New Testament Greek Words for SIN

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New Testament Greek Words For Sin There are a number of words used in the original Greek New Testament which are translated “sin” or “sins”. These are “hamartia”, “hamartema” and “hamartano”. In the original Greek New Testament, the most common word translated as “sin” or “sins” is “hamartia”. Vine says “hamartia” means “literally missing of the mark”. 1 But Richards says: “sin is not only missing God’s mark; it is an inner reality, a warp in human nature and a malignant power that holds each in
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  New Testament Greek Words For Sin There are a number of words used in the srcinal Greek New Testament which aretranslated “sin” or “sins”. These are “hamartia”, “hamartema” and “hamartano”.In the srcinal Greek New Testament, the most common word translated as “sin”  or “sins”   is “hamartia”. Vine says “hamartia” means “literally missing of the mark”. 1 But Richards says:“sin is not only missing God’s mark; it is an inner reality, a warp in human nature and amalignant power that holds each individual in an unbreakable grip”. 2 The word “hamartia” isused in the srcinal Greek New Testament to refer to: ã   sin as an element or principle within humans which produces corresponding sinful actions(see Romans 5:12, 5:20, 6:1 and 6:2). Romans 6:1-2 declares: “What shall we say then?Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”    ã   sin as a power or force within unbelievers which dominates, corrupts and distorts all   aspects of their human nature and lives , including inward heart attitudes and outwardbehaviour; – even those parts which to other humans seem good (see John 8:34, Romans3:9, 5:21, 6:6, 6:17, 6:20 and 8:2). Romans 6:20 says: “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”  John 8:34 states: “Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin’.”    ã   sin as being an expression of lawlessness in relation to God. 1 John 3:4 shows this: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness”.   ã   sin as being intimately related to the state of spiritual death into which all human babies areborn. Ephesians 2:1 and 2:5 use the word “hamartia” in relation to spiritual death. Spiritualdeath refers to being cut off and separated from the Presence and eternal life of God. Peoplewho are spiritually dead do not have God living within them. Ephesians 2:1-5 shows sin issuch a serious inner flaw in the human nature of unbelievers that from birth, they are willingslaves to this nature’s evil cravings and to demonic spirits. ã   sin as including anything in our character, motives, thoughts, words, emotions andbehaviour which is not right in God’s eyes. 1 John 5:17 reveals this: “All unrighteousnessis sin…”  ã   sin as an act  (see Matthew 12:312, Acts 7:60, James 1;15 (first part), 2:9, 4:17, 5:15 and5:20). The Bible records multitudes of other specific acts which God regards as sin.The Greek word “hamartema” means “an act of disobedience to divine law”. 3 This word isused in Mark 3:28, Romans 3:25 and 1 Corinthians 6:18. 1 Corinthians 6:18 shows God isconcerned about the specific sins of Christians and not just sin in general. 1   Vine, page 576. 2   Richards, page 568. 3   Vine, page 577.  “Hamartano” is the third Greek word used in the New Testament we need to examine. Itmeans “to act contrary to the will and law of God” 4 and “do wrong, sin, of offences against thereligious and moral law of God”. 5 “Hamartano” is used in the New Testament for sinning: ã   by angels against God (see 2 Peter 2:4). ã   by humans against God (see Luke 15:18, 15:21, John 5:14, 8:11, Romans 3:23, 5:12, 5:14,5:16, 1 John 2:1 (used twice), 3:6 (twice), 3:8, 3:9 and 5:16 (twice). ã   against other humans (see Matthew 18:15, Luke 17:3, 17:4 and 1 Corinthians 8:12). ã   against our own physical bodies through sexual immorality (see 1 Corinthians 6:18). Greek words for evil or wicked One of the most widely used words for sin in the srcinal Greek New Testament is theadjective (describing word) “kakos”. Bauer says “kakos” means “bad, evil, injurious,dangerous…” 6  “Kakos” is used in the New Testament to refer to morally evil persons (see Matthew24:48, Philippians 3:2 and Revelation 2:2) and to evil or wicked thoughts, qualities, emotions,desires and actions (see Mark 7:21, Romans 2:9, 7:19 and 7:21).Another key word used in the srcinal Greek New Testament for sin is “poneros”.Bauer says “poneros” means “wicked, evil, bad, base, worthless, vicious, degenerate, a wickedor evil-intentioned person, evil doer”. 7 The word “poneros” is used in relation to our wickedactions prior to conversion (see Colossians 1:21), those who do not have faith in God or JesusChrist (see 2 Thessalonians 3:2 and Hebrews 3:12), evil hearts that turn from God (see Hebrews3:12), evil thoughts (see James 2:4), evil boasting about what we are going to do in the future(see James 4:16), evil actions (see 1 John 3:12 and 2 John 11), and evil spirits (see Matthew12:45, Luke 7:21 and Acts 19:12-13).A third word used in the Greek New Testament for “evil” is “phaulos”. It is defined as“worthless, bad, evil”. 8 “Phaulos” is used in John 3:20, 5:29, Romans 9:11, 2 Corinthians 5:10and James 3:16. James 3:16 links evil to selfishness. When Bauer relates “phaulos” partly toworthlessness, he is referring to worthlessness in terms of God’s justice and not in relation toHis love. Greek words for iniquity and unrighteousness   There are a number of words used in the srcinal Greek New Testament which aretranslated as “iniquity” or “unrighteousness” in some of the best English versions. These are thewords “adikia” and “adikema”. The Greek word “anomia” is translated sometimes in the KingJames Version as “iniquity”  , but a far better translation is “lawlessness”  used by the New King 4   Louw and Nida, page 773. 5   Bauer, page 42. 6   Ibid, pages 397-398 . 7   Ibid, pages 690-691. 8   Ibid, page 854.  James Version. The Greek word “poneria” is translated “iniquity”  by some versions of theBible.The Greek word “adikia” means “wrongdoing, unrighteousness, wickedness,injustice”. 9 “Adikia” is used in verses such as Luke 13:27, Acts 1:18, 8:23, Romans 1:18, 1:29,2:8, 6:13, 1 Corinthians 13:6 and 2 Timothy 2:19. Verses such as Luke 13:27, Acts 1:18, 8:23,Romans 1:29, 6:13 and 2 Timothy 2:19 show the Greek word “adikia” relates to wrong orunrighteous character, attitudes and actions.The Greek word “adikema” is defined as “unjust deed, a wrong”. 10 It is used inRevelation 18:5: “… God has remembered her iniquities.”   The Greek word “poneria” is derived from the word “poneros” previously mentioned.“Poneria” means “wickedness…maliciousness, sinfulness”. 11 This word is used in verses suchas Matthew 22:18, Mark 7:22, Luke 11:39, Acts 3:26, Romans 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:8 andEphesians 6:12. Greek words for “ungodliness”  The srcinal Greek New Testament also uses three other sin-related words – theadjective (describing word) “asebes”, its noun form “asebeia” and verb (action word) form“asebeo”.“Asebes” means “ungodly, without reverence for God, not merely irreligious, but actingin contravention of God’s demands.” 12 “Acting in contravention of God’s demands” means“acting contrary to God’s demands”. “Asebes” is used in Romans 5:6, 1 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter4:18, 2 Peter 3:7, Jude 4 and 15. Jude 4 refers to men who had no real fear of God  joining theearly churches and using God’s grace as an excuse for sexual immorality: “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men,who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord  Jesus Christ.”   “Asebeia” means “godlessness…in thought and act, godless desires”. 13 In Jude 18,“asebeia” is used of selfish desires after evil things when it mentions “ungodly lusts”  . “Asebeo”means “to be or live ungodly, 2 Peter 2:6; to commit ungodly deeds, Jude 15”. 14   Greek words for transgress, transgressions and transgressors   Another family of sin-related words found in the srcinal Greek New Testament aretranslated “transgress”  and “transgression”  in English. These Greek words are “parabaino”,“parabasis”, “paranomia” and “parabates”. “Parabaino” means “transgress, break”. 15 Matthew15:3 records Jesus’ usage of this word: “…Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?”    9   Ibid, pages 17-18. 10   Colin Brown, page 573. 11   Bauer, page 690. 12   Vine, page 651. 13 Bauer, page 114. 14   Ibid. 15   Bauer, page 611.  The second word “parabasis” means “primarily a going aside,…anoverstepping,…transgression (always of a breach of  law )”. 16 “Parabasis” is used in Romans4:15: “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”  This verse shows “parabasis” relates to breaking a law or command of God. Incontext, this verse is primarily referring to disobedience to the commands of the Law of Moses.But the latter part of this verse has a broader application. Evidence of this occurs when Romans5:14 uses the word “parabasis” in relation to Adam’s transgression and 1 Timothy 2:14 uses“parabasis” for Eve’s transgression. Adam and Eve did not transgress any of the commands of the Law of Moses. They transgressed God’s law or command found in Genesis 2:16-17.The third Greek word “paranomia” means “lawbreaking”. 17 “Paranomia” is thecombination of two other Greek words “para” meaning “contrary to” and “nomos” meaning“law”. “Paranomia” is used in 2 Peter 2:16 in relation to the prophet Balaam’s lawbreaking. Theprophet Balaam’s iniquity or lawbreaking did not relate to the Law of Moses, but involveddisobedience to God’s commands to him recorded in Numbers 22:12. Balaam did not have theScriptures to read, but God still regarded him as a law breaker for disobeying God’ssupernatural guidance.The fourth Greek word “parabetes” means “one who oversteps the prescribed limit”. 18  “Parabetes” is used in Romans 2:25, 2:27, Galatians 2:18, James 2:9 and 11. James 2:11 says: “For He who said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”  The difference between a sinner (or “harmartolos”in Greek) and a transgressor (or “parabetes”) is that in God’s eyes all humans are sinners butonly those who know His laws are transgressors.Another Greek word relating to transgressing is “huperbaino”. “Huperbaino” means“overstep,   transgress, break (laws and commandments)” 19 and is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:6 inthe sense of going beyond the limits stated in God’s Word in relation to sexual matters. The Greek word for offences or trespasses against God   Another word used in the srcinal Greek New Testament in relation to sin is“paraptoma”. This word refers to offences against God and His perfectly right nature, characterand standards in relation to our dealings with Him and others. “Paraptoma” means “what aperson has done in transgressing the will and law of God by some false step or failure”. 20 TheNew King James Version translates “paraptoma” as “trespasses”  or “offences”  or “sins”  . TheNew American Standard Bible translates “paraptoma” as “trespasses”  or “transgressions”  .“Paraptoma” is used in Matthew 6:14-15, 18:35, Romans 4:25, 5:15, 5:16, 5:17, 5:18, 5:20,Galatians 6:1, Ephesians 1:7, 2:1 and Colossians 2:13. 16   Vine, page 640. 17   Ibid. 18   Ibid. 19   Bauer, page 840. 20   Louw and Nida, page 774.
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