NIV Hebrews 2:1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

What are these "we" people escaping from? Is it about believers losing salvation?

2 Answers 2


The antecedent of all the plural second person pronouns in Heb 2 is back in Heb 1:14 -

Are not the angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

This teaches that it is possible to loose one's salvation - a common warning in the Bible. here are some others:

  • Ps 69:28 contains a plea for David’s enemies to be blotted out of the book of life!
  • Eze 18:21-28 also teaches that the wicked can reform and be saved, and the righteous can apostatize and be lost.
  • Rom 11:17-21 discusses the warning that people who had been grafted into the “olive tree” of the Christian community could be broken off if they were unfaithful.
  • 1 Cor 9:27 Paul says he disciplines his body to keep it under control so that after preaching to others he does not become a castaway/disqualified. That is, Paul believed that it was possible that he could lose his way and become lost.
  • 1 Cor 10:12 also contains a stern warning from Paul, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”
  • 1 Tim 6:10, For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
  • Heb 6:4-6 teaches that some “who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit…” can fall away.
  • Heb 10:19-35 contains an extended passage on enduring. It contains some real gems about the possibility of losing one’s faith and confidence such as:

. o V26: If we(!) deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left

. o V29: How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them and who has insulted the Spirit of grace. This verse clearly shows that it is possible to be sanctified and subsequently lost.

. o V35: Therefore, do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward.

. o V36: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised.

  • Heb 13:9, “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace …”
  • 2 Peter 1:10, “make your calling and election sure”. This clearly allows for the possibility of losing one’s election.
  • 2 Peter 2:21, “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”
  • 2 Peter 3:17 contains a very stern and sobering warning to be on guard that we do not fall from our secure position. Verse 14 contains a similar warning.
  • Good answer 👌. Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 21:20

Don't read scripture out of context.

In particular, don't attach significance to the arbitrary divisions of chapters and verses.

Read at least a chapter on either side of any verse, just to confirm that it isn't explained elsewhere.

For instance, in Acts 10:10–16 Peter experiences a vision that many denominations misinterpret simply because they fail to continue reading to verse 28:

He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

and the meaning of the vision becomes perfectly clear: the Old Covenant was meant only for Israel, but the Gospel of the New Covenant is meant for all mankind.

In this case, reading only one other verse is enough:

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
— Hebrews 1:14–2:1

"We" is obviously "those who will inherit salvation".

  • The word "we" is the author and his audience. The context is salvation and is conditional: "how shall WE escape IF we ignore so great a salvation?" Your answer appears theologically motivated and ignores the context and the grammar. Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 21:19
  • @JesusSaves, exactly how is it "theologically motivated"? This answer and Dottard's both directly answer the Title question by saying that the previous verse defines who "we" refers to. But you say "Good answer" to the other and criticize this one. ¶ I'm not saying the other answer isn't good, but I'm confused as to what you don't like about this one. If I knew what was wrong with it, I could correct it and/or avoid making the same mistake in future answers. Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 22:58
  • @RayButterworth he's talking about how you came to that conclusion, not the conclusion by itself Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 7:46
  • @Jesus I'm confused. I quoted 1:14 and then concluded: "We" is obviously "those who will inherit salvation". Dottard's conclusion was: The antecedent of all the plural second person pronouns in Heb 2 is back in Heb 1:14, and that antecedent is "those who will inherit salvation". We both gave the same conclusion for the same reason. We worded the answers differently, and we provided different supplemental information, but our answers to the original question are identical. In fact, Dottard's answer could be considered "theologically motivated" as it disagrees with "once saved always saved". Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 13:56
  • @RayButterworth I apologize for stating your answer was "theologically motivated." I don't know your heart and I'm not the judge.I believe your answer disregards the immediate context. I'll cover it briefly in another reply. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 2:54

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