According to Christian theology, Original sin is the state of being sinful into which all people are born as descendants of Adam. Original sin refers to the very first sin, committed by Adam and Eve. Original sin is sometimes referred to as "the Fall". St. Augustine added theological explanation to the original sin that is described in the Bible; he attributes the sin to human pride.
In the Old Testament, the serpent entices the woman with a lie to disbelieve God and eat of the forbidden fruit, and her husband who is with her also disobediently eats of it:
Genesis 2:16-17; 3:4-6, 17-19; in the Septuagint Old Testament also Wisdom 2:23-24.
Compare Revelation 20:2 and James 1:13-15.
For Christians, Paul's discussion in Romans Chapter 5, v. 12 ff is operative:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Elsewhere, Paul discusses the idea that Adam and Eve, as sinless creatures of God, were immortal in the flesh. The consequence of their sin (offense) was death, mortality, a sentence they passed on to all their progeny, the whole community of mankind. The sin was a supreme offense against the sovereign dignity of the Lord as their loving Creator, and mankind became collectively offensive to God. Jesus, as the "New Adam" was a new, sinless member within the whole of creation, one with the body of Man; while capable of sin, Jesus never sinned, and was therefore exempt from the death penalty. But he died, and quite horribly in fact. The why of the death of Christ is wrapped up in the doctrine of the Atonement; suffice to say Christ (in his human nature) in full solidarity with Man and united by his incarnate nature with Man as a man and as representative head of the whole body of humanity chose to suffer the penalty for all human sin as an atonement (full reparation) for its offense, in him all of mankind making atonement; and what Paul calls "the new creation" resulted from that sinless act of atonement.
An alternative interpretation is that the entire story of original sin and the 'fall' of humanity as a result of the actions of Adam and Eve is a spiritually significant religious Myth rather than a literal account of events. It can be seen as describing the growth of humanity from the status of animals with no moral sense or sense of their own mortality. Alternatively, it can be seen as a description of the process of human maturation, which starts with a helpless and innocent child who goes through the process of individuation and separation from the family and becomes independent.
- According to Unification Church teachings, Rev. and Mrs. Moon were the first couple to conceive children without original sin.
- Psalm 51:5
- St. Augustine's Doctrine of Original Sin, Jesse Couenhoven, Villanova University - Augustine Studies 36:2 (2005) 359-396 (academia.edu)
- See Genesis 5:2 "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" KJV. Hebrew אתם Adam.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:10; Revelation 21:5
- Unification Church fast facts and introduction - Religion Facts: Just the facts on religion (religionfacts.com)