In a religious context, sin is the act of transgression against divine
Sin can also be viewed as any thought or action that endangers
the ideal relationship between an individual and God; or as any
diversion from the perceived ideal order for human living. "To sin"
has been defined from a Greek concordance as "to miss the mark".
2.7 Mesopotamian tradition
3 See also
4 Notes and references
6 External links
The word derives from "
Old English syn(n), for original *sunjō. The
stem may be related to that of Latin 'sons, sont-is' guilty. In Old
English there are examples of the original general sense, ‘offence,
wrong-doing, misdeed'". The English Biblical terms translated as
"sin" or "syn" from the Biblical Greek and Jewish terms sometimes
originate from words in the latter languages denoting the act or state
of missing the mark; the original sense of
New Testament Greek
ἁμαρτία hamartia "sin", is failure, being in error, missing
the mark, especially in spear throwing; Hebrew hata "sin"
originates in archery and literally refers to missing the "gold" at
the centre of a target, but hitting the target, i.e. error.
Main article: Bahá'í views on sin
In the Bahá'í Faith, humans are considered naturally good (perfect),
fundamentally spiritual beings. Human beings were created because of
God's immeasurable love. However, the Bahá'í teachings compare the
human heart to a mirror, which, if turned away from the light of the
sun (i.e. God), is incapable of receiving God's love.
Main article: Buddhist views on sin
Buddhism believes in the principle of karma, whereby suffering is the
inevitable consequence of greed, anger, and delusion (known as the
Three poisons). While there is no direct Buddhist equivalent of the
Abrahamic concept of sin, wrongdoing is recognized in Buddhism. The
Buddhist ethics is consequentialist in nature and is not
based upon duty towards any deity.
Karma means action, and in Buddhist
context, motivation is the most important aspect of an action. Whether
karma done with mind, body and/or speech is called 'good' or 'bad',
depends on whether it would bring pleasant or unpleasant results to
the person who does the action. One needs to purify negative karma
Four Satipatthanas to free oneself from obstacles to liberation from
the vicious circle of rebirth. The purification reduces suffering and
in the end one reaches Nirvana, the ultimate purification by realizing
selflessness or emptiness. An enlightened being is free of all the
suffering and karmas, and will not be automatically born again.
Sistine Chapel fresco depicts the expulsion of
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve for
transgressing God's command not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.
Hamartiology and Christian views on sin
Christian views on the Old Covenant
Christian views on the Old Covenant and Seven deadly sins
In the Old Testament, some sins were punishable by death in different
forms, while most sins are forgiven by burnt offerings. Christians
consider the Old Covenant to be fulfilled by the Gospel.
New Testament the forgiveness of sin is effected through faith
and repentance (Mark 1:15).
Sin is forgiven when the sinner
acknowledges, confesses, and repents for their sin as a part of
believing in Jesus Christ. The sinner is expected to confess his
God as a part of an ongoing relationship, which also includes
giving thanks to God. The sinful man has never before been in a
favorable relationship with God. When, as a part of his salvation, he
is forgiven, he enters into a union with
God which abides forever.
Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Romans 6:23, it is mentioned that "the wages of
sin is death", which is commonly interpreted as, if one repents for
his sins, such person will inherit salvation.
In Jewish Christianity, sin is believed to alienate the sinner from
God even though He has extreme love for mankind. It has damaged and
completely severed the relationship of humanity to God. That
relationship can only be restored through acceptance of Jesus Christ
and his death on the cross as a satisfactory sacrifice for the sins of
humanity. Humanity was destined for life with
God. The Bible in John 3:16 says "For
God so loved the world, as to
give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not
perish, but may have life everlasting."
In Eastern Christianity, sin is viewed in terms of its effects on
relationships, both among people and likewise between people and God.
Also as in Jewish Christianity,
Sin is likewise seen as the refusal to
follow God's plan and the desire to be "like God" (as stated in
Genesis 3:5) and thus in direct opposition to God's will (see the
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve in Genesis).
Original sin is a Western concept that states that sin entered the
human world through
Adam and Eve's sin in the
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden and that
human beings have since lived with the consequences of this first
The serpent who beguiled
Eve to eat of the fruit was punished by
having it and its kind being made to crawl on the ground and
an enmity between them and Eve's descendants (Genesis 3:14-15). Eve
was punished by the pains of childbirth and the sorrow of bringing
about life that would eventually age, sicken and die (Genesis 3:16).
The second part of the curse about being subordinate to Adam
originates from her creation from one of Adam's ribs to be his helper
(Genesis 2:18-25); the curse now clarifies that she must now obey her
husband and desire only him.
Adam was punished by having to work
endlessly to feed himself and his family. The land would bring forth
both thistles and thorns to be cleared and herbs and grain to be
planted, nurtured, and harvested. The second part of the curse about
his mortality is from his origin as red clay - he is from the land and
he and his descendants would return to it when buried after death.
When Adam's son Cain slew his brother Abel, he introduced murder into
the world (Genesis 4:8-10). For his punishment,
God banished him as a
fugitive, but first marked him with a sign that would protect him and
his descendants from harm (Genesis 4:11-16).
One concept of sin deals with things that exist on Earth, but not in
Heaven. Food, for example, while a necessary good for the (health of
the temporal) body, is not of (eternal) transcendental living and
therefore its excessive savoring is considered a sin. The
unforgivable sin (or eternal sin) is a sin that can never be forgiven;
Matthew 12:30-32 : " 30 He that is not with me, is against me:
and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. 31 And Therefore I say
to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the
blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 And whosoever shall
speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he
that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him,
neither in this world, nor in the world to come."
In Catholic Christianity sins are classified into grave sins called
mortal sins and less serious sins called venial sin. Mortal sins cause
one to lose salvation unless the sinner repents and venial sins
require some sort of penance either on Earth or in Purgatory.
Jesus was said to have paid for the complete mass of sins past,
present, and to come in future. Even inevitable sin is said to have
already been cleansed.
The Lamb of
God was and is
God himself and is therefore sinless. In
the Old Testament, Leviticus 16:21 states that ‘the laying on of
hands’ was the action that the High Priest
Aaron was ordered to do
God to take sins of Israel's nation onto a spotless young
In Hinduism, the term sin (pāpa in Sanskrit) is often used to
describe actions that create negative
Karma by violating moral and
ethical codes, which automatically brings negative consequences. This
is somehow similar to Abrahamic sin in the sense that pāpa is
considered a crime against the laws of God, which is known as (1)
Dharma, or moral order, and (2) one's own self, but another term
aparadha is used for grave offences. The term papa cannot be taken
however, in literal sense as that of a sin. This is because there is
no consensus regarding the nature of ultimate reality or
Hinduism. Only, the vedanta school being unambiguously theistic,
whereas no anthropomorphic
God exists in the rest five schools namely
Samkhya, Nyaya Yoga, Vaishashikha, and Purva-Mimansa . The term papa
however in the strictest sense refers to actions which bring about
wrong/unfavourable consequences, not relating to a specific divine
will in the absolute sense. To conclude, considering a lack of
consensus regarding the nature of ultimate reality in Hinduism, it can
be considered that papa has lesser insistence on
God for it be
translated as Sin, and that there is no exact equivalent to
Main article: Islamic views on sin
In Islamic ethics, Muslims see sin as anything that goes against the
Allah (God), a breach of the laws and norms laid down by
religion. Islamic terms for sin include dhanb and khaṭīʾa,
which are synonymous and refer to intentional sins; khiṭʾ, which
means simply a sin; and ithm, which is used for grave sins.
Jewish views on sin and Golden mean (philosophy)
Judaism regards the violation of any of the 613
commandments of the
Mosaic law for Jews, or the seven
Noahide laws for
Gentiles as a sin.
Judaism teaches that all humans are inclined to
sin from birth.
Sin has many classifications and degrees. Some
sins are punishable with death by the court, others with death by
heaven, others with lashes, and others without such punishment, but no
sins with wilful intent go without consequence. Unintentional
violations of the mitzvot do not count as sins, since no one can be
punished for something he did not know was wrong. "Sins by error" are
considered as less severe sins. When the Temple yet stood in
Jerusalem, people would offer sacrifices for their misdeeds. The
atoning aspect of korbanot is carefully circumscribed. For the most
part, korbanot only expiate such "sins by error", that is, sins
committed because a person forgot that this thing was a sin. No
atonement is needed for violations committed under duress or through
lack of knowledge, and for the most part, korbanot cannot atone for a
malicious, deliberate sin. In addition, korbanot have no expiating
effect unless the person making the offering sincerely repents his or
her actions before making the offering, and makes restitution to any
person who suffered harm through the violation.
Judaism teaches that all willful sin has consequences. The completely
righteous suffer for their sins (by humiliation, poverty, and
God sends them) in this world and receive their reward
in the world to come. The in-between (not completely righteous or
completely wicked), repent their sins after death and thereafter join
the righteous. The completely wicked also cannot correct their sins in
this world and hence do not suffer them here, but after death. The
very evil do not repent even at the gates of hell. Such people prosper
in this world to receive their reward for any good deed, but cannot be
cleansed by and hence cannot leave gehinnom, because they do not or
cannot repent. This world can therefore seem unjust where the
righteous suffer, while the wicked prosper. Many great thinkers have
In Mesopotamian mythology, Adamu (or Addamu/Admu, or Adapa) goes on
trial for the "sin of casting down a divinity". His crime is
breaking the wings of the south wind.
Evil deeds fall into two categories in Shinto: amatsu tsumi, "the most
pernicious crimes of all", and kunitsu tsumi, "more commonly called
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sin
Fall of Man
Seven deadly sins
Notes and references
^ "sin". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
^ "Hamartia," The NAS
New Testament Greek
New Testament Greek Lexicon.
Augustine eventually (after the Pelagian controversy) defined sin as a
hardened heart, a loss of love for God, a disposition of the heart to
God because of inordinate self-love (see Augustine On
Grace and Free Will in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, trans. P.
Holmes, vol. 5, 30-31 [14-15]).
^ "sin". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
^ ἁμαρτία, ἁμαρτάνω. Liddell, Henry George; Scott,
A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
^ Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels. Vintage Books: New York, 1989.
^ Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism, Soka Gakkai, "Three Poisons":
"Greed, anger, and foolishness. The fundamental evils inherent in life
that give rise to human suffering."
^ Mark 1:15
^ Schmaus, Michael (1975). Dogma: The Church as Sacrament. Rowman
& Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 220,222.
ISBN 0-7425-3203-8. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
^ Willmington, H.L. (1981). Willmington's Guide to the Bible. Tyndale
House Publishers, Inc. p. 725. ISBN 0-8423-8804-4.
^ "Romans 6:23". Biblehub. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
^ "Original Sin". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1 February 1911. Retrieved 1
^ Hanegraaff, Hank. The Bible Answer Book pp. 18-21.
^ Catechism of the
Catholic Church No. 1472. The Vatican.
^ "Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Sin. Oxford University Press.
^ Wensinck, A. J. (2012). "K̲h̲aṭīʾa". In P. Bearman, Th.
Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia
of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill. (Subscription required (help)). CS1
maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^ "The Seven Noachide Laws - Jewish Virtual Library".
Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
^ Rosenberg, A. J.;
Rashi (1969). The
Book of Genesis
Book of Genesis (Genesis 8:21
with Rashi's commentary). New York: The Judaica Press.
^ "Sacrifices and Offerings (Karbanot)". Jewish Virtual Library.
Retrieved 1 March 2015.
^ a b Rabbi Michael Skobac. "Leviticus 17:11".
Jews for Judaism.
Retrieved 1 March 2015.
^ "Reward and Punishment". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 1 March
^ Preston, Christine (2009). The Rise of Man in the Gardens of
Sumeria: A Biography of L.A. Waddell. Sussex Academic Press.
p. 116. ISBN 9781845193157. Retrieved 2016-04-04. They
represented 'Adamu' as being tried before a god for the sin of casting
down a divinity, a vestige of which is the 'original sin' which
Christianity has tied up with Eve's disobedience in the Garden of
^ The Essence of Shinto: The Spiritual Heart of Japan by Motohisa
Fredriksen, Paula. Sin: The Early History of an Idea. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-691-12890-0.
Granoff; P E ; Shinohara, Koichi; eds. (2012), Sins and Sinners:
Perspectives from Asian Religions. Brill. ISBN 9004229469.
Hein, David. "Regrets Only: A
Theology of Remorse." The Anglican 33,
no. 4 (October 2004): 5–6.
Lewis, C.S. "Miserable Offenders": an Interpretation of [sinfulness
and] Prayer Book Language [about it], in series, The Advent Papers.
Cincinnati, Ohio: Forward Movement Publications, [196-].
Pieper, Josef. The Concept of Sin. Edward T. Oakes SJ (translation
from German). South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine's Press, 2001.
Schumacher, Meinolf. Sündenschmutz und Herzensreinheit: Studien zur
Metaphorik der Sünde in lateinischer und deutscher Literatur des
Mittelalters. Munich: Fink, 1996. ISBN 3-7705-3127-2
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sins.
Look up sin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The Different Kinds of Sins (Catholic)
"Sin". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
Good and evil
Christian views on sin
Imputation of sin
Other views on sin
Logical order of God's decrees
See also Apologetics
Conceptions of God
God and gods
the Bahá'í Faith
Shield of the Trinity
Trinity of the Church Fathers
God in Christianity / in Islam
Godhead in Christianity
Latter Day Saints
Great Architect of the Universe
Oneness of God
The Seven Virtues in Christian ethics
Great Commandment; "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two
commandments." – Matthew 22:35-40
Republic, Book IV
Augustine of Hippo
Sources: Paul the Apostle
1 Corinthians 13
Seven deadly sins
Source: Prudentius, Psychomachia
People: Evagrius Ponticus
Pope Gregory I
Seven deadly sins
Persons who categorized
and described the sins
Pope Gregory I
In art and culture
The Seven Deadly Sins (1585 play)
The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things
The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things (painting)
The Seven Deadly Sins (1933 ballet)
The Seven Deadly Sins (1952 film)
The Seven Deadly Sins (1962 film)
The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence (1975)
Seven (1995 film)
Fullmetal Alchemist (manga series)
The Seven Deadly Sins (manga series)
The Seven Deadly Sins of Modern Times
The Seven Deadly Sins of Modern Times (painting)
House of Anubis: The Re-Awakening (2013)
Evillious Chronicles (song and book series)
Seven Heavenly Virtues
Seven Social Sins
Christian views on sin
Christian views on the Old Covenant