The NIV sub titles the teaching of Christ in Luke 17 as teaching sin,faith and duty but when looking closely at the texts it wuold seem Christ was teaching Forgiveness,Faith and Duty

Sin, Faith, Duty

3 So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them

I don't.know if i have misunderstand the way the NVI sub titled the teachings of Christ whether his teachings were more about forgiveness than sin which merited that it be mentioned ahead of sin

Wouldn't forgiveness have been more appropriate than sin in the above text?

2 Answers 2


All headings above all the chapter divisions in the entire NIV translation are man-made editorial additions to the text. Even the chapter and verse numbers are additional to the original text. This equally applies to all and every translation that puts headings for different sections.

I find chapter headings useful to speed up locating a section of scripture I'm searching for, but there is no disadvantage to me when working from a translation that has no chapter headings (Young's Literal Translation, for example).

Chapter headings are a bit like a concordance at the back of a Bible; it can speed up finding a particular bit of scripture, but that's all these aids do.

Just remember that they are not part of inspired scripture. Humans thought them up. Feel free to take a red pen, score out "Sin" and write above it, "Forgiveness"!

However, you seem to show a reason for your question by commenting, "whether [Jesus'] teachings were more about forgiveness than sin". You might find that a worthwhile study to delve into, for only when the two things are bound together can sin be properly dealt with. Also, unless a reader of the Bible is quite clear as to what God and Christ call "sin", they will misunderstand the only basis on which divine forgiveness can be granted, and what our forgiveness ought to be modelled on.

  • Good answer +1.
    – Dottard
    Mar 18, 2022 at 21:34

@Anne 's answer is excellent and I do not wish to detract from it, but to support it.

In Like 17 the various versions have a variety of headings inserted by the translation committees. All one can say here is:

  • V1&2 is definitely about guarding against sin.
  • V3&4 is about forgiveness
  • V5&6 is about faith/trust
  • V7-10 is about duty

Thus, if I had been writing headings, I might have preferred "Sin, Forgiveness, Faith & Duty" here.

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