"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven..."
The phrase "a word" is being translated from the Greek word λόγος (logos) - which in this context means, "doctrine, teaching" and "a continuous speaking discourse - instruction." This means that Jesus is speaking of teachings.
In addition, the word "against" here is being translated to from the Greek word εἰς (eis) which means "into, unto, to, towards, for, among" - and as stated by Thayer's, "denoting entrance into, or direction and limit."
Thus we cannot accept that Jesus is saying that those who criticize Jesus - which is what "speaks a word against" means - would be forgiven, while anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit would not.
As such, the phrase λόγον εἰς would refer not to speaking against, but rather quite the opposite: Teachings that are consistent with - "into, unto, to, towards, for, among" - or according to - the υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου - mistranslated to "Son of man."
With respect to "Son of man" the Greek phrase υiov τοu ἀνθρώπου indicates a completely different reference.
The word υioν (huios) can mean "son" but only in a limited sense when speaking of a family of the physical body. It also means, according to the lexicon, "one of the posterity of any one" or " used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."
Thus in this sense it indicates servitude - being in the service of another.
Then the word τοῦ means "of" and the word ἀνθρώπου means "mankind" or "humanity."
Thus we have the more appropriate translation, "Servant of humanity."
Jesus referred to himself in this way just as David referred to himself (Psalm 80:17) and God referred to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1-47:6) over sixty times - as a person who is engaged in saving humanity by spreading the teachings of the Supreme Being.
This is why Jesus is referring to "Son of man" in the third person.
Why would Jesus not refer to himself in the first person if he meant only himself? Do people speak like this? If a person is speaking about themselves, they will say "I" and "me" and "myself." No rational person speaks of themselves in the third person.
Jesus was very rational. Yes, he did consider himself to be the servant of humanity - and the savior of humanity. But he did not see himself exclusively in this role. He was speaking of anyone occupying this role - the role of God's representative - which Ezekiel and David also occupied as well as Moses, Joshua and others. Jesus confirmed this when he said:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)The fact that Jesus is speaking of passing on his teachings is confirmed by the use of the Greek word ἐρεῖ - translated to "speaks" - which means, "to declare."
Thus the phrase would literally mean to "declare the teachings" or using modern English, "pass on the teachings."
And this brings us to the real meaning of this statement:
Just before this statement, Jesus speaks of someone who affirms the Servant of humanity before others, contrasting this with someone who doesn't. This statement also portrays a contrast: One action will lead to salvation while the other action will not.
The reason why ecclesiastical translators have forced this mistranslation is due to their misunderstanding of the word being translated to "forgiven."
Here "forgiven" is translated from the phrase ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ τῷ - using the root word ἀφίημι (aphiēmi) meaning "to let go, let alone, let be - to disregard." The literal translation would be something like "released of him" or "he is released."
Typically when a person thinks of the word "forgiven" they automatically think of themselves doing something in particular wrong that must be forgiven. And this can be applicable here if a person is considering our original rejection of the Supreme Being - our cause for falling to the physical world.
But the reality of Jesus' statement here is that he is teaching his disciples that if they teach in accordance with the teachings of God's representative, they will be "released" from the bondage of the physical world.
In other words, by passing on the teachings of God's representative, one becomes aligned with the will of God, and they transcend the self-centered nature of the physical world.
"... but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."
Again the Greek ἀφίημι (aphiēmi) is the basis for the mistranslation to "forgiven." Now just consider the ramifications of this if this translation were correct. Just consider the so-many people who have blasphemed the Supreme Being/Holy Spirit in one respect or another in the past - some using God's name in a derogatory manner and others simply stating that God does not exist. Will they never be forgiven?
If this were true, practically none of us would have a chance to return to the Supreme Being and the spiritual realm.
But this is not the Supreme Being. God is full of mercy and compassion, and ready to forgive those who humbly approach Him. Just consider these statements:
"‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion." (Numbers 14:18)These statements confirm the situation. We have each rebelled against the Supreme Being and this is why we are lost in the physical world - estranged from our relationship with the Supreme Being.
"But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them..." (Nehemiah 9:17)
"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You." (Psalms 86:5)
"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him" (Daniel 9:9)
But as these verses indicate, the Supreme Being is ready to forgive us and have mercy upon us - and if we absolutely want to come home and call to God as David writes - we can return to Him.
So is Jesus contradicting this with his statement? No. The statement is mistranslated.
The word ἀφίημι (aphiēmi) relates directly to "release" as in becoming released from the bondage of the physical world - the misidentification with our physical bodies and the consciousness of self-centeredness. This bondage keeps us from being able to connect with the Supreme Being.
And this is purposely so. The Supreme Being designed this virtual physical world - made up of floating molecules that combine and break up constantly yet appear to our senses and mind as permanent objects - in such a way that we believe we are these bodies and we think this world around us is permanent.
But they are not. Everything in the physical world erodes and decomposes. Molecules that once made up our skin are sloughed off or pooped out and become part of the soil. The molecules making up our bodies are recycling by the minute. Within five years not one of the molecules in our body will remain in the body.
And our body will die when we leave it. When the body dies it begins to decompose. It will eventually become dirt.
Yet we still think we are these bodies and even though we will leave everything behind at the time of death we think these things around us - including family members - are mine. We think these things belong to me. But they don't.
This is illusion. It is the illusion of the physical world. Just as a movie is an illusion of reality - with set props and actors pretending to be who they aren't - the permanence of this physical world is an illusion: Designed by the Supreme Being to keep those of us who don't want to be with Him separated from Him.
How else could He send us away? We are each created by Him and thus come from Him. We can't really be separated. But we can be given the illusion of separation - which is what the physical world provides.
As such, we can understand that Jesus was establishing a clear connection for his disciples. He is stating that aligning themselves with Jesus by passing on his teachings will result in them being released from the bondage of the physical world, while blaspheming the Holy Spirit - rejecting the Supreme Being in action and word - will keep a person trapped within the illusory nature of the physical world.