Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

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Commonly called the unpardonable sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit appears three times in the New Testament.

  • In Matthew 12:22-32 Jesus discussed blasphemy when he rebuked the Pharisees and scribes.
  • In Mark 3:20-30 there is a parallel account of the event in Matthew 12.
  • In Luke 12:8-12 Jesus mentioned blasphemy after warning his disciples about the hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).

Three viewpoints

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has perplexed many Christians. Scholars admit this is a difficult topic, and offer various interpretations. For clarity their interpretations are classified here into three schools of thought:

  1. Literal - These interpreters base their conclusions on the literal meaning of the word "blasphemy" in its strictest sense.
  2. Contextual - These scholars interpret blasphemy within the context that Jesus discussed this sin.
  3. Doctrinal - These apologists integrate other scriptures, outside the contextual accounts, to form their conclusions.

The above distinctions are not black-and-white. And the views are not mutually exclusive. Most scholars blend ideas from these schools of thought.

This article offers an easy way to individually examine the various facets of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

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