Why do the JW's accept the LATE doctrine of original sin ?

by wobble 4 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • wobble

    There have been a number of threads on here about the doctrine and how silly it is, i.e Farkel's excellent "Original sin for Dummies"

    But my question is concerning how they justify taking the doctrine on board.

    They reject the Trinity Doctrine on the basis that, although many scriptures can be used in support of it, it was a doctrine formulated long after the death of the Apostles.

    The doctrine of Original Sin, though begun by Iraeneus in the second century was not fixed until Augustine of Hippo wrote about it long after the Trinity was an established belief. A belief Augustine accepted on his conversion to Christianity.

    So, although the same method as for the Trinity can be used , scriptures which seem to support it, it is a very late developer as a doctrine.

    So why, when not all the Christian Church, and certainly not Judaism or later Islam adopt the doctrine, why do JW's when it comes from the "Apostate" ( from the WT teaching) Augustine of Hippo ?

    Why absorb a 3rd century doctrine and claim to be following primitive Christianity ?

  • Terry

    Augustine was a thinker. Thinking and religion don't sit well together. The Greeks (through Alexander's conquest)over-ran all cultures and did a REBOOT. The Greeks brought LOGIC, thanks to Aristotle. The pagan world was suffused with the supernatural (illogic and mysticism). Plato was a mystic and he was Greek. But, Plato was at odds with logic (and Aristotle.) By the time the Church came along in the 4th century neo-Platonic thought was everywhere. How could supernatural church doctrine trump Aristotle or hope to rival Plato? Augustine to the rescue! The church leaped at the chance to have a patina of logical teaching for competition purposes. Augustine and Aquinas were the best they could do with what they had available. We look BACKWARDS from Today through those who came LATER (Augustine and Aquinas) to see the EARLY things. We can't help but do so. It warps our sense of what the early things "mean." But, what else can Christianity do? They are stuck with all the AD HOC nonsense of Austine. Read extensively what crazy crazy ideas Augustine really had and you will recoil in terror!!

  • BurnTheShips

    Terry, as usual, gets it wrong. There are extant writings that explain this doctrine that are centuries older than Augustine (Irenaeus, Against Heresies). He did not invent whole cloth, but he explained extremely well. Also, this idea is more of a Western idea. The Eastern Greek Christians looked at the matter in a larger way. The doctrine was largely developed as a response to Pelagianism and Gnosticism.


  • wobble

    Thanks Terry and Burn,

    I agree Terry about what Augustine wrote, I read a fair bit of his stuff when I was an active Witness, hoping to find something I could use in talks etc.

    I thought he was an incredible old windbag !

    I still think the JW's are trying to have it both ways, their reasons for rejecting the Trinity Doctrine apply with equal force to the Original Sin Doctrine.

  • StAnn

    Why do JWs accept anything from Christianity? The whole Christian Church started in Catholicism and the Bible came from the Catholic Church via the Popes and Bishops. How can the JWs reject anything that comes from the Catholic Church and yet accept the Catholic Bible as their authority? It's completely illogical.

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