Re: Hebrews 6:6-PARASEPONTAS

From: Justin Winger (
Date: Mon Jun 15 1998 - 01:48:18 EDT

        I am by no means an expert in Greek, on this passage, or on the
Bible. Besides that, this is a fairly controversial passage. However, I
did write a paper on Hebrews 6:4-6 and my conclusions are as follows.
        I found that the author was a very educated person who used the
skill of rhetoric to present to his audience an argument for them to
persevere in their faith. The audience was composed of Jewish Christians
(thus, they were believers). One of the indications of the author's
rhetorical skill is his widespread use of synonyms throughout his argument.
The work itself, aside from being well-argued, contaings five "warning
passages" (2:1-3, 3:8-4:2, 6:4-12 (though especially 6:4-6), 10:25-38, and
12:1-25; see Scot McKnight, "The Warning Passages of Hebrews: A Formal
Analysis and Theological Conclusions," *Trinity Journal*, Spring 1992),
which contain grave warnings about one particular sin. The entire work may
very possibly have been a speech or a sermon. I found evidence that the
string of participles which precede PARAPESONTAS describe believers (i.e.,
the audience of 6:4-6 is specifically Christian). I argued that
PARAPESONTAS is used as a synonym for both APOSTHNAI and hEKOUSIWS
hAMARTANONTWN hHMWN and is the same as the sins referred to in the other
warning passages.
        As to what the writer is saying about those believers, I argued that
it is a warning against apostasy, that it is possible for one to lose
his/her salvation. HOWEVER, we have all of the sudden jumped into one of
the most hotly debated *theological* realms that there is, and that is not
the focus of this list. I will say, however, that there are many different
ways that "it is possible to lose your salvation" can be taken. The
questions "What does it mean to lose your salvation? What does it take? Is
it turning your back on God once an for all -- abandoning Christianity
*completely* or is it something less?" definitely need to be asked. But
again, that is outside the scope of this list. Email me if you want more
specific info or a copy of the paper. I hope this hasn't been too long.


        At 11:50 AM 6/14/98 -0700, Edgar Foster wrote:
>To Whom does the aorist participle PARAPESONTAS in Heb. 6:6 refer?
>Does it refer to believers? If so, what is the writer saying about
>such ones? Conversely, could the writer's words apply to
>non-Christians instead?
>Edgar Foster
>Classics Major
>Lenoir-Rhyne College
>Get your free address at
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