Laying on of Hands

Please notice in the book of Hebrews that the reader is exhorted to leave the elementary principals of the teachings of Christ and go on to maturity, not going back over the foundational truths of, among other things, the doctrine of teaching of LAYING ON OF HANDS.

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.
Hebrews 6:1-2

Being that there is a teaching or doctrine of the Laying on of Hands, we will now go and look at the different places where the Bible speaks on this subject beginning with the Old Testament. We will examine each passage answering the following questions:

  • who layed their hands on someone or something?
  • what did they lay their hands on?
  • for what purpose (why)?

After doing this, we should be able to understand the plain sense of scripture concerning this topic.

Verse Who? On what? Why?
Genesis 48:13-14 Israel Ephraim and Manasseh's head to bless them
Exodus 29:10,15,19 Aaron and his sons head of the bull (v. 10)
head of the ram (v. 15,19)
to hallow them (29:1)
Leviticus 8:2,10,14,19 Aaron and his sons head of the bull to show that the sin had been placed on the bull
Leviticus 1:4 the priests bull (v. 1:5) picture of Christ's death
Leviticus 4:15,24,29,33 the elders bull to show that the sin had been placed on the bull
Leviticus 16:3,21
Day of Atonement
Aaron, Levites live goat, bullocks to symbolize Christ being the sinbearer
Leviticus 24:10-16 (v. 14) Children of Israel, Levites whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD to identify the blasphemer
Numbers 8:9-10 children of Israel Levites to show God's official decree
Numbers 27:18-22 Moses Joshua transfer authority to him (v. 20)
Verse Who? On what? Why?
Luke 4:40 Jesus sick To testify to Israel that He was the Christ (Isaiah 29:18,35:5, Matthew 11:3-4). However, Jesus also healed without the laying on of hands. See, for example, Luke 7:7, 8:44, John 4:50, and Acts 6:1-6.
Acts 8:5,12,17 Peter and John the Samarians laid hands on them so it would be clearly identified that their is no schism between Samarians and Jews
Acts 9:17 Ananias Saul an understanding???
Acts 13:2 Simeon (Niger), Lucius, Manaen (the church at Antioch) Barnabas and Saul So everyone would know who God chose.
Acts 19:1-7 (v. 6) Paul about 12 new disciples at Ephesus ???
Acts 28:8 Paul the father of Publius to identify that Paul's message was of God
1 Timothy 4:14 the presbytery Timothy to recognize the gift that was in Timothy???
2 Timothy 1:6 Paul Timothy to remind him that many men publicly appointed him for the Lord's work

Therefore, we find consistently throughout the Scripture that the Laying on of Hands was performed for the case of identifying, or to publicly let the people see that there was a transfer of authority. There is one final exhortation that Paul gives, and that is that we should not be too quick to lay hands on someone (that is, to appoint someone to quickly):

Lay hands suddenly on no man,
neither be partaker of other men's sins:
keep thyself pure.
1 Timothy 5:22

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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.
Hebrews 6:1-2

Know the Truth