Our Pillars

Our Pillars

This is going to be a very short study on what the "Milk" of the word is. I'm not going to elaborate on each of the Principle Doctrines of the Milk in this post. I just want to say that it doesn't need to be complicated, yet people make it so.

The idea of "Milk" in the New Testament may be generalized depending on the context. I'd be willing to concede that point, and we could look at those places in future studies. But there's another issue at hand that I'm addressing.

In mainstream Christianity, you may be under the impression that topics like "God," "Trinity," "Rapture," and "Creation" are all "milk" doctrines. I've heard that sentiment before. The idea by designating those topics as such is that those are "fundamental" and "essential" and "no-brainer" doctrines. Other topics considered "milk" or "fundamentals" are "The Deity of Christ" and "The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture." These are what many teachers and churches make into their Statements of Faith, the "Fundamentals of the Christian Faith." Is any of this true?

The True Foundations

The answer to what the Milk doctrines are, or the First Principles, is found in the book of Hebrews, written anonymously. Let's see what the writer outlines.

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.[1]

There are six topics mentioned altogether:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptisms
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection of the dead
  6. Eternal Judgment
These are described as the "principles of the doctrine of Christ." Interesting to say the least. There's no mention of what many teachers would suggest if you simply asked them. This list of essential, fundamental doctrines looks completely different from what you'll see listed on "church" websites. But why does this matter?

The Implications

In this case, the anonymous writer suggests the following:

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.[2]

In this context, the writer is saying believers are unprepared for "strong meat" and being a teacher; they're unable to understand the wonders of Jesus' priesthood "after the order of Melchizadek" because they're not properly identifying what the milk is. You can't have the Meat without the Milk, "And this will we do, if God permit."[3] Jesus was the one who gave the milk principles in the Gospels, either by what he said or by what he did. It's all there for the discerning disciple.

Personal standard?

I'll admit this seems too narrow of a judgment, but I personally don't listen very long to someone who can't at least identify what the true Milk doctrines are.[4] If I ask someone, "What's the milk of the word?" and they provide topics other than the aforementioned six, I stop listening to their instruction and try to show them where to find them. Usually, they're uninterested in studying each topic together. They think it's simply a unique and interesting theory, assuring me they already know the basics. 

Did you know that these six principles are the Milk of the word? If not, go back and study each point and get the proper understanding of each one. Then, and only then, would you be qualified to be a teacher of others when it comes to both Milk and Meat. You'll be prepared to dissect the deeper things in Scripture.


Why are those topics the Milk and not others? You'd think as a Biblical Unitarian and proclaimer of the Gospel of the Kingdom that I would advocate people start with who God is and what the Kingdom is. Fair enough. But did you think that maybe those things all go hand in hand? After all, they're called the "principles of the doctrines of Christ." I can't say this enough: look no further than the life and teachings of Jesus depicted in the Gospels. But I'm not going to do the work for you at this moment. Perhaps in other studies we'll look at the principles more closely. But for now, just consider these things and test to see if what I say is true!  


[1] Hebrews 6:1,2, KJV

[2] Hebrews 5:11-14, KJV

[3] Hebrews 6:3, KJV

[4] Proverbs 14:7