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Does the phrase “sins of the father” mean that the spiritual burdens of previous generations can be passed to succeeding ones?

Full Question

Does the phrase “sins of the father” mean that the spiritual or emotional burdens of previous generations, unknown to the recipient, can be passed down to succeeding generations?


No one can pass down to others their personal sins. We say that the original sin of Adam and Eve is passed down through the generations, but original sin is not the actual fault of the recipient. Rather, its effect is the privation of grace and the loss of original innocence that our first parents had.

Likewise, one can pass the effects of one’s sins through generations. Let’s say that someone is an alcoholic. His original choice to abuse alcohol could have disastrous effects on his family that can last for generations, including influencing his children and grandchildren to abuse alcohol. This is not because they are guilty of their father’s sin but because dependency on alcohol is the only way they learned to deal with problems. In that way one can say that the sin of the father has been passed down through generations. It is not the actual fault that is passed down but the consequences of the original sinful choice.


  1. Joseph Reply

    The “Sins of the Father" is the continuation of a sin of one’s ancestors due to the lack of knowledge. Ignorance can lead to one’s down fall if once confronted with and rejects the truth.

  2. Mary Ellen Reply

    After reading “the sins of the fathers'”, how is that in relation to “generational curses” being passed on?

  3. Fred Bachour Reply

    If people practice new age, witch craft etc. They become cursed and bring cruses into the family tree. Read the story of the exorcist. Than only Jesus love and healing can bring these curses but what is required is our will for these healing to take place.

  4. Paul Welsh Reply

    I read a book in it an angel appeared to a man in a croft in Ireland. During these discussions with the angel, the man asked why do we get cancer? The angel told him it was for our sins. Cancer in a young child then must be inherited from our sinful parents, or ancestors.

  5. Sarmad Reply

    What if sin came from infidal?

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