Psalm 51—Reflections on Sin/ Quote of the Day


All sin is properly speaking against God, even if it is committed with or against another human being. Nevertheless, as James Mays stresses, sin always has social implications—“the notion that a person could sin without injuring others is inconceivable in the Old Testament. The Old Testament knows of hidden sins and unintended sins but not of private sins that neither concern nor affect others….apart from God’s relation to all human acts, there would be no sin. Sin is essentially a theological category…..It is the divine oversight of human life that makes talk about sin meaningful and necessary. When there is no reckoning with the oversight of God, the vocabulary of sin becomes meaningless and atrophies.” (J.L. Mays, Psalms, p. 200).

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