forgiving, forgiven - a sample of biblical texts

As part of our conversation about Christian practices of forgiveness we have been collecting a sampling of biblical texts that inform our life together. We are always glad for suggestions of other texts that we have missed. Here is our current collection ...

Genesis 32-33 But Esau ran to meet him

Exodus 34:6-8 The LORD, merciful and gracious

Psalm 25 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins
Psalm 32 Happy are those whose sin is forgiven
Psalm 51 According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions
Psalm 78:38 Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity
Psalm 103 Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases
Psalm 130 But there is forgiveness with you

Proverbs 17:9 One who forgives an affront fosters friendship

Jeremiah 31:31-34 I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more

Hosea 11:1-11 My compassion grows warm and tender

Jonah 4:1-11 I knew that you are gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love

Matthew 6:9-15 Forgive us our sins
Matthew 26:28 For the forgiveness of sins
Matthew 5:44 Love your enemies
Matthew 6:14-15 If you forgive
Matthew 7:1-5 Do not judge
Matthew 9:5 Which is easier to say?
Matthew 18:21-35 How often should I forgive?

Mark 1:4 A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
Mark 2:1-12 Who can forgive sins but God alone?
Mark 3:28-29 (Matthew 12:31-32) Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
Mark 4:10-12 So that they might not turn and be forgiven
Mark 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive

Luke 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation to his people by
Luke 5:17-26 Friend, your sins are forgiven you
Luke 6:37-38 Forgive, and you will be forgiven
Luke 7:36-50  But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little
Luke 15:1-32 His father saw him and was filled with compassion
Luke 17:3-4 And says “I repent” you must forgive
Luke 19:1-10 Today salvation has come to this house
Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them
Luke 24:44-49 Forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed

John 1:29 The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
John 7:53-8:11 Neither do I condemn you
John 20:19-23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven

Acts 2:38 So that your sins may be forgiven
Acts 10:43 Receives forgiveness of sins through his name

Romans 4:1-9 Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven
Romans 8:38-39 Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God

II Corinthians 2:5-11 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive
II Corinthians 5:16-21 Entrusting the message of reconciliation to us

Ephesians 1:7 The forgiveness of our tresspasses
Ephesians 4:25-5:2 Forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins
Colossians 2:13-15 When he forgave us all our tresspasses
Colossians 3:8-17 Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive

James 5:15 And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven

I John 1:8-10 He who is faithful and just will forgive us
I John 2:12 Because your sins are forgiven on account of his name

* note - the "Forgiven" wallpaper is from WordTrace and was created by John Jumbi.


  1. Although it does not mention forgiveness specifically, the text that often comes to mind for me is Isaiah 64:6a..."We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth." In the presence of the pure righteousness of God, we fallen humans are all on level ground and equally in need of and have the opportunity to receive God's mercy and grace. I think Flannery O'Connor captures this near the end of "Revelation" when in Mrs. Turpin's vision she sees her 'own kind' trailing at the end and that "...by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away."

    1. Thanks for this Janice. Yes, there are crucial texts that do not mention forgiveness but are essential to the grammar of forgiveness, understood biblically. Last week our discussion included rich conversation about the connection between 'grace' and 'forgiveness'. The journey to forgiveness is made possible by grace and is included the story that we shorthand when we speak of God's grace.