Does God Scourge Christians? Hebrews 12:6 Explained
A simple easy to understand explanation of Hebrews 12:6 describing God scourging Christians (in Video). Regardless of what religion has taught, and the mistranslations of scripture in the bible, God is not scourging Christians. In part of this lesson, we learn that the scourge weapon was invented long after the old testament quote that Hebrews 12 references, and how the translator got it wrong. Enjoy!
Chastise means to reprimand, or punish, especially by beating.
If God was going to punish us, what would he punish us for?
It would be sin.
If Jesus served as the propitiation (meaning to satisfy a deity) for our sins, absorbing the punishment on the cross, then the notion that God will still punish Christians seems to be a misinterpretation of the frequently cited verse in Hebrews 12:6. Let’s consider a few translations:
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.
For whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He punishes every son whom He accepts
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
First, let’s examine the term “discipline.” Discipline shouldn’t evoke fear. We exercise discipline when we choose to eat healthily, when we commit to a workout routine, or even when we make time to read our Bible. Discipline isn’t God’s retribution for past sins; it’s guidance for future living.
However, we encounter terms like “scourge” in the KJV. Those who have delved deeply into its study recognize that this translation is misleading. Consider the implications of the word scourge. A scourge is essentially a weapon designed to tear flesh. It’s probable that one would not survive if God were to scourge them. Diving deeper, we find that this term is actually quoting from the Old Testament (a reference appears to be mistaken as there’s no Jeremiah 68:28). During the period that the Old Testament verse was used, the scourging weapon hadn’t been conceived. The original Hebrew term is “Biqqoret,” which fundamentally means to “inquire deeply.” Indeed, God deeply inquires into those He loves
When the KJV translated this verse, it seems the translator made a significant oversight. Yes, many centuries later, the scourge weapon came into existence, and its naming was influenced by its action — to deeply penetrate the flesh. However, it’s undeniable: the passage in Hebrews quotes a time before the invention of such a weapon. Thus, it requires quite a stretch of imagination to argue that Hebrews implies God physically harming us, and more likely nearly killing us.
In fact, the Scriptures tell us Christians don’t need to fear because we’re not going to be punished.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
When examining the term “chastise”, it seems evident that the translator perceived “Biqqoret” as representing a form of physical affliction rather than a deep inquiry. This led them to select “chastise”, while others opted for “punishment” or “scourge”. It’s astonishing because such interpretations conflict with the principles of God’s grace, the significance of the Cross, and the notion of sin forgiveness. While it might serve as a gripping sermon for a Sunday service, the truth is, for those in Christ, there’s no remaining punishment. We are cleansed, sanctified, and imbued with Christ’s righteousness. Our sins have been distanced as far as the east is from the west. The is no fear in love. There’s no condemnation for those in Christ. Thus, anyone presenting Hebrews 12 as a threatening message for God’s children should reconsider and reexamine the true essence of this term.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.