Original sin explanation?


I am hoping to find a really good explanation of Original Sin.

I will just sit back and watch the thread.


Any help is welcomed.


Our original parents (Adam and Eve) were with God in the garden. They were in perfect communion with him. When they are the apple they sinned Kb which ended up casting them out of perfect communion with God. Original Sin is the separation with God in which we all suffer from.


Years ago on Rowan and Martin Laugh-In two of the characters were discussing Original Sin and one said to the other “it depends on how “original” you want to be!”:shrug:


You can start with the entry of the Catholic Encyclopedia on this website at


Then, In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a word search produces several hits, at


389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the “reverse side” of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation, and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

419 “We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, ‘by propagation, not by imitation’ and that it is… ‘proper to each’” (Paul VI, CPG § 16).

The electronic word search did not produce the quote I was looking for, about why Judaism cannot understand original sin. It says, Christ had to suffer and die to give meaning to the idea of original sin. You need the NT to understand original sin.


In my humble opinion, according to my former profession, a really good explanation of Original Sin would answer the questions Who? How? What? When? Where? and Why?

Which is your first interest?


The human person is worthy of profound respect.


I am no theologian, and the following might be questioned by one who is.

I have thought of original sin in connection with Divine Providence. We believe Divine Providence exists and that we should accept it fully; welcome it even though it may seem a bad thing to us.

Adam and Eve “talked with God” in the garden. It seems they lived in harmony with Providence. he provided for them. They accepted that, whatever it was like (possibly no different from our own world, but accepted?)

But they did have free will. They were not automatons. But living in harmony with Providence means one does not judge Providence. One accepts it. We know of saints who seemed perfectly in harmony with it, at least most of the time, difficult as it was for them.

Satan offered Adam and Eve “knowledge of good and evil”. What was that, exactly? Well, it seems multi-layered to me. First, perhaps “knowledge” in the sense of “experience” of it. But also perhaps “will to judge for ourselves what we think is good for us and what isn’t”

Did they perhaps choose to “know” in the sense of “to determine” what is good and what is evil, subjectively, which necessarily meant a rejection of Providence? It seems so to me.
And does it affect all mankind? Definitely. At the earliest ages, we see tiny children being “willful” and defiant of parents. At some point, they cross over from total parental reliance to willfulness.

Why would all mankind become “willful” just because Adam and Eve did? I don’t know, but it might have been related to the very creation of humans itself. Were there perhaps moments when (giving a nod to evolution here) there was actually a choice in “being fully human” or at least in self-recognition of one’s humanness? Was there a determinative moment in the development of free will?

But possibly, as with Adam and Eve, that ability to be “willful” is always there with humans just as it was with them. We could, though perhaps inperfectly, decide to conform our wills completely with Divine Providence, and some seem to have done it. But we rebel and insist on choosing our own “goods” and our own “evils”. “Original Sin” may be the activation of that capability.

The Blessed Mother, we understand, never crossed that threshhold into willfulness. “Be it done unto me according to thy word” is the exact opposite of “tasting the knowledge of good and evil”. She could have departed from the path of Providence, but did not. Is it possible that’s true and that “Original Sin” is a latent potential in all, even in her, but which requires assent to activate? An “essence/existence” thing, perhaps.

Now some actual theologian can give his/her view of it, and I’ll be silent.



I guess what I am asking would include all of those.

I know that does not narrow it in one sense, but it does in other senses.

I am reading all the posts and praying.



I was referring to the flexible order in the journalism mantra, Who? How? What? When? Where? and Why? Which question or which interest would be first or would be the most helpful. What is the hinge in your opinion? My experience is that the story of Original Sin often becomes a Pandora’s box because of all the conflicting opinions about it. I was hoping to avoid that by starting with a point of Divine Revelation that is relevant to the first question chosen, and then filling in the answers to the rest of the journalistic questions.


Trying to keep it simple:

The original sin would be eating the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil.

What makes this a sin?

  • We chose ourselves and aspects of creation over God. God = eternal joy, beauty, love, truth in His presence. / Not God = transience, illusion and ignorance, ugliness, selfishness, suffering, etc
  • We disobeyed God.

Eating the fruit:

  • means to many that we took onto ourselves what belongs to God. We falsely believe we determine what is good and bad.
  • in itself would lead to our deaths in that to know good or evil, one must know death (courage, cowardice, sacrifice, egoism, etc). God did not want this for us, at least at that time.

Our choice for what is not God has resulted in a rupture in our relationship with Him and this has led to the spread of sin throughout history.

We are born in a state of original sin, which is washed away in baptism, opening up the possibility of reconciliation with God.

Something like that. Actually, it’s all in the CCC.




Catechism: 407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man’s situation and activity in the world. By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil. Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.


This is Good Friday.

According to Sacred Scripture, the explanation of Original Sin is concluded with the obedience of Jesus Christ on His bloody cross.

1 Corinthians 15: 21-22
Romans 5: 12-21



You have given me a ton of ideas.

I will continue to ponder your ideas!!



The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludvig Ott refers to what the Council of Trent teaches about Original Sin as follows:

a) The Council of Trent defined Original Sin as the death of the soul (mors animae: D 789). The death of the soul is, however, the absence [not-being-present] of supernatural life, that is, of sanctifying grace. In Baptism Original Sin is eradicated through the infusion of sanctifying grace (D 792). It follows from this that Original Sin is a condition of being deprived of grace. This flows from the Pauline contrast between sin proceeding from Adam and justice proceeding from Christ (Rom 5, 19). As the justice bestowed by Christ consists formally in sanctifying grace (D 7999) so the sin inherited from Adam consist formally in the lack of sanctifying grace. The lack of sanctiyfing grace, which, according to the will of God, should be present, establishes that the guilt of Original Sin signifies a turning away from God. …]


=Jim Baur;11896248]I am hoping to find a really good explanation of Original Sin.

I will just sit back and watch the thread.


Any help is welcomed.

Allow me my friend to at least make the attempt:)

What we DO know is that the Sin was FAR greater than just eating an apple.

The apple tree was an Arbitrary choice by God. What it “WAS” lacks significanr to what it REPRESENTED to them; Adam and eve and to God.

One has to go back to the beggining and see that Adam and Eve; Like us were made in the “Image and likeness of God”. Therefore they had as do we; a mind, a intellect, and a freewill attached permanately attached to thier Souls. Like God these attributes are 'Spiritual realities." Thet exist but can not be quantified.

What is your freewill’s weight, color, share and size for example? We can demonistrate thet they exist, but Like God are Spiritual things. This then is not only our “better self”; BUT also “higher-self” AND how we emulate God.

Isa. 7 & 21 expalin why we exist [WE HERE most definetly included Adam and Eve]
“And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him. & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise”

Eden was a Utopia; a ShargraLa: Adam and Eve had EVERYTHING provided for them; food, shelter, saftey, no illness or death, and no sins!. It was a “****-shoot”; all or noting gamble. THE ONLY THING MISSING WAS ACTUALLY “BEING GOD!” [The same was true of te Bad Angels before they to failed a similar test test]:eek:

So the apple tree was HIGHLY symbolic of “right and wrong” & “good and evil”. It was a TEST. The ONLY thing that God asked from them to prove thier Love and Gratitude for ALL that God HAD already given to them.

So what did Satan offer them?

Gen. 3: 1-5
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evi

It was the VERY same thing Satan Himself did, and led countless angels to thier soiritual demise with him. Wnating to BE GOD.

The penalty for satan was ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR HIM AND HIS FOLLOWERS.[keep in mind they were more likr God than we are AT PRESENT; in that they too were Spiritual beings.

The penalty for adam and Eve HAD to in Divine Justice extend by Gods Divine Justice Command, because what He ad prepared and offered to Adam and Eve; God planned for us also.

So when our “parents” failed the test it meant that all of HUMANITY FAILED THE TEST, and ALL would pay a price for doing so.

So Original sin [and a CONDITIONAL way to remove it were instituted’. OT Circuncission; NT Sacramental Baptism. These were the “NEW don’t eat the fruit of this one tree TEST.”

But just as all sins cause “Temporal punishment due to them”; Original sin has its own “pay back effects”, such as a propensity to SIN, death and sickness and so-on. we would have to Do more, Prove more and begiven by God the OFFER of His grace [NT] to aid man in this world.

The Moral here is that there is, as there RIGHTLY CAN BE only GOD"S WAY to attain salvation. Like Satan and Adam and Eve found out; man’s innovations; mans claim to KNOWING MORE AND KNOWING BETTER is the slippery path downward; NOT upward.:shrug:

So the Sin was greious because it was

  1. intended to attack God’s Soverginity

  2. the sin was Gross-DISOBEDIENCE to God’s COMMAND [not eating an apple]

God as is His right demands evidence of our Love which MUST BE faithful to His Commands, precepts and Ordianaces.:thumbsup:

I hope my friend this helps you>

God Bless,


Fulton Sheen, in his book Our Grounds For Hope/ U]says “No one does evil for the mere sake of evil. Evil is done for the seeming good that is in it.”



This would explain the “popularity” of abortion, contraception and other seeming “women’s right to choose” As long as these seem “good” they will continue.:shrug:


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