What does the
Bible say about blasphemy?
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Question: What exactly is blasphemy in the Bible? How does one blaspheme?
Answer: First, let's take a look at the primary verses in the Bible that discusses this subject, "every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit . . . but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not . . . " (Matthew 12:31 - 32)
The English word blasphemy is translated in the Bible from the Greek word blasphëmia (Strong's Concordance #G988). It is defined as meaning to vilify, speak evil of or rail against. Webster's Dictionary defines the word as meaning to insult, show contempt of or not revere God sufficiently. The word can be applied to a person who claims some or all of God's attributes. The word profane, a synonym, is defined as abusing or treating with contempt or disdain that which is sacred.
The above definitions show that when one blasphemes it is not something done by accident. To blaspheme, one must have knowledge of the person, object or idea that is being spoken against. This was the initial charge against Jesus that condemned him to die (Matthew 26:63 - 66).
The Bible makes a distinction between what it means to blaspheme the Son of Man (Jesus) versus the Holy Spirit. This, however, begs the question as to why there is a distinction. Why would sins against Jesus be forgiven but not those against the Holy Spirit? Does this mean that God's Holy Spirit, given upon repentance and baptism, is somehow GREATER than the Savior of mankind who made possible its giving?
People, out of their lack of full knowledge and understanding, may wrongly blaspheme Jesus and still be forgiven. For example, many people living at the time of Jesus - who saw his miracles and heard him speak - concluded that he was from God. But they also blasphemed because they denied and rejected He was God's son and the Messiah. Yet, because of their ignorance, this sin (upon repentance) will be forgiven.