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The Doctrine of Original Sin

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by jmvizanko, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

    How can there be such a large discrepancy between what the Jews believe about the biblical foundations for original sin (it doesn't exist) and what the Christians believe about it (its integral to their need for a savior and their entire faith)? This seems to me to be one of the largest implications for the bible being too vague and massively open to interpretation. How could two major religions that draw their dogma from the bible diverge so much over such a core issue?

    I am by no means a scholar of the bible, from either the Christian or Judaic viewpoint. I guess I'm looking for input from both sides, as I have never even researched the argument either way.
    Caladan likes this.
  2. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

    Well because Judaism and Christianity are quite different religions, and for another thing, it's not entirely impossible Judaism once believed in original sin. The idea isn't foreign to the Tanak, King David says his mother concieved him in sin. Judaism once believed in many things it's discarded and at other times picked up. Jewish belief hasn't remained constant the last 3200 or so years.
  3. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

    Well I'm hoping somebody might know whether or not this is the case, not whether or not its possible. Either way, the fact that no Jews consider it biblically supported now makes me wonder how the Christians can think it is.
  4. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

    Well I don't come from a religious Jewish household, I'm secular. I don't have enough knowledge of Judaism to answer your question.
  5. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Are you not looking for the item ...the one event... that separated Man from God?

    We die...and to explain what could not be explained...
    someone assumed it's because God 'went away'.
    He 'went away' for something said or done, at the very beginning of Man's existence.

    You can pick your preferred version as you please.
    Choose your prophet and his story as you like.

    But do you really think that some action of poor choice, done so long ago, has any rearing on your relationship with God today?

    Therefore, a 'doctrine' of sin is not likely to be relevant to you.
    Unless of course, you can't make up your own mind what relationship you have with your God.
  6. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire Staff Member Premium Member

    We(Christians) have what you might call additions to our Canon.
  7. Danny Heim

    Danny Heim New Member

    Nevertheless what your knowledge is, you make a very valid point.
  8. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

    But isn't the doctrine of original sin derived from the old testament? I mean, if we all aren't sinners worthy of eternal damnation, what is the need for a sin-destroying messiah? (which, to add to what the Jews do not derive from the "old" testament, they do not believe the messiah is supposed to do at all)
  9. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

    The difference comes from how we look at the story.

    On the one hand, Christians look at the Genesis story on a simple surface level. God tells Adam and Eve that eating from the tree=sin=death. Adam and Eve eat from the tree and thus their reward (and the reward of their descendants) is death. That death can only be escaped via the sacrifice of Jesus and the salvation which comes through belief in him.

    Judaism, on the other hand, looks at the story of Genesis on many levels. Ever since I began studying Judaism, and Genesis in particular, I have found the Jewish view of these first few chapters of Torah to be complex and astounding.

    How you see this first story (creation and the story of man and his fall) shapes the way you look at the world and even the rest of Torah. It is, I have found, so complex that I don't even really talk about Genesis 1-3 with people anymore because I simply can't. I think about it and don't even know where to begin, let alone what to say on the subject. It is a wellspring of ideas that could probably be studied for all of one's life.

    In essence (and this a very simplified view), we see the story of Adam and Eve and their sin in terms of a much bigger picture where God desires that mankind achieve his own perfection.

    In simple terms, the reason Jews and Noahides don't believe in original sin is because we don't believe that mankind essentially changed from before he ate the fruit. We believe (again in simple terms) that man's perspective of right and wrong changed from "true and false" to "good and bad."

    If I look at a painting and then move 10 feet to the right and look at the painting, my view of the painting is different, but who I am is not. Even if my change in view affects how I act, I am still essentially the same.

    We believe that man's "sinful nature" was there before Adam and Eve ate the fruit (if it weren't, the snake couldn't have tempted Eve because there would have been nothing in Eve that would have responded positively to the snake's argument). The eating of the fruit changed our perspective and was the beginning of a long battle where we fight against our "sinful nature". The end goal (with the coming of Mashiach and what not) is that man will conquer his yetzer hara (sinful nature) and live peacefully with God.
  10. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister New Member

    As usual, Knight, you oversimplify the Christian perspective and situation.

    Original sin is not the doctrine the early church affirmed. St. Augustine introduced the notion in the 4th C and it eventually won the day (again, this took centuries). The Eastern Orthodox church has never affirmed the doctrine of original sin as understood by Western Roman Catholic churches and their Protestant descendants.

    So the idea is important historically, and some sects (especially fundamentalists) hold that denying it is tantamount to heresy. What can you do with such accusations except roll your eyes and walk away?
  11. Runlikethewind

    Runlikethewind Monk in Training

    I think the key word here is derived. St Augustine can primarily be held responsible for the theology of original sin. It is something that is supported or derived from the Hebrew scripture in light of the revelations made by Jesus. Since the Jews do not recognize Jesus they do not see it the same way. The same could be said about prophesies about Jesus recognized by Christians and rejected by Jews. Christian interpretations of the Hebrew scripture are often done in light of the teachings of Christ giving us a different perspective on the meaning of the text.

    Interestingly enough, Augustine did not have as great an influence on the Church in the East and therefor the Orthodox position on original sin is different than western Christianity. OCA - Q & A - St. Augustine & Original Sin
  12. Runlikethewind

    Runlikethewind Monk in Training

    Dune, ya beat me to the punch!
  13. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

    I thought one would be able to tell (from my post as a whole) that I was simplifying. I simplified a lot in that post.

    Perhaps my view stems from my being a former fundamentalist Christian. I always understood the idea as being rather Biblical. I think Paul makes it quite clear in his works.
  14. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

    Hubris, alienation, the tendency to blame. This is original sin. I tend to agree more with the Jewish perspective on the story of 'the Fall,' at much as I understand it.
  15. Zadok

    Zadok Zadok

    Original sin turns G-d into the worse kind of abusive and unjust G-d pouring out punishments on innocent children because of their parents. It is indefensible by all rational people that believe G-d is just and merciful.

  16. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

    So back to my point about this representing a huge instance where the bible is hopelessly vague and open to interpretation...
  17. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

    It's a marketing ploy. If you want to sell a product, you have to convince a potential buyer that he has a need, and that your product will fill this need. And if there is no actual need... you create a need.

    So it was figured by someone that in order to sell Jesus, he'd have to be worth a potential buyer's while... so they created the idea that the eating the fruit in the garden incident doomed all of mankind to hell... and their only way out was to profess belief in Jesus.

    Say what you will about all the death and misery caused by plagues and floods and such in what many refer to as the "old testament".... but it wasn't until Christianity came around that God started condemning people to everlasting torment simply for being human.

    Judaism is about how to live life according to God's plan in order to make the world we live in a better place.

    It seems to me, more and more as I read Christian texts and talk to Christians in forums like these, that Christianity is about how to avoid being sent to hell when you die.

    Life isn't a job application, nor is it a waiting room, nor is it boot camp. Life is the real deal. It's what we're here for.
    TheKnight likes this.

    URAVIP2ME Well-Known Member

    I must agree that life is the real deal.

    Since the idea of literal hell fire did Not originate with the Hebrew Scriptures then mankind needs to trace its religious family tree back to its roots to find the origin of such a belief.

    Pagan Babylon was the birthplace of pagan religion by Nimrod.
    When the pagan peoples migrated from ancient Babylon they populated throughout the earth. They took with them their old pagan religious ideas and spread them world wide into a greater religious Babylon or Babylon the Great.
    Especially after the first century ended there was a fusion, mixing or blending of Biblical teachings with pagan ideas and practices and that is why today we see similar religious concepts such as hellfire overlapping in the world's religions including Christendom or so-called Christianity.

    According to Acts [2 vs27,31; Psalm 16v10] Jesus was Not doomed to hell.
    God resurrected Jesus from hell [sheol] according to Christian Scripture.
    Jesus believed hell was the common grave of mankind. [John 11vs11-14]
    The unconscious dead sleep [Ecc. 9v5,10;Psalm 6v5; 13v3; 115v17; 146v4]
    Even the word 'cemetery' means sleeping place [RIP].
    Jesus taught the dead sleep the deep sleep of death until they are awakened on resurrection morning, so to speak, or Christ's millennial-long day with everlasting life in view as the prophet Daniel looked forward [12 vs2,13]
    when death is swallowed up forever.-Isaiah 25v8.

    Since man can Not direct his step according to Jeremiah [10v23] then we need God to step in through divine intervention into mankind's affairs and have his Messiah bring the promised Peace on Earth toward men of goodwill in fulfillment to the Promise to Abraham that through his 'seed' [Messiah] all families of the earth will be blessed, and all nations of the earth will be blessed. -Genesis 12v3; 22vs17,18 and according to Revelation 22v2 that will happen, then, the humble, mild, meek people will inherit the earth- forever.
    Psalm 37 vs11,29; Proverbs 2 vs21,22.

    After all the wicked are destroyed or annihilated [Psalm 92v7; Jeremiah 25vs31-33], then emptied-out hell [Rev 20vs13,14] will be void of people because 'all' in hell [gravedom] are 'delivered up'......then 'vacant hell' dies a symbolic death never to exist again. Finally, (with the only exception of Matthew 12v32; Hebrews 6vs4-6), endless life will be the real deal.
  19. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire Staff Member Premium Member

    Could you explain your understanding of the doctrine?

    That is unfortunate.

    URAVIP2ME Well-Known Member

    Wasn't the original, or first sin, committed by Satan at Gen 3v4 that Eve would surely not die? Isn't that why Satan [John 8v44] is called the father of the lie.
    Father meaning life giver would mean Satan, so to speak, gave birth to the lie.

    At sinning, Adam lost his healthy human perfection of mind and body.
    Adam, as family head, could now only pass on to us what he himself had which by that time was only human imperfection of mind and body.

    Even parent knows at birth that a child's leanings will be toward imperfection.
    God did not make that choice for Adam. Adam made that choice and passed down his choice to us.

    At death we can not resurrect oneself or another so we need someone to do that for us. Perfect Jesus balanced the scales of justice for us by being the ransom for our sins due to the imperfection we inherited from Adam.

    God did not have to send Jesus to earth for us. Jesus was not forced to do what he did for us. Because perfect Jesus died faithful, Jesus makes it possible for us to gain either life in heaven, or everlasting life on earth in healthy human perfection of mind and body that Adam originally had.
    In God's due time, Jesus will make all things new according to Revelation 21v5.
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