[b-greek] Re: present active participle in Hebr. 6:6

From: Robert D. (Bob) Wilson (robtdwilson@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 08:23:35 EDT

> HH: The writer of Hebrews describes such people as though they
> were in the condition described. Such people are like farmland
> that receives careful care but produces only thistles and thorns.
> The end of such land, and such people, is burning.

Without addressing the nature of the participles, it seems to me that
context (as it should) has been dictating some of the Greek interpretation
of this passage. If we assume, as above, that the writer is talking about
burning people, then we limit the possible interpretations that the
participles can provide us (as the "people" in question are
>>obviously<< damned.

However, let us really look at the context of this entire passage. Our
compass though this oft debated section should be the writer's use of TEL
and TELEOW (5:14-6:1 and 6:8). These are the concrete bookends that must
form the boundaries of our understanding of the writer's intent. TEL does
not refer to an absolute sudden "end," but is always concerned with the
results of a process. Can we jump from a discussion of growth ("for by
reason of time") and maturity, to a mid point of "we will keep on growing
if God permits", to He is going to fry those who don't grow???

The passage concerning burning does not say that those who fail to thrive
in their Christianity
<< cursed, but are near to it. So what is the "burning"??? It is a continuing part of the process moving toward an "end" (TEL).

Think logically with me for a moment: if a farmer burns off an unfruitful
field, does that assume that he is then required to turn the title deed of
that property over to his enemy? Does he forever turn his back on that
burnt field? Of course not! What was the purpose of his actions? He burns
off the waste so that he may take that exact same field, replant it, and
bring to maturity a better crop -- on the exact same field. In the
context of the whole book of Hebrews, there are five major "negative" or
"judgment" passages. This is the only one that has ever been used to
imply loss of salvation or never having salvation. Why not rather look at
this passage in the light of "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." If
"going on to maturity" is NOT the context of this passage -- and the book
as a whole-- then please explain to me why the writer continually resorts
(throughout the epistle) to words using the TEL root?

Bob Wilson
Centerport, PA

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