SPECIAL TOPIC: Exegetical Procedures for Interpreting "The Unpardonable Sin"

A. Remember that the Gospels reflect a Jewish setting

1. Two kinds of sins (see Special Topic: Unintentional Sins [OT], cf. Lev. 4:2,22,27; 5:15,17-19; Num. 15:27-31; Deut. 1:43; 17:12-13)

a. unintentional

b. intentional

2. Pre-Pentecostal Jewish setting (i.e., the fulfillment of the gospel [i.e., death, resurrection, ascension] and the special endowment of the Spirit have not yet occurred)

B. Note the literary context of Mark 3:22-30

1. The unbelief of Jesus' own family (cf. Mark 3:31-32)

2. The unbelief of the Pharisees (cf. Mark 2:24; 3:1,6,22)

C. Compare the Gospel parallels, where the title "Son of Man" changes to "sons of men"

1. Matt. 12:22-37 (i.e., 12:32, "a word against the Son of Man")

2. Luke 11:14-26; 12:8-12 (i.e., 12:10, "a word against the Son of Man")

3. Mark 3:28 (i.e., "All sins shall be forgiven the sons of men")

The unpardonable sin is the continuing rejection of Jesus in the presence of great light.  The Pharisees clearly understood but refused to believe.  In this sense it is related to the "sin unto death" in 1 John (see Special Topic: Sin Unto Death).


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