Can Animals be Guilty of Sin?


I was under the impression animals were amoral, but I wonder what this means,
"Then he poured the chrism on Aaron’s head, consecrating him by unction.
Then Moses made Aaron’s sons come forward; he put the tunics on them, passed the girdles round their waists and put on their head-dress, as the Lord had ordered Moses.
Then he had the bull for the sacrifice for sin brought forward. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the victim’s head and Moses immolated it. Then he took the blood and with his finger put some of it on the horns round the altar, to take away its sin. Then he poured out the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar, which he consecrated by performing the rite of atonement over it. Then he took all the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty mass which is over the liver, the two kidneys and their fat; and he burnt them all on the altar. The bull’s skin, its flesh and its dung he burnt outside the camp, as the Lord had ordered Moses."
I’m assuming I am misunderstanding something with the text


No. The bull was a sacrifice to atone for people sins.


Is the text saying “its sin” referring to the person as an it?


Look at other translations. For example, Douay-Rheims Bible (Leviticus 8:15): “He immolated it: and took the blood, and dipping his finger in it, he touched the horns of the altar round about. Which being expiated, and sanctified, he poured the rest of the blood at the bottom thereof.”.

Thus “it” in the version that you cited seems to refer to the altar.

That “take away its sin” might also end up being a misleading translation.


No, animals don’t sin. They don’t have rational souls, acting only according to their nature. We can’t apply terms like sin to animals because it’s a condition unique to humans.


I figured it may be something like that.



No free will. No intellect.


Ever see your dog make the sign of the Cross?


Yeah, then he told me to go out and kill people. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That’s one bad dog.


His names Son of Sam


I actually believe Berkowitz’ story. I believe the devil possessed the dog and commanded Berkowitz to kill, or made it appear to Berkowitz that the dog was talking to him.


That’s funny. My dog’s name is David Berkowitz.


I ignore most of the advice I get from my dog.


Can animals be guilty of sin? Gee, I hope not. Otherwise, my parrot could be in serious jeopardy! (Would look kinda silly showing up to confession with her perched on my shoulder!)


This is all rituals of a sacrifice. It has nothing to do with the animal.

There’s also a passage about the “scape goat.” It is not about the goat having sin but of representing the Hebrews’ sin being taking away by God as the goat will run into the wilderness and eventually die or be fed upon by pray animals. As the goat disappears into the wilderness, God forgives the sin of the Hebrews.

Recap: even when animals kill they are not sinning against nature because animals (yes, even lions who kill their rivals offspring) are responding to their instinct to survive and reproduce (continuance of the species).

Maran atha!



…your parrot encourages you to sin?

Maran atha!



No…other way around!!! Let’s just say she’s picked up some colorful language in her 21 yrs. with me. Nothing too bad though.


…then I suggest, for your personal sake, that you pick up Sacred Scriptures and teach your parrot to seek God–you would actually be tricking yourself to walk the Narrow Road! Remember, we will answer to God for every useless word that we utter.

Maran atha!



Ummm…it was a joke. I’m spiritually fine. Thanks for your concern though.

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