The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 83 of 151
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"Perfected for Ever" (Heb. 10: 14).
"What the law could not do" (Rom. 8: 3).
pp. 91 - 93
On page 61 of the present Volume we drew attention to the true teaching of
Heb. 9: 26, namely, the abrogation of the sin offering. An equally important change is
necessary in the rendering of Heb. 10: 1.
The little controversy centres around the meaning and position of the words translated
"continually." The Greek words thus translated are eis to dienekes, literally, "unto (or
for) the unbroken continuance." The words occur four times in Scripture, and the whole
four are found in Hebrews. We give the A.V. references first.
"Abideth a Priest continually" (7: 3).
"One sacrifice for sins for ever sat down on the right hand of God" (10: 12).
"For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (10: 14).
It will be seen that the words have reference to the vital teaching of Hebrews. In
connection with the infinite superiority of the Melchisedec Priesthood of Christ, one of
the most important features is its permanence in contrast with the temporary character of
the Aaronic order.  In the Melchisedec type we have a "Priest continually."  This
continuance is in the "power of an endless life" (7: 16), and is "intransmissible."
(7: 24). This as will be seen is set in contrast with a "carnal commandment," and the
fact that the Aaronic Order could not remain unbroken in the person of one priest, by
reason of death. The Priesthood being dealt with, the Apostle approaches the Offerings,
and together with the Old Covenant they are put away (chapters 8: and 9:).
Chapter 10: 12 has been variously rendered. Some put the comma after the words for
ever (as in A.V.) and refer the words to the one sacrifice. Others say no, the words "for
ever" should read on to the next statement thus, "for ever sat down," in contrast to the
many sacrifices offered by the priests. We shall be better able to decide this when we
have considered the remaining occurrences. The two other passages (10: 1 and 10: 14),
structurally balance each other. Verse 14 is clear. "For by one offering He hath perfect
for ever them that are sanctified." Here there is no doubt but that the words "for ever"
rightly attach to the word perfect. In 10: 1 both versions read the words "for ever" with
the word "offer." "The same sacrifices which they offer year by year continually." We
can see that an offering made "year by year" must of necessity be one that is "oft
repeated" (verse 11), but is that the meaning of eis to dienekes? We believe it is not. The
"continual" priesthood of Christ was such by reason of the fact that it was never to be
repeated or passed on. The "continual" or "for ever" quality in the sacrifice of Christ is
like His Priesthood, it is "one sacrifice," "offered once for all." The fact is we have been
misled by the looseness of an English word. "Continually" stand for two very different
ideas, (1) Permanently, without repetition, (2) Frequently. Now "permanently" is the
idea of eis to dienekes, and the impression made by the rendering "year by year
continually" is false. This is easily demonstrated by the changing the word thus, "year by