Bible Studies/Sins


Good Day

I came across a passage in the bible that I don't quiet understand and think that it can be missed used namely :
John 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

I understand this to be Jesus saying that the dispels are to have the power to forgive or not sins, if this is true then it justifies the roman papacy in there man maid forgiving of sins, but this cant be because the word teaches us that only god and god alone can forgive our sins so now my mind is split, please provide me with the interpretation and understanding of this text thanks

Hi Gawynne,

Thank you so much for that great question.  The short answer is that the context is pointing to Holy Spirit endument  to preach the Gospel so that people can be forgiven when they believe.  If one does not preach the Gospel, they will not have their sins forgiven...This does not mean that the Apostles are to play God and forgive some and reject others.  It means that if they do not give the Gospel as they are commanded to do so, then folks will not be forgiven and then the Apostles will be held responsible for those folks who could have been saved but were not because of the silence of the Apostles.  I host a live call in show on local cable TV and I dealt with this very passage recently.  I have the response on YouTube.  Here is the link:

I hope that this helps you.

In Christ
Pastor Don

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Pastor Don Carpenter


I believe that every word of the Bible is God-Breathed. This blessed book is the foundation of truth for faith and practice. If you ask this volunteer a question you will receive an answer from the Bible that is based upon a litteral, normal interpretation, taking into account the grammar and culture of the time.


I have been in the ministry for almosat 20 years. During this time I served as youth pastor, assistant pastor, counselor, and Senior Pastor. Currently I serve as a Senior Pastor for an independent fundamental Baptist Church in New England.

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BS in Bible from Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, PA

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