International Standard Bible EncyclopediaFORGIVENESS
for-giv'-nes (kaphar, nasa', calach; apoluein charizesthai, aphesis paresis):
2. Pagan and Jewish Ideas
3. The Teaching of Christ
4. Conditions of Forgiveness
5. The Offended Party
6. Divine and Human Forgiveness
7. Forgiveness and Justification
8. Old Testament Teaching
9. Limitations of Forgiveness
10. Christ's Power to Forgive Sins
11. The Need of an Atonement
12. The New Testament Doctrine of Atonement
Of the seven words, three Hebrew and four Greek, which are used to express the idea of forgiveness, the last two occur in this sense only once each. Apoluein (Luke 6:37) is used because of the analogy of sin to debt, and denotes the release from it. It has the meaning "forgiveness" in 2 Maccabees 12:45 also, in which passage the word for sin is expressed. In Romans 3:25 Paul uses paresis instead of the usual aphesis. The former means "putting aside," "disregarding," "pretermission"; the latter, "putting away" completely and unreservedly (Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, section xxxiii). It does not mean forgiveness in the complete sense, and in the King James Version is incorrectly translated "remission." Nor does it mean that God had temporarily suspended punishment which at some later date He might inflict (Sanday on Romans 3:25). It was apparent that God had treated sins as though He had forgiven them, though in fact such an attitude on the part of God was without such a foundation as was later supplied by an adequate atonement, and so the apostle avoids saying that God forgave them. This passing over of sins had the tendency of destroying man's conception of God's righteousness, and in order to avert this Christ was set forth as a propitiation and God's disregard of sin (paresis) became a real forgiveness (aphesis); compare Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30. Charizesthai is not found outside of the writings of Luke and Paul, and in the sense "to forgive sins" is peculiarly Pauline (2 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 12:13 Ephesians 3:2 Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:13). It expresses, as no other of these words does, his conception of the graciousness of God's pardon. Kaphar (Deuteronomy 21:8 Psalm 78:38 Jeremiah 18:23) and calah (Numbers 30:5, 8, 12; 1 Kings 30, 34, 36, 39, 50, etc.) are used only of Divine forgiveness, while nasa' is used in this sense (Exodus 32:32 Numbers 14:19 Joshua 24:19 Psalm 25:18; Psalm 32:1, 5; 99:8 Isaiah 2:9), and also of human forgiveness (Genesis 50:17 Exodus 10:17 1 Samuel 25:28). Remission (Matthew 26:28 Mark 1:4 Luke 1:77; Luke 24:47 Acts 2:38; Acts 10:43 Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:18) and blotting out (Psalm 51:1, 9 Isaiah 43:25 Jeremiah 18:23 Acts 3:19) are synonyms of forgiveness, and to understand it fully such words as save, justify, reconcile and atonement should also be considered.
2. Pagan and Jewish Ideas:
Forgiveness was not a pagan virtue. The large-souled man might disregard offenses in cases where he considered them beneath his notice, but to forgive was weak-spirited (F. W. Robertson on 1 Corinthians 4:12). Even in the Old Testament, man's forgiveness of his fellow-man is infrequently mentioned. In every case the one asking forgiveness is in a position of subserviency, and is petitioning for that to which he has no just right (Genesis 50:17 Exodus 10:17 1 Samuel 15:25; 1 Samuel 25:28). The Imprecatory Psalms attest the fact that forgiveness of enemies was not esteemed as a virtue by Israel. They could appeal to the law which enjoined upon them to seek neither the peace nor the prosperity of their avowed enemies (Deuteronomy 23:6; compare Ezra 9:12). Jesus gave the popular summing-up of the law and not its exact words when he said, "Ye have heard that it was said. hate thine enemy" (Matthew 5:43), and this certainly does represent their attitude and their understanding of the teaching of the Scriptures.
3. The Teaching of Christ:
Christ taught that forgiveness is a duty. No limit can be set to the extent of forgiveness (Luke 17:4) and it must be granted without reserve. Jesus will not admit that there is any wrong so gross nor so often repeated that it is beyond forgiveness. To Him an unforgiving spirit is one of the most heinous of sins (Bruce, Parabolic Teaching, 376). This is the offense which God will not forgive (Matthew 18:34, 35). It is the very essence of the unpardonable sin (Mark 3:22-30).
It was the one blemish of the elder son which marred an otherwise irreproachable life (Luke 15:28-30). This natural, pagan spirit of implacability Jesus sought to displace by a generous, forgiving spirit. It is so far the essence of His teaching that in popular language "a Christian spirit" is not inappropriately understood to be synonymous with a forgiving disposition. His answer to Peter that one should forgive not merely seven times in a day, but seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21, 22), not only shows that He thought of no limit to one's forgiveness, but that the principle could not be reduced to a definite formula.
4. Conditions of Forgiveness:
Jesus recognized that there are conditions to be fulfilled before forgiveness can be granted. Forgiveness is part of a mutual relationship; the other part is the repentance of the offender. God does not forgive without repentance, nor is it required of man. The effect of forgiveness is to restore to its former state the relationship which was broken by sin. Such a restoration requires the cooperation of both parties. There must be both a granting and an acceptance of the forgiveness. Sincere, deep-felt sorrow for the wrong which works repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) is the condition of mind which insures the acceptance of the forgiveness. Hence, Jesus commands forgiveness when the offender turns again, saying, "I repent" (Luke 17:3, 1). It was this state of mind which led the father joyfully to welcome the Prodigal before he even gave utterance to his newly formed purpose (Luke 15:21).
5. The Offended Party:
It is not to be supposed, however, that failure to repent upon the part of the offender releases the offended from all obligation to extend forgiveness. Without the repentance of the one who has wronged him he can have a forgiving state of mind. This Jesus requires, as is implied by, "if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts" (Matthew 18:35). It is also implied by the past tense in the Lord's Prayer: "as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). It is this forgiving spirit which conditions God's forgiveness of our sins (Mark 11:25 Matthew 6:14, 15). In such a case the unforgiving spirit is essentially unrepentance (Matthew 18:23-35). "Of all acts, is not, for a man, repentance the most Divine?"
The offended is to go even farther and is to seek to bring the wrongdoer to repentance. This is the purpose of the rebuking commanded in Luke 17:3. More explicitly Jesus says, "If thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matthew 18:15-17). He is to carry his pursuit to the point of making every reasonable effort to win the wrongdoer, and only when he has exhausted every effort may he abandon it. The object is the gaining of his brother. Only when this is evidently unattainable is all effort to cease.
The power of binding and loosing, which means forbidding and allowing, was granted to Peter (Matthew 16:19) and to the Christian community (Matthew 18:18 John 20:23). It clearly implies the possession of the power to forgive sins. In the case of Peter's power it was exercised when he used the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19). This consisted in the proclamation of the gospel and especially of the conditions upon which men might enter into relationship with God (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:34). It was not limited to Peter only, but was shared by the other apostles (Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:18). Christ left no fixed rules the observance or non-observance of which would determine whether one is or is not in the kingdom of God. He gave to His disciples principles, and in the application of these principles to the problems of life there had to be the exercise of discriminating judgment. The exercise of this judgment was left to the Christian community (2 Corinthians 2:10).
It is limited by the principles which are the basis of the kingdom, but within these principles the voice of the community is supreme. The forgiveness here implied is not the pronouncing of absolution for the sins of individuals, but the determination of courses of conduct and worship which will be acceptable. In doing this its decisions will be ratified in heaven (Westcott on John 20:23).
That there is a close analogy between human and Divine forgiveness is clearly implied (Matthew 5:23, 14; Matthew 6:12 Mark 11:25 Luke 6:37 Colossians 1:14; Colossians 3:13). God"s forgiveness is conditional upon man's forgiveness of the wrongs done him, not because God forgives grudgingly but because forgiveness alone indicates that disposition of mind which will humbly accept the Divine pardon.
6. Divine and Human Forgiveness:
Repentance is a necessary ingredient of the fully developed forgiveness. There is no essential difference between the human and the Divine pardon, though the latter is necessarily more complete. It results in the complete removal of all estrangement and alienation between God and man. It restores completely the relationship which existed prior to the sin. The total removal of the sin as a result of the Divine forgiveness is variously expressed in the Scriptures: "Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back" (Isaiah 38:17); "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19); "I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34); "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions" (Isaiah 43:25); "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). Ideally this same result is attained in human forgiveness, but actually the memory of the sin remains with both parties as a barrier between them, and even when there is a complete restoration of amity the former state of alienation cannot entirely be removed from memory. When God forgives, however, He restores man to the condition of former favor. Release from punishment is involved, though Divine forgiveness is more than this. In most cases the consequences, which in some instances are spoken of as punishment, are not removed, but they lose all penal character and become disciplinary. Nor does the forgiveness remove from human mind the consciousness of sin and the guilt which that involved, but it does remove the mistrust which was the ground of the alienation. Mistrust is changed into trust, and this produces peace of mind (Psalm 32:5-7 Romans 5:1); consciousness of the Divine love and mercy (Psalm 103:2); removes fear of punishment (2 Samuel 12:13); and awakens love to God.
7. Forgiveness and Justification:
Paul rarely uses the term "forgiveness," but in its place prefers justification. They are to his understanding practically synonymous (Stevens, Theology of the New Testament, 418). He preferred the latter, however, because it was better fitted to express the idea of secure, present and permanent acceptance in the sight of God. It connoted both a complete and a permanent state of grace. In popular thought forgiveness is not so comprehensive, but in the Biblical sense it means no less than this. It removes all of the guilt and cause of alienation from the past; it assures a state of grace for the present; and promises Divine mercy and aid for the future. Its fullness cannot adequately be conveyed by any one term or formula. Divine, like human, forgiveness is always contingent upon the fulfillment of conditions. It must be preceded by repentance and a firmly fixed intention not to repeat the offense. In addition to this, one was required to conform to certain legal or formal acts before the assurance of pardon was his. These acts were expressive of the sinner's state of mind. They consisted of certain acts of sacrifice in the pre-Christian times and of baptism during the ministry of John the Baptist (Mark 1:4 Luke 3:3) and under Christ (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). These acts are never regarded as in any sense a quid pro quo in return for which the benefit of forgiveness is granted. It is an act of pure grace on God's part, and these acts are required as expressions of the man's attitude toward God. The state of mind required in order to obtain the gift of forgiveness is that to which the Prodigal Son came (Luke 15:17-19), and that of the sinner who went to his house justified rather than the Pharisee (18:9-14), because he realized that forgiveness was to him an act of pure favor. There was real and actual forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament times as well as since Christ. Certain passages have been construed to teach that the Law provided only for a passing over or rolling back of sins, and that there was not then an actual forgiveness.
8. Old Testament Teaching:
The sacrifices prescribed by the Law were not adequate atonements, so that there was constant necessity of yearly remembrance of sin (Hebrews 10:3; compare Leviticus 16:21). The atonement of Christ is, however, of permanent adequacy, and became retroactive in the sense that it unified in Christ the Divine arrangement for saving mankind in all ages (Hebrews 11:40). "The passing over of the sins done aforetime" (Romans 3:25) does not imply a partial or apparent forgiveness, but means that they were forgiven, though seemingly without adequate recognition on the part of God of their heinous character. In view of God's righteous character men might naturally have expected punishment, but instead the offenders were spared (compare Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30). No expression in the Old Testament suggests any inadequacy of the forgiveness extended to Israel, but on the other hand many passages may be quoted to show how rich and full it was deemed to be (Psalm 103 Micah 7:19 Isaiah 38:17, Jeremiah 31:34).
9. Limitations of Forgiveness:
Two passages seem to limit God's forgiveness. They are Christ's discussion of the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31, 32 Mark 3:28-30 Luke 12:10), and the one which mentions the sin unto death (1 John 5:16; compare Hebrews 6:4-6). In the former passage there is mentioned a sin which has no forgiveness, and in the latter, one on behalf of which the apostle cannot enjoin prayer that it be forgiven, though he does not prohibit it. In both cases the sin is excluded from the customary forgiveness which is extended to sins of all other classes.
The act of the Pharisees which led Jesus to speak of the unpardonable sin was the attributing of a good deed wrought by Him through the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28) to Beelzebub. No one could do such a thing unless his moral nature was completely warped. To such a person the fundamental distinctions between good and evil were obliterated. No ordinary appeal could reach him, for to him good seemed evil and evil seemed good. The possibility of winning him back is practically gone; hence, he is beyond the hope of forgiveness, not because God has set an arbitrary line of sinfulness, beyond which His grace of forgiveness will not reach, but because the man has put himself beyond the possibility of attaining to that state of mind which is the essential condition of Divine forgiveness. It is practically certain that John did not have any particular sinful act in mind when he spoke of the sin which is unto death.
There is no possible way of determining what specific sin, if any, he refers to. Probably the same principle applies in this case as in that of the unpardonable sin. God's forgiveness is limited solely by the condition that man must accept it in the proper spirit.
There are some passages which seem to imply that forgiveness was the principal Messianic task. This is suggested by the name given to the Messiah during His earthly career (Matthew 1:21), and by the fact that He was the Saviour. The remission of sins was the preparation for the advent of the Messiah (Luke 1:77), and repentance and remission of sins were the prerequisites to a state of preparation for the kingdom.
10. Christ's Power to Forgive Sins:
It is not surprising, therefore, that we find Jesus laying claim to the power to forgive sins. This provoked a bitter controversy with the Jews, for it was axiomatic with them that no one could forgive sins but God only (Mark 2:7 Luke 5:21; Luke 7:49). This Jesus did not question, but He would have them infer from His power to forgive sins that He was the possessor of Divine power. Jesus asserted His possession of this power on two occasions only, though it has been sfficiently inferred from John 5:14; John 8:11 that He was accustomed to pronounce absolution upon all of those He healed. On one of these occasions He not merely asserted that He possessed the power, but demonstrated it by showing Himself to be the possessor of the Divine gift of healing. The impostor might claim some such intangible power as the authority to forgive sins, but he would never assert the possession of such easily disproved power as the ability to heal the sick. But Jesus claimed both, and based His claim to be the possessor of the former on the demonstration that He possessed the latter. God would not support an impostor, hence, his aid in healing the paralytic proved that Jesus could forgive sins. The multitude accepted this logic and "glorified God, who had given such authority unto men" (Matthew 9:2-9 Mark 2:3-12 Luke 5:18-26).
On the other occasion when His possession of this power was under discussion (Luke 7:36-50), He offered no other proof than the forgiven woman's deep gratitude and love. One expression that He uses, however, has raised some discussion as to the relative order in time of her love and forgiveness (Luke 7:47). Did she love because she was forgiven, or vice versa? Manifestly the forgiveness precedes the love, in spite of the fact that Luke 7:47 seems to assert the opposite, for this is the bearing of the parable of the Two Debtors (7:41-43), and the latter part of 7:47 has the same implication. It is clear that she had previously repented and had been accepted, and the anointing of Jesus was an outpouring of her gratitude.
The phrase of 7:47, "for she loved much," is proof of the greatness of her sin rather than a reason why she was forgiven. In both cases where Jesus forgave sins, He did so because the state of mind of the person forgiven showed worthiness of the blessing. To this as a condition of forgiveness there is no exception. Christ's prayer on the cross (Luke 23:34) would not avail to secure the pardon of His murderers without their repentance.
11. The Need of an Atonement:
Though forgiveness is on God's part an act of pure grace prompted by His love and mercy, and though He forgives freely all those who comply with the condition of repentance and abandonment of sin, yet this does not dispense with the necessity of an atonement. The parable of the Prodigal Son was spoken to teach the freedom of God's forgiveness and acceptance of returning sinners, and the duty of men to assume the same attitude toward them. This much it teaches, but it fails to set forth entirely God's attitude toward sin. With reference to the sinner God is love and mercy, but with reference to sin He is righteous, and this element of God's nature is no less essential to Him than His love, and must be considered in any effort to set forth completely the doctrine of God's forgiveness of sinners. The atonement of Christ and the many atonements of the Law were manifestations of this phase of God's nature.
12. The New Testament Doctrine of Atonement:
The idea of an atonement is fundamental in the teachings of the New Testament (Romans 5:10 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 Colossians 1:21). It is very clearly implied in such terms as reconciliation and propitiation, and is no less present in pardon, remission and forgiveness. The doctrine of the atonement is not developed by Jesus, but it is strongly hinted at and is unmistakably implied in the language of Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28 Mark 10:45 Luke 24:46, 47. John the Baptist's salute, "Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29), also implies it. In the writings of the apostles it is repeatedly and clearly affirmed that our forgiveness and reconciliation to God is based upon the death of Christ. "In none other is there salvation" (Acts 4:12); through Him is the redemption (Romans 3:24); God set Him forth to be a propitiation (Romans 3:25); through Him "we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:11); "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19); "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf" (2 Corinthians 5:21); and "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). Such citations might be greatly multiplied. That which was so perfectly accomplished by the offering of Christ was in an analagous though imperfect way accomplished by the sacrifices required by the Law. It had "a shadow of the good things to come" (Hebrews 10:1).
The unvarying effect of sin is to produce an estrangement between the injurer and the wronged. The nature of God is such and the relationship between Him and man is of such a character that sin brings about an alienation between them. It is this presupposition of an estrangement between them which renders the atonement necessary before forgiveness can be extended to man. This estrangement must be removed, and the alienation be transformed into a reconciliation. In what then does the alienation consist?
The sin of man produces a changed attitude toward each other on the part of both God and man. God holds no personal pique against man because of his sin. The New Testament language is very carefully chosen to avoid any statement which would seem to convey such a conception. Yet God's holy righteousness is such that He cannot be indifferent to sin. His wrath must rest upon the disobedient (John 3:36 Romans 1:18). It is not merely impersonal. It is not enough to say He hates the sin. Man's unrighteousness has not merely alienated him from God, but God also from him. The word "enemies" (echthroi) of Romans 5:10 is passive, and means the object of God's enmity (Sunday, at the place). It was because of this fact that God set forth Christ to be a propitiation to show His righteousness because of the passing over of sins done aforetime (Romans 3:25, 26).
God's passing over, without inflicting punishment, the sins of pre-Christian times had placed in jeopardy His righteousness; had exposed Him to the implication that He could tolerate sin. God could not be true to Himself while He tolerated such an imputation, and so instead of visiting punishment upon all who sinned-which would have been one way of showing His righteousness-He set forth Christ to death ("in his blood"), and in this way placed Himself beyond the imputation of unrighteousness while it enabled Him to show mercy to sinners. The effect of sin upon man was to estrange him from God, to lead him farther and farther away from his Maker. Each successive sin produced a greater barrier between the two. Now the atonement was designed to remove the cause of this estrangement and restore the former relationship between God and man.
This too, it has been observed, is the purpose of forgiveness, so that the atonement finds its completion in forgiveness. It should be noted that the reconciliation originates with God and not with man (Romans 3:25 2 Corinthians 5:19). God woos man before the latter seeks God. The effect of the atonement on man is to reconcile him, attract him, to God. It shows him God's love for man, and the forgiveness, in that it removes sin completely, takes away the estranging factor between them and so wins man back to God. "We love, because he first loved us." At the same time the atonement is such a complete expression of both the love and the righteousness of God that, while on the one hand it exhibits his yearning for man, on the other it shows that He is not tolerant toward sin. In the atonement of Christ, therefore, is the meeting-place and the reconcilement of God's holy horror of sin and the free bestowal of forgiveness upon penitent believers.
William Charles Morro
Greek859. aphesis -- dismissal, release, fig. pardon ...
of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: aphesis Phonetic Spelling: (af'-es-is)
Short Definition: deliverance, pardon, complete forgiveness
Definition: a ... //strongsnumbers.com/greek2/859.htm - 7k
5483. charizomai -- to show favor, give freely
... 5483 ("favor that cancels") is used of God giving His to. This is freely done
and therefore not based on any of the one receiving forgiveness. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5483.htm - 8k
Strong's Hebrew5547. selichah -- forgiveness...
5546b, 5547. selichah. 5548 . forgiveness
. Transliteration: selichah Phonetic
Spelling: (sel-ee-khaw') Short Definition: forgiveness
. ... /hebrew/5547.htm - 6k
... Forgiveness. A Sermon (No.24). Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 20, 1855,
by the. REV. CH SPURGEON. At Exeter Hall, Strand. "I, even ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 1 1855/forgiveness.htm
The Limit of Forgiveness.
... Book XIV. 5. The Limit of Forgiveness. "Then came Peter and said unto Him,
Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I ...
/.../origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/5 the limit of forgiveness.htm
Sin and Forgiveness
... THE BOOK OF EXODUS SIN AND FORGIVENESS. '... ... Forgiveness is the flow of God's love
to all, and the welcoming back to His favour of all who come. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture k/sin and forgiveness.htm
Forgiveness and Retribution
... VOLUME II: PSALMS LI to CXLV FORGIVENESS AND RETRIBUTION. 'Thou wast a
God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance of ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture j/forgiveness and retribution.htm
Love and Forgiveness
... VOLUME I: ST. LUKE Chaps. I to XII LOVE AND FORGIVENESS. 'Her ... altered. That
is not all the depth of the scriptural notion of forgiveness. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture e/love and forgiveness.htm
... PHILANTHROPIC SUBJECTS. 823. " Forgiveness. 823. SM Enfield. Forgiveness.
1 I hear the voice of woe! I hear a brother's sigh! ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/adams/hymns for christian devotion/823 forgiveness.htm
Whether the Forgiveness of Guilt is an Effect of Penance?
... OF THE EFFECT OF PENANCE, AS REGARDS THE PARDON OF MORTAL SIN (SIX ARTICLES)
Whether the forgiveness of guilt is an effect of Penance? ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the forgiveness of guilt.htm
Forgiveness and Love.
... VI. FORGIVENESS AND LOVE. TEXT: Luke 7:36-50. HOWEVER much admiration and honour
was given to our Saviour by many of His contemporaries ...
/.../schleiermacher/selected sermons of schleiermacher/vi forgiveness and love.htm
Almsgiving and Forgiveness
... CHAPTER XIX. Almsgiving and Forgiveness. 70. We must ... done. For to forgive a man
who seeks forgiveness is indeed to give alms. 72. Accordingly ...
/.../handbook on faith hope and love/chapter xix almsgiving and forgiveness.htm
Whether the Forgiveness of Sin is the Effect of Contrition?
... OF THE EFFECT OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES) Whether the forgiveness of sin is the
effect of contrition? ... Therefore contrition is not the cause of forgiveness. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the forgiveness of sin.htm
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Forgiveness of sin
One of the constituent parts of justification. In pardoning sin, God absolves the sinner from the condemnation of the law, and that on account of the work of Christ, i.e., he removes the guilt of sin, or the sinner's actual liability to eternal wrath on account of it. All sins are forgiven freely (Acts 5:31; 13:38; 1 John 1:6-9). The sinner is by this act of grace for ever freed from the guilt and penalty of his sins. This is the peculiar prerogative of God (Psalm 130:4; Mark 2:5). It is offered to all in the gospel. (see JUSTIFICATION.)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) The act of forgiving; the state of being forgiven; as, the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.
2. (n.) Disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive.
Topical Bible VersesEphesians 4:32
And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.Topicalbible.org
And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
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.
And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
ThesaurusForgiveness (124 Occurrences)...
Easton's Bible Dictionary Forgiveness
of sin. ...
1. (n.) The act of forgiving; the state
of being forgiven; as, the forgiveness
of sin or of injuries. .../f/forgiveness.htm - 68k
Obtain (63 Occurrences)
... Matthew 12:32 And whoever shall speak against the Son of Man may obtain forgiveness;
but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, neither in this nor in the ...
/o/obtain.htm - 24k
Remission (18 Occurrences)
... Remission is exemption from the consequences of an offense, forgiveness; pretermission
is the suspension of the penalty (Philippi, Ellicott, Trench (Synonyms ...
/r/remission.htm - 13k
Changed (177 Occurrences)
... (WEB NIV). Mark 1:4 John came, and gave baptism in the waste land, preaching baptism
as a sign of forgiveness of sin for those whose hearts were changed. (BBE). ...
/c/changed.htm - 36k
Sins (351 Occurrences)
... Remission is exemption from the consequences of an offense, forgiveness; pretermission
is the suspension of the penalty (Philippi, Ellicott, Trench (Synonyms ...
/s/sins.htm - 38k
Forgiven (61 Occurrences)
... Mark 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness,
but is guilty of an eternal sin" (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS ...
/f/forgiven.htm - 26k
... of sins." Where there was no evidence of repentance and faith, the community of
believers were unauthorized to give assurance of forgiveness, and, therefore ...
/r/retention.htm - 8k
Penitent (7 Occurrences)
... Penitent (7 Occurrences). Mark 1:4 So John the Baptizer came, and was in the Desert
proclaiming a baptism of the penitent for forgiveness of sins. (WEY). ...
/p/penitent.htm - 8k
Pardon (31 Occurrences)
... The forgiveness of sins granted freely (Isaiah 43:25), readily (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm
86:5), abundantly (Isaiah 55:7; Romans 5:20). ... See FORGIVENESS. ...
/p/pardon.htm - 18k
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) Forgiveness or setting free from guilt, sin, or
penalty; forgiveness of an offense. ... See also FORGIVENESS. HE Jacobs. ...
/a/absolution.htm - 8k
Bible ConcordanceForgiveness (124 Occurrences)
Matthew 6:14 For if you let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will have forgiveness from your Father in heaven.
Matthew 6:15 But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins.
Matthew 9:2 And they took to him a man stretched on a bed who had no power of moving; and Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man who was ill, Son, take heart; you have forgiveness for your sins.
Matthew 9:5 For which is the simpler, to say, You have forgiveness for your sins; or to say, Get up and go?
Matthew 9:6 But so that you may see that on earth the Son of man has authority for the forgiveness of sins, (then said he to the man who was ill,) Get up, and take up your bed, and go to your house.
Matthew 12:31 This is why I tell you that men may find forgiveness for every other sin and impious word, but that for impious speaking against the Holy Spirit they shall find no forgiveness.
Matthew 12:32 And whoever shall speak against the Son of Man may obtain forgiveness; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, neither in this nor in the coming age shall he obtain forgiveness."
Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came and said to him, Lord, what number of times may my brother do wrong against me, and I give him forgiveness? till seven times?
Matthew 18:35 So will my Father in heaven do to you, if you do not everyone, from your hearts, give forgiveness to his brother.
Matthew 26:28 Take of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the testament, which is given for men for the forgiveness of sins.
(BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
(WEB WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 2:5 And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to him, Son, you have forgiveness for your sins.
Mark 2:7 Why does this man say such things? he has no respect for God: from whom does forgiveness come but from God only?
Mark 2:9 Which is the simpler, to say to a man who is ill, You have forgiveness for your sins, or, Get up, take up your bed, and go?
Mark 2:10 But so that you may see that the Son of man has authority for the forgiveness of sins on earth, (he said to the man,)
Mark 3:28 Truly, I say to you, The sons of men will have forgiveness for all their sins and for all the evil words they say:
Mark 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"
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Mark 4:12 So that seeing they may see, and it will not be clear to them; and hearing it, they will not get the sense; for fear that they may be turned again to me and have forgiveness.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you make a prayer, let there be forgiveness in your hearts, if you have anything against anyone; so that you may have forgiveness for your sins from your Father who is in heaven.
Luke 1:77 To give to His People a knowledge of salvation In the forgiveness of their sins,
(WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 3:3 John went into all the district about the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of the penitent for the forgiveness of sins;
(WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:20 And seeing their faith he said, Man, you have forgiveness for your sins.
Luke 5:21 And the scribes and Pharisees were having an argument, saying, Who is this, who has no respect for God? who is able to give forgiveness for sins, but God only?
Luke 5:23 Which is the simpler: to say, You have forgiveness for your sins; or to say, Get up and go?
Luke 5:24 But so that you may see that on earth the Son of man has authority for the forgiveness of sins, (he said to the man who was ill,) I say to you, Get up, and take up your bed, and go into your house.
Luke 7:47 And so I say to you, She will have forgiveness for her sins which are great in number, because of her great love: but he who has small need of forgiveness gives little love.
Luke 7:48 And he said to her, You have forgiveness for your sins.
Luke 7:49 And those who were seated at table with him said to themselves, Who is this who even gives forgiveness of sins?
Luke 11:4 May we have forgiveness for our sins, as we make free all those who are in debt to us. And let us not be put to the test.
Luke 12:10 "Moreover every one who shall speak against the Son of Man, may obtain forgiveness; but he who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never obtain forgiveness.
Luke 17:3 Give attention to yourselves: if your brother does wrong, say a sharp word to him; and if he has sorrow for his sin, let him have forgiveness.
Luke 17:4 And if he does you wrong seven times in a day, and seven times comes to you and says, I have regret for what I have done; let him have forgiveness.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, let them have forgiveness, for they have no knowledge of what they are doing. And they made division of his clothing among them by the decision of chance.
Luke 24:47 and that proclamation would be made, in His name, of repentance and forgiveness of sins to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem.
(WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)
John 20:23 Any to whom you give forgiveness, will be made free from their sins; and any from whom you keep back forgiveness, will still be in their sins.
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(WEB BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
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Acts 8:22 Let your heart be changed, and make prayer to God that you may have forgiveness for your evil thoughts.
Acts 10:43 To Him all the Prophets bear witness, and testify that through His name all who believe in Him receive the forgiveness of their sins."
(WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
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Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
(KJV WEY BBE WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Romans 4:7 Happy are those who have forgiveness for their wrongdoing, and whose sins are covered.
1 Corinthians 5:5 That this man is to be handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may have forgiveness in the day of the Lord Jesus.
2 Corinthians 2:7 So that now, on the other hand, it is right for him to have forgiveness and comfort from you, for fear that his sorrow may be over-great.
2 Corinthians 2:10 But if you give forgiveness to anyone, I do the same: for if I have given forgiveness for anything, I have done it because of you, in the person of Christ;
2 Corinthians 12:13 For what is there in which you were made less than the other churches, but in the one thing that I was not a trouble to you? Let me have forgiveness for this wrong.
Ephesians 1:7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, full of pity, having forgiveness for one another, even as God in Christ had forgiveness for you.
Colossians 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins;
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead through your sins and the evil condition of your flesh, to you, I say, he gave life together with him, and forgiveness of all our sins;
Colossians 3:13 Being gentle to one another and having forgiveness for one another, if anyone has done wrong to his brother, even as the Lord had forgiveness for you:
Hebrews 9:22 And by the law almost all things are made clean with blood, and without blood there is no forgiveness.
(BBE YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no more offering for sin.
(BBE YLT NAS RSV)
James 5:15 And by the prayer of faith the man who is ill will be made well, and he will be lifted up by the Lord, and for any sin which he has done he will have forgiveness.
James 5:20 Be certain that he through whom a sinner has been turned from the error of his way, keeps a soul from death and is the cause of forgiveness for sins without number.
1 Peter 4:8 And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number:
1 John 1:9 If we say openly that we have done wrong, he is upright and true to his word, giving us forgiveness of sins and making us clean from all evil.
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, my children, because you have forgiveness of sins through his name.
Genesis 50:17 You are to say to Joseph, Let the wrongdoing of your brothers be overlooked, and the evil they did to you: now, if it is your pleasure, let the sin of the servants of your father's God have forgiveness. And at these words, Joseph was overcome with weeping.
Exodus 10:17 Let me now have forgiveness for my sin this time only, and make prayer to the Lord your God that he will take away from me this death only.
Exodus 32:30 And on the day after, Moses said to the people, Great has been your sin: but I will go up to the Lord, and see if I may get forgiveness for your sin.
Exodus 32:32 But now, if you will give them forgiveness--but if not, let my name be taken out of your book.
Exodus 34:9 And he said, If now I have grace in your eyes, let the Lord go among us, for this is a stiff-necked people, and give us forgiveness for our wrongdoing and our sin, and take us for your heritage.
Leviticus 4:20 Let him do with the ox as he did with the ox of the sin-offering; and the priest will take away their sin and they will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 4:26 And all the fat of it is to be burned on the altar like the fat of the peace-offering; and the priest will take away his sin and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 4:31 And let all its fat be taken away, as the fat is taken away from the peace-offerings, and let it be burned on the altar by the priest for a sweet smell to the Lord; and the priest will take away his sin and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 4:35 And let him take away all its fat, as the fat is taken away from the lamb of the peace-offerings; and let it be burned by the priest on the altar among the offerings made by fire to the Lord: and the priest will take away his sin and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 5:10 And the second is for a burned offering, in agreement with the law; and the priest will take away his sin and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 5:13 And the priest will take away his sin and he will have forgiveness: and the rest of the offering will be the priest's, in the same way as the meal offering.
Leviticus 5:16 And he is to make payment to the priest for what he has done wrong in relation to the holy thing, together with a fifth part of its value in addition; and the priest will take away his sin by the sheep of his offering, and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 5:18 Let him come to the priest with a sheep, a male without any mark out of the flock, of the value fixed by you, as an offering for his error; and the priest will take away the sin which he did in error, and he will have forgiveness.
Leviticus 6:7 And the priest will take away his sin from before the Lord, and he will have forgiveness for whatever crime he has done
Leviticus 19:22 And the priest will take away his sin before the Lord with the sheep which is offered for his wrongdoing, and he will have forgiveness for the sin which he has done.
Numbers 14:19 May the sin of this people have forgiveness, in the measure of your great mercy, as you have had mercy on them from Egypt up till now.
Numbers 15:25 So the priest will make the people free from sin, and they will have forgiveness; for it was an error, and they have given their offering made by fire to the Lord, and their sin-offering before the Lord, on account of their error:
Numbers 15:26 And all the meeting of the children of Israel, as well as those from other lands living among them, will have forgiveness; for it was an error on the part of the people.
Numbers 15:28 And the priest will take away the sin of the person who has done wrong, if the wrong was done unconsciously, and he will have forgiveness.
Numbers 30:5 But if her father, hearing of it, makes her take back her word, then the oaths or the undertakings she has given will have no force; and she will have forgiveness from the Lord, because her oath was broken by her father.
Numbers 30:8 But if her husband, hearing of it, makes her take it back, then the oath she made and the undertaking she gave without thought will have no force or effect, and she will have the Lord's forgiveness.
Numbers 30:12 But if her husband, on hearing of it, made them without force or effect, then whatever she has said about her oaths or her undertaking has no force: her husband has made them without effect, and she will have the Lord's forgiveness.
Deuteronomy 15:1 At the end of every seven years there is to be a general forgiveness of debt.
Deuteronomy 15:2 This is how it is to be done: every creditor is to give up his right to whatever he has let his neighbour have; he is not to make his neighbour, his countryman, give it back; because a general forgiveness has been ordered by the Lord.
1 Samuel 15:25 So now, let my sin have forgiveness, and go back with me to give worship to the Lord.
1 Samuel 25:28 And may the sin of your servant have forgiveness: for the Lord will certainly make your family strong, because my lord is fighting in the Lord's war; and no evil will be seen in you all your days.
1 Kings 8:34 Then give ear in heaven, and let the sin of your people Israel have forgiveness, and take them back again into the land which you gave to their fathers.
1 Kings 8:36 Then give ear in heaven, so that the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, may have forgiveness, when you make clear to them the good way in which they are to go; and send rain on your land which you have given to your people for their heritage.
1 Kings 8:50 Answering with forgiveness the people who have done wrong against you, and overlooking the evil which they have done against you; let those who made them prisoners be moved with pity for them, and have pity on them;
2 Kings 5:18 But may your servant have the Lord's forgiveness for this one thing: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon for worship there, supported on my arm, and my head is bent in the house of Rimmon; when his head is bent in the house of Rimmon, may your servant have the Lord's forgiveness for this thing.
2 Kings 24:4 And because of the death of those who had done no wrong, for he made Jerusalem full of the blood of the upright; and the Lord had no forgiveness for it.
2 Chronicles 6:25 Then give ear from heaven, and let the sin of your people Israel have forgiveness, and take them back again to the land which you gave to them and to their fathers.
2 Chronicles 6:27 Then give ear from heaven, so that the sin of your servants and the sin of your people Israel may have forgiveness, when you make clear to them the good way in which they are to go; and send rain on your land which you have given to your people for their heritage.
2 Chronicles 6:30 Then give ear from heaven your living-place, answering with forgiveness, and give to every man, whose secret heart is open to you, the reward of all his ways; (for you, and you only, have knowledge of the hearts of the children of men;)
2 Chronicles 6:39 Then give ear from heaven your living-place to their prayer and their cry, and see right done to them, answering with forgiveness your people who have done wrong against you.
Nehemiah 9:2 And the seed of Israel made themselves separate from all the men of other nations, publicly requesting forgiveness for their sins and the wrongdoing of their fathers.
Nehemiah 9:3 And for a fourth part of the day, upright in their places, they were reading from the book of the law of their God; and for a fourth part of the day they were requesting forgiveness and worshipping the Lord their God.
Nehemiah 9:17 And would not do them, and gave no thought to the wonders you had done among them; but made their necks stiff, and turning away from you, made a captain over themselves to take them back to their prison in Egypt: but you are a God of forgiveness, full of grace and pity, slow to wrath and great in mercy, and you did not give them up.
Psalms 25:11 Because of your name, O Lord, let me have forgiveness for my sin, which is very great.
Psalms 32:1 <Of David. Maschil.> Happy is he who has forgiveness for his wrongdoing, and whose sin is covered.
Psalms 78:38 But he, being full of pity, has forgiveness for sin, and does not put an end to man: frequently turning back his wrath, and not being violently angry.
Psalms 79:9 Give us help, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; take us out of danger and give us forgiveness for our sins, because of your name.
Forgiveness of Adultery
Forgiveness of Enemies
Forgiveness of Injuries: A Characteristic of Saints
Forgiveness of Injuries: A Glory to Saints
Forgiveness of Injuries: Christ Set an Example of
Forgiveness of Injuries: Commanded
Forgiveness of Injuries: David
Forgiveness of Injuries: Illustrated
Forgiveness of Injuries: Joseph
Forgiveness of Injuries: Motives to Christ's Forgiveness of Us
Forgiveness of Injuries: Motives to God's Forgiveness of Us
Forgiveness of Injuries: Motives to Our Need of Forgiveness
Forgiveness of Injuries: Motives to The Mercy of God
Forgiveness of Injuries: No Forgiveness Without
Forgiveness of Injuries: Paul
Forgiveness of Injuries: Promises To
Forgiveness of Injuries: should be Accompanied by Blessing and Prayer
Forgiveness of Injuries: should be Accompanied by Forbearance
Forgiveness of Injuries: should be Accompanied by Kindness
Forgiveness of Injuries: Solomon
Forgiveness of Injuries: Stephen
Forgiveness of Injuries: To be Unlimited
Forgiveness: David Forgives Saul
Forgiveness: David Forgives Shimei
Forgiveness: Esau Forgives Jacob
Forgiveness: Jesus Forgives his Enemies
Forgiveness: Joseph Forgives his Brothers
Forgiveness: Moses Forgives the Israelites
Forgiveness: Solomon Forgives Adonijah
Forgiveness: The Prophet of Judah Forgives Jeroboam
Obtain (63 Occurrences)
Remission (18 Occurrences)
Changed (177 Occurrences)
Sins (351 Occurrences)
Forgiven (61 Occurrences)
Penitent (7 Occurrences)
Pardon (31 Occurrences)
Simpler (6 Occurrences)
Forgive (81 Occurrences)
Oaths (49 Occurrences)
Baptismal (1 Occurrence)
Wrongdoing (122 Occurrences)
Regeneration (2 Occurrences)
Overlooking (11 Occurrences)
Gentle (48 Occurrences)
Impious (19 Occurrences)
Respect (204 Occurrences)
Moreover (356 Occurrences)
Mercy (467 Occurrences)
Merciful (53 Occurrences)
Proclaiming (63 Occurrences)
Bound (175 Occurrences)
Bind (68 Occurrences)
Blasphemes (6 Occurrences)
Comfortably (5 Occurrences)
Supported (43 Occurrences)
Speaking (376 Occurrences)
Cleanse (75 Occurrences)
Ill (137 Occurrences)
Undertaking (30 Occurrences)
Sign (181 Occurrences)
Free (454 Occurrences)
Enters (44 Occurrences)
Repent (74 Occurrences)
Pity (165 Occurrences)
Justification (6 Occurrences)
Change (109 Occurrences)
Evil-doing (106 Occurrences)
Says (1491 Occurrences)
Sacrifice (300 Occurrences)
Bent (107 Occurrences)
Requesting (49 Occurrences)
Gives (542 Occurrences)
Gospel (108 Occurrences)
Force (250 Occurrences)
Burned (587 Occurrences)
Sin (782 Occurrences)
Prayers (99 Occurrences)
Value (138 Occurrences)
Evil (1503 Occurrences)
Living-place (83 Occurrences)
Keys (2 Occurrences)
Wrong (391 Occurrences)
Error (90 Occurrences)
Salvation (386 Occurrences)
Intercession (12 Occurrences)
Redemption (46 Occurrences)
Hearts (418 Occurrences)
Heritage (435 Occurrences)
Power (862 Occurrences)
Arm (110 Occurrences)
Repentance (28 Occurrences)
Hope (291 Occurrences)
Fear (970 Occurrences)
Anyone (514 Occurrences)
Happy (143 Occurrences)
Danger (118 Occurrences)
Zion's (6 Occurrences)
Kiss (39 Occurrences)
Keeps (154 Occurrences)
Undertakings (20 Occurrences)
Unconsciously (4 Occurrences)
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