Calvinism and Hebrews 2:10?


Christ died for all men (Heb 2:9) therefore limited atonement (LA) is incorrect. How can you defend LA from Hebrews 2:9?


Hebrews 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

I won't bother repeating the folly of taking verses out of context to prove a point. The reader can review "Calvinism and John 6:33" if they would like the details.

This said, who is the "everyone" in Hebrews 2:9? Is there anything in the other passages around Hebrews 2:9 that may assist us in identifying this group? Hebrews 2:10 states, "For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering" followed by, "And again "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold, I and the children [ta paidia] God has given me" (Heb 2:13). This is reminiscent of John 6:37; 10:29 speaking of a special group of people - "the many" of Isaiah 53:11, 12 for who Christ died. Hebrews 2:14 states, "Since therefore the children [ta paidia] share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil. Notice that is only for "the children" (Heb 2:13, 14, ta paidia) - a restricted specific group, the elect - that Jesus partook of death.

So, the text is very clear, Christ gave himself for everyone of "his children" that God gave to Christ. It is those who "trust in him" (Heb 2:13), the "my brothers" of Hebrews 2:12 and "his brothers" of Hebrews 2:17. Limited Atonement is a biblical doctrine.

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).