Jews Don't Believe in
Christians generally define
"Original Sin" as an inherited sinful nature that is a result of Adam
and Eve's original
sin in the Garden of Eden when they
disobeyed God and both ate the forbidden fruit.
Jews on the other hand
commonly reject this teaching stating that all mankind are born sinless
and have the potential to live righteous lives, without sin, and improve
the world through Torah obedience and righteous acts or good deeds.
According to Genesis,
chapters 2-4, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after
their disobedience. He moved them from a perfect garden
environment and they entered a world where living things began to die
and where they had to perform physical labor to survive.
The results of Adam and Eve's
sin are still evident in the world today with physical labor, childbirth
pain, disease, death, etc. So in effect, we are all still suffering the
results of Adam and Eve's "Original Sin." We are not living in a
But more important than the two
viewpoints above is what the Bible has to say about sin and righteousness.
Question: Do the
Hebrew Scriptures teach
that human beings are without sin?
What Does the Tenach Say
of Israel, Solomon, said this in 2 Chronicles 6:36,
people) sin against you - for there is no one who does not sin."
Again King Solomon wrote in
"For there is not a righteous person on earth who does good and never sins."
King David, the father
of Solomon, wrote this in Psalm 14:1-3,
"Fools say in their
hearts, 'There is no God.' They deal corruptly, their deeds are vile,
not one does what is right. From heaven Adonai observes humankind to see if
anyone has understanding, if anyone seeks God. But all turn aside, all
alike are corrupt; no one does what is right, not a single one."
Tenach - Hebrew Scriptures
The prophet Isaiah wrote in
"We all, like
sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid
on him the guilt of all of us."
Again the prophet wrote in
"All of us are
like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags; we
wither, all of us, like leaves; and our misdeeds blow us away like the
wind. No one calls on your name or strives himself to take hold of
you, for you have hidden your face from us and caused our misdeeds to
The prophet Jeremiah says
this in Jeremiah 16:12
too have done evil, even more than your
forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the
stubbornness of his own evil
heart, without listening to Me."
Again in Jeremiah 17:9 he
"The heart is
deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
1 Kings 8:46 states clearly,
"For there is no one who doesn't sin..."
The Hebrew Scriptures state
emphatically that all have sinned and there are none without sin.
To teach or believe otherwise is to renounce the Bible.
Sin is simply doing that
which is disobedience to God's will and not of faith.
Consequences of Sin
In Genesis 2:16-17 God spoke this to
God, gave the person this order: 'You may freely eat from every tree in the
garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat
from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that
you will die."
And besides the curse of death, Genesis 3:16-19 lists additional curses that
resulted because of sin. "To
the woman (Eve) he said, "I will greatly increase your pain in
childbirth. You will bring forth children in pain. Your desire will be
toward your husband, but he will rule over you." To Adam he said,
"Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about
which I gave you the order, 'You are not to eat from it,' the ground is
cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you
live. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat
field plants. You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till
you return to the ground - for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and
you will return to dust."
"Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull
to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your
sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
Ezekiel 18:4, 20 says,
every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike
belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die... The soul
who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the
father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of
the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked
will be charged against him."
separation and death. Because the Hebrew Scripture teach that all have
sinned, the consequences of our sin should be clearly known - death. And
that result is eternal.
There are no
biblical texts that support reincarnation of souls. Reincarnation is
an eastern religious teaching that continually keeps sinful souls recycling
into newly born physical bodies until perfection is finally obtained.
Such teaching tickles the hearers' ears because it provides an alternative
solution for sinful souls and a way to avoid the consequences. But
such teachings are directly opposed to what the Hebrew Scriptures teach.
According to the Jewish Tenach,
sin has separated mankind from God,
and the results are death.
God's Redemption From Sin
chapters 4 and 5 of the Torah describes in detail that if anyone in Israel
sins knowingly or unknowingly, they are to bring an animal for sacrifice.
The animal was to be brought to the tabernacle, killed, and the blood
sprinkled before the curtain, and the blood was to be placed on the altar as
a sin offering before Adonai. The animal was to be without defect and
was to be presented as an offering for sin by the priest. Once the sin
offering was completed, the person was forgiven of their sin by Adonai.
The animals used for guilt offering sacrifices included: bulls, goats,
lambs, doves or pigeons.
In Leviticus 17:11 we read,
the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make
atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement
for one's life."
The sacrificial lamb had to be without blemish.
According to the Torah in
Exodus 29:36-37, every day, seven days a week, animal sacrifices where to be
offered for the forgiveness of sin. In addition to the
were the sin offerings offered on the festivals of Adonai.
In Leviticus 16:5-11, instructions are given for the
Day of Atonement.
"The high priest
is to take from the community of the people of Israel two male goats for a
sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Aaron is to present the bull
for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and
his household. He is to take the two goats and place them before Adonai at
the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron is to cast lots for the two
goats, one lot for Adonai and the other for Azazel (scapegoat).
is to present the goat whose lot fell to Adonai and offer it as a sin
offering. But the goat whose lot fell to Azazel is to be presented alive to
Adonai to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the
desert for Azazel. Aaron is to present the bull of the sin offering for
himself; he will make atonement for himself and his household; he is to
slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself."
he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people,
bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the
bull's blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover.
He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleanlinesses of
the people of Israel and because of their transgressions - all their sins;
and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them
right in the middle of their uncleanlinesses."
"In the days of the
the blood poured out
from the altar to the
Brook of Kidron."
Babylonian Talmud - Tamid, chapter 4
Redemption from sin in ancient
Israel was always through animal sacrifices and the shedding of blood.
It was a process that Adonai established and was carried out through the
Levitical priesthood. If the Torah states clearly that blood sacrifice
is the essential requirement for redemption from sin, then what is one to do
today? There is no functioning Temple, no functioning priesthood, and
no animal sacrifices for sin.
What Do We Do Now for Redemption?
When the sacrificial
system ceased, the rabbis realized they had a problem called "redemption
from sin." So they devised a new teaching - tzedakah or redemption
through righteous acts and deeds. While tzedakah is certainly taught
in the Hebrew Scriptures, no where is it taught that acts of righteousness
nullify and atone for sins. Atoning for sin is an act that is done by
someone else on behalf of the sinner. It is not something we do for
ourselves. It is not something we earn. And even though the
rabbis established the practice of tzedakah as a replacement for blood
atonement, such a teaching is in direct contradiction with the Torah.
Question: Why did the
animal sacrifices stop
abruptly almost 2,000 years ago?
The answer to the question above
is in two parts. First, the Temple was destroyed, preventing
sacrificial atonement for sin. And second, the Messiah came to be the
final blood atonement for sin for all of mankind.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about
the ministry of the Messiah and what he would accomplish on behalf of
sinners. We read this in Isaiah 49:5-9,
"So now Adonai says -
he formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to
have Israel gathered to him, so that I will be honored in the sight of
Adonai, my God having become my strength he has said, 'It is not enough that
you are merely my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the
offspring of Israel. I will also make you a light to the nations, so
my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.' Here is what
Adonai, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, says to the one despised, whom
the nations detest, to the servant of tyrants: 'When kings see you, they
will stand up; princes too will prostrate themselves, because of Adonai, who
is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.' Here is what
Adonai says: 'At the time when I choose, I will answer you; on the day of
salvation, I will help you. I have preserved you, and I have appointed you
to be the covenant for a people, to restore the land and distribute again
its ruined inheritances to their owners, to say to the prisoners, 'Come
out!' to those in darkness, 'Show yourselves!'"
The scroll of Isaiah was written
8th century BCE - 700 years before Yeshua. Isaiah 53 prophetically states
that someone will be wounded for our transgressions and carrying the sin of
many and intercede for sinners. The rabbis teach that the "someone" in
Isaiah 53 is "Israel." In fact Isaiah chapter 53 is so controversial,
that it is never read or discussed in the synagogue.
As you read this passage from
Isaiah 53, ask yourself the following questions: Who bears the sins of
Israel if Israel is the one offering themselves for the sins of others? When
did Israel ever offer itself as guilt offering for the sins of the nations?
The pronouns in the passage refer to a second person, so who are the "he"
and "him" in the texts? Who are the "we" and "our"
referred to in the
texts? If you read it carefully and honestly, you will soon realize
that this scripture is not about Israel being a suffering servant and a
guilt offering for sin. It is talking about someone else.
our report? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? For before
him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not
well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not
attract us. People despised and avoided him, a man of pains, well
acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, he
was despised; we did not value him. In fact, it was our diseases he
bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God. But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on
him, and by his bruises we are healed. We all, like sheep, went astray; we
turned, each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of
us. Though mistreated, he was submissive -
he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep
silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth. After forcible
arrest and sentencing, he was taken away; and none of his generation
protested his being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of my
people, who deserved the punishment themselves. He was given a grave among
the wicked; in his death he was with a rich man. Although he had done
no violence and had said nothing deceptive, yet it pleased Adonai to crush
him with illness, to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring; and he will prolong his days; and at
his hand Adonai's desire will be accomplished. After this ordeal, he will
see satisfaction. 'By his knowing pain and sacrifice, my righteous servant
makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. Therefore I
will assign him a share with the great, he will divide the spoil with the
mighty, for having exposed himself to death and being counted among the
sinners, while actually bearing the sin of many and interceding for the
Isaiah 55:1-7 invites all of us
to accept the atonement provided by the Messiah.
"All you who are
thirsty, come to the water! You without money, come, buy, and eat! Yes,
come! Buy wine and milk without money - it's free! Why spend money for what
isn't food, your wages for what doesn't satisfy? Listen carefully to
me, and you will eat well, you will enjoy the fat of the land.
Open your ears, and come to me; listen well, and you will live - I will make
an everlasting covenant with you, the grace I assured David. I have given
him as a witness to the peoples, a leader and lawgiver for the peoples. You
will summon a nation you do not know, and a nation that doesn't know you
will run to you, for the sake of Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel,
who will glorify you."
God's forgiveness and grace is
promised us when we repent. When Yochanan (John) saw Yeshua
declared in John 1:29,
"Behold the Lamb of
God, who takes away the sin of the world."
Yochanan understood the
writings of the prophets and spoke prophetically that Yeshua was the Messiah
who would become the ultimate sacrifice for sin. With Yeshua as the
sin offering, there would be no
more need for daily animal sacrifices for sin.
Unsure that Yeshua is the
Messiah? That he came to become the final sacrifice for sin?
That you need to receive his atonement and forgiveness? Pause, and ask
God to show you if any of this is so. If you ask God in a spirit of
sincerity, He will give you the confirmation you are seeking. Why?
Because God has given three promises to assure us that if we seek Him, we
will find Him.
In the Torah: Deuteronomy 4:29
seek Adonai your God; and you will find him if you search after him with all
your heart and being."
In the Prophets: Jeremiah 29:12-13
"When you call to me
and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you seek me, you will find me,
provided you seek for me wholeheartedly."
In the Writings: Proverbs 8:17
those who love me; and those who seek me will find me."
Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in
Jacob who turn from rebellion,'
I will pour out on the house of David
and on those living in Jerusalem;
a spirit of
grace and prayer;
and they will look on me, whom they have pierced.
They will mourn
for him as one mourns for an only son;
they will be in bitterness on his behalf
bitterness for a firstborn son.
When that day comes,
there will be great mourning in
"In those days and at that time,
declares the Lord,
the sons of Israel
they and the sons of Judah as well;
they will go along weeping as they go,
and it will be the Lord their God they seek...
that they may join themselves
to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten."
Four Steps of
1. I admit I have sinned.
2. I want redemption from my sin.
3. I believe Yeshua is the Messiah.
4. I accept His atonement for my sin.
Dr. Michael Brown's video
discussion - "In Search of Atonement"