Sins of Ignorance

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Sins of ignorance are mentioned in the OT. What was the understanding of the Jews concerning them? Why are they not mentioned in the NT, apart from one reference referring back to times of the OT when they are said to have existed?
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Here is the basis of my understanding of the subject.

    Sin, as it was made plain at the time of the giving of the law, was divided into two categories, sins of ignorance, and what was denoted as presumptuous sin, that done with a "high hand", as defined in rabbinical writings. It is noteworthy to notice that ONLY "sins of ignorance" were provided the opportunity of forgiveness through the sacrificial system of sacrifices. There were NO sacrifices to be offered for sins that were denoted as being presumptuously committed, or with a "high-hand", according to the law, but rather only the fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation from God in such cases.

    Alfred Edersheim, in the book "The Temple", points this out on pp. 128. "Sins of ignorance" were not just sins that were committed through a want of knowledge as one might think, but included sins that one might have perceived as unintentional or by way of some weakness, or when the offender had not realized his guilt at the time of the infraction. It is also noted by rabbinical sources, that if one voluntarily confessed his sins, that the sin or sins would be classified as "sins of ignorance" as well. (Pp. 133) Some brought sacrifices every day to cover for their "sins of ignorance"! One can readily perceive that what the Jew understood as being "ignorance" is not synonymous with our notions of it today. Further more, God stated in Ac 17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" What God once "winked at" as being the results of what might be denoted as "ignorance", He obviously looks at in a different light in this enlightened age. Of a truth, we conceive more clearly the law than those who lived at the time of the giving of the law. "To whom much is given, much is required."

    Another notion that cannot be overlooked is the use of words when training the unenlightened or children. We see a cold stove and point to the burner and say to the young child “HOT!” The burner is not literally hot, but will be on occasion, and if one desires to see the child keep from serious injury, we tell them it is hot, even when in reality it is not. Such is the case with the word sin in the OT. When God told them, in this training period, that something was sin, I do not believe that the action in and of itself incurred the full penalty of the law, for they were in large part ignorant of the truth. God was training them to recognize the things He approved or disapproved of. Not until they understood the intrinsic element of the command apart from rewards or punishment was sin actually imputed to their actions. Only God knows when that happens. Hence the words from God, “Ac 17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:"

    No where in the NT addressed to this enlightened generation, do we find any mention of sins of ignorance to my knowledge other than a reference to the ignorance existing in the OT. Although in common parlance one might speak of sin committed in ignorance, it in no wise undermines the clear teaching of Scripture that honest ignorance is not seen as sin by God. Sin is the willful transgression of a known commandment of God.

    Yet another issue to consider is that the Jews had no place for any notion of original sin in their theology. This is duly noted by Alfred Edersheim in his book “The Life and Times of Jesus Christ the Messiah.” The only conclusion that can be justly drawn is that such sins of ignorance in no wise applies to infant and small children, as some might suggest, due to the fact they were considered innocent of sin altogether.
     
    #2 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2010
  3. billwald

    billwald
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    What kind of a god would send people in 2010 to Hell because someone in 4000 BC screwed up?

    Christianity invented forgiveness for intentional sinning. Any wonder it is more popular than Judaism? And Protestant Christians don't even have to say any "Hail Marys" to get their forgiveness.
     
  4. Jon-Marc

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    In the OT times before believers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit as we are now, I can believe it was possible to sin without knowing it. However, I cannot even THINK about sinning without being convicted by the Holy Spirit. He doesn't let me sin without letting me know that it IS sin BEFORE I do it. Unfortunately, I don't always listen to Him, and I have to repent afterward..
     
  5. Agnus_Dei

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    one of our communion prayers we recite before we approach the chalice is to ask God for mercy upon me, to forgive me of my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance.

    An involuntary act is one in which the beginning is from without, and where one does not contribute at all on one's own impulse to that which one is force. By beginning we mean the creative cause. All involuntary act depends, on the other hand, on ignorance, when one is not the cause of the ignorance one's self, but events just so happen. For, if one commits murder while drunk, it is an act of ignorance, but yet not involuntary, for one was one's self responsible for the cause of the ignorance, that is to say, the drunkenness. But if while shooting at the shooting range one killed one's father who happened to be passing by, this would be termed an ignorant and involuntary act.

    In XC
    -
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    Do you believe the following verse applies to the subject of sins of ignorance?

    Also was it a sin of ignorance when the Greeks prayed to the "unknown god?"

    In areas where we are ignorant, can we sin and not realize it. I believe we can, especially if we have been lazy in our studies and education ... that is remaining ignorant in areas where we should have learned, but did not.
     
  7. webdog

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    My understanding of sins of ignorance is similar to hearing a scratching sound coming from my garage and seeing my 2 year old daughter with a screwdriver drawing a picture on the side of my new corvette (I don't have a 'vette, just an analogy :)). While my daughter did not know she was doing something bad, I know it is a bad thing, it has done damage, and it is going to cost me a pretty penny to fix it. Do I punish her and force her to pay for the damage? Of course not, even if justice demands just that. I have to pay for the damage myself (think OT atonement and sending Christ to the cross). I tell my daughter what she did was a bad thing even if she was just trying to decorate my car, and I tell her to never do that again. If the act is committed again, it ceases to be unintentional and willful worthy of punishment.

    All analogies fail, but this is how I envision the difference between intentional and unintentional sin. The scope is the damage done, the price to fix it, and the accountability involved.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: This comment I cannot understand. If 'justice' demands one is punished, the child would be worthy of punishment. If the child is not worthy of punishment, justice would not demand punishment.
     
  9. rbell

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    Moderators, why is this man allowed to post in a Christian forum?
     
  10. webdog

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    What is there not to understand? I am merciful, and in grace I pay for the damage done even though I could hold the debt over her head. Should I call the cops, have my 2 year old arrested for vandalism and sent to jail? File a civil suit against her? Beat her? Is that justice?

    Fact remains true justice demands we spend eternity in Hell, but in God's grace and mercy He paid the penalty and took our punishment. This is what I am trying to convey in my analogy.
     
    #10 webdog, Feb 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2010
  11. J.D.

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    The difference between a sin of ignorance and a known sin is one of degree, not substance.

    In other words, knowingly committing sin is a greater offense in the temporal, legal, and punitive sense, but sins of ignorance are still sins, and they are offensive to God, thus requiring an offering or sacrifice in the OT and repentance in the NT.
     

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