Matthew 6:12 Young's Literal Translation

And forgive us our debts (ὀφειλήματα), as also we forgive our debtors (ὀφειλέταις).

Luke 11:4 Young's Literal Translation

and forgive us our sins (ἁμαρτίας), for also we ourselves forgive every one indebted (ὀφείλοντι) to us.

Were these two difference occasions where Jesus used ὀφειλήματα one time and ἁμαρτίας another time?

There is a fundamental difference between ὀφειλήματα and ἁμαρτίας. These are two different concepts. How to explain these two different model prayers? Is it possible to unify these in Aramaic?

  • Sin is a form of debt, inasmuch as it requires restitution.
    – Lucian
    Jul 12 '20 at 10:28

The two words, ἁμαρτία (hamartia = sin) and ὀφείλημα (opheiléma = debt) are literally very different. However, their idiomatic theological use in the NT, when uses metaphorically, are almost the same.

  • ἁμαρτία (hamartia) occurs about 173 times. It is defined as (BDAG #1), "a departure from either human or divine standards of uprightness", or, (Thayer #2) "that which is done wrong, committed or resultant sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act".
  • ὀφείλημα (opheiléma) occurs only twice: Matt 6:12 used theologically; and, Rom 4:4 used literally. BDAG defines these two words as: . (1) (literal) "that which is owed in a financial sense, debt" . (2) (theological) "obligation in a moral sense, debt = sin"

Thus, it is immediately apparent that as used in the Lord's model prayer they two are essentially equivalent. Both signify sin or sinfulness for which the model prayer seeks forgiveness.

It is not known what Jesus actually spoke on this occasion whether in Aramaic or Greek (more likely the former). However, Thayer has a suggestion which is quoted below as part of the entry under ὀφείλημα (opheiléma):

b. in imitation of the Chaldean חוב or חובָא (which denotes both debt and sin), metaphorically, offence, sin (see ὀφειλέτης, b.); hence, ἀφιέναι τίνι τά ὀφειλετα αὐτοῦ, to remit the penalty of one's sins, to forgive them, (Chaldean חובִין שְׁבַק), Matthew 6:12. (Cf. Winer's Grammar, 30, 32, 33.)

  • Thank you for sharing your research and insight to help clarify the Greek translations of the Lord's Prayer. - Blessings! Aug 12 '20 at 15:18
  • @ctaylorgraphics - thank you. It is an honour and privilege to be of service.
    – Dottard
    Aug 12 '20 at 21:03

I have answer , yet it is not authoritative.

I note the difference in use of words and meanings with similar topics, for esoteric knowledge and seeking to gain privilege .

I note Paul in Romans, being 'separated ' to the Gospel of God. And I recall also ,from trying to find the verse number in that first Chapter, I read recently that Paul said in that chapter, "I am a debtor to both Greeks and to barbarians.'

  • Welcome to BH. I have edited out the personal (and irrelevant) paragraph. If an answer is not authoritative, there is not point in posting it. You need to substantiate your post with authoritative citation. Please see the Tour and the Help (below, bottom right) as to the purpose and the functioning of the site.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 12 '20 at 14:08

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