Sin that Separate

Blaine Robison, M.A.

Published 19 March 2022; Revised 27 March 2022


Definitions: Unless otherwise noted the meaning of Hebrew words is derived from The New Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (1981). The meaning of Greek words is derived from Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (1957).

Vocabulary: In order to emphasize the Jewish nature of the apostolic canon and its central figure I use the terms Tanakh (Old Testament), Besekh (New Testament), Torah (Law), Yeshua (Jesus), and Messiah (Christ).

Following is a list of sins identified in Scripture. For a complete discussion of the definition of sin, whether as a condition or a behavior, see my article What is Sin? In simple terms a sin is a behavioral transgression of God's law. In the following list of sins the Greek root word appears first followed by the translation in parenthesis from the New American Standard Bible. In most cases a further explanation of the word's meaning is provided. The Scripture passages cited are not all that could be cited, but are given to clearly identify the activity or character trait as prohibited and sinful. The persistent practice of these prohibited behaviors without repentance would cause the offender to be eternally separated from God (Rom 1:32; 1Cor 6:10; Gal 5:21; Rev 22:15).

Adikia (unrighteousness): wrongdoing, unrighteousness, wickedness, injustice, failing to give God and men their due, following a life away from God. (Rom 1:29; 2Cor 6:9)

Adokimos (depraved): not standing the test, unqualified, worthless, or base. (Rom 1:28)

Airesis (factions): faction, result of dissension - divisions organized into factions, cliques, heretical groups. (Gal 5:20)

Akatastasia (disturbances); disorder, tumult, anarchy, disturbances. (2Cor 12:20)

Akatharsia (impurity): uncleanness, impurity, moral uncleanness which separates from God, opposite of a pure heart. (Gal 5:19)

Alazōn (boastful): boastful, bragger, one who makes empty boasts and false promises often for the purpose of gain, desire to impress others, including God. (Rom 1:30)

Andrapodistēs (kidnappers): one who catches the man by the foot, man stealer, kidnapper, slave stealer. (1Tim 1:10)

Androphonos (murderer): murderer. (1Tim 1:9)

Aneleēmōn (unmerciful): unmerciful, without pity, no regard for human worth, ruthless. (Rom 1:31)

Anomoi (lawless): those who know the laws of right and wrong and break them open-eyed. (1Tim 1:9)

Anosiois (unholy): unholy, it speaks of one's lack of inner purity; one who violates the ultimate decencies of life. (1Tim 1:9)

Anupotaktos (rebellious): not made subject, independent, undisciplined, disobedient, rebellious. (1Tim 1:9)

Arsenokoitēs (homosexual): a male who has sexual relations with a male, homosexual, pederast, sodomite. (1Cor 6:9; 1Tim 1:10; cf. Gen 13:13; 19:4-9; Lev 18:22; Rom 1:27) Condemnation of lesbianism may be inferred from Romans 1:26.

Aschēmosunē (indecent acts): indecent or shameless deed involving the genitals. (Rom 1:27) In the LXX (Ex 20:26; Deut 23:14) the word occurs as a euphemism for the genitals. The term also appears in the LXX for Heb. ervah ("nakedness") in prohibitions of sexual relations with a close relation of blood or marriage (Lev 18:6-18).

Asebēs (ungodly): ungodly, irreverent, irreligious in an active sense. (1Tim 1:9)

Aselgeia (sensuality): debauchery, animal lust, unrestrained living, unbridled acts of indecency which shock the public, readiness for any pleasure without regard to what others may think. (Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19)

Astorgos (unloving): unloving, without tenderness. It refers to the lack of the feelings of natural family tenderness, as seen in a mother who exposes or kills her child, a father who abandons his family, or children who neglect their aged parents. (Rom 1:31)

Asunetos (without understanding): senseless, foolish, implying a lack of high moral quality, faithless, darkened mind, having no mind for the things which make for salvation. (Rom 1:31)

Asunthetos (untrustworthy): covenant breaker, faithless to an agreement, lack of honor in one's word. (Rom 1:31)

Atheos (without God): without God, godless, atheist, one who disdains or denies God. (Eph 2:12)

Athesmos (unprincipled): lawless, unprincipled. (2Pet 2:7; 3:17)

Bebalos (profane): profane, it speaks of irreverent and contemptuous behavior toward the things more particularly associated with the name of God, one who desecrates that which is sacred. (1Tim 1:9)

Blasphēmia (slanders): slander, blaspheming, defamation, injuring someone's reputation. (Matt 15:19)

Dialogismos ponēroi (evil thoughts): disputing, doubts, or reason which is wicked, evil, bad, base, worthless, vicious, or degenerate. (Of the same character as the Devil, 0' Ponēros, the evil one) (Matt 15:19)

Dixostasia (dissensions): dissension, standing apart, members of a group coming apart instead of unifying. (Gal 5:20)

Dolos (deceit): deceit, cunning, treachery. (Rom 1:29)

Eidolotria (idolatry): worship of idols, allowing material things to take the place of God. (1Cor 5:10-11; 6:9; Gal 5:20)

Eidōlolatrēs (idolater): a worshiper of false gods (1Cor 5:10-11; 6:9; Rev 21:8).

Epheuretēs kakōn (inventors of evil): one who seeks some new thrill in some new sin. (Rom 1:30)

Epiorkos (perjurers): one who commits perjury. (1Tim 1:10)

Epithumeō (covet): to strongly desire, covet what belongs to another. (Rom 13:9)

Eris (strife): strife, rivalry which results in contention and quarreling. (Rom 1:29; 13:l3; 2Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20)

Eritheia (disputes): selfishness, self-seeking ambition, one who seeks position from selfish motivation. (2Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20)

Echthra (enmities): hostility, opposite of love. (Gal 5:20)

Goneis apeithēs (disobedient to parents): disobedient to parents, one without feeling for his parents, one who is insensitive to the needs of his parents. (Rom 1:30, 2Tim 3:2)

Hamartōlos (sinner): one who fails to meet religious or legal standards; one who does not live by the way of righteousness as defined by God's commandments; one who has no moral character. (Matt 9:10; Luke 7:37; John 9:24; Gal 2:17; 1Tim 1:9; Jas 5:20)

Harpax (swindler): robber, extortioner. (1Cor 5:10-11; 6:10)

Hubristēs (insolent): a man of arrogant insolence, the word contains a mixture of cruelty and pride, the proud insolence and contempt for others which displays itself in cruelty for the mere enjoyment of seeing others suffer. (Rom 1:30)

Huperēphanos (arrogant): proud, arrogant, one who shows himself above others, a self-sufficient person who sets himself on a pedestal above others, including God. (Rom 1:30)

Hupokrisis (hypocrisy): hypocrisy, pretense, outward show. (Gal 2:13; 1Tim 4:2; 1Pet 2:1)

Kakia (malice): viciousness, badness, lack of any good quality. faultiness, depravity, vice. (Rom 1:29)

Kakoētheia (malice): malice. the tendency to put the worst construction upon everything, malignity of interpretation. (Rom 1:29)

Katalaos (slanders): speaking evil against others, slanderous, slanderer, openly makes accusations and spreads tales. (Rom 1:30; 2Cor 12:20)

Kleptēs (thieves): one who steals the property of another by stealth; embezzler, thief, pilferer. (Rom 13:9; 1Cor 6:10; 1Pet 4:15)

Klopē (thefts): theft, stealing. (Matt 15:19)

Koitē (sexual promiscuity): (1) a device ordinarily used for sleeping, bed; (2) sexual intercourse that leads to conception in marriage, Rom 9:10; (3) casual sexual activities; taking sexual pleasure when and where one will. (Rom 13:13)

Kōmos (carousings): carousing, drinking party, originally described the devotees of Bacchus the god of wine. revelry, a drinking celebration. (Rom 13:13; Gal 5:21)

Loidoros (reviler): an abusive person, one who attacks another with abusive language. (1Cor 5:11; 6:10)

Malakos (effeminate): soft, effeminate, a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual relations. (1Cor 6:9)

Mētrolōas (kills their mothers): matricide, one who smites or strikes his mother. (1Tim 1:9)

Methē (drunkenness): drunkenness, drunkard. (Rom 13:13; 1Cor 5:11: 6:10; Gal 5:21)

Methusos (drunkard): an intoxicated person, drunkard. (1Cor 5:11; 6:10; cf. Prov 23:21).

Moicheia (adultery): adultery. By definition under the Law of Moses adultery involved a married woman. (Matt 15:19; Rom 13:9; 1Cor 6:9; cf. Ex 20:14; Lev 20:10; Deut 5:18)

Moichos (adulterer): a man who engages in sexual intimacy with the wife of another man. (1Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4)

Orgē (anger): anger, indignation, wrath. (Eph 4:31; Col 3:8)

Orgilos (quick-tempered): inclined to anger, quick-tempered, opposite of meek. (Titus 1:7)

Orgizō (angry): be angry. (Matt 5:22; Eph 4:26)

Patrolōas (kills their fathers): patricide, or one who smites his father. (1Tim 1:9)

Pharmakeia (sorcery): the use of medicine or drugs, the use of drugs for magical purposes, magic, sorcery, also poisoning. (Gal 5:20)

Phonos (murder): intentional, unjustified and unlawful homicide; murder. (Matt 15:19; Rom 1:29; 13:9)

Phthonos (envying): desire to appropriate what another possesses, desire to deprive, coveting. (Rom 1:29; Gal 5:21)

Phusiōsis (arrogance): inflated opinion of oneself, conceit. (2Cor 12:20)

Pleonektēs (covetous): one desirous of having more and seeks to fulfill his desires through all means, defraud. (1Cor 6:10)

Pleonexia (greed): greediness, the insatiable desire to have more even at the expense of harming others. (Rom 1:29; 1Cor 5:10). In the LXX pleonexia appears occasionally and translates Heb. betsa (SH-1215), gain made by violence, unjust gain, profit (Jdg 5:19; Ps 119:36; Isa 28:8; Jer 22:17; Ezek 22:27; Hab 2:9; 2Macc 4:50).

Ponēria (wickedness): wickedness, baseness, maliciousness, sinfulness, desire of doing harm, deliberate effort to corrupt and inflict injury. (Rom 1:29) In the LXX ponēria appears 41 times and translates Heb. ra (SH-7451), bad, evil, wicked (Ex 10:10).; 32:12; Deut 31:21; Jdg 11:27; Neh 1:3; 2:2, 17; 6:2; 13:7, 27; Ps 7:9; 28:4; 55:15; 73:8; 94:22; 141:4; Prov 26:25; Eccl 2:21; 6:1; 10:5; 11:10; Isa 1:16; 7:16; 10:1; 47:10; 59:7; Jer 4:4; 6:29; 9:8; 23:11; 24:2, 3, 8; 29:17; 32:32; 33:5; 44:3, 22; 48:16; Dan 11:27; Hag 2:14). The term appears in the Wisdom literature for the sinners who oppress the righteous and then in the Prophets the term reflects the spiritual condition of God's people that led to their exile.

Porneia (immorality): unlawful sexual activity or sexual conduct condemned and forbidden in Scripture. The word-group originally meant a prostitute or the practice of prostitution. In the LXX porneia translates zanah, which means "harlotry" (BDB 275). The Tanakh usage of harlotry included both the practice of prostitution (Gen 38:24; Lev 21:9, 14; Deut 22:21), but also wives having multiple lovers (Prov 6:24-32). Intertestament Jewish writings also included unlawful sexual relations (Lev 18) in porneia as Paul does in his writings. Christians typically include premarital sex in the definition, but Scripture does not specifically prohibit such behavior. (Matt 5:32; 15:19; Acts 15:20; 1Cor 5:1, 10; 6:16, 18; Gal 5:19; 1Tim 1:10; Jude 1:7)

Pornē (prostitute): from pernēmi, "export for sale," was a woman who sold her body, a prostitute or a courtesan (1Cor 6:15-16).

Pornos (fornicator; immoral): a male prostitute, a man who frequented prostitutes or an habitually immoral man (1Cor 5:9-11; 6:9; Eph 5:5; 1Tim 1:10).

Pseudomarturia (false witness): giving false testimony, perjury. (Matt 15:19)

Pseutēs (liar): Liar. (1Tim 1:10)

Psithuristēs (gossip): whisperer, the one who pours his poison against his neighbor by whispering in the ear, secret slanderer. (Rom 1:29; 2Cor 12:20)

Spermatismos (intercourse): discharge of semen into or from a four-footed animal, bestiality by a man or woman. (Lev 18:23; cf. Ex 22:19; Lev 20:15-16; Deut 27:21)

Theostugēs (haters of God): one who hates God because he knows that he is defying God. (Rom 1:30)

Thumos (outbursts of anger): anger, a terrible flair-up of temper which subsides as quickly as it arose. (2Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20)

Zēlos (jealousy): jealousy, wrong desire for that which is not for us, wanting to be as well off as another. (Rom 13:13; 2Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20)

Copyright 2022 Blaine Robison. All rights reserved.