Psalm 51:5

Read also ‘King David said “In sin did my MOTHER conceive me”, but it’s no support for a sinful nature Ps. 51:5‘ by Annika Björk for a thorough explanation of the background of king David’s mother.

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
- Psalm 51:5 (KJV)

I will give 2 reasons why this common proof text for original sin does not prove original sin at all.

Reason 1: The subject of this sentence is David’s mother, not David himself.

A comparison is often made: “By beatings, did my mother raise me.”
Q: Who is the person carrying out the beatings?
A: The mother

Conclusion: If speaking of guilt here, the mother would be guilty, NOT the innocent baby. This is simply a matter of correctly analysing the sentence, as they teach children in elementary school.

Another possible reason is that we are dealing with a Psalm here. They were originally put on music, therefore the word “adultery” might not have fit the measure/melody of the original song and therefore king David used the word “sin” instead. However the case, I believe that king David used the word “sin” here, to indicate that his mother probably had committed adultery.

The late Leonard Ravenhill put it very clear:


Source: my youtube channel. Click on the video for the original source.

Jesse Morrell put it slightly different:


Source: my youtube channel. Click on the video for the original source.

I see this part of the Psalm as a cry in despair. David, the son of an adulteress, is crying out: “God! My mother was an adulteress, and now I have also committed adultery. I am fully responsible for having imitated her (Psalm 51:4) and I don’t know how to get rid of this guilt! Therefore, I beg You, give me wisdom (Psalm 51:6), purge me with hyssop, wash me (Psalm 51:7) and blot out all mine iniquities (Psalm 51:9). “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Read also ‘King David said “In sin did my MOTHER conceive me”, but it’s no support for a sinful nature Ps. 51:5‘ by Annika Björk for a thorough explanation of the background of king David’s mother.

  

2 thoughts on “Psalm 51:5

  1. Thanks for your article on Psalm 51:5
    (URL: https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/psalm-51-verse-5/)
    In the article, you refer to two YouTube videos, but those videos are not available. Could you please quote the relevant messages that were said by Leonard Ravenhill and Jesse Morrell?

    I am very interested in this subject of original sin. I would agree with your view, but struggle with the following biblical text: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us … If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us“ (1 John 1:8, 10). Is not this “we” universal referring to any human being conceived by human seed? Does it not imply that *every* man and a woman has sinned? If so, does it not indicate some kind of nomological necessity given the premise that *all* has sinned? If that is the case, how can we avoid the conclusion that sin is inevitable given the premise that every human being (except Christ) has sinned?

    I agree that the proper notion of sin involves moral accountability, which in turn involves freedom of choice in the libertarian sense (liberty of indifference, or liberum arbitrium indifferentiae), which enables us to say that we could have done or chosen otherwise. For this reason, I am very interested in your theology of sin.

    Kind regards,
    Aleksandar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aleksandar! I saw this message just now. Maybe the following article somewhat in line with your thinking can help you: https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/why-human-beings-sin/ Another option is checking out the following categories: https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/augustinian-original-sin and https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/sinful-nature-menu/ . In regards to 1 John 1:8, I would recommend this video by Jim Gilles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPnMbD_6B4 . God bless you in your search for more wisdom.

      Like

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