Hebrews 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: Skian gar echon (PAPMSN) o nomos ton mellonton (PAPNPG) agathon, ouk auten ten eikona ton pragmaton, kat' eniauton tais autais thusiais as prospherousin (3PPAI) eis to dienekes oudepote dunatai (3SPPI) tous proserchomenous (PMPMPA) teleiosai; (AAN)
Amplified: FOR SINCE the Law has merely a rude outline (foreshadowing) of the good things to come—instead of fully expressing those things—it can never by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year make perfect those who approach [its altars].
Barclay: Because the law is only a pale shadow of the blessing which are to come and not a real image of these things, it can never really fit for the fellowship of God those who seek to draw near to his presence with the sacrifices which have to be brought year by year and which go on for ever (Westminster Press)
NLT: The old system in the law of Moses was only a shadow of the things to come, not the reality of the good things Christ has done for us. The sacrifices under the old system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: The Law possessed only a dim outline of the benefits Christ would bring and did not actually reproduce them. Consequently it was incapable of perfecting the souls of those who offered their regular annual sacrifices. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For the law having a shadow of the good things about to be, and not the image itself of the actual things, is never able by means of the same sacrifices which they are offering year after year, continually to make those who come to it complete. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: For the law having a shadow of the coming good things -- not the very image of the matters, every year, by the same sacrifices that they offer continually, is never able to make perfect those coming near,
FOR THE LAW, SINCE IT HAS ONLY A SHADOW OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME AND NOT THE VERY FORM: Skian gar echon (PAPMSN) o nomos ton mellonton (PAPNPG) agathon ouk auten ten eikona ton pragmaton: (He 8:5; 9:9,11,23; Col 2:17)
For - Introduces an explanation (always seek to discover "What is the author explaining?) Here the for connects chapter 10 to the end of chap 9 (NIV does not render the for). The writer is offering a further explanation of "the finality of Messiah’s one sacrifice and thus of its superiority to the sacrifices of the law." (Wuest - Hebrews Commentary online)
Law (3551) (nomos from nemo = to parcel out, divide among, allot) is first of all something parceled out or allotted and so what one has in possession. The primary meaning relates to that which is conceived as a standard or refers to generally recognized rules of civilized conduct especially as sanctioned by tradition. In addition to rules that take hold through tradition, the state or other legislating body may enact ordinances that are recognized by all concerned and in turn become legal tradition. The law is thus a plumbline as used to determine straightness. But just as plumblines cannot straighten the building but only determine how crooked it is and where change is needed, so too the law acts as a plumbline to show us where we fall short and to tutor us and lead us to faith in the gospel through which one can meet God's righteous standard.
Spurgeon - This refers to the old ceremonial law, under which the Jews lived so long. They always had to go on, year after year, offering the same kind of sacrifices, because the work of atonement was never done perfectly. Men were not cleansed or saved by it, so the process had to be constantly repeated.
Shadow (4639) (skia [word study]) describes that pattern which is thrown by an object when light falls upon the original object. A shadow is thus an image cast by an object representing the form of that object. It can refer to a foreshadowing, a faint outline or an imperfect portrayal or representation of a thing or in the present context the substance, the reality, the Person of Christ.
A T Robertson - The contrast here between skia (shadow, shade caused by interruption of light as by trees, Mk 4:32) and eikon (image or picture) is striking. In Col 2:17-note Paul draws a distinction between skia for the Jewish rites and ceremonies and soma for the reality in Christ. Children are fond of shadow pictures. The law gives only a dim outline of the good things to come (He 9:11-note).
Vincent - The emphasis is on this thought (Ed: Skia is first word in Greek sentence for emphasis). The legal system was a shadow. Skia is a rude outline, an adumbration, contrasted with eikon, the archetypal or ideal pattern. Skia does not accurately exhibit the figure itself. Compare He 8:5-note.
Wuest - Expositor’s says in this connection: “The explanation consists in this that the law had only ‘a shadow of the good things that were to be, not the very image of the things.’ Skian (shadow) is in the emphatic place, as that characteristic of the law which determines its inadequacy. ‘A shadow’ suggests indefiniteness and unsubstantiality; a mere indication that a reality exists. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Skia - 7x in 7v - Mt 4:16; Mk 4:32; Lk 1:79; Acts 5:15; Col 2:17; He 8:5; He 10:1
Skia is actually a pale shadow contrasted with a sharp, distinct one. The law and the Levitical ceremonies and rituals were only a pale shadow of the things Christ would bring. They were form without substance portraying something real, but not themselves real. A shadow has no substance in itself. It has no independent existence. It merely is proof of the fact that there is a reality back of it. It is not itself solid or real.
Ray Stedman has an interesting introduction to this chapter…
Spurgeon - Ceremonies under the old dispensation were precious because they set forth the realities yet to be revealed, but in Christ Jesus we deal with the realities themselves. This is a happy circumstance for us, for both our sins and our sorrows are real, and only substantial mercies can counteract them. In Jesus, we have the substance of all that the symbols set forth. He is our sacrifice, our altar, our priest, our incense, our tabernacle, our all in all. The law had “the shadow of good things to come,” but in Christ we have “the form of things itself.”
Max Alderman - From time to time, I will pull out a certain old video which was made over twenty years ago. When I do, it brings me joy to watch and hear my parents, who are deceased, once again speak. The image is of them and the voice is theirs, but it is only a shadow of what was. The “law having a shadow of good things to come” is only a shadow of Him who is. In regards to my parent’s shadow, if I could I would trade the shadow for them. The shadow follows them. In regards to Him, I will not trade Him for the shadow. In His case the shadow came first. The law is that shadow. With Him being the substance which the shadow represented, we now have a better offering. (Ref)
Marcus Dods in the Expositor's Greek Testament writes - The explanation consists in this that the law had only ‘a shadow of the good things that were to be, not the very image of the things.’ Skian (shadow) is in the emphatic place, as that characteristic of the law which determines its inadequacy. ‘A shadow’ suggests indefiniteness and unsubstantiality; a mere indication that a reality exists. Eikon (image) suggests what is in itself substantial and also gives a true representation of that which it images. The eikon (image) brings before us under the conditions of space, as we can understand it, that which is spiritual’ (Westcott)…The contrast is between a bare intimation that good things were to be given, and an actual presentation of these good things in an apprehensible form. It is implied that this latter is given in Christ; but what is asserted is, that the law did not present the coming realities in a form which brought them within the comprehension of the people.” (The Expositor's Greek Testament)
Good things (18) (agathos [word study]) (click discussion of good deeds) means profitable, benefiting others, whereas the related word kalos means constitutionally good, but not necessarily benefiting others.
Saints are made adequate and equipped for these "agathos" works by God's Word for
Consider the fruit tree. It is not "conscious" of the bearing process. We are to be like the fruit tree for it is God Who is causing fruit be borne in good works which blossom and ripen as we are walk obedient to His revealed will.
Come (3195) (mello) means to to occur at a point of time in the future which is subsequent to another event and closely related to it.
Form (1504) (eikon [word study]) is an artistic representation, as one might see on a coin or statue (an image or a likeness, as in Mt 22.20). Eikon as in the present verse can refer to a visible manifestation of an invisible and heavenly reality form.
Eikon is the basis for such English terms as icon ( a conventional religious image typically painted or engraved on a small wooden panel and venerated in Eastern Orthodox Churches), "iconography" (the illustration of a subject by drawing), or "iconoclast" (the medieval zealots who broke up religious statues and then anyone who attacks cherished beliefs or practices).
Eikon - 23x in 20v - Matt 22:20; Mark 12:16; Luke 20:24; Rom 1:23; 8:29; 1 Cor 11:7; 15:49; 2 Cor 3:18; 4:4; Col 1:15; 3:10; Heb 10:1; Rev 13:14f; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4. NAS = form(1), image(19), likeness(3).
Children are fond of shadow pictures. Painters, before they introduce the living colors by the pencil, are wont to mark out the outlines of what their intend to represent. This indistinct representation is called by the Greeks skiagraphia. God the consummate "Painter" of beauty has penciled in the outlines that point to the Better Sacrifice for all to see. It's like looking a a cookbook with pictures of beautiful, sumptuous meals and saying "Boy that really satisfies my hunger." That would be ridiculous… by the same token how silly reach out to grasp the shadow when you can lay hold of the "very form of things".
Wuest - Eikon (image) suggests what is in itself substantial and also gives a true representation of that which it images. The eikon (image) brings before us under the conditions of space, as we can understand it, that which is spiritual’ (Westcott) … The contrast is between a bare intimation that good things were to be given, and an actual presentation of these good things in an apprehensible form. It is implied that this latter is given in Christ; but what is asserted is, that the law did not present the coming realities in a form which brought them within the comprehension of the people.” The fact that the sacrifices were constantly renewed, shows that the law possessed no more than a mere shadow of the coming good which was exhibited in those sacrifices. Expositor’s quotes Davidson as saying in this connection; “No repetition of the shadow can amount to the substance.” (Hebrews Commentary online)
The “good things” in context probably refer back to the “salvation” of He 9:28 (Ro 10:15-note).
Stedman - In Heb 10:1-4, the author builds on a point he has made earlier---that the annual repetition of sacrifices in the old order indicated their inability to actually remove sins. Once again he uses a logical-deduction argument. Had they truly cleansed the conscience, there would have been no need to repeat them for the offerers; they would have seen themselves as cleansed from sin's defilement forever. But these sacrifices could not remove sin because they were based only on the death of animals.
The annual repetition did remind offerers that they were still very much sinners and still very much in need of an adequate substitute if their sin was ever to be removed. The sacrifices were but a shadow of the good things that are coming---not the realities themselves. A shadow indicates a reality, but has no substance in itself. I waited on a downtown street comer one day for a friend who always wore a Western hat. Suddenly I saw his distinctive shadow on the sidewalk and knew that he was standing just around the comer. I could not actually see him, but I knew he was there. So the offerings witnessed to the person of Christ and his sacrifice, though they were not that reality themselves. They were but his shadow that indicated he was soon to appear. (ibid)
CAN NEVER BY THE SAME SACRIFICES YEAR BY YEAR WHICH THEY OFFER CONTINUALLY MAKE PERFECT THOSE WHO DRAW NEAR: tais autais thusiais as prospherousin (3PPAI) eis to dienekes oudepote dunatai (3SPPI) tous proserchomenous (PMPMPA) teleiosai (AAN): (Heb 10:3,4,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 7:18,19; 9:8,9,25)
Can (1410) (dunamai [word study] - see study of related word dunamis) means to be able, to have power especially achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability), the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. In this case the nature of the yearly sacrifices is such that they lack the power to perfect the sinner.
Never (3763) (oudepote from oude = not even, and poté = ever) mean absolutely not ever at any time! Never at all, neither at any time, nothing at any time.
Sacrifices (2378)(thúo = to sacrifice) that which is offered as a sacrifice or the act of sacrificing or offering.
Year (1763) (eniautos) a year or any definite time.
Offer (4374) (prosphero from prós = to, toward + phéro = bring) means to carry or bring something into the presence of someone usually implying a transfer of something to that person carry to. It refers to an offering, whether of gifts, prayers, or sacrifices.
Continually (1336) (dienekes) means uninterruptedly, perpetually, continuously. This is really an idiom, eis to dienekes - continually, perpetually.
If something is effective in accomplishing its intended purpose, it does not need to be done again. The need for the repetition of the OT sacrifices is the final proof that they were never capable of purifying men's souls and giving full access to God.
Wuest on Can never make perfect - The idea here is that the ceremonial law could not actually save the believer. Its work was always short of completeness. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Make perfect (5048) (teleioo [word study] related to teleios [word study] from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal) means to be complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness or in good working order. It means not merely to terminate a thing but to carry out a thing to the full. Teleioo signifies the attainment of consummate soundness and includes the idea of being whole. Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of the one fully initiated into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this epistle.
Teleioo signifies the attainment of consummate soundness and includes the idea of being made whole. Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of one fully initiated into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this epistle.
In Hebrews 12:2 (see note) Jesus is designated as the Author and Perfecter of faith where perfecter is teleiotes, the Completer, the One Who reached the goal (which the law could never attain) so as to win the prize so to speak.
Wuest has this note on the NT word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) - Teleios the adjective, and teleioo the verb. The adjective is used in the papyri, of heirs being of age, of women who have attained maturity, of full-grown cocks, of acacia trees in good condition, of a complete lampstand, of something in good working order or condition. To summarize; the meaning of the adjective includes the ideas of full-growth, maturity, workability, soundness, and completeness. The verb refers to the act of bringing the person or thing to any one of the aforementioned conditions. When applied to a Christian, the word refers to one that is spiritually mature, complete, well-rounded in his Christian character. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Richards commenting on the word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) writes that - These words emphasize wholeness and completeness. In the biological sense they mean "mature," or "full grown": the person, animal, or plant achieved the potential inherent in its nature. The perfect is the thing or person that is complete, in which nothing that belongs to its essence has been left out. It is perfect because every potential it possesses has been realized. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Stedman - To make perfect a sinner before God would be to have sin and its effects totally removed. These include not only the effects on the spirit and soul but the body also—regeneration, full sanctification and resurrection. Though resurrection awaits the final coming of Christ, nevertheless, full and continuing access to God, “without the constant necessity of removing the barrier of freshly accumulated sin” (F F Bruce 1964:227), was available by faith to every believer in Jesus throughout the believer’s lifetime (Ro 5:1, 2). (Hebrews Commentary)
Teleioo is used 19 times of 24 total NT uses in Hebrews, often in the sense of to make perfect or fully cleanse from sin in contrast to ceremonial (Levitical) cleansing. The writer is emphasizing the importance of perfection… (which should cause any Jew who is contemplating the worth of Christ and the New Covenant to realize his utter hopelessness to every attain perfection under the Old Covenant).
In sum the fundamental idea of telioo is the bringing of a person or thing to the goal fixed by God.
It is interesting and doubtless no mere coincidence that in the Septuagint (LXX) teleioo is translated numerous times as consecrated or consecration, especially speaking of consecration of the priests (cf Jesus our "great High Priest") (Ex 29:9, 29, 33, 35 Lv 4:5; 8:33; 16:32; 21:10; Nu 3:3). The LXX translators gave the verb teleioo a special sense of consecration to priestly service and this official concept stands behind the writer's use in this passage in Hebrews 5:9 (note). It signifies that Jesus has been fully equipped to come before God in priestly action.
Spurgeon - Those that were sprinkled with the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices did not feel that their sin was forever put away. They went back, after the victim had been offered, with a certain measure of rest and relief, but not with that perfect rest which is the accompaniment of the pardon that Jesus gives to those who come unto God through Him.
Draw near (4334) (proserchomai from prós = facing + érchomai = come) means literally to come facing toward and so to approach or come near. To come to visit or associate with. It describes the approach to or entry into a deity’s presence. In the Septuagint (LXX) proserchomai was the verb used to describe the approach of the priests to Jehovah for worship and to perform of their priestly (Levitical) functions. But here in Hebrews, under the New covenant, all seven uses of proserchomai refer to believers possessing the privilege of access to God the Father through Christ the Great High Priest.
Here are the seven uses of this proserchomai in Hebrews…
The Law made nothing perfect. In context (He 10:2) the Law can never give the worshiper a clear conscience, that sense that he is not guilty and conversely the sense that he has been pleasing to God. Why not? because animal blood can not take away sins (and the associated guilty conscience).
Max Alderman - Everything which lies underneath the curse will be insufficient in meeting God’s holy requirements. God’s standard is way above man’s and any offering that he is capable of offering apart from that of faith and obedience will only be a “Cain-like” offering in which God will have no respect (Genesis 4:5). The entire creation is underneath the sin curse and thus is so affected that nothing eternally satisfying can be extracted as an offering from it. Though the offering made according to the law was inefficient and insufficient in and of itself, the Lord honored it, because when it was being offered, the person offering it demonstrated a faithful obedience to the Lord. They were exercising a faith that was anticipating the better offering of Christ, Himself. They in doing so may not have understood all of the theology that was involved, but they obeyed anyway while making their offerings unto the Lord. The Lord was not saying that the offering was sufficient at this
time, only the exercising of faith was sufficient in anticipation of the Offering that was perfect. (Ref)
As much as those living under the law desired to approach God, the Levitical system provided no way to enter His holy presence (cf. Ps 15:1; 16:11)
In 1873, Philip P. Bliss caught a vision of the believers’ exalted position through Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice on their behalf:
FREE FROM THE LAW
Free from the law, O happy condition,
Today in the Word - U.S. critic and lecturer John Mason Brown was giving a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when he noticed in the light of the slide projector that someone in the audience was mimicking his every move. Brown, annoyed, invited the person to leave. No one moved, and he continued his lecture. The mimicking shadow appeared. It took the nervous Brown another ten minutes to realize that he was seeing his own shadow.
Amplified: For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: For if these sacrifices could achieve that, would they not have stopped being brought because the worshipper had been once and for all brought into a state of purity and no longer had any consciousness of sin? (Westminster Press)
NLT: If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For if it had, surely the sacrifices would have been discontinued - on the grounds that the worshippers, having been really cleansed, would have had no further consciousness of sin. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: since then would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers once cleansed would not be having any longer even one compunction of conscience with respect to sins? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: since, would they not have ceased to be offered, because of those serving having no more conscience of sins, having once been purified?
OTHERWISE, WOULD THEY NOT HAVE CEASED TO BE OFFERED: epei ouk an epausanto (3PAMI) prospheromenai (PPPFPN): (He 10:17; 9:13,14; Psalms 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; Micah 7:19)
Otherwise (1893) is a conjunction which means in other respects or under different conditions.
Cease (3973) (pauo [word study]) means to cease from an activity in which one is engaged. This verse implies that the Temple sacrifices were still being carried out, which would date the writing of Hebrews prior to 70AD, the date of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus (who later became Emperor).
Offered (4374) (prosphero from prós = to, toward + phéro = bring) means to carry or bring something into the presence of someone usually implying a transfer of something to that person carry to. It refers to an offering, whether of gifts, prayers, or sacrifices.
Vincent… The present participle brings out more forcibly the continuous repetition: “Ceased being offered.”
Spurgeon - Why offer any more, if you are a perfect man? Now mark: the Jewish sacrifice was never intended to make the Jews’ moral character any better, and it did not. It had no effect upon what we call his sanctification; all the sacrifice dealt with was his justification. Now that is the meaning of the word “perfect” here. It does not mean that the sacrifice did not make the man perfectly holy, and perfectly moral, and so forth. The sacrifice had no tendency to do that; it was quite another matter. It means that it did not perfectly make him justified in his own conscience and in the sight of God, because he had to come and offer again. Now, here comes a man who is troubled in his conscience. He comes sighing up the temple, and he must speak to the priest. He says to the priest, “I have committed such-and-such a sin.” “Ah,” says the priest, “You will never have any ease to your conscience unless you bring a sin offering.” He brings a sin offering, and it is offered, and the man sees it burn and goes away. He has got faith—faith in the great sin offering that is to come—and his conscience is easy. A day or two after, the same feelings arise; and what does he do? He goes to the priest again. “Ah!” says the priest, “you must bring another offering; you must bring a trespass offering.” He does that, and his conscience grows easier for a time. But the more his conscience gets quickened, the more he sees the unsatisfactory character of the offering he brings. God well knew that the sacrifices were themselves imperfect, only a shadow of the great substance, and that His people would need to have the service renewed, not only every year, but every day; not only every day, but every morning and every evening.
To be offered (prosphero)
Wuest - Concerning this verse, Expositor’s has a helpful note: “The constant renewal of the yearly round sacrifices proves that they were inefficacious, for had the worshippers once been cleansed they would have had no longer any consciousness of sins and would, therefore, have sought no renewal of sacrifice … So far from these Old Testament sacrifices once for all cleansing the conscience and thus perfecting the worshippers, ‘by and in them there is a yearly remembrance of sins,’ that is, of sins not yet sufficiently atoned for by any past sacrifice … The remembrance was not of sins previously atoned for but of sins committed since the previous sacrifice.” While this was the viewpoint of the Old Testament worshipper, yet actually, the Jew who would come to the tabernacle, present his animal for sacrifice, look ahead in faith to the God appointed Lamb who would some day bear his sins, was saved in Jesus’ precious blood and saved forever. This, of course is from God’s viewpoint. The blood of Jesus was just as powerful to save and keep saved for time and eternity before the Cross as since the Cross, for we have a God who takes things that are not in existence to bring to naught the things that are. (Hebrews Commentary online)
BECAUSE THE WORSHIPERS HAVING ONCE BEEN CLEANSED WOULD NO LONGER HAVE HAD CONSCIOUSNESS OF SINS: dia to medemian echein (PAN) eti suneidesin hamartion tous latreuontas (PAPMPA) hapax kekatharismenous (RPPMPA):
The worshipers (3000) (latreuo [word study] from latris = one hired or latron = reward, wages) means to work for reward, for hire or for pay, to be in servitude, render cultic service. Latreuo was used literally for bodily service (e.g., workers on the land, or slaves), and figuratively for “to cherish.” In the NT the idea is to render service to God, to worship, to perform sacred services or to minister to God in a spirit of worship.
John MacArthur explains that latreuo "might best be translated “to render respectful spiritual service.” True worship goes beyond praising God, singing hymns, or participating in a worship service. The essence of worship is living a life of obedient service to God. “Do not neglect doing good and sharing,” exhorts the writer of Hebrews, “for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16-note). True worship involves every aspect of life." (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)
Latreuo can therefore convey either the idea of "worship" or "service" and frequently appears to mean both which suggests that "service" cannot be separated from "worship."
Many Christians desire to "worship" the Lord on Sunday but are too busy to "serve" Him at other times. The New Testament knows nothing of this dichotomy. On the other hand notice that the order in Scripture is first “worship” and then “serve”. Acknowledgment of God Himself must have precedence over activity in His service. Service to God derives its effectiveness from engagement of the heart with God. Any true worshipper of God is also a servant, ready to do his Master's bidding, discharging his or her priestly duties.
Anna the prophetess exemplifies latreuo in action for even thought she was "a widow … age of eighty-four… she never left the temple, serving (latreuo) night and day with fastings and prayers." (Lk 2:37)
How did she "serve"? "Fastings and prayers"! From Anna's example, one can see how the serving aspect of latreuo overlaps with the idea of worship.
Once (530) (hapax) means once for all. The idea is that which is done has perpetual validity and never needs repetition. The animal sacrifices could not effect such a "cure".
Once in Hebrews - Heb 6:4 Heb 7:27 Heb 9:7, 12, 26, 27, 28 Heb 10:2, 10 Heb 12:26, 27
Hebrews 9:26, 27, 28, 10:2-10
Cleansed (2511) (katharizo from katharos = pure, clean, without stain or spot; English words - catharsis = emotional or physical purging, cathartic = substance used to induce a purging, Cathar = member of a medieval sect which sought the purging of evil from its members) means to make clean by taking away an undesirable part. To cleanse from filth or impurity. Click here (and here) for more background on the important Biblical concept of clean and cleansing.
Figuratively katharizo referred to cleansing from ritual contamination or impurity as in (Acts 10:15). In a similar sense katharizo is used of cleansing lepers from ceremonial uncleanness (Mt 8:2-3, et al)
Another figurative use in 1John 1:9 (cf James 4:8, Hebrews 10:2) describes the purifying or cleansing from sin and a guilty conscience thus making one acceptable to God and reestablishing fellowship.
To cause to become clean as from physical stains and dirt (Mt 23:25).
This word group conveys the idea of physical, religious, and moral cleanness or purity in such senses as clean, free from stains or shame, and free from adulteration.
In secular Greek katharizo occurs in inscriptions for ceremonial cleansing.
There are 31 uses of katharizo in the NT…
Katharizo is used 93 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (Note the predominance of uses in Leviticus) (Gen. 35:2; Exod. 20:7; 29:36f; 30:10; 34:7; Lev. 8:15; 12:7f; 13:6f, 13, 17, 23, 28, 34f, 37, 59; 14:2, 4, 7f, 11, 14, 17ff, 23, 25, 28f, 31, 48, 57; 15:13, 28; 16:19f, 30; 22:4; Num. 6:9; 8:15; 12:15; 14:18; 30:5, 8, 12; 31:23f; Deut. 5:11; 19:13; Jos. 22:17; 1 Sam. 20:26; 2 Ki. 5:10, 12ff; 2 Chr. 29:15; 34:3, 5, 8; Ezra 6:20; Neh. 12:30; 13:9, 22, 30; Job 1:5; Ps. 12:6; 19:12f; 51:2, 7; Prov. 25:4; Isa. 53:10; 57:14; 66:17; Jer. 13:27; 25:29; 33:8; Ezek. 24:13; 36:25, 33; 37:23; 39:12, 14, 16; 43:26; 44:26; Dan. 8:14; 11:35; Hos. 8:5; Mal. 3:3).
Here are a few representative uses…
John Donne spoke of spiritual cleansing…
Roy Hession (The Calvary Road) noted that one of the dominant themes of the great awakening in East Africa was a constant cleansing from sin which prompted him to write
No (3367) (medeis from medé = and not, also not + heís = one) means not even one.
Longer (2089) (eti) refers to extension of time up to and beyond an expected point.
Spurgeon - There would have been no need to bring another lamb to be offered if the one which was presented had put away sin; there would have been no need of another day of atonement if the sacrifice on the one day had really made atonement for sin.
Consciousness (4893) (suneidesis [word study] from sun = with + eido = know) literally means a "knowing with", a co-knowledge with oneself or a being of one's own witness in the sense that one's own conscience "takes the stand" as the chief witness, testifying either to one's innocence or guilt. It describes the witness borne to one's conduct by that faculty by which we apprehend the will of God.
Suneidesis - 30x in 29v - Acts 23:1; 24:16; Rom 2:15; 9:1; 13:5; 1 Cor 8:7, 10, 12; 10:25, 27ff; 2 Cor 1:12; 4:2; 5:11; 1 Tim 1:5, 19; 3:9; 4:2; 2 Tim 1:3; Titus 1:15; Heb 9:9, 14; 10:2, 22; 13:18; 1 Pet 2:19; 3:16, 21. NAS = conscience(24), conscience'(4), consciences(1), consciousness(1).
Webster defines "conscience" as the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.
The Greek noun suneidesis is the exact counterpart of the Latin con-science, “a knowing with,” a shared or joint knowledge. It is our awareness of ourselves in all the relationships of life, especially ethical relationships. We have ideas of right and wrong; and when we perceive their truth and claims on us, and will not obey, our souls are at war with themselves and with the law of God
Suneidesis is that process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former and avoid the latter.
To have a "clear conscience" does not mean that we have never sinned or do not commit acts of sin. Rather, it means that the underlying direction and motive of life is to obey and please God, so that acts of sin are habitually recognized as such and faced before God (1Jn 1:9)
A "clear conscience" consists in being able to say that there is no one (God or man) whom I have knowingly offended and not tried to make it right (either by asking forgiveness or restoration or both). Paul wanted Timothy to have no doubt that he endured his present physical afflictions, as he had countless others, because of his unswerving faithfulness to the Lord, not as a consequence of unfaithful, ungodly living. So as Paul neared his death, he could testify that his conscience did not accuse or condemn him. His guilt was forgiven, and his devotion was undivided. To continually reject God’s truth causes the conscience to become progressively less sensitive to sin, as if covered with layers of unspiritual scar tissue. Paul’s conscience was clear, sensitive, & responsive to its convicting voice. Click on the books below to study the NT picture of conscience.
NIV = and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
The continued consciousness of sins despite offering sacrifices for sins sums up the the problem with the Old Covenant which could not cleanse the heart and mind of guilt (He 9:9, 9:14-see notes Heb 9:9, 9:14). In marked contrast, the new covenant in Christ provides a clean conscience and access to God to Whom worshipers can now draw near with boldness.
TODAY IN THE WORD - “Climax” is a narrative term meaning a very important or exciting moment--a moment at which the main character’s fate is decided, or at which the audience discovers what the story is about or if the story has a happy or sad ending. At least one “climax” is required in any form of story, whether a novel, television drama, or classical opera. This might take the form of a confrontation, a conversation or speech, a revealed secret or sudden insight, a fight or battle, an escape, a choice, or any event to which a storyteller or character gives great weight or emphasis.
In the story of salvation, Jesus Christ is the “climax” of the Old Testament sacrificial system. His actions determined the outcome of the story, which is already guaranteed by God (cf. Eph. 1:4-10).
Why was Christ the climax or fulfillment of the old system? First, His sacrifice was the reality, of which the preceding sacrifices had been only shadows or forerunners (He 10:1; cf. Col 2:17). Second, His sacrifice was powerful and effective, while the sacrifices that had gone before were powerless to take away sin (He 10:3, 4, 10-14). His sacrifice actually did all that the Law had only shadowed.
When Ro 10:4 calls Christ’s sacrifice the “end” of the Law, the Greek word used is “telos.” “Telos” can mean a
stopping or cessation; or a goal, culmination, or fulfillment; and in this case it probably suggests both. Christ’s sacrifice put a stop to the old system, because the goal had been reached. The price for sin had been paid.
A whole “new” system is now established. Instead of worshipers making burnt offerings and sin offerings, we see the total submission and obedience of our Savior (Heb. 10:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). His once-for-all sacrifice is the basis for faith and worship. It has already made us perfect forever, yet paradoxically is still working to make us holy (He 10:14). (MBI - Today in the Word)