The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Confession An admission or acknowledgment of sin. A declaration or profession of belief. May also indicate an admission of sin to another believer (e.g., Jas 5:16).
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Confession. Admission, especially of guilt or sin; also, a statement of religious belief. “To confess” can mean to agree, to promise, or to admit something.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Confess; Confession
Confess; Confession [Heb. yāḏâ, tôḏâ (Ezr. 10:11), also nāg̱aḏ (Ps. 38:18), zāḵar (Isa. 48:1), sāpar (Ezk. 12:16); Gk. homologéō, exomologéō, homología]; AV also DECLARE (Ps. 38:18; Ezk. 12:16), “make mention of” (Isa. 48:1), ACKNOWLEDGE (1 Jn. 2:23), PROFESSION, “without controversy” (for
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
CONFESSION Admission, especially of guilt or sin; also, a statement of religious belief. “To confess” can mean to agree, to promise, or to admit something.Two types of confession occur in the Bible. First, individuals confess that they have sinned and are therefore guilty before God, often confessing
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
CONFESSION. The word means to make an open avowal, with undertones of a change of position. Nearly all the biblical passages can be classified under two heads: a confession of sin, or a confession of faith. Confession of sin is made to God (Ps 32:3–6; 1 Jn 1:9), to the one who has been wronged (Lk 17:4),
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
CONFESSION. The word to ‘confess’ in both the Heb. and the Gk. (yāḏâ and homologein) has, as in English, a twofold reference. There is confession of faith and confession of sin. On the one hand, confession means to declare publicly a personal relationship with and allegiance to God. It is an act of
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
ConfessionTo confess means “to say the same thing” or “to agree to a statement.” Widely used in ancient legal contexts, in biblical texts the term and its cognates are used to express belief in God, acknowledge failure to keep God’s laws, and praise God for salvation. These meanings are evident in the
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Confession. †A declaration associated with worship; it may be either the admission of sin or the profession of faith.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
confession. (1) A tomb of a *martyr (‘*confessor’). The term is used also of the structure built over such a tomb, and of a crypt or shrine under the *High Altar of a church in which relics are placed. In the Middle Ages the word was further applied to the entire church in which a martyr was buried.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
CONFESSION (Heb. from yādâ, lit., to “use,” i.e., extend the hand). Used in the OT in the sense of acknowledging one’s sin (Lev. 5:5; Job 40:14; Ps. 32:5). In the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple he uses the expression “confess Thy name” (1 Kings 8:33, 35; 2 Chron. 6:24, 26), doubtless
Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith
French Confession
French ConfessionAlso called Gallican Confession and Confession of La Rochelle. Official confession of the French Reformed Church, adopted at the first National Synod (Paris, 1559), then more or less definitively ratified at the seventh National Synod (La Rochelle, 1571), though continuously revised
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Confession(1) An open profession of faith (Luke 12:8). (2.) An acknowledgment of sins to God (Lev. 16:21; Ezra 9:5–15; Dan. 9:3–12), and to a neighbour whom we have wronged (James 5:16; Matt. 18:15).
Key passages
Le 16:20–22

“And he shall finish making atonement for the sanctuary and the tent of assembly and the altar; then he shall present the living goat. And Aaron shall place his two hands on the living goat’s head, and he shall confess over it all the Israelites’ iniquities and all their transgressions …

Ps 51:1–19

Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loyal love. According to your abundant mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and from my sin cleanse me. For I myself know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, only you, I have …

Pr 28:13

He who conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes will obtain mercy.

Lk 15:17–24

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have an abundance of food, and I am dying here from hunger! I will set out and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight! I am no longer worthy to be called …

Jas 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.

1 Jn 1:8–10

If we say that we do not have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in …

See also
Topics & Themes