The word transgression is used many times in the Bible. That’s why I wanted to look up the definition of the word transgression in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

What Does The Word ‘Transgression’ Mean In Hebrew?

ma’al- treacherous act; trespass; unfaithful.

Most of the times this word is used, it supports the idea of faithlessness. It’s an act that’s done by a person who knows better, but for selfish motives, does the wrong thing.

“Moreover all the articles which King Ahaz in his reign had cast aside in his transgression we have prepared and sanctified; and there they are, before the altar of the Lord.”

– 2 Chronicles 29:19

pasha- to break away from authority; rebel.

The basic sense is to rebel with one of the two rebellion stages in mind:

  • a goal of independence
  • the state of independence.

However, the more radical meaning of this word is used to speak about rebellion in which there is no end in view. The goal has vanished and the only goal is to continue in rebellion.

“So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day”

– 1 Kings 12:19

pesha- revolt.

This term refers to a willful deviation from and rebellion against the path of godly living.

“Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have despised the law of the Lord,
And have not kept His commandments.
Their lies lead them astray,
Lies which their fathers followed.”

– Amos 2:4

What Does The Word ‘Transgression’ Mean In Greek?

anomia- violation of law, wickedness.

This word refers to someone to someone who knows the Law but acts contrary to it. It’s usually translated into the word iniquity.

“I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness or holiness.”

– Romans 6:19

parabaino- to violate a command.

“He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

– Matthew 15:3

parabasis- violation, breaking.

This term describes the act of excessive and enormous transgression of stated law or a commandment. It means an overstepping or a breach of law.

“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.”

– Galatians 3:19


All in all, the word transgression means to be in violation of the Law or to sin. It can mean someone who knows the Law and deliberately disobey the Word and commandment of God. That’s what the word transgression means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading!

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