The need for redemption from original sin, where did it come from the OT or NT?


#1

Recently I discovered Judaism and Islam do not share our belief of Original Sin and the need for spiritual redemption. It is believed that each individual is responsible for their own salvation. (hope I got that right) If this is true, where did the concept of Jesus’ “redemptive act” come from? (ie the belief that His act and our baptism redeems us of original sin) Did it occur at the time Jesus walked the earth, before or after? Are their scriptures, in the OT, that back our Catholic belief of the need for the Messiah’s redemptive act or is it found only in the NT?

Thank you for your responses,
Elizabeth


#2

It came from God. It was prophesied by Isaiah in the OT (Chapter 53).
It was fullfilled by Jesus in the NT.


#3

Hello Elizabeth,

Circumcision in the Old Testament is where one becomes one of God’s people. Old Testament describes circumcision as a form of purification in God’s eyes. Those uncircumcised are described as repulsive to God.

As Philip pointed out, Isaiah certianly recognized the need for Jesus, the “arm of the Lord” or “Right Hand” of God, to save him from his sins. King David, though he does not know the name “Jesus” certianly recognized the need for salvation through God’s “Right Hand” which is Jesus. The psalms are written by King David. David was guilty of adultery, coveting another’s wife, and murder. David died a thousand years before the time of Christ. Yet repentant David proclaims salvation through the Right Hand of God the Father. It is by the blood of Jesus, the Right Hand of the Father, through which repentant sinner David is brought to eternal salvation.

NAB MAT 8:17

(Isaiah is speaking.) “It was our infirmities he bore, our sufferings he endured.” NAB ISA 53:4

(Isaiah to the Israelites.)

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.
NAB MAT 26:64

Jesus answered: “It is you who say it. But I tell you this: Soon you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” NAB PSA 80:18

May your help be with the man of your right hand, with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

NAB PSA 118:15

The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just: "The right hand of the LORD has struck with power: The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power." I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death. Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. This gate is the LORD’s; the just shall enter it. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! (MAT 21:42)

NAB PSA 98:1

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. **All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.**NAB WIS 5:15

But the just live forever, and in the LORD is their recompense, and the thought of them is with the Most High. Therefore shall they receive the splendid crown, the beauteous diadem, from the hand of the LORD - For he shall shelter them with his right hand, and protect them with his arm.NAB PSA 77:16

With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.NIV PSA 45:4

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds.NIV PSA 138:7

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.NAB ISA 41:8

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, offspring of Abraham my friend - You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and summoned from its far-off places, You whom I have called my servant, whom I have chosen and will not cast off - Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice.NIV PSA 108:6

Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.


#4

Praise God on high!

Dear Philip and Steven,

Thank you for responding. I see clearly that Jesus must be God’s “right hand” written in these OT scriptures. My next question is, how can we be sure Jesus is God and not God’s “right hand man”?

Islam believes Jesus is God’s prophet. I think this could be interpreted, in a sense, “Jesus is God’s right hand man”. Did God ever say He would come down to earth in the OT? How did Christians come to believe Jesus is God? Is there evidence that the right hand of God is God Himself, in the OT or is it an assumption we have made from understanding the NT?

Emmanuel means “God with us” but does that mean God is with us, working through a mortal man (ie His grace is upon Jesus to do God’s will?) or does it mean God is with us, as God (ie the will of God and Jesus Christ are One in being)? If the later were true, why was Jesus tested in the desert? Why was it necessary for Him to pray to the Father ane submit to His will, "Yet not my will but Yours be done!"
Thank you for your reply.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth


#5

[quote=elizabeth4truth]Praise God on high!

Did God ever say He would come down to earth in the OT? How did Christians come to believe Jesus is God? Is there evidence that the right hand of God is God Himself, in the OT or is it an assumption we have made from understanding the NT?

Elizabeth
[/quote]

Hello Elizabeth,

I think your question is very similiar to the question Jesus Himself puts to the Pharisees.

NAB MAT 22:41 The Son of David.

In turn Jesus put a question to the assembled Pharisees, “What is your opinion about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “David’s,” they answered. He said to them, "Then how is it that David under the Spirit’s influence calls him ‘lord,’ as he does:

‘The Lord said to my lord, Sit at my right hand, until I humble your enemies beneath your feet’?
If David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?" No one could give him an answer; therefore no one dared, from that day on, to ask him any questions.

[quote=elizabeth4truth] Emmanuel means “God with us” but does that mean God is with us, working through a mortal man (ie His grace is upon Jesus to do God’s will?) or does it mean God is with us, as God (ie the will of God and Jesus Christ are One in being)? If the later were true, why was Jesus tested in the desert? Why was it necessary for Him to pray to the Father ane submit to His will, "Yet not my will but Yours be done!"
Thank you for your reply.
Elizabeth
[/quote]

Please visit Jesus Loves God which takes a look at answering the crux of how Jesus could be both fully eternal God incapable of sin and fully free willed man, capable of choosing sin but not doing so, in the same Being during His life on earth.

**NAB REV 1:8 **

The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” NAB LUK 2:11

“This day in David’s city a savior has been born to you, the Messiah and Lord.” NAB JOH 3:13

"No one has gone up to heaven except the One who came down from there - the Son of Man (who is in heaven). . . . NAB JOH 6:41

At this the Jews started to murmur in protest because he claimed, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They kept saying: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? How can he claim to have come down from heaven?NAB JOH 8:58

Jesus answered them: “I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM.”


#6

[quote=Steven Merten]Please visit Jesus Loves God which takes a look at answering the crux of how Jesus could be both fully eternal God incapable of sin and fully free willed man, capable of choosing sin but not doing so, in the same Being during His life on earth.

[/quote]

Thank you Steven for providing this link and for all you wrote. There are many references, in the NT, regarding Jesus being God’s Son. I’m looking for OT verses that show God’s intention of coming to earth, as Christians believe, in the form of a man.

In Psalm 89:27,
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’ And I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth.” what does the “first-born” mean? Does it mean created or always was? But God was never first born, He always was. And in Psalm 2:4, the word “begotten” what exactly does that mean? Does it mean created or mutated or what? Do Jews believe God will come to earth in the form of a man?

Could it be Jesus is the king of God’s creation because He did what Adam did not, obey God’s will and defer to God’s superiority?

Is Jesus at God’s right hand because He did what none of us would do, love God more then ourselves and not deem equaility with God, something to be grasped at? Did God accomplish this through a human being, is that possible?

Kindest Regards,
Elizabeth


#7

Try this:

John 1: 1-5

In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God. He was present to God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being and apart from him nothing came to be. Whatever came to be in him, found life, life for the light of men. The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.

John 1: 10-12

He was in the world, and through him the world was made, yet the world did not know who he was. To his own he came, yet his own did not accept him. Any who did accept him he empowered to become children of God.

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.

John 1:15

John testified to him by proclaiming: “This is he of whom I said, ‘The one who comes after me ranks ahead of me, for he was before me’.”


#8

Thank you Philip, for responding. Yes this is NT support.

Still wondering though, did/do the Jews believe God will come to earth and dwell amoung us? Is their OT that says this? Was it believed the “anointed one” was to be God Himself, or one created by God?

Thank you and peace,
Elizabeth


#9

[quote=elizabeth4truth]Still wondering though, did/do the Jews believe God will come to earth and dwell amoung us? Is their OT that says this?..
[/quote]

It has been said that the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament revealed in the New Testament.

So the short answer is no - not specifically would they know that God was to take on humanity in the flesh and do all He did. But they would be awaiting the mysterious Savior - the Messiah.

God didn’t choose to reveal everything at once - we’d all agree on that. God’s revelation happened over time. And this revealing wasn’t complete until the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

I’ve got a book around here somewhere with all kinds of really awesome OT quotes that point to Christ - I’ll see if I can find it and put some here for you - maybe by this weekend I’ll be able to do that. It’s a book well worth a read. It comes from a Jewish convert to the Catholic faith. The title is “[/font]Salvation is From the Jews” - that link is to the author’s website.

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#10

Thank you DustinsDad,

I look forward to hearing from you on the OT references.

Peace,
Elizabeth


#11

The OT references are actually cited in the NT references above where Jesus is questioning the Pharisees. Jesus is quoting the Psalms, where David calls the Messiah his Lord. It’s not a direct statement that God is going to become a man, but it’s very clear in the context of Jesus as the Messiah.

You will not find agreement even today among Jews about who the Messiah will be and what he will do, so don’t expect to find any obvious answers in the Tanakh. If there was an obvious answer, they’d have found it by now. What is clear, however, is that David refers to the Messiah as being greater than himself, making the Messiah being just a human and descendent of David unlikely. That, combined with the statements about the “first born”, and Jesus’ own direct statements about being Yahweh, is why His followers say He was God incarnated as a man.

The belief isn’t directly laid out in the Tanakh, but it doesn’t contradict what is written, either. Most Jews were NOT expecting God to become a man, but when they recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and this Messiah said “before Abraham was, I am”, it became crystal clear what the confusing terms in Scripture meant.


#12

If the question is: Where did the concept of

Original Sin originate, it is not found in the OT, according
to Judaism, which recognizes no such primal fault that
affects later generations, other than their earthly, physical
condition…work for food, etc.

St. Paul, who had been a Pharisee, and studied with
Gamaliel, one of the foremost scholars of his time,
brought forth the idea that mankind suffered from a
sin inherited from Adam.

reen12


#13

[quote=elizabeth4truth]Recently I discovered Judaism and Islam do not share our belief of Original Sin and the need for spiritual redemption. It is believed that each individual is responsible for their own salvation. (hope I got that right) If this is true, where did the concept of Jesus’ “redemptive act” come from? (ie the belief that His act and our baptism redeems us of original sin) Did it occur at the time Jesus walked the earth, before or after? Are their scriptures, in the OT, that back our Catholic belief of the need for the Messiah’s redemptive act or is it found only in the NT?

Thank you for your responses,
Elizabeth
[/quote]

I agree with your comment about Original Sin and Judaism, to the extent that I have read no Jewish work referring to a kind of essential alienation between God and Man, so that salvation is necessary.

The Original Sin idea, of course, is the lesson of the story of Adam and Eve. The sin of Eve is how mankind would handle every single moral question, but for the grace of the cross which goes forward and backward in time.

Adam receives the forbidden fruit from Eve, after Eve commits the sin, because Eve is a picture of us people, sinning in response to that essential alienation, and Adam is a picture of Christ “becoming sin” in accord with 2 Corinthians 5:21.

It is deeeply ironic that our brothers and sisters of the Old Covenant who comprise the congregation which is the mother of the Catholic Church should be unaware of the interpretation of one of the first stories in the Torah.


#14

I recently read in US News and World Report (May 23, 2005), that the idea of original sin was developed by Augustine of Hippo. Parents desperately wanted their children to be baptized, as so many of them died very young. Formerly opposed to infant baptisms, Augustine began baptizing the young ones, and came up with 4 reasons for doing this, but he could not commit to any one of them.
A book has been written by James O’ Donnell which brings to light the issue of original sin as brought about by Augustine:

“Augustine had to justify infant baptisms. He did so, O’Donnell writes, “by constructing a theological notion, original sin, that defies logic on various points.” How, for one, did the taint of original sin pass from Adam and Eve to all newly born infants? Augustine himself came up with four possible explanations but never committed himself to any one. The implications of each led to such severe conclusions about predestination and the futility of good works that even later Christians who claimed to be good Augustinians had to live with incoherence, believing in original sin but also accepting the salvational value of good works and the sacraments.”

Any comments? Clarifications?

~Roweena


#15

saphyr: Did Augustine go back and change the writings of Paul, too? Paul was the one who discussed the fact that all had sinned in Adam in Romans 5:

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

What Augustine did do was develop the language that the West eventually adopted in describing this “Original Sin”, but he most certainly didn’t invent the concept.

James O’Donnel sounds like an absolutely horrible scholar, since he can’t even be bothered to cross-check his theories with the Scriptural teachings he’s apparently trying to debunk. In fact, that glaring error is enough for me to avoid any work by him in the future; it sounds like he’s incredibly sloppy.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.