Sin - Berry's New Testament Synonyms


ἁμαρτία, ἁμάρτημα, ἀσέβεια, παρακοή, ἀνομία, παρανομία, παράβασις, παράπτωμα, ἀγνόημα, ἥττημα.

ἁμαρτία meant originally the missing of a mark. When applied to moral things the idea is similar, it is missing the true end of life, and so it is used as a general term for sin. It means both the act of sinning and the result, the sin itself. ἁμάρτημα means only the sin itself, not the act, in its particular manifestations as separate deeds of disobedience to a divine law. ἀσέβεια is ungodliness, positive and active irreligion, a condition of direct opposition to God. παρακοή is strictly failing to hear, or hearing carelessly and inattentively. The sin is in this failure to hear when God speaks, and also in the active disobedience which ordinarily follows. ἀνομία is lawlessness, contempt of law, a condition or action not simply without law, as the etymology might indicate, but contrary to law. The law is usually by implication the Mosaic law. παρανομία occurs only once, 2 Pet. ii. 16, and is practically equivalent to ἀνομία. παράβασις is transgression, the passing beyond some assigned limit. It is the breaking of a distinctly recognized commandment. It consequently means more than ἁμαρτία. παράπτωμα is used in different senses, sometimes in a milder sense, denoting an error, a mistake, a fault; and sometimes meaning a trespass, a willful sin. ἀγνόημα occurs only once, Heb. ix. 7. It indicates error, sin which to a certain extent is the result of ignorance. ἥττημα denotes being worsted, defeated. In an ethical sense it means a failure in duty, a fault.— All these different words may occasionally but not usually be used simply to describe the same act from different points of view. The fundamental meanings of these words may well be summed up in the language of Trench: Sin "may be regarded as the missing of a mark or aim: it is then ἁμαρτία or ἁμάρτημα; the overpassing or transgressing of a line: it is then παράβασις; the disobedience to a voice: in which case it is παρακοή; the falling where one should have stood upright: this will be παράπτωμα; ignorance of what one ought to have known: this will be ἀγνόημα; diminishing of that which should have been rendered in full measure, which is ἥττημα; non-observance of a law, which is ἀνομία or παρανομία."