Hebrews 5:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 5:11, NIV: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.

Hebrews 5:11, ESV: About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:11, KJV: Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:11, NASB: Concerning him we have much to say, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become poor listeners.

Hebrews 5:11, NLT: There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen.

Hebrews 5:11, CSB: We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand.

What does Hebrews 5:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These verses are an interesting side-note in the flow of the text. So far, the writer of Hebrews has shown that the promised Messiah must be human, and has demonstrated that Jesus meets the requirements of both King and High Priest. Suddenly, the train of thought stops, and the writer expresses some frustration with the original audience. The topic at hand requires some careful thought—and chapters 7 through 10 will be almost entirely devoted to this single idea. But the writer has no confidence that those details are going to be meaningful to the Jewish Christians he writes to.

In this verse, the writer refers to his readers as "dull of hearing." The word translated dull comes from the Greek term nōthroi, which carries a sense of being lazy or sluggish. The criticism here is not that these Christians are unintelligent, or incapable of understanding. Rather, they are careless about their faith. This echoes the warning given in Hebrews 2:1–4, where the writer commanded his audience to pay "closer attention" to these things.