There are a few different understandings when it comes to the doctrine of Original sin. This ranges from the belief that man has inherited a sinful nature at birth to the belief that everyone is from birth born already being a sinner. Everyone is already a sinner even though they have not yet personally sinned because they have inherited the sin of Adam. It is through the latter belief that the doctrine of infant baptism was born. A child would require to be baptised in order to wash that sin away as if the child were to die before baptism then the child would die in essence a sinner and would not therefore be saved. This has caused countless mothers who have had to first deal with the loss of a child to then also have to deal with the belief that that child has either no salvation or has to progress through purgatory in order to obtain salvation.
But is original sin Biblical. The FIRST and most IMPORTANT thing we need to do before starting the answer to this question is to separate Original sin and INHERENT Original sin. These 2 are NOT the same….and I will repeat this because it is very important, Original sin and INHERENT Original sin are NOT the same.
There is a fundamental difference between the doctrine of original sin and the doctrine of Inherent original sin.
Original sin is biblical, Inherent original sin is NOT.
When most people argue for or against original sin they actually include inherent original sin in the argument. The 2 are combined. This is an INCORRECT argument.
So let’s look at both of these and show how people get this wrong and what the correct understanding should be.
The Bible very clearly states that through Adam’s sin, through one man, sin entered into the world.
Romans 5-12 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:
Romans 5-19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
It is very clear that there was an original sin, the first sin of man. Sin then entered into the world as before it sin was not in the world. This sin then is the first sin it is the original sin. However this is very different than saying each and every person is born with that sin already attributed to them. They are in essence born already being a sinner. Although they have yet to personally sin Adam’s sin, the original sin is already credited to their “account”. This is inherent original sin. And it is this belief that is more often than not being referred to when people talk about original sin. As I also stated there is also the belief that is slightly different regarding the inherent original sin and that is that a person is not actually born with sin but born with the nature to sin. They are so inherently bad , so inherently depraved that they simply will sin and there is nothing they can do about it, it is impossible for humans not to sin, its just their inherited nature to do so.
Saying that a person has no choice but to sin no ability to not sin takes away the wickedness of the sin itself and takes the responsibility away from the person sinning. Even if a person wanted to not sin they wouldn’t be able to not sin. It therefore is not the fault of the person sinning they are only doing what is in their nature to do. It is in itself wrong to be held accountable for something you have no choice over.
The doctrine of Inherent original sin is very easily disproved however before I get to this let’s have a look at the verses that are used to support the belief and address them.
Romans 5- 12 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:
Here we have a verse that is used to show that all have sinned. It is read into this verse that this means that all have sin and so this must mean that all have inherited sin. However the verse very clearly states all have SINNED not that all have inherited sin. A person has sinned when they have sinned. As all men sin all men have sinned. If we were born with that sin it would have to say for all men have inherited sin. There simply is nothing in this verse to state that a person is born with sin, EVEN if the doctrine was true this verse could not demonstrate it. Through Adam’s sin, sin entered into the world and all have the ability to sin and all do indeed sin. But they are sinners once they have exercised that ability to sin and they themselves have sinned.
Psalm 58- 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Notice that it states ONLY the wicked therefore very clearly not referring to all otherwise it would state all and not the wicked. Later in the same psalm there is a reference to the righteous so there are wicked and there are righteous not everyone is called wicked.
Psalm 58- 10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
The verse also states that as soon as they are born they are speaking lies. Now are those who say this verse is referring to a person being wicked and sinful from the moment they are born really going to use the fact that they speak lies from the moment they were born to prove it. I’ve never heard a new born baby speaking anything let alone lies. Maybe there is a different understanding here. The verse very clearly states they go astray it does not say they are astray. The wicked go astray. In order to go astray you must first not be astray otherwise you are astray and can’t go astray seeing that is what you already are. So even if we take this to literally mean as soon as a person is born they are wicked and go astray they must have been not astray to start with. However you look at this it cannot show a person is born astray or with sin, they must go astray and therefore have to sin.
Psalm 51-5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
This verse just doesn’t say what the original sin believers claim it does. First off it does not refer to ALL humanity but the psalmist (David) is claiming this about himself. Secondly when they read this verse they substitute the word IN with the word WITH. David is not claiming that he was shapen with iniquity but in iniquity, and he wasn’t conceived with sin but in it. Sin is in the world and the mother was a sinner, it is IN sin that David is claiming not that he was conceived WITH sin.
The NIV would have us believe that a person is born with sin
Psalm 51-5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
But as i’ve already shown in the KJV that is NOT what the Bible states.
The Hebrew just does not state this
×”×Ö×’×××× ×××××× ××’××× ×××××× ××××
A literal translation would be
Behold in iniquity I was shaped and in sin conceive did my mother
It isn’t the psalmist who was in sin but his mother in a sinful world.
Now that we have a proper understanding of what these verses actually mean lets disprove the doctrine itself. There is ONE simple way to disprove this doctrine…..Jesus.
Jesus was a man made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2-7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Jesus was sinless, he had NO sin
2 Corinthians 5-21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
If inherent original sin was indeed true then Jesus would also have inherited that sin and could not have been sinless. Just as if he inherited a sin nature where it was impossible for him not to sin, he would again not have been sinless as he would have sinned. Jesus himself would have required a removal of that sin.
Jesus was not infant baptised and he himself claimed that we should be like little children.
Matthew 18-3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus was baptised at the age of 30 and it was NOT to remove sin but to fulfill all righteousness.
Matthew 3- 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
So original sin can be found in the Bible but it is not inherited. A person becomes a sinner once they sin.