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The Original Omission

Thanks to the writings of Augustine of Hippo who lived from 354–430 AD, the phrase peccatum originale was conceived. Augustine was referring to the passage below where Adam and Eve committed the original sin on earth by disobeying the boundary set by God in Genesis 2:16-17. When you place this passage side by side with James 1:13-15, Satan planted a thought inside of Eve’s mind that was eventually acted upon the more Eve stared at the fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge.

For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate, Genesis 3:5-6.

When Moses documents this story that was passed down through oral tradition, one key detail is often overlooked. While the version of this passage doesn’t specify Adam’s whereabouts when Eve took the first bite, other translations of the Bible claim that Adam was right there with her. Adam failed to show leadership by not interrupting the serpent or simply exclaiming “get lost.” Subsequently, as Eve was busy committing original sin, Adam demonstrated the original omission.

So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:17.

The word omission in the context of Genesis 3 means a failure to do something, especially something that one has a moral or legal obligation to do. Since Adam was given authority over the Garden of Eden with the responsibility of being a caretaker or in golf lingo the superintendent of Eden, Adam failed to uphold the only rule given to him by God. The earthly brother of Jesus clarifies what a sin of omission is in the passage above. The moment Adam sat idly by his wife’s side without stepping in to stop this tempting urge, the original omission was conceived.

by Jay Mankus

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