Re: Hebrews 6:6-PARASEPONTAS

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Tue Jun 16 1998 - 23:21:03 EDT

Dear Dale and other B-Greekers,

My thanks go out to all who have responded to my query.

---"Dale M. Wheeler" wrote:

> Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:50:46 -0700 (PDT); 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?<<
> This is probably NOT an appropriate question for bgreek since the
> answer will depend as much on one's theological presuppositions
> brought to the text as it will on the actual data...moreover to
> answer such a question would take an IMMENSELY long response,
> dealing with the whole of the book of Hebrews. Nevertheless,
> there ARE some grammatical and lexical things involved which you
> do need to wrestle with in order to come to a conclusion (I'm
> trying to keep it short in the following):

Your points are well taken, Dale, and the text is filled with
controversy. But, it does seem that the writer of Hebrews is
addressing believers, and he is issuing a warning to them. What that
warning is, is debatable; I am inclined to agree with Earle here,
however, when he says: "In verses 4-6 there are five aorist
participles in parallel construction. The fifth one is PARAPESONTAS,
"and have fallen away" . . . The Greek clearly indicates that one may
become a partaker of the Holy Spirit--obviously a Christian--and yet
fall away and be lost" (Earle 423).

Note also the synchronic evidence contained in BAGD:
"PARAPIPTO . . . fall away, commit apostasy (Wsd 6:9; 12:2; Ezk. 22:4)
Hb 6:6" (621). See also 1 Cl. 51:1.

While I will not pronounce a dogmatic conclusio here, it seems likely
that the words of Heb. 6:6 could describe dire consequences for those
who "fall away" from the faith.

>>Well, those are some things that I found that I had to wrestle with
in terms of trying to figure out what this passage means; I hope you
enjoy your journey... (-:<<

Thanks for all your help, Dale. The journey is a joyful, long one. :-)

Edgar Foster

Classics Major

Lenoir-Rhyne College

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