It says various places that *only* the guilty are punished and then it contradicts that by saying that the innocent are punished too for being the children, etc. You can’t have it both ways. It’s like me saying that “only those who have red hair will be given kittens today” and then saying somewhere else “everyone will be given kittens today”. Which can be taken as the true statement, TOT since both can’t happen at the same time? And this contradiction is coming supposedly from a being that omnipotent, omniscient, and unchanging.
And yes, TOT, I am quite comfortable in saying that’s what the text from Ezekiel says in the context of the chapter. Why? Because the chapter talks about sinning, blame *and* punishment. Let me share with you the verses right around the one you picked.
Ezekiel 18:17 He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.
19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.[/b]
21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. - NIV
We have God discussing the sin, the blame and who gets punished and why. It is not only talking about blame. If you do the crime, then you are punished e.g. you die. If you do not do the crime, you are not punished.
Now, in Deuteronomy, it says the opposite. You don’t do the crime, you are punished *and* if you do the crime you are punished. There is a contradiction since in Ezekiel, it says that *only* those who do the crime are punished. You are then wrong when you claim there is no contradiction. Again, for an analogy, if I say that “only those people who first names start with “A” will be killed” does this mean the same as “everyone will be killed”? It’s that simple, TOT. Does it mean the same thing or not?
I agree, Deut 24 is still going on with the list that starts in Deut 12. Yep, God sure does say follow those rules. And we have your god punishing the children of a sinner for sins they never did in Deut 5. We have in Ezekiel that God says that this is never to be done by him, that he would *not* punish someone for a crime they didn’t do. Again we have in Deut 24 again that it should not be done. But God says he does it anyway in Deut 5. So which does God do, TOT? Does he do as he says in Ezekiel 18 or Deuteronomy 5? I’ll even keep the verses in and repeat those from Ezekiel to contrast them.
Deut 5: 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
And again you claim that I haven’t given any objective evidence and support for. Well, just look above and you’ll see as good as I can make it from a human being, assuming you mean objective to be “expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations”. I find this an accurate depiction of what the Bible is intending making an effort to only consider what the Bible directly says. I am wondering if you think your interpretation is better than mine and for what reasons.
And now about Psalm 51. If you would look back at the post, this was in response to your request “As far as the Bible writings advocating original sin, please, do tell why you feel this way.” I’m sorry if it was confusing but my response was meant to be to your claims that the bible does not say that the sins are put on the children and this was going back to the idea of original sin. Original sin is based on passing down of guilt and punishment to those who did nothing, very much like in Deut 5. In Psalm 51 it says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” How would this work if there is no sin passed from Adam? How do zygotes sin?
As for Job 25, it can also be written like this “How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, 6 how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot— a human being, who is only a worm!” Now is Balad wrong (in the context of the bible of course)?
But let’s say you’re right. Balad was just talking. However, in Job 32 we have his friends ending the conversation since Job was “because he was righteous in his own eyes.” Then we have Elihu who says again that Job is wrong to claim to be pure and sinless. Elihu claims he has perfect knowledge. However, we see at the beginning of the story, Job is just the best thing out there. Then we have God himself talking, repeating the same thing Elihu has said. “Job 40:8 Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” God is okay with what Elihu has said about him: “He repays everyone for what they have done; he brings on them what their conduct deserves. 12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.” But as we can see from the very beginning “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” that God is indeed perverting justice by allowing Job to be tormented on a bet and for allowing Job’s family to be murdered. Again, where is this god that doesn’t punish others for someone else’s sin? Where is the god that doesn’t punish people on a bet?
I find it hilarious that you now want to say that the verses from Paul are only about using JC’s righteousness as a “credit” against the sin of others. The problem with this is that why does this righteousness of JC’s need to be used as a credit against what sin? Oh yes, the sin that came from the fall of Adam. You can re-cite Ezekiel as much as you’d like but that doesn’t change the fact that there are contradictions. Yes, Ezekiel says that God doesn’t blame or punish people for someone else’s sins, but Deut says he does. You ignore one in favor of the other and I have yet to see why one version is the only “right” one.
As for Romans 3 and 5 and Ephesians and 1 Corinthians, this is in response to your claims that original sin is not in the Bible. It does not address the idea of what God does about sinners and punishment, although they can be related issues. I suppose we should have discussed these separately and it would have been much clearer.
We have Romans 3, which says as you quoted, that no one is righteous. To me this seems to reinforce the idea that we see through the bible that everyone is impure, not righteous, etc from conception (as what Psalm 51 says). We have Paul saying that only believe in JC will save a damned soul and that indeed all are damned.
We have Romans 5 which says
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, 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 is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Again, this seems to state clearly that through Adam’s fall, all of humanity is punished for one man’s crime. This is how original sin is defined (and it does go back to does God revenge himself only on the sinner or on whomever else he feels like?)
The verses in Ephesians also seem to support this
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
We deserve God’s wrath by our nature. Who created that nature and by what events? God and then the fall.
Then we have 1 Corinthians 15
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
TOT, I’ve given you verses and the context behind them and how I see them working. Is this objective evidence? Well, it’s the verses of your holy book, and the context they are in and the reasons I have come to these conclusions. In that we can’t read the minds of the authors, this seems to be all we have to work with, we know this is a body of works that often doesn’t make any sense since they were put together piecemeal across a great span of time and through many variations in belief. That’s my position.
If one works from the idea that there should be some coherence to these stories because of some magical influence, then there should be no contradictions and no presuppositions required to start from. One should be able to work from beginning to end and have one and only one story with a god that acts in a dependable way, if this god is to be the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, just, unchanging being that Christians do seem to mostly agree upon. We don’t see that.