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2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.


Verse 2 continues the list of Old Testament doctrines to which the readers of Hebrews were reverting.

2 of the doctrine of baptisms [washings],

The Greek word for “baptisms” here is not the usual Greek word for baptism (baptisma) but a different word (baptismos). The other occurrences of the latter word in Hebrews also refer to Jewish ceremonial washings (He 9:10; Mark 7:4); they all refer to Jewish ceremonial washings, not Christian baptism. The “washings” are proselyte baptism. The High Priesthood of Christ resolved the issue of cleansing (He 9:9–10). There was no need to revert to the washings of the temple.

of laying on of hands,

In the Old Testament, people who brought a sacrifice to the temple placed their hands on it to identify with it (Lev 1:4; 3:8, 13). The formal ordination of Levitical priest also involved laying on of hands, whereas the High Priesthood of Christ came by an oath. Priests appointed by laying on of hands could not compare to the High Priesthood of Christ (He 5:1–6; 7:5, 15–28).

of resurrection of the dead,

The doctrine of the resurrection was taught in the Old Testament (Isa 26:19; Da 12:2). It was further developed in the New Testament.

and of eternal judgment.

This is God’s judgment of eternal consequences (Isa 33:22; Da 7:9f). This is another similarity to New Testament teaching.


There is a danger in Messianic Christianity.


The superficial similarity between the tenets of Judaism and Christianity made it possible for converted Jews to think that they could hold to both simultaneously. This was a serious mistake.

In order to mature in Christ, the converted Jews of Hebrews needed to leave the symbols or types of the Old Testament and engage with the fulfillment of those types in Christ Jesus the Messiah. God abrogated Judaism when Christ came.

Messianic Christians today need to be warned that reverting to Judaism theologically is a violation of the principle of Hebrews 6:1f.