I had posted this in a thread and it was requested that I make it its own thread. John 20:21-23 KJV - 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained. Every translation has in verse 23 "remit" or "forgiven". The understanding, and wrongfully I might add, is that whomever we forgive they are forgiven and those we don't forgive will not be forgiven. Or maybe we're only to forgive 490 times as Jesus said, Mat 18:22. How ungodly is that? I've stated elsewhere that forgiveness isn't for the offender but for the offended. The word forgive/remit is ἀφέωνταί (apheōntai) and means to send away, cast off. While I don't like the message bible because of its mistranslations of a lot of verses, I do like this one: John 20:21-23 MSG The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” What are these verses really saying? Send away the sins of others... from WHO? Yourself. Let's say I make the statement "You're stupid." That would invoke an emotional response right? If you hear it enough times from different people you might even begin to believe it and store it in your heart, even if it were not true. Just like this verse says: Proverbs 18:8 KJV - 8 The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Now, if that feeling sits there for 20 years, you might develop physical ailments, unless we deal with it by sending it away. Now we can read what Jesus said and understand: Whose soever sins ye send away, they are sent away; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained within you. What a huge difference in meaning, all because we used the word of God to help understand the word of God, in the original and a dictionary. The problem with the word forgive in English is that is means to excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon. But as the old adage goes, forgive AND forget. Many say they forgive, but they don't deal with the feelings associated with the offense and it sits there festering until they're a grumpy old man (or cat ). While the word remit, to refrain from exacting (a penalty, for example); cancel, is better, it still gets lost in today's wording. But when we use Pro 18:8we see what offenses do to us. Here's a great read on this: http://www.thekingdomimpact.org/Offences.html I hope this helps.