[b-hebrew] Children being punished for fathers' sins - my response

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Wed Apr 20 13:01:21 EDT 2005

The idea of humankind being punished for Adam' sin is, in my opinion,
entirely absent from the Bible. People want to bear children - and so the
women experience birth pangs. People want to know the world, and so they
have to live in it, and toil. This is no punishment. Indeed, the Bible is
clear that children do not suffer for parents' sins, except specifically for
idolatry. There is no punishment.
And there is no sin, too. Humans have free will, but angels do not.
Therefore, Serpent could only act on divine commission, and so Adam' actions
conformed to divine will.

Vadim Cherny

> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Expanding this line of inquiry,"the children bearing the sins of the
> fathers," are there any Hebrew Bible verses that identify all the
> generations of mankind and womankind as bearing punishment for Adam and
> Eve's sin ? That is to say, all the generations of mankind are in a sense
> Adam and Eve's "children" and they bear the sin of their progenitors ?
> Regards, Walter
> MY RESPONSE:  Ok Walter, but this is not punishment, it is a
> the very thing that Karl and I were trying to discuss in connection with
> Exodus 34:7 and the use of the inf. absolute + imperfect construction with
> the verb NKH.  The point in all this is that God continually declares His
> mercy and readiness to forgive, and scriptural history is littered with
> chance upon chance for man to redeem himself from wrong doing.  A
> is, by definition, a final declaration of Judgement WITHOUT mercy.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> How then do you understand Joshua 7? Achan takes devoted material,
> Achan and his children are stoned to death, their bodies are
> burned and YHWH turns from his anger. It sure looks like the children
> got punished for the sin of their father.
> Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
> MY RESPONSE:  I am not going to repeat Sujata,  but I would like to add
> in the context of EXODUS:34:7 this is not a very good argument to respond
> with.  Since that in a sense this is not the children being punished for
> sins of the Fathers at all.  What is more, Bill, is that there was a
> defined instruction via Joshua that was deliberately disobeyed.  Exodus
> is not to be compared and its inherant meaning is far removed from the
> of Achan's trouble". (Hosea)
> Best regards, Chris watts, Ireland.

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