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  #1  
Old Jul 30, '13, 3:04 pm
TheHolyGhost TheHolyGhost is offline
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Default Why did Jesus become incarnate?

It is my understanding that Jesus always existed in Heaven, even before Adam and Eve. He always was, is, and shall be. Did he exist in carnal form or purely spiritual? If purely spiritual, how is He differentiated between the Holy Spirit and the Father? My understanding is also that the Trinity always was , which would seem to suggest Jesus also had a corporal body before He came the first tine.

Why did he have to find a human woman to incarnate Himself in? Why did He not descend from the clouds at age 30 and begin His ministry?

Was it because being incarnated was the only way to pass from the spiritual world into the material world? That leads to the following question which ties with the main question.

When Jesus resurrected, He ascended into Heaven with His flesh and blood. He was able to pass as a material being from the material world back into the spiritual. And when He comes again, He will be able to pass from spiritual to material again.

So why did He become incarnate as a baby to begin with?
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  #2  
Old Jul 30, '13, 3:36 pm
MichaelHowling MichaelHowling is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Yes, Jesus always existed in Heaven.
He was spirit until He took a body by becoming incarnate and taking flesh through the virgin Mary.


It does not follow that since He didn't have a body that He was not His own person.........when we die and become spirit....we are still all different and separate beings as well.


He became man for mans sake. To wed Himself to us and to be able to make atonement for mans sin.....both require a human form. He willed to be one with us!
In all other religions.....its man searching for God......but in Christianity....God searches for man and is more than willing to come to our level to find us!

Also, with wedding us.......He came to sanctify and make holy all of humanity and it's times and places so we could offer all we have and go through as a gift back to Him.....this required him to live as one of us in our realm, in our time and to suffer through and enjoy everything we have in this world.....thereby elevating it to an acceptable offering back to Himself when we lovingly choose to do so.




The resurrection was Jesus "making all things new". A new existence and union was made possible. When you see the resurrected Jesus ....you are looking at the revelation of what is to become with us and what God has wanted....a perfect union of the physical/earthly/human into the spiritual/Godhead.
A body.....but a body that is ordered properly and is not constrained by anything..... a glorified body!



God bless
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  #3  
Old Jul 30, '13, 4:20 pm
DelsonJacobs DelsonJacobs is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

This may sound odd, but it was how it was explained to me. I am passing it on the best way I can...

Eve was told by the Devil that she would be like God if she disobeyed our Lord. (Genesis 3:4-5) But it was God's plan that through obedience we would "come to share in the divine nature."--2 Peter 1:4.

For a time obedience to God was through the Mosaic Law.

To be obedient to this Law Moses had to go up a mountain into the heavens and come face-to-face with the invisible God who no one could see and live. (Exodus 33:18-23) The children of Israel could not live up to the perfect standard of the Law which was illustrated by the fact that they could not bear to see the glow of Moses' face caused by his own coming face-to-face with the Divine.--Exodus 34:29-35.

The Mosaic Law showed us how perfect God is, a Law made up of commands that no person could live up to. Thus another Way of obedience to share in the Divine Life was needed.

Jesus is that Way. (John 14:6) The way to Divine Life was not by disobeying God. Nor was it by going up to heaven to become like God. No. The Way demanded that God come down to humanity.

By coming to us instead of being like Moses who had to go up to Him, God showed us that the way to "be like God" was to be truly human. By being human in the way God intended we 'become like God' unlike by means of the disobedience the Devil so wrongly lied about. The way to obedience that leads to divine life was closer than we realized. It was in us, as part of us, in what it meant to be a human being. But since we couldn't see it on our own, God had to become like us to share our life so we could share His.

It was through flesh that man turned away from God, so it was in taking on flesh that God delivered us. In exchange for the humanity which God took from us via Mary (who unlike Eve obeyed God's Word), in this exchange God would give us the means to share in his divinity.

Unlike the way that Moses had to hide his face from the Israelites who were afraid to look upon the way to life, the Way personified in Jesus could be looked upon, could be imitated. He came down from heaven so we didn't have to climb up to him, and he did not come in glory so we would not be afraid.

He did this because Love demanded it. There was no other way to pass from the physical world of death into the spiritual world of life except by this Love.

The God who was not subject to time and was not flesh was born in time as Flesh. God loved man so much that he became Man.

Because He wished us to share in all his riches, God emptied Himself and shared all our poverty from the crib to the grave.

As our Lord went to Heaven so we will follow, even in a resurrected body like his. He lived an earthly life so we could live a heavenly one.
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  #4  
Old Jul 30, '13, 4:30 pm
Lady Love Lady Love is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

To become ONE with us in every way except sin, to offer perfect love to God the Father in our name and through every situation common to man, therefore sanctifying the human being, revealing the love of God to us in a way we understand, satisfying God's justice while being perfectly merciful.

To make a gift of Himself.
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  #5  
Old Jul 30, '13, 4:38 pm
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Why did Jesus become incarnate?

The answer is very simple.

Because Adam was the actual, real, first, fully-complete human being who actually, freely, really, shattered humanity's relationship with divinity by actually committing a real, historic Original Sin.
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  #6  
Old Jul 30, '13, 5:58 pm
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dee burk dee burk is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyGhost View Post

Why did he have to find a human woman to incarnate Himself in? Why did He not descend from the clouds at age 30 and begin His ministry?

He was brought up by righteous and devout Jews so that he was recognized as Jewish in the community. Otherwise he would have been ignored by the Jewish leaders as an unclean gentile.

So why did He become incarnate as a baby to begin with?
Because this fulfilled the scriptures.
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  #7  
Old Jul 31, '13, 4:26 am
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Hope this helps I wrote it as an assignment.

Our intellect and will distinguish us from animals. Humans desire
happiness and goodness, while having the ability to actively choose it. This longing must ultimately rest in God who is beyond our reach. Yet we continue to seek meaning beyond the boundaries of the world (Albl 11). The Christian understanding of God, is that He provided us a means by the incarnation.
Men are elevated above all creation because we are endowed with reason and intellect. We know right from wrong, we desire happiness, and we can actively choose the aim of our reason. The moral goodness that distinguishes us from animals, along with the openness to truth and beauty, opens us up to the thought of a transcended (Albl 177). Why do we exist (Albl 32)? Why do we desire truth and goodness? It must rest in something. “Commenting on the unquenchable desire for the transcendent, Lewis concludes, ‘creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist’” (Albl 11).
We are both worthy and capable of being united and satisfied in a real way with the Absolute Transcendent God; the source of all goodness. We are worthy and capable of being united with the transcendent thanks to the incarnation, where the Divine took on our human nature (Albl 170).
People desire goodness, truth, and beauty. It is not restless and it does not go on in an endless series as if it has no meaning that cannot be satisfied. Christians understand that the all loving God, goodness Himself, is the only one who can satisfy this hunger (Robert 3). He did this by becoming man. Therefore our desires and longings can come to fulfillment in Him. How else can this goodness and love we desire come to its fulfillment if we cannot see or know what we long for? We cannot love what we do not know (Albl 38).
God revealed Himself in Jesus so that we may know and love Him, who is love. We would not be capable of this due to God being pure spirit; seeing, knowing or understanding Him . Spirit has no material qualities, no size, shape, or color. It takes up no space and is infinite. Our finite minds do not understand it or even begin to grasp it. We know though, that we will see God face to face, and we will know fully as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). How else would this be if the pure spirit Himself does not become incarnate?
He continues as a spiritual God who created all physical reality to reveal Himself in his fulness in the Sacraments of His Church, the body of Christ (Albl 171). Christianity, particularly Catholicism, gives God the greatest glory. Jesus is the answer to all the happiness and goodness that we long for. Its not just a spiritual reality but a real tangible physical reality and he continues to provide Himself through the Church as an extension of His incarnation. Allelujah!


Works Cited
Albl, Thomas. Reason, Faith, and Tradition. New York: Anselm Academic, 2009. 11-177. Print.
Imperato, Robert. Christian Footings. Lanham: University Press of America, 2009. 3. Print.
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  #8  
Old Jul 31, '13, 4:50 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odell View Post
Hope this helps I wrote it as an assignment.

Our intellect and will distinguish us from animals. Humans desire
happiness and goodness, while having the ability to actively choose it. This longing must ultimately rest in God who is beyond our reach. Yet we continue to seek meaning beyond the boundaries of the world (Albl 11). The Christian understanding of God, is that He provided us a means by the incarnation.
Men are elevated above all creation because we are endowed with reason and intellect. We know right from wrong, we desire happiness, and we can actively choose the aim of our reason. The moral goodness that distinguishes us from animals, along with the openness to truth and beauty, opens us up to the thought of a transcended (Albl 177). Why do we exist (Albl 32)? Why do we desire truth and goodness? It must rest in something. “Commenting on the unquenchable desire for the transcendent, Lewis concludes, ‘creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist’” (Albl 11).
We are both worthy and capable of being united and satisfied in a real way with the Absolute Transcendent God; the source of all goodness. We are worthy and capable of being united with the transcendent thanks to the incarnation, where the Divine took on our human nature (Albl 170).
People desire goodness, truth, and beauty. It is not restless and it does not go on in an endless series as if it has no meaning that cannot be satisfied. Christians understand that the all loving God, goodness Himself, is the only one who can satisfy this hunger (Robert 3). He did this by becoming man. Therefore our desires and longings can come to fulfillment in Him. How else can this goodness and love we desire come to its fulfillment if we cannot see or know what we long for? We cannot love what we do not know (Albl 38).
God revealed Himself in Jesus so that we may know and love Him, who is love. We would not be capable of this due to God being pure spirit; seeing, knowing or understanding Him . Spirit has no material qualities, no size, shape, or color. It takes up no space and is infinite. Our finite minds do not understand it or even begin to grasp it. We know though, that we will see God face to face, and we will know fully as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). How else would this be if the pure spirit Himself does not become incarnate?
He continues as a spiritual God who created all physical reality to reveal Himself in his fulness in the Sacraments of His Church, the body of Christ (Albl 171). Christianity, particularly Catholicism, gives God the greatest glory. Jesus is the answer to all the happiness and goodness that we long for. Its not just a spiritual reality but a real tangible physical reality and he continues to provide Himself through the Church as an extension of His incarnation. Allelujah!


Works Cited
Albl, Thomas. Reason, Faith, and Tradition. New York: Anselm Academic, 2009. 11-177. Print.
Imperato, Robert. Christian Footings. Lanham: University Press of America, 2009. 3. Print.
This is well written, with essential insights. Thank you.

Nonetheless, a few basic, foundational Catholic doctrines need to be added in order to firmly answer the OP thread title question. Because I do not wish to interrupt the flow of this piece, my suggestions will be made in a separate post.
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  #9  
Old Jul 31, '13, 8:42 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

The following is in reference to the text in post 7 above.

Regarding this point from post 7: "God revealed Himself in Jesus so that we may know and love Him, who is love."

This is stated clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition,
Part One, Section One, Chapter Two, Article 1. --
III. Christ Jesus--"Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation"
God has said everything in his Word
Paragraph 65.

Suggestion. It is best to review CCC 20-21 about the usage of smaller print.

This section of the post 7 text and the following section are where Catholic clarifications are useful.
"People desire goodness, truth, and beauty. It is not restless and it does not go on in an endless series as if it has no meaning that cannot be satisfied. Christians understand that the all loving God, goodness Himself, is the only one who can satisfy this hunger (Robert 3). He did this by becoming man. Therefore our desires and longings can come to fulfillment in Him. How else can this goodness and love we desire come to its fulfillment if we cannot see or know what we long for? We cannot love what we do not know (Albl 38)."

While it is true that God, goodness Himself, is the only one Who can satisfy our desire, our hunger, we cannot omit or leave out the basic foundational Catholic doctrine for the divinity of Jesus Christ. This basic doctrine is the first human's action known as Original Sin. The Catholic Church "knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ." (CCC 389)

When it comes to finding the original reason Jesus "by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man." (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) one finds that CCC 65 recognizes that God spoke in many and various ways to our fathers by the prophets of old.

Therefore, we need to go back to the Old Testament to find the very first time, God reveals Himself and the real, essential, first reason for the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1: 1, God is revealed as the Creator of all. In Genesis 1: 26 and following, God reveals Himself as He creates the first human being.

Post 7's description of human nature is excellent:
"Men are elevated above all creation because we are endowed with reason and intellect. We know right from wrong, we desire happiness, and we can actively choose the aim of our reason. The moral goodness that distinguishes us from animals, along with the openness to truth and beauty, opens us up to the thought of a transcended (Albl 177). Why do we exist (Albl 32)? Why do we desire truth and goodness? It must rest in something. “Commenting on the unquenchable desire for the transcendent, Lewis concludes, ‘creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist’” (Albl 11)."

We know that the above reasoning is possible because God revealed Himself when He said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. ..."
(Genesis 1: 26-31; CCC 355-361)

What is important to clarify, from the Catholic position, is that the first human had more than "the thought of a transcended (Albl 177)." from the immediate above quoted section. Created in the original state of holiness and justice, Adam, the creature, was established in a real, working relationship with God as his Creator. (Genesis 2: 8 & 2: 15; CCC 378) Catholicism also emphasizes the difference in status between God and Adam (Genesis 2: 16-17; CCC 396)

As Adam is familiar with God's presence in the environment (Genesis 3:8; CCC 378)), his desire for the presence of God is temporarily satisfied. Temporarily because this is not the Beatific Vision. (CCC Glossary, Beatific Vision, page 867) Adam still has to pass the test of obedience which is required in order for Adam to maintain his relationship with God. (Genesis 2: 15-17; CCC 396-398) This is where the doctrine of Original Sin is important to understand.

Because the whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man" (St. Thomas Aquinas, DeMalo 4.1; Romans 5: 12-21; Humani Generis, Pius XII, 1950, 35-37; CCC 404-405) humankind will participate in the effects, good or bad, of Adam's free choice when faced with the tempting Satan. (Genesis 3: 1-7; CCC 397-400)

Original Sin is real regardless of its description.
(Genesis 3: 9-12; Humani Generis 37; CCC 390)

The reality of Original Sin is the reality of the difference in status between God, the Divine Creator, and Adam, the human creature. As a result of this difference, Adam, on his own, was not capable of repairing the original relationship between humanity and divinity--which Adam shattered by his preference for himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. (Genesis 3:1-11;
Romans 5: 19; CCC 398)

Someone -- a Person Who is both True Man and True God was needed.

This "need" because of Original Sin is the actual, first reason for the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. (John 3:16)

Last edited by grannymh; Jul 31, '13 at 9:01 am.
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  #10  
Old Aug 1, '13, 4:41 pm
steve b steve b is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyGhost View Post
It is my understanding that Jesus always existed in Heaven, even before Adam and Eve. He always was, is, and shall be. Did he exist in carnal form or purely spiritual? If purely spiritual, how is He differentiated between the Holy Spirit and the Father? My understanding is also that the Trinity always was , which would seem to suggest Jesus also had a corporal body before He came the first tine.

Why did he have to find a human woman to incarnate Himself in? Why did He not descend from the clouds at age 30 and begin His ministry?

Was it because being incarnated was the only way to pass from the spiritual world into the material world? That leads to the following question which ties with the main question.

When Jesus resurrected, He ascended into Heaven with His flesh and blood. He was able to pass as a material being from the material world back into the spiritual. And when He comes again, He will be able to pass from spiritual to material again.

So why did He become incarnate as a baby to begin with?
As Augustine put it,

"the son of God became the son of man, so that the sons and daughters of man could become sons and daughters of God" (paraphrased a bit)
__________________
To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.[St Padre Pio]
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  #11  
Old Aug 1, '13, 8:32 pm
Doxiemom Doxiemom is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Because He had to die on the Cross, be buried, and rise to live again. His Blood had to be shed. It was His Father's plan of redemption for man.It made this death a Blood Covenant.

Also, most importantly, man cannot look upon the Face of God and live. God said that to Moses. So he allowed Moses to see His "hinder parts"( that by the way is really really shown up on the Sistine Chapel!).

Toget past this, God made Himself into a man so that we who are alive can see Him Face to face. The invisible was made visable in the form of Christ.
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  #12  
Old Aug 1, '13, 9:12 pm
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

May I add a Catholic clarification.

The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed a human nature. He did not absorb a human nature. Because of this, Jesus is True God and True Man. Christ's Divinity was not made visible as if human nature made the invisible visible. It is true that the people who lived at the same time as Jesus saw Him face to face. Yet, at the same time, Jesus' spiritual divine nature was truly present. Jesus' divine nature was not made into something less divine just so humans could see Him.

When one correctly understands Original Sin, one can also understand the Incarnation. Original Sin shattered humanity's original relationship with God. Adam, the human creature, does not have the same status as God, the Creator. Adam could not achieve redemption on his own. It is God's love for us, as descendants of Adam, which made redemption possible. John 3: 16 The one person, Jesus Christ, could stand in Adam's place and offer the perfect obedience as reparation. Romans 5: 12-21
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Old Aug 2, '13, 11:54 am
Doxiemom Doxiemom is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannymh View Post
May I add a Catholic clarification.

The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed a human nature. He did not absorb a human nature. Because of this, Jesus is True God and True Man. Christ's Divinity was not made visible as if human nature made the invisible visible. It is true that the people who lived at the same time as Jesus saw Him face to face. Yet, at the same time, Jesus' spiritual divine nature was truly present. Jesus' divine nature was not made into something less divine just so humans could see Him.

When one correctly understands Original Sin, one can also understand the Incarnation. Original Sin shattered humanity's original relationship with God. Adam, the human creature, does not have the same status as God, the Creator. Adam could not achieve redemption on his own. It is God's love for us, as descendants of Adam, which made redemption possible. John 3: 16 The one person, Jesus Christ, could stand in Adam's place and offer the perfect obedience as reparation. Romans 5: 12-21
Could not have said it better.
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Old Aug 3, '13, 5:33 am
drafdog drafdog is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

There are only two fundamental questions. Once the first has been answered in the affirmative (Yes, there is a God), the only remaining question is the question of Cain. Please note the importance of this question. It is the first question a human asks of God. God never answers it directly. Most reason that the question is rhetorical. It is in fact the raison d'etre of the remainder of sacred scripture. Sacred scripture is God's commentary on the answer.
He sent Moses to communicate a set of laws to point us toward correctly being "my brother's keeper." Unfortunately it was not effective. He sent prophets to get us back on track and that failed. Finally God in frustration clapped his palm to his forehead and cried, "Such putzes! I gotta do everything for them!" (God is after all a Jew.)
The incarnation is the ultimate comment on Cain's question.

Reb Levi
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  #15  
Old Aug 3, '13, 6:57 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus become incarnate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drafdog View Post
There are only two fundamental questions. Once the first has been answered in the affirmative (Yes, there is a God), the only remaining question is the question of Cain. Please note the importance of this question. It is the first question a human asks of God. God never answers it directly. Most reason that the question is rhetorical. It is in fact the raison d'etre of the remainder of sacred scripture. Sacred scripture is God's commentary on the answer.
He sent Moses to communicate a set of laws to point us toward correctly being "my brother's keeper." Unfortunately it was not effective. He sent prophets to get us back on track and that failed. Finally God in frustration clapped his palm to his forehead and cried, "Such putzes! I gotta do everything for them!" (God is after all a Jew.)
The incarnation is the ultimate comment on Cain's question.

Reb Levi
Serious question -- What in the world is the "question of Cain"? I keep seeing references to Cain on CAF; however, this cranky (feminine of snarky) granny is clueless as what Cain's question really is.

I saw that you are a graduate of the University of Detroit, run by the Jesuits. My profile says I am a graduate of St. Louis University, also run by the Jesuits. I should add that my theology course coincided with my nap time. Seriously, what we have in common is the desire to go deep into the truths of Catholicism. I respect your accomplishments at U.of D. And I trust you will share them with me.

What are you really saying when you comment "The incarnation is the ultimate comment on Cain's question."

Are you implying that the question of Cain (whatever that is)is directly connected to Original Sin which is the first reason that Jesus became incarnate? Or is the Cain question part of the results of Original Sin?

Isn't the ultimate "ultimate comment" the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? ( Protoevangelium Genesis 3: 15; John 3: 16; Romans 5:12-21;
CCC 410-411).

Having learned Original Sin doctrines long before university--maybe I missed or forgot Cain. ??? Please update me and tell me what is the "question of Cain".

Thank you.
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