When an archer would miss the bullseye with an arrow but still hit somewhere on the overall target, the scorekeeper would call out khata! Khata is an ancient Aramaic word meaning “mis-take”, “miss the mark” or “error”. The Hebrew term khet and Koine Greek hamartia both carried identical meanings as the Aramaic khata.
The modern word sin is derived from an Old English – Latin root sonts, meaning “guilty” or “offense”. This meaning was not aligned with the Aramaic and Greek ideas spoken of by Yeshua [Jesus] centuries earlier. This much later idea of “bad” or “wrongdoing” resulting in destructive punishment from a vengeful God eventually overtook the constructive ancient meaning of simply “missing the mark”. The guilt, fear and shame that has since been piled atop this ancient term is the true “sin”.
This idea of sin as an act that riles a vindictive overlord was further promulgated by the self-avowed misogynist Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon. Irenaeus was also the first to speak of ancestral sin, more commonly known as “original sin”, an idea not even present in the Holy Bible. As the progression of time and the drift of beliefs have continued to move forward, this idea of sin as a “bad” rather than a mistake has truly taken flight.
In truth, from its earliest ancient Aramaic context, the sin that Yeshua [Jesus] spoke of was simply a mis-step or accident, not an eternally condemned act of flagrant disobedience. Numerous heavy layers of guilt, fear and shame have concealed the true meaning of this ancient term long enough. It is time for us to awaken into its constructive power in guiding our path.
[excerpted in part from Dale’s book “Echoes of an Ancient Dream: Aramaic Toning on the Path of Light”]