Can a person lose their salvation? What does it mean to fall away from the faith? In today’s Seven Minute Seminary, Joshua Bloor explains an Arminian interpretation of these critical passages in the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 2:1; 3:7-4:13; 5:11-6:12; 10:19–39; 12:1–29).
On the possibility of apostasy, see also: 1 John 5; Rev. 2-3. Read Ben Witherington’s lengthy commentary on this possibility here. Scot McKnight deals with the claim that different kinds of people (i.e. not Christians) are in view in the warning passages here.
Several scholars from the Arminian-Wesleyan theological tradition have written excellent commentaries on Hebrews:
- Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude by Ben Witherington III
- The Epistles to the Hebrews (NICNT) by Gareth Lee Cockerill
- Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by David DeSilva
- Hebrews (2 vols; Word Biblical Commentary) by William L. Lane
- Understanding the Book of Hebrews: The Story Behind the Sermon by Kenneth Schenck
- The Book of Hebrews: Its Challenge from Zion by George Wesley Buchanan
- Asbury Bible Commentary: “Hebrews”
Thank you for this overview with introductory material. It is a huge subject, indeed, but to my mind, not one to be decided by which side of the Reformation view of election on stands.
As a mere sideline to all this, surely any exposition of these warning passage must begin with the fact that they all are contextualized within the OT with quotations referring to the time of the exodus wanderings. These faithless Israelites all perished in the wilderness and the warning quotations in Hebrews all have direct reference to those times and form the basis of the warnings. One thought which crosses my mind is that election does not mean salvation. Faith is the essential ingredient and without this there is no salvation. The warning passages are genuine statements of what might be, faith is essential otherwise there is a full falling away. Certainly, faith is one of the essential ingredients throughout Hebrews.
Just a thought.