When most of us think of sin we probably have in mind a few specific actions that are particularly horrific. But the Bible's depiction of sin is quite a bit more sweeping than our idea. The main concept is conveyed by a Hebrew word (hata) that is used nearly six hundred times in the Old Testament and a Greek word (hamartano) used nearly three hundred times in the New Testament. Both of these words originally came from the sphere of archery and meant the same thing: "to miss a mark." The Bible makes clear that one can miss a mark by ignorance of what one is supposed to hit (see Lev 5:15-16), be deliberately aiming at a different target (see Is 1:4) or by aiming at the right standard but falling short of it (see 1 Sam 12:23). Another biblical word for sin ('abar in Hebrew or parabaino in Greek) conveys the idea of transgressing, crossing a boundary that God has established and forbidden us to cross. Adam and Eve's eating the forbidden fruit was a transgression, and for other examples, see Jeremiah 3418 and Daniel 9:11. It as if God has drawn a line in the sand and said, "Do not cross this," but people do. A third aspect of sin is rebelling against God's authority (pasa in Hebrew or apeitheo in Greek), and thereby breaking off the relationship God desired. Amos 1-4 contains repeated references to the ways Israel has rebelled against God. A fourth aspect of sin in the Bible is translated "iniquity," and the Hebrew word behind this ('awon) conveys the idea of twisting or distortion Sin is not wrong actions, it is a distortion or perversion of one's entire character. See Job 33:9 and Proverbs 12:8 for examples of this.
(pp. 98-99, Life in the Trinity, Douglas Fairbairn)
Very helpful summary.
- missing the mark