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Matthew 12:31

    Matthew 12:31 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    So I say to you, Every sin and every evil word against God will have forgiveness; but for evil words against the Spirit there will be no forgiveness.

    Webster's Revision

    Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

    World English Bible

    Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

    Definitions for Matthew 12:31

    Wherefore - Why?; for what reason?; for what cause?

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 12:31

    All manner of sin and blasphemy - Βλασφημια, injurious or impious speaking, mocking and deriding speech, Anglo-Saxon. See Matthew 9:3.

    But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost - Even personal reproaches, revilings, persecutions against Christ, were remissible; but blasphemy, or impious speaking against the Holy Spirit was to have no forgiveness: i.e. when the person obstinately attributed those works to the devil, which he had the fullest evidence could be wrought only by the Spirit of God. That this, and nothing else, is the sin against the Holy Spirit, is evident from the connection in this place, and more particularly from Mark 3:28-30. "All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme; but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation; Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit."

    Here the matter is made clear beyond the smallest doubt - the unpardonable sin, as some term it, is neither less nor more than ascribing the miracles Christ wrought, by the power of God, to the spirit of the devil. Many sincere people have been grievously troubled with apprehensions that they had committed the unpardonable sin; but let it be observed that no man who believes the Divine mission of Jesus Christ, ever can commit this sin: therefore let no man's heart fail because of it, from henceforth and for ever, Amen. See below.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 12:31

    In this place, and in Mark 3:28-30, Jesus states the awful nature of the sin of which they had been guilty. That sin was the sin against the Holy Spirit. It consisted in charging him with being in league with the devil, or accusing him of working his miracles, not by the "spirit" or "power" of God, but by the aid of the prince of the devils. It was therefore a direct insult, abuse, or evil speaking against the Holy Spirit - the spirit by which Jesus worked his miracles. That this was what he intended by this sin, at that time, is clear from Mark 3:30, "because they said he had an unclean spirit." All other sins - all speaking against the Saviour himself - might be remitted. But this sin was clearly against the Holy One; it was alleging that the highest displays of God's mercy and power were the work of the devil; and it argued, therefore, the deepest depravity of mind. The sin of which he speaks is therefore clearly stated. It was accusing him of working miracles by the aid of the devil, thus dishonoring the Holy Spirit.

    All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven - That is, only on condition that people repent and believe. If they continue in this sin they cannot be forgiven, Mark 16:16; Romans 2:6-9.

    Blasphemy - Injurious or evil speaking of God. See the notes at Matthew 9:3.

    A word against the Son of man - The Jews were offended at the humble life and appearance of the Saviour. They reproached him as being a Nazarene - sprung from Nazareth, a place from which no good was expected to proceed; with being a Galilean, from Galilee, a place from which no prophet came, John 7:52. Jesus says that reproaches of this kind could be pardoned. Reflections on his poverty, on his humble birth, and on the lowliness of his human nature might be forgiven; but for those which affected his divine nature, accusing him of being in league with the devil, denying his divinity, and attributing the power which manifestly implied divinity to the prince of fallen spirits, there could be no pardon. This sin was a very different thing from what is now often supposed to be the sin against the Holy Spirit. It was a wanton and blasphemous attack on the divine power and nature of Christ. Such a sin God would not forgive.

    Speaketh against the Holy Ghost - The word "ghost" means "spirit," and probably refers here to the "divine nature" of Christ - the power by which he performed his miracles. There is no evidence that it refers to the third person of the Trinity; and the meaning of the whole passage may be: "He that speaks against me as a man of Nazareth - that speaks contemptuously of my humble birth, etc., may be pardoned; but he that reproaches my divine nature, charging me with being in league with Satan, and blaspheming the power of God manifestly displayed "by me," can never obtain forgiveness."

    Neither in this world, nor in that which is to come - That is, as Mark expresses it, "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." This fixes the meaning of the phrase. It means, then, not the future age or dispensation, known among the Jews as the world to come, but it means that the guilt will be unpardoned forever; that such is the purpose of God that he will not forgive a sin so direct, presumptuous, and awful. It cannot be inferred from this that any sins will be forgiven in hell. The Saviour meant simply to say that there were "no possible circumstances" in which the offender could obtain forgiveness. He certainly did "not" say that any sin unpardoned here would be pardoned hereafter.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 12:31

    12:31 The blasphemy against the Spirit - How much stir has been made about this? How many sermons, yea, volumes, have been written concerning it? And yet there is nothing plainer in all the Bible. It is neither more nor less than the ascribing those miracles to the power of the devil, which Christ wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mark 3:28; Luke 12:10.