Do Jews Believe in Original Sin? Nope

I am preaching on Romans 5 tomorrow and the bit about Adam and Christ. I’ve been doing some reading in church history in preparation, including the debates between Augustine and Pelagius.

Augustine is the first “Church Father” to discuss the concept of original sin, which is mostly based on Romans 5. Their debate took place in the early 400’s. Up to that point no one really mentioned it.

Which got me to thinking: what is the Jewish view of original sin? Based on my extensive research (Typing “what is the rabbinical view of original sin” into Google), Jews do not believe in original sin.

here are a couple links:

****”Judaism believes that each person is born innocent. Jews believe that individuals are responsible for their own actions and that “sinning” occurs when someone does something wrong.”

****”The term “original sin” is unknown to the Jewish Scriptures, and the Church’s teachings on this doctrine are antithetical to the core principles of the Torah and its prophets.”

****”The concept of original sin is rejected, and every person has the ability to choose good or evil.”

Not that this necessarily means anything, I was merely curious. I am no longer curious.

2 thoughts on “Do Jews Believe in Original Sin? Nope”

  1. Paul doesn’t believe in “original sin” either if by original sin you one of the following: (1) that we are born damned to hell, (2) that we are born with an incapacity to repent.

    You see, in Romans 5 all Paul is actually saying is that Adam’s sin damned us all to die physically and remain dead. In fact, never will you find Paul talking about hell. His theory of damnation is dying and ceasing to exist, as can be clearly seen from 1 Cor 15 as well. So, as in Adam all die, so in Christ all who believe in Christ will be resurrected. Unbelievers not being resurrected will cease to exist. I know harmonistic Christian tradition has injected hell into Paul’s theology from the Synoptics, but it is clearly foreign to his thought. I know the Synoptics teach a resurrection “both of the just and the unjust” and that the author of Acts even dares put the same in Paul’s mouth. But in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 we find that Paul believes no such thing: only Christians will be raised according to those passages. For example in 1 Cor 15 he says “All things in order: First Christ as the firstfruits, then those who belong to Christ at his coming.” Only Christians. What we have is a failure to understand Paul’s theology because we refuse to read it in isolation from the afterlife views of the Synoptics and Acts which are very different. And the result is we turn Paul’s “original sin” of “Adam condemned us all to die physically and remain dead” which is biblical enough of a reading of Genesis 3 into “Adam condemned us to hell” which is a complete distortion of Genesis 3 and cannot at all be sustained by the text. This is done out of a need to harmonize Paul with the Synoptics; but it is forgotten that we must also harmonize our harmonization of the NT with the OT! That is the error of the common doctrine of “original sin.”

  2. I would agree with your critique of Original Sin. This definition of original sin was invented by Augustine and is sheer goofiness. IT is also of note that Paul says in Romans 2, just a mere three chapters before Romans 5 and the usual proof text of “original sin,” that God will render to every man according to HIS deeds, not according to Adam’s deeds.

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