This question is related to the post I have asked on the Literature.SE. Yet, this question might be treated as a separate post which does not require reading the other one.

Also, I should note that I have found my way into Christianity not so long ago, thus, my question might appear to be too primitive or even gibberish. In that case (especially the latter) I would like to apologise in advance.

Hebrew 4:12 reads:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - NKJV.

Sonya Marmeladova, obviously, engaged into sinful labour (prostitution). Her actions enslaved the hearts of her clients, even though she kept her soul pure and was sacrificing herself in order to feed her family.

Does Hebrew 4:12 justify her actions?

  • 2
    The onus is upon yourself to analyse the above words of the writer, the context of that particular verse of scripture, the other content of the whole epistle, the general tenor of the epistle and to show your reasoning for your supposition against the background of what the writer indicates are his thoughts upon the subject you have raised. The reason I say all this is because my immediate reaction to your question is a resounding No, Absolutely not. (And I cannot see why you would say so.) But then I have no idea (at present) what you are reading into the verse. . . . Welcome to SE-C. – Nigel J Jun 13 '20 at 9:51
  • Sorry for the question. Should I consider deleting it as it turned out to be that primitive? – Zhiltsoff Igor Jun 13 '20 at 11:45
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    No. The verse is accusatory, rather than exculpatory, given the surrounding context, which, if you are in any way familiar with Paul's writings, is basically about how man can only be saved by grace (as well), and not by works (alone). See also Isaiah 64:6. – Lucian Jun 13 '20 at 11:48
  • Who is Sonya Marmeladova and why do you think Hebrews 4:12 justifies her actions? Why do you think Christians might agree? – curiousdannii Jun 13 '20 at 11:58
  • @curiousdannii she is a character of one of the largest novels in Russian classical literature (see the linked post from Literature.SE in case you want to know more). As I’ve said, I’m a Christian myself, yet a very inexperienced one - no interpretations I’ve found myself did not approve/disprove my point, thus, I decided to ask a question here. Anyway, as I’ve asked above: should I delete the question? – Zhiltsoff Igor Jun 13 '20 at 12:04

It is arguably the same writer (opinions differ on Paul writing Hebrews) who wrote :

And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. Romans 3:8 [KJV].

Romans 3:8 would be a resounding 'No' to your question, I believe.

To do evil that good may come out of it is worthy of 'damnation' (or 'condemnation' as some translate the word).

You suggest yourself that harm is done to certain persons - and that should never be, for any reason whatsoever.

That fact alone should stop someone doing whatever it is that they are doing.

As to the terribly difficult situations that people find themselves in (maybe through no fault of their own) or into which they are forced by coercion, brutality and sheer terror, well, who can utter condemnation in such cases ?

As I suggested in my comment : context is so important.

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