Did Messiah “Become Sin” (2Cor. 5:21)?

Did Messiah “Become Sin” (2Cor. 5:21)?
James Scott Trimm

The King James Version of 2Cor. 5:21 reads:

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.

But is this true? Did Messiah become sin?

The truth is that Messiah did not become sin. That very idea runs contrary to who and what the Messiah is. The problem is that the KJV translators were translating from the Greek text of 2Corinthians, which wrongly says that Messiah became “sin” due to the fact that the Greek translator misunderstood the original Hebrew or Aramaic text of this passage.

The Hebrew word for “sin” is חטאת (as in Ex. 28:9; Is. 6:27) however the same word can also refer to a “sin offering” (as in Lev. 6:18, 23) (the same ambiguity exists in Aramaic).

The Greek translator misunderstood this word to mean “sin” rather than “sin offering” and thus wrongly translated the passage, as we read in the KJV and many other versions translated from the Greek, to mean that Messiah “became sin” when the original Hebrew/Aramaic of this verse was actually saying that the Messiah became a “sin offering” for us!

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2 thoughts on “Did Messiah “Become Sin” (2Cor. 5:21)?”

  1. Dear James thanks for this article which I’m translating into French. However, could you please check your references (as in Ex. 28:9; Is. 6:27)(as in Lev. 6:18, 23), none of them seem to mention chatat. And it looks like the tet was replaced with a mem.

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