Hebrews 6:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 6:1, NIV: Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

Hebrews 6:1, ESV: Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:1, KJV: Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:1, NASB: Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:1, NLT: So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.

Hebrews 6:1, CSB: Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God,

What does Hebrews 6:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Hebrews 5:11 referred to the readers as "dull of hearing." The terminology here implies someone who is sluggish, apathetic, or lazy. The problem is not a lack of time, or of intelligence. It is simply a lack of motivation. Given that this letter is written to persecuted Jewish Christians, there are many possible reasons for their slow growth. Fear of the world, a lack of confidence, or simple apathy could all have contributed to the problem. The solution, as explained here, is not to take additional time to establish the basics of the faith. Rather, the author intends to press on and allow the reader to catch up.

This perspective is crucial to understanding the statements made in verses 4 through 8. "Sitting still" is not really possible for a Christian. Our faith is either growing, or it is dying. A field full of dead weeds must be burned—symbolic of judgment—before it can start to produce again (Hebrews 6:8).

Verses 1 and 2 describe points which should already be familiar to the Jewish Christians reading the letter. All of these were points of disagreement between Judaism and Christianity. These were topics over which these readers felt attacked. This list also highlights a major temptation being confronted in the book of Hebrews: to abandon truth in favor of an easier, more popular faith.

The reference to "dead works" here is in the same context as other New Testament explanations of the Law. Merely following rules and rituals is not what saves us. In particular, the Old Testament Law was not meant to be the ultimate measure of faith; rather, it was meant to point us towards Christ (Galatians 3:24).