Resourcing Progressive Christians

Jesus never heard of “Original Sin”

Not only is Original Sin NOT in the Bible, Elie Wiesel says that Original Sin is alien to Jewish thinking (and therefore alien to Jesus’ way of thinking). Let’s ditch the whole thing, shall we?

Fox Original Sin

Matthew Fox says, “Jesus never heard of ‘Original Sin’.” The term wasn’t even used until the 4th century, so it’s “strange to run a church, a gathering, an ekklesia — supposedly on behalf of Jesus — when one of its main dogmatic tenets, Original Sin, never occurred to Jesus.” Sadly, Western Christianity is dependent on and chronically “attached to Original Sin — but what they’re really attached to is St. Augustine. The fact is that most Westerners believe more in Augustine (and his preoccupation with sex) than they do in Jesus.”

Matthew Fox Matthew Fox is an author, educator, activist, and Episcopal priest. His books include Original Blessing, Creation Spirituality and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. He appears in a number of Living the Questions DVD series including Living the Questions 2.0 and Saving Jesus Redux 


  1. Doug Sloan on February 19, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Can we also stop viewing the death of Jesus as a sacrifical atonement?

  2. Marilyn Crosby on February 19, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Good point. But I wonder if it makes a difference to look at sin as separation from God caused by an inherent desire to be/be like God? And I wonder if this inherent desire comes from being created in the image of God.

  3. kattdaida on February 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

    We just studied the concept of atonement in my Bible study. Apparently, the word originally meant more of : “Becoming one with God” than it did than Jesus’ payment for the just desserts of our sins.

  4. kattdaida on February 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

    As part of our Lenten studies at Bible studies, we just unpacked the original meaning of the word ‘atonement”. Apparently it meant “being one with God” rather than the popularly held idea that it somehow paid the price for the fruits of our sins.

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