Original Sin

What does it mean that Augustine of Hippo formulated the doctrine of “Original Sin”? Was it not taught in Christianity before then or did he make contributions?

It was taught in Christianity since the beginning, even by St Paul (see Romans 5:12). What it means when we say St Augustine “formulated” the doctrine is that he made significant advances and development of the doctrine, and he identified many of its concepts.

How did he do that? Is this inspired? Or philosophical teaching.

St Augustine’s works are not inspired. The Bible is the only inspired written revelation. They are theological and philosophical teaching. Take the following metaphor: you and I see a pie on the table. I say, “Well, based on the fact that this is a baked pastry filled with fruit, I’ll bet it’s sweet. I’m going to call this pastry ‘pie’.”

This is similar to what St Augustine did with the doctrine of original sin. He identified its concepts, gave them names, and developed them. Many of his ideas were later declared Catholic doctrine. The following Wikipedia article, in the “Original sin” subsection of its “Thought” section, summarizes his contributions to Catholic thought on original sin:

How does one assert the bible is inspired by looking toward the bible as evidence? Is this circular reasoning?

No, because we do not appeal solely to the Bible. This fallacy is only committed by our separated Protestant brethren. We have a corroboration in Catholicism:

  1. Sacred Scripture supports Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.
  2. Sacred Tradition supports the Magisterium and Sacred Scripture.
  3. The Magisterium supports Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.

It’s a three-legged stool.

I see what your saying and as catholics that is what we ascribe to. But I also study history and Judaic and mesopotamian history. There have been many stories concerning Adam and Eve and they have changed over the years. Some things in the Bible also our Jewish brothers have said are allegories or mythos. I find a hard time with a “whale” swallowing a man and after some time spitting him on a beach. Sounds like a middle eastern story told with meaning and made larger than life. What about Adam’s temptation during he and Eve’s 120 year separation? ec cetra. I would look for a very wise Rabbi to explain that to me who is well versed in the judaic tradition. Our tradition. Meaning Tanya, Talmud, Kabbalah and more. Like our master.

In the Lord

But where do they get the tradition? Is it only known to the clergy and not for the laity? What tradition is known for sure and what not? I believe the Didache is considered real.

There’s a big difference between “smaller-t” tradition and “capital-t” Tradition. “Smaller-t” tradition is pious, historically backed belief. An example would be where and when the Apostles died. “Capital-t” Tradition is part of Divine revelation, and it has been infallibly passed down from the Apostles to the modern day Church. It contains doctrines not explicitly stated in the Bible, and is equally binding on all the faithful. An example would be the Assumption of Mary. We can find Tradition in the writings of the Church Fathers- and the Didache is one of the earliest examples of an Early Church Document.

Then what about the story I’ve heard about Anne “The prophetess” who kept Mary at the temple until our mother was old enough for marriage and Joseph said she was so young and he was old and with a family? And the flowers left at the holy mother’s resting place?

Yes and there’s also a version where the serpent “lost his legs”. And Lilith came to tempt Adam during he and Eve’s 120 year estrangement too.

The Jewish mid rash has nothing to do with Christian belief. In fact, in several places, it plainly contradicts Christian truths.

  1. You are committing the fallacy of argumentum ad absurdum. Look it up.
  2. “You will surely die” is to be understood as that man would become mortal if the forbidden fruit was consumed. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were immortal.

Again, Jewish beliefs have no bearing on Christian belief.

That is “lower-t” tradition. “Capital-t” Tradition only states that Mary was immaculately conceived and bodily assumed into Heaven. “Smaller-t” tradition usually gives us the context or story behind these doctrines, like the stories you mention.

I understand that. Atleast in some ways. I only wish to broaden my knowledge. When people look at the OT and see the historical events that have happened and think they’re about to happen something’s wrong somewhere.

So are we not to believe that out of all the staffs; just as an example, Joseph’s budded?

We CAN believe it, we just don’t HAVE to. “Capital-t” Tradition is required belief, “smaller-t” tradition is optional but pious.

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