Lighthouse Leaders –
Without doubt, Hebrews 6 provides one of the greatest theological challenges for the Bible teacher to interpret. Charles Swindoll calls Hebrews 6 the “Rubik’s Cube of the Bible.” Many commentators choose to either skip Hebrews 6 altogether or provide a brief overview, leaving the difficult text for others to try and explain.
In his introduction to Hebrews 6, J. Vernon McGee notes,
This chapter, by all odds, contains the most difficult passage in the Bible for an interpreter to handle, regardless of his theological position. Dr. R. W. Dale, one of the great minds in the earlier field of conservative scholarship, wrote:
I know how this passage has made the heart of many a good man tremble. It rises up in the New Testament with a gloomy grandeur, stern, portentous, awful, sublime as Mount Sinai when the Lord descended upon it in fire, and threatening storm clouds were around Him, and thunderings and lightnings and unearthly voices told that He was there.
Every reverent person has come to this section with awe and wonder. And every sincere expositor has come to this passage with a sense of inadequacy, and certainly that is the way I approach it.
In this week’s group lesson, we have focused on the writer’s challenge to grow spiritually, leaving the difficulty of interpreting Hebrews 6:4–6 to our preaching pastors on Sunday and to a special Midweek Forum on Jan. 14.
At the same time, I want you to have perspective on how this passage can be interpreted so you can provide a sound answer to any questions that may come up during your group discussion. Below is an excerpt from the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible on this passage of Scripture that I feel does a good job of providing context to the text without getting too deep into the technical difficulties of the text.
It is my desire that you will come to this text with “awe and wonder” as McGee observes above.
- J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Epistles (Hebrews 1–7), electronic ed., vol. 51 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 102. ↩