What Does Blasphemy Mean When Used In The Bible?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

The Bible speaks of blasphemy.  What does it mean to blasphemy?  Can we blasphemy God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus?

What Blasphemy Means

Blasphemy means to take the Lord God’s name in vain and use it in a worthless manner or use it as a cuss or curse word. This is serious business because God will not let anyone ultimately get away with that.  Sometimes it is done by using a euphemism, like “Gosh darn it” or “Jesus Christ!” when used in an irreverent way or in anger.  Even the use of Jesus’ name is considered blaspheme since Jesus Christ is God.  We can use His name in vain even when we say “Jeeze or Christ!” in a pointless, careless, or an angry way.  When we blaspheme His name, we are taking the holiest, highest name in the universe and using it with disdain and committing cosmic treason.  In the Old Testament you could get stoned to death for such an act.  Today, we live under grace but that doesn’t mean punishment will not come, it will come sooner or later.  Remember that a euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant so even if we substitute a name or expression for God’s or Jesus’ then we are profaning the name of God and that is a serious thing to do.  I wonder how people would like it if someone used their mother’s name as a swear word, or their wife or husband’s name, or their child’s name…maybe even their own name.  I can assure you that most people wouldn’t like their mother’s name being used as a cuss word so imagine how a holy, perfect, and just God feels about this when we use His name as a swear word or in a vain or useless manner?

Perhaps the greatest disparaging of God’s holy name is with the innocent-sounding and much used expression “Oh my God!”  Sometimes it is abbreviated as OMG in texts, emails and on social, Internet websites.  This is clearly using His name in vain and in the strictest sense, He considers that blaspheme.  This is one of the most frequently used expressions in society today and God is angry at the sinner for this, you can be sure.   Sadly, this is used all too often even among professing Christians.  This should not be so.

Old Testament Law

Deuteronomy 5:11 says that “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”  This is first mentioned in Exodus 20:7.  It was a crime punishable by death.  When Jesus was tried illegally He was actually accused of blaspheme because He said “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy” (Matt 26:64b-65).  Jesus did not commit blaspheme because He is God and many times the religious leaders tried to stone Him for making Himself out to be God, which for course He is (John 8:59; 10:30-33).  Even if someone claims to be God that too is considered blaspheme.

The Bible speaks of blasphemy ... Can we blasphemy God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus?

The Bible speaks of blasphemy … Can we blasphemy God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus?

Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit

Jesus said that you could blaspheme His name and it would be forgiven.  Jesus didn’t say to blaspheme His name was not sin, it most certainly is, but He said that to blaspheme the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven.  What did He mean by that?  Who was He talking to?  Does this apply to us today?  Let’s read the account in Matthew 12: 22-32:

“Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”  Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.  And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?  And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.  But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.  Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Notice that Jesus was speaking to the self-righteous here…the Pharisees.  They thought that they had no sin but were wrong since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).  They also blasphemed the Holy Spirit because Jesus was using this power to cast out demons and they accused him of using the power of the demons.  They knew better because they had seen Him heal this sick, open the eyes of the blind, make the mute speak, and even raise the dead, yet they accused Him of using the Devil’s power (Beelzebul) to perform this miracle. Clearly they blasphemed the Holy Spirit because Jesus said that “it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons” and so they accused the Holy Spirit of doing the Devil’s work

Conclusion

If you have blasphemed God and His holy name, you can be forgiven.  We are all sinners and there is no sin that is so big that cannot be forgiven.  No matter how big your sin is it’s never too big for the work that was done on your behalf at Calvary.  Have a big sin?  We have an even bigger God and He is a big time forgiver of sins.  Come today to repentance and confess your sins…even if its blasphemy…and you can be cleansed (1 John 1:9) and be seen by God as having Jesus’ own righteousness (2 Cor 5:21).  If not, then listen to what Jesus says in John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”  Don’t go there.  Get soundly saved today.  Repent of your sins, confess them to God, and trust in the only name by which we can be saved, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; 16:30-31).  That is my prayer for anyone who is not saved and reads this.

Related article: What is the Unforgivable Sin?

Resource –  “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

rocky March 15, 2014 at 6:10 am

Hi Sir, i wanted to ask you something,is Catholic anti-Christ?

Reply

Jack Wellman March 15, 2014 at 11:03 am

No, Rocky…I do not believe that the Catholic church or Catholics are anti-Christ.

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David March 20, 2014 at 3:03 am

A very timely article Pastor Jack. I make a habit of crossing out any blasphemous words I read in novels cos it really upsets me. And I`m sure that it upsets God too.
What I don`t understand is why novelists, or people in general, think it is necessary to blaspheme, even “Christians“, I know we shouldn`t judge, but where do we draw the line when we hear people`s conversation?
“ And you will know them by their fruit“ seems appropiate here.
Blessings, David Central Europe

Reply

Jack Wellman March 20, 2014 at 8:58 am

Thanks David. I think you bring up a great point. One Christian when he heard such profanity coming up said “Oh, I see you believe in God” to which the blasphemer said “What do you mean?” He said “Well, I hear you using God’s name and thought I could tell you more about Him if you wanted.” The man said nothing! One thought is that I feel sorry for them for they will, as well as everyone, have to give an account for every idle deed and every idle word, even though Christian’s sin was judged at the cross, but it’s like when you hear this, think of their judgment day. Not good (Rev 20:11-15) and also, it is almost like them crying out to God as they are so full of the wicked one, their father the Devil and it makes me sad for them.

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David March 20, 2014 at 3:07 am

P.S. I love the book of James, esp when he warns his readers about taming the tongue!

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Jack Wellman March 20, 2014 at 8:54 am

Amen David. That little member of the body is one of the hardest things to control because it is ran by the brain which has three enemies; the flesh, the world, and the Devil.

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Raymond B July 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Hi
I have so question of repented . how many time can you repent as a trouble or Blaspheme or crime as committed or vain at someone ??? Can repent will assure of forgiveness before go to heaven ????

Reply

Jack Wellman July 27, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Thank you Raymond for your question. A person is saved when they repent and believe in Jesus which is the first thing Jesus said in His earthly ministry (Mark 1:15). It is singular. You repent one time and trust in Christ. Read Romans 8 to see you how sure you can be about going to heaven and also John 6:37-39 and Romans 10:28-29. Great question sir. Thank you.

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Raymond B July 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm

wow
one time huh . that would be very hard for anyone on one time deal . it has to be more than one we are human we make a mistake a lot…. so how you would predict from mistake time after time ?????

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Not sure of your question sir. God forgives us of ALL of our sins (1st John 1:9) and mistake time after time included but you mean “sin after sin” right?

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David December 3, 2016 at 2:31 am

Hi jack,
I have been having these blasphemous thoughts going on in my mind it is as if my mind is controlled by something or someone else it keeps coming I can’t stop it my mind think about unholy things which I feel great shame and contempt about but I cant stop it this made me scared that I was definitely on the path to hell I am in an ocean of fear doubt shame guilt and sin I don’t know how to swim out I feel forsaken I can’t tell my family members this they won’t understand I don’t know who would understand me I feel God has left me . I had a dream Jesus came and I wasn’t ready pls give me some advice I don’t want to go to hell

Reply

Jack Wellman December 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

Hello David. Why don’t you call your pastor and tell him just what you said here? Have you talked with your pastor or a trusted Christian man in your church about this? Please seek the fellowship and love and prayers of the saints or I fear you will always struggle. I will pray for you too my friend. Don’t go it alone…you need other believers because we cannot live the Christian life by ourself.

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