What is Sin?

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What is sin?

Some might say it is disobedience to God’s commandments. Is this always the case? Can someone disobey one of the commandments and still not sin?

Did Jesus sin by disobeying the law of Moses?

Others might say it is disobedience to God’s will. Is this always the case? Can someone go against God’s will and not sin?

Would Nephi have sinned if he had never killed Laban?

8 thoughts on “What is Sin?

  1. Did Jesus sin by disobeying the law of Moses?

    And when might he have done this? The only instances of sin that could be imputed to Jesus in the New Testament could only have been imputed to him by the pharisaic regulations that had been added to the Law over the centuries. Such as walking n+1 steps on the Sabbath, where n=the number of steps proclaimed as the number of legal steps by some rabbinical council or other. Or healing somebody on the Sabbath.

  2. Stealing corn from someone’s field (Matt 12:1-7). Not honouring his mother (Matt 12:46-49). Mistreating the Canaanite woman, a stranger (Matt 15:22-26).

    There are others, but these are the most prominent in my mind.

  3. Matt 12:1-7: Even the Pharisees, eager to condemn Jesus, didn’t characterize this as “stealing,” but an offense of “doing work” on the Sabbath by their rabbinical laws.

    Matt 12:46-49: How do you construe this as not “honoring his mother”?

    Matt 15:22-26: How is this “mistreating” the Canaanite woman?

    Methinks you’re grasping at straws to play the devil’s advocate here.

    (Apologies for commenting on old posts; I’m still catching up after a two-week vacation.)

  4. “How do you construe this as not ‘honoring his mother’?”

    By ignoring her, strictly speaking.

    “How is this ‘mistreating’ the Canaanite woman?”

    Mistreating her first by ignoring her and then comparing her to a dog.

  5. Re his mother: He didn’t ignore her; he was in the middle of something more important. I can’t see how that dishonors her, unless we’re expanding the rules for honoring your father and mother to include “Thou shalt drop whatever, whenever.”

    Re the Canaanite woman: You’ve failed to demonstrate that this was mistreatment (i.e., that there was a level of treatment due her that he did not meet), or that his actions in any way transgress the law of Moses.

    Again, I think you’re reaching.

  6. You can still ignore someone if you’re doing something more important. I can’t see how it honours her.

    My mistake on the Canaanite women. I was not clear in my previous comments. Her mistreatment did not transgress the Law of Moses from what I can tell. Nevertheless, if one of us was to ignore someone and then compare him/her to dogs, we surely would be held accountable.

  7. 1) In that case, I’ll let you compose a midrash about the true definition and practice of “honoring” one’s parents… though again, Jesus would be under no more obligation to accept your situational interpretation as he would the Pharisees’.

    2) Sure, if you meant by the word “dog” what you would probably mean by the word “dog” in English to an English speaker. If, on the other hand, I were speaking in the Messianic period before the gospel was taken to the Gentiles, and I said, “The Gentiles haven’t been invited to the table yet” (which is essentially what he’s saying — the word he used compared her to a family pet, which doesn’t get to eat in a seat at the table), I don’t see how I’d be under any condemnation for “mistreating” her.

  8. 1. I suppose the problem then is not knowing what is meant by “to honour”. In its basic, modern meaning, it is defined as showing respect. One could argue that ignoring someone is not showing respect. Another could argue that respect is in no way related to ignorance.

    Until the term “to honour” is defined equitably, I fear this will be like a ping pong match. Sounds like a new post topic.

    2. Quite true.

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