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Hebrews 2:11 (KJV)
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

It is very confusing to read "he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one". What is the meaning of this verse?

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closed as too broad by wax eagle Mar 24 at 19:10

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It means Jesus and Christians are on the same team. It might make a little more sense in the NIV:

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

The rest of that section of Hebrews is talking about how Jesus is like us, in His humanity, which allows us to be part of the same "family."

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Personal preference is always the RSV:

9 But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee."

Verse 9 (and, indeed, the verses which precede it) speaks of the incarnation. Contextually, that necessarily implies that the origin needs be that self-same act. To me, this passage speaks of how Christ came down and became man, dwelt among us, and through that life entered death that he might raise us from glory into glory. And it is meet and just that Christ is this truth.

It is the humanity of Christ which makes it so that the savior might elevate us. It is his life and death as a man which makes it so that we might be considered "brothers", and "sons". It is the flesh and blood of Christ which makes it possible for God to consider human beings as "brethren".

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The key to understanding this passage is identifying the two persons and one people group being referred to. From the context it is clear that "he that sanctifies" is Jesus. And they "who are sanctified" are all the believers - the whole ecclesia. But who is "the one" from whom both Jesus and all his sanctified followers emanate? There are only three possible fatherhood choices. He is either God, Adam or Abraham.

Many Bibles would have us believe the "one" being referred to is God through the use of capitalization. And it is true that both Jesus and his re-born followers are known as “sons of God.” But clearly it seems more is being emphasized here than just a spiritual connection. A few verses later the emphasis is put upon the fact that we and Jesus share in the same “flesh and blood.” Does that mean the reason Jesus “is not ashamed to call us brethren” is because we are all part of the human family? If so, wouldn’t that argue more for Adam being the “one” who is the father of us all? Fortunately we don’t have to wonder. The answer is provided further down in the text.

It is found in verse 16. "For assuredly he (Jesus) does not give help to angels, but he gives help to the descendants of Abraham."NAS I believe the whole passage reveals that the brethren of Jesus - the sanctified ones referred to earlier - are no less than the descendants/offspring/seed/children of Abraham. Not all his offspring, but only the "children of promise." For we know "they are not all [reckoned] as children [just] because they are Abraham's descendants, but through Isaac your descendants will be named [as true children]" (Rom 9:6). Which is where we learn that God has a chosen people - i.e. a hand-picked chosen nation taken from the seed of Abraham. It will be Isaac, not Ishmael. Jacob, not Esau. Etc.

Now the reason Abraham is routinely rejected by most as the "one" mentioned from whom we all come is because we know that ALL who make up the "sanctified ones" - i.e. the ecclesia" - are not Jewish. Some are non-Jews. The so-called "gentiles." How can they be physical descendants of Abraham (forgetting 5/6 of the nation was scattered among the nations in 722BC)? That's why those teachers who study the Book of Hebrews come to the erroneous conclusion that it was written ONLY to Jewish believers, and not to "gentile" believers as well.

The inescapable conclusion I have reached is that the whole letter is addressed to ALL believers. And therefore ALL believers must be true physical descendants of Abraham. Not just any physical seed, but the chosen spiritual seed, as we read in Galatians 4:28: "But you brethren (addressed to Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Galatia), like Isaac, are children of promise." Being the seed of Abraham doesn't gain us anything, as Ishmael and Esau discovered. You must be chosen "in him [Jesus} before the foundation of the world" (Eph.1:4) to become the "brethren" of the Lord.

I will add one more thought. The reason most opt for Father God being the "one" implied in v. 11 is because they think this verse is trying to convince the reader that Jesus, who is thought to be divinity, could become a true human being. But the only issue being addressed in Hebrews is whether he was an angel or not. Not whether he was divine or not. But post Nicaea, when his divinity was declared a fact by Constantine and included in the creeds, we have been reading this argument back into the text. But it is not there.

"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; when he was but one I called him, then I blessed him and multiplied him." (Isaiah 51:1,2)

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Whose doctrine is this? Please be mindful that we're not here for the development of new doctrine, but ask that users represent established doctrinal positions, this isn't one I'm aware of. Some external sources would be helpful in vetting the accuracy of your interpretation –  wax eagle Mar 24 at 18:19
It's sometimes called Two-House Theology and the unfulfilled prophesied reunion of the two houses of Israel, Judah and Israel. (See Jer. 30:; Ezek. 37:15-28; Isaiah 11:11-16). It is based on the belief the so-called "gentiles" in the church must be Abraham's seed when Assyria exiled the northern kingdom. If our beliefs are based only on what has previously been considered established doctrine I don't think we'd have had The Reformation. I thought a free forum like this would depend only on what the Scriptures teach and the witness of the Spirit, even if not previously known or understood? –  Brian Hennessy Mar 24 at 18:50
We're looking for representations of established positions with external references desired but not required (unless they are asked for). It's also worth mentioning that this kind of straight up interpretation question is no longer considered on topic here which is part of the trap you're running into here. –  wax eagle Mar 24 at 18:52
Not sure what you mean by "this kind of straight up interpretation question is no longer considered on topic here." Is my exegesis of the verse unacceptable because it is not generally taught, or because it is incorrect? –  Brian Hennessy Mar 24 at 18:59
neither. Your answer is fine, wouldn't hurt to mention your doctrinal position in the actual answer, but whatever. I'm saying that the question is no longer something we consider to be on topic (topicality has evolved a bit here over the past couple of years) –  wax eagle Mar 24 at 19:10
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