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Author: Jesus didn’t believe in ‘original sin’ and neither should we

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For many traditionalist Christians, the doctrine of “original sin” is a sacred cow. But author Danielle Shroyer hopes to send it to the slaughter house with her book, “Original Blessing: Putting Sin in Its Rightful Place.”

The doctrine of “original sin” asserts that human nature was corrupted due to the first sin by Adam and Eve and, therefore, all humans are inherently sinful. It is a “theological construct,” which means it isn’t explicitly laid out in the Christian scriptures, but rather derives from quilting together various passages. The first formulation of the doctrine arises with Augustine around the late 4th Century AD.

According to Shroyer, a former pastor and theologian, Jesus didn’t believe this doctrine and neither did the early church. And if Jesus didn’t believe it, maybe we shouldn’t either. Given the importance of this doctrine and Shroyer’s provocative claim, I decided to take time to chat with Shroyer about why she rejects original sin and what she believes instead.

RNS: Some people say they believe in the doctrine of original sin because of the Bible. But the doctrine developed hundreds of years into the common era. Tell us about the origin of this doctrine.

DS: It’s fair to say Augustine popularized the idea, and by the time of the Reformation it had become widespread in the West. While the early church talked about sin as an action or an illness, Augustine and others shifted language to an inborn sin nature. Once that happened, all the theological focus went toward trying to fix the problem of sin. The cross was seen differently, and salvation became primarily about sin management, and human bodies became suspect, and on and on. So I call original sin the red sock in our theological laundry, because it has the potential to discolor everything.

Image courtesy of Fortress Press

Image courtesy of Fortress Press

RNS: Why is this doctrine so important that you felt you needed to write a book about it?

DS: As a pastor and now a writer, I want to help people grow into a mature relationship with God. I just don’t think original sin is helpful in doing that; in fact I think it’s very often harmful. The most faithful and centered people I know have a healthy sense of dignity and an honest view of their own shortcomings, and that’s exactly what original blessing gives us. If you want short-term obedience, scare or shame people. If you want transformation, anchor them to God’s unconditional love.

Here’s the thing: people know they sin. What they don’t know is what to do about it. I don’t think the best answer is admitting you are irrevocably bad. I think it’s realizing your home has been in God all along, and it’s time you head that direction, because abundant life is waiting.

RNS: But what is the scriptural basis for the doctrine of original sin?

DS: Scripture certainly talks about the universal reach of sin. But no passage or verse in scripture speaks definitively to the concept of an inborn sin nature. We can take sin seriously without going there. After all, Jesus didn’t believe in original sin, and the disciples and the early church didn’t either. What we see in scripture is a story of people sometimes behaving terribly and people sometimes behaving righteously. It’s often the same people. Some call that a sin nature. I think we simply call it human nature.

RNS: How do you think this doctrine affects the perspectives of most Christians?

DS: Original sin hinders us from seeing the world as created for connection—to God, to each other, to all created things. It forces us instead to begin with the notion that humans are separate from God.  It forces us to be at odds with our bodies and desires and gives no solvable way to integrate them. And it can make our view of salvation small: mostly self-focused, and mostly about the afterlife. So Jesus becomes the solution to a sin problem, not the life of the world. I think it’s an incredibly limiting perspective, at odds with the cosmic scope of the gospel.

RNS: What is “original blessing?”

DS: We are in a relationship with God, and God started it, and God is sticking with it. While original sin is centered on human action, original blessing is centered on God’s sovereign choice to love us. God gives us this relationship at first breath, and when we respond by anchoring ourselves to God’s steadfast love, we find right relationship/shalom/wholeness with everything else. The deepest truth of the world is that we find our home in God because God is our home.

Danielle Shroyer is author of "Original Blessing"

Danielle Shroyer is the author of “Original Blessing.”

RNS: Is this an overly optimistic view of humanity? People have done more terrible things throughout history than we have space to name here. 

DS: I don’t know any power other than the steadfast love of God that can conquer evil and reconcile those terrible things. So, to me, it feels risky to try to ground our humanity in anything less than that power. I think original sin is overly pessimistic, and belief in human progress is too naive. Original blessing wisely reminds us we are all capable of both remarkable good and horrifying evil. It reminds us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. You could say it’s a grace-filled view of humanity, but I wouldn’t call that optimistic. I’d call it the good news. 

RNS: Some might say that original blessing makes light of sin. How do you respond?

DS: I think original blessing actually takes sin more seriously, because it tells us we are actually capable of being faithful… and yet loved when we are not. That kind of unwavering love gives us courage to be honest about our sins and the sins of the world, and empowered to do something about it. It gives us permission to practice, which is all we can do anyway. I’m honest about my flaws with my husband because I know he loves me despite them. And that’s why I can move from self-pity or guilt to repentance and action. God has designed us to be transformed by love. That is how we take sin seriously.

RNS: What about the understanding that Jesus’ death and resurrection “reversed the curse?” Doesn’t your view change the way we think about the cross and tomb?

DS: Well if you read closely, it’s the snake and the ground that are cursed, not Adam and Eve. So I’m not a huge fan of that saying. I think it’s impossible to explain what happened in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection with any simple formula. He came to be God-with-us. He came as the Messiah. He came to embody faithful humanity. He came to be the Way and to make a way. He came to glorify God and to empty himself. He came to share in our deepest sufferings, and to bless us even as we killed him. He came to defeat death, and to bring abundant life. I don’t think there’s any bottom to that well of mystery. But I think original blessing gives us more room to explore it. 

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

159 Comments

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  • We are none of us perfect. That is a given of human life. Those who are reality based recognize this, and still try to be the best people we can, Without trying to sell bad psychology and worse religion. Original sin is the corrupt notion of a corrupt religion. It takes this obvious fact– we’re none of us perfect– and turns it into the defining characteristic of human existence. It also turns it into a vehicle for gaining power, money, and dominion over the lives of others.

    Original sin is the fake disease. Christianity is the fake product being sold to cure the fake disease. Just be sure to pay the doctor for curing you of the disease you didn’t know you had.

    Or, in biblical terms: a snake and his oil are soon parted.

    I have a lot to say about this, but will do so when I have more time,

  • I understand the chosen v choosing argument. I can read I’m chosen into almost every page of the New Testament. I can read it out of just about every other page of the New Testament. So I chose not to read it into what I’m reading.

    “God has designed us to be transformed by love. That is how we take sin seriously”.
    This is a very good broad sweeping statement to cover what to look for if you are reading the New Testament for the first time. It is hard to come to bad conclusions reading with that kind of mind set.

  • Jesus was a Jew and Jews have never believed in original sin. Jews believe that people always have a choice to choose good or evil. The rabbis believed every person had a good side and a bad side. They maintained that we needed both, because we wouldn’t have achieved much with the bad side , but the bad side needed to be controlled and put in its place by the good side. It reminds of a Star Trek episode.

  • That’s an interesting idea. I believe “original” is a key tenet of conservative Christianity. It forms the basis for the sacrificial death of Jesus and foreshadowed by Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice Isaac and reinforced by the yearly Day of Atonement. Jesus was called the Lamb of God because he would be the sacrifice once and for all times. Hopefully the True Believers will weigh.

  • I guess Jesus give us an example of baptism to fulfill all righteousness was just a pointless exercises if there is no ordinal sin?! John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. If there is no original sin why the need to be born again?!

  • Jesus was hardly conventional by 1st century Judaic standards, but His practice of adherence to the Law was always correct. His teachings clearly anticipate the doctrine under discussion here.

  • Asking because I don’t know the answer.

    Does the earliest version of John which includes this verse predate or postdate the appearance of the concept of “original sin” within early Christianity?

    In other words: is the verse (accepting that we actually don’t know what might have been said by a Christ) evidence for Jesus believing in original sin or was it added by unscrupulous believers to give the appearance of authority to their preferred dogma?

  • Publish or perish!
    Meister Eckhart walked this trail before this “theologian.” He was heretical as well.
    If there is one indisputable doctrine, it is Original Sin.
    But then, feminism is all about making life comfortable.

  • 1 Peter 3:21; Hebrews 6:2 speaks of baptism as elementary and foundational . The book of John 3:22-23: “After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Ae′non near Salim, because there was much water there; and people came and were baptized.”

    Go look at 2 Thess 2:15 “…stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. ” What was the practice of the early church? Do a search for the Didache (as well as Acts, Romans, Ephesians, Colossians).

    Now, about Peter as the rock on which Christ builds his church and Peter being given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, compare the words of Jesus with the transfer of power of a steward in the OT Isaiah 22:20-23.

    May the Holy Trinity lead you to all truth.

  • Actually original sin is taught by Paul in Romans 5:
    “12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”

  • David was feeling guilty and sinful at the moment he wrote that. It was Jesus’s father that was a descendant of David, so if you believe in a virgin birth you can’t see Jesus as the son of David. Jesus isn’t the lamb of God. You are taking the verse out of context. Of course if you already believe in Jesus you will see it that way. Some Jews believe the entire Jewish people were the lamb of God. If God is going to send me to Hell, because I don’t believe Jesus is my savior, then he isn’t very loving at all.

    Jews were reading the beginning of Genesis.

  • Jesus was much more conventional than you realize. The “New Testament” gives an inaccurate and distorted picture of the Pharisees. to give you just one example. The Pharisees believed that saving a life or one’s health was more important than keeping the Sabbath. So why do we have the story of the Pharisees disapproving the hungry men who were picking fruit from an orchard on the Sabbath? They would not have done that. That’s just one example, I could go on. The Pharisees were not petty-fogging hypocrites. They were deeply religious men who were scholars of the law and mystics at the same time.

  • I’m surprised no mention is made of the Orthodox teaching on sin:

    As pervasive as the term original sin has become, it may come as a surprise to some that it was unknown in both the Eastern and Western Church until Augustine (c. 354-430)….

    Prior to this the theologians of the early church used different terminology indicating a contrasting way of thinking about the fall, its effects and God’s response to it. The phrase the Greek Fathers used to describe the tragedy in the Garden was ancestral sin….

    The Eastern Church, unlike its Western counterpart, never speaks of guilt being passed from Adam and Eve to their progeny, as did Augustine. Instead, it is posited that each person bears the guilt of his or her own sin. The question becomes, “What then is the inheritance of humanity from Adam and Eve if it is not guilt?” The Orthodox Fathers answer as one: death. (I Corinthians 15:21) “Man is born with the parasitic power of death within him,” writes Fr. Romanides (2002, p. 161). Our nature, teaches Cyril of Alexandria, became “diseased…through the sin of one” (Migne, 1857-1866a). It is not guilt that is passed on, for the Orthodox fathers; it is a condition, a disease….

    In simple terms, we can say that the Eastern Church tends towards a therapeutic model which sees sin as illness….The Church is the hospital of souls, the arena of salvation where, through the grace of God, the faithful ascend from “glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18) into union with God in a joining together of grace and human volition….

    Salvation is much more than a verdict from above; it is an endless process of transformation from autonomy to communion, a gradual ascent from glory to glory as we take up once again our original vocation now fulfilled in Christ…. The goal is far greater than a change in behavior; we are meant to become divine.

  • Hi Teton99,

    I actually have a chapter that discusses baptism specifically. Baptism has always been seen as a covenantal act. It is the way we respond to the covenantal faithfulness God first had for us. So though it includes a turning away from sin (not original sin, just sin), it is also a response to original blessing. God first loved us. When we are baptized and choose to follow God, we repent of our unwillingness to live into that faithful love and to try to return that love to God and others as best we can.

    So, when Jesus said baptism fulfills all righteousness, that begins when we choose to live into the covenantal faithfulness of God. We choose to live as part of God’s family. Hope that helps!

    To answer the question about when the concept of original sin began, Christianity thrived and spread across the world for 400 years WITHOUT this doctrine anywhere. The disciples, the early church, etc. did not have our Western understanding of original sin. So it’s hardly historically accurate to say we can’t be good or faithful Christians without believing in it. As someone pointed out below, it’s also important to note that Eastern Christians have never believed in it (nor have Jews or Muslims, either).

    Blessings to you all and thanks for reading!

  • Hi JP,

    Thanks for commenting. If you read those verses closely, Paul is not talking about an inborn, fallen state of humanity. He is talking about the universal reality that people sin, so that he can then show how Jesus offers life to all of us despite that sin. Remember, Paul was Jewish, so he did not have a concept of original sin. But he gives us a beautiful description of how Jesus offers all of humanity life. I discuss this in more detail in the book but I hope that helps! I think we’ve been conditioned to look for original sin when reading Paul, but when we take the time to read closely we realize he is not saying what we have assumed.

    Peace to you!

  • HI Agni,

    Thank you for posting this! I do discuss the Eastern versus Western view of sin throughout the book, and encourage us to return to a more Eastern understanding. I agree, it’s important for us to realize that the Eastern Church has never adopted a doctrine of original sin. We assume it has been around Christianity forever and everyone agrees, but that is simply not the case. I do think ancestral sin (I call it connectional sin in the book) is a much more biblically and theologically accurate way of understanding sin.

  • No, Teton99 has actually “stated the fundamental problem” with Danielle’s Shroyer’s book. (In fact, the last thirteen words of Teton99’s post are absolutely spot-on.)

    Think about it. Even if Jesus had never existed at all, the Bible (Gen. 3) makes totally clear that original sin is real, and it affects all of humanity. Shroyer cannot refute that.

    Indeed, the third sentence of Merritt’s article, “The doctrine of “original sin” asserts that human nature was corrupted due to the first sin by Adam and Eve and, therefore, all humans are inherently sinful,” is clearly demonstrated just by reading the first 11 chapters of Genesis, even if the rest of the Bible had never existed. You can clearly see the doctrine happening and unfolding as you read it. It’s totally real.

    And if you compare the Bible’s account with today’s often-grim newspaper and TV headlines, you can see that original sin, is still affecting humanity even today. No joke. If it wasn’t for Jesus, the Lamb of God, there would be NO hope. “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

    Teton’s right: We would NOT need to be born again, if original sin was a falsehood.

  • That is all assuming that you ignore the totality of human knowledge in favor of the 2000-3000 year old religious rumination/ of ignorant goat herders, oh man who uses a computer but pretends that the fables of a peripheral people a universe away from us in knowledge, culture and language have a basis in reality.

    Even if Jesus never existed at all? For such a smart feller, you sure can be pretty silly.

  • For the record, baptism, like the savior born of a virgin that will come to save mankind, has existed in a great many cultures and a great many religions over thousands of years.

  • Jesus Himself declared otherwise. The examples He cited are well recorded in the Gospels. He would not have been so forceful in His denunciations if they were not true. Two, possibly three of the accepted Gospels were authored by eyewitnesses to His life. Two of them written by members the Twelve, His inner circle. The New Testament is profoundly not “distorted.”

  • I don’t agree that He is just “talking about the universal reality that people sin, so that he can then show how Jesus offers life to all of us despite that sin” but that sin came into the world through Adam. That is why he said in verse 13–“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned”.

  • None of the Gospels were written until after Jesus was dead. They were partly written as a polemic to prove Christianity’s spiritual superiority to Judaism. There are many books written about the anti-Judaism in the New Testament. You cannot deny that Christianity has had what one person called “a theology of contempt.” towards Judaism.

  • When you say things like “why is this story in the Bible when we know it isn’t true”, you know that throwing out text in order to support a conclusion is a completely lost cause. If you can’t deal with what the scriptures actually say, what are you doing here?

  • So? Do you think your reply effectively answers Edward Borges-Silva’s comments? It doesn’t.

    Your claims do not have to be disproven, because they do not actually dispute Edward’s, as it seems you must think they do.

  • “Those who are reality based recognize this, and still try to be the best people we can…”

    I’m pretty sure at least some of you “reality based” people are not. And I know for a fact that some of the others are, despite holding a faith.

    Your sweeping generalizations show you are not a good thinker, at least not an effective persuasive thinker. At least not to people like me who have a hard time getting past your opening salvo of nonsense.

    Perhaps you do persuade some of the gullible, some of the easily lead. But your format won’t get past this critical thinker.

  • Transformed from what condition? Isn’t the Bad news that we need transforming?

    Without the bad news, that we are all dead, the Good News has no comparison. Without the reality of the very, very bad news, the Good News is meaningless.

  • The Jewish Bible does not include the “New Testament”. It is not part of our scripture. I am not throwing out text. I am giving the traditional interpretation of the Adam and Eve text in Genesis by centuries of Jewish rabbis. I certainly never said “Why is this story in the Bible if we know it’s not true?”

  • I did answer him. None of the Gospels were written until after Jesus was dead. It doesn’t matter how forceful his denunciations were, because they didn’t come from Jesus himself, they came from his followers. I didn’t say the entire “New Testament” was distorted, just its depiction of Jews and Judaism.

  • The gospels were written by 2 direct disciples (Matthew and John), Mark wrote down what Peter told him to and Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses.

  • Many (most?) theologies of Original Sin refer back, at some point, to the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. However, in Genesis 2:15-16, God warns Adam, He does not command him and the text shows Adam and Eve as ignoring God’s warning, not disobeying His divine command. Sin, as an exercise in disobedience has no warrant in the Garden of Eden story. Rightly understood (and as commented below) this story is about the exercise of free will and its cost. For a detailed discussion of these two verses, see http://learn-biblical-hebrew.com/hebrew-scripture/garden-of-eden-story/genesis-216-17/

  • I think you are far more capable of getting my point than you let on. But if you would prefer petty insults, please proceed.

  • JP: Prove it. Prove that what you say about the authorship of the Gospels isn’t just a faith statement. Offer proof that would hold up in a court of law. Prove that a hundred years of modern scholarship don’t offer a more likely description of the origin of the Gospel accounts. Then prove that those accounts haven’t been massaged by hundreds of years of reinterpretations until we have today’s doctrine. Among the recent doctrines made necessary by today’s doctrine of original sin is the immaculate conception. Perhaps you would like to show us where the Bible says Mary was born without sin so her Son could be born without sin.

  • Edward, if they were eyewitness accounts, why do they disagree on so many points? why do scholars admit that the gospels were written AFTER pAul’s letters.

  • Nope, the bad news is that although we need transforming, that there are people who think that religion is the answer to the transformation required.

    It’s almost as if a certain class of so called Christian never condemns other people for not being the right, I mean the same kind of Christian that they are.

  • God does not expect us to be perfect, but he has given us free will to choose between good and evil. We believe God forgives us without the need of a savior.

  • That is just not true. There were two schools of Pharisees and the Shammai school was more restrictive than the Hillel school, but neither school were hypocrites. I’m not saying there there wasn’t a few hypocrites in the bunch, but they were rare.

  • Duh – I’m a humanist, therefore an atheist (someone who does not believe in God(s).

    I get that you think that the Bible is the word of your god, I don’t. Demonstrate that it is (stage one is, of course, demonstrating the existence of god(s); any god(s)) and I’ll be impressed – until then it’s like trying to help a boat’s crew avoid destruction on some non-existent rocks by pointing a torch with a dead battery at yourself.

  • Concerning myself I would have no problem answering your question with yes. The way you stated the question I don’t think you have a problem applying the same answer to yourself.
    I’ll try to explain how I see some people having a problem with the question we don’t have a problem with.
    If I’m North Korean and I’m part of the oppressed, to be transformed by Gods love would change the way I reacted to sin toward me. In N. Korea sin toward me by the state would be about conforming me into the system, or keeping me conformed. Oppressed I can sin a couple of different ways, I can conform and become an oppressor, I can retaliate. Either has the potential to change something, but neither will cause transformation. That’s the bad news in this scenario.
    If the broad sweeping statement of Christianity is your sin is evil and you need to be forgiven. I can see where some take that as just another oppressive statement in an oppressive system.
    Sin that perpetuates sin in my example is evil. To be convinced of a need to love, and be loved for many people is a greater immediate need than to be convinced of a need to be forgiven.
    If you know your lovable you’ll know your forgivable. If you only know your unforgivien, there is no reason to think you’re lovable for some people.

  • Based on what we’ve seen so far in Earth’s history, how can anyone be sure that the evil and horrors on Earth can and will be undone by a god?

  • Paul certainly penned some of his epistles previous to the Gospel accounts. My sense is that the Apostles were busy building the Church and determined in retrospect their need to clarify and document the circumstances of Jesus’ teaching and life before the spread of the Church got beyond their immediate and personal stewardship. As to disagreement, by and large such disagreements do not exist. Each account is framed from a personal perspective and point of view, even as eyewitness accounts to crimes and tragic events typically differ in minor detail but not in the basic framework of circumstance. This is clearly the case in the Gospel narratives.

  • Agreed that none of the Gospel accounts were written until after Jesus’ death, and I would not discount that they were in fact written in polemical style. But I and others would submit that they were an extension and completion of the precepts and prophecies of the Torah absent accretions of applied Judaism that developed after the Babylonian captivity.

  • Ben, why should the accounts of a people from another era less technologically sophisticated than our own be discounted? From the beginning of written language, and before, humans have been able to communicate, assess, and record their experiences and observations with an astounding degree of verity. This is not to suggest the absence of myth or fable from the construct of explanations made for things that humans could not process by virtue of mere intellect. But apart from the very fanciful accounts of the “gods” composed by the ancient Greeks, for example, which gods were endowed by the very worst of anthropological tendencies, the account of Creation by Jehovah and events following, with the extension framed by the New Testament, I find a very coherent and rational explanation for both our presence on this planet and our purpose. At the same time I confess that there are events and precepts that I do not comprehend fully, yet when I compare the biblical account with other ancient stories regarding our existence there is an undefinable substance that “rings true” in the biblical narrative that is otherwise absent in other accounts. So while I might discount most of the goatherders of the ancient past, I do not discount them all.

  • The Babylonian Exile did not happen until after Rome conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. Jesus was already dead then. The rabbis believed that they were finding the true meaning of the Tanach. They would not call their work accretions of applied Judaism and neither would I.

  • Sadly, like so many professing Christians today at such late stages in their spiritual lives, Danielle Shroyer still considers “Jesus’ life, death and resurrection” a “well of MYSTERY.”  No wonder, then, she’s toying with this idea of “original blessing”.  She’d like to think that it somehow really “gives (her) more room to explore” that so-called “well of MYSTERY”, when, in fact, it really doesn’t.  And so I take what I just read in this interview to mean that, despite having published this book of hers, she still doesn’t know how to reveal and make known that MYSTERY in a way that apostle Paul was so capable of doing throughout his epistles.  Like this one, for instance:

    Ephesians 3:3-5 – “by revelation there was made known to me the MYSTERY, … the MYSTERY of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit”.

    Or this:

    Colossians 4:2-4 – “Devote yourselves to prayer, … praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the MYSTERY of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”

  • Good point, JP. Romans 5:12-17 is far too specific and detailed — and not just in general, but far too specific and detailed in its historical claims — to merely refer to “the universal reality that people sin.”

    Paul is very clearly referring to original sin there, described as “… human nature was corrupted due to the first sin by Adam and Eve and, therefore, all humans are inherently sinful.”

    Shroyer says, “Paul was Jewish, so he did not have a concept of original sin.” But Gen 3 clearly displays the historical event of original sin, and the next eight chapters show that the corruption affected all humans. So exactly why would Paul — a Jew who was clearly conversant with the Torah — NOT have a concept of original sin? No answer was given.
    In fact, check the RNS article: Nobody even discussed Romans 5 until YOU commented. So kudos to you for pointing things out.

    Indeed, we can ask the very same question about another observant, Torah-literate Jew as well — Jesus Christ. How are Jews who drew from and quoted from the Hebrew book of Genesis, unable to accept & believe in original sin??

  • It’s not about their technology, but the world they lived in and what they believed to be true. They were universe apart from us in knowledge, language, morality, Understanding, living standard, health, freedom, law, culture and a host of other variables. The stories of jehovah, the midianite storm god formerly known as el, are a case in point. How many did he murder, or tell his minions to murder? I know that you would look to him for morality. But I wouldn’t. The biblical narrative it’s true for you simply because you were raised with it, because it saturates our culture.2/3 of the world doesn’t think that the story is compelling at all.

    Thay’s not to say that there isn’t something to learn from our ancestors. 500 years before Jesus, Confucius listed the golden rule, the Buddha advocated compassion as a god like trait. Religions all over the world had their saviors, who would one day return again to save mankind. It’s neither a new story nor a a particularly compelling one.

    For myself, I believe that only beings that will save mankind are men. I don’t begrudge you or anyone their metaphors, but I will always stand against tyranny. And hat includes the tyranny of a god.

  • HpO, how can we know that Paul’s experience (the “revelation” of Christ) was not merely a hallucination or purely made up? Would you say that Muhammad’s vision of the angel Jibril (Gabriel) was genuine? What about Joseph Smith’s vision of the angel Moroni?

  • Ad-hominems can’t help you here, Ben. By the way, I’m smiling at the fact that you failed to address a single specific point I offered.

    Are you sure you don’t want to leave this discussion to other posters?

  • Why not just answer his sincere question Ben? Why — other than a guilty conscience, perhaps — do you try to sidestep things?

  • I am referring to the Babylonian Exile mandated by Nebuchadnezzar well in advance of the life of Christ.

  • You’re right, no religious truth-claim, whether by Paul, Muhammad, Joseph Smith or even for that matter (per your own assumption) Danielle Shroyer herself, can be proven innocent of the charges that it’s “merely a hallucination or purely made up”, or readily accepted as being “genuine”.  But that doesn’t matter much if it’s in your best interest as well as for the sake of the people you love to inter-connect with, to simply but genuinely dialogue about Paul, Muhammad, Joseph Smith and Danielle Shroyer.  I don’t know about you, even though you brought up the other 2 guys as though from personal history, but I have read and discussed Paul, Muhammad and Joseph Smith with Christians, Muslims and Mormons, respectively.  And guess what?  We were able to converse back and forth and reach a greater critical understanding of all the various truth-claims that are involved.  How?  By simply but genuinely going by Paul’s words on record as-is, Muhammad’s words on record as-is, and Joseph Smith’s words on record as-is.  And by suspending judgment as to the possibility or likelihood of the forces of “hallucination or (the) purely made up” or the “genuine”, being at work behind those words and records.  And that’s the problem with Danielle Shroyer.  She’s constantly passing judgment on canonized Christian records and the words therein, and yet demanding a captive audience from among Christians.  How, then, can she and they converse back and forth and reach a greater critical understanding of all the various truth-claims that are involved in those Christian records and the words therein, like “Jesus’ life, death and resurrection” or the revelation of the “MYSTERY” thereof?  How can that happen now, once she has pre-decided all along to NEVER EVER simply and genuinely go by whosever words (as they are) are on the Christian record (as it is)?  Which means, then, armed now with the book, Original Blessing, she’s primarily interested in re-inventing Christianity and re-catechize Christians for whatever reason.  Look, I’m no fan myself of the proto-Catholicism, Early Church Fathers’ dogma of Original Sin, but, unlike her, “Jesus’ life, death and resurrection” – the do-or-die crux of the Christian gospel – absolutely hold no un-revealed and no non-experiential “MYSTERY” for me.  Trust me, without it there can be no really, really Christian discussion of sin, let alone blessing, in the first place.

  • Fellow believers, even if you disagree with Danielle Shroyer, let’s take this opportunity to ask ourselves the simple question: like “Trinity” and “God the Son”, why can’t the words “original sin” be found anywhere in the gospels, epistles and revelation?  It’s because these are very loaded theologically proto-Catholicism words, invented long after the recording times of the gospels, epistles and revelation.  That fact alone should caution you not to accept them as the gospel truth but, instead, as what they truly are: the POST-gospel truth.  The latter might’ve been based on the former, but that can never make it become the former. So, then, don’t treat it like one. That’s all.

  • Watch out for the calcium in the bone you’re chewing on (look up what it can do to dogs). Self-deception works until it doesn’t, and then it may be too late. Did you hear about the alternative theory that the Titanic actually sank because a fire in the coal bunker weakened the hull of the ship and, afterwards, any collision no matter how slight doomed the vessel with its weakened hull? While the trained watch dog is chewing on a steak, the thief breaks in, unless the dog has been trained to not give in to the temptation of the steak.

  • The man who takes one incident concerning a group of people and denounces the entire group as complicit…

    Says what?

    As for answering his question…

    Sin is your obsession. Not mine. And in this case, my question was actually a simple statement.

    All of us may be inners. Only some of us are throwing stones.

  • Just curious…. but what if the Garden had never existed in fact. More to the point, what if Adam and Eve were two humans among millions that populated the globe around 6000 years ago. How would their sin affect any of their cohorts? Seriously.

    I think Gen 1,2,3 have to be read as mythological not as literal history. How are we to understand the Fall of Adam and Eve in a world (just 6000 years ago) which was already populated by millions of humans on six separate continents?

    In the context of a planet already rich with HUMAN life (and civilization) the Fall of Adam and Eve is an attempt to explain the existence of evil in world that once was perfect. Are we required to answer this question the same way they did 2000 years ago? How about if we frame it in terms of a God who is intending to grow us up?

    Yes, we make mistakes along the way. But if we see ourselves as embedded in the center of Love — “God is Love”, remember the epistle of John? — then, suddenly, there is reason to repent and return. If God is not love, or if God is merely the abusive alcoholic parent who gets angry at his wayward children, without providing resource (grace) to return, then people will start falling out of love with God. The point is simple: Lead with love.

    As was said in the article:
    >>>
    If you want short-term obedience, scare or shame people. If you want transformation, anchor them to God’s unconditional love.
    <<<

    Postscript: I anticipate being judged for my comments here. I am a Christian who accepted Christ in 1985 and was baptized soon after on May 12. But I'm not a literalist, nor do I believe the Bible is inerrant. I accept Evolution as valid science, and the evidence which shows that the earth is about 4.6 billion years old. So Genesis 1,2,3 are chapters which should be understood on a values basis, but certainly not as literal history.

  • If anyone could demonstrate that God existed it would still remain a doubt,for it would open the door to more questions, further doubt, and even deeper questioning. We take the claim of God on the principle of faith for one simple reason, it builds our muscle so to speak. Faith strengthens, faith weakens, faith can be nonexistent. We are born without faith, so it must be taught. Look at that through the eyes of a child.

    Look at it this way, why would you or I go to the gym? To exercise and grow muscle, correct? If we are to grow our faith so to speak, it has to start somewhere. Now that I laid the foundation of growing my muscle what happens if I stop going to the gym? My strength weakens. Our faith works exactly the same way. So your boat needed a life boat that can save the passengers and crew, our life boat so to speak, was Jesus.

    I can’t explain why I believe what I do, how I came about it was my cross to bear, and wasn’t for another individual. I will say this, I dug my hole so deep, the shovel I used to dig my way out with, just made the hole deeper. I moved the shovel to side and dug but when I went up, it just buried me. Work your way out of that problem.

    I did, thank God…

  • Was there an “original sin” ? Most assuredly, for why else do people grow old and die ? Perfect people have no physical flaws and thus they can live on forever. But only two people who have lived on the earth have been perfect, our original forefather, Adam before he rebelled, and the one who took his place, becoming the “last Adam”, Jesus Christ, that bought back the hope of living forever on a paradise earth by becoming a “ransom for many”.(Matt 20:28; Luke 23:43; 1 Cor 15:45; Note: Jesus perfect blood also bought about reconciliation with God for many who would be declared righteous and become “joint heirs with Christ” and make up God’s Kingdom, Rom 8:17)

    The word sin is from the Hebrew chattath (Greek hamartia) that means “to miss”. Hence, when Adam (and Eve) partook of the fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”, that God had told them not to so so or else suffer the penalty of death (Gen 2:17), they sinned or missed the mark of perfect obedience to God.

    The 2 volume set of books Insight on the Scriptures (published by Jehovah’s Witnesses) says that “both the prohibition and the subsequent pronouncement of the sentence passed upon the disobedient pair emphasize the fact that it was the act of disobedience in eating the prohibited fruit that constituted the original sin”.(Gen 3:3)

    Adam and Eve failed a simple test of avoiding even touching any of the fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”, for this test formally established God’s right to set moral standards or boundaries for us as his creation. Because of Adam’s failure to obey our Maker, Jehovah God, he became a sinner, and could only pass on to his offspring sin, that eventually results in death.

    Using a dented pan for bread only produces dents in the bread, so likewise Adam gave each of us a dent in our physical and mental makeup, that only “the last Adam” can undo.(see Isa 25:7, 8, whereby sin is called a “shroud” and “covering that is woven upon all the nations”, so that God will “swallow up death forever” for obedient ones)

  • Hmmm. no curse for humanity? Sure doesn’t explain death. Lets see the author explain that one away with her fantasy land human centered theology.

  • Respectfully, I think you’re mistaken. The claim made in the Bible is that “all have sinned and fallen short….” The emphasis here is on the act of sinning, which is an act of disorder against the natural law. It was Paul who explained that “through Adam sin entered the world…” but even then, sin is characterized not as essential feature of Adam himself, but the result of a wrong choice. But Jesus nowhere makes the same. Jesus speaks of acts that we have done, not evil that we are. And this, I think, is the main point of the author — that JESUS does not speak of original sin. He only speaks of the disordered acts. Even the woman caught in adultery (John 7) Jesus spoke of her sin: “go and sin no more…”; He did not, in that moment, identify her as a sinner, even though she was surrounded by her accusers ready to exact the penalty of death.

    To reiterate. Jesus speaks of sin frequently. But he does not speak of sin as being of the essence of human kind. I think that is a much more gracious, helpful and constructive view.

  • You are well within your rights to make such an objection, my comment was not intended as an insult but an analysis, which clearly differs from your own.

  • I don’t belong to a faith that believes in this…

    But I do think it could serve as a good metaphor for some of humanity’s less virtuous base instincts. Like tribalism is a thing our brains are wired to try to perceive the world in, for survival reasons. Thinking of things as us versus them is not something that is learned but rather something that the mind automatically tries to apply to the world, and is a dangerous mentality that one needs to work to get rid of. A pre-existing sin, if you will.

  • How appropriate for there to be a serpent on the cover of the book. If there is not original sin, why is one of the first words out of the mouth of babes is “NO?” Anyone who believes men are inherently good shouldn’t be locking the house, car, locker, cell phone, etc. Jesus Christ didn’t come into the world to save sinners who don’t really need any help! What good would a second birth do to those who don’t need it? Unbelievers will always find a reason to not believe the Word of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible will still be going strong when the scoffers die in their sins and realize that there is a Holy God who hates sin.

  • If you don’t want to believe the Holy Bible, that’s your choice. But don’t tell us what Jesus Christ believed.

  • Are you suggesting that your god, anyone’s god, could not provide a demonstration that left no room for doubt?

    If yes; your god is not omnipotent, therefore not what most consider a god.

    If no; your argument is that your god demands irrational belief, which is the mark of a psychopath, not a caring entity.

    I think what you are saying is that your faith is weak because it is illogical and therefore you have to keep topping up the Flavoraid in order to retain your irrational conviction. If so; congratulations – you have worked out how religion works; the ultimate irony being that it demands that you pay for the privilege of beefing up your imagination.

    PS – I don’t think you really read my point, the crew didn’t need saving, rendering the silliness of the actions irrelevant.

  • “no” is often a good word – no, I won’t kill; no, I won’t lie; no, I won’t pretend to know something I don’t – and your assertion that it’s one of a babies first sounds is irrelevant. Most early sounds are short and accidental – the child has to learn that it is producing sounds before it can experiment, understanding comes much later.

    PS Your point is rather xenophobic isn’t it. Not every child that uses the noise “no” even means what you mean by it. Your language is only one of thousands.

    As to “Jesus Christ didn’t……..” – I don’t doubt your conviction but it is all hearsay, acceptance of assumed authority and wishful thinking – you have neither reason nor evidence to back up any of it.

  • The person(s) who wrote it may have believed every word – belief is not evidence and the writer offers no evidence. Fail.

  • doesn’t explain death? – doesn’t explain taxes, unicorns or dark matter either – why should it?

  • It always worries me that people don’t see the inherent silliness of expecting A&E to know that something was bad (disobeying God) before they had eaten the fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn is that God was determined to introduce sin, though punishing punishing future generations who had not sinned is the mark of an evil being isn’t it?

  • The Christian concept of original sin — that humans are in a state of sin from birth or conception due to Adam and Eve’s sin — is foreign to Judaism. That is distinct from the concept that humans have a tendency to sin and that everyone does it.

  • Very well done and expressed. I’ve also heard it called Original Grace.

    OS was a construct of the RCC, as this article says, to make people more controllable. Rev. Shroyer described how fear and shame make people more manageable.

    The very earliest Christian churches, mostly in Turkey and Greece, show art depicting pastoral scenes such as the lamb, river of life, flowers and beauty. The cross, signifying death and shame, did not appear till after Augustine’s decree about OS.

    OS was the key to wealth and power for the RCC and ensuing Christian denominations. What a terrible deviance from Jesus’ message of love, repentance, acceptance and grace.

  • Judaism certainly has the concept that everyone does commit sins — just not that everyone is born totally depraved due to the sin of Adam and Eve.

  • I don’t know that it “comes from” anywhere, just that it is a natural state of being to have a choice between doing the right and the wrong thing, and the wrong thing often winning out.

  • I like your limited choices,, limited…
    Yes or No options are not an argumentative conclusion as you would prefer it to be, just simplistic for your taste I see, but way off base. I’m not saying my faith is weak, you are. The only thing illogical is everything you’ve offered up as a response, keep serving that Flavoraid, I’ll pass on the Jim Jones juice and leave it for you. I will say this, your view is so twisted I hardly think you even know what rationale is. Right out of the gate you act as if you have it all figured out. Good luck with that Einstein complex. Then you move into the insult room, that has little effect. I guess I struck a nerve responding to your post. Sorry I disrupted your safety pin march, it was a public forum. I don’t pay anything for an imagination, I seen where that took you and others. Been there, Done that. Along with age comes wisdom, I actually think I’m responding to someone who has yet to grow.

    PS – I did read your point, either my response flew completely over your head or hit you square in the chest and it hurt. Hence the lash out directed at me. I was respectful in my post to you, as I see that may have been a premature act of respect. Keep digging you’ll figure it out someday I pray. Peace… 😛

  • And you totally bypass the purpose that Jesus himself said he comes for the nonbelievers, the Gentile, not the ones who claim to be Religious as the Pharisees claim to be. Odd….

  • I see it a bit differently Susan, the chosen are not what Jesus came for. He expanded the boundary to invite non believers, the Gentile, the lost. We no longer needed to convert to Judaism just to qualify for the saving grace of God. I think the Jewish have what is necessary to obtain God’s grace because he extended that long before Jesus. I don’t see God sending anyone to anyplace, hell included. We can accept an invitation, or go our separate way. Depends on what you think is paradise. The Bible/God gives a brief description of what paradise with him will look like, we choose after that.

  • Sorry it took me a while to get back to you on this. Or maybe I did. I forget.

    I would suggest you find a book– available online for free, although the google books version has a lot of typos and misprints– called The English Life of Jesus, by tHomas Scott, and simultaneously called George William Cox, Jesus Christ. ( I don’t get it and I can’t explain. I tried to find out, but found nothing). It’s a well annotated and researched book about 140 years old, explaining a great deal about the gospels.

    These are not eyewitness accounts, Edward. There are too many things they disagree on, or simply defy sense. WHo was the eyewitness to Mary Magdalene and the empty tomb? Why did the eyewitnesses disagree, when it is stated in the Bible clearly that neither of them was there? I can’t even begin to argue the theological disagreements that Scott goes into.

  • Death is what happens to life. For myself, the thought of living forever is only exceeded in fear by the thought of living forever with a lot of sanctimonious born agains. How many reruns of “lost” could anyone watch before concluding for the 300th time that the whole series was a cheat?

  • Perfect people have no physical flaws and thus they can live on forever.

    Something presented completely without logic or experience can be dismissed completely and as easily.

  • Other than “yes” or “no” how do you answer “Are you suggesting that your god, anyone’s god, could not provide a demonstration that left no room for doubt?” – “Maybe”?

    So; many words – no argument.

    I like the idea that wisdom comes with age – it’s well over fifty years since I “figured it out” and abandoned the contradictions that are Christianity. I’ve been “digging” ever since – no-one has given me a valid reason to return. At least you haven’t tried.

  • This is not a subject that I have waded into without thought or substantial lay research. There are in fact substantial numbers of scholarly and theological texts that refute the arguments that you have posited. Matthew and Mark affirm that Mary Magdalene was not alone on her visit to the tomb, Luke uses the neuter term “they,” and of course he is not claimed as an eyewitness to Christ’s life. John mentions no one but Mary in this instance, but once again this is a mere detail not a conflict. I’m not entirely sure within the framing of your response that you are referring to eyewitnesses to the life of Christ, or His Resurrection. Still, any large library at any school devoted to the study of these events would provides substantial numbers of volumes by accredited scholars who attest to the historical validity of the Gospel texts. I find Gary Habermas to be quite persuasive, though he is roundly disparaged by skeptics because of his association with Liberty University.

  • If that is the case then that would mean God made sin a requirement for being human. It would mean He never intended His creatures to live in perfect harmony with His law. It would mean we can’t be held accountable for our sinning nor that any sacrifice for sin is necessary.

  • God did prove it, but it’s a shame you wasn’t there. It sounds like you needed to be. No room for doubt, no maybe’s. As they say, a blind eye sees nothing.

    Wisdom truly does come with age, I even gave my parents the benefit of a smile on that note. The contradictions you’ve seemed to have discovered are a false flag. You created them to justify your actions of abandoning/denying what you believed. Creating doubt does that to knowledge. At least you admit you’ve been digging ever since, for so long the light of day has escaped your vision, hence the blind eyes. No one has given you a valid reason to return and I doubt anyone could. You have to come across the reason on your own, otherwise it’s never going to be genuine which is likely why you see all the contradictions you claim to see in the first place. BTW, I didn’t know I was to try to open your eyes and convince you of something you all ready should have known. That would be like me getting that donkey up off it’s rear end when it refuses. I can lead the horse to the water but I can’t make him drink it. He has to be willing and thirsty.

  • Not a requirement, just an inevitability. God’s intent doesn’t change that. I don’t see how any of it changes accountability for wrongdoing.

  • You never needed to convert to Judaism to “quality for the saving grace of God.” Jews have never believed that it was necessary for anyone to convert to be “saved.” For non-Jews it was and is just necessary to be a good person. I put saved in quotes, because being saved is a Christian concept.

  • There is no indication before the fall of Adam that sin was inevitable. God never intends sins because God is holy and holiness is diametrically opposed to sin.

  • Sorry if I didn’t understand the post Susan. I was going by some old study material that claimed that conversion was required to even be allowed into the temples, let alone allowed the opportunity of salvation. I could be getting things crossed, it was a study done many years ago. I’m bad at details sometimes.

    Thanks for the kind response, have a blessed day…

  • Though you feel as some others that God knew in advance that Adam and Eve would sin, “that God was determined to introduce sin”, the Bible does not support this conclusion. For what purpose does anyone provide a test, say a teacher for her students ? Does she already know that they will fail or pass ? No. She provides a test for her class in order to determine who has been paying attention and those who haven’t.

    Likewise of God, for he did not know in advance the outcome concerning Adam and Eve, so he created a simple test for them. They could enjoy all of the fruit within the garden of Eden, except one, the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”.(Gen 2:16, 17) This one tree was set aside as God’s and also established his right as our Creator to set moral boundaries for us.

    This simple test caused no harm at all, but it did provide a means to see if Adam and Eve had any love for God. Just as a quality manufacturer tests its products to see if they will pass the rigors involved, so our Creator, Jehovah God, placed a simple but effective test before our original parents to see if they would obey.

    God, in creating humankind, gave them a wide array of senses and needs that could (and did) affect the outcome of the test. Humans, being totally unlike the angels in the spirit realm (who have no need for what humans require and can live for untold millennia by themselves), are totally dependent upon the air we breathe, food, water, and were created with strong sexual desires and other dependencies.

    Hence, because of Adam’s “original sin” of partaking from the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”, he brought upon his offspring (us) sin and death. Thus, a perfect man was required to buy back what Adam lost for us, perfect life on a paradise earth.(1 Cor 15:45)

    However, many do not believe Jesus, as the one who gave his perfect life for obedient mankind, ever existed. For more on evidence that Jesus did exist, please consider the no. 5 2016 Awake ! entitled “Did Jesus Really Exist ?” at JW dot org.

  • So your position is that if Jesus doesn’t personally point something out, it’s not Scripture anymore? It’s not the word of God anymore? We get to ignore a historical claim even though it’s clearly in the Bible?

    Obviously Jesus did not share such a position, (John 10:35), and Jesus at least quoted Genesis enough to make it clear that he took its historical claims as fact. One of those historical claims is original sin.

  • I don’t have any need to judge you, no worries.

    But as soon as I saw your 1st paragraph I automatically knew you believed in the religion of evolution, because one of its primary teachings is that Adam & Eve, as specifically described in Genesis 1-3 as the first two humans on Earth and the progenitors of all other humans, NEVER EXISTED at all.

    (Which is why the theoty of Evolution is incompatible with Christianity. They oppose each other. Even the famous evolutionist Richard Dawkins has said so.)

    You say you accepted Christ, so that’s that. No denials from me.

    But do you know what famous evolutionist Daniel Dennett calls evolution? He says it’s THE UNIVERSAL ACID because of what it does to people’s religious faith. And there’s enough Christians gone belly-up in the river, to prove him right.

    So please stop drinking the universal acid Chris, because sooner or later you’ll get stomach trouble.

  • Well, it’s easy to exaggerate my position, as you have just done.

    Intelligent observers have long noted that authors reflect their own experience in their writing. Paul reflects Paul’s experience; John reflects John’s experience. The gospel writers themselves reflect views of Jesus which are not identical.

    Harmonizing Paul with Jesus is not a slam dunk. The doctrine of the Original Sin was not described until Augustine. If you want to regard the Bible piece-meal by all means, look at Paul’s writing ALONE. But the context has shifted.

    We know more about the history of the world than Paul did, and the changing context MUST inform the story. Original Sin, in light of what know about the history of the world itself–homo sapiens existing for 100s of thousands of years, human kind NOT developing from a single couple living in the Garden of Eden — needs to be reframed.

    We make mistakes as we grow up. That should be obvious to everyone, everywhere on the planet. But what metaphor drives our understanding? Is that we are inherently defective, because of the sin of our (non-existent) great-great-great-…. -grandfather and -grandmother? Or is it because we are inherently (but necessarily) selfish, and in our immaturity we do not know how to manage our selfishness with wisdom in love.

    I think the idea that we ARE sinners — that there is something black and horrible at the center of our being — is terribly destructive, when God Himself declared that Creation was “good” and was “very good”. I think the idea that we are children growing up to become ourselves according the intention of the Designer, is far healthier.

  • No diss or attack on you, but I actually think I was fairly accurate on things.

    This argument or tactic of “Well, Jesus himself never specifically said this biblical position or that biblical position” is pretty popular these days. No joke.

    Meanwhile, Shroyer’s (and your’s) specific argument that the doctrine of original sin didn’t exist till Augustine, absolutely relies on throwing Genesis ch. 1-3 into the trash can as actual Earth history. Otherwise that specific argument is permanently refuted.

  • Being allowed into the Temple and salvation have nothing to do with each other.. You have to be in a state of ritual purity to enter the Temple. When you say salvation are you talking about getting into heaven? Jews don’t focus on that very much. I was in Junior High when a born again Christian asked me if I know if I was going to Heaven or Hell. I didn’t even know if Jews believed in Hell. The rabbis tended to believe that one should not think about going to Heaven or Hell.

  • I just wanted to add that after both exiles Jews did not access to the Temple and could not make sacrifices. What could replace the Temple? The rabbis needed to provide the Jewish people with an alternative. Good deeds, prayer and study became the replacement for the sacrifices.

  • I certainly understand that. In the absence of the Temple the Jewish people naturally and necessarily needed some system in which to continue their worship of Y’H’W’H. And they were no doubt reasonably effective in that respect. My position, which you already know, is that Jesus as a rabbi exhorted the Jewish to people to a yet more excellent way through Him, in the operation of the temple of their hearts. Shalom to you.

  • The Pharisees both were responsible for democratizing Judaism beyond the Temple. They turned the home into a portable Temple that every Jew could be part of and carry with them wherever they went. Yes, that portable Temple was a Temple of the Heart. We didn’t need Jesus to have a Temple of our hearts. A common misperception of Judaism is that it is a religion law and Christianity is a religion of the heart. The Pharisees and the rabbis who came later were trying to sanctify everyday life. They saw the opportunity to love God everywhere. Akiba died after being tortured by the Romans. He died saying that he had the opportunity to prove to himself that he loved God with all his heart, Jesus died saying, “Why have you forsaken me?”

    There are experts more knowledgeable than I am who say that Jesus was a Pharisee.

  • Returning to an earlier comment, I do acknowledge accepting the science of evolution. It is incorrect to call it a religion.

    Science is, simply, the observation of the material world for the purpose of determining it’s patterns and laws. Examples include, of course, the science of astronomy where Newton framed the law of gravitation for the first time, which Einstein revised about 300 years later. And it includes all the other sciences such as biology with Gregor Mendel first describing patterns of heredity. Evolution has been amply demonstrated by observations in paleontology AND through experiment — e.g. longitudinal experiments on siberian foxes, guppies in tropical rivers, bacteria among many other organisms. Even acquired bacterial resistance to antibiotics is evidence in favor of evolution!

    When Genesis describes a flood that “covered the whole earth” do we understand that precisely to cover the entire globe to the peak of Mt. Everest? Or do we understand that event in a regional sense (which is what the author might have meant by the “world”, meaning the world he was acquainted with). Perhaps it was something like a great flood that exceeded the banks of many rivers for miles around?

    I believe that some great flood happened, which was also attested to in other ancient documents. But to believe that it exceeded the height of Mt. Everest (as some people believe) is simply not supported by any observations. And let’s be clear, if a global inundation of that magnitude occurred as recently as five or ten thousand years ago, there would be PLENTY of evidence left behind. So, if a Noachide flood were a real event, I believe its story has passed into legend and can no longer be read as an accurate and verifiable historical account.

    Altogether, I take the words of Jesus seriously, and I take the Bible respectfully. But I believe the Bible records an ongoing conversation between generations, not a finished understanding of God or God’s work among us. And I believe that I can be honest while reconsidering original sin.

  • If only a priest can give you that special baptismal mark and that ‘absolution in confession’ that will keep you from being tossed into hell or limbo or purgatory, then for sure, you had better put money in the basket. An essential part of the original sin theory is that Jesus is a human sacrifice by and for Yahweh. But in fact, the Yahweh of the Hebrew Bible abhorred human sacrifice and would never have accepted such.

    Original sin sure makes God look inept, because he knew it would happen, being all-knowing, but he ended up with a ‘fallen’ creation anyway, and the only way he could figure to fix it was by engaging in an act of violence, killing his own Son/Self. (And everything has been fixed now, right?) Any God worth the name would have to be smarter than that.

  • I must confess that in all my reading, which is reasonably broad and extends beyond Christian apologetics, I have only recently heard of a few who make the argument that Jesus was a Pharisee.

  • Looks like a good book thanks Danielle. I hope it interacts with Gen 6.5; Jer 17.9; Mk 7.21 and Rom 5.12-21; 7.7-25.
    I agree most misunderstand how the Bible uses the concept of ‘nature’. Its more about creational order than sin.
    I hope you discuss Biblical passages on the heart. Here a word study I did: http://thescripturesays.org/2016/05/15/word-study-heart/
    As you seem to infer, I think good people do go to heaven http://thescripturesays.org/2015/08/25/word-study-good/

  • I would recommend a reading of “The Story of Original Sin” by conservative biblical scholar John E. Toews. This book traces the history of the interpretation of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 through the biblical period and the church fathers until Augustine. It explains the emergence of the doctrine of original sin with the theology of Augustine in the late fourth century on the basis of a mistranslation of the Greek text of Romans 5:12. The book suggests that it is time to move past Augustine’s theology of sin and embrace a different theology of sin that is both more biblical and makes more sense in the postmodern West and in the developing world. It gives some biblical credibility to the spirituality that Shroyer is writing about.

  • The pernicious effect of this belief – totally discredited by not only Ms. Shroyer, but others who believe in human potential and dignity without the need for baptism – has now infected the body politic of the US. 80% of evangelicals, the most vociferous believers, have somehow convinced themselves that Mr Trump will provide absolution from that which they believe is evil. As a group they pushed his election over the victory line. And now the chickens come home to roost.

    A perfect example of how utter nonsense believed by a minority has created a disaster for the rest of us.

  • If we have to ability to not sin then where are all of these good decision makers who haven’t erred from birth to death? Show me someone please. Also, why are babies born with birth defects if they haven’t done anything wrong ….and if you day that their parents passed sinned along to them you have a big problem because if they baby doesn’t have a sinful nature he should be born perfect , free from disability.

  • Sadly non of the teachings from the Middle East even recognized the profound fact that animals have souls. How can any religion claim to be from God when only the human species matters?

  • Yes, I meant it sincerely.
    I won’t press the issue. Thank you for the the graceful (perhaps “gracious” would be more accurate) response. I wish the best to you and yours.

  • Danielle Shroyer, I have felt the same way. I have not read your book, but commend you on the points above. Such as this: “I don’t know any power other than the steadfast love of God that can conquer evil and reconcile those terrible things.” And if one ever works hand in hand with babies,….they are so pure, such pure souls,.. Society, man corrupts.

  • Christians need original sin to justify blood sacrifice, without it there is no resurrection so Paul who is the real inventor of Christianity made the salvation incumbent about this, contrast that to Jesus (pbuh) when a Jew asked him how to attain salvation, he didn’t give this twisted formula it was very simple, follow the commandments. Just like other fundamental Christian doctrines, you would not find any verse unequivocally supporting this doctrine.

  • Born again is about becoming human, a human being is much more than biology. Well explained in the story of Nicodemus

  • I will point out that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things unseen”. It is forward looking. But isn’t Daniel Dennett describing a backwards looking “faith”? Somehow he (and you) are regarding faith as though it were “faithful” to believe in a literal Adam and Eve. That’s not faith; that’s history, and it either happened or not. But in any case, it is in the past, and true faith is forward looking.

  • I would also point out that I would never consult Richard Dawkins on whether Evolution is compatible Christianity. You’re asking for a person who does not believe in God, to evaluate Christianity?? Of course he will come to that (very obvious) conclusion. It will be a forced conclusion from his point of view. (Probably the same conclusion would apply to Daniel Dennett, but I have not heard the name before.)

    But all you’re doing, logically, is finding people who have removed themselves from the Christian camp, (or who decided never to enter it) and then you’re telling me that THEY have removed themselves because THEY find evolution and Christianity incompatible. It is a self evident conclusion. The people you should be checking out are those people who are simultaneously Christian and who accept Evolution, and then determine if they can articulate a consistent view that upholds both.

  • This is just an attempt to syncretize of New Age Paganism with Christ (who cannot be ignored). Not surprisingly, it only leads away from the one true God and into the God of you ego..

  • Romans 5:12
    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.

    Romans 5:17
    For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

    BEWARE OF FALSE TEACHERS FOLKS. If there was no original sin (death passed to all men), Jesus would not have died.
    Romans 16: 17-18
    Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Turn away from them. For such as these are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

    THE OLD GOSPEL WAS SIMPLE AND CLEAR. IT MADE US SAD, BUT IT MADE US CHANGE.

  • the last line is complete false doctrine! God forgives us BECAUSE of the Death of HIS Son. OUR SAVIOUR. WE NEED A SAVIOUR!
    And by the way we can be perfect. Christians of today are just lazy.

  • brother, many people are so lost. i have been reading this thread…only few believers remain. We need to go back to bible studies.. many young people of today do not know the very basics of the kingdom. there is a rise of false teachers.

  • Yahusha mentioned that sin would be carried to the 5th generation wasnt it? So how can original sin not exist if he quoted scripture that says it does

  • So many sin lovers in the comment section. Yet not a single one of them would live by that creed with their own children. Hypocrites. You live by the original blessing with your children all the time. You’ve all been deceived into sin consciousnesses, time to wake up. Do any of your hypocrites read the bible? None of you even understand what sin is and none of you recognize that paul told us that separation is a thing in our minds where we need scape goats. It was never in God’s mind. Why is it that God tells his people nearly 20 times he doesn’t want sacrifice and each of you think Jesus is a sacrifice. He’a the passover lamb. Bulls and goats were the ones slaughtered for sin and god never wanted it. Man believed they needed it to get in good standing with god.

    Beyond that, none of you use basic logic and reason. He gave you a brain but you wont use it. God is omniscient. If you had all the information in existence would you ever make a mistake? Nope, you would always choose the right choice. Hence why god does not change. People only change their mind or behavior because they lack omniscience. You pick an answer on the test, think about and go back to change it. God always picks the right answer the first time. This means that if god is separated or mad at you, he can and will never change that. No one will ever be in the right standing with him if he was mad to begin with. And we know he blessed man first, which means he doesn’t curse man.

    Now before you bible thumping hypocrites start misquoting scripture, remember that the hebrew people failed time and time again to understand and know god, hence why jesus was the plan all along. He’s the direct image of God. He was always with mankind in the OT and the NT.

  • What was the righteousness that Jesus had to fulfil by getting baptized – repentance from sins? I think not. The Scriptures are clear that Jesus was baptized at about 30 years of age – the age at which priestly ministry begins. The person who baptized him was a Levite – John the Baptist. Jesus came as prophet, priest and king.

    To be born of water means to be born of woman – every woman has her ‘my water broke’ moment prior to giving birth. And all of us are born of water. This would evidently leave out the fallen angels. However it is not sufficient to be born of water (woman), one must also be born of the Holy Spirit i.e., one must also accept Christ as Lord and Saviour following which one will be gifted with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.

    Alternately, if one were to understand being born of water to refer to water baptism, that would imply that water baptism has to precede Holy Spirit baptism. That would justify infant baptism

  • What was the purpose of Jesus coming? My goodness just like the devil to spread lies.. .Hath God said?! Thank the good Lord some of us the Holy King James Bible and take it literally! ! God is not the author of confusion, these lies come straight from there pits of hell to send people their. .

  • Everyone wants a loving Jesus all the time, sin is real, it’s like the Holy James Bible says. .Romans 5:12-14 KJV
    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: [13] (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. [14] Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
    Don’t allow the devil’s to decieved you folks!! Oh diddi mention women are not approved by God- the devil has his angels are transformed into angels of light..

  • Well, the Jesus will judge every man according to his works. However, it’s kinda hard to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior & not believe what that’s his Word is truth … it’s by grace we’re saved through faith in the gospel Jesus Christ…I pray you discover the truth… Don’t believe mans opinions & explanation believe the Holy Bible!!
    //youtu.be/fL-EeTVcAnk

  • Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report. [3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
    Everything wordword wri in the Bible is for an example. Every word matters..

  • New International Version (NIV)
    Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

    King James Version (KJV)
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    Revised Standard Version (RSV)
    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.

    Sarah, I would not make anything of the difference between “confidence”, “substance”, “assurance”. These are translator choices. The essence of my comment related to the phrase “hoped for” which points to the future. Every word does indeed matter. Including the phrase “hoped for”.

  • The Eastern church doesn’t hold the same belief as the West around “original sin”:
    //oca.org/questions/teaching/st.-augustine-original-sin

  • The Bible tells you the rivers that were connected to the garden one being the Euphrates which I believe is still active an existent river. Coincidence or a different Euphrates I think not. We can what if all we want and all day ppl but do you really want to gamble away your soul on a “what if”? Use your heads

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