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New Testament passages #1
(Full text - normally New International Version unless stated)


Arranged by key Greek words: 1 aphiemi – to forgive/cancel a debt
2 charizomai – to give, bestow, hand over, pardon
3 apoluo / apolytrosis – to redeem / liberation


aphiemi – to forgive/cancel a debt


Matthew 6.12, 14-15

(From the Lord's Prayer)   "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors …"  14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Matthew 12.31-32 (see also Mark 3.28-29, Luke 12.10)

And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Mark: "is guilty of an eternal sin.")


Matthew 18.21-35

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me.  Up to seven times?"

22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven."

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents (that is, millions of pounds) was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, forgave the debt and let him go (apoluo).

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow-servants who owed him a hundred denarii (a few pounds).  He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me,’ he demanded.

29"His fellow-servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30"But he refused. Instead he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in.  ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I forgave all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow-servant just as I had on you?   34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."


Matthew 26.27-29

Then (Jesus) took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the (new) covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom."


Mark 1.4 (see also Luke 3.3)

And so John (the Baptist) came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


Mark 2.1-12 (see also Matthew 9.1-8, Luke 5.17-26)

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered there that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came in, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.

5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things?  9Which is easier to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?  10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins …" he said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."

12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"


Mark 4.10-12

When (Jesus) was alone, the twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that ‘they may ever be seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding, otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'" (quoting Isaiah’s commission, Isaiah 6.9-10)


Mark 11.25

When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.


Luke 1.76-79

(Zechariah, after the birth of his son John the Baptist:)    "And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for him, 77to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."


Luke 7.36-50

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.  37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is - that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."  "Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain money-lender.  One owed him five hundred denarii (a denarius was worth about a day's wages), and the other fifty.  42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled (charizomai) the debts of both.  Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled (charizomai)."  "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned towards the woman, and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman?   I came into your house.  You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered has not stopped kissing my feet.  46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven -  for she loved much.   But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."   49The other guests began to say among themselves,  "Who is this who even forgives sins?"  50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


Luke 11.4

(From the Lord's Prayer)  "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive (lit. are forgiving) everyone who is in debt to us." (NIV "sins against us")


Luke 17.1-4

Jesus said to his disciples, "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.  2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied round his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.  3So watch yourselves.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him.  4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."


Luke 23.32-34

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.  33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left.  34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."   And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.


Luke 24.45-49

(Appearing to the assembled disciples, the risen Jesus) opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures.  46He told them, "This is what is written:  The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  48You are witnesses of these things.   49I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."


John 20.20b-23

The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."   22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them (krateo = keep to yourself) they are not forgiven (= kept to you)."


Acts 2.37-38

When the people heard (Peter's preaching) they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"  38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."


Acts 5.29-31

Peter and the other apostles replied (to the high priest in the Sanhedrin): "We must obey God rather than men!  30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead - whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.  31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour, that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.  32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."


Acts 8.20-24

Peter answered (Simon the Magician), "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!  21You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.  22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord.  Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.  23For I see you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."  24Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me, so that nothing you have said may happen to me."


Acts 10.41, 43

(Peter continued to speak at Cornelius' house) "(Jesus) was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had chosen - by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead ... 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."


Acts 13.38

(Paul preached to the synagogue in Antioch) "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you."


Acts 26.15, 17-18

(Paul told to King Agrippa of Jesus' appearance to him on the Damascus road)    "Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?'  'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied ... 17'I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.  I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' "


Romans 3.21-26

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and the prophets testify.  22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption (apolytrosis) that came by Jesus Christ.  25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement (hilaskomai), through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he forgave the sins committed beforehand - 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.


Romans 4.6-8

David speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7"Blessed are they whose transgressions (crimes) are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. (Psalm 32.1-2)"


Ephesians 1.6-8

God has freely given us (his glorious grace) in the One he loves.  7In him we have redemption (apolytrosis) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.


Colossians 1.13-14

For (the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption (apolytrosis), the forgiveness of sins.


Hebrews 9.22

The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.


Hebrews 10.17-18

(The Holy Spirit) adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more (Jeremiah 31.34)."  18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.


James 5.14-16

Is any one of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.  If he has sinned, he will be forgiven16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.


1 John 1.8-10

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.   9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.


1 John 2.12

I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.


2  charizomai – to give, bestow, hand over, pardon


Luke 7.41-43

Go to the linked passage above


2 Corinthians 2.5-11

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you (to some extent- not to put it too severely).   6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.  7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  8I urge you, therefore, to re-affirm your love for him.  9The reason I wrote to you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.  10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him.  And what I have forgiven - if there was anything to forgive - I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us; for we are not unaware of his schemes.


2 Corinthians 12.11-13

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it.  I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the 'super-apostles,' even though I am nothing.  12The things that mark an apostle - signs, wonders and miracles - were done among you with great perseverance.   13How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?  Forgive me this wrong!


Ephesians 4.29-32

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.   30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (apolytrosis)31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


Colossians 2.13-15

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, 14having cancelled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.


Colossians 3.12-14

Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.   Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


The word charizomai is also translated as 'giving or bestowing a privilege or special good' - for example :

Luke 7.21   

Jesus gave sight to many who were blind

1 Corinthians 2.12    

We have received ... the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Philippians 1.29   

It has been given to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him but also to suffer for him.


3  apoluo / apolytrosis – to redeem / liberation


Matthew 18.27

See the linked passage above


Matthew 20.25-28 (see also Mark 10.42-45)

Jesus called (the twelve) together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Luke 1.68

(John’s) father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people."


Luke 2.38

Coming up to (Joseph and Mary with the baby) Anna gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel.


Luke 6.37-38

Jesus said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."


Luke 21.27-28

(Jesus said,) "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."


Luke 24.20-21

(Not recognising the risen Jesus, two disciples on the road to Emmaus told him) "The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel."


Acts 7.35

(Stephen spoke to the Sanhedrin) "This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush."


Romans 3.24

Go to the linked passage above


Romans 8.18-23

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  19All creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  20For the universe was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope 21that the whole cosmos, like us, will be liberated (eleutheroo) from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom (eleutheria) of the children of God.  22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.


1 Corinthians 1.30

It is because of (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.


Ephesians 1.7

Go to the linked passage above


Ephesians 1.14

Having believed, you were marked in (Christ) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.


Ephesians 4.30

Go to the linked passage above


Colossians 1.14

Go to the linked passage above


1 Timothy 2.5-6

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time.


Titus 2.14

We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (Psalm 130.8) and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


Hebrews 9.11-15

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that have already come, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! 15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance -–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.


1 Peter 1.18

Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.


Also used in the sense of setting free from spirits and illness – for example:

Luke 13.10-13

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent all over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.


And frequently for the release of prisoners – for example:

Matthew 27.15

Now it was the governor’s custom at the Festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.

Acts 5.40

(Gamaliel’s) speech persuaded (the Sanhedrin). They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

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