what protestant theologians believe that Jesus had a sin nature?


I am hearing that there are protestant theologians who believe that Jesus had a sin nature. Are there any well know heritics in church history that taught this? who wrote to refute their beleifs?



Oh gosh i never hear that before, my goodness, at least my church never teaches me that else i don’t know where should i go




The Christadelphians teach it. But not many Protestants would number the Christadelphians as Protestant, rather as a quasi-Christian cult.

Apart from that, the teaching pops up not in the writings of any respected protestant theologians I’ve come across but in the teachings of some of the prosperity/word of faith teachers.

For example, Kenneth Copeland does not teach that Jesus was born with a sin nature but does teach this:

“[Jesus] accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own Spirit, and at the moment that He did so, He cried ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.” (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne)

"He is the first born out of spiritual death, the first person who was ever born again. . . His spirit absolutely became impregnated with the sin nature of the world. . . Christ did not have sin reckoned to Him. He was made to be sin. "(same work)

According to this teaching, while in hell, Jesus was born again.

Understandably, Copeland and other WOF teachers didn’t play a role in my theology degrees.


This is a problem for some “independent” Seventh Day Adventists too, scroll down to the section “Jesus Christ” adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents.htm

This understanding that Jesus had a sin nature ] is far from unique. Many Biblical scholars have challenged the so-called
orthodox view that Christ somehow took Adam’s
pre-Fall nature rather than the human equipment
inherited by every other child of Adam. Among
them are
Edward Irving,
Thomas Erskine,
Herman Kohlbrugge,
Eduard Bohl,
Karl Barth,
T. F. Torrance,
Nels Ferre,
C. E. B. Cranfield,
Harold Roberts,
Lesslie Newbigin,
E. Stauffer,
Anders Nygren,
C. K. Barrett, and
Eric Baker.17
Wolfhart Pannenberg** wrote (1964):

“The conception that at the Incarnation God did not assume
human nature in its corrupt sinful state but only joined Himself with a humanity absolutely purified from all sin contradicts not only the anthropological radicality of sin, but also the testimony of the New Testament and of early Christian theology that the Son of God assumed sinful flesh and in sinful flesh itself overcame sin.”18


17 See the surveys in Harry Johnson, The Humanity of the Saviour
(London: The Epworth Press, 1962), pp. 129-189; Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1956), vol. 1, pt. 2, pp. 155ff.; D.M. Baillie, God Was in Christ (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1961), pp. 16-20.

18 L. L. Wilkins and D. Priebe, trans. Jesus—God and Man (London: S.C.M. Press, Ltd., 1968), p. 362.


Seeing that this list of those does exist that teach that Jesus had a sin nature, I am wondering

If someone was codemed by the catholic church in the past for teaching this?

What the history of the idea is? who first purposed it?
What was there theology?

Did any of the reformers teach this?


From an early SDA book,

Bible Readings for the Home Circle, 1916 and 1920 editions, pp. 173-174:

Under the section titled “A Sinless Life” we find these definitive questions and answers:

How fully did Christ share our common humanity?

“Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” [Hebrews 2] verse 17.

Note:—In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then He was not “made like unto His brethren,” and was not “in all points tempted like as we are,” did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved. The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother, inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits,—a sinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all this was done to place mankind on vantage-ground, and to demonstrate that in the same way every one who is “born of the Spirit” may gain the victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame. Rev. 3:21. Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin. John 3:3-7.

Where did God, in Christ, condemn sin, and gain the victory for us over temptation and sin?
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Rom. 8:3.

Note:—God, in Christ, condemned sin, not by pronouncing against it merely as a judge sitting on the judgment-seat, but by coming and living in the flesh, in sinful flesh, and yet without sinning. In Christ, He demonstrated that it is possible, by His grace and power, to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live a sinless life in sinful flesh (emphasis in original).

Harry Johnson; The Humanity of the Saviour; 1962:

The opening sentence of the essay [written by **T.F. Torrence

] … **Lesslie Newbigin’s ** …James D.G. Dunn; Word Biblical Commentary; vol. 38; Romans 1-8:



some quotes from Ellen White,

Our Lord was tempted as man is tempted. He was capable of yielding to temptations, as are human beings. His finite nature was pure and spotless, but the divine nature that led Him to say to Philip, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” also, was not humanized; neither was humanity deified by the blending or union of the two natures; each retained its essential character and properties. {16MR 182.1}

 But here we must not become in our ideas common and earthly, and in our perverted ideas we must not think that the liability of Christ to yield to Satan's temptations degraded His humanity and **He possessed the same sinful, corrupt propensities as man**. {16MR 182.2}
 The divine nature, combined with the human, made Him capable of yielding to Satan's temptations. Here the test to Christ was far greater than that of Adam and Eve, **for Christ took our nature, fallen but not corrupted,** and would not be corrupted unless He received the words of Satan in the place of the words of God. To suppose He was not capable of yielding to temptation places Him where He cannot be a perfect example for man, and the force and the power of this part of Christ's humiliation, which is the most eventful, is no instruction or help to human beings. {16MR 182.3}




It appears Edward Irving who died around 1834 originated this doctrine.

Edward Irving and Karl Barth.

Irving, an enigmatic and ultimately a tragic figure, was deposed from the ministry of the Church of Scotland in 1833. He never abandoned his own belief in the sinlessness of Christ, but the way he stated it was, to say the least, awkward: Christ’s human nature had the grace of sinlessness and incorruption. He did not have his sinlessness from himself. He had it only from the indwelling of the Spirit: ‘It was manhood fallen which he took up into his divine person, in order to prove the grace and the might of Godhead in redeeming it.’ [2] The Lord’s humanity was indeed without guilt, but only because it was ‘held like a fortress in immaculate purity by the Godhead within’. [3]

Barth, too, held to the doctrine of the sinlessness of the Lord: ‘Christ was not a sinful man. He did nothing that Adam did.’ [4] But he serves himself heir to all that Irving had said of the fallenness of the Saviour’s humanity. ‘There must,’ he says, ‘be no weakening or obscuring of the saving truth that the nature which God assumed in Christ is identical with our nature as we see it in the light of the Fall. If it were otherwise, how could Christ be really like us? What concern would we have with Him? We stand before God characterised by the Fall. God’s Son not only assumed our nature but he entered the concrete form of our nature, under which we stand before God as men damned and lost.’ [5]


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