word play

The word sin comes from the Old English “synn”, which has the meaning of a crime and is associated with doing evil. The Old Norse is “synd”, and the German Sünde. But its inclusion in the Bible is as a translation from the Latin “peccatum,” which doesn’t mean the same thing at all; its meaning is more in the sense of a religious error. In the original Greek version of the New Testament, the word is “hamartia,” which literally means to miss the target – a word normally associated with archery. In biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to err, to miss the mark. Judaism teaches that sin is an act, and not a state of being, while in Christianity it means that we were all born in a state of sin. All of which indicates that it’s easy for meaning to get mangled in translation.

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