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Q:

If there are sin and guilt offerings for “unintentional sins,” are there no offerings for “intentional sins” (5:15)?

1 Answer

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The expression “to sin unintentionally” calls for some comment. The NIV reading may give the impression that there was no sacrifice for intentional sins. This presents a problem, for many of our sins are more or less intentional (though not necessarily deliberate). The word basically means “to err, go astray, wander, or stagger.” That is, the notion of intent or lack of intent is not basic to the meaning of the Hebrew word and ought not to be imported. The usual sins we fall into are covered by the sin offering and the guilt offering. For instance, lying, stealing, cheating, and false swearing are surely intentional. And yet, each of these sins are specifically covered by the guilt offering (6:2-3).
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