Sanctification (hagiazo) in the book of Hebrews

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biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
I just had a discussion with a very learned friend of mine who happens to *not* be a believer in Covenant Theology.

I told him that my study of Hebrews was instrumental in convincing me of the truth of Covenant theology.

He countered that I should study the usage of the word "sanctified" in the book of Hebrews. (It is used 7 times: twice in 2:11, and once each in 9:13, 10:10, 10:14, 10:29, and 13:12.) --- He suggested that the word "sanctified" in Hebrews is synonymous with the word "justified" in the Pauline epistles. He said that a proper understanding of this word negates Covenant Theology in the book of Hebrews.

Have you heard of this? Obviously, I don't agree with him. But I haven't done this particular study in-depth.

What is the *precise* definition of "sanctified" in the book of Hebrews? What article/book/etc. would you recommend for me?

Thanks in advance!
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Set apart; consecrated; set apart for God.

It is the same word used to describe Christians and their children or the spouse of a believer (cf 1 Cor 7:14).

[Edited on 5-20-2005 by WrittenFromUtopia]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
"He countered that I should study the usage of the word "sanctified" in the book of Hebrews. (It is used 7 times: twice in 2:11, and once each in 9:13, 10:10, 10:14, 10:29, and 13:12.) --- He suggested that the word "sanctified" in Hebrews is synonymous with the word "justified" in the Pauline epistles. He said that a proper understanding of this word negates Covenant Theology in the book of Hebrews."

Thats simple enough. I guess Owen was an idiot!
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Set apart; consecrated; set apart for God.

It is the same word used to describe Christians and their children or the spouse of a believer (cf 1 Cor 7:14).

[Edited on 5-20-2005 by WrittenFromUtopia]


I agree with you. But the fact remains that not all Biblical authors use words in the same way. Just because Paul used the word that way doesn't *prove* that the author of the book of Hebrews used it that way.

The guy I'm talking to argues that "sanctified" means "justified" *only* in the book of Hebrews, based on passages like 2:11-12.

I don't agree with him. But he is no simpleton. He won't change his mind based on 1 Cor. 7:14, or any other Pauline text. The case will have to be made out of Hebrews itself.

I'm already working on a response to him. I'm just seeing what tips you guys can give me. Any tips from within the book of Hebrews?
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
"He countered that I should study the usage of the word "sanctified" in the book of Hebrews. (It is used 7 times: twice in 2:11, and once each in 9:13, 10:10, 10:14, 10:29, and 13:12.) --- He suggested that the word "sanctified" in Hebrews is synonymous with the word "justified" in the Pauline epistles. He said that a proper understanding of this word negates Covenant Theology in the book of Hebrews."

Thats simple enough. I guess Owen was an idiot!

I'm discussing this stuff with a guy who thinks covenant theology was *invented* just to support paedobaptism. . . . We have a looooong way to go in our discussions.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Who does he believe invented it? Since when do we support a biblical idea from one book of the bible? What kind of hermeneutic is that?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by biblelighthouse
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
"He countered that I should study the usage of the word "sanctified" in the book of Hebrews. (It is used 7 times: twice in 2:11, and once each in 9:13, 10:10, 10:14, 10:29, and 13:12.) --- He suggested that the word "sanctified" in Hebrews is synonymous with the word "justified" in the Pauline epistles. He said that a proper understanding of this word negates Covenant Theology in the book of Hebrews."

Thats simple enough. I guess Owen was an idiot!

I'm discussing this stuff with a guy who thinks covenant theology was *invented* just to support paedobaptism. . . . We have a looooong way to go in our discussions.

Start here:

If he is correct about sanctified in Hebrews (and he is not), that threatens the very fabric of justification by faith. Why? Because if sanctification can mean justification in Hebrews, why not in Peter? Why not in the Gospels? And that would make for some really crazy theology.

So, I guess if I were given a choice between "inventing" a doctrine to permit infant baptism, and "inventing" a doctrine that would permit justification by works, I'll choose the former.
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biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco

Start here:

If he is correct about sanctified in Hebrews (and he is not), that threatens the very fabric of justification by faith. Why? Because if sanctification can mean justification in Hebrews, why not in Peter? Why not in the Gospels? And that would make for some really crazy theology.

So, I guess if I were given a choice between "inventing" a doctrine to permit infant baptism, and "inventing" a doctrine that would permit justification by works, I'll choose the former.

I agree that "sanctified" does not mean "justified" in Hebrews.

However, I think your suggestion is overly "systematic" to a fault. The fact is that not every Biblical author uses words in precisely the same way. And even *within* the writing of a single author, not every word is used the same way every time.

It is a bad hermeneutic to take a systematic, precise, theological definition for a word, a "technical term", and then to automatically read that definition back into the Scriptures every time that word shows up.

For example, what does "saved" mean? In our precise theological lingo, it means "regenerate". And *many* times in the Bible, it means just that. But it doesn't mean that *every* time! Just take a look at 1 Timothy 2:15, where it says that a woman can be "saved in childbearing". If "saved" means "regenerate" in THAT particular verse, then I'm the man on the moon. --- And then 1 Timothy 2:15 would throw into question "the very fabric of justification by faith", would it not?

The guy I'm talking to most emphatically agrees with you and me about what "sanctified" and "justified" mean in Paul's epistles. But he makes the valid suggestion that the word "sanctified" is used in a different sense by the author of Hebrews. However, while it is a "valid" possibility, I think he is incorrect in this case. It is not bad to consider a different meaning for hagiazo in Hebrews. But I'm just arguing that this is NOT one of the cases in which this approach is correct.

It is OK to consider different meanings for words. But I don't think that it works in this case. That's why I'm working on refuting my friend's hypothesis.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Joseph,

You are right to a point. The key being there: to a point. There is a semantic range of words, and they can be used in a different contexts (e.g. dikaio,w in James 2). But to claim that the two primary words for the two primary parts of salvation, that have been the source of controversy for centuries, and have been given universal import by all Protestants (especially Baptists) is just ridiculous.

Have your friend (who is obviously a Baptist) ask that question of James White, John Macarthur or even our own Rich Barcellos. I'm guessing that they will agree with me that it is ludicrious, and VERY dangerous.

It's like be concerned about the grease fire on the stove so you throw gas on it "cause it happens to be wet"
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Joseph,

You are right to a point. The key being there: to a point. There is a semantic range of words, and they can be used in a different contexts (e.g. dikaio,w in James 2). But to claim that the two primary words for the two primary parts of salvation, that have been the source of controversy for centuries, and have been given universal import by all Protestants (especially Baptists) is just ridiculous.

Have your friend (who is obviously a Baptist) ask that question of James White, John Macarthur or even our own Rich Barcellos. I'm guessing that they will agree with me that it is ludicrious, and VERY dangerous.

It's like be concerned about the grease fire on the stove so you throw gas on it "cause it happens to be wet"


You make an excellent point. Making "sanctification" = "justification" would stretch the word hagiazo way outside of it's accepted range of definitions. I hadn't thought of it from that particular angle. Thank you!

It is ok to consider various definitions and shades of meanings for Biblical words. But no matter who the author or what the context, the word "satan" can never mean "Jesus". The word "heaven" can never mean "Asia". And "sanctification" is not the same thing as "justification". --- I like your example of throwing gas on a fire because it happens to be "wet" . . . good analogy.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by biblelighthouse
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Joseph,

You are right to a point. The key being there: to a point. There is a semantic range of words, and they can be used in a different contexts (e.g. dikaio,w in James 2). But to claim that the two primary words for the two primary parts of salvation, that have been the source of controversy for centuries, and have been given universal import by all Protestants (especially Baptists) is just ridiculous.

Have your friend (who is obviously a Baptist) ask that question of James White, John Macarthur or even our own Rich Barcellos. I'm guessing that they will agree with me that it is ludicrious, and VERY dangerous.

It's like be concerned about the grease fire on the stove so you throw gas on it "cause it happens to be wet"


You make an excellent point. Making "sanctification" = "justification" would stretch the word hagiazo way outside of it's accepted range of definitions. I hadn't thought of it from that particular angle. Thank you!

It is ok to consider various definitions and shades of meanings for Biblical words. But no matter who the author or what the context, the word "satan" can never mean "Jesus". The word "heaven" can never mean "Asia". And "sanctification" is not the same thing as "justification". --- I like your example of throwing gas on a fire because it happens to be "wet" . . . good analogy.

Thanks. I should have been clearer earlier - since you raised the good point about ranges earlier. I bet that your friend would be horrified if you tried to make sanctification or sanctify (or any variant of a`gia,zw ) mean "justify" any place else outside of Hebrews.
 

Rich Barcellos

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred said, "Have your friend (who is obviously a Baptist) ask that question of James White, John Macarthur or even our own Rich Barcellos. I'm guessing that they will agree with me that it is ludicrious, and VERY dangerous."

I agree with Fred!
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Does 'hagiazo' mean justified in Hebrews 2:11-12? Not according to the context: vs. 10 speaks about Christ being made perfect through his sufferings, implying a process or growth in this perfection, not a once for all deliverance from the condemnation sins (justification).

Words mean what they mean primarily by context. Does 'hagiazo' mean justify in another context thus giving a translator or exegete the possibility to say that this is even a valid option for Hebrews or any other passage (called semantic range)? Does 'hagiazo' mean justify in this context?
 
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