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Offline chrud  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:02:12 PM(UTC)
chrud
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I'm assuming this has been discussed in the past, but I haven't been able to find it. If nothing else, maybe I can generate traffic on this forum. I keep wondering what the definition of sin is. Let me see if I can explain.

In my mind, religion exists as a control mechanism which attempts to modify behavior in people. In this context, the definition of sin would be all of the behaviors that are unwanted by the authority (or even the congregation.) Which means the "10 commandments" ends up listing a bunch of sins. Murder is a sin, adultery is a sin, eating pork is a sin.

As I come to understand the Towrah better, I see it more as information and less as "behavior modification." Does this, then redefine the concept of sin? As a human, I'm prone to making bad decisions even in the face of good advice. Assuming that I am observing the Towrah, trying to learn what I can from it, if I end up murdering (justafiable or not,) but don't make that a way of life, is that considered sin?

I've heard sin defined as "missing the way" which I understand as being lead away from Yahowah, or at least not walking towards Yahowah. Does that mean that sin is more of an attitude than a set of deeds? Maybe my state of sin was my existance before my discovery of Yahowah's nature and acceptance of a relationship with Him. This seems to tie in to Pesach where Yahowah passes over our death, the natural consequence of not being in a relationship with Him. Which means I'm no longer sinning as I head down this relationship.

As for paying the price on Matzah, does all sin require this, or only the sin that has punishment as its consequence, like leading people away from Yahowah, perhaps through the perversion of His word?

Any thoughts?
Offline James  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:51:55 AM(UTC)
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Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament wrote:
638 חָטָא (ḥāṭāʾ) miss, miss the way, sin, incur guilt, forfeit, purify from uncleanness.

Derivatives

638a חֵטְא (ḥēṭʾ) sin.
638b חַטָּא (ḥaṭṭāʾ) sinners.
638c חַטָּאָה (ḥaṭṭāʾâ) sin, sinful thing.
638d חֲטָאָה (ḥăṭāʾâ) sin, sin offering.
638e חַטָּאת (ḥaṭṭāʾt) sin, sin offering.

The root occurs about 580 times in the Old Testament and is thus its principle word for sin. The basic meaning of the root is to miss a mark or a way. It is used two or three times in Ugaritic to mean “sin” (UT 19: no. 952, AisWUS 1019).
The verbal forms occur in enough secular contexts to provide a basic picture of the word’s meaning. In Jud 20:16 the left-handed slingers of Benjamin are said to have the skill to throw stones at targets and “not miss.” In a different context, Prov 19:2 speaks of a man in a hurry who “misses his way” (RSV, NEB, KJV has “sinneth”). A similar idea of not finding a goal appears in Prov 8:36; the concept of failure is implied.
The verb has the connotation of breach of civil law, i.e. failure to live up to expectations, in Gen 40:1. Compare the international overtones of II Kgs 18:14, and the accusatory thrust of the word, fault, in Ex 5:7. The Egyptians had failed to supply straw for brick-making. Serious breakdown in personal relationship is highlighted by the verb, negatively in I Sam 19:4, and 24:12 but by confession of Saul in 26:21. Compare Jud 11:27.
The KJV does not catch the nuance of the verb in Job 5:24, but RSV does with “miss nothing” and NEB does with “nothing amiss,” NIV “nothing missing.” The verb, ḥāṭāʾ, here means anything less that the total. A corollary in personal relationships is found in Gen 43:9; 44:32. Judah proposes that he “bear the blame” (KJV, REV) or be “guilty” (NEB) if he fails to fulfill his promise. Extended to religious obligations, the form, ḥāṭāʾ min, in Lev 4:2 designates a failure to observe God’s laws and in Lev 5:16 denotes action which gives less than is due, a failure of full duty.
When ḥāṭāʾ is followed by lĕ, a failure to respect the full rights and interests of another person is involved, e.g. Gen 20:9; Jud 11:27; II Chr 6:22, or of God as well, e.g. Ex 10:16; I Sam 2:25. Often God is the object.
But ḥāṭāʾ followed by bĕ denotes strong opposition. See Gen 42:22; I Sam 19:4f.; Job 2:10; Neh 9:29. In summary, one may say that ḥāṭāʾ plus lĕ is quite personal, whereas ḥāṭāʾ plus bĕ is more physical.
In the many instances in which the verb occurs in the Qal stem the object is either God or his laws, or else the verb is intransive. In so acting, man is missing the goal or standard God has for him, is failing to observe the requirements of holy living, or falls short of spiritual wholeness. The participle seems to designate the sinner in Prov 13:22; Isa 65:20 and all instances in Eccl. But in Isa 1:4 it designates the quality of being less than acceptable to God.
Thus like other words related to the notion of “sin” it assumes an absolute standard or law. But, whereas pešaʿ signifies a “revolt against the standard,” and ʿāwâ means either “to deviate from the standard” or “to twist the standard,” ḥātāʾ means "to miss, to fall short of the standard. The Greek word anomia “sin,” consists of the privative prefix with the word for “law,” thus “without law.” Therefore judgment is implied, for the law in fact is binding even if the sinner thinks himself to be “without law.”
In the Piel stem, the verb has a privative connotation, as in Gen 31:39 where Jacob had to “bear the loss” for any animal which could not be accounted for. In a religious sense, the majority of the Piel forms denote a cleansing or purifying ceremony during which sin is done away with, e.g. Ex 29:36; Lev 14:29, 52; Num 19:19; Ps 51:7 [H 9] and all instances in Ezekiel. See also the same meaning in the Hithpael stem (Num 8:21; 19:12–13, 20; 31:19–20, 23; Job 41:25 [H 17]). In Lev 9:15 and II Chr 29:24 this verb form means “to make a sin offering.”
In the Hiphil stem, the verb means “to lead someone else into sin.” Exodus 23:33 warns the Israelites against allowing the Canaanites to lead them into sin. The sin of Jeroboam was a standard by which the evil kings of northern Israel were judged (I Kgs 14:16; 15:30, etc.); cf. Neh 13:26. The verb seems to have the sense of guilt in Deut 24:4. Idolatry is the sin against which the warnings are primarily directed.

חֵטְא (ḥēṭʾ). Sin, punishment. This masculine noun is an act of ḥāṭāʾ which means that it is the failure to hit the mark, a turning away from obedience, a lack of wholeness or of acceptance before God. The noun appears thirty five times in the Old Testament.
On a secular level the noun refers to a breach of civil law or the regulations of a monarch, as in Gen 41:9 and Eccl 10:4.
In a number of instances (Num 27:3; all occurrences in Deut; II Kgs 10:29; Ps 103:10; Isa 38:17; Lam 1:8; Dan 9:16) the noun either designates or implies an act of disobedience to God. Deut 21:22 and 22:26, refer to a sin of death, i.e. a sin that must be punished by death.
Since Hebrew does not have a distinctive word for guilt, some of the words for sin carry this concept. This noun is one which sometimes functions in this manner. The KJV often indicates the thought by the phrase, “bear sin.” Examples may be found in Lev 20:20; Num 9:13; Isa 53:12 and Ezk 23:49. RSV would add Lev 19:17 to this list, and would translate the noun as “guilt” in Hos 12:8.
The noun includes the concept of punishment in Lam 3:39.

חָטָּא (ḥāṭṭāʾ). Sinners, sinful. Another masculine noun, ḥāṭṭāʾ appears eighteen times in the Old Testament. It designates a habitual sinner who is subject to punishment because of his or her practices. In one instance, I Kgs 1:21 the word is secular in orientation and refers to a probable penalty. A quality of sinfullness is found in Num 32:14.

חַטָּאָה (ḥaṭṭāʾâ). Sin, sinful thing. This feminine noun is used only three times. In Ex 34:7 it is linked with ʿāwôn and pešaʿ as forgiveable, and also has an abstract meaning in Isa 5:18. An Aramaic form is in Ezr 6:17 with the meaning of sin-offering.

חֲטָאָה (ḥăṭāʾâ). Sin, sin offering. Another feminine noun is ḥăṭāʾâ appearing eight times and normally carrying an abstract connotation. In all occurrences except in Ps 32:6 (where it means “sin offering”) the word means “sin.” In Gen 20:9; Ex 32:21; 30, 31; and II Kgs 17:21 it is modified by the adjective gādôl and usually refers to idolatry. In Ps 32:1 and 109:7 the noun designates sin as such.

חַטָּאת (ḥaṭṭāʾt). Sin, sin offering. The most extensively used noun form is the feminine ḥaṭṭāʾt which occurs almost two hundred and ninety times. In Gen 18:20 the noun refers to the condition of sin. In Gen 31:36; 50:17 it is paired with pešaʿ another common term for sin. In Lev and in Num the noun appears many times alternating in meaning between sin, the reality of disobedience to God, and sin-offering, the means of removing the guilt and penalty of sin before the Lord through the sacrificial system. In this context, the noun is closely associated with ʾāšām, which is often translated as “guilt-offering.”
Both the noun and the verb are for emphasis in Deut 9:18. The noun is used for Israel’s particular sin, the golden calf (9:21) and is paired with pešaʿ in v. 27. In Deut 19:15 with ʾāwôn which is often translated as iniquity. This pairing of ḥaṭṭāʾt with other words for sin is fairly frequent in wisdom and prophetical writings. The meaning sin offering appears quite often in II Chr, Ezra, Neh and Ezk. The term has the sense of guilt in II Chr 28:13; Ps 32:5; of punishment in Lam 4:6 and Zech 14:19; of purification in Num 8:7; 19:9, 17.
In the majority of cases ḥaṭṭāʾt denotes sin/s against man, e.g. I Sam 20:1; Ps 59:3, or against God, mainly in the historical and prophetical literature.
Man can only deal with sin through the sacrificial offerings coupled with confession and turning from sin to God. God may deal with sin by punishing those who continue in their sin (Josh 24:19; I Kgs 14:16; Neh 9:37; etc.); by forgiving sins as indicated in I Kgs 8:36; II Chr 6:25, 27; Ps 32:5; Jer 36:3; and by purging sin as in Ps 51:2; Isa 6:7; Zech 13:1.
Since sin was understood in the ancient near eastern religions as a violation of the status quo in cultic, political, and social life, each country with peculiar emphases, the pagan people could only strive to conteract its consequences by magical practices. In Israel, the people learned by revelation that sin was disobedience of God’s will and exploitation or disregard of the rights of other people. Sin was declared to be an extremely serious matter and could only be taken care of by a creative and gracious act of merciful forgiveness by God. And the cure was effective, bringing about a new life of joy and fruitfulness.
For the people of Israel there was hope for a change of life, both as individuals and as a nation, because God was willing to turn away from his wrath toward sin (primarily idolatry but also social sins) and do wonderful things for those who would contritely turn from sin, confess, make restitution and surrender to God and his way of salvation. Many a song in the Psalms declares the reality of release from the burden of sin’s guilt and penalty.
Don't take my word for it, Look it up.

“The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.” ― Ayn Rand
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Fred Snell on 12/6/2016(UTC)
Offline James  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:57:07 AM(UTC)
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As I understand it, it is missing the mark or standard or falling short of the mark or standard. The mark or standard being Towrah. So anything that falls short of perfect observation of the Towrah is sin.
Don't take my word for it, Look it up.

“The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.” ― Ayn Rand
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DJPowers on 9/14/2015(UTC)
Offline chrud  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, April 1, 2015 10:13:46 AM(UTC)
chrud
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Hi James,

Does "perfect observation of the Towrah" mean perfect understanding, or a perfect response to that teaching? The first implies that sin is a state of being while the second implies that the sin is the action itself.

Maybe another question would help. In the Garden, was there anything else Adam could have done that would have constituted sin besides eating from the tree of Knowledge of good and bad? Again, was sin the deed, or state of not being in a relationship with Yahowah after that decision?
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cgb2 on 4/2/2015(UTC)
Offline cgb2  
#5 Posted : Thursday, April 2, 2015 8:29:21 PM(UTC)
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^ Clearly the deed or action. Chawah did closely examine the fruit:
Gen 3:6 And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Offline James  
#6 Posted : Saturday, April 4, 2015 12:24:08 PM(UTC)
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The answer is both I would think. One caused the other. The deed caused a break in the relationship.

I would say that sin is both the lack of understanding and the lack of responding to it. If I understand an instruction and do not respond to it, then I have still missed the mark. If I respond to an instructions, but do not understand it I have still missed the mark.

An example. Jews circumcise their children, and men who convert get circumcised. They however do it for religious reasons and do not understand Yahowah's teaching. So while they have responded to the instruction they have missed the mark by not understanding it. If someone understands the instruction to be circumcised, but does not follow through with the act then they too are falling short of the standard.

So to be without sin ones understanding and ones actions must be in perfect harmony with the Towrah. Thus far only one person has meet this criteria, and he had Yah's spirit in him. Think of Yahowsha's comment about having to be more righteous then the Pharisees. In action the Pharisees kept the Towrah as they understood it perfectly, but they did not understand it, to be sinless one would have to keep it perfectly and understand it perfectly.
Don't take my word for it, Look it up.

“The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.” ― Ayn Rand
thanks 3 users thanked James for this useful post.
Sheree on 4/4/2015(UTC), Fred Snell on 4/17/2015(UTC), DJPowers on 9/14/2015(UTC)
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