No More Sacrifice Part 1 of 2 -- By: John H. Niemelä

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 04:4 (Oct 1998)
Article: No More Sacrifice Part 1 of 2
Author: John H. Niemelä


No More Sacrifice
Part 1 of 2

John H. Niemelä*

[*Editor's note: John Niemelä earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota, a Th.M. in New Testament Literature and Exegesis (Dallas Theological Seminary), and is a Ph.D. candidate in New Testament Literature and Exegesis (Dallas Theological Seminary). John is professor of Greek and Hebrew at Chafer Theological Seminary.]

Introduction

A troubling sermon in 1968 launched this author into a twenty-five year quest to understand Hebrews 10:26–27. The issue behind the inquiry was “What is the impact of his passage on the security (or insecurity) of believers?”

If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26–27).1

This article traces a pilgrimage leading to a simple solution for Hebrews 10:26–27. It integrates the exegesis of the passage into the book’s overall context.

Personal Pilgrimage

The following chart traces the chronology of the author’s perception of the passage.It also serves as the basic outline of the article.

View

Years Held

Problem with Prior View:

A. No Security

1968–74

B. Never-Saved

1974–83

(A) Eternal security

C. Fellowship-Sacrifice

1983–93

(B) The book’s audience

D. Change of Covenants

1993—

(C) Analysis of Hebrews 10:18

Figure 1. The Author’s Developing Perspective on Hebrews 10:26–27.

The author’s autobiographical context is the setting of the author’s four-stage exegetical inquiry.

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