Did original sin cause a physical change to human's bodies?


#1

If original sin was the cause for human death, was there an actual physical change in the body of human beings?

Natural death, in my understanding, is caused by the effects of time (cellular decay, effects of gravity) on our bodies. So, previously were our bodies immune to these effects? The same processes which cause babies to “grow up” are the ones that cause us to “grow old”. Before the fall we were never meant to reproduce? If Adam & Eve had never sinned, there would still just be Adam & Eve?

I am a Catholic seeking understanding; I am not trying to convince others to change their beliefs in original sin & it’s effects. Please be kind in your responses.


#2

It was supernatural grace that kept Unfallen Man immortal. The perfect communion that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God before the fall prevented decay. Once that grace was cut off, and communion with the Lord faltered, the human body could no longer resist the natural effects of age. Now, although through Jesus Christ we have been restored to that communion through Baptism, concupiscience (the tendency to seek lesser good in place of God) remains, and thus our communion with God is still imperfect. When we die and are judged, the elect will re-enter that perfect communion with the Lord and once again be immortal. At the end of time, we will be reunited with our bodies and experience life as Adam and Eve did before the fall.

Hope this helps.


#3

Thank you very much.

That leads to another question on when our souls are reunited with our bodies: I believe it is the teaching that this will happen on earth, and there we will live forever. But what about when (this is really “out there”) the sun burns out (goes supernova or whatever)?


#4

That leads to another question on when our souls are reunited with our bodies: I believe it is the teaching that this will happen on earth, and there we will live forever. But what about when (this is really “out there”) the sun burns out (goes supernova or whatever)?

All of us will be purified by God’s holy Fire. Do you think God’s Fire is inferior than supernova? If our bodies will live forever, why worry of supernova? But BTW, God is going to make all things new, so the worry of something disorderly is never going to happen.

Pio


#5

[quote=nobody]That leads to another question on when our souls are reunited with our bodies: I believe it is the teaching that this will happen on earth, and there we will live forever. But what about when (this is really “out there”) the sun burns out (goes supernova or whatever)?
[/quote]

:bible1: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Revelation 21:1

God is the Author of life and the Creator of the world. Let’s say the human race does survive that long (after all, 4.5 billion years is pretty optimistic from the look of things). Do you think the earth being burned up is really going to be a problem for Almighty God?

We know at the end times that the dead will be raised, and we will be reunited with our bodies. But the bodies of most of those who have died have returned to dust. Will this be a problem for God? Obviously not. Consider Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones:

:bible1: “I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them, and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them. Then he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD: From the four winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life. I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.” Ezekiel 37: 8-10

This prefigures the Resurrection. It is by the power of God that our bodies will be raised, and by His power that our spirits will return to them. If we all will be ashes by this point, what further problem will it be for the Lord if the entire world has been made ashes by a supernova?


#6

In the fallen world, everything is subject to “the slavery of corruption”. Animals die, plants die, even stars die. In the restored creation, death and decay will be no more. We won’t have to worry about stars dying.For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Romans 8:19-21


#7

It is an interesting question. Suppose Adam and Eve had superior genes. As a result of the fall every generation has weaker genes. (Could this explain their long lives in the Bible).

This would also have tremendous implications for future health care costs. Does it mean that without interventional health care and sanitation we would have shorter life spans?

We need to protect life issues all the more so if this is a real possiblilty.


#8

Adam and Eve were meant to be the parents of the human race. Had they not sinned, they would still have procreated the human race. (Sin would always remain a possibility for any human being, however.)

At the resurrection, our souls will be reunited with our bodies.


#9

[quote=buffalo]It is an interesting question. Suppose Adam and Eve had superior genes. As a result of the fall every generation has weaker genes. (Could this explain their long lives in the Bible).
[/quote]

“…you also should consider that you and your contemporaries are smaller in stature than those who were before you, and those who come after you will be smaller than you, as born of a creation which already is aging and passing the strength of youth."
4Ezra.5: 54-55


#10

I wouldlike to point something here:

I believe that there is no such thing as “ORIGINAL SIN”.

first we defined what sin is? Sin is when you not followed the rules, teaching, commandments of the Lord. How come a baby will have a sin? This little child can go directly to heaven as what Jesus said. Baby knows nothing about the commandments of God thats why it is imposible for them to sin.

2nd, God is merciful and just, he is just that the one who comitted the sin is the one who will answer to God. The father will not answer the sins of his son nor the son will not answer to God the sins of his father. Sin can not be inherit.

3rd, Answer.
The effect of sins of Adam and Eve is that death now can enter into our life.

Why Baptise baby? I dunno. The rule of baptism in the bible is this - first teach the person, if the person believes wholeheartedly he will confess his sin and then be baptise. We do not teach baby before we baptise them… and besides they will not understand and therefore they cannot believe. Faith comes from listening to the teaching of Christ. We listen first before we believe.


#11

logically you might say it affected the telomeres (that affect cell division) and/or p53 so that mankind would age and die


#12

Your profile says you are a Catholic. That cannot be correct otherwise you would not have written the comments you did which are against the teachings of the Church.


#13

Original sin is not inherited it is transmitted.

00 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay”.284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”,285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286
401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. And even after Christ’s atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.287 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man’s history:

**406 **The Church’s teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine’s reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God’s grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam’s fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of Trent (1546).


#14

Well that kind of messes up this whole Christianity thing, now doesn’t it? If not to redeem humanity from that original sin, why did Christ even bother with the whole dying and rising thing?

St. Thomas Aquinas on the subject…:

“Since everywhere in the Sacred Scripture the sin of the first man is assigned as the reason of the Incarnation, it is more in accordance with this to say that the work of the Incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin; so that, had sin not existed, the Incarnation would not have been.”

  • Summa Theologiae III.1.3c

This is a contradiction. If God is merciful and just, and only the one who committed the sin is the one who answers for it, then why do men die? You say that “the effect of sins of Adam and Eve is that death enters our lives”…but wouldn’t God be unjust if their abstract ‘sins’ were what wrecked it for the rest of us?

God IS just; we would not receive the penalty of death for sin if original sin did not affect us. The fact that we die shows that we must, in some way, ‘deserve’ that death–and, marked by original sin, we do.

Adam and Eve didn’t just mess up a few times and get kicked out of the garden; they used their God-given free will to choose evil and turned themselves away from God for some (at least to me) inexplicable reason. It was the first free choice they really made–and it was for evil, rather than good.

Their sin deprived them of grace and life–both good things which God freely gave to humanity in the very beginning. And this affected the very ordering of their souls, so that they no longer were able to subject themselves to Him. Once they lost that grace and life, they couldn’t get it back–there was no way for them to repay such a debt to God, to whom they already owed everything. And so they passed it on to the rest of humanity.

Same goes for us. Thank God for Christ’s sacrifice–really!

Refuting your disbelief in original sin comes down to one point, really.

Do the people you know generally tend to die?


#15

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

The sun is certianly important… but God can do anything. He created light before the sun. When it goes out, there will still be light, as light came before the sun it can’t be completely dependant on it. Perhaps the new earth will have a new sun too.


#16

Now Sin can be transmitted. where we can read from the bible? even the orignal sin cannot be read on the bible. because there is no such thing…
God tell us through prophet that sin cannot be transfer or inherited by the one who commits it. The one who commits the sin is the one liable to God.

I am a Catholic and read the Bible which can answer any question of faith.

If what i/ve said is contradiction:

there is a murderer whom a father to a three month old baby… they both die… does it mean botof them will go to hell.? because the baby is responsible for his father’s sin?


#17

The Bible DOES say MUCH about original sin–the story of man’s salvation in Christ is the story of our relationship with God that has been broken by original sin and repaired by Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice. To think that there are no references to original sin in Scripture is blindness.

“As by the disobedience of one man many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one many shall be made just.” - Romans 5:19

We can say that original sin is transmitted from Adam and Eve (our first parents) to all because of the nature of that sin. It was a COMPLETE turning against God’s will of creation which had never been done before.

Think about it: man is given everything he could ever wish for after being created by God. All God asks man to do in order to remain in that bliss is to not eat from the tree. That’s it. In fact God even makes it clear what disobedience in this would mean-- He tells him that if he eats it, “thou shall diest the death.” Man wasn’t made to die in the garden, but to live with God; it’s only because he eats the fruit that he does.

In his very FIRST true moral action, man goes and eats the fruit which God has expressly told him not to eat. That’s what we inherit–the decision to leave the garden, the disobedience mentioned in Romans. Not some petty mistake, but an express decision to leave God’s presence in the garden and turn towards ourselves.

There is a difference between the transmission of original sin and holding a child accountable for what we can call the ‘actual’ sins of their father. Original sin is incredibly different from this. I agree, the baby is not responsible for his father’s sin.

The doctrine of original sin is not optional; to deny it is heresy (albeit, one the Church has been dealing with for ages–Augustine fought against the Pelagians on this topic in the 5th century). I suggest you look at the Catechism or some of the resources on Catholic.com to clear this up…or keep asking away!


#18

My understanding is that when Christ comes again ALL of creation will be glorified–including the sun. It will perfectly shine for all eternity (not that we’d need it anyway ;)).


#19

I’ve thought about this question a lot myself.

The creation story in scripture is very abstract… it doesn’t give us specific concrete details on the science and physics involved, which HAD to happen SOMEHOW, right?
We trust that God created… no questions there… but HOW it happened, physically, is still a very interesting question to ponder!

Now, as we all know, original sin has been literally “passed down” from the first human beings… Adam and Eve.

If humans were intended by God to NOT die, then something HAD to physically change. There is some element of our DNA which causes aging. God didn’t INTEND that to happen, right? So sin HAS to be physically present in who we are, as human beings, right? It HAS to SOMEHOW be in our DNA!

Science is always trying to find the “fountain of youth”… messing with our genes to eliminate diseases and aging… only the source of those problems aren’t going to be found without true conversion of the world (when Christ returns)…

Interesting things to ponder! I can’t wait until all this scientific “knowledge” is revealed to us at the end of time… I’d love to understand it all, ya know?


#20

To deny original sin is to deny sin exists at all, to me. Without that original sin, we would not be the wretched creatures we are here on Earth.

Death was not the only punishment given to Adam and Eve, if one thinks that they obviously have not read Genesis where God tells them the punishments they will endure in life til death.

If there was no original sin, Jesus would not have had to die for us.

Just because original sin exists, does not mean all babies that die unbaptized go to hell. From my understanding, the purpose of baptism is not only to wash them of original sin but to give them the gift of the Holy Spirit to watch over them in life. There’s no way to know for sure who goes to Heaven or Hell, but then again there is no way to know anything after life so arguing that point is silly as there’s no way anyone can give a definite answer, as we are not God.

Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33 And he, taking them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes, and himself was baptized, and all his house immediately.

In those verses is says these people and their household, their entire family, was baptized. This happens often in the Gospels. I find it hard to believe there was no infants in those families. If they were not baptized, why wouldn’t it be said they were an exception?

Tradition is another big reason infant baptism is performed. If you believe in Catholic teaching and apostolic succession then it is known that infant baptism has always been done…as far back as to the time of the apostles. If I am wrong about this, as it is possible I’m no scholar, then please let me know when this Tradition began. If you are Catholic then you must believe and know that the Bible is not the only place we find God’s Word.

I have never seen a verse in the Bible that says one must make a vocal admission of belief before they can be baptized. If this teaching exists in the Bible, please let me know where.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.