Forgiveness (Mt 6:14-6:15)

“If you forgive

Other men

Their trespasses,

Your heavenly Father

Will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive

Other men

Their trespasses,

Neither will your Father

Forgive your trespasses.”

 

Ἐὰν γὰρ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν, ἀφήσει καὶ ὑμῖν ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος

ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, οὐδὲ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ἀφήσει τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν.

 

This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Mark, chapter 11:25.  Basically, your heavenly Father will forgive you (ἀφήσει καὶ ὑμῖν ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος) if you have forgiven others for their missteps or trespasses (Ἐὰν γὰρ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν).  What are these trespasses?  The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate.  Apparently, this is not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults.  On the other hand, if you do not forgive others (ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις), your heavenly Father will not forgive you your trespasses (οὐδὲ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ἀφήσει τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν.).  You can see how the idea of trespasses instead of debtors came to be part of the “Our Father.”

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