What are the 12 sins in the Bible?

What Are the 12 Sins in the Bible? Unveiling the Lesser-Known Sins!

When we explore the foundations of Christian morality, we often encounter discussions about sin and its impact on our spiritual journey. The Bible doesn’t specifically list "12 sins," but it does talk extensively about behaviors and actions that separate us from God’s will. This disconnection is what defines sin in the Biblical context, and there are several key transgressions that are emphasized throughout scripture.

Our curiosity leads us to ask, "what are the 12 sins in the Bible?" This inquiry helps us uncover not just a list, but a deeper comprehension of how these sins are viewed through the lens of faith.

The Nature of Sin

The sins in the Bible

Exploring the nature of sin gives us deeper insight into the question we often ask ourselves: "what are the 12 sins in the Bible?" Let's examine this concept further.

Definition of Sin

Sin, at its core, is an act or state that is in direct opposition to God's will and laws. In the Bible, sin is fundamentally anything that falls short of the glory of God, marking a deviation from what is righteous and holy.

  • Commission: Acts we commit that go against God's commands
  • Omission: Failing to do what we ought to do

Origins of Sin

The origins of sin trace back to the narrative of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. According to scripture, when they disobeyed God's explicit instruction, sin entered the world.

  • Inherited Sin: The idea that all humans inherit a sinful nature due to the fall of the first humans
  • Personal Sin: Each individual's own sinful acts throughout their life

The Seven Deadly Sins

When we explore what are the 12 sins in the Bible, our focus often zeroes in on the well-known list of the Seven Deadly Sins. These are not just individual bad behaviors but are seen as the root of other immoralities. Let's dive into each one!


Pride is considered the most severe of the sins. It's an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments. When we let pride take over, we place ourselves above others and even above divine authority.


Envy is the intense desire to have an item that someone else possesses. It's not just about wanting more but rather wishing that someone else had less.


Gluttony goes beyond just eating too much. It's an overindulgence to the point of waste, showing a lack of self-control and a disrespect for blessings.


Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. Unfortunately, it can lead us to objectify others and prioritize physical desires over moral considerations.


Anger, also known as wrath, is an intense emotional response to perceived provocation or harm. While anger itself is not always sinful, it's the desire for revenge without concern for fairness or righteousness that makes it deadly.


Greed is the excessive pursuit of material possessions. A greedy person values material wealth more than they value generosity and contentment.


Sloth is more than just laziness. It's a failure to act and utilize one’s talents. Slothfulness shows a lack of care for one’s responsibilities and duties.

The Five Sins Against the Holy Spirit

12 sins in the Bible

When we dive into what are the 12 sins in the Bible, we encounter a sobering subset: the sins against the Holy Spirit. These five specific actions stand out due to their gravity and the danger they pose to our spiritual lives.


Despair is the loss of hope in God's mercy and forgiveness. It's essentially believing that our salvation is impossible, discounting God's limitless ability to save us.


This sin occurs when we assume we can obtain salvation without effort or rely heavily on our own ability to be saved without God’s aid. It's an overconfidence in our own capacities or in God's leniency.

Resisting the Known Truth

Resisting the known truth happens when we are aware of God's commandments and His truths but choose to reject them. It's a willful decision to ignore or oppose what we understand is right.

Envy of Another's Spiritual Good

Feeling bitter about another person's spiritual blessings or graces is a sin against the Holy Spirit. This envy can lead us to disregard the gifts God has given us and to resent His generosity toward others.

Obstinacy in Sin

This is the stubborn persistence in sin after knowing the truth. It reflects a refusal to repent and a hardened heart towards God's invitation to transform and heal our lives.

Biblical References to Sin

We can't wait to explore the intriguing question: "what are the 12 sins in the Bible?" Let's dive right into the scriptural accounts that address various sins, shedding light on moral guidance from two distinct covenants.

Old Testament Insights

The Old Testament is rich with commandments and laws that define sin. These can be seen prominently listed in the Ten Commandments found in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, which provide a moral framework. Additional sins are described throughout the Old Testament, such as in the book of Proverbs, which specifies behaviors to avoid, from dishonesty to envy.

  • Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)

    • Idolatry
    • Blasphemy
    • Sabbath breaking
    • Dishonoring parents
    • Murder
    • Adultery
    • Theft
    • False testimony
    • Coveting
  • Moral Prohibitions (Various texts)

    • Lying (Proverbs 6:17)
    • Pride (Proverbs 8:13)
    • Envy (Proverbs 14:30)

New Testament Teachings

In the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles build upon the Old Testament laws, emphasizing the spirit of the law over the letter. Jesus summarizes the heart of the law as loving God and loving our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40). The New Testament also speaks to behaviors like hypocrisy, greed, and malice.

  • Teachings of Jesus

  • Apostolic Guidelines

As we look at the biblical references to sin across both the Old and New Testaments, it becomes clear how these teachings aim to guide us toward a life of integrity and compassion.

Overcoming Sin

Repent from sin

When we explore "what are the 12 sins in the Bible," it's not just about recognizing them; it's about embracing strategies to defeat sin in our lives.


The first step to overcoming sin is acknowledging our wrongdoings with genuine repentance. It involves:

  • Admitting: Confessing our sins to God, accepting responsibility without making excuses.
  • Turning Away: Making a determined decision to avoid committing those sins in the future.


Once we repent, forgiveness is promised, as stated in 1 John 1:9. Here's how forgiveness unfolds:

  1. Ask: Humbly request forgiveness from God and those we've wronged.
  2. Receive: Accept that through Christ, we are cleansed from unrighteousness.

Grace and Salvation

Lastly, overcoming sin relies on God's grace and the gift of salvation. This means:

  • Undeserved Favor: Recognizing that grace is a gift, not something we earn.
  • New Life in Christ: Salvation through Jesus empowers us to live in victory over sin.

My thoughts about the question "What are the 12 sins in the Bible?"

Living in a world that often feels engulfed in sin can be a challenging yet enlightening experience, especially from a Christian perspective. Personally, navigating through this reality has been a journey of constant growth and learning.

One profound insight is the ever-present need for grace and forgiveness. In a world where sin seems rampant, the understanding and acceptance of grace become crucial. It's a daily reminder that, while perfection is unattainable, striving for goodness and showing forgiveness are vital.

Another aspect is the importance of empathy and understanding. Recognizing that we all fall short in different ways has taught me to view others with compassion rather than judgment. It reinforces the idea that everyone is fighting their own battles and that kindness can often be a balm for hidden struggles.

Moreover, living in a sinful world highlights the value of personal accountability and the power of choices. It's a constant exercise to choose what aligns with my faith and values, amidst the noise and distractions. It also reminds me that my actions and decisions have ripples, affecting not just myself but those around me.

Lastly, this environment has deepened my appreciation for community and fellowship. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share the same faith and values provides strength and encouragement. It's a testament to the power of collective faith in overcoming the challenges posed by a sinful world.

What are your thoughts about the biblical sins? Write them in the comments! 

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