Jesus, Fallen Nature, Death


Hey all, my apologies if this is the wrong thread for this.

The Church teaches that Jesus possesses the same human nature that Adam did before sin. My understanding of human nature before sin is that it was incorruptible as we were not meant to die. If death is a product of our fallen nature, how could Jesus die if he did not possess this fallen nature but instead the original incorruptible human nature??

If nature is, “the basic or inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it.” So if a characteristic of human nature before sin was incorruptibility, and Jesus possessed corruptible flesh, did Jesus not possess a fallen nature like the rest of us?

This applies to Mary as well. If Mary was free from any stain of original sin, and did not possess a fallen nature, how is it acceptable amongst Eastern Catholics to hold the tradition that she died before her assumption?


Re line I bolded in your post: The Church doesn’t teach that Jesus assumed the human nature that Adam had before sinning. She teaches that Jesus assumed a human nature like ours in everything but sin.
It is man’s fallen nature that needed redeeming.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
467 …Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; “**like us **in all things but sin”. He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God. … the “with us” and “like us” – that means with a body like ours that can suffer and die.


So, for the sake of helping me understand, would you be able to explain how this relates to both Mary and Jesus being without original sin?

I was under the impression that the Church taught that humans possess a fallen nature, which Adam and Eve were not created in, and by Mary being the 2nd Eve and Jesus being the last Adam, their natures were fully human in the sense that Adam and Eve were both fully human. I thought the rest of us possess a fallen human nature tainted by original sin and so we die. I thought Jesus being like us in every way but sin simply meant that he was fully human.

To elaborate, many accept the traditions that Mary did not feel pain in childbirth and did not die because these are consequences of our fallen nature and humanity being tainted by original sin. Mary is still, however, obviously fully human

“the statement of Pope Pius XII as to the “Miraculous birth” (MC); the Tome of Pope St. Leo to Flavian: “Mary brought him forth with her virginity untouched…”; The Catechism of the Council of Trent, that Mary gave birth “without experiencing…any sense of pain” (RC 50); and the Church’s Liturgy, which states, “She who had given him birth without the pains of childbirth…”(BVM Collection of Masses, p. 117).”


Of course our Lord Jesus Christ has both divine and human nature so can not be born with original sin. The original sin decree did not cover the Blessed Virgin Mary (The Theotokos). The Council of Trent, fifth session stated:
“This same holy Synod doth nevertheless declare, that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God; but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV., of happy memory, are to be observed, under the pains contained in the said constitutions, which it renews.”

Catechism 404 (Excerpt) which does not apply to the Lord Jesus Christ or Blessed Virgin Mary:

By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. 294

294 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1511-1512


The article on “The Incarnation” in the old Catholic Encyclopedia might be helpful, especially Part III. Effects of the Incarnation, (1) On Christ Himself, A. On the Body of Christ and B. On the Human Soul of Christ.


…the problem with that premise is that it ignores two things: 1) Jesus emptied Himself of His Divinity 2) Jesus became as man, in everything but sin.

In order for Christ, the Son of man, to die on the cross He could not hold on to His Divine Powers–He had to allow the human flesh to suffer all of the human experience (including emotions and vulnerabilities).

Maran atha!



To understand, you need to know a few Catholic definitions - original sin, sanctifying grace and Baptism.

  1. Original sin (as it applies to all of Adam & Eve’s descendants):
    *404 …Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. and that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a state and not an act.

405 …It (original sin) is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, …*
Adam & Eve’s original holiness and justice was due to the gift of “sanctifying grace” which God had infused into their soul.

  1. Sanctifying grace:
    1997 Grace (sanctifying grace) is a participation in the life of God. …
    1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification. …**Sanctifying grace was not a part of human nature **- it was a “divine” gift God gave to them. When we speak of being born in the state of original sin, it is a reference to the absence of this gift of divine life in our soul.

  2. Baptism:
    1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. …
    1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence…
    1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification…
    Adam & Eve’s sin also wounded the human nature they passed on to their descendants, but when Catholic teaching says Baptism forgives original sin, it is a reference to the restoration of sanctifying grace in our soul.
    It does not remove the wounds in our human nature.

I tried to pare down the quotes, but I’d really recommend reading the whole sections.


Jesus by being the very spirit of God himself - Mary by Gods grace - hail full of grace.
Could anyone full of Gods grace sin? Also with Jesus her personal savior the entire time he walked the earth. It is what we seek to curb our sinful nature.


Sorry to add to it - being without original sin by Gods grace


Hey guys, I appreciate all of the great answers :slight_smile:

However, I’m still having a little bit of trouble.

Forgive me if I am completely misunderstanding but, isn’t this wounded human nature and lack of sanctifying grace at conception the reason why we suffer from concupiscence? I’m aware that baptism restores sanctifying grace; the reason we still suffer from concupiscence and die is because, although we have this sanctifying grace restored at baptism, we were still tainted by original sin at conception. Jesus and Mary were not tainted by this at birth, they were never stained by original sin because it never touched them; Mary was perserved from this and Jesus possesses a divine nature so he was unaffected and so, while they both clearly possess full human natures, they did not suffer from concupiscence. As established earlier, Mary did not suffer labour pains. So, following the pattern, it should mean that Jesus and Mary could not die. I don’t actually believe this, I’m just trying to find a way in which it makes sense for them to die while possessing an unfallen human nature that is free from concupiscence, untainted by original sin (never touched by it unlike us), being full of God’s sanctifying grace, and Mary being free from labour pains.

Apologies if it was answered in fuller readings of the links you sent, I will definitely have a look later today!



…there are unknowns that do not take any factors into effect… such as the platypus (fish, bird, mammal, eggs); pure evolutionists have created the natural apex design (nature restructures species to optimum); yet, we have the platypus, and the fact that not all predators are eagles, lions, killer whales… (apex) nor the fact that our “pet” cats have the highest number of prey targets–I think it goes into the hundreds (some NG program); it cannot explain why the gorilla is stronger than man yet fueled by grass, barks, grubs instead of man’s hardy meat and potatoes… anyhow… Jesus and Mary beyond the reach of sin but not beyond the temporal actions of the flesh…

Well, with Jesus we may never know since His death came about as a direct cause/effect; the Virgin we know was definitely part of the temporal economy: once cursed to suffer death, only Divine intervention could halt its application (as with Enoch and Elijah).

Maran atha!



Grace BUILDS ON TOP OF human nature, just as a beautiful robe enhances a body. When Adam was created, God added divine gifts on-top-of Adam’s humanity. These gifts were of two sorts:
(1) sanctifying grace, infused virtues of faith, hope, love, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit; and

(2) Preturnatural Gifts of Immortality (unable to suffer or die), Infused Knowledge, and Integrity (firm control of the passions)
When Adam sinned, he lost all the gifts. In virtue of Christ’s merits, we recover the gifts of #1 above, but God no longer grants us the gifts of #2. When Jesus (and Mary) were born without Original Sin, this means they were conceived with the gifts of #1, but they weren’t given the #2 gift of Immortality because God wanted them to experience the fallen world so as to redeem it and to identify better with us.

Human nature alone is a good thing, but since it is created it is subject to corruption and even death. But God didn’t want this, as it is unnatural/perversion for the soul to be separated from the body. So God added Immortality on top of humanity, like a protective shield. Without this gift, the body is subject to the forces of nature, including decay and death. Jesus took on the higher gifts when He became man, but He decided not to take upon Immortality. Our natures are “fallen” only in that they lack the divine gifts; our natures are not fallen in the sense of good humanity turning rotten.


This is a great explanation but I think there is a slight problem I’m having with it, maybe you can clarify it to me! You say that one of the gifts of #2 is “firm control of the passions.” This seems to be referring to the lack of concupiscence. Both Jesus and Mary did not suffer from concupiscence so both of them received gifts from #2 but not immortality, although many believe Mary WAS granted immortality so I guess it depends on which traditions you tend to accept between the East and West… it seems as though Mary and Jesus were in a state between the humanity with all of God’s gifts and fallen humanity but I don’t think the Church teaches this. What are your thoughts?


It was one supernatural gift and the three preternatural gifts – the four wounds when lost:
*]Original Sin (lack of sanctifying grace)
*]Ignorance (lack of knowledge)
*]Concupiscence (lack of integration of passion under reason)
*]Mortality and sickness (the body weakened)
Correlated powers of the soul:
*]Intellect (virtue of prudence)
*]Will (virtue of justice)
*]Concupiscible Appetite (virtue of temperance)
*]Irascible Appetite (virtue of fortitude)


You are correct, but it isn’t a problem because the Preturnatural Gifts don’t come all-or-nothing, they can come individually. So Jesus and Mary received Infused Knowledge (at least Jesus did), and both received Integrity, while both were not given Immortality (think of it as a cloak that you wear that shields you from harm).

Fallen humanity is not meant to mean human nature itself went bad, but rather that human nature was elevated, and fell from this elevation. Hence the term “fall”. And while these were indeed gifts, they were in a sense meant to always accompany us, because man was always meant for something more than mere earthly life.


Thanks guys, I think I’ve grasped it… Thank you for all of the great answers.

God bless! :slight_smile:

closed #17

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