Original sin, also called ancestral sin, is the Christian doctrine of humanity's state of sin resulting from the fall of man, stemming from Adam and Eve's rebellion in Eden, namely the sin of disobedience in consuming from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred to as a "sin nature", to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt of all humans through collective guilt.
The concept of original sin was first alluded to in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics. Other church fathers such as Augustine also developed the doctrine, seeing it as based on the New Testament teaching of Paul the Apostle (Romans 5:12–21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22) and the Old Testament verse of Psalms 51:5. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Ambrosiaster considered that humanity shares in Adam's sin, transmitted by human generation. Augustine's formulation of original sin was popular among Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who equated original sin with concupiscence (or "hurtful desire"), affirming that it persisted even after baptism and completely destroyed freedom. The Jansenist movement, which the Catholic Church declared to be heretical, also maintained that original sin destroyed freedom of will.
- 1 History of the doctrine
- 2 Denominational views
- 3 In Judaism
- 4 In Islam
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
History of the doctrine
The doctrine of ancestral fault (προγονικὸν ἁμάρτημα progonikon hamartema), i.e. the sins of the forefathers leading to punishment of their descendants, was presented as a tradition of immemorial antiquity in ancient Greek religion by Celsus in his True Doctrine, a polemic attacking Christianity. Celsus is quoted as attributing to "a priest of Apollo or of Zeus" the saying that "the mills of the gods grind slowly, even to children's children, and to those who are born after them". The idea of divine justice taking the form of collective punishment is also ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible.
St Paul's idea of redemption hinged upon the contrast between the sin of Adam and the death and resurrection of Jesus. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned." "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." Up till then the transgression in the Garden of Eden had not been given great significance. As the Jesus scholar, Geza Vermes has said:
Paul believed that Adam's transgression in a mysterious way affected the nature of the human race. The primeval sin, a Pauline creation with no biblical or post-biblical Jewish precedent, was irreparable by ordinary human effort.
The formalized Christian doctrine of original sin was first developed in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyon, in his struggle against Gnosticism. Irenaeus contrasted their doctrine with the view that the Fall was a step in the wrong direction by Adam, with whom, Irenaeus believed, his descendants had some solidarity or identity. Irenaeus believed that Adam's sin had grave consequences for humanity, that it is the source of human sinfulness, mortality and enslavement to sin, and that all human beings participate in his sin and share his guilt.
The Greek Fathers emphasized the cosmic dimension of the Fall, namely that since Adam human beings are born into a fallen world, but held fast to belief that man, though fallen, is free. They thus did not teach that human beings are deprived of free will and involved in total depravity, which is one understanding of original sin. During this period the doctrines of human depravity and the inherently sinful nature of human flesh were taught by Gnostics, and orthodox Christian writers took great pains to counter them. Christian apologists insisted that God's future judgment of humanity implied humanity must have the ability to live righteously.
Historian Robin Lane Fox argues that the foundation of the doctrine of original sin as accepted by the Church was ultimately based on a mistranslation of Paul the Apostle's Epistle to the Romans (Romans 5:12–21) by Augustine, in his On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin".
Augustine of Hippo (354–430) taught that Adam's sin is transmitted by concupiscence, or "hurtful desire", resulting in humanity becoming a massa damnata (mass of perdition, condemned crowd), with much enfeebled, though not destroyed, freedom of will. When Adam sinned, human nature was thenceforth transformed. Adam and Eve, via sexual reproduction, recreated human nature. Their descendants now live in sin, in the form of concupiscence, a term Augustine used in a metaphysical, not a psychological sense. Augustine insisted that concupiscence was not a being but a bad quality, the privation of good or a wound. He admitted that sexual concupiscence (libido) might have been present in the perfect human nature in paradise, and that only later it became disobedient to human will as a result of the first couple's disobedience to God's will in the original sin. In Augustine's view (termed "Realism"), all of humanity was really present in Adam when he sinned, and therefore all have sinned. Original sin, according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit. As sinners, humans are utterly depraved in nature, lack the freedom to do good, and cannot respond to the will of God without divine grace. Justo Gonzalez interprets Augustine's teaching that grace is irresistible, results in conversion, and leads to perseverance.
Augustine articulated his explanation in reaction to Pelagianism, which insisted that humans have of themselves, without the necessary help of God's grace, the ability to lead a morally good life, and thus denied both the importance of baptism and the teaching that God is the giver of all that is good. Pelagius claimed that the influence of Adam on other humans was merely that of bad example. Augustine held that the effects of Adam's sin are transmitted to his descendants not by example but by the very fact of generation from that ancestor. A wounded nature comes to the soul and body of the new person from his/her parents, who experience libido (or concupiscence). Augustine's view was that human procreation was the way the transmission was being effected. He did not blame, however, the sexual passion itself, but the spiritual concupiscence present in human nature, soul and body, even after baptismal regeneration. Christian parents transmit their wounded nature to children, because they give them birth, not the "re-birth". Augustine used Ciceronian Stoic concept of passions, to interpret St. Paul's doctrine of universal sin and redemption. In that view, also sexual desire itself as well as other bodily passions were consequence of the original sin, in which pure affections were wounded by vice and became disobedient to human reason and will. As long as they carry a threat to the dominion of reason over the soul they constitute moral evil, but since they do not presuppose consent, one cannot call them sins. Humanity will be liberated from passions, and pure affections will be restored only when all sin has been washed away and ended, that is in the resurrection of the dead.
Augustine believed that the only definitive destinations of souls are heaven and hell. He concluded that unbaptized infants go to hell as a consequence of original sin. The Latin Church Fathers who followed Augustine adopted his position, which became a point of reference for Latin theologians in the Middle Ages. In the later medieval period, some theologians continued to hold Augustine's view, others held that unbaptized infants suffered no pain at all: unaware of being deprived of the beatific vision, they enjoyed a state of natural, not supernatural happiness. Starting around 1300, unbaptized infants were often said to inhabit the "limbo of infants". The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1261 declares: "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them', allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism." But the theory of Limbo, while it "never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium ... remains ... a possible theological hypothesis".
In the works of John Cassian (c. 360 – 435), Conference XIII recounts how the wise monk Chaeremon, of whom he is writing, responded to puzzlement caused by his own statement that "man even though he strive with all his might for a good result, yet cannot become master of what is good unless he has acquired it simply by the gift of Divine bounty and not by the efforts of his own toil" (chapter 1). In chapter 11, Cassian presents Chaeremon as speaking of the cases of Paul the persecutor and Matthew the publican as difficulties for those who say "the beginning of free will is in our own power", and the cases of Zaccheus and the good thief on the cross as difficulties for those who say "the beginning of our free will is always due to the inspiration of the grace of God", and as concluding: "These two then; viz., the grace of God and free will seem opposed to each other, but really are in harmony, and we gather from the system of goodness that we ought to have both alike, lest if we withdraw one of them from man, we may seem to have broken the rule of the Church's faith: for when God sees us inclined to will what is good, He meets, guides, and strengthens us: for 'At the voice of thy cry, as soon as He shall hear, He will answer thee'; and: 'Call upon Me', He says, 'in the day of tribulation and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me'. And again, if He finds that we are unwilling or have grown cold, He stirs our hearts with salutary exhortations, by which a good will is either renewed or formed in us."
Cassian did not accept the idea of total depravity, on which Martin Luther was to insist. He taught that human nature is fallen or depraved, but not totally. Augustine Casiday states that, at the same time, Cassian "baldly asserts that God's grace, not human free will, is responsible for 'everything which pertains to salvation' – even faith". Cassian pointed out that people still have moral freedom and one has the option to choose to follow God. Colm Luibhéid says that, according to Cassian, there are cases where the soul makes the first little turn, but in Cassian's view, according to Casiday, any sparks of goodwill that may exist, not directly caused by God, are totally inadequate and only direct divine intervention ensures spiritual progress; and Lauren Pristas says that "for Cassian, salvation is, from beginning to end, the effect of God's grace".
Opposition to Augustine's ideas about original sin, which he had developed in reaction to Pelagianism, arose rapidly. After a long and bitter struggle the general principles of Augustine's teaching were confirmed within Western Christianity by many councils, especially the Second Council of Orange in 529. However, while the Church condemned Pelagius, it did not endorse Augustine entirely and, while Augustine's authority was accepted, he was interpreted in the light of writers such as Cassian. Some of the followers of Augustine identified original sin with concupiscence in the psychological sense, but this identification was challenged by the 11th-century Saint Anselm of Canterbury, who defined original sin as "privation of the righteousness that every man ought to possess", thus separating it from concupiscence. In the 12th century the identification of original sin with concupiscence was supported by Peter Lombard and others, but was rejected by the leading theologians in the next century, chief of whom was Thomas Aquinas. He distinguished the supernatural gifts of Adam before the Fall from what was merely natural, and said that it was the former that were lost, privileges that enabled man to keep his inferior powers in submission to reason and directed to his supernatural end. Even after the fall, man thus kept his natural abilities of reason, will and passions. Rigorous Augustine-inspired views persisted among the Franciscans, though the most prominent Franciscan theologians, such as Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, eliminated the element of concupiscence.
Martin Luther (1483–1546) asserted that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of conception. The second article in Lutheranism's Augsburg Confession presents its doctrine of original sin in summary form:
It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Rejected in this connection are the Pelagians and others who deny that original sin is sin, for they hold that natural man is made righteous by his own powers, thus disparaging the sufferings and merit of Christ.
Luther, however, also agreed with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was conceived free from original sin) by saying:
[Mary] is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. God is with her, meaning that all she did or left undone is divine and the action of God in her. Moreover, God guarded and protected her from all that might be hurtful to her.
Protestant Reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) developed a systematic theology of Augustinian Protestantism by interpretation of Augustine of Hippo's notion of original sin. Calvin believed that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of conception. This inherently sinful nature (the basis for the Calvinistic doctrine of "total depravity") results in a complete alienation from God and the total inability of humans to achieve reconciliation with God based on their own abilities. Not only do individuals inherit a sinful nature due to Adam's fall, but since he was the federal head and representative of the human race, all whom he represented inherit the guilt of his sin by imputation. Redemption by Jesus Christ is the only remedy.
Original sin, therefore, seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God's wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls "works of the flesh" (Gal 5:19). And that is properly what Paul often calls sin. The works that come forth from it – such as adulteries, fornications, thefts, hatreds, murders, carousings – he accordingly calls "fruits of sin" (Gal 5:19–21), although they are also commonly called "sins" in Scripture, and even by Paul himself.
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent (1545–1563), while not pronouncing on points disputed among Catholic theologians, condemned the teaching that in baptism the whole of what belongs to the essence of sin is not taken away, but is only cancelled or not imputed, and declared the concupiscence that remains after baptism not truly and properly "sin" in the baptized, but only to be called sin in the sense that it is of sin and inclines to sin.
In 1567, soon after the close of the Council of Trent, Pope Pius V went beyond Trent by sanctioning Aquinas's distinction between nature and supernature in Adam's state before the Fall, condemned the identification of original sin with concupiscence, and approved the view that the unbaptized could have right use of will.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all humans.
Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".
As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").
The Catholic Church teaches that every human person born on this earth is made in the image of God. Within man "is both the powerful surge toward the good because we are made in the image of God, and the darker impulses toward evil because of the effects of Original Sin". Furthermore, it explicitly denies that we inherit guilt from anyone, maintaining that instead we inherit our fallen nature. In this it differs from the Calvinist/Protestant position that each person actually inherits Adam's guilt, and teaches instead that "original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants ... but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man". "In other words, human beings do not bear any 'original guilt' from Adam and Eve's particular sin."
The Church has always held baptism to be "for the remission of sins", and, as mentioned in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 403, infants too have traditionally been baptized, though not guilty of any actual personal sin. The sin that through baptism was remitted for them could only be original sin, with which they were connected by the very fact of being a human. The first comprehensive theological explanation of this practice of baptizing infants, guilty of no actual personal sin, was given by Saint Augustine of Hippo, not all of whose ideas on original sin have been adopted by the Catholic Church. Indeed, the Church has condemned the interpretation of some of his ideas by certain leaders of the Protestant Reformation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that in "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 ... original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed"—a state and not an act" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 404). This "state of deprivation of the original holiness and justice ... transmitted to the descendants of Adam along with human nature" (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 76) involves no personal responsibility or personal guilt on their part (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 405). Personal responsibility and guilt were Adam's, who because of his sin, was unable to pass on to his descendants a human nature with the holiness with which it would otherwise have been endowed, in this way implicating them in his sin. The doctrine of original sin thus does not impute the sin of the father to his children, but merely states that they inherit from him a "human nature deprived of original holiness and justice", which is "transmitted by propagation to all mankind".
In the theology of the Catholic Church, original sin is regarded as the general condition of sinfulness, that is the absence of holiness and perfect charity into which humans are born, distinct from the actual sins that a person commits. This teaching explicitly states that "original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants". In other words, human beings do not bear any "original guilt" from Adam's particular sin, which is his alone. The prevailing view, also held in Eastern Orthodoxy, is that human beings bear no guilt for the sin of Adam. The Catholic Church teaches: "By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free."
The Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is that Mary was conceived free from original sin: "the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin". The doctrine sees her as an exception to the general rule that human beings are not immune from the reality of original sin.
Soon after the Second Vatican Council, biblical theologian Herbert Haag raised the question: Is original sin in Scripture? According to his exegesis, Genesis 2:25 indicates that Adam and Eve were created from the beginning naked of the divine grace, an originary grace that, then, they would never have had and even less would have lost due to the subsequent events narrated. On the other hand, while supporting a continuity in the Bible about the absence of preternatural gifts (Latin: dona praeternaturalia) with regard to the ophitic event, Haag never makes any reference to the discontinuity of the loss of access to the tree of life.
The Eastern Orthodox version of original sin is the view that sin originates with the Devil, "for the devil sinneth from the beginning (1 John iii. 8)". They acknowledge that the introduction of ancestral sin[better source needed] into the human race affected the subsequent environment for humanity (see also traducianism). However, they never accepted Augustine of Hippo's notions of original sin and hereditary guilt.[better source needed]
Orthodox Churches accept the teachings of John Cassian, as do Catholic Churches eastern and western, in rejecting the doctrine of total depravity, by teaching that human nature is "fallen", that is, depraved, but not totally. Augustine Casiday states that Cassian "baldly asserts that God's grace, not human free will, is responsible for 'everything which pertains to salvation' – even faith". Cassian points out that people still have moral freedom and one has the option to choose to follow God. Colm Luibhéid says that, according to Cassian, there are cases where the soul makes the first little turn, while Augustine Casiday says that, in Cassian's view, any sparks of goodwill that may exist, not directly caused by God, are totally inadequate and only direct divine intervention ensures spiritual progress. and Lauren Pristas says that "for Cassian, salvation is, from beginning to end, the effect of God's grace".
Eastern Orthodoxy accepts the doctrine of ancestral sin: "Original sin is hereditary. It did not remain only Adam and Eve's. As life passes from them to all of their descendants, so does original sin." "As from an infected source there naturally flows an infected stream, so from a father infected with sin, and consequently mortal, there naturally proceeds a posterity infected like him with sin, and like him mortal."
The Orthodox Church in America makes clear the distinction between "fallen nature" and "fallen man" and this is affirmed in the early teaching of the Church whose role it is to act as the catalyst that leads to true or inner redemption. Every human person born on this earth bears the image of God undistorted within themselves. In the Orthodox Christian understanding, they explicitly deny that humanity inherited guilt from anyone. Rather, they maintain that we inherit our fallen nature. While humanity does bear the consequences of the original, or first, sin, humanity does not bear the personal guilt associated with this sin. Adam and Eve are guilty of their willful action; we bear the consequences, chief of which is death."
The view of the Eastern Orthodox Church varies on whether Mary is free of all actual sin or concupiscence. Some Patristic sources imply that she was cleansed from sin at the Annunciation, while the liturgical references are unanimous that she is all-holy from the time of her conception.
The original formularies of the Church of England also continue in the Reformation understanding of original sin. In the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article IX "Of Original or Birth-sin" states:
Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk); but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, Φρονεμα σαρκος, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
However, more recent doctrinal statements (e.g. the 1938 report Doctrine in the Church of England) permit a greater variety of understandings of this doctrine. The 1938 report summarizes:
Man is by nature capable of communion with God, and only through such communion can he become what he was created to be. "Original sin" stands for the fact that from a time apparently prior to any responsible act of choice man is lacking in this communion, and if left to his own resources and to the influence of his natural environment cannot attain to his destiny as a child of God.
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that humans are inherently sinful due to the fall of Adam, but they do not totally accept the Augustinian/Calvinistic understanding of original sin, taught in terms of original guilt, but hold more to what could be termed the "total depravity" tradition. Seventh-day Adventists have historically preached a doctrine of inherited weakness, but not a doctrine of inherited guilt. According to Augustine and Calvin, humanity inherits not only Adam's depraved nature but also the actual guilt of his transgression, and Adventists look more toward the Wesleyan model.
In part, the Adventist position on original sin reads:
The nature of the penalty for original sin, i.e., Adam's sin, is to be seen as literal, physical, temporal, or actual death – the opposite of life, i.e., the cessation of being. By no stretch of the scriptural facts can death be spiritualised as depravity. God did not punish Adam by making him a sinner. That was Adam’s own doing. All die the first death because of Adam’s sin regardless of their moral character – children included.
Early Adventists Pioneers (such as George Storrs and Uriah Smith) tended to de-emphasise the morally corrupt nature inherited from Adam, while stressing the importance of actual, personal sins committed by the individual. They thought of the "sinful nature" in terms of physical mortality rather than moral depravity. Traditionally, Adventists look at sin in terms of willful transgressions, and that Christ triumphed over sin. Adventism believes that Christ is both our Substitute and our Example. They base their belief on texts such as "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4)
Though believing in the concept of inherited sin from Adam, there is no dogmatic Adventist position on original sin. Related articles dealing with the subject are publicly available on the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official website on theological doctrine, the Biblical Research Institute.
According to the theology of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, all humans are born sinners, because of inheriting sin, corruption, and death from Adam. They teach that Adam was originally created perfect and sinless, but with free will; that the Devil, who was originally a perfect angel, but later developed feelings of pride and self-importance, seduced Eve, and then through her, persuaded Adam to disobey God, and to obey the Devil instead, rebelling against God's sovereignty, thereby making themselves sinners, and because of that, transmitting a sinful nature to all of their future offspring. Instead of destroying the Devil right away, as well as destroying the disobedient couple, God decided to test the loyalty of the rest of humankind, and to prove that man cannot be independent of God successfully, that man is lost without God's laws and standards, and can never bring peace to the earth, and that Satan was a deceiver, murderer, and liar.
Witnesses believe that all men possess "inherited sin" from the "one man" Adam and they teach that verses such as Romans 5:12-22, Psalm 51:5, Job 14:4, and 1st Corinthians 15:22 show that man is born corrupt, and dies because of inherited sin and imperfection, that inherited sin is the reason and cause for sickness and suffering, made worse by the Devil's wicked influence. They believe Jesus is the "second Adam", being the sinless Son of God and the Messiah, and that he came to undo Adamic sin; and that salvation and everlasting life can only be obtained through faith and obedience to the second Adam. They believe that "sin" is "missing the mark" of God's standard of perfection, and that everyone is born a sinner, due to being the offspring of sinner Adam.
The Book of Mormon, a text sacred to Mormonism, explains that the opportunity to live here in a world where we can learn good and bad is a gift from God, and not a punishment for Adam's and Eve's choice. As Mormon founder Joseph Smith taught, humans had an essentially godlike nature, and were not only holy in a premortal state, but had the potential to progress eternally to become like God. He wrote as one of his church's Articles of Faith, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression." Later Mormons took this creed as a rejection of the doctrine of original sin and any notion of inherited sinfulness. Thus, while modern Mormons will agree that the fall of Adam brought consequences to the world, including the possibility of sin, they generally reject the idea that any culpability is automatically transmitted to Adam and Eve's offspring. Children under the age of eight are regarded as free of all sin and therefore do not require baptism. Children who die prior to age eight are believed to be saved in the highest degree of heaven.
In Swedenborgianism, exegesis of the first 11 chapters of Genesis from The First Church, has a view that Adam is not an individual person. Rather, he is a symbolic representation of the "Most Ancient Church", having a more direct contact with heaven than all other successive churches. Swedenborg's view of original sin is referred to as hereditary evil, which passes from generation to generation. It cannot be completely abolished by an individual man, but can be tempered when someone reforms their own life, and are thus held accountable only for their own sins.
Most Quakers (also known as the Religious Society of Friends), including the founder of Quakerism, George Fox, believe in the doctrine of Inward light, a doctrine which states that there is "that of God in everyone". This has led to a common belief among many liberal and universalist Quakers affiliated with the Friends General Conference and Britain Yearly Meeting, based on the ideas of Quaker Rufus Jones among others, that rather than being burdened by original sin, human beings are inherently good, and the doctrine of universal reconciliation, that is, that all people will eventually be saved and reconciled with God.
However, this rejection of the doctrine of original sin or the necessity of salvation is not something that most conservative or evangelical Quakers affiliated with Friends United Meeting or Evangelical Friends Church International tend to agree with. Although the more conservative and evangelical Quakers also believe in the doctrine of inward light, they interpret it in a manner consistent with the doctrine of original sin, namely, that people may or may not listen to the voice of God within them and be saved, and people who do not listen will not be saved, thus there cannot be any universal reconciliation under the more conservative Quaker theology. Many more liberal Quaker meetings have no official creed and allow individual Quakers to have a wide variety of different beliefs, although following the recommendations of one's yearly meeting's Faith and Practice book is strongly recommended even though not mandatory.
Also, not all local Quaker meetings are entirely liberal or conservative and some have members adhering to different Quaker traditions, and a Quaker meeting can be affiliated with both liberal and conservative umbrella organizations. For instance, New York Yearly Meeting, which is mostly liberal, is affiliated with both the liberal Friends General Conference as well as the conservative Friends United Meeting, even though they adhere much more to the liberal teachings of Friends General Conference than the conservative teachings of Friends United Meeting. Thus, at any given Quaker meeting, individual Quakers may have differing views on a wide variety of theological issues including original sin, with more conservative Quaker meetings having everyone believe in original sin while at more liberal Quaker meetings there is typically a variety of beliefs and usually a majority of people would not believe in original sin but a minority would believe in original sin.
The doctrine of "inherited sin" is not found in most of mainstream Judaism. Although some in Orthodox Judaism place blame on Adam for overall corruption of the world, and though there were some Jewish teachers in Babylon who believed that death was a punishment brought upon humanity on account of Adam's sin, that is not the dominant view in most of Judaism today. Modern Judaism generally teaches that humans are born sin-free and untainted, and choose to sin later and bring suffering to themselves.
Jewish theologians are divided in regard to the cause of what is called "original sin". Some teach that it was due to Adam's yielding to temptation in eating of the forbidden fruit and has been inherited by his descendants; the majority of chazalic opinions, however, do not hold Adam responsible for the sins of humanity, teaching that, in Genesis 8:21 and 6:5-8, God recognized that Adam did not willfully sin. However, Adam is recognized by some as having brought death into the world by his disobedience. Because of his sin, his descendants will live a mortal life, which will end in death of their bodies.
The Qur'an says that after Adam and Eve sinned, they asked for repentance and it was granted:
They said: "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves souls. If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.— Surat al-Aʻrāf:23
Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance.— Surat Ṭā Hāʼ:121–122
The Qur'an further says about individual responsibility:
That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another. And that man can have nothing but what he does (of good and bad). And that his deeds will be seen, Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best [fair] recompense.— Surat an-Najm:38–41
- Actual sin
- Ancestral sin
- Christian views on sin
- Deadly sin
- Divine grace
- Fall of man
- Immaculate Conception
- Incurvatus in se
- Internal sin
- Justification (theology)
- Mortal sin
- Pandora's box
- Prevenient grace
- Problem of evil
- The Antichrist (book)
- Theodicy and the Bible#The Fall and freedom of the will
- Venial sin
- Yetzer hara
- Alexander Golitzin, On the Mystical Life by Saint Symeon (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 1995 ISBN 978-0-88141-144-7), p.119
- Adam L. Tate, Conservatism and Southern Intellectuals, 1789–1861 (University of Missouri Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-8262-1567-3), p. 190
- Marcelle Bartolo-Abel, God's Gift to Humanity (Apostolate–The Divine Heart 2011 ISBN 978-0-9833480-1-6), p. 32
- Ann Hassan, Annotations to Geoffrey Hill's Speech! Speech! (Punctum Books 2012 ISBN 978-1-4681-2984-7, p. 62
- ODCC 2005, p. Original sin.
- Brodd, Jefferey (2003). World Religions. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5.
- Peter Nathan. "The Original View of Original Sin". Vision.org. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Original Sin Explained and Defended: Reply to an Assemblies of God Pastor". Philvaz.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Preamble and Articles of Faith Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - V. Sin, Original and Personal - Church of the Nazarene. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Are Babies Born with Sin? - Topical Bible Studies. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Original Sin - Psalm 51:5 - Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Jansenius and Jansenism". Newadvent.org. 1 October 1910. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Ὀψὲ, φησι, θεῶν ἀλέουσι μύλοι, και Ἐς παίδων παῖδας τοί κεν μετόπισθη γένωνται. Gagné, Renaud (2013). Ancestral Fault in Ancient Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-107-03980-3.
- Ten Plagues of Egypt, destruction of Shechem, etc. and most notably the punishments inflicted on the Israelites for lapsing from Yahwism; explicitly in Isaiah 14:21, Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:6-7, Jeremiah 32:18. Krašovec, Jože, Reward, punishment, and forgiveness: the thinking and beliefs of ancient Israel in the light of Greek and modern views, BRILL, 1999, p 113.
- Rom. 5:12
- 1 Cor. 15:22
- Vermes, Geza (2012). Christian Beginnings from Nazareth to Nicea. Allen Lane, Penguin Books. p. 100.
- J. N. D. Kelly. Early Christian Doctrines (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1978) p. 171, referred to in Daniel L. Akin, A Theology for the Church, p. 433
- Daniel L. Akin, A Theology for the Church (B&H Publishing 2007 ISBN 978-0-8054-2640-3), p. 433
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), pp. 255, 258. ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2
- H. E. W. Turner, The Patristic Doctrine of the Redemption: A Study of the Development of Doctrine During the First Five Centuries (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2004) p. 71
- Bernhard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1966), p. 104
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), p. 258. ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2
- Arthur C. McGiffert, A History of Christian Thought: Volume 1, Early and Eastern (New York; London: C. Scribner's sons, 1932), p. 101
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), pp. 258–259. ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2
- Fox, Robin Lane (2006). The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141022963.
- Augustine taught that Adam's sin was both an act of foolishness (insipientia) and of pride and disobedience to God of Adam and Eve. He thought it was a most subtle job to discern what came first: self-centeredness or failure in seeing truth. Augustine wrote to Julian of Eclanum: Sed si disputatione subtilissima et elimatissima opus est, ut sciamus utrum primos homines insipientia superbos, an insipientes superbia fecerit (Contra Julianum, V, 4.18; PL 44, 795). This particular sin would not have taken place if Satan had not sown into their senses "the root of evil" (radix Mali): Nisi radicem mali humanus tunc reciperet sensus (Contra Julianum, I, 9.42; PL 44, 670)
- "Original Sin". Biblical Apologetic Studies. Retrieved 17 May 2014. Augustine of Hippo (354–430) taught that Adam's sin is transmitted by concupiscence, or "hurtful desire", sexual desire and all sensual feelings resulting in humanity becoming a massa damnata (mass of perdition, condemned crowd), with much enfeebled, though not destroyed, freedom of will.
- William Nicholson. A Plain But Full Exposition of the Catechism of the Church of England, page 118. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- Thomas Aquinas explained Augustine's doctrine pointing out that the libido (concupiscence), which makes the original sin pass from parents to children, is not a libido actualis, i.e. sexual lust, but libido habitualis, i.e. a wound of the whole of human nature: Libido quae transmittit peccatum originale in prolem, non est libido actualis, quia dato quod virtute divina concederetur alicui quod nullam inordinatam libidinem in actu generationis sentiret, adhuc transmitteret in prolem originale peccatum. Sed libido illa est intelligenda habitualiter, secundum quod appetitus sensitivus non continetur sub ratione vinculo originalis iustitiae. Et talis libido in omnibus est aequalis (STh Iª–IIae q. 82 a. 4 ad 3).
- Non substantialiter manere concupiscentiam, sicut corpus aliquod aut spiritum; sed esse affectionem quamdam malae qualitatis, sicut est languor. (De nuptiis et concupiscentia, I, 25. 28; PL 44, 430; cf. Contra Julianum, VI, 18.53; PL 44, 854; ibid. VI, 19.58; PL 44, 857; ibid., II, 10.33; PL 44, 697; Contra Secundinum Manichaeum, 15; PL 42, 590.
- Augustine wrote to Julian of Eclanum: Quis enim negat futurum fuisse concubitum, etiamsi peccatum non praecessisset? Sed futurus fuerat, sicut aliis membris, ita etiam genitalibus voluntate motis, non libidine concitatis; aut certe etiam ipsa libidine – ut non vos de illa nimium contristemus – non qualis nunc est, sed ad nutum voluntarium serviente (Contra Julianum, IV. 11. 57; PL 44, 766). See also his late work: Contra secundam Iuliani responsionem imperfectum opus, II, 42; PL 45,1160; ibid. II, 45; PL 45,1161; ibid., VI, 22; PL 45, 1550–1551. Cf.Schmitt, É. (1983). Le mariage chrétien dans l'oeuvre de Saint Augustin. Une théologie baptismale de la vie conjugale. Études Augustiniennes. Paris. p. 104.
- Justo L. Gonzalez (1970–1975). A History of Christian Thought: Volume 2 (From Augustine to the eve of the Reformation). Abingdon Press.
- Sexual desire is, according to bishop of Hippo, only one – though the strongest – of many physical realisations of that spiritual libido: Cum igitur sint multarum libidines rerum, tamen, cum libido dicitur neque cuius rei libido sit additur, non fere assolet animo occurrere nisi illa, qua obscenae partes corporis excitantur. Haec autem sibi non solum totum corpus nec solum extrinsecus, verum etiam intrinsecus vindicat totumque commovet hominem animi simul affectu cum carnis appetitu coniuncto atque permixto, ut ea voluptas sequatur, qua maior in corporis voluptatibus nulla est; ita ut momento ipso temporis, quo ad eius pervenitur extremum, paene omnis acies et quasi vigilia cogitationis obruatur. (De civitate Dei, XIV, 16; CCL 48, 438–439 [1–10]). See also: Schmitt, É. (1983). Le mariage chrétien dans l'oeuvre de Saint Augustin. Une théologie baptismale de la vie conjugale. Études Augustiniennes. Paris. p. 97.. See also Augustine's: De continentia, 8.21; PL 40, 363; Contra Iulianum VI, 19.60; PL 44, 859; ibid. IV, 14.65, z.2, s. 62; PL 44, 770; De Trinitate, XII, 9. 14; CCL 50, 368 [verse: IX 1–8]; De Genesi contra Manicheos, II, 9.12, s. 60 ; CSEL 91, 133 [v. 31–35]).
- Regeneratus quippe non regenerat filios carnis, sed generat; ac per hoc in eos non quod regeneratus, sed quod generatus est, trajicit. (De gratia Christi et de peccato originali, II, 40.45; CSEL 42, 202[23–25]; PL 44, 407.
- Cf. De civitate Dei, ch. IX and XIV; On the Gospel of John, LX (Christ's feelings at the death of Lazarus, Jn 11)
- J. Brachtendorf (1997). "Cicero and Augustine on the Passions": 307. hdl:2042/23075.
- "Infernum", literally "underworld", later identified as limbo.
- "Past Roman Catholic statements about Limbo and the destination of unbaptised infants who die?". Religioustolerance.org. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Study by International Theological Commission (19 January 2007), The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized, 19–21
- Study by International Theological Commission (19 January 2007), The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized, 22–25
- Mark 10:14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4
- Study by International Theological Commission (19 January 2007), The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized, secondary preliminary paragraph; cf. paragraph 41.
- Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume XI/John Cassian/Conferences of John Cassian, Part II/Conference XIII/Chapter 11 s:Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume XI/John Cassian/Conferences of John Cassian, Part II/Conference XIII/Chapter 11
- Geoffrey Rudolph Elton, Reformation Europe (Wiley-Blackwell 1999 ISBN 978-0-631-21384-0), p. 136
- Augustine Casiday, Tradition and Theology in St John Cassian (Oxford University Press 2007 ISBN 0-19-929718-5), p. 103
- John Cassian. Conferences. Books.google.com. p. 27. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
- STUDIA HISTORIAE ECCLESIASTICAE May/Mei 2009 Volume XXXV No/Nr 1
- Lauren Pristas, The Theological Anthropology of John Cassian
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2
- Edwin Zackrison, In the Loins of Adam (iUniverse 2004 ISBN 9780595307166), p. 73
- Justo L. González, A History of Christian Thought (Abingdon Press 2010 ISBN 9781426721915), vol. 2, p. 58
- In Catholic theology, the meaning of the word "concupiscence" is the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason. The apostle St Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the 'flesh' against the 'spirit'. "Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man's moral faculties and, without being in itself an offence, inclines man to commit sins" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2515).
- Theodore G. Tappert, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 29.
- Luther's Works, American edition, vol. 43, p. 40, ed. H. Lehmann, Fortress, 1968
- John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.1.8, LCC, 2 vols., trans. Ford Lewis Battles, ed. John T. McNeill (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), 251 (page 217 of CCEL edition). Cf. Institutes of the Christian Religion at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
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- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 405
- [dead link]
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 404
- Item 407 in section 18.104.22.168. Emphasis added.
- Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854) quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 491 
- Haag, Herbert (1969). Is original sin in Scripture?. New York: Sheed and Ward. German or. ed.: 1966.
- (in German) Haag, Herbert (1966). pp. 9, 49ff.
- Catechism of St. Philaret, questions 157
- The term "ancestral sin" is also used, as in Greek προπατορικὴ ἁμαρτία (e.g. Πόλεμος και φτώχεια – η ορθόδοξη άποψη, Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Η νηστεία της Σαρακοστής, Πώς στράφηκε ο Λούθηρος κατά του Μοναχισμού – του Γεωργίου Φλωρόφσκυ) or προπατορικὸ ἁμάρτημα (e.g., Απαντήσεις σε ερωτήματα δογματικά – Ανδρέα Θεοδώρου, εκδ. Αποστολικής Διακονίας, 1997, σελ. 156–161, Θεοτόκος και προπατορικό αμάρτημα)
- Stavros Moschos. "Original Sin And Its Consequences". Biserica.org. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, 168
- "Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness | Glory to God for All Things". Fatherstephen.wordpress.com. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Fr. John Matusiak, http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=4&SID=3
- Mother Mary and Ware, Kallistos, "The Festal Menaion", p. 47. St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1998.
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- Doctrine in the Church of England, 1938, London: SPCK; p. 64
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- E. G. White, Signs of the Times, 29 August 1892
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- "The Watchtower 1973, page 724" – "Declaration and resolution", The Watchtower, 1 December 1973, page 724.
- Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 26–29. ISBN 9780802079732.
- "Angels—How They Affect Us". The Watchtower: 7. 15 January 2006.
- ADAM – jw.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Adam’s Sin – The Time for True Submission to God – jw.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:11–25.
- Alexander, p. 64.
- Merrill, Byron R. (1992). "Original sin". In Ludlow, Daniel H. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan Publishing. pp. 1052–1053. ISBN 0-02-879602-0. OCLC 24502140.
- Moroni 8; "Chapter 20: Baptism", Gospel Principles, (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2011) pp. 114–19.
- Doctrine and Covenants 137:10.
- Swedenborg & 1749–56, p. 410.
- Emanuel Swedenborg. Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 1 of 8. Books.google.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Swedenborg & 1749–56, p. 96, n. 313: "But as to hereditary evil, the case is this. Everyone who commits actual sin thereby induces on himself a nature, and the evil from it is implanted in his children, and becomes hereditary. It thus descends from every parent, from the father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and their ancestors in succession, and is thus multiplied and augmented in each descending posterity, remaining with each person, and being increased in each by his actual sins, and never being dissipated so as to become harmless except in those who are being regenerated by the Lord. Every attentive observer may see evidence of this truth in the fact that the evil inclinations of parents remain visibly in their children, so that one family, and even an entire race, may be thereby distinguished from every other.".
- Swedenborg & 1749-56, p. 229, n.719: "There are evils in man which must be dispersed while he is being regenerated, that is, which must be loosened and attempered by goods; for no actual and hereditary evil in man can be so dispersed as to be abolished. It still remains implanted; and can only be so far loosened and attempered by goods from the Lord that it does not injure, and does not appear, which is an arcanum hitherto unknown. Actual evils are those which are loosened and attempered, and not hereditary evils; which also is a thing unknown.".
- Swedenborg & 1749-56, p. 336, n.966: "It is to be observed that in the other life no one undergoes any punishment and torture on account of his hereditary evil, but only on account of the actual evils which he himself has committed.".
- John L. Nickals, ed. (1975). Journal of George Fox. Religious Society of Friends. p. 774. light of Christ, xl, xliii, xliv, 12, 14, 16, 29, 33–5, 60, 64, 76, 80, 88, 92, 115, 117, 135, 143–4, 150, 155, 173, 174–6, 188, 191, 205, 225–6, 234–7, 245, 274–5, 283–4, 294–6, 303–5, 309, 312, 317-335, 339–40, 347–8, 361, 471–2, 496–7, 575, 642
- Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 55b
- Judaism’s Rejection Of Original Sin – Kolatch, Alfred J., The Jewish Book of Why/The Second Jewish Book of Why. NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1989.
- Judaism's Rejection Of Original Sin While there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon humanity on account of Adam's sin, the dominant view was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful.
- SIN: – Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Shaul Magid (2008). From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala. Indiana University Press. p. 238. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Islamic beliefs about human nature". ReligionFacts. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Islamic beliefs about human nature". ReligionFacts. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- John L. Esposito (2004). The Oxford dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 295
- Brachtendorf, J. (1997). "Cicero and Augustine on the Passions" (PDF). Revue des Etudes Augustiniennes. Paris: Institut d'études augustiniennes. 43: 289–308.
- Catechism, U.S. Catholic Church (2003). Catechism of the Catholic Church : with modifications from the Editio Typica. (2nd ed.). New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-50819-3.
- Kelly, J.N.D. (2000). Early Christian doctrines (5th rev. ed.). London: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-5252-8.
- Cross, Frank Leslie; Livingstone, Elizabeth A., eds. (2005). "Original sin". The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd rev. ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3.
- Swedenborg, Emanuel (1749–56). Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 1 of 8. John F. Potts (trans.) (2008 Reprint ed.). Forgotten Books. ISBN 978-1-60620-107-7.
- Trapè, Agostino (1987). S. Agostino, introduzione alla dottrina della grazia. Collana di Studi Agostiniani 4. I - Natura e Grazia. Roma: Nuova Biblioteca agostiniana. p. 422. ISBN 88-311-3402-7.
- Turner, H.E.W. The patristic doctrine of redemption : a study of the development of doctrine during the first five centuries / by H.E.W. Turner. (2004 Reprint ed.). Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59244-930-9.
- Wallace, A.J.; R. D. Rusk (2010). Moral transformation : the original Christian paradigm of salvation. New Zealand: Bridgehead Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2.
- Woo, B. Hoon (2014). "Is God the Author of Sin?—Jonathan Edwards’s Theodicy". Puritan Reformed Journal. 6 (1): 98–123.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Original sin|
- Article "Original Sin" in Catholic Encyclopedia
- The Book of Concord The Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article II: Of Original Sin; from an early Protestant perspective, part of the Augsburg Confession.
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- Ancestral Versus Original Sin by Father Antony Hughes, St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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- Council of Trent (June 17, 1546). "Canones et Decreta Dogmatica Concilii Tridentini: Fifth Session, Decree concerning Original Sin". at www.ccel.org. Retrieved 1 November 2013.