The "Penalty of Sin"

From the Differentiator magazine:
Vol. 15 New Series April, 1953 No. 2

In Greek the word hamartia always means "sin." There is a longer word, hamartEma, to which a meaning "penalty of sin" has been given, by the Concordant Version. Can this be justified? It is admitted that the ending -ma signifies result or effect.

If adikia means an "injustice" or a wrong, why should not adikEma (injury) mean "penalty of injustice"? HamartEma is rather the product of sin than the effect of sin, as it was sin that brought about the Cross and the Reconciliation. We should say hamartia is the abstract Sin, while the longer term is the concrete sinful deed. In 2. Peter 1:9 Codex B. uses the shorter word, "sins" (hamartiOn) where Codex A. and Codex Sinaiticus use the longer word (hamartEmatOn). This shews that in the early centuries there could not have been much divergence in meaning, as there is between "sin" and "penalty of sin."

Sins can be forgiven or pardoned. But could the penalty of sin be pardoned? Is it true that "the penalty of all the sins shall be pardoned" (Mark 3:28)? We suggest the Greek really says, "there will be forgiven to the sons of men all sin-effects," that is, all sin's outworkings, effects, products. Mark continues that he who blasphemes against Holy Spirit is not having forgiving for the eon, but is liable to an eonian sin-result. To say such a one is liable to the penalty of an eonian sin gives a twist to the whole sense, needlessly.

At Cor. 6:l8, how are we to understand "the penalty of every sin which a man may be doing is outside of the body?" Paul says, Flee prostitution. Every (other) sin-effect (or, misdeed) which a man should be doing is outside of the body; yet he who is committing prostitution is sinning against his own body." Some versions insert "other" in order to make the sense clearer. Surely the Greek does not say, "Every sin-penalty which a man should be doing. . . ."?

In the Septuagint of Gen. 31:36 the Greek reads, "What is my injury (adikEma) and what is my sinful-deed. (hamartEma)?" The Hebrew reads, "What is my trespass, and what is my sin"?
In every occurrence (including Rom. 3:25) the idea of penalty should be deleted as quite spurious, and the word misdeed or sinful-deed should be used for hamartEma. No other version that we know uses the word penalty in this connection, because it only brings confusion and multiplies error.

Alexander Thomson

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Listing of Articles

Who is our God? Chapter 1
Who is our God? Chapter 2
Who is our God? Chapter 3
Who is our God? Chapter 4
Who is our God? Chapter 5
Who is our God? Chapter 6
Who is our God? Chapter 7
Who is our God? Chapter 8
Who is our God? Chapter 9
Who is our God? Chapter 10
Who is our God? Chapter 11
Who is our God? Chapter 12
Who is our God? Chapter 13
Who is our God? Chapter 14
Who is our God? Chapter 15
Who is our God? Chapter 16
Who is our God? Chapter 17
A Female Deity?
Acts 7:15 & 16
All Things
Amos 3:6
An Answer to the Challenge of Hell
Angels & Men One Species?
An Interesting New Version
Are You an Ambassador?
Are You a Pillar?
Are You a Witness for Jehovah?
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 1
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 2
Are You an Israelite? Chapters 3 & 4
A Special Resurrection?
Baptized for the Dead?
"Beloved" or "Loveable"?
Brotherly Love
Book Review
Colossians 1:23
Common or Unclean?
Common Sense
Did Paul Visit Spain?
Did the Lord give up His Flesh?
"Divine" Fire?
Doctoring the Holy Scriptures
Does God know Everything?
Does God will Everything?
Does your Spiritual Life seem Unreal?
Did God hate Esau?
Earth our Future Home?
Emphasis in the Scriptures
English more Archaic than Ancient Hebrew?
Ephesians 1:23
Erroneous Translations
Gleanings from A.T.
Heaven our Homeland
How is Christ God's "Word"?
How many were Crucified?
In the Christ All Shall Be Made Alive
Is Dust the Serpent's Food?
Is the Devil Impersonal?
Isaiah 26:14,19
James 4:5
Jehovah's Theocratic Organization
Jesus the Saviour
John 19:29
The Kingdom of the Hebrews
Leave it with God
Men or Mortals?
Misplaced Ingenuity
New Light on the Second Death
None Other Things
Objective Value of Prayer
Other or Different
Our Advocate
Paul's Chain
Paul the Sensitive
Paul versus James
Prevailing Prayer
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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Rogues and Rascals
Rom 9 & 10: Human Freedom & Human Choice
Romans 9:14-24
Romans 9:30 to 10:21
II Corinthians 5:16
II Peter 3:10
Seven Wicked Spirits
Shall We See God?
Sir, We would see Jesus
Should we fear God?
The Bloody Husband
The Cherubim of Glory
The Corinthian Error
The Cunning Manager
The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah
The Designation of Jesus as "God"
The Disruption Fallacy
The Disruption Fallacy #2
The Eighth of Proverbs
The Eleven "Generations" of Genesis
The Elohim
The Ends of the Eons
The Eternal Saviour-Judge
The Eternity of Hell Torments
The First Christian Convention
The Four Gospels
The Gentiles in Ephesians
The Greek Definite Article
The Hardening of Pharoah's Heart
The Hebrew Conception of Time
The Hebrews Epistle
The Hebrew Terms Rendered 'For Ever'
The Hope of Israel
The Life of Prayer
The Lord Jesus Revealing the Heart of God
The Lord's Relatives
The Lordly Supper
The Meaning of Ta Panta
The Ministry of Women Parts 1 & 2
The Ministry of Women Parts 3 & 4
The "Penalty of Sin"
The Poor in Spirit
The Primeval Laws
The Primeval Laws #2
The Problem of Evil
The Quality of Divine Love
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The Serpent of Genesis 3
The Soul and the Spirit
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 1 & 2
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 3 & 4
The Translation of Acts 28:25
The Trial of the Lord
The Truth of the Bible
The Two Seeds
The Works of Henry Clay Mabie, D.D.
"Three Days and Three Nights"
Translator's Incentive
Truthfulness and Mercy
Try the Spirits
Unto Eternity and Further
We have all been Wrong
What did Peter do?
What does Olethros mean?
What Happened to Jephthah's Daughter?
What is Destruction?
What is the Flesh?
What is the Sin unto Death?
Whence "Eternity"?
Who are the Saints?
Who is Jehovah?
Who Shall Deliver Me?
Why Pray?
Why the "Lake" of Fire?
Will God Punish?
Will the Lord Come for Us?
Will the Man of Lawlessness be Killed?


The Differentiator Revisited 2009