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Hebrews 5:11--6:12

Context
The Need to Move on to Maturity

5:11 On this topic we have much to say 1  and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish 2  in hearing. 5:12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, 3  you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. 4  You have gone back to needing 5  milk, not 6  solid food. 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.

6:1 Therefore we must progress beyond 7  the elementary 8  instructions about Christ 9  and move on 10  to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, 6:2 teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 6:3 And this is what we intend to do, 11  if God permits. 6:4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 6:5 tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, 6:6 and then have committed apostasy, 12  to renew them again to repentance, since 13  they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again 14  and holding him up to contempt. 6:7 For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on 15  it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God. 6:8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed; 16  its fate is to be burned. 6:9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints. 6:11 But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 6:12 so that you may not be sluggish, 17  but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.

1 tn Grk “concerning which the message for us is great.”

2 tn Or “dull.”

3 tn Grk “because of the time.”

4 tn Grk “the elements of the beginning of the oracles of God.”

5 tn Grk “you have come to have a need for.”

6 tc ‡ Most texts, including some early and important ones (א2 A B* D Ψ 0122 0278 1881 Ï sy Cl), have καί (kai, “and”) immediately preceding οὐ (ou, “not”), but other equally significant witnesses (Ì46 א* B2 C 33 81 1739 lat Or Did) lack the conjunction. As it was a natural tendency for scribes to add a coordinating conjunction, the καί appears to be a motivated reading. On balance, it is probably best to regard the shorter reading as authentic. NA27 has καί in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

7 tn Grk “Therefore leaving behind.” The implication is not of abandoning this elementary information, but of building on it.

8 tn Or “basic.”

9 tn Grk “the message of the beginning of Christ.”

10 tn Grk “leaving behind…let us move on.”

11 tn Grk “and we will do this.”

12 tn Or “have fallen away.”

13 tn Or “while”; Grk “crucifying…and holding.” The Greek participles here (“crucifying…and holding”) can be understood as either causal (“since”) or temporal (“while”).

14 tn Grk “recrucifying the son of God for themselves.”

15 tn Grk “comes upon.”

16 tn Grk “near to a curse.”

17 tn Or “dull.”



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