The genitive 's refers to what belongs to you. I say Jack's car. I mean the car belongs to Jack. I could also say, 'his car' using possessive adjective. My question is about 'God's forgiveness'. It is God who forgives, so it should be 'man's forgiveness' because 'forgiveness is to man' and it was 'from' God. Why is the phrase 'God's forgiveness' grammatical, I have a confusion.

to pray for God’s forgiveness


  • 'Apostrophe s' can refer to what belongs to you, what is given or produced by you, or what pertains to you. Shakespeare's plays; Cadbury's chocolate; Risso's dolphin (named after the first scientist to describe it). Dec 1, 2020 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


In this case man is forgiven, and God forgives.

This means that forgiveness is God’s to give, and man’s to get.

The forgiveness is FOR man, but it is FROM God.

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