Blaspheming the Holy Sprit

Clearning Up Matthew 12:31 (Blaspheming the Holy Spirit) Once And For All

Explore the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:31 through in-depth biblical and scholarly analysis.

In Matthew 12:31, the phrase “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” refers to a specific sin described as unforgivable. To understand this concept thoroughly, it’s essential to analyze the biblical text and contextual references within the Holy Bible and from supplementary scholarly resources.

Biblical Analysis

Matthew 12:31 (KJV):
“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

In this passage, Jesus discusses the nature of sin and forgiveness, with blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as an exception. To understand this statement, we must consider the broader biblical context.

The context within Matthew 12:

In Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus performs a miracle by healing a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. The Pharisees respond by accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24). Jesus refutes this claim by explaining that a house divided against itself cannot stand and that His works are done by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:25-28). He then warns that attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demonic power constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32).

Lexical and Theological Analysis

Definition of Blasphemy

The term “blasphemy” (Greek: βλασφημία, blasphēmía) generally means speaking evil or showing disrespect towards God or sacred things. It involves an attitude of irreverence and disrespect.

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, as highlighted in Matthew 12:31, is considered more severe than other sins because it involves a willful and deliberate rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work and testimony about Jesus. This sin indicates a hardened heart that persistently denies the truth of the Holy Spirit’s work, attributing it instead to evil. This persistent state of unbelief and rejection precludes forgiveness because it rejects the way forgiveness is offered, through Jesus Christ alone.

Scholarly Commentary

Commentary by Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry explains that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a sin that stems from a state of deliberate and obstinate unbelief. It is not a sin of ignorance or impulse but a conscious and persistent opposition to the known truth, specifically the manifestation of God’s power through the Holy Spirit (“Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible”).

The New Bible Commentary

The New Bible Commentary states that this form of blasphemy is unforgivable because it represents a total and willful rejection of God’s grace. The individual who commits this sin is persistently resistant to the Holy Spirit’s convicting power and thus places themselves beyond the reach of forgiveness (Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J.).


Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Matthew 12:31, refers to a persistent and willful rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work and testimony about Jesus Christ. It is a sin characterized by a hardened heart and a deliberate refusal to acknowledge the truth and power of the Holy Spirit. This sin is considered unforgivable because it rejects the very means through which God offers forgiveness and salvation.

Works Cited

  • The Holy Bible: King James Version. (Matthew 12:31).
  • Henry, Matthew. “Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible.” Bible Hub.
  • Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. “The New Bible Commentary.” Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
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