Hebrews 10:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 10:26, NIV: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

Hebrews 10:26, ESV: For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 10:26, KJV: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 10:26, NASB: For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 10:26, NLT: Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.

Hebrews 10:26, CSB: For if we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

What does Hebrews 10:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse is controversial and subject to varied interpretation. The language used in this passage can be taken in more than one way. However, the overall context of the passage, the book of Hebrews, and the entire New Testament, still stands. As difficult as these verses might be to pin down, they should not be interpreted in a manner inconsistent with the rest of Scripture. As a passage dealing with apostasy, this warning either applies to saved Christians who suffer punishment for their disobedience, or those who were never truly saved in the first place, and who experience particular wrath for so blatantly rejecting Christ.

The Greek phrasing here is sometimes interpreted as to "go on sinning," or as "willfully sinning." There is a subtle difference between these, and how one interprets the rest of the passage greatly influences how these words are understood. The wider context of this passage, however, seems to favor the second view.

In the case of those who "go on sinning," it implies those who come to some level of knowledge of the gospel, but ultimately reject it in favor of their sin. Such persons would be those never legitimately saved in the first place. The following warning, then, refers to how much more severe their judgment would be. Those with greater knowledge have greater responsibility, particularly when it comes to spiritual matters (John 9:41).

If this reference is understood as those who are "willfully sinning," it would seem to suggest those who have legitimately accepted Christ, but who purposefully fail to fully submit to His will. It's true that the Bible sets forth a certain expectation for those who are saved; namely, they are generally expected to live as if they believe. However, this very letter of Hebrews pointed out the dangers of falling into faithlessness and disbelief (Hebrews 3:12–19; Hebrews 6:1–8). That prior warning was given very explicitly to saved believers, and included similar language to what follows.

Earlier in this chapter, the writer of Hebrews pointed out that the sacrifice of Christ was a single, once for all event (Hebrews 10:12). For this reason, there are no longer additional sacrifices being made, in heaven, for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:18). When sin is truly forgiven, there is no longer a sacrifice to remove it. The other side of that truth, however, is revealed here. Those who reject Christ reject the one and only sacrifice which can save them. There is not, and will never be, any other means to remove sin.