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Are There “Seven Deadly Sins”?

Are There “Seven Deadly Sins”?

The Bible’s answer

 The Bible does not specifically describe a set of “seven deadly sins.” However, it does teach that practicing serious sins will prevent a person from gaining salvation. For example, the Bible refers to such serious sins as sexual immorality, idolatry, spiritism, fits of anger, and drunkenness as “the works of the flesh.” It then states: “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”​—Galatians 5:​19-​21. a

Doesn’t the Bible list ‘seven things that are an abomination unto the Lord’?

 Yes, it does. According to the King James Version, Proverbs 6:​16 says: “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him.” However, the list of sins that follows in Proverbs 6:​17-​19 is not meant to be all-inclusive. Instead, it describes basic categories that represent all types of wrongful acts, including those in thought, word, and deed. b

What is meant by the expression “deadly sin”?

 Some translations use this rendering at 1 John 5:​16. For example, The New American Bible reads: “There is such a thing as deadly sin.” The expression rendered “deadly sin” can also be translated as “sin that incurs death.” What is the difference between “sin that incurs death” and “sin that does not incur death”?​—1 John 5:​16.

 The Bible makes clear that all sin leads to death. However, we can be saved from sin and death through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:​12; 6:​23) Thus, a “sin that incurs death” is one that is not covered by Christ’s ransom. A person who commits this type of sin is so set on following a sinful course that he will never change his attitude or conduct. The Bible also refers to such a sin as one that “will not be forgiven.”​—Matthew 12:31; Luke 12:10.

a The list of 15 examples of serious sins found at Galatians 5:​19-​21 is not meant to be exhaustive, for after listing them, the Bible adds the words “and things like these.” The reader is thus encouraged to use his discernment to identify things that may not be listed but that are “like these.”

b Proverbs 6:​16 contains an example of a Hebrew idiom that emphasizes the second number by contrasting it with the first one. This form of expression appears often in the Scriptures.​—Job 5:​19; Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21.