I’ve heard it said today that the Hebrew word for “sin” means “to miss” and that to “sin” means “to be absent,” that “it has nothing to do with what you are doing” and, further, that “any action of unconsciousness is sin.” Meaning, I am assuming, any action done without conscious deliberation and decision is a sin. This is wrong, a completely misinformed understanding. I’ll explain to you why!
First of all, the word “sin” is a terrible translation. But, it is the bedrock all encompassing translation, never the less. There are three main categories of “sin” in the ancient Hebrew texts, and they refer specifically to types of *legal* impropriety. In other words, misdemeanors and crimes based on the theocratic civil law of second kingdom priest-ruled Jewish Israel. The translation of all these categories of unlawful behavior as simple generic “sin” not only takes these ancient writings well out of context but, as well, misleads and mis-teaches those who do not know how to read the ancient Semitic language.
The three types of “sin” or *crimes* in Torah are – chet, avon, and pesha. Chet means “to miss the mark” or to *unintentionally* err against law. It refers to legal violations that range from simple misdemeanors to capital crimes, basically any unintentionally made violation of theocratic civil law within the national boundaries of ancient priest-ruled Jewish Israel (second kingdom Judaism, the first kingdom Judaism was the earlier monarchy ruled period of the separate but in treaty together Judea and Israel kingdoms). Avon means “an iniquitous act” or to err *intentionally* against the law. Like chet, it refers to legal violations that range from simple misdemeanors to capital offenses made in violation of the theocratic civil law of ancient priest-ruled Jewish Israel. Then, we have pesha, and this one is different. Pesha means “rebellious act” or to commit a *breach of trust* and, whether intentional or unintentional, it is a simple transgression or infringement of theocratic civil law. Pesha is always a misdemeanor and, when found guilty of committing it, that now requires a monetary recompense of some sort to those violated.
Of course, you probably don’t know this – and most people don’t know this – because it does not serve modern Common Era -created religions to inform us of this. I’m referring to the big three – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – the religions as we know it in our A.D./C.E. historical time period. It does not benefit or protect the theological practice and the theocratic control modern religions exert upon us to educate us in the meanings of these words or to translate them accurately. But, with just a bit of self-initiated education outside the blinders of religious exegesis and projection of modern ideology onto the thinkers-writers of the past, what I’ve shared here is factually demonstrable to all who look.
Understanding the historical context of the times in which these words were written is just as important as knowing the correct meaning of the words, if understanding what they meant is really important to us. Each scroll parchment that eventually makes it into the modern translated bible was written in its specific time and was addressing specific things of this specific time in history. What I mean by historical periods is this, … In Judea-Israel monarchy times (1st temples, first kingdoms period, 1050 BCE to 586 BCE), Jews and Hebrews practiced polytheism and paid homage to their family-tribal gods and goddesses, only one of which was the national god (Yahweh, who had a consort named Asherah). When Israel was conquered and the Hebrews were assimilated by their conquerors (720 BCE), Judea came to prominence and revived Israel’s name, that is until Jewish-Israel was conquered – though, not assimilated, like the former had been.
In second kingdom Jewish-Israel governed times (2nd temple, second kingdom period, 520 BCE to 70 CE), Jews practiced henotheism, as evidenced by the scrolls now found in the Torah. They never once in writing denounced the existence of the other gods and goddesses, but declared the priestly high god (Elohim, with no consort) the national god of Israel and the supreme god over all nation’s gods and goddesses. It was the same kind of national high god being superior over all other nation’s gods ethno-religious mentality that King Tutankhamen enforced upon Egypt a long time ago. This period of Jewish-Israel national history was a semi-autonomous one, wherein Jewish Israel found itself under the subsequent rule of Persians, Greeks, Hasmonean family and, then, Romans.
In Jewish-Israel Hasmonean family -governed times (2nd temple, third kingdom period, 140 BCE to 37 BCE), Jewish henotheistic practice had by now incorporated as common understanding that Yahweh of first kingdom period and Elohim of second kingdom period are the same national high god of Israel, and this is the only allowed god figure for all citizens of Jewish Israel. The theocratic government of the Hasmonean family was ruthlessly enforced, and further helped set much of the seeds for the now budding monotheistic zealot-ness in thought. This was the time period where the rabbis influence began to take hold. With the fall of this short-lived self-autonomous third kingdom we would see the eventual rise of the rabbinical governance of Jewish Israel.
In Roman occupied Israel of the Common Era of human history (6 CE to 135 CE), Jews would experience the destruction of the 2nd temple (70 CE), loss of national boundary existence, loss of priestly theocratic governance in favor of rabbinical authority, and Jewish ethno-religious survival now to be found in the Diaspora. With the influential control and governing leadership of the Rabbis, Jews now practiced the new idea of there being only one god in existence for all people – the full rise of monotheism, Jews were now legally regulated by Talmudic laws regardless where they geographically were living, and Jews now had made available to them a redacted and canonized version of the various scroll writings that made up what would now be the Torah and, then, the complete TaNaKh.
It is from Jewish reinvention of itself as a now land displaced ethnic culture that the theology -based and centered religion of Christianity would be created upon, which would be followed by the ethno-religious based creation of the Islamic religion. By the adaption of Jews to a rabbinical-based land-displaced ethno-religious way of life, where Hebrew becomes translated into other languages, it is here that the specific meanings of the ancient legal words would be lost, and the non-specific generalized for all categories of misbehavior generic “sin” translation would take hold. Thus, imparting to all who do not understand these categories of legal type and severities in the theocratic laws the idea of them all being the same in any mention of the word “sin.”
I’ve heard it said today that the Hebrew word *chet* means “to miss” and that to sin means “to be absent,” that “it has nothing to do with what you are doing” and, further, that “any action of unconsciousness is sin.” Meaning, I am assuming, any action done without conscious deliberation and decision is a sin. This is wrong, a completely misinformed understanding. First, because all our decisions and actions are derived in the unconscious before being expressed in the conscious, and this is a scientific matter of fact these days. Second, as novel of a perspective as it is, this is not what the ancient writers of the Jewish law codes had in mind as this word’s meaning or any of the words for theocratic civil misdemeanors and crimes.