And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?…
1. Some think that the Jews had imbibed the common Oriental notion of the pre-existence and transmigration of souls from one body to another, and that the disciples supposed that in some previous state of existence this blind man must have committed some great sin, for which he was now punished.
2. Some think that the question refers to a strange notion current among some Jews, that infants might sin before they were born. In support of this view they quote Genesis 25:22 and Genesis 28:28, 29.
3. The most probable view is, that the question arose from a misapplication of such passages of Scripture as the second commandment, where God speaks of "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children" (Exodus 20:5), and from a forgetfulness of Ezekiel 18:20, etc. There are few notions that men seem to cling to so naturally, as the notion that bodily sufferings, and all affliction, are the direct consequences of sin, and that a diseased or afflicted person must necessarily be a very wicked man. This was precisely the short-sighted view that Job's three friends took up when they came to visit him, and against which Job contended. This was the idea of the people at Melita, when Paul was bitten by the viper, after the shipwreck: "This man is a murderer." (Acts 28:4). This appears to have been at the bottom of the question of the disciples. There is suffering; then there must have been sin. Whose sin was it?"
Parallel VersesKJV: And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?