The 2001 Translation Translator NotesNote

Perfect or unspotted?

Many other Bibles say that the IsraElites were to offer unspotted lambs for their sacrifices. Did this mean that the animals were to be perfectly white with no spots, or did it mean that they were to be perfectly healthy?

The Greek word often translated as unspotted is hamartias, which really means without sin. Obviously, the word sin can’t really be applied to animals, as we understand the term.

So we must assume it meant that the lambs were to be without a flaw, or physically perfect.

While we don’t know if the sacrificed sheep were supposed to have no literal spots on their coats (most sheep don’t have spots anyway), we do know that the other sacrificial animals (such as bulls and goats) are naturally spotted.

So this translation uses the word perfect.

Admittedly, the word perfect is actually the Greek word telios, which was also used when describing a requirement for the Anointed Priests. So while the ancient Greek translators used the word hamartias (without sin), we understand that it was supposed to mean without flaw, or perfect.

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