Is Genesis 2: 15-17 an explanation of Original Sin?

I wonder if all the misunderstandings of Original Sin occur because some people no longer consider the first three chapters of Genesis as being important in modern life.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

To me this isn’t an explanation of original sin, it is a warning/command of God.
It is part of what will become the original sin.

I wonder if all the misunderstandings of Original Sin occur because some people no longer consider the first three chapters of Genesis as being important in modern life.

I think people have their own understandings of O.S. The garden of Eden was such a long time ago, it can be difficult to place ourselves at the beginning of creation.

Maybe you could expand on what you think others do not find important in modern life?

:slight_smile:

This is a great observation.
From post 2.
“I think people have their own understandings of O.S. The garden of Eden was such a long time ago, it can be difficult to place ourselves at the beginning of creation.”

It must be because Original Sin was so long ago that Christians keep wondering why all humanity has to suffer because some individual made a mistake and sinned. :eek:

Most likely, some people may have forgotten that the intention of the author of those first three chapters of Genesis was to preserve Divine Revelation. People can get so caught up in the nutty science that they totally bypass Genesis 1:1. God? Who God?

God happens to be the essential participant when we are looking for Original Sin in the first three chapters of Genesis. Genesis 2: 15 starts with God. If that is correct, then what is He doing? If Christians are going to understand Original Sin, God has to be first. Or does He?

With all the misunderstandings and misinterpretations about the first three chapters of Genesis posted on CAF, it should be obvious that many, not all, Christians do not consider the teachings in ancient texts important in modern life. No wonder it is so easy for a simple organic fruit tree to replace the actions (plural intended) of the first Person mentioned in Genesis 2: 15-17. No wonder one of the popular questions is - why does all humanity have to suffer because an individual made a mistake and sinned? Apparently, some, not all, modern Christians have not figured out that Genesis 2: 23 verifies that humanity started with two real human people. Therefore, their original friendship relationship with their Creator God should be interesting in a modern world. Or not.

That individual being two persons as one.

If I’m reading you correctly, you are saying that some Christians don’t refer to Gen 2:23 as the explanation of the creation of woman, and marriage between a man and woman, some Christians would rather/prefer an scientific explanation (which ever sounds the most reasonable/correct to the individual) because I believe there are a few theories out there. And that if they do prefer an alternative, that diminishes Original sin as a cause of the sinful nature of humans.

We could say that eating from the tree was not the O.S, it was what happened upon eating from the tree, there must have been a chance for repentance for both first humans, but they did not seek it. (Gen 3:10)

Of course staying away from the tree would have made the world a completely different place from the one we know, but once they consumed the fruit, it was a much harder choice to make, tell God the truth and ask forgiveness, or lie and blame each other.

I’m a close to what you are saying? Or am I way off? :blush:

I had never thought about the origin of humanity according to Genesis 2: 23 until I was on another website. So far, I have not seen any Christian making that interpretation; but, maybe there are other Christians who thought about it. My guess is that some Christians must have seen that connection.

All I am saying is that Genesis 2: 23 verifies that humanity started with two real human people. No more. No less. The reason I spotted that verse was because I was looking for Genesis verses which would counter the idea that humankind was founded by a large indiscriminate random breeding population which was known in the 1940’s as polygenism.

We could say that eating from the tree was not the O.S, it was what happened upon eating from the tree, there must have been a chance for repentance for both first humans, but they did not seek it. (Gen:doh2: 3:10)

Repentance sounds interesting. I am not sure how that explains Original Sin.

Of course staying away from the tree would have made the world a completely different place from the one we know, but once they consumed the fruit, it was a much harder choice to make, tell God the truth and ask forgiveness, or lie and blame each other.

We can dream…

Link to Bible. usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm

From post 4.
“No wonder it is so easy for a simple organic fruit tree to replace
the actions (plural intended) of the first Person mentioned in
Genesis 2: 15-17”

It seems reasonable that because God started verse 15, we should examine God in terms of His actions (plural intended). We see God’s decisive action as He brings Adam to the Garden of Eden. Adam acts in response to God by accepting the responsibility for cultivating and generally taking care of the Garden. He also understands the stipulation that the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil must not be eaten. (paragraph 396, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition)

If we are going to be fair in our explanation of Original Sin, we need to look at God’s previous actions.

Question-- What are God’s actions in the first two chapters of Genesis?

Links to the Catechism
usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

Originally Posted by grannymh

Repentance sounds interesting. I am not sure how that explains Original Sin.

Repentance is what we are taught in order for us to be in a state of Grace, why would this be any different for Adam and Eve?

The God in Genesis is supposed to be the same God we learn about now in the modern era.

I may be confused because I learned that repentance came after a serious mortal sin like after Adam’s Original Sin. God, in His love and mercy, restores the lost State of Sanctifying Grace following the act of repentance.

I learned on CAF that there is a tradition that Adam and Eve repented following their disobedience in the Garden.

In post 7, I asked: "What are God’s actions in the first two chapters of Genesis?

Answers should lead us to a reasonable explanation of Original Sin. There are some interpretations that it is Genesis 3: 15 which promises redemption. “After his fall, man was not abandoned by God.” (CCC 410-411)

I learned on CAF that there is a tradition that Adam and Eve repented following their disobedience in the Garden.

Yes, but not according to what is recorded in Genesis. God asks what have they done, and even gives them the answer, but they seem to deny it by blaming one another. If they were aware of what life was all about, they should have had the spiritual ability to know when they had ‘crossed the point of no return’.

Maybe that is why this question is hard to understand :

No wonder one of the popular questions is - why does all humanity have to suffer because an individual made a mistake and sinned?

Because the answer doesn’t seem to be quite fair.

You have right. We have taught ourselves that facts are truth not realizing that the mystery of life is hidden in the mystical language of the ancient. It is like believing that the colors we are able to see are the only colors in the universe.

If you were to try to grasp the Church’s teaching on Original sin (here at the USCCB website ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/index.html) you’d find over 600 references to original sin.

In one of them someplace, when I read through the CCC a couple years ago, it says something to the effect that a lot of people like Jews don’t understand OS because it took the incarnation of Jesus Christ to fully understand it. And, then, wherever that paragraph is, it goes on to explain why this is so.

This is the genuine rule of the Church about interpreting the Bible, that we must take the whole Bible into account. And, that includes the fulfillment of the prophecy about the seed of Adam and Eve crushing the head of the serpent.

So, to the title question, no, that is not a total explanation of OS.

Yes, indeed, but look at the later development in Genesis and Exodus. Does it seem to us any better to be quite ‘fair’ that Jacob and his sons were driven by famine into Egypt, to eventually be enslaved for over 400 years? The Old Testament raves about how God brought the Israelites OUT of the “furnace” of slavery in Egypt, but God put them there, too.

That’s the follow up question about original sin. If you finally land on solid ground about OS, then you are confronted with the slavery in Egypt question, as well. That’s even more complicated and more difficult to visualize, because there, there isn’t a sin about eating fruit from a tree or anything, like in Genesis. God prophesies to Abraham that his descendents will be enslaved. Do you suppose Abraham had any nightmares about that prophecy? God establishes a covenant with Abraham, but there’s a lot of baggage that goes with it, like SLAVERY.

And the questions keep on coming, like the ever popular one, Why is THIS happening to me? Where is God? Even St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary had problems big time after the Annunciation. Those were no small challenges, and the transition from the OT to the NT focuses back on an espoused man and woman.

The whole thing is not merely an intellectual question, but one that sooner or later impacts all believers in their lives. Very bad things happen, despite our kinship and relationship with God our Father.

So far, no one has answered the question in post 7 – “What are God’s actions in the first two chapters of Genesis?” Therefore, I think it is a tad early to give a “no” to the question – “Is Genesis 2: 15-17 an explanation of Original Sin?” Especially when I did not use the word “total.”

While I am the Queen of cherry picking, please note that I am insisting on context for Genesis 2: 15-17.

Perhaps you would prefer jumping right into verses 15-17 and comment about the relationship between God and Adam. That original relationship is basic to understanding the depth of Original Sin. (CCC 396, cross-references in margin, CCC 1730, 311, 301)

Paintings need shadows to show forth the light just so, without hardships, struggling and pain there could be no compassion. I try to explain it this. Look a bouquet of wildflowers, lilies or roses. They are so beautiful because they are alive. No matter how beautifully made a silk flower may be constructed the depth of beauty is not there. Flowers are beautiful because they wilt and fade to give new life. We are not puppets. We are alive. God could of created us without life, without freewill. We could just be puppets.

When my little seven year old granddaughter was killed, the pain was unimaginable. My husband’s mother died this week. My daughter said through her tears, “Ninety five years is just not long enough.” Ninety five years of hardships, struggle, laughter, art, children, grandchildren, physical pain, nieces, nephews, sadness and joy. This is life. This is what it is about. God has given us life. We don’t even have a comprehension of what that means.

I believe that it is faith that gives us the gratitude to appreciate what we have been given. There are times when all one can do is hold on to faith because nothing else is left to hold on to. I can’t express my sadness for people who lose even that.

When I listen to people nic-picking the Old Testament, I am reminded of people who will stand on a top of a beautiful mountain and complain because they have some dirt on their feet. Genesis is full of life. Honest, harsh, beautiful, painful, it is the story of human life - human history. I find it wonderful. I love it. I am so grateful that the story was told and wasn’t lost in the distant passage of time.

I stand on the mountain and stretch my heart and soul out to God who created all of this and gave me this brief second of life to live it and I am above all grateful.

Genesis, chapter 3. usccb.org/bible/genesis/3
8
When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day,* the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.d

In Genesis, chapter 2, Adam is comfortable being with God because he is still in the State of Sanctifying Grace, aka Original Holiness. In Genesis 3:8, Adam and Eve recognize their rejection of God, that is, they recognize their State of Original Sin. They quickly hide because the original friendship relationship with their Creator God has been freely broken by Original Sin.

Because we are descendants of Adam and Eve, their wounded human nature is transmitted to us by propagation making it possible for us to enter heaven. That is fair considering that if we were not descendants of Adam and Eve, we would not be able to enter heaven.

Thank you.
:thumbsup:

Question from previous page-- What are God’s actions in the first two chapters of Genesis?

Here is a link to the Bible.
usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm

We are studying the first three chapters of Genesis. In particular, this thread asks – Is Genesis 2: 15-17 an explanation of Original Sin?
Genesis, chapter 2
15
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.h
16
The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden*(“http://www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/2#01002016-i”)
17
except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.* j

Verse 15 tells us that God has a loving relationship with Adam. This is seen in God’s action of settling Adam in a beautiful Garden.
Genesis, chapter 2
9*
Out of the ground the LORD God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.f

Original Sin is basically a shattering of God’s original friendship relationship with Adam. Common sense says that it is essential to understand this relationship. This is why we need to look for God’s actions. Were God’s previous actions good for Adam? If so, how would they be connected to Original Sin? (CCC 355-357)

Not it is not fair that any of the above happened, nor is it fair that it still happens today, even after the atonement.
We all still need to learn the fall to the resurrection, personally from within, not without, then maybe we can get to a better place for all humanity.

We could have been descendants of a sinless couple too :shrug:

Yes it is up to the individual to look closely into Genesis, some people don’t bother, it’s far easier to just dismiss the story as fiction, because a loving God would not allow his children to suffer spiritually and physically, humans wouldn’t have to die etc etc.

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