Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Define Sin

How would you define sin? How we define sin will affect how our children react to sin. If it is not given the serious weight that it rightly deserves, we are doing a children a serious injustice which can affect not just their lives here on earth, but their eternity.

Webster's Dictionary (2001):



1. Estrangement from god.

2. An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God's will.

3. Ratio of the opposite side to the hypotenuse.

4. (Akkadian) god of the moon; counterpart of Sumerian Nanna.

5. The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

6. (colloquial) violent and excited activity; "they began to fight like sin".


1. Commit a sin; violate a law of God.

2. Commit a faux pas or fault.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (date unknown):
Main Entry: 1sin Listen to the pronunciation of 1sin
Pronunciation: \ˈsin\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sinne, from Old English synn; akin to Old High German sunta sin and probably to Latin sont-, sons guilty, est is — more at is
Date: before 12th century
1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible it's sin to waste food c: an often serious shortcoming : fault 2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonyms see offense
The Pearl's define sin according to 1 John 5:17 - All unrighteousness is sin.

If you are anything like me, you have heard about the Webster's Dictionary of 1828. I had never really thought anything about it. But today, for some reason, I decided to look into it.

It is reported that Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary contains the greatest number of Biblical definitions given in any reference volume. Webster considered "education useless without the Bible".

Websters Dictionary of 1828:

SIN, n.

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3. Matt. 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam's apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Matt.12.
2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.
3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]
4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.
It really made me wonder how far away from God's word we have come, not just in our words, but in our definitions of those words as well.


Sharon said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly! I've been having a post roll around in my head regarding the subject of sin. Will try to get it together and posted soon.

SK and Family said...

Wow. Thanks for posting this! I'd love to look up more words in the 1828 dictionary--what might they reveal?!