Bible Answer

What is blasphemy?

What is the difference between basic blasphemy, and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? In Pastor Armstrong's Revelation Lesson 10, he stated blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was the ultimate and unforgiveable sin. What is blasphemy if not just simply unbelief?

As you learned in our studies, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a very specific national sin that only Israel could commit and only in the day Jesus came to them. For more information on that specific sin, please read: What is the unforgiveable sin?

The individual sin of blasphemy is completely different. Blasphemy is any word or deed that profanes the name or character of God:

Lev. 24:15 “You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If anyone curses his God, then he will bear his sin.
Lev. 24:16 ‘Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Blasphemy is also contradicting or intentionally disobeying the word of God, diminishing His name or work, or making anything in the Creation to be equal to or greater than God himself:

Num. 15:29 ‘You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them.
Num. 15:30 ‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Num. 15:31 ‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’”

Jesus was accused of blasphemy by Israel's religious leaders because Jesus equated Himself with God, though in Jesus' case it was not blasphemy because it was true.

Matt. 26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”
Matt. 26:65  Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;
Matt. 26:66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”

Unbelief by itself is not an act of blasphemy. To disregard the call of Scripture to believe is not equated with blasphemy unless it includes one of the behaviors above. Furthermore, blasphemy is forgiven by the blood of Christ in all cases, just as any other sin is forgiven by placing faith in Jesus.