Biblical Words Concerning "Sin"


Old Testament



A. Nouns.


'wen , "iniquity, vanity, sorrow." Some scholars believe that this term has Cognates in the Arabic words 'na, ("to be fatigued, tired") and 'aynun ("weakness, sorrow, trouble"), or with the Hebrew word 'ayin ("nothingness"). This relationship would imply that 'wen means the absence of all that has true worth; hence it would denote "moral worthlessness," as in the actions of wrongdoing, evil devising, or false speaking.


Other scholars believe that the term implies a "painful burden or difficulty" i.e., that sin is a toilsome, exhausting load of "trouble and sorrow," which the offender causes for himself or others. This meaning is indicated in Psalm 90:10: "The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength, labor and sorrow [RSV, "trouble"].,." A similar meaning, appears, in Proverbs 22:8: "He who sows iniquity shall reap vanity ['awen]: and the rod of his anger shall fail."


'Awen may be a general term for a crime or offense, as in Micah 2:1 "Woe to those who devise iniquity..." (cf. Isaiah 1:13). In some passages, the word refers to falsehood or deception, "The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he has left off to be wise, and to do good" (Psalm 3:3). "For the idols have spoken vanity [NASB, "iniquity"]..." (Zech. 10:2). Isaiah 41:29 portrays idols deceiving their worshipers: "Behold, they are all vanity, their works are nothing: Their molten images are wind and confusion."


'shm "sin; guilt; guilt offering; trespass; trespass offering," Cognates appear in Arabic as 'ithmun ("sin; offense; misdeed; crime"), 'athima ("to sin, err, slip"), and 'thimun ("sinful; criminal; evil; wicked"); but the Arabic. usage does not include the idea of restitution. In the Ugaritic texts of Ras Shamra, the word atm occurs in similar passages. Scholars believe this Ugaritic word may mean "offense" or "guilt offering," but this cannot be ascertained.


'Ashm implies the. condition of "guilt" incurred through, some wrongdoing, as in Genesis 26:10: "And Abimelech of the people might lightly have laid with your wife, and you would have brought guiltiness upon us," The word may also refer to the offense itself which entails, the guilt: "For Israel has not been forsaken--though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel" (Jeremiah 51:5). A similar meaning of the word appears in Psalm 68:21: "But God will wound the head of his enemies and the hairy scalp of those who continue in their trespasses [RSV, "guilty ways"; NASB, "guilty deeds"]."


Most occurrences of 'shm refer to the compensation given to satisfy someone who has been injured, or to the "trespass offering" or "guilt offering" presented on the altar by the repentant offender after paying a compensation of six-fifths of the damage inflicted (Numbers 5:7-8). The "trespass offering" was the blood sacrifice of a ram: "And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, to the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance in wish he erred inadvertently, and it shall be forgiven him" (Leviticus 5:18; cf. Leviticus 7:5,7; 14:12-13). The most significant theological statement containing 'shm is in Isaiah 53:10, which says that the servant of Yahweh was appointed as an 'shm for sinful mankind. This suggests that His death furnished a 120-percent compensation for the broken law of God.


'ml "evil; trouble; misfortune; mischief; grievance; wickedness; labor" This noun is related to the Hebrew verb 'ama' ("to labor, toil"). The Arabic cognate 'amila means "to get tired from hard work." The Aramaic lama! means "make" or "do," with no necessary connotation of burdensome labor. The Phoenician Canaanite usage of this term was closer to the Arabic; the Book of Ecclesiastes (which shows considerable Phoenician influence) clearly represents this use: "Yes, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:18). "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor..." (Ecclesiastes 3:13). A related example appears in Psalm 107:12: "Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; they fell down and there was none to help."


In general, 'amal refers either to the trouble and suffering which sin causes the sinner or to the trouble that he inflicts upon others. Jeremiah 20:18 depicts self-inflicted sorrow: "I came forth out of the womb to see labor ['aml] and sorrow [yagn], that my days should be consumed with shame?" Another instance is found in Deuteronomy 26:7: "And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction ['on], and our labor l'amal], and our oppression [lachats]."


Job 4:8 illustrates the sense of trouble as mischief inflicted on others. "They who plow iniquity ['awen], and sow wickedness ['ml] reap the same." The word appears in Psalm 140:9, "As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them." Habakkuk 1:3 also refers to the trouble inflicted on others: "Why do you show me iniquity ['wen], and cause me to see grievance ['amal]? For spoiling and violence are before me; and there are those who raise up strife and contention."


'wn (n)), "iniquity." This word is derived from the root 'wh, which means "to be bent, bowed down, twisted, perverted" or "to twist, pervert." The Arabic cognate 'aw means "to twist, bend down"; some scholars regard the Arabic term ghara ("to err from the way") as the true cognate, but there is less justification for this interpretation.


'Awon portrays sin as a perversion of life (a twisting out of the right way), a perversion of truth (a twisting into error), or a perversion of intent (a bending of rectitude into willful disobedience). The word "iniquity" is the best single-word equivalent, although the Latin root iniquitas really means "injustice; unfairness; hostile; adverse."


'Awn occurs frequently throughout the Old Testament in parallelism with other words related to sin, such as chatt'th ("sin") and pesha' ("transgression"). Some examples are 1 Samuel 20:1: "And David said before Jonathan, what have I done? what is mine iniquity ['awn]? and what is my sin [chatt'th] before thy father, that he seeks my life?" (cf. Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 5:25). Also note Job 14:17: "My transgression [pesha'] is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up my iniquity ['wn]" (cf. Psalm 107:17; Isaiah 50:1). The penitent wrongdoer recognized his "iniquity" in Isaiah 59:12: "For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them" (cf. 1 Samuel 3:13). "Iniquity" is something to be confessed: "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel..." (Leviticus 16:21) "And the seed of Israel confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers" (Nehemiah 9:2; cf. Psalm 38:18).


The grace of God may remove or forgive "iniquity". "And he said to him, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you..." (Zechariah 3:4; cf. 2 Samuel 24:10). His atonement may cover over "iniquity": "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6; cf. Psalm 78:38).


'Awn may refer to "the guilt of iniquity," as in Ezekiel 36:31: "Then you shall remember your own evil ways...and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations" (cf. Ezek. 9:9). The word may also refer to "punishment for iniquity": "And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing" (1 Samuel 28:10). In Exodus 28:38, 'wn is used as the object of nts' ("to bear, carry away, forgive"), to suggest bearing the punishment for the "iniquity" of others. In Isaiah 53:11, we are told that the servant of Yahweh bears the consequences of the "iniquities" of sinful mankind, including Israel.


rsh', "wicked; criminal; guilty." Some scholars relate this word to the Arabic rash'a ("to be loose, out of joint"), although that term is not actively used in literary Arabic. The Aramaic cognate rasha' means "to be wicked" and the Syriac aphel ("to do wickedly").


Rsh' generally connotes a turbulence and restlessness (cf. Isaiah 57:21) or something disjointed or ill-regulated. Thus Robert B. Girdlestone suggests that it refers to the tossing and confusion in which the wicked live, and to the perpetual agitation they cause to others.


In some instances, rsh' carries the sense of being "guilty of crime": "You shall not raise a false report: put not your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness" (Exodus 23:1); "Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness" (Proverbs 25:5), "An ungodly witness scorns judgment: and the mouth of the wicked [plural form] devours iniquity" (Proverbs 19:28; cf. Proverbs 20:26).


Justifying the "wicked" is classed as a heinous crime: "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, they both are abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 17:15; cf. Exodus 23:7).


The rsh' is guilty of hostility to God and His people: "Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword" (Psalm 17:13); "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked [plural form] come to an end; but establish the just..." (Psalm 7:9). The word is applied to the people of Babylon in Isaiah 13:11 and to the Chaldeans in Habakkuk L13.


chatt'th "sin; sin-guilt; sin-purification; sin offering." The noun chatt'th appears about 293 times and in all periods of biblical literature.


The basic nuance of this word is "sin" conceived as missing the road or mark (155 times). Chatt'th can refer to an offense against a man: "And Jacob was angry, and upbraided Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass [pesha']? what is my sin, that you have so hotly pursued after me?" (Genesis 31:36). It is such passages which prove that chatt'th is not simply a general word for "sin"; since Jacob used two different words, he probably intended two different nuances. In addition, a full word study shows basic differences between chatt'th and other words rendered "sin." For the most part this word represents a sin against God (Leviticus 4:14). Men are to return from "sin," which is a path, a life-style, or act deviating from that which God has marked out (1 Kings 8:35). They should depart from "sin" (2 Kings 10:31), be concerned about it (Psalm 38:18), and confess it (Numbers 5:7). The noun first appears in Genesis 4:7, where Cain is warned that "sin lies at the door." This citation may introduce a second nuance of the word "sin" in general. Certainly such an emphasis appears in Psalm 25:7, where the noun represents rebellious sin (usually indicated by psha'): "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions"


In a few passages the term connotes the guilt or condition of sin: "The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and...their sin is very grievous" (Genesis 18:20).

The word means "purification from sin" in two passages: "And thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them ." (Numbers 8:7; cf. 19:9). Chatt'th means "sin offering" (135 times). The law of the "sin offering" is recorded in Leviticus 4-5:13; 6:24-30. This was an offering for some specific "sin" committed unwittingly, without intending to do it and perhaps even without knowing it at the time (Leviticus 4:2; 5:15).


Also derived from the verb cht' is the noun chta', which occurs 33 times in biblical Hebrew. This word means "sin" in the sense of missing the mark or the path. This may be sin against either a man (Genesis 41:9--the first occurrence of the word) or God (Deuteronomy 9:18). Second, it connotes the "guilt" of such an act (Numbers 27:3). The psalmist confessed that his mother was in the condition of sin and guilt (cf. Romans 5:12) when he was conceived (Psalm 51:5). Finally, several passages use this word for the idea of "punishment for sin" (Leviticus 20:20).


The noun chatt'th, with the form reserved for those who are typified with the characteristic represented by the root, is used both as an adjective (emphatic) and as a noun. The word occurs 19 times. Men are described as "sinners" (1 Samuel 15:18) and as those who are liable to the penalty of an offense (1 Kings 1:21). The first occurrence of the word is in Genesis 13:13: "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly."


B. Adjective.


rsh', "wicked; guilty." In the typical example of Deuteronomy 25:2, this word refers to a person "guilty of a crime": "And if the wicked man is worthy of being beaten, then the judge shall cause be beaten . A similar reference appears in Jeremiah 5:26: "For among my people are found wicked [plural form] men: they lay wait, as who sets snares; they set a trap, they catch men." Rsh' is used specifically of murderers in 2 Samuel 4:11: "How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? The expression "guilty of death" (rsh' lmuth) occurs in Numbers 35:31 and is applied to a murderer. Pharaoh and his people are portrayed as "wicked" people guilty of hostility to God and His people (Exodus 9:27).


ra', "bad; evil; wicked; sore." The root of this term is disputed. Some scholars believe that the Akkadian term raggu ("evil; bad") may be a cognate. Some scholars derive ra' from the Hebrew word r'a' ("to break, smash, crush"), which is a cognate of the Hebrew rtsats ("to smash, break to pieces"); rtsats in turn is related to the Arabic radda ("to crush, bruise"). If this derivation were correct, it would imply that ra' connotes sin in the sense of destructive hurtfulness; but this connotation is not appropriate in some contexts in which ra' is found.


Ra' refers to that which is "bad" or "evil," in a wide variety of applications. A greater number of the word's occurrences signify something morally evil or hurtful, often referring to man or men: "Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David . ." (1 Samuel 30:22). "And Esther said, the adversary and enemy is the wicked Haman" (Esther 7:6). "There they cry, but no one gives an answer, because of the pride of evil men" (Job 35:12; cf. Psalm 10:15). Ra' is also used to denote evil words (Proverbs 15:26), evil thoughts (Genesis 6:5), or evil actions (Deuteronomy 17:5, Nehemiah 13:17). Ezekiel 6:11 depicts grim consequences for Israel as a result of its actions: "Thus says the Lord God; smite with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence."


Ra' may mean "bad" or unpleasant in the sense of giving pain or causing unhappiness: "And Jacob said unto Pharaoh,...Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been (Genesis 47:9). "And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned (Exodus 33:4; cf. Genesis 37:2). "Correction is grievous [ra'] unto him that forsakes the way: and he that hates reproof shall die" (Proverbs 15:10). Ra' may also connote a fierceness or wildness: "He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil [ra'] angels among them" (Psalm 78:49). "Some evil beast hath devoured him. (Genesis 37:20; cf. Genesis 37:33; Leviticus 26:6). In less frequent uses, ra' implies severity: For thus says the Lord God; How much more when I send my four sore [ra] judgments upon Israel. (Ezek. 14:21; cf. Deuteronomy 6:22); unpleasantness: "And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will put more of the evil diseases of Egypt upon you (Deuteronomy 7:15; cf. Deuteronomy 28:59); deadliness: "When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction. (Ezek. 5:16; cf. "hurtful sword," Psalm 144:10); or sadness: "Wherefore the king said unto me, why is thy countenance sad (Nehemiah 2:2). The word may also refer to something of poor or inferior quality, such as "bad" land (Numbers 13:19), "rotten" figs (Jeremiah 24:2), "ill-favored" cattle (Genesis 41:3, 19), or a "bad" sacrificial animal (Leviticus 27:10, 12, 14). In Isaiah 45:7 Yahweh describes His actions by saying, "I make peace, and create evil [ra'] ; moral "evil" is not intended in this context, but rather the antithesis of shalom ("peace; welfare; well-being"). The whole verse affirms that as absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order. Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men.


C. Verbs.


abar "to transgress, cross over, pass over." This word occurs as a verb only when it refers to sin. 'Abar often carries the sense of "transgressing" a covenant or commandment, i.e., the offender "passes beyond" the limits set by God's law and falls into transgression and guilt. This meaning appears in Numbers 14:41: "And Moses said, wherefore now do you transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper." Another example is in Judges 2:20: "And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice" (cf. 1 Samuel 15:24; Hos. 8:1). Most frequently, 'bar illustrates the motion of "crossing over" or "passing over." (The Latin transgredior, from which we get our English word transgress, has the similar meaning of "go beyond" or "cross over.") This word refers to crossing a stream or boundage ("pass through," Numbers 21:22), invading a country ("passed over," Judges 11:32), crossing a boundary against a hostile army ("go over," I Samuel 14:4), marching over ("go over," Isaiah 51:23), overflowing the banks of a river or other natural barriers ("pass through," Isaiah 23:10), passing a razor over one's head ("come upon," Numbers 6:5), and the passing of time ("went over," 1 Chronicles 29:30).


cht' "to miss, sin, be guilty, forfeit, purify." This verb occurs 238 times and in all parts of the Old Testament. It is found also in Assyrian, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Sabean, and Arabic. The basic meaning of this verb is illustrated in Judges 20:16: There were 700 left-handed Benjamite soldiers who "could sling stones at a hair breadth, and not miss." The meaning is extended in Proverbs 19:2: "He who makes haste with his feet misses the way" (RSV, NIV, KJV, NASB, "sinneth"). The intensive form is used in Genesis 31:39: "That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto you; I bare the loss of it


From this basic meaning comes the word's chief usage to indicate moral failure toward both God and men, and certain results of such wrongs. The first occurrence of the verb is in Genesis 20:6, God's word to Abimelech after he had taken Sarah: "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and also I have kept you from sinning against Me" (NASB; cf. Genesis 39:9).


Sin against God is defined in Joshua 7:11: "Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them . Also note Leviticus 4:27: "And if any one of the common people sins through ignorance, while he does something against any of, the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty." The verb may also refer to the result of wrongdoing, as in Genesis 43:9: "Then let me bear the blame for ever." Deuteronomy 24:1-4, after forbidding adulterous marriage practices, concludes: "For that is abomination before the Lord: and you shall not cause the land to sin..." (KJV); the RSV renders this passage: "You shall not bring guilt upon the land." Similarly, those who pervert justice are described as "those who by a word make a man out to be guilty" (Isaiah 29:21, NIV). This leads to the meaning in Leviticus 9:15: "And he...took the goat. and killed it, and offered it for sin...." The effect of the offerings for sin is described in Psalm 51:7: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean..." (cf. Numbers 19:1-13). Another effect is seen in the word of the prophet to evil Babylon: "You have forfeited your life" (Habakkuk 2:10, RSV, NIV; KJV, NASB, "sinned against"). The word is used concerning acts committed against men, as in Genesis 42:22: "Did I not speak to you, saying, 'Do not sin against the child...?'" and 1 Samuel 19:4: "Do not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you..." (NASB; NIV, "wrong, wronged").


The Septuagint translates the group of words with the verb hamartan and derived nouns 540 times. They occur 265 times in the New Testament. The fact that all "have sinned" continues to be emphasized in the New Testament (Romans 3:10-18, 23; cf. I Kings 8:46; Psalm 14:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20). The New Testament development is that Christ, "having made one sacrifice for sins for all time sat down at the right hand of God For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:12-14; NASB). (W. E. Vine, and Merrill F. Unger, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)


New Testament


Noun, Strong's 266, hamartia, is, lit., "a missing of the mark," but this etymological meaning is largely lost sight of in the NT. It is the most comprehensive term for moral obliquity. It is used of "sin" as (a) a principle or source of action, or an inward element producing acts, e.g., Romans 3:9; 5:12,13,20; 6:1,2; 7:7 (abstract for concrete); 7:8 (twice),9,11,13, "sin, that it might be shown to be sin," i.e., "sin became death to me, that it might be exposed in its heinous character:" in the clause, "sin might become exceeding sinful," i.e., through the holiness of the Law, the true nature of sin was designed to be manifested to the conscience;


(b) a governing principle or power, e.g., Romans 6:6; "(the body) of sin," here "sin" is spoken of as an organized power, acting through the members of the body, though the seat of "sin" is in the will (the body is the organic instrument); in the next clause, and in other passages, as follows, this governing principle is personified, e.g., Romans 5:21; 6:12,14,17; 7:11,14,17,20,23,25; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 15:56; Hebrews 3:13; 11:25; 12:4; James 1:15 (2nd part);


(c) a generic term (distinct from specific terms such as No. 2 yet sometimes inclusive of concrete wrong doing, e.g., John 8:21,34,46; 9:41; 15:22,24; 19:11); in Romans 8:3, "God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh," lit., "flesh of sin," the flesh stands for the body, the instrument of indwelling "sin" [Christ, preexistently the Son of God, assumed human flesh, "of the substance of the Virgin Mary;" the reality of incarnation was His, without taint of sin (for homoioma, "likeness," see LIKENESS)], and as an offering for sin," i.e., "a sin offering" (so the Sept. e.g., in Leviticus 4:32; 5:6-9), "condemned sin in the flesh," i.e., Christ, having taken human nature, "sin" apart (Hebrews 4:15), and having lived a sinless life, died under the condemnation and judgment due to our "sin;" for the generic sense see further, e.g., Hebrews 9:26; 10:6,8,18; 13:11; 1 John 1:7,8; 3:4 (1st part; in the 2nd part, "sin" is defined as "lawlessness," RV),8,9; in these verses the AV use of the verb to commit is misleading; not the committal of an act is in view, but a continuous course of "sin," as indicated by the RV, "doeth." The Apostle's use of the present tense of poieo, "to do," virtually expresses the meaning of prasso, "to practice," which John does not use (it is not infrequent in this sense in Paul's Epp., e.g., Romans 1:32, RV; 2:1; Galatians 5:21; Philippians 4:9); 1 Peter 4:1 (singular in the best texts), lit., "has been made to cease from sin," i.e., as a result of suffering in the flesh, the mortifying of our members, and of obedience to a Savior who suffered in flesh. Such no longer lives in the flesh, "to the lusts of men, but to the will of God;" sometimes the word is used as virtually equivalent to a condition of "sin," e.g., John 1:29, "the sin (not sins) of the world;" 1 Corinthians 15:17; or a course of "sin," characterized by continuous acts, e.g., 1 Thessalonians 2:16; in 1 John 5:16 (2nd part) the RV marg., is probably to be preferred, "there is sin unto death," not a special act of "sin," but the state or condition producing acts; in 1 John 5:17, "all unrighteousness is sin" is not a definition of "sin" (as in 1 John 3:4), it gives a specification of the term in its generic sense;


(d) a sinful deed, an act of "sin," e.g., Matthew 12:31; Acts 7:60; James 1:15 (1st part); 2:9; 4:17; 5:15,20; 1 John 5:16 (1st part).


Notes: (1) Christ is predicated as having been without "sin" in every respect, e.g., (a), (b), (c) above, 2 Corinthians 5:21 (1st part); 1 John 3:5; John 14:30; (d) John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22. (2) In Hebrews 9:28 (2nd part) the reference is to a "sin" offering. (3) In 2 Corinthians 5:21, "Him ... He made to be sin" indicates that God dealt with Him as He must deal with "sin," and that Christ fulfilled what was typified in the guilt offering. (4) For the phrase "man of sin" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, see INIQUITY, No. 1.


Noun, 265, hamartema, akin to No. 1, denotes "an act of disobedience to Divine law" [as distinct from No. 1 (a), (b), (c)]; plural in Mark 3:28; Romans 3:25; 2 Peter 1:9, in some texts; sing. in Mark 3:29 (some mss. have krisis, AV, "damnation"); 1 Corinthians 6:18.


Notes: (1) For paraptoma, rendered "sins" in the AV in Ephesians 1:7; 2:5; Colossians 2:13 (RV, "trespass"), see TRESPASS. In James 5:16, the best texts have No. 1 (RV, "sins"). (2) For synonymous terms see DISOBEDIENCE, ERROR, FAULT, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION, UNGODLINESS.


Adjective, 361, anamartetos, "without sin" (a, negative, n, euphonic, and C, No. 1), is found in John 8:7. In the Sept., Deut. 29:19.


Verb, 264, hamartano, lit., "to miss the mark," is used in the NT (a) of "sinning" against God, (1) by angels, 2 Peter 2:4; (2) by man, Matthew 27:4; Luke 15:18,21 (heaven standing, by metonymy, for God); John 5:14; 8:11; 9:2,3; Romans 2:12 (twice); 3:23; 5:12,14,16; 6:15; 1 Corinthians 7:28 (twice),36; 15:34; Ephesians 4:26; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 3:11; Hebrews 3:17; 10:26; 1 John 1:10; in 1 John 2:1 (twice), the aorist tense in each place, referring to an act of "sin;" on the contrary, in 1 John 3:6 (twice),8,9, the present tense indicates, not the committal of an act, but the continuous practice of "sin" [see on A, No. 1 (c)]; in 1 John 5:16 (twice) the present tense indicates the condition resulting from an act, "unto death" signifying "tending towards death;" (b) against Christ, 1 Corinthians 8:12; (c) against man, (1) a brother, Matthew 18:15, RV, "sin" (AV, "tresspass"); Matthew 18:21; Luke 17:3,4, RV, "sin" (AV, "trespass"); 1 Corinthians 8:12; (2) in Luke 15:18,21, against the father by the Prodigal Son, "in thy sight" being suggestive of befitting reverence; (d) against Jewish law, the Temple, and Caesar, Acts 25:8, RV, "sinned" (AV, "offended"); (e) against one's own body, by fornication, 1 Corinthians 6:18; (f) against earthly masters by servants, 1 Peter 2:20, RV, "(when) ye sin (and are buffeted for it)," AV, "(when ye be buffeted) for your faults," lit., "having sinned."


Verb, 4258 proamartano, "to sin previously" (pro, "before," and No. 1), occurs in 2 Corinthians 12:21; 13:2, RV in each place, "have sinned heretofore" (so AV in the 2nd; in the 1st, "have sinned already"). a




458, anomia , lit., "lawlessness" (a, negative, nomos, "law"), is used in a way which indicates the meaning as being lawlessness or wickedness. Its usual rendering in the NT is "iniquity," which lit. means unrighteousness. It occurs very frequently in the Sept., especially in the Psalms, where it is found about 70 times. It is used (a) of iniquity in general, Matthew 7:23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:12; Romans 6:19 (twice); 2 Corinthians 6:14, RV, "iniquity" (AV, "unrighteousness"); 2 Thessalonians 2:3, in some mss.; the AV and RV follow those which have hamartia, "(man of) sin;" 2 Thessalonians 2:7, RV, "lawlessness" (AV, "iniquity"); Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:9; 1 John 3:4 (twice), RV, "(doeth) ... lawlessness" and "lawlessness" (AV, "transgresseth the law" and "trangression of the law"); (b) in the plural, of acts or manifestations of lawlessness, Romans 4:7; Hebrews 10:17 (some inferior mss. have it in Hebrews 8:12, for the word hamartia). See LAWLESSNESS, TRANSGRESSION, UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Note: In the phrase "man of sin," 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the word suggests the idea of contempt of Divine law, since the Antichrist will deny the existence of God.


93, adikia, denotes "unrighteousness," lit., "unrightness" (a, negative, dike, "right"), a condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His holiness and righteousness, or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience. In Luke 16:8; 18:6, the phrases lit. are, "the steward of unrighteousness" and "the judge of injustice," the subjective genitive describing their character; in Luke 18:6 the meaning is "injustice" and so perhaps in Romans 9:14. The word is usually translated "unrighteousness," but is rendered "iniquity" in Luke 13:27; Acts 1:18; 8:23; 1 Corinthians 13:6, AV (RV, "unrighteousness"); so in 2 Timothy 2:19; James 3:6.


92, adikema, denotes "a wrong, injury, misdeed" (akin to No. 2; from adikeo, "to do wrong"), the concrete act, in contrast to the general meaning of No. 2, and translated "a matter of wrong," in Acts 18:14; "wrong-doing," Acts 24:20 (AV, "evil-doing"); "iniquities," Revelation 18:5. See EVIL, WRONG.


4189, poneria, akin to poneo, "to toil" (cp. poneros, "bad, worthless;" see BAD), denotes "wickedness," and is so translated in Matthew 22:18; Mark 7:22 (plural); Luke 11:39; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 6:12; in Acts 3:26, "iniquities." See WICKEDNESS. Cp. kakia, "evil."


3892, paranomia, "law-breaking" (para, "against," nomos, "law"), denotes "transgression," so rendered in 2 Peter 2:16, for AV, "iniquity."


Transgress, Transgression


Verb, 3845, parabaino, lit., "to go aside" (para), hence "to go beyond," is chiefly used metaphorically of "transgressing" the tradition of the elders, Matthew 15:2; the commandment of God, Matthew 15:3; in Acts 1:25, of Judas, AV, "by transgression fell" (RV, "fell away"); in 2 John 1:9 some texts have this verb (AV, "transgresseth"), the best have proago (see GO, No. 10).


Verb, 5233, huperbaino, lit., "to go over" (huper), used metaphorically and rendered "transgress" in 1 Thessalonians 4:6 (AV, "go beyond"), i.e., of "overstepping" the limits separating chastity from licentiousness, sanctification from sin.


Verb, 3928, parerchomai, "to come by" (para, "by," erchomai, "to come"), "pass over," and hence, metaphorically, "to transgress," is so used in Luke 15:29. See COME, No. 9, PASS.


Noun, 3847, parabasis, akin to A, No. 1, primarily "a going aside," then, "an overstepping," is used metaphorically to denote "transgression" (always of a breach of law): (a) of Adam, Romans 5:14; (b) of Eve, 1 Timothy 2:14; (c) negatively, where there is no law, since "transgression" implies the violation of law, none having been enacted between Adam's "transgression" and those under the Law, Romans 4:15; (d) of "transgressions" of the Law, Gal. 3:19, where the statement "it was added because of transgressions" is best understood according to Romans 4:15; 5:13; 5:20; the Law does not make men sinners, but makes them "transgressors;" hence sin becomes "exceeding sinful," Romans 7:7,13. Conscience thus had a standard external to itself; by the Law men are taught their inability to yield complete obedience to God, that thereby they may become convinced of their need of a Savior; in Romans 2:23, RV, "transgression (of the Law)," AV, "breaking (the Law);" Hebrews 2:2; 9:15.


Noun, 3892, paranomia, "lawbreaking" (para, "contrary to, nomos, "law"), is rendered "transgression" in 2 Peter 2:16, RV (AV, "iniquity"). Note: In 1 John 3:4 (1st part), AV, poieo, "to do," with anomia, "lawlessness," is rendered "transgresseth ... the law" (RV, "doeth ... lawlessness"); in the 2nd part anomia alone is rendered "transgression of the law," AV (RV, "lawlessness").


Disobedience, Disobedient


543, apeitheia, lit., "the condition of being unpersuadable" (a, negative, peitho, "to persuade"), denotes "obstinacy, obstinate rejection of the will of God;" hence, "disobedience;" Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6, and in the RV of Romans 11:30,32 and Hebrews 4:6,11 (for AV, "unbelief"), speaking of Israel, past and present. See UNBELIEF.


3876, parakoe, primarily, "hearing amiss" (para, "aside," akouo, "to hear"), hence signifies "a refusal to hear;" hence, "an act of disobedience," Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 2:2. It is broadly to be distinguished from No. 1, as an act from a condition, though parakoe itself is the effect, in transgression, of the condition of failing or refusing to hear. Carelessness in attitude is the precursor of actual "disobedience." In the OT "disobedience" is frequently described as "a refusing to hear," e.g., Jer. 11:10; 35:17; cp. Acts 7:57. See Trench, Syn. xvi.


Adjective, 545, apeithes, akin to A, No. 1, signifies "unwilling to be persuaded, spurning belief, disobedient," Luke 1:17; Acts 26:19; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:16; 3:3.


Note: In 1 Timothy 1:9 anupotaktos, "insubordinate, unsubjected" (a, negative, n, euphonic, hupo, "under," tasso, "to order"), is translated "disobedient" in the AV; the RV has "unruly," as in Titus 1:6,10; in Hebrews 2:8, "not subject" (RV), "not put under" (AV). See PUT, UNRULY.


Verb, 544, apeitheo, akin to A, No. 1, and B, "to refuse to be persuaded, to refuse belief, to be disobedient," is translated "disobedient," or by the verb "to be disobedient," in the RV of Acts 14:2 (AV, "unbelieving"), and Acts 19:9 (AV, "believed not"); it is absent from the most authentic mss. in Acts 17:5; in John 3:36 "obeyeth not," RV (AV, "believeth not"); in Romans 2:8 "obey not;" in Romans 10:21, "disobedient;" in Romans 11:30,31, "were disobedient" (AV, "have not believed"); so in Romans 15:31; Hebrews 3:18; 11:31; in 1 Peter 2:8, "disobedient;" so in 1 Peter 3:20; in 1 Peter 3:1; 4:17, "obey not." In 1 Peter 2:7 the best mss. have apisteo, "to disbelieve." See OBEY, B, No. 4, UNBELIEVING.


Ungodliness, Ungodly


763, asebeia, "impiety, ungodliness," is used of (a) general impiety, Romans 1:18; 11:26; 2 Timothy 2:16; Titus 2:12; (b) "ungodly" deeds, Jude 1:15, RV, "works of ungodliness;" (c) of lusts or desires after evil things, Jude 1:18. It is the opposite of eusebeia, "godliness." Note: Anomia is disregard for, or defiance of, God's laws; asebeia is the same attitude towards God's Person.


Adjective, 765, asebes, "impious, ungodly" (akin to A), "without reverence for God," not merely irreligious, but acting in contravention of God's demands, Romans 4:5; 5:6; 1 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 4:18; 2 Peter 2:5 (ver. 6 in some mss.); 3:7; Jude 1:4,15 (twice).


Verb, 764, asebeo, akin to A and B, signifies (a) "to be or live ungodly," 2 Peter 2:6; (b) "to commit ungodly deeds," Jude 1:15.



4106, plane, akin to planao (see ERR, No. 1), "a wandering, a forsaking of the right path, see James 5:20, whether in doctrine, 2 Peter 3:17; 1 John 4:6, or in morals, Romans 1:27; 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 1:11, though, in Scripture, doctrine and morals are never divided by any sharp line. See also Matthew 27:64, where it is equivalent to 'fraud.'" [From Notes on Thessalonians by Hogg and Vine, p. 53.] "Errors" in doctrine are not infrequently the effect of relaxed morality, and vice versa.


In Ephesians 4:14 the RV has "wiles of error," for AV, "they lie in wait to deceive;" in 1 Thessalonians 2:3, RV, "Error," for AV, "deceit;" in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, RV, "a working of error," for AV, "strong delusion." See DECEIT. Cp. planetes, "a wandering," Jude 1:13, and the adjective planos, "leading astray, deceiving, a deceiver."


51, agnoema, "a sin of ignorance" (cp. agnoia, "ignorance," and agnoeo, "to be ignorant"), is used in the plural in Hebrews 9:7. (W. E. Vine, and Merrill F. Unger, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)