Re: Hebrews 6:6-PARASEPONTAS

From: John M. Sweigart (
Date: Mon Jun 15 1998 - 09:45:36 EDT

Justin Winger wrote:
> Edgar:
> 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.
> Justin
> 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?
> >
> >Thanks,
> >
> >Edgar Foster
> >
> >Classics Major
> >
> >Lenoir-Rhyne College
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Perhaps an analysis of the semantic domain of the Greek word SWTHRIA
would be within the confines of the list. I for one would like to see
that issue discussed from a lexical point of view since there is a
popular tendency to use the term as a technical term rather than a
generic term which I believe it is.

Rev. John M. Sweigart
US Army Chaplain (retired)
Pastor, Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Contributing Author:
Box 895 
Dover, AR 72387

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