For whatever reason, the King James translators wrongly translated the words “forgiveness,” and “remission,” from the Greek word “alphesis,” which means freedom.
Every time the word “forgiveness” is translated in the King James Bible, it means “freedom.” Every time, with the exception of one, “remission” also means “freedom.”
Also, they translated the word “forgive,” from the Greek word “alphiemi.” “Alphiemi” comes from the prefix “apo,” meaning “off, away from,” and from “hiemi” meaning to “to send away, dismiss.” Thus, forgive in the New Testament means to send away, and remove sin, not “cover sin” as in the Old Covenant.
“Alphesis” (Greek word for forgiveness and remission), also comes from the same prefix “apo.” Thus, alphesis could be more correctly translated “freedom from.” “Apo” also has a spatial nature, thus denotes distance and separation.
And in relation to sin, we are talking about “freedom from sin,” which is the heart of the gospel.
Again, here is the dictionary meaning of forgiveness:
The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty.
This definition is fine if one is dealing with a wrong that one has been done to him. The Bible teaches that we are to forgive, even to forgive our enemies. However, when dealing with God and our relation to Him as to sin in the New Testament, it is not correct. Jesus did not just pardon our sin and take the guilt of sin away at the cross; HE TOOK SIN AWAY! The blood of the New Covenant speaks of a “better sacrifice” that takes sin away, that cleanses from all unrighteousness, that destroys the sin nature, and that makes us new creations “in Christ.” All these “better things” were impossible under the Law and before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from Forgiveness or Freedom