Trained for Life (Hebrews 12:4–11)

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“Trials are not evidence of God’s displeasure, but on the contrary tokens of His love.”1 That is an important message for us to hear. The original recipients of this letter needed to hear this, and so has every Christian since.

One does not need to be a Christian for a long time before he discovers that difficulties do not disappear in the waters of baptism. In fact, once you are born again and profess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, difficulties arise. There is a good reason for this: God loves you and wants you to know this. The hardships are one of His means to say, “I love you.”

Much as a loving father says to the child he is about to discipline, “This is going to hurt me more than it’ going to hurt you,” so there is a very real sense in which our heavenly Father does with His children. But as our writer informs us, the end result is the peace that arises in our soul from increasing spiritual maturity. Though this may be hard to believe, thankfully the inspired Word tells us so. We can confidently believe this—even in the midst of some really difficult situations.

This is our writer’s burden in the passage before us. He wants to encourage his readers that, when their difficulties are such that they are tempted to despair, they must rather hang on to the truth that the trials are God-ordained means of discipline for their ultimate good. And so, rather than responding with the despairing outlook of either exaggerating their troubles or of being exasperated by them, they are rather to respond with the expectation that their troubles are divinely orchestrated to bear the fruit of life. Both the manifestation of spiritual life as well as the maturing of spiritual life is the divine goal motivating our troubles. It is therefore vital that we grasp the meaning of this passage—for our good and for God’s glory.

Like many of our brothers and sisters in various oppressed lands today, these Hebrew Christians were unable to find employment, were ostracised by former friends, and family members were behaving as foes. They were perhaps tempted to drop out of the race in the face of such difficulties. They had begun to run, but would they continue to run and to run well?

The author says in the opening verses of this chapter that, when we find ourselves tempted to despair, we must look to and consider Jesus. As we look to Him interceding for us, we will gain encouragement to persevere. As we consider His trials, through which He persevered, we will gain perspective for our race of perseverance. But our pastoral-hearted writer is not done with this theme. He continues from vv. 4–11 to apply an athletic metaphor (vv. 4, 11) as a means to instruct this harassed flock concerning how they should view their present trials. It comes across in one sense as a rebuke, but it is a rebuke emanating from loving concern. There is much here for us. It serves as a twofold rebuke: a rebuke of our exaggeration (focusing on the problem of frustration), and a rebuke of our exasperation (focusing on the problem of forgetfulness).

The Rebuke for Exaggeration

In v. 4, the writer rebukes his readers for exaggerating their problems: “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

One of the challenges we face when we encounter trials is to blow them out of proportion. The glass is not only half empty but nearly empty, and we are quite sure that there is no more milk anywhere in the universe! Think of a child who injures herself while playing, and that horrible few-second gap of silence while she catches her breath to let out that blood-curdling scream. You might think that she has lost a finger, not merely broken her fingernail! Or what about when the unexpected bill arrives and you conclude that you will spend the rest of your life in debtor’s prison!

On a more serious level, have you ever been the victim of unkind and thoughtless words from someone, only to conclude that you are all alone in this world, friendless and surrounded by nobody whom you can trust? In the words of the psalmist, you conclude, “No one cares for my soul” (Psalm 142:4). When this is our reaction, we need to hear this rebuke to stop exaggerating.

There is no doubt that these believers were suffering (10:32–33). The exhortation in vv. 1–3 indicates a full awareness on the part of the author of some of the difficulties they were facing. He is not making light of that, and yet at the same time he will not exaggerate their situation. He reminds them that though they have suffered and are suffering for their faith, they “have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” What does he mean?

It will be helpful to recognise that the author is using what most believe is an athletic metaphor; perhaps, in this case, that of boxing. Lane informs us that “according to … the Stoic philosopher Seneca, the true athlete was the man who ‘saw his own blood.’”2 And so, Lane concludes, “it is no longer the footrace that is in view but the boxing arena, involving bloodshed and even death.”3 This had not “yet” happened to these believers, but the “yet” seems to imply that they may one day do so. But they must be prepared, they must be trained for this.

The words “striving against” has as its root the verb agonizomai. The noun was used in v. 1 to speak of an athletic contest. The verbal form here denotes “to engage in a struggle.” This would include an athletic contest like a marathon, but it also can refer to a fight; to wrestling or boxing (see 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7).

The point being made is that, in their struggle, in the various conflicts (Colossians 1:29) they face as Christians, they had not yet had to shed any blood. No one had broken their noses!

Consider the Context

It is clear that the author is making a comparison. But to whom is he comparing their situation? There are two possibilities.

First, he could be comparing their lot to many of those he has just mentioned in Hebrews 11 (see vv. 35–37). He might be saying that, though their struggles are severe, they have not had to pay the ultimate price—at least not yet.

The second possibility is linked to the immediate context (vv. 1–3), in which case the comparison is between what Jesus Christ endured—even to the point of death—with their own situation, which thus far had not yet required such agony.

The thought would be the entire bloody ordeal, beginning in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44).

The writer is subtly yet importantly reminding his readers that, though they are experiencing difficulty, nevertheless their struggles are nothing like those of the one who did resist to bloodshed while striving against sin.

The one to whom they were called to look and consider persevered to such a degree that our struggles, though real and often intense, pale in comparison.

Whichever comparison is in mind, the point is clear that he is chastising their self-pity by pointing out that things are not as bad as they could be; in fact, things are not yet as bad as they might one day be.

Minimising?

Now, this approach might be criticised by some as minimising their suffering. But that would be a wrong conclusion. The author is not minimising their suffering; he is, however, putting into proper perspective what they are going through. And this is often precisely what we need—especially when we exaggerate our circumstances.

Though minimising our real struggles is rarely helpful, at the same time refusing to maximise them is very important. We need a reality check.

But what is meant by “striving against sin”? Is this a foreign thought to the context? Not at all. The sin of which he is writing, in keeping with the book, is the sin of unbelief. It is the sin of apostasy. Marcus Dods helpfully explains,

Jesus endured the [hostility] of sinners even to blood, the death of the cross; the Hebrews have not yet been called so to suffer in their conflict, a conflict which every day summons them to fresh resistance against the sin of failure of faith and apostasy … the sin of unbelief, which is here regarded as their true antagonist.4

Tempted to Departure

Think about it: Was this not the very sin that the devil sought to tempt Jesus to commit? Satan tempted Jesus, throughout His life, to turn away from the Father’s will for His life; it was a temptation to apostasy. And this temptation was never stronger than when Jesus was in Gethsemane and then, hours later, when He was on the cross.

Consider Gethsemane

Jesus was tempted to turn away from the impending arrest. The temple guard was only a march away. The thought of being forsaken by the Father, the thought of being made sin, was abhorrent. The solution would be to turn away from the cross, to apostatise. Jesus therefore resisted against this sin “to bloodshed” as He sweat great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Satan no doubt tempted Him. His friends tempted Him. They were adamant that they would never betray Him, and they even slept during His time of greatest need. He was no doubt tempted by His own desire for self-preservation—not in a sinful way, but He was holy and did not need to die. He knew who He was and knew that He could easily destroy those who were crucifying Him, and He must have been tempted to do so.

Golgotha

Of course, it was at Golgotha that Jesus shed His blood in the fullest and most saving way. He quite literally shed His blood for sinners as He resisted the sinful taunts to come down from the cross.

The point is that Jesus felt the full weight of the temptation to apostatise, in a way that you and I never will. He persevered. Because He did, we can; we must. Our temptations are nothing compared to all that He endured. That is not said to minimise the power of our temptations but rather to maximise our encouragement to persevere. As our writer has previously said,

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same…. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

(Hebrews 2:14–18)

And again, in 4:15–16:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the light of that, we can be confident that “no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Exaggeration and Frustration

When we exaggerate our suffering we at the same time are also prone to frustration. We may find ourselves complaining against God for the difficulties we face. But when we learn to view our trials in the light of the cross of Christ then frustration gives way to faith.

The gospel provides perspective for us in our time of trial. Look to Jesus and persevere. Get back into the race, go back to the centre of the ring and fight the good fight of faith. Because Jesus did so, can we do so; and like Him—because of Him—we will be victorious.

The Rebuke to Exasperation

If v. 4 was concerned with the problem of exaggerating our problems to the point of sinful because faithless frustration, then vv. 4–11 are concerned with the problem of exasperation with our problems because of sinful because faithless forgetfulness.

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

(Hebrews 12:5–11)

There are several important truths here for our instruction and edification.

Don’t Forget the Father

First, the writer urges us not to forget the Father (vv. 5–8). He quotes Proverbs 3:11–12 to remind us that those who are disciples of Christ will be marked by discipline from God. Those who are His children will be treated like it. And this calls for discipline.

The word “chastening” is key. It comes from the Greek term paideia and refers to childrearing through instruction, training and correction. It carries the idea of training by disciplinary action.

The emphasis is that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should not be surprised by the difficulties we face as we faithfully profess Him. It is proof of sonship. God trains His own, and often the most productive means for doing so is pain. As C. S. Lewis famously said, God whispers to us in our joys but He shouts to us in our pain. It is not the shout of an angry Father but rather the shout of a loving Father who seeks our best.

John Owen helpfully explains v. 7 when he notes that “deals with” means that God “offers himself to you in the … ‘habit’ of a father to his children…. He proposes himself to you as a father and acts accordingly.”5 Andrews adds, “Thus trouble is a sign, not of God’s disfavour, but of his fatherhood; not of his remoteness, but of his closeness; not of his forgetfulness but of his devotion to the well-being of his children.”6 Our Heavenly Father seeks to get us to the finish line in the best shape of our life.

Mixed Metaphors?

This theme of discipline is consistent with the overarching theme in this chapter of the athletic metaphor. After all, the best runners and the best fighters are usually the most disciplined. Verse 7 may hint at this. If it is translated as, “It is for discipline that you have to endure” (ESV), then the meaning would seem to be that discipline is so vital that you must embrace the endurance required to get the full benefit from it.

Verse 11 closes this passage with the word “trained,” which comes from the Greek term gumnazo. It means “to exercise” (see 1 Timothy 4:7). If someone is going to be fit for an athletic contest, they must be trained for it, and that requires discipline.

The writer mixes his metaphors to explain that our heavenly Father is our Coach who uses trials (chastening) as a means to get us in the best shape of our life as defined by holiness (vv. 9–10).

I often say to people that the differences between my one of my daughters, who is an accomplished runner, and myself are manifold, but one of those is that I run to eat but she eats to run. In other words, she is far more disciplined than I am and her results show it. Discipline and success are complementary. So it is in the Christian life.

Voluntary Submission

Now, at some point all of these illustrations and metaphors break down, for discipline in the life of an athlete is voluntary whereas, if you belong to God, He will discipline you. Yet there is a voluntary aspect that we must embrace if we will gain the most from the experience: We must remember why things are happening and who is ultimately behind it. When we do so, then we will benefit in many ways. For one thing, we will not grow exasperated and bitter but rather will joyfully embrace the trial, the struggle—even to the plundering of our goods (10:34). So the first thing that we are told is to remember.

Apparently some of these Hebrew believers were not responding very well in their hour of trial. And so the writer rebukes them with these words: “You have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons.” The word “forgotten” means literally “to forget completely.” Apparently they were behaving as if they had had completely forgotten the Fatherhood of God. As a result, they had become exasperated and bitter (v. 15)—even to the point of being tempted to give up the fight (v. 13).

When we are tempted to despair we need to remember. And we need to remember by listening to what God has been saying for centuries and to what He continues to say. This, of course, will require us to be in the Word.

The words “which speaks to you” are in the present active tense and this indicates the present speech of God. God is saying thoroughly that He loves us and that we undergo discipline because He desires our best. Do you hear that?

It is important to understand the vast scope of discipline. Discipline is not merely corrective. It is also preventative and educational. Let me explain.

Corrective discipline occurs when we sin. God our Father lovingly chastens us when we do wrong. But He often disciplines our wills even when we, like Job, are doing well (Job 1:1ff). He does this to shape our character and to teach us about Him. This is educational discipline.

Finally, as in the example of the apostle Paul, sometimes God sends trials to discipline our wills in order to guard us from sins such as pride (see 2 Corinthians 12:7–10). This is preventative discipline. In all of these, God is training us with trials for greater spiritual triumph. We must not forget this! As James Moffatt said, “To endure rightly one must endure intelligently.”7 Remember and learn!

It is encouraging to remember that God is not silent (Hebrews 1:1–2). When you are experiencing struggles in the race then you need to tune your ear to listen to the Coach. And what you will hear will bless your socks off!

When God says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24), He is speaking from experience. It is such wise counsel because such chastening is godly. It is how our heavenly Father treats His own.

In Proverbs 3, God tells us that He loves us, and we hear this best, not when all is well, but most usually when all is in turmoil. Trials are God’s means to train those whom He loves. And He loves every one of His sons. If you have been received by God through being saved by God then you will be disciplined by God because you are loved by Him.

At this point the author helps us to see two particular dangers that may arise if we forget the Father. And if we fall prey to either of these then we will miss out on the blessings of God’s purpose to train us for life.

The Danger of being Dismissive/Careless

Verse 5a warns us of the danger of being dismissive or careless. He speaks of those who “have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons,” and who manifest this in the way that they “despise the chastening of the LORD” This is perhaps the least of our dangers; nevertheless the temptation exists. Solomon wrote that when we undergo divine discipline we are not to “despise” it.

The word translated “despise” means “to have little regard for” or “to have little care for.” We are admonished, in other words, that we are not to be careless about such trials. I think Donald Guthrie is onto something when he notes, “The exhortation not to treat discipline lightly is constantly needed since men have an inborn dislike of discipline and never more so than today.”8

The Christian is not a stoic. We are not fatalists. We realise that there is a personal purpose behind our trials. But it is all too easy to lose sight of this.

When we face trials we need to think. Don’t simply shrug your shoulders as you say, “Oh well, I will persevere.” Rather, bow your knee in humble submission, counting it an honour that God has your best interests at heart. Ask Him to show you what you need to learn and then persevere in faith. As we noted earlier, look to the Father for correction, education or for prevention.

In other words, we are not to be nonchalantly dismissive of such chastening. Rather we are to embrace it as God’s good gift to His children; we are to consider God a loving Father rather than an angry Father who has forsaken us.

The Danger of being Discouraged/Care-full

The second danger, according to v. 5b, is to be discouraged or full of care. He warns, “Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.”

Raymond Brown captures the essence of these warnings when he writes, “When the Lord disciplines his people some are indifferent to it, others become overwhelmed by it, but, as Christians, we ought to rejoice in it.”9

Most of us would confess that, when troubles assault us, discouragement is often our response. We are tempted to doubt the love of God, which, in the light of this passage, is ludicrous since the underlying motive behind our trials is God’s love for us!

The word “discouraged” means to become “faint-hearted” and connotes giving up due to weariness of spirit (see v. 3). But if we listen to God’s very contemporary Word then we will hear, “I love you,” and so rather than becoming exasperated by our trials, rather than responding with bitter animosity, we will respond with faithful anticipation of the spiritual life that God is imparting to us.

“We begin to ‘live,’” writes Guthrie, “only when we accept the fact that, in a spiritual sense, God is our Father.”10 Therefore, when we are disciplined, we must embrace it with expectation and appreciation. Christian, when you are hurting, it is not because you are hated; it is because you are loved. The Father loves us too much to make our life one of ease.

But this brings us to the next point.

The Duty to be Delighted/Care-free

Muse for a moment on the statement of v. 8: “But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”

Again, contextually consider that these believers were no doubt observing their fellow Jews (unbelieving ones) sailing along swimmingly in life. They were not suffering at the hands of others as they went about their temple worship. They were not being ostracised by other Jews. Perhaps the appearance of all of this outward tranquillity tempted the suffering saints to assume that God’s Fatherly blessings and care was upon their enemies rather than on them. But the writer tells them, “Not so fast!” For, in fact, the absence of opposition for Christ’s sake is proof, not of legitimacy, but of illegitimacy. God focuses on His own, not on those who belong to the devil.

In this wonderful passage we are encouraged that our troubles are God’s evidence that we are His sons. He only trains His own. Hughes, commenting on this passage, writes,

The ancient world found it incomprehensible that a father could possibly love his child and not punish him. In fact, a real son would draw more discipline than, say, an illegitimate child for the precise reason that greater honor and responsibility were to be his.11

As we realise that our trials are evidence of sonship, then among other responses we should rejoice—yea, delight—in what God’s discipline declare to us. And to the degree that we understand His loving purposes, to that degree we can be care-free rather than care-full. That is, we can be content that there is a wonderful and constructive purpose behind the rod; namely, real life. When elevated to a spiritual plane, discipline becomes an essential feature of true life.

What’s the Difference?

The reality is that, whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, you will face struggles and difficulties and trials. So how do we make sense of this proverb? After all, we have probably all heard those who are clearly not Christians put on a brave face when confronted with trials and proclaim something like, “Well, you know, these things are sent to try us from a loving God.”

While in some instances this might be true (that is, the Lord may be getting the attention of one whom He is going to save), in most cases it is more likely the judgement of God upon an enemy. So, how do we properly apply this proverb?

The answer I believe is in the context. Two principles arise.

First, the immediate context is persecution for one’s profession of faith. God allows His children to be oppressed by Christ-rejecters for the purpose of maturing them spiritually. So don’t lose sight of this context. When those who are enemies of the gospel make our lives difficult, realise that our heavenly Father is lovingly using this so that we might identify more with Him and He with us (John 15:18–25; 17:14).

But second, applying this to the broader range of life in general, believers are to see trials as evidence of sonship in a concrete way that unbelievers cannot. As the writer will soon address, the proof of sonship will be revealed as the trials are used to transform us to look more like God’s Son.

The unbeliever may temporarily fool himself that his difficulties are some indication that God loves him, but if there is no discernible likeness to Christ, then all such positive thinking is merely whistling in the dark. This is one reason that the traditional translation of v. 7 may be better: “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons” (see KJV). In other words, the indication of sonship may not be immediately detected by trials, but if we persevere in Christ-centred faith then the proof will be in the pudding.

To summarise, the presence of difficulties itself is not sure evidence of sonship, but rather how we respond is key. When we remember the Father and respond with joyful submission (v. 9) our sonship is affirmed.

Don’t Forget the Fruit

In vv. 9–11, the writer urges us not to forget the fruit.

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

(Hebrews 12:9–11)

Here, he builds on what he has just written. Our Father uses (better, He orchestrates) such trials for our ultimate and eternal good. He proves this from an argument from the lesser to the greater.

In some ways, the statements of vv. 9–10 may not resonate as well in our culture as they would have decades ago. Fatherly discipline is woefully absent today. Nevertheless, the point remains: Fathers—good and wise fathers—“corrected” (instructed, disciplined) us, and our response was one of respectful submission.

But, of course, our fathers were not, and we who are fathers are not, perfect. Our motives were and are not always pure. Sometimes, we just want comfort and ease and quiet and so we wield the discipline. To be frank, sometimes our discipline is sinfully tainted and our motives are therefore less than pure. Further, there is a temporal limit as well to our discipline. It is only “for a few days.”

But now note the contrast with the ways and goals of the Father’s discipline. Our Father in the spiritual realm (“Father of spirits”) is always perfect in His approach and motives. He disciplines us wisely for the development of our holiness. His purposes are pure; they are for purity. And they are continuous until we achieve perfection. For this reason he argues that, most assuredly, we should “more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live.” He is referring, of course, to spiritual life.

To the degree that we remember the Fatherhood of God, and therefore His Fatherly concern, to that degree we will find ourselves entrusting ourselves to Him and experiencing more and more of the eternal life purchased for us by Christ. Since eternal life is characterised as knowing God (John 17:3) then how we respond to the struggles for our faith is vitally important. Don’t give up the fight. Don’t quit the race. Don’t stop persevering. Don’t stop believing. Rather, keep believing and keep sharing in God’s holiness.

Keep the Focus/Faith

Verse 11 brings the argument to a conclusion. The Christian can expect to be trained by God, which includes being tried by God. Chastening will lovingly occur. But the end product is worth it all.

Chastisement is here viewed as an opportunity for cultivating faith and endurance and to those who use the opportunity and are exercised and trained by it, it necessarily yields, renders as the harvest due … a peace which can only be attained by those who have used their trials as a discipline and have emerged victorious from the conflict.12

The writer is no Pollyanna when it comes to the pain of life. He clearly says that “no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful.” This is reality. The Christian is not oblivious to the hardships that attend following Jesus. Sometimes, the “present” is so painful that the idea of joy seems remote. But like proper discipline in the home, once the rod has been applied, calm is restored as relationships are healed and harmony and hope are once again the norm.

“The peaceable fruit of righteousness” is the crop that chastening produces when we follow the instructions laid out in this passage. That is, as we consider God as our Father and therefore submit respectfully to His hand, then righteous character and conduct are developed and we enjoy the peace of being right with God.

Christian, you are in God’s gymnasium. It can be difficult, it can be tough. But the fruit is worth it all. The goal of divine discipline is to bring God’s children to spiritual maturity and to prepare them to share His holiness. As someone has said, the most holy of us are those who have properly endured the most discipline. And with such maturity in our spiritual life we can have “Heaven’s peace experienced now in an unpeaceful world.”13 That is a harvest worthy persevering for!

Brown is spot on: “Divine correction provides the church with well-trained Christians.”14 Therefore, let us faithfully and therefore joyfully submit to the Father’s loving discipline. Let us be well-trained for the race set before us, with our eyes fixed unwaveringly on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Jesus Himself was trained for life (5:7–9). The Father does all things well. Faithfully submit to Him as He trains you for life.

Show 14 footnotes

  1. Marcus Dods, The Expositor’s Greek Testament, 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 4:367.
  2. William L. Lane, Hebrews: Word Biblical Commentary, 2 vols. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 2:417–28.
  3. Lane, Hebrews, 2:417.
  4. Dods, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 4:367.
  5. Edgar Andrews, A Glorious High Throne: Hebrews Simply Explained (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 2003), 423.
  6. Andrews, A Glorious High Throne, 423.
  7. R. Kent Hughes, Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul, 2 vols. (Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), 2:172.
  8. Donald Guthrie, Hebrews: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1983), 254.
  9. Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews: The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), 232.
  10. Guthrie, Hebrews, 255.
  11. Hughes, Hebrews, 2:172.
  12. Dods, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 4:368–69.
  13. Hughes, Hebrews, 2:174.
  14. Brown, The Message of Hebrews, 235.