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

  • A disciple
    Anne; thank you for your good words! Without faith it is impossible to please Him! God has ordained that we should be saved by BELIEVING the Word told us by other men. So then, unbelief is disobedience! Jesus reproached the disciples for unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who told them that He was risen from the dead! Faith is about a kind of character toward God.
  • Anne
    Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came among them and spoke to them and showed them his hands and side. Therefore, when he was told by the others that Jesus was risen, needed faith to believe it for himself. Today, we must have faith to believe that Christ is risen indeed. For without faith it is impossible to please God and with the heart man believeth unto righteousness...(Heb. 11:6).
  • A disciple
    Hi Cheryl; I think the answer you look for is in the verse itself! "I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written...but these are written that you might believe" The Holy Spirit moved the holy Apostles and Prophets of the Lord to write everything that they did. The Lord has very much more to say to us when we are able to bear it!
  • Shirley
    God did. The word of God is inspired by the Holy Ghost.
  • Cheryl
    Why aren't the other signs that Jesus did as stated in verse 30 are not written in this book , who decide not to include them
  • Ray321
    1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. I thank God that I will not be in the 7 year tribulation or the second coming, Jesus will call me up in the clouds. RAPTURE

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