Bible Articles on the Topic of Iniquity

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Messianic Sin?

Does Psalms 51:5 apply to David or to all of us? Does it apply to Christ?

The Apparent Contradiction of Wording

A.B. (New Jersey, U.S.A.) writes:—

Word Study: Khata (Sin)

The Bible offers many views on human nature, including profound diagnoses of human evil. However, because it uses a unique vocabulary to describe this evil, it often gets overlooked in modern-day society.

Iniquity

in-ik ́wi-ti (עון, ‛āwōn; ἀνομία, anomía): In the Old Testament of the 11 words translated “iniquity,” by far the most common and important is ‛āwōn (about 215 times). Etymologically, it is customary to explain it as meaning literally “crookedness,” “perverseness,” i.e. evil regarded as that which is not straight or upright, moral distortion (from עוּה, ‛iwwāh, “to bend,” “make crooked,” “pervert”). Driver, however (following Lagarde), maintains that two roots, distinct in Arabic, have been confused in Hebrew, one = “to bend,” “pervert” (as above), and the other = “to err,” “go astray”; that ‛āwōn is derived from the latter, and consequently expresses the idea of error, deviation from the right path, rather than that of perversion (Driver, Notes on Sam, 135 note) Whichever etymology is adopted, in actual usage it has three meanings which almost imperceptibly pass into each other: (1) iniquity, (2) guilt of iniquity, (3) punishment of iniquity. Primarily, it denotes “not an action, but the character of an action” (Oehler), and is so distinguished from “sin” (ḥaṭṭā'th). Hence, we have the expression “the iniquity of my sin” (Psalms 32:5). Thus the meaning glides into that of “guilt,” which might often take the place of “iniquity” as the translation of ‛āwōn (Genesis 15:16; Exodus 34:7; Jeremiah 2:22, etc.). From “guilt” it again passes into the meaning of “punishment of guilt,” just as Latin piaculum may denote both guilt and its punishment. The transition is all the easier in Hebrew because of the Hebrew sense of the intimate relation of sin and suffering, e.g. Genesis 4:13, “My punishment is greater than I can bear”; which is obviously to be preferred to King James Version margin, the Revised Version, margin “Mine iniquity is greater than can be forgiven,” for Cain is not so much expressing sorrow for his sin, as complaining of the severity of his punishment; compare 2 Kings 7:9 (the Revised Version “punishment,” the Revised Version margin “iniquity”); Isaiah 5:18 (where for “iniquity” we might have “punishment of iniquity,” as in Leviticus 26:41, 26:43, etc.); Isaiah 40:2 (“iniquity,” the Revised Version margin “punishment”). The phrase “bear iniquity” is a standing expression for bearing its consequences, i.e. its penalty; generally of the sinner bearing the results of his own iniquity (Leviticus 17:16; 20:17, 20:19; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 44:10, etc.), but sometimes of one bearing the iniquity of another vicariously, and so taking it away (e.g. Ezekiel 4:4 f; 18:19 f). Of special interest in the latter sense are the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, who shall “bear the iniquities” of the people (Isaiah 53:11; compare Isaiah 53:6).