What does takes away the sin mean in

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

and take away sins in

Hebrews 10:10-12 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Does sin in John 1:29 and sins in Hebrews 10:10-12 refer to the same thing? If not what is the difference?

Did some thing more than getting us pardon from the punishment for our sins happen on the cross? What does the word sanctified in Hebrews 10:10 throw some light on this subject? If so what is it? And what is its effect on us who believe?

  • This is not a well-posed question. Two different verbs are (significantly) used in these verses that are loosely translated "take away" - "arion" (John 1:29) and "perielein" (Heb 10:11). This is talking about slightly different things.
    – user25930
    Mar 9, 2019 at 9:02
  • Even if some one can clearly distinguish the difference for me I will be fine. But what I want to learn is the full scope and range in meaning of "take away" in both places. Mar 9, 2019 at 13:19
  • @SijuGeorge There are, as you say in your question two different things. Sin itself, which entered into the world and is in the flesh. And sins - the actions that are, in themselves, sinful. I hope that answers will reflect that difference. +1.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 9, 2019 at 20:27
  • Possible duplicate: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/27508/…
    – Ruminator
    Mar 10, 2019 at 0:37
  • The two texts are not saying anything remotely similar. See D.A;Carson citation of C. H. Dodd on Jn 1:29. The Ram in Jn 1:29 is an apocalyptic warrior removing sin from the world violently. Also look here, onefaithonechurch.com/… Mar 10, 2019 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


As the main Greek word for sin (hamartia = a missing the mark) implies, sin is any deviation from perfect righteousness. It is used in the New Testament in several different senses that can be broadly classified into the noun and verb forms. These two forms are most clearly seen in 1 John 1:8 (noun) and v10 (verb). Specifically:

  • Sin as a verb (Gr: hamartano) – an act of wrong-doing against God (Matt 27:4, John 5:15) or man (Matt 18:15, Luke 17:3, 4) or even one’s self (1 Cor 6:18), etc.
  • Sin as a noun (Gr: hamartia) – a state of being that causes wrong acts of sin (Rom 3:9, 5:12, 13, 20, 6:1, 2, 6, 7:7, etc). David lamented that he had been born is sin, sinful from the time he was conceived (Ps 51:5). This remarkable confession means that we are sinners even before we have committed any act of sin.

Thus, sin is both an act and a state of being: we are sinners for what we have done and what we are. As sinners we are both guilty and powerless to change; and thus depraved by sin. Rom 3:10-18, 23, 5:12-19, Jer 17:9, Heb 3:13, Eccl 7:20, Eph 4:22, etc.

There is a third problem of sin – it surrounds us. Paul discusses this at some length by saying that all creation has been corrupted by sin but will be made right (“glorified”) when all things are redeemed. Rom 8:19-22. That is, not only do we suffer the consequences of our own sin, but we also suffer the consequences of others’ sin.

To summarise: Sin is a tyrant over us, a traitor within us and a tragedy around us. God's solution to the sin problem must address all three of these problems and the Saviour is the right person for the Job because He was (and is) sinless in all three sense of the word:

  • Jesus had not committed any sin
  • Jesus was not inclined to evil as humans are
  • Jesus came from heaven and so was unpolluted by the world

This is well-known theology. The question asks about two texts:

  • John 1:29 - Jesus as the Lamb of God is said to be the agent that takes away [αἴρων (airōn)] the sin (singular) of the world. Thus, Jesus is said here to remove sin in its essence and state. That is, Jesus is capable of removing our sinfulness, our sinful state. Paul discusses this at some length in Rom 3:10-18 and summaries with the comment in Rom 8:7 "because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so"
  • Heb 10:11 - Jesus is said, here unlike the animal sacrifices, to take away [περιελεῖν (perielein)] sins (plural) of people. The Greek word is a figurative use meaning to expiate, make atonement for, justify, etc. That is, the sin is forgiven.

Acts 4:12 [about Jesus, the Messiah] Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

  • I love your definition of sin “sin is any deviation from perfect righteousness” where righteous is defined as just, lawful, correct. Always connected to a standard in my estimation, which in this case is a/the law. Mar 11, 2019 at 15:50

It’s relevant to define sin. Scripture interprets Scripture so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭KJV‬

In light of this definition

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the [transgression of the law] of the world.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭KJV‬‬

If sin is the transgression of the law, and the Lamb of God through the sacrifice of Calvary takes away the transgressions of the law, that makes the world free from the law and the strength of the law.

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:56‬ ‭KJV‬‬

This verse essentially says that it’s the law that makes transgression of the law (sin) possible and transgression of the law (sin) leads to death.

But Christ takes away the ability to transgress the law (sin) replacing it with the law of the Spirit of life IN Him. And I can’t emphasize enough how important the in Christ is. Because apart from Him none of this is possible.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Christ took away through the cross the ability to transgress the law, if you accept Him by faith and remain in Him.

How do you remain in Him? Great question.

“"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭ESV‬

Is this different from the OT?

“If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:16‬ ‭ESV‬

But if you keep His commandment and are not in Him? And don’t live in Him? And don’t trust in Him? Then you are under the law and you are required to keep it perfectly. If you break just one, you are guilty of breaking all the law.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is only possible in Him

Until you enter into Christ, you are not predestined to any inheritance, nor were you ever predestined, (maybe in Adam we were but Adam failed which means our former predestination was cancelled). All of these benefits are in Him the second and last Adam.

And it’s in Him that we are free from the transgressions of the law, and therefore free from the sting of death made possible by the law.

Yes they meant the same thing

Why is this significant in light of Hebrews 10:10 because it’s saying that in animal sacrifices removal of the transgressions of the law (sin) was not possible. These accusations were piling up until...

“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • I think you hang too much on a mis-translation of a single word in 1 John 3:4 which is "anomia" = lawlessness. It cannot be translated as "the transgression of the law".
    – user25930
    Mar 9, 2019 at 7:42
  • I think you hang too much on an English translation of a single word, lawlessness. What is anomia if not lawlessness, iniquity, without the law, acting without a law, acting without a law is breaking the law, it’s lawless, it’s breaking the law. >>Dictionary lawlessness: contrary to or without regard for the LAW<<. If you are lawless are you not also breaking the law? A criminal who acts like there are no laws is he not transgressing the law because he doesn’t acknowledge the existence laws? Of course not. What he thinks is irrelevant to the existence of the law. Lawlessness is the same thing. Mar 9, 2019 at 11:31
  • I suggest you consult a Greek lexicon rather than an English lexicon.
    – user25930
    Mar 9, 2019 at 11:37
  • 1
    It is an error to presume that the same words are always used the same way all throughout the scriptures. This is a case in point. "Sin" cannot always be "transgression of the law" because it would destroy Paul's argument in Romans 5, that sin was in the world but not counted. Also it would ruin his idea of "sin" personified as a slave driver in Romans 6ff.
    – Ruminator
    Mar 10, 2019 at 0:45
  • 1
    @Autodidact - I am in Melbourne
    – user25930
    Mar 11, 2019 at 2:50

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