Thirty-Three Words for Sin in the New Testament Part 2 -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 100:398 (Apr 1943)
Article: Thirty-Three Words for Sin in the New Testament Part 2
Author: John F. Walvoord


Thirty-Three Words for Sin in the New Testament
Part 2

John F. Walvoord

(Continued from the January-March Number, 1948)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 18–35, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–18 respectively.}

II. Παράβασις

(παράβασις, παραβαίνω, παραβάτης)

After the study of ἁμαρτία in the previous article, it is fitting, now, to turn to the three important words to be considered in this section. Not only are the words in themselves significant as a contribution to the larger doctrine of hamartiology, but they refute by their very definition all the philosophies which find root in the idea that man will choose good if he knows it. The ancient Socratic motto that “virtue is knowledge,” i.e., “that if only men can be brought to see what the better course is they will spontaneously follow it,”1 is branded as false, along with all other theories asserting that man is naturally good. The Bible consistently teaches that men are wilfully sinful as the ensuing discussion helps to demonstrate.

1. Παράβασις

Παράβασις, like παραβαίνω and παραβάτης, is derived from βαίνω, a common verb meaning to go, to walk, to step. Though found frequently in the classic Greek, it does not occur in the New Testament without a prefix. The addition of the prefix, παρά gives its New Testament form the meaning, ”to go past or to pass over without touching a thing.”2 In its tropical use in the New Testament, it is defined, ”to overstep, neglect, violate, transgress.”3 An interesting instance of its classical use is that in Homer, where the form παρβεβαώς occurs to represent warriors who stand side by side in a war-chariot.4

The New Testament form is translated six times in the Authorized Version by the word transgression and once by breaking. A study of these passages reveals that it is a more serious sin and a stronger word than ἁμαρτία.

The ce...

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