Talk:Original sin

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Former featured article Original sin is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
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December 12, 2003 Featured article candidate Promoted
May 22, 2004 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Universal Infant Salvation argued by some[edit]

While Augustine argued for original sin and its application to infants, many modern theologians and pastors, including Calvinists, argue for the universal salvation of infants. As Calvinism would support, salvation is ultimately "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Romans 9:16). The Bible describes a work of the Holy Spirit (almost certainly regenerative) taking place in the infant lives of Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 1:5) and John the Baptism (Luke 1:15). While the loss of any infant is certainly a sad event, the eternal state of the infant must be somewhat entrusted to a righteous and holy God who is able to sanctify or not to sanctify infants even in the womb. Calvinist arguments for universal infant salvation put Calvinists in conflict with their own doctrine of eternal security because universally saved infants could ultimately grow older and lose their salvation and fall away.

The doctrine of universal infant salvation even has the potential to influence arguments around abortion by implying that infants are universally, absolutely destined for eternal life in heaven while older children are not. Arguments affirming both universal infant salvation and abortion would implicitly acknowledge that an unborn life has an eternal soul and an eternal destiny. Jesus Christ: "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22). (talk) 12:08, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The doctrine is not found in other religions[edit]

Well, that's what they say. There might be some mentioning of what Christians would say? Chesterton said: There was one thing the ancient world was certain about and that was the Fall. Thus in my personal view which, to avoid the question, I cannot source otherwise, original sin is the very essence of the Hindu religion and called bad karma - going so far as that Hindus lose the notion of actual sins and thus of the concept of sin at all. Muslims write in the cited source: "Furthermore, Christian and Islamic concepts of sin are virtual opposites with respect to certain nuances. For example, there is no concept of “sinning in the mind” in Islam; to a Muslim, an evil thought becomes a good deed when a person refuses to act upon it. Overcoming and dismissing the evil thoughts which forever assail our minds is considered deserving of reward rather than punishment. Islamicly speaking, an evil thought only becomes sinful when acted upon." And thus they themselves admit that there are evil thoughts, and original sin is somewhat the doctrine of where they come from. (Except the notion that a bad thought is a, venial, sin in itself in general, they are besides basically right about them.) The Judaist source says that man is not inherently sinful, and we all agree with a voice of thunder. But if they say that he sins because he is not perfect, they should accept that Christians have decided to call this imperfection original sin. - I just can't understand why we must dispute not over the Christian Doctrine, but over what some seem to understand as the Christian Doctrine. (talk) 17:30, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Chesterton was a journalist, and frequently wrong. PiCo (talk) 11:06, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The long paragraph above obeys no ordinary rules of the English language. It also follows no logical argument such as one characterized by a proposition, evidence to support the proposition, and a conclusion supported by the proposition and evidence. Please, either brush up on your English language skills for this English speaking website, or present a compelling even if awkwardly phrased argument. Your current contribution is worthless. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Dear @PiCo, supposing he were wrong, still the fact is that "the doctrine is not found in other religions" is plainly not an undisputed statement. On the other hand, "other religions generally reject the concept of original sin" might be, and "Christians nevertheless find traces of original sin in their concepts" might be too, provided it can be referenced. (I do not pretend my paragraph above to be such reference.) As a matter of fact, it was this proposition which I intended to support. On an unrelated note but from the same area, religion, I can very well imagine a modern Protestant to say that the doctrine of purgatory is a Catholic fabrication and nonsense and that, God being merciful, all men that go to Hell will sooner or later leave it and be accepted in Heaven. This Protestant says: "I reject Purgatory; I do not believe Hell will be eternal". It must be mentioned at some place - and not because of disagreement with his opinion but simply to render it more precise - that he got his terms wrong, and that what he means is simply that although saying the contraray, he rejects Hell and accepts Purgatory.-- (talk) 17:02, 14 February 2014 (UTC) (the same, begging the dear IP 107.61.'s pardon. I do not, to tell the truth, perceive my English to be blatantly wrong. Please excuse the mistakes of an, obviously, non-English-speaker.)

Original-research section[edit]

"If no source exists for something you want to add to Wikipedia, it is 'original research'". The section on "humans without original sin" is based on nothing more than an editor's suppositions about the existence today of people not descended from Adam and the relevance of this first supposition to original sin, and also on the editor's own interpretation of Genesis 4 and the supposed relevance of the fossil evidence of the existence of species of the genus homo other than homo sapiens sapiens. No reliable published source states what this section claims. Even if true, "all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable published source". See WP:OR. Esoglou (talk) 09:55, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Proposing: article for serious editing[edit]

Hello my fellow wiki-editors. Looking over this article, I hate to say it... but there is a lot of content in violation of wp:weight, redundant content in several different places, and sourced content on the verge of wp:or, wp:fringe, wp:synth, or just plain boring for any audience trying to get through this lengthy article, that just has a lot of blah blah blah. I'd really like to call in PiCo (talk · contribs) on this article. You've impressed upon me in earlier conversations, about how you like to consider what the audience wants to see. If you are able and willing User:PiCo, I would really like to see your hacksaw. :> If you're not up for it, that's okay... as I'm going to be sitting down at the table with ‎Esoglou (talk · contribs) to get some feedback on what it was he wanted to see chopped up. (Gets out meat mincer.) You have the floor. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 08:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I have earlier suggested to Jasonasosa a couple of minor (in my opinion) excisions of redundancy that have not yet been put into effect. I did not suggest increasing the redundancy. I await developments. I might perhaps later suggest other reductions. Esoglou (talk) 16:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Okay, after looking through much of this article, content for Catholicism is wp:undue, basically dominating the page. History of the doctrine, Christian doctrine#Catholicism, Original or ancestral sin, and Rejection of personal guilt#Catholic church are all sections that are predominately based on the views of Catholicism. Interestingly, after reveiewing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the main content for the Catholicism view of Original sin isn't even included on the wikipage. Therefore, based on this source, I've developed a new introduction for the Catholicism section but I'm hesitant to post it yet, because it is in addition to the page, not a modification of the page and would cause the article to be extremely POV for Catholicism. So... we have to snip somewhere... What I've noticed is Christian doctrine#Catholicism and Rejection of personal guilt#Catholic church are redundant content and ought to be merged. So here is what I propose:
  1. Merge Christian doctrine#Catholicism and Rejection of personal guilt#Catholic church together.
  2. Merge Eastern Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy
  3. Remove title Rejection of personal guilt altogether, and let the existing subsections fall under Christian doctrine
  4. Will supply new introduction for Catholicism based on Catechism of the Catholic Church 397-401
  5. Find ways to identify duplicate Catholicism material and make some reductions, possibly in history section for starters.
Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 07:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I presume you mean: Merge "Rejection of personal guilt#Christianity#Catholic Church" into "Christian doctrine#Catholicism", and "Rejection of personal guilt#Christianity#Eastern Orthodoxy" into "Eastern Christianity" (the particular into the general). I have already suggested that these two "merge from" sections are practically no more than duplications and could well be eliminated. The recently added heading "Rejection of personal guilt" itself (which is not the same as "rejection of original sin") is a repetition of what is said about the doctrines of individual churches (other than classic forms of Protestantism) and the idea could simply be mentioned in the lead. The Catholic doctrine, being as usual more nuanced and developed than some other beliefs, will for that reason require more space than those others, especially in view of the misrepresentations of it that are sometimes presented. Indeed, many define their own beliefs not so much in positive terms as being different from what they imagine the Catholic doctrine to be. Esoglou (talk) 13:30, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. And do accept my apology if I repeated an idea about how to proceed with editing those sections, as I had to study the information to reach my own conclusion, which happens to be in agreement with what has been suggested by you or others. However, my approach is to "merge" rather than arbitrarily delete sections, just to ensure nothing important is missed. I am also aware that the Catholicism portions will continue to remain larger than the other views, due mostly in part to its doctrinal history.   — Jasonasosa 13:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Observations: "Catholicism" as generally understood does not include Eastern Orthodoxy; your change of the heading "Eastern Christianity" to "Eastern Orthodoxy" conflicts with the immediately following text, which speaks not of Eastern Orthodoxy alone but also of other elements of eastern Christianity: Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholicism and the Church of the East; sooner or later, probably sooner, some Anglicans will object to your classification of Anglicanism under Protestantism. Esoglou (talk) 18:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Again: Why is Cassian put under Eastern Orthodoxy? He wrote in Latin, was a formative influence on Western monasticism ... Esoglou (talk) 20:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
This is where I need you User:Esoglou to help me. There is no "again", because this is the first time I've attempted to modify this article. The Anglicanism section is not my classification. If you look at the article's history, its been under there forever. Please don't pin on me content that is not mine or has been there before my edits. You've missed diagnosed my edits before, even on the Lucifer page like this. Given your observations, let me follow your lead. I shall restructure and await your positive critique. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 21:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
"Again" referred to an additional comment by me, not to anything you had done. I apologize for using a phrase open to misinterpretation. Esoglou (talk) 08:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No worries.   — Jasonasosa 13:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Eastern Christianity/Orthodoxy[edit]

Many of the supporting references that are used in the Eastern section use Eastern Orthodox sources. Therefore, it is appropriate that this section be titled Eastern Orthodoxy. The section does not refer to the other traditions in Eastern Christianity.

Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 13:37, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Robin Lane Fox's unauthorized version[edit]

Re User:Wran's wp:agf edit:

14:18, 23 August 2012‎ Wran (talk | contribs)‎ . . (60,720 bytes) (+129)‎ . . (corrections) updated since my last visit (undo)

Source for edit: Fox, Robin Lane (2006). The unauthorized version : truth and fiction in the Bible. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141022963. 

  • Comment: I question using Robin Lane Fox's book unauthorized version as a wp:reliable source in the lede for the following reasons:
  1. Why is this book published by the Penguin Group and not by an academic publishing house? Penguin is known to publish Pseudo-scholarship.
  2. Why does the source given not have a page number?

LDS denominational views[edit]

The section “denominational views” is misleading in the section titled latter-day saints. This is mainly due to the confusion between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other sects grouped into this classification of the Joseph Smith movement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day, the largest of the groups, believes original sin to be false doctrine. The passage would be correct if the term original sin were replaced with “Adam’s fall”. We believe Adam’s fall to be necessary, not original sin. “Original guilt” and “original sin” are synonymous to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Torah[edit]

In the Torah, there is no original sin on ADAM, and Adam didnot rebell but disobeyed the commandment NOT TO EAT FROM THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND BAD. And the rebellion started in the Heaven Above, by the SIN of PRIDE ( that is the original sin ).

The " Adams action is of disobedience ,but no where it is stated that Adam's disobedience was a sin. Why would G-d create the tree and live an instruction not to eat the fruit of that tree of knowledge.

The Midrash says that the Adam was placed in the garden with one injunction . NOT TO EAT from that tree.
Adam was given a positive commandment to WORK THE GARDEN through the study of the Torah and performance of the positive commandments and to guard it refraining from forbidden activities , as such NOT TO EAT THE FRUITS OF THAT TREE.
The Fruits of the TREE of Knowledge were of the knowledge of good and evil. 

Both the extreme opposite mentioned in the allegorical manner.So to keep away from the illusions of the world and evil impulses.

To keep the goal of complete spirituality. When the Adam ate from that tree he opened his eyes to impulses of jealousy, envy,lust, honor ( honor also places the value that one is above the divinity of the Creator) , which opened the further door to the Sin of pride that originated in the heaven ( the original sins in heaven - by pride fell to the earth, coming in the form of the words of the SERPENT , one that ORIGINATED via the rebellion in heaven ( the fallen light mingled in darkness )

So the action of eating from the forbidden tree is not a sin ( as claimed ) but an act of disobedience. Adam merely brought in the EVILS into themselves (man kind) and made it part of nature. Anyway Adam didn't die, he lived 930 years. It is clear that he didnot die as soon as he ate the fruit. Rather he would become a subject of DEATH . Whereas if he had observed the commandment NOT TO EAT FROM THAT TREE, he would have kept his holiness alive forever.

Later, as the Torah enfolds, you would see, how, the FIRST CRIME happened on earth. The murder of Abel.



2. KEEP THE SABBATH and the rest 3. 4. 5. 6.7. 8. 9, ...10 not to Covet.

You think !

After all, that serpent , originated from where ?

Was it a serpent or a snake ?( read the difference in description of the crawling things and the serpent with legs that stood there in Eden.

Who created the SERPENT.

Was it a snake or the serpent.

What is the difference between the snake and the serpent.
What was the significant s of the Tree of Knowledge and there is another tree - "the Tree of Life" .

You got to separate the darkness from the light.

Rebellion happened in heaven by the sin of pride.

Adam merely opened the doors to death within the nature.

Everything were adulterated by death.

Its a physical exertion of eating from the forbidden tree that open the doors to the fallen path of death.

That eating form the tree of knowledge brought in the EVIL too . You see the tree of knowledge is a source of good and evil.As such Adam open the doors to evil as warned by Hashem.

But Adam lived for 930 years and you may read the ensuing record of many other ADAM ( HUMANS) falling by the 7 forbidden sins. which are EVIL IMPULSES of jealousy, lust and honor which is aroused within the human mind that manifest as temptations when acted upon open the doors to many other sins. Murder was the first crime on earth , now that is a sin that derived from the ORIGINAL SIN IN HEAVEN , an impact of the fallen light of darkness. You see even in darkness there is holiness and also evil mingled. You got to separate the evil darkness from the Light.

Please do not hurt me , in any way for I post here on this topic of original sin in heaven, rebellion in heaven, the first crime on earth and the consequence of HOW DEATH assimilated into the NATURE of MAN and the CREATION. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

The discussion board is not supposed to be for the discussion of the topic itself, but of the article and how it can be improved. What does that have to do with the section it is in, and with improving the article?Brianc26 (talk) 07:57, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Reformed view[edit]

The Reformed/Presbyterian view of original sin is significant enough to merit mention within the article. I'm referring of course to imputation of guilt through Adam's federal headship. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

POV wordage "teach that" versus "believe that" or even "maintain/argue that"[edit]

Some of the sections use the term "teach" instead of believe, which sounds rather POV/firsthand perspective to me (e.g. "Jahova's witnesses teach that....". I have noticed many Christians using this term "teach that" with no direct object being taught, when discussing theological differences, even in thesis papers which are supposed to not be one-sided. It does not sound extremely POV to me, but it does seem to have the effect of making certain sections have a different implication than others. I propose that all instances of "teach" be replaced with "believe", or "maintain", because much of this article discusses some fundamental disagreements within different branches of Christianity.Brianc26 (talk) 07:52, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

The use in Wikipedia of "teach that", rather than "believe that", has come about mainly because of the repeated objection from non-members of the denomination: "Many members of that denomination don't believe the official teaching." When indicating official teaching, "teach that" is not open to that objection. Esoglou (talk) 08:03, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

the original sin was to have children?[edit]

non credo sia importante fare una discussione a partire da me visto che il sito non è mio, però trattandosi di un enciclopedia bisogna prendere in considerazione la posizione di Schietti secondo cui il peccato originale è stato quello di avere figli

La traduzione impossibile dei reperti biblici su cui si è discusso per secoli (il frutto del peccato, la progenie costretta a strisciare, la tentazione, l'Eden selvaggio) era un velo che ci impediva di vedere nei nostri figli così bellini ed innocenti la causa di tanta sofferenza.

E' fin troppo chiaro, niente figli, niente problemi, niente guerre, niente inquinamento, niente violenza, niente ingiustizie, niente povertà, niente malattie, niente tradimenti, niente solitudine.

Come umanità, forse il modo per uscire da questa gabbia di matti, o prigione in cui siamo dannati dai tempi di Adamo ed Eva, o scuola di vita, o livello del Gioco con la G maiuscola, è non fare più figli e lasciare il pianeta in ordine alle altre creature, smettendo di riprodurci, compiendo buone azioni fino all'ultimo. Non una forma di autodistruzione o di eutanasia di gruppo, ma una scelta consapevole di massa identica a quella delle persone più sagge che storicamente l'hanno adottata a livello personale per accedere al Paradiso ed ad altri livelli del Gioco. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

What did Augustine of Hippo actually Say about Romans 5:12?[edit]

I've come here, as a last resort, trying to find a quotation of what Augustine actually said about Romans 5:12. (Never mind that a man who only knew Latin supposedly mistranslated the verse from Greek, as so many claim he did.) Is there some taboo that prohibits anyone actually quoting his commentary about the verse? (talk) 07:11, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

It seems he said several things at different times: read the chapter The Biblical Testimonia in Pier Franco Beatrice's The Transmission of Sin: Augustine and the Pre-Augustinian Sources. Esoglou (talk) 10:50, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Merge Ancestral Sin[edit]

The lead states that ancestral sin is an alternate name for this topic and even links to that article (an MOS violation). The reason for the two articles seems to be the subtle variations in the Western vs. Eastern viewpoints but these subtleties hardly justify two articles (and again, if one is going to argue that they are truly distinct then the lead sentence for this one cannot then treat both names as synonyms).

Unless somebody can offer a reason to believe that, when fully fleshed out, there would be enough usefully distinct content to have two articles I would say these need to be merged.

--MC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

I have just returned to Wikipedia after an absence of several weeks, and need some time to look into this, but I do need to point out that the east/west differences are not so subtle, nor are they "variations". I do not know offhand if two articles are required, or if both viewpoints can be treated well within a single article. But the matter is not one merely of "alternate names", so let's not be inappropriately casual about the depths of the differences. Evensteven (talk) 03:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
After looking at it a bit, it seems that Orthodoxy and Catholicism are somewhat closer to each other than to varieties of Protestantism, but that each has its own views and emphases, some more subtle, some (like total depravity) rather basic. I find that Orthodoxy is not mentioned in either the lead or the history of "Original Sin", a considerable omission given the common heritage it shares with Catholicism. While Augustine's views, and varied reactions to them, are presented, there is incomplete historical coverage that needs to be rectified, particularly with regard to the east. The whole Church, east and west, was working out doctrine (not only this one) at that time, and there were always contentions and reconciliations to be made in so doing. The history section needs to make clear that no single doctrine of original sin was ever truly unified at any point, and that many of the original disagreements persist in the varieties of interpretation found today. Surely the Orthodox doctrine forms a part of that. And surely the lead is incorrect in calling original sin "the Christian doctrine of ..."; perhaps "Christian name for ..."?
If some of the basic weakness remaining in the Original Sin article can be addressed, I see an opportunity to fold in the material from Ancestral Sin into just the one article (mostly into the existing Eastern Orthodoxy section) and make it all work in a balanced way. But I don't think the one article will be as balanced as the current two articles without some bolstering of the history and lead section also. If a merge is to be accomplished to WP's benefit, there is more to be done than the simple joining of current content. I'd be glad to participate, but those other editors who are strong on history, particularly over the time frame of 450-1500, will undoubtedly need to supplement and check what I can do. Evensteven (talk) 04:58, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
My preference is to leave them separate. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not use or agree with the term Original Sin and consider the differences in views a fundamental difference between East and West. Basileias (talk) 01:17, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
On second thought, I tend to agree that they should remain separate. It might be more complete to say that the Eastern Orthodox Church does not agree to incorporate use of the term "original sin" (formally) because of the more serious differences in teaching that its use implies in the west. Of course, casual use may be encountered, but "ancestral sin" is the commonest substitution offered, as tending better to avoid confusions. This would make a perfect case for two articles: separate viewpoints sometimes require separate terminology. If the current articles seem too subtle or vague in their distinctions, the solution is to clarify them in each, by means of contrast if necessary. But I do think that course needs to be tempered, so that the articles do not themselves become argumentative or inflammatory. That would be a quality reversal. Evensteven (talk) 02:04, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I like how you worded that, and very much agreed. Basileias (talk) 02:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
No, don't merge. The concepts are similar but different. Like Basileias wrote, "Eastern Orthodox Church does not use or agree with the term Original Sin". A merge will lead to conflation of the terms and a useless, uninformative, squabbled over article. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

"original sin" is an extension of the (pre-existing, not specifically Christian) concept of ancestral sin in Christian theology specifically. The two are closely related, and the "development" section needs to pay close attention to the topic, but they are not, of course, identical, and the articles should not be merged as there is plenty of potential for the development of the more inclusive topic of ancestral sin. --dab (𒁳) 11:29, 9 January 2016 (UTC)


Is there a reason why it is nowhere said in the article that pride (see Aquinas for instance) has been considered as the said original sin? Such a long article with little reference to the nature of the said sin itself. Only a mere mention in the footnotes, weird. Yaḥyā ‎ (talk) 19:04, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Well, as a first point, Aquinas is not accepted as a theologian in the east - not Orthodox. But yes, the first sin has been characterized as pride, which is at least a part of it in Orthodox theology. It has also been characterized as disobedience, (to God), always a sign of pride. In fact, there is a whole range of associated aspects that cannot be separated from the act, among them ambition, arrogance, and presumption (man putting himself forward as the equal to or superior to God). I find that the west generally does not like looking at stuff like that, so perhaps it's not so surprising that it's glossed over in the article. Does western scholasticism even talk about that much these days? Aquinas is far superior to most of what we see today. Evensteven (talk) 15:52, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
They don't seem to talk about it directly (as much as they did) in modern texts, but this is included in texts concerning the said seven deadly sins. For now I have no proposition on how, where and how add this. I'll be taking a brake from wikipedia and discuss it further upon my return. Yaḥyā ‎ (talk) 18:17, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witness section doesn't answer the question[edit]

It looks like the Jehovah's Witness section was written by a Jehovah's Witness who was being a bit too careful with their words. Understandable, but it resulted in a section that doesn't really even talk about Original Sin. Specifically, it gives no indication as to whether Jehovah's Witnesses are Pelagian or not, which is kinda' the crux of the whole "denominational views" section. Do they believe in original guilt? --Mrcolj (talk) 15:19, 23 March 2017 (UTC)