Section 8B ... Controversial Issues/ Spiritual Warfare

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Generational Curses.
Part II - An Old Testament Word Study


Part III - The Atonement For Sin, Iniquity and Atonement

Carol Brooks

      Part I ... Generational Curses PREVIOUS PAGE
    Introduction, Alleged Scriptural Support, Contradictory Verses, Good and Bad Ancestors
    The Factual Data, Does The Bible Contradict Itself Or Are We Missing Something?

    Part II - An Old Testament Word Study (Below)

    Commonplace But Inaccurate Definitions
    Old Testament Word Study
    Judaism's Teachings
    Iniquity Not Sin Can Be Passed Down

    Part III ... The Atonement for Sin, Iniquity and Transgression (Below)

    The Old Testament
    The New Testament

    Commonplace But Inaccurate Definitions
    IIt is a sad fact that all too often the beliefs already held by various translators influenced how they rendered Hebrew and Greek words. thus slanting the meaning of the word or verse. In other words, pre-bias drove many of the translations.

    Unfortunately, most believers do not delve into the meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek words and see for themselves how they are used in the Bible, relying instead on what someone else believes. See Footnote I for some very common but critical biased translations.

    And it is no different when it comes to the words sin, iniquity, and transgression (translated from entirely separate and distinct Hebrew words) for which definitions are offered without a smidgen of Biblical support. 

      Ligonier.org: Transgression has the very basic idea of crossing the line. God has given us His law, and we cross the line. Iniquity has the sense in Psalm 51, for example, of "twistedness" There is a twistedness in us as a consequence of this. [01]

      Christian Truth Center: Sin is doing not the good you know.... Iniquity is hidden sin, a sin you have covered or you are covering/hiding. When David sinned, instead of running to Jesus Christ, he tried to cover/hide his sin thus the sin became an iniquity. Reason David in entire Book of Psalms is crying to God to forgive him his iniquity. [02]

      Patheos.com: God sometimes uses words like iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespasses to indicate the varying degrees of disobedience.... When David lusted after Bathsheba and didn't repent, his iniquity increased because the sin he committed was adultery with her.... The degrees of his disobedience grew and grew as David continued committing greater and greater iniquities so iniquity refers to a willful, knowing transgression of God's law where one's desires starts to dominate the person's life like it did in David's life. [03]

      Got Questions: Quoting Exodus 10:16 Got Questions says sin can ... "refer to doing something against God or against a person" and it "is the general term for anything that "falls short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). They go on to say "Iniquity is more deeply rooted. Iniquity refers to a premeditated choice; to commit iniquity is to continue without repentance"... David's sin with Bathsheba that led to the killing of her husband, Uriah, was iniquity" [04]

    In a nutshell 'iniquity' is considered to be "twistedness", "hidden sin", "a willful, knowing transgression of God's law", and a lack or repentance.

    Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, every single word in the Bible was carefully chosen Yet, none of these definitions say anything about the original Hebrew words the authors used. Besides which although the words sin and iniquity are generously sprinkled throughout the Old Testament, three of the four quotes above were satisfied with using just one example - that of David and Bathsheba that actually tells us absolutely NOTHING about the meaning of the words.

    If you take the time to carefully study the Hebrew words - paying special attention to how they  were used - you will see that the definitions above are unsupported by Scripture.

    So lets see if the Scriptures can throw more light on the words.

    Old Testament Word Study
    Here are a couple of passages in the Old Testament in which two or even all three of the Hebrew words were used in the same sentence for which there could be no reason other than the fact that all they have different meanings. (Exodus 34:7 is one of the so called "proof-texts" for the generational curse idea).

      I acknowledged my sin (Heb. chatta'ah) to You, And my iniquity (Heb. vn) I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions (Heb. pesha) to the Lord"; And You forgave the guilt (vn) of my sin (Heb. chatta'ah). (Psalms 32:5 NASB)

      who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity (Heb. vn), transgression (Heb. pesha) and sin (Heb. chatta'ah); yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity (Heb. vn) of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations." (Exodus 34:7 NASB)

    From Biblical examples and usage it is really not that difficult to thoroughly understand the meaning of the words - provided of course that you do your own digging and not blindly reiterate someone else's opinion.

    The first two are particularly relevant to this article.

    Cht (H2398) Overwhelmingly Translated 'Sin'
    Cht literally means "to miss" or "to go astray". A very clear example is found in Judges 20:16, which used hyperbole to describe how precisely the men could wield their slings that were one of the earliest weapons of war.

      "Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left handed; every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss" (Heb. cht) (Judges 20:16). 

      However, it is important to realize that in the Hebrew Bible cht was used in a legalistic way, inasmuch as it almost always refers to an action. Regardless of how badly intentioned a person was or how much evil they contemplated, he or she) had to do something wrong (the archers had to throw the stones) before it was counted as a sin.

    Here are three more example of cht being an action...

      1.) God said to Abimelech king of Gerar who had taken Sara

      Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning (Heb. cht) against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.  (Genesis 20:6 NASB)

      2.) In this example, the people had actually done something i.e. they had spoken against the Lord

      So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned (Heb. cht), because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people.  (Numbers 21:7 NASB)

      3.) Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah what he had done

      Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "In what way have I sinned (Heb. cht) against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison?  (Jeremiah 37:18 NASB)

    Because the laws of the Old Testament largely related to the actual act of sinning and not people's evil tendencies it is hardly surprising that orthodox Judaism teaches that sin is an act, and not a state of being. However, just because someone could be legally counted as sinless did not mean his heart was clean i.e. he or she did not have evil tendencies. 

    Avn (H5771) Largely Translated Into The English Iniquity.
    On the other hand avn is often described as an "evil inclination" (yetzer ha'ra) - the tendency or inclination to do wrong.  Strong's defines vn as a "perversity" or 'depravity' both of which refer more to a state than an action. In this vein, the Holman Bible Dictionary says vn "describes the crooked or perverse spirit associated with sin." [05]

    In other words, vn describes a person's disposition of the mind or temperament regardless of whether they acted on it or not. However, as we all know, evil inclinations can and often do lead to cht - the actual deed. Here is a verse that illustrates how one follows the other,

      'I will cleanse them from all their iniquity (Heb. vn) by which they have sinned (Heb. cht) against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities (Heb. vn) by which they have sinned (Heb. cht) against Me and by which they have transgressed (Heb. psha) against Me.  (Jeremiah 33:8 NASB)

    In Numbers 14, Moses made a long intercession on behalf of the nation that frightened at the size of the inhabitants of Canaan, were threatening to appoint a leader and return to Egypt. When, in his plea for mercy for the nation, Moses cited part of the second commandment he used the word vn (iniquity), rather than cht (sin). He was asking the Father to pardon the evil tendencies of the people. And although the Lord did not allow them into the promised land, He responded favorably to Moses' plea.

      "But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as Thou hast declared, 'The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity (Heb. vn) and transgression (Heb. psha); but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity (Heb. vn) of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.' Pardon, I pray, the iniquity (Heb. vn) of this people according to the greatness of Thy loving-kindness, just as Thou also hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." So the Lord said, "I have pardoned them according to your word." (Numbers 14:17-20)

    Psha: (H6588) Translated Transgression (also 'Revolt' or 'Rebellion' in Kings and Chronicles)
    Strong's defines psha as a to break away from just authority, to offend, rebel, revolt. Here are a couple of examples of how it is used in Kings and Chronicles..

      In his days Edom revolted (Heb. psha) from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. (2 Kings 8:20 NASB)

      But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled  against the king of Israel. (2 Kings 3:5 NASB)

      So Israel has been in rebellion (Heb. psha) against the house of David to this day. (2 Chronicles 10:19 NASB)

    It is worth noting that Job 34:37 quotes Elihu - his so called 'friend' and accuser as saying, "For he adds rebellion (Heb. pesha) to his sin (Heb. cht)". Elihu believed that the calamities that had befallen Job began with his sin but got worse as Job added on rebellion by denying he had done anything wrong and voicing reproachful feelings against his Maker.

     Sheggh means an error or inadvertent transgression. In Leviticus 4:2-3 and Numbers 15:28-29, the word "unwittingly" is translated from sheggh). However, even in cases of unintentional sins, the person concerned was to offer certain sacrifices as soon as it came to their attention.

    Rm: literally or figuratively means to raise or exalt. For example, it is used to describe Noah's ark being lifted up (Genesis 7:17) and Isaiah seeing the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted (Isaiah 6:1). Rm is also applied to sin in the sense of someone 'lifting themselves up' in pride and self magnification. (The second example speaks of the antichrist).

      But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise (Heb. rm) my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north". (Isaiah 14:13 NASB)

      Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt (Heb. rm) and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. (Daniel 11:36 NASB)

    To sum up....

      Cht (sin) in the Hebrew Bible cht was used in a legalistic way inasmuch as it almost always refers to an action. Regardless of how badly intentioned a person was or how much evil they contemplated, he or she had to do something wrong before it was counted as a sin.

      Avn (iniquity) is often described as an "evil inclination" (yetzer ha'ra) - the tendency or inclination to do wrong that could very well lead to cht or the actual act

      Psha: (transgression, revolt, rebellion). Transgression' itself means the violation of a law, duty or moral principle;

      Sheggh means an error or inadvertent transgression.

      Rm: literally or figuratively means to raise or exalt.

    Note that in Exodus 34:7 iniquity and transgression and sin are all mentioned as types of sins God will forgive but rm is conspicuous by it's absence.

    Also we need to pay attention to the fact that the daily animal sacrifices only covered sins (Heb. cht), not the evil inclinations of the heart (vn) nor wilful and knowing rebellion (pesha). There were "sin offerings" but never an offering to remove "iniquity". The only atonement for iniquity and rebellion was on Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement.

    Judaism's Teachings
    These definitions are reflected in the beliefs of orthodox Judaism which teaches that sin is an act, and not a state of being. [06] This is simply because the laws of the Old Testament largely related to the actual act of sinning and not people's evil tendencies. In fact, only the last of the Ten Commandments is about intent rather than action (you shall not covet anything belonging to your neighbor) 

    As said by Rabbi Dr. Reuven Hammer, former president of the Rabbinical Assembly

      Judaism teaches that human beings are not basically sinful. We come into the world neither carrying the burden of sin committed by our ancestors, nor tainted by it. Rather, sin (het) is the result of our human inclinations (the yetzer), which must be properly channeled. [07]

    In other words, every single person born on this earth is inclined to do both good and bad. Good inclinations are yetzer ha'tov or yetzer tov, while evil inclinations are yetzer ha'ra or yetzer ra [08]. The latter occurs twice in the Hebrew Bible...

      Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent (ytser) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (r'h) continually. (Genesis 6:5 NASB)

      The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent (ytser) of man's heart is evil (r'h) from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21 NASB)

    Which brings us to where we started - generational curses.

    Iniquity Not Sin Can Be Passed Down
    Understanding the meaning of the exact Hebrew words used in the verses offered up as 'proof texts' for generational curses throws a very different light on those passages. The word iniquity or evil inclination (vn ) was what was passed down through three or four generations.  None of the verses say anything about cht - the actual act of doing something wrong - being visited on subsequent generations.

      You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity (vn) of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6 NASB)

    It is however, in Exodus 34:7 that the distinction becomes even more obvious with only the iniquity (vn) or 'evil inclinations' of the fathers visited on subsequent generations.

      who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity (Heb. vn), transgression (Heb. pesha) and sin (Heb. chatta'ah); yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity (Heb. vn) of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations." (Exodus 34:7 NASB)

    Sin (wrong action) itself cannot be passed down from father to son. On the other hand, the evil hearts and leanings of parents can, but not necessarily are transmitted to the children. Any passing down that happens may be due in part to learned behavior, epigenetics, or some combination of the two. But that does NOT mean it has to be acted on. See Footnote II for some information on Genes Vs. Learned Behavior.

    People are always free to make their own decisions, not simply succumb to any negative influence they may have been exposed to. But this not always easy to do. However, this is where being "born again" comes into play when the actual expression of a person's genes can be changed. In other words, being'born again is very likely to have a physical component as well as a spiritual one. Thus a person who is born anew is much more likely to be able overcome what literally amounts to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

    In the final analysis, those who trust and turn to God and endeavor to walk in His paths will be blessed regardless of what their ancestors did or did not do.

    See Original Sin and Epigenetics
    What exactly was it that Adam passed down to his descendants? Since there are innumerable passages of Scripture that clearly and unambiguously tell us that no person can bear the guilt (or innocence) of another... that everyone will answer for their own sins and misdeeds, and that our eternal destiny is determined by our conduct, not by inheritance, we can not simply accept that we are sinners because Adam sinned. But, on the other hand, what we cannot ignore is that Paul does make a direct connection between the sin of Adam and the fallen condition of the entire race. In Romans 5 Paul seems to be saying that something happened to all humanity because of Adam's sin. Which begs the question... What exactly was it that Adam passed down to his descendants? 

    Part III ... The Atonement for Sin, Iniquity and Transgression
    The Old Testament

    The "Sin" Offering
    All of which bring up an interesting point mentioned earlier.

    Because, in the Old Testament, sin was considered an action which could be atoned for, it was entirely possible for the ancient Israelite to be in a state of sinlessness.  However, just because an person was in a state of sinlessness, did not mean his heart was clean i.e. he or she did not have evil tendencies.

    The daily animal sacrifices of the Old Testament only covered actual sins (Heb. cht), not the evil inclinations of the heart (vn), nor wilful and knowing rebellion (pesha). There were "sin offerings" but never an offering to remove "iniquity". Since iniquity was an internal evil inclination it had to be "borne away" - a phrase that was never used about evil actions. The Torah speaks of "bearing iniquity" but never "bearing sin".

    For this there was only one answer...

    Yom Kippur... The Only Atonement For "Iniquity" and "Rebellion"
    Man's rebellion against God (Heb. pesha) and his evil inclinations (Heb. vn) were only borne away once a year, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), by the scapegoat. (Note however as mentioned earlier, the Lord did once pardon the iniquities of the people on Moses' request. Numbers 14:17-20).

    Leviticus 16 tells us that on Yom Kippur the high priest Aaron, took two goats and presented them before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting. He then "cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat" (Leviticus 16:7-8). Just like all the other sin offerings, one goat was sacrificed as a sin offering (Heb. chatt'h), but the other was sent alive into the wilderness, after Aaron confessed all the nations iniquities (Heb. vn) and transgressions (Heb. pesha) over it.

    In other words, the rebellions and evil intents of the people were symbolically placed on the head of the goat and sent away.

      Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities (Heb. vn) of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions (Heb. pesha) in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities (Heb. vn) to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21-22 NASB)

    However, it is important to note that if there were no repentance involved the iniquities of the people could not have been symbolically transferred to the goat and banished into the wilderness. By itself no physical act can ever rectify the wrongs of the human heart, mind, or imagination.

    Unlike the other Jewish holidays the Day of Atonement (a Sabbath on which no work could be done - Leviticus 23:27-30) was not a joyous and festive event but was the only one of the Feasts of Israel characterized by mourning, introspection and repentance. It was a high holy day that was preceded by the ten days of Rosh Hashanah, commonly known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. These ten days were a period of serious introspection - a time to reflect on and repent for the sins of the previous year. 

    The reason that Yom Kippur was so important was because it was a "type" of the main event to come... That Jesus once and for all became both the sacrifice for sin, and the scapegoat who bears away all our iniquities and transgressions. That the Suffering Servant came to cover our sins and forgive our iniquities was vividly described by Isaiah, many centuries before Jesus' birth.  

      But He was pierced through for our transgressions (Heb. pesha), He was crushed for our iniquities (Heb. vn); The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity (vn ) of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB)

    In speaking of the "new covenant" the Lord would make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, He said

      They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity (Heb. vn) , and their sin (Heb. chatt'h) I will remember no more." (Jeremiah 31:34 NASB)

    The New Testament
    The Greek
    The blurring of sin and iniquity began with the New Testament that also uses various Greek words - Hamartano (G266) usually translated sin, Paraptoma (G3900) used only about 20 times and (depending on the version) usually translated transgression or lawlessness. Finally there is Anomia (G458) translated iniquity or lawlessness and used a mere 15 or so times.

    However, they are rarely used together in the same sentence and, even when they are, it only serves to show that there is no practical difference between the words. Transgression of the law (lawlessness) is sin.

      The Law came in so that the transgression (Gk. paraptoma) would increase; but where sin (Gk. hamartia) increased, grace abounded all the more,  (Romans 5:20 NASB)

      Everyone who practices sin (Gk. hamartia) also practices lawlessness (Gk. anomia) and sin (Gk. hamartia) is lawlessness (Gk. anomia) (1 John 3:4 NASB)

    Certainly the belief in, and adherence to, the temple sacrifices for sin itself (Heb. cht) was alive and well in Jesus' day. It is without doubt that the Pharisees scrupulously observed all the rituals, but this did not mean their hearts were clean. They practiced a vending-machine type of religion in which if they pushed the right buttons (prayer, alms, fasting etc.), God would dispense his blessings to them. In Old Testament language, their actual sins were covered, but the iniquity of their hearts (vn) was not.

    Jesus' coming changed everything. Much to the chagrin of the Pharisees He turned the Old Testament's legalistic approach to sin on its head, pointing out that a mere adherence to the letter of the law, did not constitute righteousness.

      "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Gk. anomia). (Matthew 23:27-28 NASB)

    Jesus quoted several of God's commandments showing how the scribes and Pharisees outwardly obeyed each law, and then revealed what was God's true intent For example,

      Murder: Jesus expanded the meaning of the sixth commandment "thou shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), telling us that even whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Prior to this, unjustified negative feeling towards another human being was acceptable as long as one did not actually commit murder. However, since, like all sin, murder begins in the human mind, Jesus was addressing the adverse emotion behind the deed and calling it wrong (Vs. 21-26).

      Adultery: Since the Old Testament laws only forbade the actual act of adultery, the spirit of the law was ignored,. Thus lusting would not have been considered as a violation of the law. However, Jesus, once again getting to the heart of the matter, said that even looking at a woman with desire constituted adultery (Vs. 27-30). It is one thing never to commit adultery, but quite another to control lust in the heart and mind.

    In other words, the Savior made it very clear that there was no difference between actually committing a sin and thinking about it, therefore the practical implications of the three Greek words is the same. However, it is wise to remember that as much as things change... they remain the same. Just as, on Yom Kippur, iniquities could not be carried away on the head of the scapegoat without repentance, Jesus does not carry our iniquities without repentance and a turning (or returning) to the Lord. See Sin, Repentance and Salvation on THIS Page.

    Also Jesus and The Law
    The Old and New Testaments have seemingly different teachings and commands which has led to more than a little confusion for those that have not grasped the seamless relationship between the two part of the Bible. Believers often struggle with the tension between the Old Testament emphasis on regulations and the New Testament emphasis on grace. Nor are they clear as to what our relationship to the Old Testament should be especially when it comes to the Old Testament Laws like the Ten Commandments -the keeping of the Sabbath in particular.

    Footnote I - Inaccurate Translations
    The list is a long one. One can only conclude that a pre-bias drove many of the so called translations. What we do know is that in the effort to put forward what they believe to be true, the translators have led people away from what the Scriptures actually say. Most people rely on these inaccurate translations and thus will never know what the Bible actually says.

    1.) Free Gift: Note VERY Carefully that the word "free" does NOT exist in the original Greek. Somehow the translators managed to take the word charisma - which simply means a gift - and render it "Free Gift". This is not a translation error, but a clear case of them intentionally adding their own thoughts and ideas to God's word. DETAILS

    2.) Hell: "Hell" is used in place of not one but three separate Hebrew and Greek proper names (Sheol, Hades and Gehenna) which has led to a completely erroneous view of what and where hell is.  In any case "hell" does not mean fire and brimstone. It comes from an old English word which means to cover over that ties in with the description of Sheol found in the Old Testament. DETAILS

    3.)  Babel / Babylon: There is clear Scriptural evidence that Babel and Babylon were the same place including the fact that  both words were rendered from the same exact Hebrew word babel. So the fact that they were translated into two separate English words is one of the many mysteries that surround the translation of some Biblical words. DETAILS

    4.) Guarantee or Earnest: In certain verses (Ephesians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:22, and 2 Corinthians 5:5) that refer to God's promise of the Holy Spirit, the NIV and several other popular translations render the Hebrew arrhabon as 'deposit' when the word actually means 'earnest'. (There is a world of difference between the two). To make matters worse, some versions not only translated arrhabon into the English 'deposit, but then went on to add the word guarantee. Unknowingly, countless people have been led to believe that Scripture actually speaks of a 'guarantee' when in fac, it does no such thing. This is a clear example of trying to influence what people believe - and can only be accounted for by a biased Calvinistic bent. DETAILS

    5.) 3.) The Holy Spirit: Why the pronoun "He" is used for the Holy Spirit, when the pronoun in the original Greek is neither gender nor number specific. The fact is that doctrinal bias not grammatical accuracy is responsible for referring to the Holy Spirit with masculine rather than neuter pronouns.  DETAILS

    Footnote II - Genes or Learned Behavior?
    There is little question that genes play a big part in determining our not only physical characteristics like our hair type and color, eye color, our height, but also our personality and intelligence. According to a very interesting article in Psychology Today,

      "Behavior geneticists concluded that genetics plays a big role in personality, accounting for about half of the differences in personality test results and even more of the differences in IQ scores." [11]

    However there are also a large number of people who seem to believe that genes also play a major role in controlling our health and behavior. The old adage that has gained credit through long use is "it runs in the family". In other words, genes are the root cause of countless social ills - including cancer, diabetes, asthma, crime, violence. alcoholism, substance abuse etc. A person is violent or asthmatic because they inherited "bad genes" and there is little one can do about it since all, or at least most patterns were firmly established during early fetal development.

    However, fairly recent discoveries are shaking many of these concepts. Scientists have lately discovered that the epigenome can change in response to the environment throughout an individual's lifetime. In other words our free will, not fate, can determine a great deal about us, including our health. As stated by Spring Hill Recovery Center,

      ... just because it runs in the family doesn't mean that it's all genetic. There are parts of your environment that affect the way you respond to alcohol. These include your family life, social norms in your community, and the amount of stress in your environment.

    See Original Sin and Epigenetics

    Learned Behavior
    Many Christians take Exodus 20:5-6 and 34:7 etc. as referring to a cycle of negative behavior patterns such as alcoholism, spousal abuse, infidelity and uncontrolled anger, that tend to be repeated from one generation to the next. For example,

    Research carried out by Czech scientists into reasons why some people cheat in long-term relationships found that, while men and women both had affairs, men were more likely to stray if their fathers had been unfaithful as they were growing up.  [12]

    In other words, it is entirely possible that the boys tendencies were the result of seeing their fathers as role models as they were growing up,. i.e. their behavior was learned not inherited.

    "People who become criminals in part because of the influence of family members" is seen as an increasingly complex and persistent problem by social scientists and law enforcement officials, who say "the influence of family members may be one of the most important and largely unaddressed factors in determining whether people adopt lives of crime". Nearly half of the 2 million inmates in state prisons across the USA 48% say they have relatives who also have been incarcerated, according to a Justice Department report. [13]

    Additionally, privileged people who had relatively easy, comfortable childhoods with loving parents often commit exactly the same crimes.

    NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D. says this (Emphasis Added)

      Progress has been made in understanding genetic vulnerability to alcoholism. We know, for instance, that more than one gene is likely to be responsible for this vulnerability. We now must determine what these genes are and whether they are specific for alcohol or define something more general, such as differences in temperament or personality that increase an individual's vulnerability to alcoholism. We must also determine how genes and the environment interact to influence vulnerability to alcoholism. Based on our current understanding, it is probable that environmental influences will be at least as important, and possibly more important, than genetic influences. [14] [PLACE IN TEXT]

    End Notes - Part II
    [01] C Peter Wagner. The Power to Heal the Past.

    [02] Marilyn Hickey, Breaking Generational Curses [Paperback) Harrison House (March 1, 2001). Pgs, 21-22

    [03] What is the difference between sin, transgression, and iniquity?

    [04] Christian Truth Center. Difference Between Sin Iniquity Transgression and Wickedness.

    [05] Jack Wellman. What Is The Difference Between Sin and Iniquity? A Bible Study.

    [06] Got Questions Ministries. What is the difference between iniquity, sin, and transgression?

    [07] Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/s/sin.html?print=yes

    [08] Jews for Judaism. Sin, Atonement and Salvation.

    [09] Rabbi Dr. Reuven Hammer. The Jewish View of Sin.

    [10] A Glossary of Basic Jewish Terms and Concepts.
    http://www.jewfaq.org/search.shtml?Keywords=Yetzer+Ra  and   http://www.jewfaq.org/search.shtml?Keywords=yetzer+tov

    [11] Nigel Barber Ph.D. What Behaviors Do We Inherit Via Genes?

    [12] https://infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com/study-shows-cheating-fathers-produce-cheating-sons/

    [13] USATODAY.com For many of USA's inmates, crime runs in the family.

    [14] NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D. The Genetics of Alcoholism. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism No. 18 PH 357 July 1992. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa18.htm


    Part I