegetical reasons: 1. verse 14 comes in-between the two verses, and is clearly talking about something different than verse 29; and 2. the difference of the verb-form. The difference is also indicated by the fact that, in this chapter, apostasy does not rear its head until verse 26. The first part of the chapter is all about Christ’s sacrifice being once-for-all in place of all the repetitious sacrifices of the old covenant.

The immediate syntax is as follows: the “en ho” immediately before is most likely a dative of agent, meaning “by this thing he was sanctified.” “Ho” is a relative pronoun referring back to “the blood of the covenant.” The blood of the covenant did this sanctifying act. It should be noted that this actually happened. The way that John Brown takes it, for instance, is that the apostate would have been truly sanctified had he stayed in. I cannot go there. The text says that it actually happened. It is a plain ol’ aorist tense verb. There is nothing to suggest a hypothetical case.

One point should be noted about the exegesis here: the emphasis is on the parallel (and the “how much more” argument) progressing from the two witnesses of the OT law going to the Son of God and the Spirit of Grace as the two witnesses of the New Covenant.

A much more seriously tempting interpretation is that the person who is sanctified is Jesus Christ. The verse would then read as follows: “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which that Son of God was sanctified (presumably as an offering).” This is John Owen’s interpretation. It has a great deal to recommend it. First of all, the closest antecedent of the pronoun in the verb “he was sanctified” is, in fact, the Son of God. Secondly, it does fit the context, since the first part of the chapter is all about Christ as offering and priest. A priest has to make an offering for Himself. But in Christ’s case, His blood is all that is necessary. The emphasis in verse 29 would then be a heightening of the sense of how sacred this blood is: “This blood of the covenant was so sacred, since it consecrated even the Lord of Glory to His mighty task of priesthood, and are you now going to treat it as profane?” I would say that this interpretation is quite defensible. Owen has defended it at length in his commentary on the passage.

If it does refer to the apostate, then I would offer this interpretation of it: the sanctifying that is being advocated here is the idea that a person is set apart from the world when he is baptized. He is no longer in the same position as an outright pagan. He is rather identified with the church. What is being described here is not the ordo salutis category of progressive sanctification, nor the definitive sanctification described in verse 10 (which is connected to faith in the Lord who has offered His body once for all), which is also an ordo category. Rather it is the set-apartness that a baptized person enjoys from the world. This says nothing about whether or not he has faith. Obviously, he never had faith by the very terms of the passage, if he is spurning the Son of God! There, that should be enough for the start of a good conversation on the passage.

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24 Comments

  1. Todd said,

    January 1, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    What significance does the fact the it is the blood of Christ which has sanctified the apostate have in your interpretation?

  2. greenbaggins said,

    January 1, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Well, certainly it is the blood of Christ that sets apart the church from the world. Furthermore, the fact that it is the blood of Christ makes it infinitely more sacred, thus heightening the heinousness of the offence. It isn’t just anyone’s blood of the covenant, but Christ’s that is being profaned.

  3. Todd said,

    January 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    “certainly it is the blood of Christ that sets apart the church from the world.”

    How so? And what’s the relationship to limited atonement?

  4. greenbaggins said,

    January 1, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    In the sense of being that visible body of Christ, outside of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. Actual redemption is not in the immediate context. It does not say “by which he was redeemed,” but “by which he was set apart.” Christ’s death *redeemed* the elect only. However, the church as a whole is set apart from the world in having the means of grace (which belong not the world). Christ’s blood sets apart that visible church from the world.

  5. Todd said,

    January 1, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    The atonement has purchased benefits for the nonelect?

  6. greenbaggins said,

    January 1, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    No, it is not atonement for the non-elect. Christ atoned for sin, and that belongs to the elect only. But Christ also gives (through the common operations of the Holy Spirit) lesser gifts to the non-elect.

  7. Todd said,

    January 1, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    “But Christ also gives (through the common operations of the Holy Spirit) lesser gifts to the non-elect.”

    But these lesser gifts are purchased for them at the cross, right?

  8. ackendrick said,

    January 1, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    As Wayne Grudme says in his Systematic Theology these acts of common grace or as you all are reffering to them(common operations of the Holy Spirit) are indirectly from Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. He explains this on page 658 of Chapter 31. I will first point out that “Christ’s death did not earn any measure of forgivesness for unbelievers” but i do think it flowed indirectly. Quoting Grudem here: “common grace does flow indirectly from Christ’s redemptive work, because the fact that God did not judge the world at once when sin entered, it was primarily or perhaps exclusively due to the fact that He panned eventually to save some sinners throught the death of His Son.” This whole chapter is a must read and I would reccommend his book a million times over again.

  9. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 2, 2007 at 2:03 am

    ack,

    I’m glad I not the only one who types this poorly. I would have to disagree with Grudem on this point. First, the Lord did immediately judge the word, Genesis 3.6-7, Eve the trasgressor gave and the bothe knew they were naked. What Grudem means perhaps is that the execution for the crimes was protracted, Romans 1.18-2.8. This in fact follows the same pattern that is laid down for our sanctification by which we are made perfect from the beginning and that perfection is being carried out in a declarative sense in time and will be completed, Phillipians 1.6, as well as many other places, even here in Hebrews. And, I thought that the whole point was that we were executed and by nature children of wrath, killed absolutely by the judgement that came into the world through our first Adams’ rebellion.

    I would not agree that it is a benefit. The only thing that flows from the cross it to the right, justification and to the left damnation. There is no mixed cup of wine. The wine that Judas drank doomed him and it was therefore not the drink that the Eleven imbibed. When ever God sends for the rain on the wicked we have the confirmation that it is indeed the Holy Spirit that is preserving through blessing but it is along the lines of Thesalonians in that He is there preventing the full wrath of the evil one from coming forth, not that it is some grace that is given the wicked, but that it is preserving the seed. So, it does not flow from the cross, but from the Father who is giving the seed to the Son. It does not flow from the cross, but because of it. In other words, justification only flows to the redeemed from the cross on the right, and wrath for the wicked on the left. Far from being a gift of mercy, common grace fits into the category of 2 Peter 3.7. Grudem is not one of the strongest of Reformed thinkers on many points of his sytematics.

    As to the Greek, well some would say that you lean to heavily upon a weak staff when you relie on the confused languages of men when trying to establish spiritual truth.

    “The Lord said to my Lord…David himself calls Him Lord; and so in what sense is He his son? A logical conundrum that the Language of the immediate text cannot anwswer. Here is another out of the same Psalm, “Rule in the midst of your enemies.” How is it that a ruler that is surrounded is a ruler? And the same in Psalms 23, “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.” What foolishness.

    Back to the text. Why is it necessary that the language not be hypothetical? Since Scripture is full of language that is revelatory not mechanical only, what makes it necessary that the language becomes the final rule? We can surely know that it is not in the sense of salvation that the word in question is being used. There is too much in Scripture to contradict the sense of any real sanctification. And it is rediculous to mention the nuances of the word since Scripture clearly demonstrates that our sanctification is declared perfected initially and is being declaratively perfected in time and will be finally declared perfect in the end. So, the use in 29 cannot be in any sense of the same kind, unless, it is hypothetical.

    The juxtaposition is the Law of Moses with the covenant of grace. The argument is simple. If the first was set aside and it brought death (interesting play on Christ’s substitutionary work), what would be the punishment for refusing the mercy of setting aside the penalty for setting aside the first? Now the hypothetical case is set in the previously, verse 26. But, it has been conditioned on all of the previous chapters. The entire discussion so far in Hebrews has been of the superiority of Christ and his sacrifice under the Law for the establishing of the new and living way. Now, seeing that the highest of all possible means (sacrifice) of sanctification is Christ and his shed blood, which is perfect in all its attributes and applications and there being no other that can satisfy for setting it aside (that is it would take a greater sacrifice), with what could a man be justified, Ch 6.4-9? Six tells us that it would be worthless if even Christ blood must be shed again, because it would become no better than those sacrifices offered continually which can never take away sin. So, what we see here is the same thing, a redundancy. Boy, where have we ever seen that before, before. Therefore the use of the term, even in its gramatical sense is not confusing here. It simply means that if a person had true faith the blood that had sanctified would have sanctified them. So, it is used as a negative comparison, meaning exactly that if it had have been a perfect completed action, then why would someone seek it again unless they were never sanctified in the first place? The finality of true faith is brought out in 37-39. Redundancy, for these verses recapitulate what the writer has just said. The great comfort that the man in 29 does not have is summed up in 39, “But, we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”

  10. pduggie said,

    January 2, 2007 at 11:59 am

    So Murray is wrong?

    “John Murray (formerly of Westminster Theological Seminary) writes in his essay, “The Free Offer of the Gospel,” that “…all the good dispensed to this world is dispensed within the mediatorial dominion of Christ…he is given this dominion as the reward of his obedience unto death (cf. Phil. 2:8, 9), and his obedience unto death is but one way of characterizing what we mean by the atonement” (63-4).

    Given this fact, there is a sense in which a Calvinist can truly affirm that Christ died for all people, even those who are not elect. Thus Murray writes, “even the non-elect are embraced in the design of atonement in respect of those blessings falling short of salvation which they enjoy in this life…it would not be improper to say that, in respect of what is entailed for the non-elect, Christ died for them” (64). This too, then, falls within what God intended Christ’s atoning work to accomplish.”

    It strikes me that recourse to the idea that the author of Hebrews is being redundant is a failure of the hermeneutical task.

  11. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 2, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    pduggie,

    There is more than one hermeneutic, is there not. The redundancy is obvious. The scheme of demonstration of God’s mercy and the repeted rejection of his sanctifying work on the behalf of “elect Israel” and those before and after, is the, (I repeat, simply because redundancy is required for the dull of hearing and slow to understand), THEME of Hebrews, or to put it another way, it is the context, or if you will, the base hermaneutic for the understanding of this redundant text, redundantly speaking. So, which hermaneutic do you use? In the body of the text of my last response is the hermeneutic that I used. If you did not notice, I made my appeal to Scripture. Your failure to recognize it does not invalidate it and I am not bound by yours, am I? By the way, what hermaneutic did Matthew use in 1.23? Boy, if we had only been given the Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us into all wisdom, we would not have to appeal to authority or get bogged down in exegetical mechanics of language. We might just have to look at the text. Someone once said, “You search the scripture…you think you know me?”
    Or maybe it wasn’t a question about their credulity. Or, maybe it was. Perhaps it was really what he meant, that by their willingness to listen to Moses, a mere man, they were missing what the man said, totally.

    Your appeal to authority proves nothing. And, if you’d noticed I did not eliminate the dominion of Christ in the dispensation of common grace. However, I do not believe that it is through the Cross that preventive, (note preventive not prevenient) grace is dispensed, but that it is because of the Cross. And, there is no doubt that Christ is crowned King of Kings as the reward for his obedience.

    Let me see if Murray’s language supports your claim. He said, “The Free Offer of the Gospel,” that…all the good dispensed to this world is dispensed within the mediatorial dominion of Christ…he is given this dominion as the reward of his obedience unto death (cf. Phil. 2:8, 9)….” The first thing that should be noted is that the subject of his statement is the atonement. Now, if you want to claim that Jesus atoned for the world, fine. But, I will not join you in your universalism, or at least anihilationism. Second, the benefit is “good”. We may want to consider wrath good and in one sense it is. It is the good work of God according to his justice. But in the sense of the benefits of the promise, good belongs only to the elect. But, the good that was originally in question is common grace, a good that is preventive, in which God is not providing for the non-elect any of the benefits of salvation, but as 2 Peter 3.9 states, and as elsewhere is made clear, the fulness of the harvest of the elect is the good that is being dispensed (protected) by it. To quote the LC “That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requireth of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.” To receive the “benefits of his mediation” we must first repent, and to do that we must be regenerated (which is also a benefit of his mediation but that is a subject for later). They are dispensed by the Spirit through the external means of the Gospel specifically through the church, the invisible working through the visible. Neither regeneration or repentence, which are dispensed from, that is they flow, from the obedience of the cross, accrue to the non-elect, ever! The traditional view of providence holds that God dispenses fatherly concern over creation, so it was written, “he causes it to rain on the wicked as well as the righteous.” And we cannot divorce that from the cross, but it is not through the cross, but because of it that the Father through this grace preserves to himself a remnant who are redeemed out of the world by the efficacious work of the Seed as a gift to him by the Father for his obedience.

    There is a sense in which the Calvinist can look at Christ efficacious beneficient work as for all people, but he would be a poor one. If in any sense Jesus died for the non-elect it was to seal their doom, John 9.10 8.47 8.26 6.60-65 5.25-47. So, “the good dispensed to this world” need not be a universal offer of salvation, nor the providential goodness (it may well be providential evil) that falls to man universally in the carrying out of the Gospel of redemption. That the “non-elect are embraced in the design of atonement,” only agrees with what I have written, and it is also true that “Christ died for them,” if what is meant is that of course his death is sufficient so that all men could be saved, but the efficiency of his atonement is for the elect only. And, as is clear in my “hermaneutic” (rule of interpretation) in John, his atonement was the efficient execution of the judgement of his Father on the wicked. Then yes, Murray is correct that his “good” falls to all men as accomplished by the atonement.

    Frankly, I have read little of Murray. I agree with Luther that the reading of commentaries is good for a season, but then we should leave them behind and return to the study of Scripture. In other words he did not want anyone to trust him. Why would I trust Murray. I am not a Greek scholar, so I only have this recourse, 1 Cor 2 especially this, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world for our glory…it does not enter the eye, nor the ear, not into the mind, but by his Spirit it enters ours, for his Spirit searches the deep things, no man can know it, but only the Spirit of God that we have received in our spirit freely given to us, which is what we speak (hopefully) not man’s wisdom by hermaneutic, but by the Holy Spirit that teaches us by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, Nicodemus, the natural things, logic, exegetics, hermaneutics, linguistics, cannot discern or receive these things that are of the Spirit because they are spiritually discerned. The Spirit judges these things, yet he is impeccable, and only he has known the mind of the Lord that he alone may judge. Praise God we have the mind of Christ, no longer the confused languages of Babel (my paraphrase.)

    Anyway, you sound like a FVer. Are you saying that the unregenerate receive somehow of the table of the Lord, which is his body and blood, the benefits of the atonement?

  12. pduggie said,

    January 2, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    I think FVers would agree with me, that the benefits are offered and present to the unregenerate, though they don’t receive them in faith.

    The whole trust of your appeal to redundancy is to evade a possible meaning on the surface of the text, which is that the non-elect are (in some sense) sanctified). Claiming that the text’s meaning is only actually redundant, and not saying something *else* by its unique combination of lexemes, strikes me as special pleading.

    I’m not trying to claim that Murray is necessarily right. If Murray is wrong I want to know it. I want everyone to say it openly.

  13. pduggie said,

    January 3, 2007 at 10:19 am

    More murray:

    We have spoken of this experience on the part of unregenerate men as that of the power and glory of the gospel. In the parable of the sower those who are compared to the rocky ground are those who hear the word and immediately with joy receive it. This implies some experience of its beauty and power. Yet they have no root and endure but for a while. When tribulation and persecution arise they just as immediately stumble and bring forth no fruit to perfection. The passages in Hebrews 6:4–8; 10:26–29 refer to experience that apparently surpasses that spoken of in the parable of the /p. 19/ sower. At least, the portraiture is very much more elaborate in its details and the issue much more tragic in its consequences. The persons concerned are described as “those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come” (Heb. 6:4, 5), as those who had received the knowledge of the truth and had been sanctified by the blood of the covenant (Heb. 10:26, 29). We shudder at the terms in which the experience delineated is defined.23 Yet we cannot avoid its import, nor can we evade the acceptance of the inspired testimony that from such enlightenment, from such participation of the Holy Spirit and from such experience of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come men may fall away, crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, put him to an open shame, tread the Son of God under foot, count the sanctifying blood of the covenant an unholy thing and do despite to the Spirit of grace. Here is apostasy from which there is no repentance and for which there is nought but “a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries”.

    It is here that we find non-saving grace at its very apex. We cannot conceive of anything, that falls short of salvation, more exalted in its character. And we must not make void the reality of the blessing enjoyed and of the grace bestowed /p. 20/ out of consideration for the awful doom resultant upon renunciation and apostasy. As was pointed out already in other respects, it is precisely the grace bestowed in all its rich connotation as manifestation of the lovingkindness and goodness of God that gives ground for, and meaning to, the direful judgment that despite and rejection entail.

    The teaching of such passages is corroborated by others that are to the same or similar effect. Peter in his second epistle devotes a considerable part to similar instruction and warning, and concludes with what is clearly reminiscent of the teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Pet. 2:20–22). And Paul in his first chapter of the epistle to the Romans portrays for us the process of inexcusable abandonment of knowledge and of worship by which the heathen nations had lapsed into idolatry and superstition. But the knowledge they had relinquished is plainly represented as good, as that which should have been jealously cherished and as that for which they should have been thankful.

  14. Thomas Twitchell said,

    January 3, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    pduggie,

    I am in the process of reading more about this subject. I did not mean that there was in no sense a sanctification. The indication of the text however is concerning the benefits of “true sanctification,” and what appeal is left if the means of it are rejected. This is all that I meant by it.

    I am reading Murray and have come to this conclusion so far. That the appeal, which I have never doubted, is to all in the invitation to salvation. It is not the same essentially to all in an efficacious sense, but it is essentially good. Murray sees the invitation in the universal goodness of God as essential to his nature which is love. I did not mean to imply, if its the way you were taking it, that God is malevolent toward mankind. Murray couches his arguements on the exegesis of the texts in that universallity of the love of God and his acting toward man accordingly out of kindness and goodness. It is because of his kindness and goodness that it is a true appeal. It is not an appeal founded in his eternal decree concerning election. He is careful to differentiate between the decretive will of God and the means by which he is working it out, especially concerning the preventive (providential) grace that proves God as “long-suffering.” I am not sure that would agree to all that Murray ascribes to the texts he exegetes.

    The question that is posed then, just as it is with the passages concerning the universallity of the Gospel call, what is the applicable meaning of the word “sanctified.” And, does it bear the same nuance in 29 as it does elsewhere when speaking of the sanctification of the believer? If it does, is it being used as I indicated in the hypothetical case. If so, then it fits with the redundancy of the argumentation that follows the contradiction of one claiming to have had faith in a true sense and then renouncing it, or of one having had true faith, then having it removed.

    The other case is that “sanctified” is being used in a special way. The lexeme as you state it. If so, then it applies only to the sense of the way Hebrews and elsewhere speak of the children of Israel who were not true Israel, but were partakers of the benefits that fell to the children of promise. This is clearly seen in the first Passover. Though all who were in the house were passed over, not all were children of promise. It is reflected in the last Passover, in which Judas is proclaimed not of the covenant even though he is a partaker of the elements.

    There is Paul’s discussion of the law as good. But, it worked death in him. There was benefit in the law, even for the law breaker, and in the keeping of it there is benefit if it is only in the avoiding of its penalty. At the same time, the law is not good, for by it no man is justified. In the law there was provision made for the stranger and the sojourner and they could partake of the temporal inheritance on a limited time basis. If they wanted to continue in the benefits they had to submit to the law. This is reinstituted by Christ in his feeding of the thousands. The idea is that the true benefit is given only to those who are in true covenant. The unenduring covenant of the law only reflected the true and everlasting covenant which is enjoined only by union with Christ.

    Johnathan Edwards draws the distinction of the essential differences between common and particular or special grace. And, by way of reference to the atonement, Murray does the same. Monergism has much in the way of references on this particular subject and I will be glad to post them here if you desire.

    To finish, if it is in this latter sense that “sanctified” is used, then it by no means means that this man enjoyed the same benefits in essence, but only in kind. When the children of Israel crossed the Red, all, even the reprobate crossed. The invitation was real, the temporal benefit was real, but the actual reality of deliverance for particular individuals was real only to the children of promise. The “true call to repentance,” hardened Pharoah’s heart and lead him to death, and scared the hypocrite so that he entered into the house of Israel, exited with her, and was put to death for her sanctification. So, the reprobate really receives of the benefits, but not by faith, and not in truth either. For the benefit that they receive are as Christ said, only to fill their bellies. The temporal things perish because they are subject to death and bring to those who feed on them, but he who feeds on the true bread has eternal life.

    So, in the first case it may be just hypothetical sanctification and that is also justified by the text, and the way I prefer to see it. In the second it is a false sanctification in the sense of atonement, though it has a real temporal benefit. In either case the point is proved, that there is only One who sanctifies in truth.

  15. Todd said,

    January 3, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Lane, I’m still eager to hear from you about the way in which the kind of (lesser) sanctification you see in this verse is a blessing that has its origin in the atonement–sanctified by the blood of the covenant.

    “But Christ also gives (through the common operations of the Holy Spirit) lesser gifts to the non-elect.”

    But these lesser gifts are purchased for them at the cross, right?

  16. greenbaggins said,

    January 3, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    You’ll have to be patient on that one. I have some more thinking to do before I can answer that. It is a good question.

  17. Todd said,

    January 3, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    That’s a great answer. Seriously.

    Would you be willing to call the sanctification of verse 29 “covenantal sanctification”?

  18. Todd said,

    January 3, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Also, any willingness to connect this sanctification of the visible church through the blood of the covenant with Christ’s obtaining of the church through his own blood (Acts 20:28)?

  19. May 8, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Owen’s interpretation of the passage really can’t stand up to scrutiny. There is no evidence anywhere in scripture that Christ needed to be sanctified by His own blood (this would doubtless have been addressed in detail considering that Christ’s priesthood is a major theme of the book of Hebrews), and there is not even a hint of any sense in which an unbeliever is sanctified by the blood of Christ. Owen’s frantic defense of Calvinism is simply verbal gymnastics in a vain attempt to evade the obvious: That final apostasy from the faith by a true believer is a genuine possibility.

  20. greenbaggins said,

    May 8, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Welcome to my blog, J.C. Question for you: if your interpretation directly conflicts with other passages that say *none* of the elect are lost, what then? I’m thinking, of course, of Romans 8, Philippians 1:6, John 10:28, etc. Plus, you have not given adequate consideration to the fact that the administration of the covenant is *not* equal to election. I don’t think we want a contradictory canon.

  21. R. F. White said,

    May 18, 2007 at 8:26 am

    For those who might be interested, see my chapter on Covenant and Apostasy in the Knox colloquium book where I discuss the exegesis of Heb 10:29. My contention is that we should take our cue from the rhetoric of rebuke and reproach elsewhere in the Bible and interpret the biblical writer’s attribution of sanctification in Heb 10:29 as an example of reproachful irony (sarcasm). See the discussion of irony with examples in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (ed. L Ryken, J. D. Wilhoit, and T. Longman III; Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 1998), 409 and E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible Explained and Illustrated (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), 807-15.

  22. August 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    [...] word for Tim Prussic. I have dealt in my own way with the Hebrews 10 passage here. And, there is a further, different interpretation of that passage that Fowler White has put forth [...]

  23. August 2, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    [...] Hebrews 10:29 and Apostasy Green Baggins __________________ Josh Hicks, Chlo’s Daddy Member of TRBC. My Blog The Puritan Pub (Team Blog) Board Rules — Signature Requirements — Suggestions? [...]

  24. TrosclairN. said,

    May 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    What does the author of Hebrews mean by ‘deliberate sin?’ Would not all sins performed with knowledge be an act of apostasy?


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