What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness? With Scripture References

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Lord’s Library editors answer the question “What does the Bible say about forgiveness?” with specific Bible references.

Have you ever asked yourself the question “What does the Bible say about forgiveness?” If you have, you’re definitely not alone! And since the Bible helps Christians form a foundational understanding of important topics, it’s imperative that one know how Scripture describes doctrine in different contexts. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines forgiveness as “The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty.”

Now armed with a basic forgiveness definition, Lord’s Library editors thought it would be a helpful exercise to provide Biblical context. As a result, we compiled this short resource which captures all notable mentions of the word forgiveness, as well as its other forms. If you’ve been wondering what the King James Bible says about forgiveness, scroll on for additional detail.

Note: If you want to know what the Bible says about forgiveness and 206 other important topics (to be exact), our editors recommend Spencer Smith’s Doctrine Matters: Bible Topic Guidebook.

What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness?


Psalms 25:18

“Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.”

Psalms 86:5

“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”

Matthew 6:14-16

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 18:21-22

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”

2 Corinthians 2:10

“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;”

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Matthew 6:12-15

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Colossians 3:13

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”


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Timothy Andrew
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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder and Ministerial Editor at Lord's Library, a Christian resource hub focused on helping readers grow their faith in Jesus Christ. Tim became a Christian in April 2021 and believes 1 Peter 4:11 commands him to share The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) "as of the ability which God giveth."

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