ABC:1 John 1

From BibleStrength

Verse 8 claims the Bible is wrong about whether every man sins.[1]

The distinction is between past and present. Every person has sinned, the Bible makes that abundantly clear in Romans 3 and elsewhere. It is only by grace, i.e. God's undeserved mercy, that we can be justified.

However, a Christian is not merely someone who is forgiven, but who is made a new person in Jesus. They surrender themselves and die to sin, being given a new heart, spirit, and mind. (Ezekiel 11:19, 18:31, 36:26) They are no longer under the power of sin, but have now the ability to live without sin. Rather than being slaves to sin as before, they now have the ability constantly to CHOOSE not to sin. Rather than being slaves to their lusts, passions, and environments, they are suddenly freed so that it has become a question of will and decision to do right.

Nonetheless, as seen above, Christians do have the ability to still sin and are urged to follow God's ways instead of the wrongful choices of their past before coming to new life in Jesus. (Romans 6:12-16) However, cases do occur where Christians fall back into sin (Galatians 6:1) and while they have the ability not to sin, they will always be tempted to sin because the human body is itself prone to sin. (Romans 7:18-25) Christians can by walking in the Spirit reject the temptations of the flesh which bring spiritual and eternal death. However, not until the final resurrection when new bodies are given will the Christian be free from the temptation to sin.

At any rate, it's important to note that the Old Testament verses being quoted were before the way of salvation was provided. As for those in 1 John 1:8-10 they refer to life before Christ, as evidenced by phrases like "cleanse us from all unrighteousness" and "have not sinned" (past tense). As Christians we are expected to live without habitually sinning, though isolated cases can occur. Therefore, while Christians are saved by repentance and the mercy of God through trusting in Jesus, not by works, that new life is to produce works. (Ephesians 2:8-10) Thus Jesus said His disciples are to be known by the fruits they produce. (Matthew 7:16-17; John 13:35)

Verse 9 claims the Bible is wrong about whether an exception to all sinning is made in the New Testament, and makes the following comments:[2]

This only looks like a contradiction to someone who thinks the New Testament was written in English. It wasn't, it was written in Greek, back in the 1st century A.D. Thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, codexes like Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the Masoretic Text, and early 2nd century manuscripts such as the John Rylands Papyrus and Bodmer Papyri we know what the original Greek text was. (See Manuscript Evidence for the Bible)

Modern translators may have translated this as "sins" (especially in whatever translation was quoting - I quoted the KJV which translated Colossians 2:13 as trespasses instead of sins). However, all three passages actually use three different words that got translated into English as sin, so they're actually all referring to different things. We just get confused over this because our English translators didn't do a very good job translating from the original Greek text.

I'll quote the original Greek text (which you can see for yourself with PowerBible CD or other software) so you can see what's going on here.

As is apparent from reading the original text, these are actually three different words, hamartema in Mark 3:28,[3] hamartia in 1 John 1:9,[4] and paraptoma in Colossians 2:13.[5] The word translated unrighteousness in John 1:9 that one is to be cleansed utterly of is adikia.[6] Critics don't seem to bother learning or studying the Bible in depth enough to realize it wasn't written in 21st century English, and just make negligent mistakes like this as a result.


  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from
  2. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from
  3. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartema. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from
  4. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from
  5. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Paraptoma. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from
  6. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Adikia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from