INNOCENCE, INNOCENCY The condition of not offending God; freedom from sin and guilt. In the Old Testament the adjective innocence is more common than the noun. Two roots are commonly translated innocent. The basic idea of the first is clean or free from (Exodus 23:7; 2 Kings 24:4); that of the second, righteousness (Genesis 20:4; Deuteronomy 25:1; Job 9:15). Though the innocent are frequently mentioned, the biblical writers were well aware that only God can create a right heart and remove sin (Psalms 51:10; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 31:33-34).
In the New Testament four terms are used for innocent. The first means unmixed or pure (Matthew 10:16; Philippians 2:15); the second, free from (Matthew 27:4,Matthew 27:24); the third, just, righteous, or upright (Matthew 23:35; Luke 23:47); and the fourth, clean or pure (Acts 18:6; Acts 20:26). Innocence is always relative to some standard. Paul declared his innocence with respect to the demands of the law (Philippians 3:6). Only Christ, however, is absolutely pure (Romans 3:9-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ presents believers as holy and blameless before God (Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 5:27; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.