How Many Times Is Forgiveness Mentioned In The Bible

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The number of times that forgiveness is mentioned in the bible is an interesting topic and has an exact answer if you’re strictly looking only for the word “forgiveness”. However, the concept of forgiveness is mentioned many more times than the word itself. Let’s take a quick look.

First of all, it depends on which translation you are reading. Some versions of the bible use different words that mean the same thing. For example Hebrews 9:22 in the New International Version uses the word forgiveness, but the same verse in the King James version uses the word remission.

But for the sake of answering the question, “How many times is forgiveness mentioned in the bible”, I’ve used the New International Version to give the following stats.

The word “Forgiveness” is mentioned in the NIV bible exactly 14 times. Once in the Old Testament and thirteen times in the New Testament.

Forgiveness, as a concept, is mentioned more frequently. For example the word “Forgive” appears 42 times in the Old Testament and 33 times in the New Testament. The word “Forgiven” appears 17 times in the Old Testament and 28 times in the New Testament. And the word “Forgiving” appears 6 times in the Old Testament and 1 time in the New.

The word “Forgiveness” appears in the NIV in the following verses:

Ps. 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Mt. 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mk. 1:4 And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Lk. 1:77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,

Lk. 3:3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Lk. 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Ac. 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ac. 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Ac. 10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Ac. 13:38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Ac. 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Ep. 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Col. 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He. 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

To answer this question I used a .pdf version of the Bible which allows me to perform word searches very, very quickly. If you don’t have a .pdf bible, I highly recommend it. Before there were computers a person might have spent years of their life searching the bible to find every instance of the word forgiveness, but I performed all these searches in less than five minutes. It’s a valuable tool for your personal bible study.

(Forgiveness by Beckah Shae)

The fact that so many people ask this question has always left me wondering, “Why did you want to know how many times forgiveness is mentioned in the bible?” And does this post answer your question? Comment your response below.

32 thoughts on “How Many Times Is Forgiveness Mentioned In The Bible

  1. shahid says:

    My name is Shahid Naseem from Pakistan. I am in the Abundant life bible collage. First years student. God possible this i learn about the forgiveness through your website .
    God Bless you

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for your answer to this question!!! Silly as it may or may not seem, I have never thought of using a pdf bible for word searches…Hahaha….what a novel idea! LOL! I shall be putting this to much use! =)
    I was searching this question in doing a personal bible study to aid in my ability to “answer”/direct/help people who have inquired of me the topic of forgiving and how to come to forgiveness. In addition to wanting to be forgiven ourselves, I’ve also directed them to pray and personally get into the bible themselves. To talk to God from their heart. To make forgiveness the goal! Then it was brought up to me that it may also be helpful to see how often and important it is to God in the bible. Voila, here I am!
    (Any additional suggestions are welcomed!)

    Thank you and may God bless and keep you!
    Mary =)

  3. Michelle says:

    Thank you for helping me prepare my Sunday school lesson for the junior high kids. Im doing it on forgiveness and Gods promise to forgive if we ask for forgiveness. and that nothing is unforgiveable in Gods eyes.

  4. Sandi says:

    I am teaching the kids about forgiveness, so just wanted to show them how important it is by how many times the word “forgive” is mentioned in any form in the Bible. Thanks for all your work.

  5. Mia says:

    A friend , Pastor John Carter said…a quote from God. Forgiving sets the captive free the captive is me. What a profound thing…forgive that you might be forgiven…healed restored. Love God with all your heart mind soul and strength. It is for me! What God does for one. ….He will do for another. Amen. Thanks for your site. Mia.
    I am on my way to a complete healing..thanks to our Living God through Jesus Christ blood and the works of the Holy Ghost.

  6. Jozef De Hertog says:

    I am bringing a message about forgiving and just wanted to know how many time this word was used in the Bible, part of my message is that Jesus did many miracles and we look at those as part of His life yet we forget that from the cradle to the cross He was all about forgiveness, even as they were crucifying Him he said Father forgive them for they no not what they are doing. Is this not the best example of forgiveness.
    Maybe we should spend more time living our lives with a forgiving attuned than chasing the hype for if we forgive we will be forgiven, then we will receive the what we are asking for, as lone as it is in accordance with the will of the Father and not our own will. Amen blessing to you all.

  7. john(big sky montana) bikers for christm/m says:

    It is our mission to forgive others,for the LORDsays
    If you don’t love your brother
    Then how can you love me……my wish is for people to
    See this video from the heart of Texas foundation
    and maybe we can really take a look if we could
    Forgive like this man did!!!!!!!! And if you have truely forgiven
    Someone in the past…I pray you can make amends

  8. Katie says:

    I am studying and researching verses on this and various topics in preparation to speak at our woman’s day weekend on the subject Destination:Heaven. I have been asked to speak on preparation for heaven. How does one prepare on the journey. Forgiveness is part of the journey and I wanted to share every verse in the Bible to emphasize the importance and what God requires. Thank you for your heart and help on this matter.
    Dr.Katie G Palmer, ND

  9. Joyce Rhodes Barrett says:

    since the death of my daughter in 2013, God has given me the ability to put some of my feeling into words, hopefully to be of value to others. I have been writing on FB but am in the process of beginning a blog. Forgiveness is a common problem for most of us as I was beginning to write after reading verses about forgiveness, I began to wander how many times it appeared in The Word and am frankly surprised it is so few. Thank you for doing the research for all of us.

  10. Pat Bedingfield says:

    I teach a Sunday School class for older adults at my Church; ages 65 to 102. I have learned through many years of teaching at almost every age level that all have problems with forgiveness at some time in life. The “Kingdom of Self” still reigns until the Holy Spirit takes control. Our lesson this Sunday is entitled “Receive the Holy Spirit”. I just thought the number of times forgiveness is mentioned in the Bible would help to highlight the importance of a clean heart in which the Spirit can reside and bring us a taste of “Kingdom Living” while the world we know is still our home. Thank you for making this information available for us.

  11. John Hammond says:

    I am preparing a sermon for a future date and I believe that God wants me to talk on forgiveness and forgiving. On looking at your site I found it to be of great value in the preparation of it. Thanks very much. God Bless.

  12. Amanda says:

    Not really. I was more looking for verses that mention to forgive others when thru hurry you. How many verses are in ther about that

  13. Delores Dowling says:

    Thank you so much for the information requested. I want to know how many times forgiveness is mentioned in the bible because I would like to present a sermon on forgiveness. I know many peoples that suffer from un-forgiveness and are miserable. They say they have forgiven, but doesn’t show it. So I want to read as many scriptures as possible and show that forgiveness is the key to a happier life. It can also pave the way to heaven.

  14. Peggy Heinemann says:

    My adult kids are harboring hurt feelings and unforgiving hearts toward each other. They do not believe that they should forgive someone unless they say in sorry and or change their behavior. Therefore they do not forgive each other. They do not see their own actions but only the other person’s. They feel that I’m wrong with encouraging forgiveness. I am interested in how many times forgiveness is in the Bible because I want to share with my family.

  15. Cindy Pitgod says:

    I am using it as a resource to post on FB because I feel my friends and family would like to hear and learn things from the Bible that is seldom preached. Also I hope I am being a witness to others as I learn from this knowledge. God bless you!

  16. Tink Leonard says:

    I send out a daily devotional and needed the information on the forgiveness portion of this series.

    I have two pdf Bibles. Also use Biblehub for differing translations.

  17. Jennifer says:

    I wanted to know because I was on a search about divorce. ForgiveNess is mentioned more than adultery or divorce I think Jesus is trying to tell us something

  18. Sandra Simmons says:

    Yes I wanted to know because it is very important that we forgive one other. So I want to have the facts so that I could remind people that it very important because if we don’t forgive God want forgive us.
    Thank you for your input.

    • GaryH says:

      Hi Rachael, Keep in mind that God judges the heart. A relationship with Jesus is not about good works, although good works spring from a heart that follows Jesus. That being said, God forgives those who sincerely ask, irrespective of whether or not they have yet been baptized.

    • T Duncan says:

      Yes If your heart truly has repented which means to turn from your wrong and live to do right then a God who knows your heart will forgive you, but if you have wronged someone the Bible says we leave our gifts at the altar and go and be reconciled and ask these people for forgiveness first then come before our father .

  19. Thelma says:

    Just a question that came to mind this morning, I want to do a study on, I want to truly live in a forgiving state of mind. I do not want any unforgivingness in my heart. Than you for your help.

  20. Jerry Burroughs says:

    Forgiveness was vitally important to Jesus. The forgiveness of ourLord is what saved me and all believers. Some of my students place lots of value on number of times a topic is mentioned in the scriptures. The fact is, Christ died once for my sins and forgave once. His grace is sufficient.

  21. Minister Lisa Brunson says:

    I have been Blessed with God fearing parents that taught me to love and forgive. If we don’t forgive others; God will NOT forgive us!

  22. Phil Larson says:

    I read this quote by John MacArthur. “We are never more like God than when we forgive”. That hit me in a way that really convicted me.
    A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11, NASB)
    In other words we bring glory to God when we forgive like He did. Or as in the example of the prodigal sons father ( a picture of our Heavenly Father ). He lavished his forgiveness on the son who was repentant.
    But be prepared this kind of forgiveness will not be appreciated by many around us, we will be called foolish.

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