Psalm 51 – Can’t Have it Both Ways?

2 different doctrines of Christianity are mentioned by this sole writing by David and sorrow to God over his actions with Bathsheba. But can we have it both ways?

(a) Original Sin: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5)


(b) Sacrifice/Repentance: “For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:16-17)

How is it Christianity can defend the position of original sin in this psalm and then turn around and deny David’s answer to his sinful condition? What is it that David is exactly saying here – some 1000 years before Jesus appears on the scene and Christians develop some atonement theory about ‘sacrifice’?

It’s simple – God is not pleased with ‘sacrifice’ nor ‘burnt offering’. True sacrifice and offering is a ‘broken spirit and a contrite heart’…or repentance. So why the hell do we have some weird atonement theories when apparently they are not needed?

Can’t have it both ways peeps.


4 thoughts on “Psalm 51 – Can’t Have it Both Ways?

  1. and that’s why proof texting is SUCH bad idea. gotta take the verses in context, can’t just run around and say “look this fits my idea!” cause that’s just silly.

    original sin… HA! i scoff at such an idea.

  2. I am not a fan of proof texting either – it’s very pick n choose and you can prove anything like that. I can take many solo passages and defend any perspective – even hateful positions.

  3. This spring I was doing a 49 day series of daily emails for counting the omer. I tossed around ideas with one of our rabbis about what we should use this time, verses from Torah, Tanakh, or maybe Talmud? I started out with the idea of pulling verses from Tanakh but quickly abandoned that idea! It was just so wrong to pull a verse here, a verse there since we always study in context. I ended up pulling verses fore these emails from one tractate of Talmud so that there was a natural progression through these verses rather than just a random picking and choosing.

    The nice thing with prooftexting is it’s easy to counter. Jason’s post here goes right along with what the rabbis taught: the refutation of a prooftext is found with the prooftext.

    I’m with you on that one, Luke.

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