The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 38 of 159
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"The Word of the Beginning" (6: 1, 2).
pp. 124 - 128
Whatever view we may entertain as to what constitutes "the principles of the doctrine
of Christ", one thing is certain and beyond controversy--that Heb. 6: 1 bids us LEAVE
"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection" (Heb. 6: 1).
Whatever view we may entertain as to these "principles", this verse not only says
"leave them", but sets over against them "perfection".
"Therefore LEAVING . . . . . let us GO ON."
Yet again, whatever place in the doctrine of Christ we may give
"Repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, the laying
on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and aionian judgment."
the same verse says "not laying again the foundation". Leaving for the moment the
question of the exactness of this translation, we feel that no system of sound exegesis can
ignore the obvious relation established in this verse between the commands "Leave . . . . .
go on . . . . . not lay again". "Leave" is echoed by "not lay again", and by parity of
reasoning and structural correspondence "the principles of the doctrine of Christ" are
echoed by the six items of doctrine mentioned in verses 1 and 2. It must strike the
ordinary reader as somewhat strange to be urged by Scripture itself to leave the principles
of the doctrine of Christ, and therefore it becomes us patiently to search the Scriptures to
find the mind of God on the subject.
Casting our eye back to chapter 5: we find that these Hebrews who for the time ought
to have been teachers were so dull of hearing that they needed to be taught again certain
rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God. The word "principles" in Heb. 6: 1 is
the same word "beginning". The word, "doctrine" is the ordinary logos, very like logion
("oracles") in 5: 12. So that the theme of Heb. 5: 12 is resumed in 6: 1: "Therefore
leaving the word of the beginning of the Christ, let us go on unto perfection." Let us
return to Heb. 5: These believers who needed re-instruction in the rudiments were
"babes", who are set in direct contrast with "full-grown" or "perfect" (teleios); this is
parallel with the thought of Heb. 6: 1, which says, "let us go on unto teliotes". We are
not told to forsake PRINCIPLES, but leave rudiments, babyhood, beginnings.
"NOT LAYING AGAIN A FOUNDATION."--Most readers of The Berean
Expositor know that we translate the words "Before the foundation of the world" by
"Before the overthrow of the world". In an earlier Volume evidence is given of the usage