Original Sin

The idea of Original Sin is based on Paul’s supposition that all humans are born sinful. It is not a theological concept that is brought up or mentioned in the original text of the Old Testament.

In the fifth chapter of Romans, according to Paul, humanity was cursed because Adam and Eve sinned when they ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As Paul puts it:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. 5:12

…or as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. 15:22

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Rom. 5:17-19

Now we have to remember that Paul saw Jesus in a beam of light on the road to Damascus. He never studied with him or listened to him, though he was alive at the same time. And Jesus, when he was alive, was preaching a pro-Hebrew apocalyptic message. Paul saw fit to subtly change the thrust of Jesus’ teaching to what we have now, one-size-fits-all, believe in us or die.

At no point in the OT do we see anything that might qualify as a curse of “Original Sin” to be handed down to all of Adam and Eve’s descendants. Yes, their lives are supposed to become more difficult than they had heretofore experienced; but where is all of that is the “Sin” being passed along?

Perhaps more importantly, there is no indication that this sin must be “redeemed” eventually by Jesus? Christianity is anxious to portray itself as the logical and theological offspring of Judaism, but if Paul simply invents a concept and tacks it on to Jewish stories, it’s hard to see how that makes it true. If I went around claiming that Jesus spoke to me in a ‘beam of light’ and he conveyed new theological concepts to be accepted by all Christianity…how far would I get before being locked up in the funny farm?

In Genesis and all of the way through to the ending of Malachi, there isn’t the slightest hint of there being any sort of Original Sin inherited by all humans through Adam and Eve. There are stories of God getting angry at humanity in general…and at the Jews in particular…offering many opportunities for God to point out how everyone is “sinful” because of Adam and Eve. Yet we find nothing about that.

Also, there is nothing about how everyone who isn’t “right” with God will go to hell and be tormented… another staple of Christian theology connected to Original Sin. You would think that God would have the civility to mention something this important to us.

Not even Jesus is quoted as having been concerned with Adam and Original Sin. Paul’s interpretation is not really warranted by the actual story. This is a big problem. If this interpretation is not right, the whole Christian scheme of salvation falls apart.

Just as the Trinity is made up by later ‘Christians’, so too is ‘Original Sin’.

Christians however, have a uncommon ability to ignore facts.

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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

11 Responses to Original Sin

  1. paarsurrey says:

    Quote from your write-up :
    “Not even Jesus is quoted as having been concerned with Adam and Original Sin. Paul’s interpretation is not really warranted by the actual story. This is a big problem. If this interpretation is not right, the whole Christian scheme of salvation falls apart.

    Just as the Trinity is made up by later ‘Christians’, so too is ‘Original Sin’.”

    Hi

    I agree with you,the original sin is only an invention of Paul and it is neither originated by Jesus nor mentioned in the OTBible. Jesus told (as per NTBible) that he was son of Adam/Man; if Adam was the original sinner and sin is hereditory then Jesus must be a sinner.

    I don’t believe that Adam, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Socrates and Muhammad etc were sinners; they were Messengers of GodAllahYHWH and innocent people. GodAllahYHWH chose them and revealed unto them knowledge for guidance of the humans which was otherwise difficult or impossible.

    Kindly visit my blog for more details.

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hi Paarsurrey, Thank you for your reply.
    What is a Ahmadi Muslim? Just curiosity.
    I did visit your site. One wonders, is Jesus even real?

  3. shaverrhea says:

    Thank you for clearing this up. 🙂 I am personally a follower of Christ who doesn’t believe in original sin–or trinity. I also agree with your end statement. So many of us do overlook the facts. I wish people would read to see that the Bible does have differences in stories. Take the Damascus Road experience. Luke gives three different versions in Acts 9, 22 and 26. Then Paul says gives his own version in Galatians. It seems that he may not have even been in Damascus–or on a Damascus road in his version–he went back later on. It also amazes me that he never talked about a blinding light–which I’m sure he would’ve talked about if he’d historically seen it. My guess is that there are parts that writers wanted to embellish on…anyways, that’s my rant. Just wanted to say good post and I look forward to reading more stuff. 🙂

  4. thewordofme says:

    Many thanks for your comments shaverrhea.
    I remember hearing the stories of ‘Original Sin’ and the ‘Trinity’ many, many years ago and disbelieving it then…as a youngster. I wish you well on your journey.

  5. paarsurrey says:

    Hi thewordofme!

    Thank you for visiting my site. It is a good friendly gesture. I give hereunder an oveview for our community from its official website:

    “An Overview
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a religious organization, international in its scope, with branches in over 189 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. This is the most dynamic denomination of Islam in modern history, with worldwide membership exceeding tens of millions.

    The Ahmadiyya Community was established in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in a small and remote village, Qadian, in the Punjab, India. He claimed to be the expected reformer of the latter days, the Awaited One of the world community of religions (The Mahdi and Messiah). The Community he started is an embodiment of the benevolent message of Islam — peace, universal brotherhood, and submission to the Will of God — in its pristine purity. Hadhrat Ahmad proclaimed Islam as the religion of man: “The religion of the people of the right path” (98:6)

    With this conviction, the Ahmadiyya Community, within a century, has reached the corners of the Earth. Wherever the Community is established, it endeavors to exert a constructive influence of Islam through social projects, educational institutes, health services, Islamic publications and construction of mosques, despite being bitterly persecuted in some countries. Ahmadi Muslims have earned the distinction of being a law-abiding, peaceful, persevering and benevolent community.

    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam was created under divine guidance with the objective to rejuvenate Islamic moral and spiritual values. It encourages interfaith dialogue, and diligently defends Islam and tries to correct misunderstandings about Islam in the West. It advocates peace, tolerance, love and understanding among followers of different faiths. It firmly believes in and acts upon the Qur’anic teaching: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (2:257) It strongly rejects violence and terrorism in any form and for any reason.

    The Community offers a clear presentation of Islamic wisdom, philosophy, morals and spirituality as derived from the Holy Qur’an and the practice (Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Some Ahmadis’, like late Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (who served as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan; President of the 17th General Assembly of U.N.O.; President and Judge of the International Court of Justice, at the Hague), and Dr. Abdus Salam (the Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1979), have also been recognized by the world community for their outstanding services and achievements.

    After the demise of its founder, the Ahmadiyya Community has been headed by his elected successors — Khalifas. The present Head of the Movement, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was elected in 2003. His official title is Khalifatul Massih V.”
    http://www.alislam.org/introduction/index.html

    Thanks and regards

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

  6. Robaigh says:

    Cool. I’ll come back and post on this when I get a chance. Until then, I just wanted to say that strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Now, with that nerdy Python quote out of my way, I’ve got to pay some bills. See ya soon.

  7. thewordofme says:

    Hi Robaigh,
    Thanks for writing.

    I find that most of the things I am questioning are pretty basic to the evangelical beliefs. Such as: Noah’s flood, Babel, Original Sin, the Trinity, Biblical inerrancy, authorship of the Pentateuch,…these are truly basic to Christianity…and I don’t believe in them. The evidence, I feel, is overwhelming against them.

    I think that the fundamentalist, evangelical position is indefensible in light of what is now known about our world, our history, and perhaps more importantly the history of the Christian beginnings. More and more they are finding their theology in the same position the Catholic Church was when they denied that our world revolved around the Sun and denied the truth that Galileo was laying out for them.

    I have more or less quit the quest for info about the above listed subjects because I think I have found the truth of them. They are myths–in my opinion.

    So, I’m not sure where that leaves me now. Probably a non-practicing Deist or something.

    Really like ‘talking’ with you. Thanks…

  8. Chris Dills says:

    In Psalms 51:5 David writes:

    “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    P.S. What’s up with the cat picture?

  9. thewordofme says:

    Hi Chris Dills, thanks for writing.

    I get a laugh out of the cat things and want to share…too much you think? Just made a new post with picture on it. 🙂

    So does the Psalms quote mean that David was a bastard? Don’t the Jews have a really strong aversion to people born of sin?

  10. Chris Dills says:

    hehe, nah, the cats work

    No, based on the context of the passage, David is discussing his own sinful nature, which he portrays in this verse as being consistant since his conception

  11. Robaigh says:

    OK, I’m back. Sort of. Again, so much time has elapsed, that I doubt I’ll be able to pick up where I left off. I think you’re correct that Paul *coined* the Doctrine of Original Sin, but I think that it does have pre-Christian precedent. The doctrine is tied, of course, to the Fall of Man, which is understood (as far as I know) by Talmudic authors. It might not have resulted in a doctrine or a dogma in Judaism as it did in Pauline Christianity, but the concept of a curse brought by Humankind by the poor choices of Humankind is there. I’m too lazy to look up the specific scriptural reference in Genesis, but the text reads something like this:

    By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground that you came from. You are dust and unto dust you will return.

    The Fall is about humans being…out of joint. You can follow the train all through the Hebrew Bible. The People screw up and God sends them a Prophet to set them straight. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. When they do right, they thrive. When they fail, something crappy happens to them. Afterwards they repent for a time and the whole cycle starts again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The whole Hebrew Bible runs this way, but there’s a promise of a Messiah – a redeemer. I don’t think it’s possible to argue otherwise. Look especially at the Prophets, most notably Isaiah.

    Again, you’ve packed your post with so much stuff that it’s hard to tackle it systematically. I guess it’s not really necessary, either. I can’t convince somebody to believe if they either don’t want to or aren’t ready to. Faith seeks understanding (which you definitely appear to be doing), but that faith thing is pre-supposed. If you don’t have it, nobody can force it on you, nor should they try.

    I’m really heartened by your questions and challenges, though. Even if I can’t tackle them here, they do make me think, and they help me to pin down what I believe and why. I hope it doesn’t freak you out for me to say that our “chats” have been a blessing to me.

    I mentioned before that this is a hectic time, with the whole house for sale thang. For that reason, I can’t promise that I’ll check in often, but I’ll keep coming back when I can.

    Take care!

    Rob

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