He Who Knew No Sin

Thursday, June 2, 2016

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV).

What does the Bible mean—Christ “knew” no sin?

The Greek word translated “knew” (ginosko) in today’s Scripture in the King James Bible, is rendered “had” in six modern English versions. That is, “had no sin” is found in: NIV, NIV-UK, Easy-to-Read Version (ERV), Expanded Bible (EXB), International Children’s Bible (ICB), and New Century Version (NCV). While this rewording avoids copyright infringements, it is a poor translation. Out of 50 English versions, only these six use “had.” The majority—agreeing with the KJV—renders ginosko as “knew.” Why is “knew” superior?

Jesus did not merely “have no sin.” As someone once pointed out, “had” allows the possibility that Jesus had personal sins that God did not simply credit to His account. Nay, our KJV has the correct reading—“who knew no sin.” As 1 John 3:5 says: “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” And 1 Peter 2:22 confirms: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth….” Jesus had no sins for Father God to reckon because He never “knew” (experienced) sin! Our Lord Jesus had no relationship with sin like we. How was this possible?

The Lord Jesus was far from a “good man” and “great teacher.” He was the perfect Man, God manifested in our humanity. There is no way a man cannot sin… unless, of course, he lacks a human father. So, the Lord Jesus did not have a biological earthly father. Therefore, he had no Adamic sin nature to inherit. He merely had a human mother, with God the Holy Spirit supplying the male sex cell. Notice Luke 1:35: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” That “holy thing” was Jesus’ sinless human nature, contrasted with our “unclean thing,” or sinful human nature (cf. Isaiah 64:6).

Without a sin nature, Jesus could never “know” sin!