Bible Question:

Sin is said to pass to children through the male (so Jesus needed to be born of a virgin). Where does the Bible say that sin passes through the male lineage?

Bible Answer:

Scripture does not teach that our sinful nature is passed through males and not females. However, scripture does teach that the entire human race became sinners when Adam disobeyed God. Adam and Eve had been warned not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (NASB) Gen. 2:16-17

God warned them that they would die. He was referring to physical and spiritual death. Physical death is something that we understand because it is something that we see and experience. Spiritual death is not an experience that we understand until we die, but Adam understood.

1 Timothy 2:14 tells us that Adam knew that he was disobeying God. Eve was deceived. She did not have the spiritual understanding.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (NASB) 1 Tim. 2:14

The following passage from the Bible indicates that sin entered the world when Adam sinned. Sin did not enter the world when Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (NASB) Romans 5:12-13

Even though Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, sin did not enter the world until the head of the human race ate. (By the way, the Bible does not say that the fruit was an apple.)

Once sin entered, God allowed the entire universe to become subject to Adam’s sin (Rom. 8:18-22). We see this truth among the animals that eat one another, among the insects that attack others, and in a decaying universe. Sin is now passed onto every human being who is born. It is obvious that we are sinners because we do the following things,

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NASB) Gal. 5:19-21

Those who do these things will not live with God eternally. In fact, God allows those who reject Him to live as they desire. He will grant them their wishes. That is the message of the following passage.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (NASB) Rom. 1:28-32


Those who reject God deserve eternal punishment. They have given themselves to sin. But those who believe in Jesus Christ will desire to serve Him. They will experience a physical death but not spiritual death. We would encourage you to read the section “Searching For God.”

Suggested Links:

Searching For God
Why did God's perfect creation sin and send the world into the state we are in?
Healing Starts Here
What does it mean that