Guilt and the New Testament

I’m doing a bit of a study of holiness, sin, and whatnot. I thought I’d do a bit of a Bible search for the word ‘guilt’, since that seems a relevant word given the contemporary understanding of holiness.

I got this in response:

Search error! These word(s) were not in the search range: guilt

No guilt in the New Testament? Not in the NRSV. Well, it does show up in the NIV, but every occasion it’s the Greek word for ‘sin’, that the translators have made into guilt. That’s an interesting theological point.

Guilty does show up, but it’s mostly, in the Greek more accurately “does sin” or “doer of sin”. What is sin? I mean what is it at its core?

Given how much ‘guilt’ is a word insisted upon in a lot of circles it’s interesting to see how little it is used.

Sin, translated as guilt, has been given theological interpretation that changes how we respond to sin. What is sin? Is it guilt as in a legal sense? Maybe, but I don’t see that absolutely demanded in the New Testament documents. Rather, we bring our own interpretation to the topic, and then run with it from there. Curious.

I’m still exploring this, so any guidance or suggestions for further thought or study would be grand. There’s a whole lot I realize I’ve left out of this. It’s just the New Testament usage is an interesting consideration for me right now.

An added comment: I’m not saying sin isn’t an issue, it certainly, absolutely is. But what’s the New Testament saying about it, and it’s not saying what the Law says about it, otherwise Jesus wouldn’t make sense in his ministry. He had a bigger goal, and while overcoming sin was a part of it, I don’t think he was thinking about guilt.

Still considering…

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