In my last series exploring if Eve was guilty, I assumed that sin was inherited from your father, not your mother. I was questioned why I believed this? So, I started to think more about it. Here are three reasons why I assume sin transfers from our dads to us. These are speculative, I realize. But, thinking never hurt anyone! I’d be honored if you gave it some thought.
Before I start, my disclaimer once again:
- Neither gender is superior to the other. God judges character – heart motivation evidenced (to us) by persistent behavior. Assuming sin and death is inherited from males is in no way arguing the superiority of women. All have sinned. We are all God’s enemies without the mediation of His Son, and as Christians we are all co-heirs as siblings of Christ.
- The more I study this topic, the deeeeeeper it goes. This is a simple nut shell.
Jesus did not have a human father.
This point, of course, is the most convincing. God promised the serpent that the woman’s Seed (not man’s) would crush his viper head. (Genesis 3:15) Jesus was born of a virgin according to the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, not a human father. (Matthew 1:18, 20) Galatians 4:4 says He was born of woman. He had no sin nature. (Hebrews 7:26, 4:15) The virgin birth circumvented the transmission of sin to Jesus by an earthly father.
- Side note about other suggestions: The Catholics solve the transmission of sin problem in a different way… by declaring Mary herself sinless. Others reject the transmission of sin entirely. They believe all children are born innocent. Jesus alone kept his pure state.
Circumcision is required for men, not women, to enter the Assembly of Israel.
Jewish fathers were required to cut the foreskin of their sons as a sign of the covenant Abraham made with God. If they didn’t, the sons were not allowed access to the benefits of the covenant and could not worship. He was cut off from his people and had broken God’s covenant. (Genesis 17:14) Adult male converts had to circumcise as well. Women and girl babies never received this physical restriction. (That’s why there were so many more female converts to Judaism!! Ya-ouch!) Females could access worship and the covenant as they were.
Colossians 2:11-14 tells us that circumcision is a picture of cutting off sinful flesh. Being uncircumcised is a picture of being dead in your sins. Uncircumcised men were not allowed to worship as a Jew. Why was this picture required in male flesh alone? Over the last few thousand years there have been a variety of answers from proposing the female counterpart of menstruation to reducing the male sex drive to chauvinism.
Some traditionalists argued that the circumcision of men indicate their social and religious primacy within the Jewish polity, and that the absence of circumcision from women betokens their second tier status…The egalitarian influence is modern. (Shayne J.D.Cohen, Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised? pages 214-215.)
One reason could be that sin was inherited through the male seed, and circumcision acts as a symbol of cutting off the sinful flesh. Again, I’m not saying females are sinless. After all it takes a man to make a woman. But, Jewish women did not have this physical sign of sin to cut off since they didn’t pass the sin along. Both men and women need to have a spiritual circumcision of the heart to enter God’s family by grace through faith. Both Jews and Christians actually agree today that faith is necessary, not circumcision.
Death passed from Adam to Moses.
Romans 5:12-19 says one man brought death to the world because he broke God’s command. Verse 14 says death then passed from Adam to Moses. The context of Romans 5 is contrasting sinful man to the Righteous Man. I realize there could be a few explanations why men are mentioned here and not women. Adam and Moses could be the representative heads for their time. They both had direct dealing with God regarding the context of this chapter. And it could also be that inherited sin passed along through the man’s seed.
I admit, it is a little weird thinking in terms of sin transmitting through semen? Throw in Mitochondrial Eve and things get even more speculative! It was an interesting study, but can’t be proven as definitively “biblical.” Take away what you will if it helps your faith. Leave if it doesn’t.