ABC:Mark 3

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Verse 28[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

There is an unforgivable sin.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus forgives our sins. No exceptions mentioned.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

"All" of our sins are forgiven.

This only looks like a contradiction to someone who thinks the New Testament was written in English. It wasn't, it was written in Greek, back in the 1st century A.D. Thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, codexes like Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the Masoretic Text, and early 2nd century manuscripts such as the John Rylands Papyrus and Bodmer Papyri we know what the original Greek text was. (See Manuscript Evidence)

Modern translators may have translated this as "sins" (especially in whatever translation TheThinkingAtheist.com was quoting - I quoted the KJV which translated Colossians 2:13 as trespasses instead of sins). However, all three passages actually use three different words that got translated into English as sin, so they're actually all referring to different things. We just get confused over this because our English translators didn't do a very good job translating from the original Greek text.

I'll quote the original Greek text (which you can see for yourself with PowerBible CD or other software) so you can see what's going on here.

Mark 3:28 Verily <amen> I say <lego> unto you, <humin> <hoti> All <pas> sins <hamartema> shall be forgiven <aphiemi> unto the sons <huios> of men, <anthropos> and <kai> blasphemies <blasphemia> wherewith <hosos> soever <an> they shall blaspheme: <blasphemeo>
29 But <de> he <hos> that <an> shall blaspheme <blasphemeo> against <eis> the Holy <hagios> Ghost <pneuma> hath <echo> never <ou> <eis> <aion> forgiveness, <aphesis> but <alla> is <esti> in danger <enochos> of eternal <aionios> damnation: <krisis>

1 John 1:9 If <ean> we confess <homologeo> our <hemon> sins, <hamartia> he is <esti> faithful <pistos> and <kai> just <dikaios> to <hina> forgive <aphiemi> us <hemin> our sins, <hamartia> and <kai> to cleanse <katharizo> us <hemas> from <apo> all <pas> unrighteousness. <adikia>

Colossians 2:13 And <kai> you, <humas> being <on> dead <nekros> in <en> your sins <paraptoma> and <kai> the uncircumcision <akrobustia> of your <humon> flesh, <sarx> hath he quickened together <suzoopoieo> with <sun> him, <autos> having forgiven <charizomai> you <humin> all <pas> trespasses; <paraptoma>

As is apparent from reading the original text, these are actually three different words, hamartema in Mark 3:28,[2] hamartia in 1 John 1:9,[3] and paraptoma in Colossians 2:13.[4] The word translated unrighteousness in John 1:9 that one is to be cleansed utterly of is adikia.[5] Critics don't seem to bother learning or studying the Bible in depth enough to realize it wasn't written in 21st century English, and just make negligent mistakes like this as a result.

Sources[edit]

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartema. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/hamartema.html.
  3. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/hamartia.html.
  4. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Paraptoma. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/paraptoma.html.
  5. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Adikia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/adikia.html.