Unforgiveable sin


I would like some references about the scripture passage that the one unforgivable sin is the denial of the Holy Spirit. This came up in a men’s meeting and we need some scholarly writings to help us.


[quote="saintlyuser, post:1, topic:315787"]
I would like some references about the scripture passage that the one unforgivable sin is the denial of the Holy Spirit. This came up in a men's meeting and we need some scholarly writings to help us.


CCC 1864 "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven." There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Matthew 5:31

Ver. 31. The blasphemy[2] against the Spirit, or against the Spirit and the Holy Ghost. St. Augustine takes notice, that this is one of the most difficult places in the Scriptures. According to the common exposition, here is not meant a sin committed by speaking against the third person of the blessed Trinity, the Holy Ghost, but that sin by which the obstinate Jews wilfully opposed Christ, and attributed those miracles to Beelzebub, which he performed by the Spirit of God, of which they could not be ignorant, but by a wilful blindness. (Witham) --- The sin here spoken of is that blasphemy, by which the Pharisees attributed the miracles of Christ, wrought by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Now this kind of sin is usually accompanied with so much obstinacy, and such wilful opposing the Spirit of God, and the known truth, that men who are guilty of it are seldom or ever converted; and therefore are never forgiven, because they will not repent. Otherwise there is no sin which God cannot, or will not forgive to such as sincerely repent, and have recourse to the keys of the Church. (Challoner) --- Therefore I say: this therefore is not referred to what immediately precedes, but to what is said in verse 24. (Maldonatus) --- Whosoever he be, says St. Augustine, that believeth not man's sins to be remitted in the Church of God, and therefore despiseth the bounteous mercies of God, in so mighty a work, if he continue in his obstinate mind till death, he is guilty of sin against the Holy Ghost. (Enchir. lxxxiii. ep. 50. in fine.)


Here is what Cornelius Lapide, a Catholic Biblical scholar of the 16th/17th century, wrote:

You will ask, what is this blasphemy? 1. Philastrius (On the Heresy of Rotorius) thinks it is heresy, especially that of Eunomius, who said that the Holy Ghost was not God. Thus also S. Ambrose (Lib. 1, de Spir. Sanc. sec. 3).
2. S. Hilary thinks that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is when a man denies that Christ is God. “The sin against the Holy Ghost,” he says, “is to deny to God the power of virtue, and to take away from Christ His eternal substance, by which, because God came into man, man shall in turn come to God; since God grants pardon to all other things, whilst this only is without forgiveness.”
3. S. Ambrose (L. 2, de pœniten. see. 4) thinks it is schism; also Simony, the sin whereby, for example, Simon Magus wished to buy the Holy Spirit of S. Peter.
4. Origen says it is every mortal sin after Baptism; committed, that is, after the grace of the Holy Spirit received in Baptism. Moreover, Pope Gelasius (de Anath. vinc.) understands by it sins which are not forgiven, either in this world, or in the world to come. But he thinks it refers to sinners who do not wish to repent. For he says, that man makes the sentence against himself irrevocable who wills to continue in such a state as that he cannot truly be forgiven.
5. S. Cyprian (L. 3, ad Quirinal, N. 28) says, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is every sin committed against God: but blasphemy against the Son of Man is every sin committed against man.
6. The same Saint (L 3, Epist. 14) thinks blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is denial of the faith in persecution.
7. Richard of S. Victor says, it is to hate and revile God.
I have summarily embraced eighteen expositions of the Fathers (viz., eleven of the Latin Fathers and seven of the Greek) in the foregoing paragraphs.
Lastly, theologians—and from them, catechists—out of various expositions of S. Augustine, collect six sins against the Holy Ghost; namely, presumption, despair, striving against known truth, envy of fraternal charity, impenitence, and obstinacy. They say that these are called sins against the Holy Ghost, because they are committed through undoubted wickedness against the goodness of God, which is an attribute of the Holy Ghost. Thus, likewise, sins which are committed through infirmity are said to be done against God the Father, because power is one of His especial attributes. And sins which are done through ignorance, are said to be done against the Son, because of His attribute of wisdom.
Note, therefore, that Christ is here speaking not of every sin against the Holy Ghost, but only of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which may take place by words; and the same reasoning will apply to thoughts and actions, as when anyone reviles works manifestly divine and miraculous, which God works for the salvation of men, by which He confirms faith and truth. Such a work is the casting out of devils; and because such works proceed from the goodness and holiness of God, they are attributed to the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son by procession and inspiration, as Love, Goodness, and Holiness. When, therefore, anyone calumniates such things, and knowingly out of malice ascribes them to an unclean spirit (as these Pharisees did), such an one is said to commit blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; for such an one directly fights against God and takes from Him His holiness and purity. The whole argument is expressed in the following syllogism:—
The author of the miracles which Christ performs is, according to you, 0 ye Scribes, Beelzebub:
But God the Holy Ghost is, in truth, the Author of these miracles :
Therefore, according to you, God and the Holy Ghost are Beelzebub.
What more horrible can possibly be said? What greater blasphemy can be imagined? S. Basil adds that there are such persons even now, who ascribe the fruits and actions of the Holy Ghost to the opposing unclean spirit. We many of us do this, when we call earnestness ambition, and impute the calumny of anger to one who is only moved by zeal and righteous indignation. Moreover, Christ opposes this blasphemy against God and the Holy Ghost to that blasphemy against the Son of Man by which some who were offended at Christ’s human conversation, calumniated what He did as man, as when they called Him a wine bibber, and a friend of Publicans and sinners. This was something more excusable, and less unworthy of forgiveness, because it had respect to Christ as Man rather than as God.


The Holy Spirit is the essence of God. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to deny, alter, twist, insult etc.. slander the true nature and essence of God. Thats why in end time prophecy it says God will clear His name.


From the Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:28-30:

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

[28] *"Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; [29] but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--[30] for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."


**28-30. **Jesus has just worked a miracle but the scribes refuse to recognize it "for they had said `He has an unclean spirit'" (verse 30). They do not want to admit that God is the author of the miracle. In this attitude lies the special gravity of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit--attributing to the prince of evil, to Satan, the good works performed by God Himself. Anyone acting in this way will become like the sick person who has so lost confidence in the doctor that he rejects him as if an enemy and regards as poison the medicine that can save his life. That is why our Lord says that he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not forgiven: not because God cannot forgive all sins, but because that person, in his blindness towards God, rejects Jesus Christ, His teaching and His miracles, and despises the graces of the Holy Spirit as if they were designed to trap him (cf. "St. Pius V Catechism", II, 5, 19; St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa theologiae", II-II, q. 14, a. 3).

The New American Bible footnotes state:

[3:29] Whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit: this sin is called an everlasting sin because it attributes to Satan, who is the power of evil, what is actually the work of the holy Spirit, namely, victory over the demons.


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