One of the oldest debates in religion is that of what was the, “Original Sin.” While many of us have an idea of what it might have been, there are many religious historians that differ as to what the Original Sin actually was.
This article is not meant to discuss the underlying question as to the truth of the existence of Adam and Eve. The article will attempt to show the different views about what organized religions have referred to as the Original Sin.
The term will need to be broken down before going any further. Original will be defined as, “the first of something.” Sin will be defined as an action that violates a moral rule. Both of these definitions have used Webster’s Dictionary as a guide.
Many of us have been raised through Christianity have the understanding that the Original Sin was, “The Fall of Mankind.” This refers to when Adam and Eve gave into temptation and ate the apple form the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis.
The problem with this is that there is not a moral rule that is being broken here. When God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, he set a rule for them, but it was not a moral rule. The moral rules that are usually referred to in the Bible are the Ten Commandments. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge did not break any of these rules.
Someone may argue that it breaks the Commandment of coveting thy neighbor’s goods, but it does not. To be able to covet something, someone else has to lay a claim to it. If it is an object, someone has to own it.
In Genesis, God put Adam in charge of all of the vegetation on Earth. God told Adam that He did not want Adam eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam still ruled over the Tree (owned it) so he could not covet his own possession.
Eve Committed the Original Sin
Eve was the first one to eat from the Tree of Life. Some will say that she committed the Original Sin since she did not pay attention to God. Again, there was no moral code broken, so there was not a sin that was committed.
Some people will claim that when Eve gave the fruit to Adam, she committed the Original Sin because she was trying to convince him that she was as powerful as God.
This could possibly be the Original Sin. The Commandments states that, “Though shall have no other gods but me.” The only issue with this argument is that God had not given the Ten Commandments yet and the Ten Commandments set the moral code. This cannot be considered the Original Sin.
Adam Committed the Original Sin
Some religious historians will claim that Adam committed the Original Sin when he blamed Eve for giving him the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This is called the, “Shifting of the Blame,” argument.
Adam was not a good enough person to take the blame onto himself for the actions that he did. This was weakness in the eyes of God. This also broke the Commandment of, “Thou shall not bear false witness.” Again, no moral code was broken since we did not have the Ten Commandments yet.
The Serpent Committed the Original Sin
Some will claim that the Original Sin was not committed by either Adam or Eve. These people believe that the Original Sin was committed by the serpent when he tricked Eve from eating from the Tree of Knowledge.
If the serpent was an actual serpent, he could not have broken a moral code. Animals do not know better, so it could not have committed the Original Sin.
If the serpent was Lucifer in disguise, as many people claim, then he could also not have committed the Original Sin because the moral codes were not set up yet. While tempting someone is an evil thing to do, it is not a sin.
Cain Committed the Original Sin
When Cain killed his brother, Abel, he committed the Original Sin. Again, we have to point out that you cannot break a moral rule if there are no moral rules in place.
Dead Sea Argument
In Genesis 6:2, the line is stated that, “Sons of God saw that the daughters of man were beautiful, and they married.” The Dead Sea Scrolls show an argument that this was actually the Original Sin.
The, “Sons of God,” were actually stated to be fallen angels that had come to Earth to be with women. While this is not considered to be an agreed upon argument, it is still an argument all the same.
Moses Committed the Original Sin
When Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, he saw that all of the people around were worshiping a Golden Calf. He through down the tablets, and committed the Original Sin.
The Israelites Committed the Original Sin
After the Ten Commandments were restored, one of the Israelites committed the Original Sin on the way to the Promised Land. Since there is not any documentation of this, it would be hard to argue. The only argument is that they do have the Ten Commandments at this point, so for the first time there are moral rules that can be broken.
Whatever a person’s belief is about the Original Sin is, one fact remains that the bible is not very explanatory about what the Original Sin is. This ambiguity has led many to question Genesis and many of the other Books in the Old Testament.
The other question that comes up is that since we do not truly know what the Original Sin was, how can we be held liable for it? How is it that we can be blamed for something when we do not know what we are being blamed for?