What’s the truth about “original sin”?

Adam:Eve leaving Eden 2 20691268

Romans 5:12–19, It is difficult for our minds to comprehend the concept that as death came to all men because of the sin of one man (Adam), so life can come to man through the righteousness of one man (Yeshua). In these verses, Paul attempts to logically and legally lay out this concept to his readers in a way that they can understand.

Let us first retranslate verse 12 by using biblical definitions for the terms Paul uses in this verse:

Wherefore, as by one man sin [i.e., Torahlessness — See 1 John 3:4] entered into the world, and death [separation from communion or relationship with YHVH because of sin; i.e., Torahlessness]; even so death [separation from YHVH] passed upon all men, for all have sinned [violated the Torah; i.e., the righteous instructions, teachings, precepts of YHVH as outlined in the Pentateuch or law of Moses].

We know from the Scriptures that the Torah (the righteous instructions, teachings and precepts of YHVH Elohim) not only existed prior to Moses, but prior to the creation of the world (Rom 7:14; Ps 119:142,151; Gen 26:5; John 1:1–2, 14; Gen 1:3 cp. 14). Yet in verse 13 Paul states (in the KJV), “For until the [Torah] sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed where there is no [Torah].” The CJB renders this verse as follows: “Sin was indeed present in the world before the Torah was given, but sin is not counted as such when there is no Torah.” Joseph Shulam rightly states in his commentary on this text that though the Torah existed prior to Mount Sinai, the legal or constitutional framework did not exist to make it applicable, binding and enforceable upon a group or nation of people. This legal framework was created for the nation of Israel—like a legal national constitution—at Mount Sinai. Sin was still sin, and Adam sinned at the tree of knowledge. He rebelled against or transgressed Elohim’s direct command, that is, the Word of Elohim.

Even though none of the descendents of Adam have “sinned after the similitude [manner, likeness] of Adam’s transgression” (verse 14), that is to say, they did not commit the exact sin of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, nevertheless, “death [still] passed upon all men” (verse 12). That is to say, all men are separated from Elohim because of Adam’s sin.

One view of the “original sin” doctrine states that the sin of Adam is imputed upon all of his descendants who are guilty, upon birth, of the sin of Adam The proponents of this mainstream Christian view cite Romans 5:12–14 to substantiate this interpretation. Yet this is not what Paul is saying here. He says that Adam’s children did not sin in the same manner as Adam did, but the results of his sinning (death, or separation from Elohim) have passed onto all of mankind. This concept is traditionally called the “Federal Representative” view of the doctrine of “Original Sin.” Adam’s sin set a legal precedence negatively effecting the lives of all of his descendants in the same manner that elected representatives in a democracy make laws legally binding upon the lives of their constituents. Humans are born “cut off” from fellowship with YHVH Elohim and therefore have the powerful propensity toward sin which is the natural result of being separated from or being outside of a life-giving relationship with YHVH. To be separated from YHVH results in spiritual and physical death.

As human beings did not sin in the same manner or similitude as Adam, yet suffer the consequences of sin, which is death (separation from YHVH), as Adam did, likewise, humans cannot live righteously (Isa 64:6) in the same way Yeshua the Messiah did, yet we can still experience life (spiritual relationship with YHVH) through Yeshua. Sin is the transgression of the Torah (1 John 3:4). The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) and all have sinned (Rom 3:23) and the soul that sins shall die (Ezek 18:4).

The idea of federal or corporate responsibility, that is, that the fathers can make laws and covenants binding upon their children or that they can pass blessings and curses (or penalties) onto their children generations latter, is a Hebrew concept (Matt 27:25; Deut 29:14–15; Exod 20:5; Num 14:18; Deut 5:9; Gen 48:14–20; 49:1–28).

Furthermore, it would appear that sin guilt and death is passed down generationally through the male sperm and the male blood line since the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). This is why Yeshua the Messiah had to have been born of a virgin and was without a human father in order to be unspotted by sin in order to be the perfect, unblemished Lamb of YHVH.


3 thoughts on “What’s the truth about “original sin”?

  1. Great article. I agree we have the propensity to sin passed down in our blood line, just like some people may have latent genes for diabetes and if they make bad choices this genes turns on and they get the disease.
    Now question is, if we follow line of thought above, is that if a baby or young child were to die are they destined for the kingdom, automatically? Since the wages of sin is death and these little ones have not yet sinned. And Jesus did say for of such is the kingdom of heaven Matt 19:14. What are your thoughts from the scriptures on this?

  2. It seems scripture teaches that YHWH does not hold the sins of those who are below twenty against them. This is the cut off off age of those in the wilderness who’s sins were not held against them in order to enter into the promised land. Children it seems can sin but those sins are not held against them. This is one of the points I make with my friends who still believe in infant baptism. Shabbat shalom everyone!

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