John 20:23

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Whose soeuer sinnes yee remit, they are remitted vnto them, and whose soeuer sinnes yee retaine, they are retained.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"If you forgive the sins of any, {their sins} have been forgiven them; if you retain the {sins} of any, they have been retained."
- New American Standard Version (1995)

whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever `sins' ye retain, they are retained.
- American Standard Version (1901)

Any to whom you give forgiveness, will be made free from their sins; and any from whom you keep back forgiveness, will still be in their sins.
- Basic English Bible

whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
- Darby Bible

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
- Webster's Bible

If you remit the sins of any persons, they remain remitted to them. If you bind fast the sins of any, they remain bound."
- Weymouth Bible

Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
- World English Bible

whos synnes ye foryyuen, tho ben foryouun to hem; and whos ye withholden, tho ben withholdun.
- Wycliffe Bible

if of any ye may loose the sins, they are loosed to them; if of any ye may retain, they have been retained.'
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for John 20:23


20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit - (According to the tenor of the Gospel, that is, supposing them to repent and believe) they are remitted, and whose soever sins ye retain (supposing them to remain impenitent) they are retained. So far is plain. But here arises a difficulty. Are not the sins of one who truly repents, and unfeignedly believes in Christ, remitted, without sacerdotal absolution? And are not the sins of one who does not repent or believe, retained even with it? What then does this commission imply? Can it imply any more than, A power of declaring with authority the Christian terms of pardon; whose sins are remitted and whose retained? As in our daily form of absolution; and A power of inflicting and remitting ecclesiastical censures? That is, of excluding from, and re - admitting into, a Christian congregation.


People's Bible Notes for John 20:23


Joh 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, etc. It will be seen at once, by a comparison with Mt 16:19, that the keys they promised to Peter are now given to all the apostles, and all have similar power to open and shut, to remit sin, and to bind. The meaning is plain when we consider, first, the charge that the Savior was making, and, secondly, look forward and see how that charge was carried out; or, in other words, observe the apostles "remitting sins" and retaining them. It is the Great Commission to preach the gospel that the Savior gives for the first time in Joh 20:21. It is with reference to carrying out that Commission that he speaks in Joh 20:23. It was in order that they might present the terms of that Commission infallibly to the world that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was imparted, of which there is a foreshadowing in Joh 20:22. The great end of that Commission was to declare to men "repentance and remission of sins" (Lu 24:47) in the name of Christ. The following facts are manifest: (1) The Savior gave to his apostles his Commission that they might make known his will. (2) He bade them preach "remission of sins" (Lu 24:47). (3) He gave them a measure of the Holy Spirit, and bade them wait until "endued with power from on high" (Lu 24:49). (4) When the Holy Spirit fell, they spoke as it "gave them utterance" (Ac 2:4). (5) They then declared, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the terms on which "sins could be remitted". To anxious sinners they answer, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, 'for the remission of sins'" (Ac 2:38). Here, then, they, directed by the Holy Spirit, "remit" and "retain" sins by declaring the terms on which Christ will pardon. Thus, also, they do in their preaching recorded through the Acts of the Apostles the very thing that the Savior gave them power to do. This power was not imparted to a hierarchy, nor to any ecclesiastical body, but to the apostles, and was fulfilled by them in declaring to the world the conditions of pardon and condemnation under the Commission of our Lord.

Discussion for John 20:23

  • Clinton for verse 23
    Jesus was showing them the responsibility that The Church would later have of sharing the Gospel of Grace that would save whosoever believed. If anyone did not believe, their sin remained. All sins past, present and future are forgiven once we believe in the risen Christ.
  • Mary mina for verse 23
    Forgive so that you can be forgiven !
  • Richard Hartley for verse 23
    God is the only one who can forgive sins,Jesus said I 'm the way the truth and the life nobody can go to the Father except through me,Jesus is the only mediator between God and man not a Catholic priest.The authority that was given to the apostles was not given to bishops,priests thats there claim is all but there is no valid truth to that at all,they claim 2 passages to back that claim up,that bind and loosen and to forgive sin,there was no Apostlic Succession given to the Catholic Church that is there claim,the Catholic Church did not even come into existence untill the 6 th Century.church your history books ppl.
  • Stephen Naidoo for verse 23
    DJ, I disagree that Catholics are right when it comes to the forgiveness of sins. Read 1 John 1 v 9. In my opinion concerning this portion of scripture, we must forgive all who sin against us just as Christ did those who crucified and Him and as Stephen did those who stoned him because if we dont, we can hold those persons who sinned against us in bondage thus also causing us to sin in the process because we 're not practicing forgiveness as Christ requires us to. If we have Christ in us then we will find it easy to forgive others just as He asked the Father to forgive us. If we say we have the Love of God in us then forgiveness should be one of our main traits because we should have the true love of God within us. Read 1 Corinthian 13 and 1 John 4 verses 7 and 8. God bless
  • Nancy cid for verse 23
    I think that this verse tests the true condition of our hearts. It reveals whether or not we truly forgive those that have sinned against us. The verse says "If you forgive others their sins are forgiven, if you don 't forgive them their sins are not forgiven. This just shows how willing we truly are to forgive those that hurts us. If we forgive them then they are released, that proves that we are doing what Jesus did.
  • The Son of Man DOES have power on earth to forgive sins that are done personally against you We can forgive Father God has the last say in the end ie Father forgive them for they don t know what they do Yet when people DO know what they do in sin and then do it anyway THEN there is no forgiveness Either on earth or in heaven food for thought

Bible Options