| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 146 of 270 INDEX | |
in Genesis 32:20, where it is translated 'appease'. 'To make an atonement'
accounts for the majority of occurrences, and makes it very plain that
forgiveness of sins rests squarely on the Sacrifice once offered by Christ.
For a fuller analysis, see Atonement (p. 29).
Nasa. This word means 'to bear', 'Forgive all my sins' (Psa. 25:18).
It is translated 'to lift up' more than all other renderings put together,
and graphically sets before the mind the release from an intolerable burden,
a figure that appealed so strongly to John Bunyan when he wrote The Pilgrim's
The reader will have noticed, that where the A.V. reads at Genesis
4:13: 'My punishment is greater than I can bear', the margin reads: 'Mine
iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven'.
To the Hebrew mind iniquity and its punishment were but two sides of
one proposition, even as forgiveness is inconceivable apart from the 'bearing
of sin'. 'He bare the sin of many' (Isa. 53:12) uses the same Hebrew word
Salach. This Hebrew word means 'to send away, to let go', and is used
by Solomon when he prayed, 'When Thou hearest, forgive' (1 Kings 8:30). It
is translated either 'forgive' or 'pardon' in all its occurrences.
Ratsah. 'To be pleasing, or accepted'. 'Her iniquity
is pardoned' (Isa. 40:2). In this case the translation 'pardon' which occurs
only once, is perhaps unnecessary. Acceptance presupposes pardon, and where
there is unforgiven sin, access and acceptance must be unknown.
We come now to the New Testament and find that three Greek words are
translated 'forgive' or 'forgiveness'.
Apoluo. This Greek word means 'to loose away', 'forgive' (Luke 6:37).
This word is translated 'forgive' but twice. It is rendered 'release',
'divorce', 'set at liberty', which gives a good idea of its intention.
Charizomai, 'to be gracious to', 'forgiving one another' (Eph.
Aphiemi, 'to send, let off, or away'. 'To forgive' (1 John 1:9).
English word 'remission' is the translation of the Greek aphesis in all
places except Romans 3:25 where it translates paresis, 'passing by'.
The words of David in Psalm 32:1,2 are quoted by Paul in Romans 4:7 and
a consideration of the terms employed in this passage will help us:
'Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered'.
In the estimate of both David and of Paul, 'forgiven' sin is 'covered'
sin. This 'covering' is the Hebrew kasah, 'to cover nakedness' (Gen. 9:23)
but not to 'cover up' (Prov. 28:13). Our first parents attempted the one,
the Lord, by the coats of skin, accomplished the other. Transgressions can
be 'blotted out' (Isa. 43:25), and this act of blotting out is equivalent to
the cancellation of the account, as in Colossians 2:14, 'Blotting out ...
'A crossed book will not stand good in law, because the crossing of the
book implies the satisfaction of the debt'.*