Here, I want to introduce a third idea: “sins of the fathers”, recognized in psychology as “trans-generational” values and behaviors. It is interesting that medicine recognizes some illness potentials as passing from one generation to the next (directly and also by skipping generations.) Psychology recognizes the same patterns across generations. A Biblical reference to “sins of the father’s being visited upon the sons” is, for me, the same reference (but I adjust it to “sins of the parents/ancestors show up in the descendants – without gender reference!)
I do not ascribe to “sins”* as a “doomed to hell or not” teaching. I take it as an ancient statement of fundamental truth of the human condition; and in my own examinations, add another ancient teaching as relevant: “Know thyself”.
*(One of thousands of ‘tidbits’ that has found its way into my personal world view is the often made statement that the word “sin” is an archery term, meaning to “miss the mark”. Used as metaphor, it’s true – each of us misses lots of marks – but I would point out a ‘target’ is implied! For me, if a ‘goal’ is a ‘target’, then missing the target means something like “not having true and mindful aim, not sticking to the requirements of choice that will keep me on a chosen goal path. The remedy to ‘missing the mark’ is to make an adjustment in aim!”)
(See – same title, part 4)