- 1: the state of sin that according to Christian theology characterizes all human beings as a result of Adam's fall
- 2: a wrong of great magnitude <the original sin of slavery>
Original sin, also called ancestral sin[, is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_man fall of man, stemming from Adam's rebellion in Eden. 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 Lyons in his controversy (written in Greek) with certain dualist Gnostics. Its scriptural foundation is based on the New Testament teaching of Paul, the Apostle (Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22), and Psalm 51:5. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Ambrosiaster considered that mankind shares in Adam's sin, transmitted by human generation. Augustine's formulation of original sin was popular among Reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin who equated original sin with concupiscence, affirming that it persisted even after baptism and completely destroyed freedom. Within Roman Catholicism, the Jansenist movement, which the Church then declared heretical, also maintained that original sin destroyed freedom of will.
The doctrine is not found in mainstream Judaism. Although there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam's sin, that is not the dominant view in Judaism today. The concept is also not found in Islam. Depending on how it is defined, original sin is also rejected by some Christian theologies.
89:4.5 The earliest idea of the sacrifice was that of a neutrality assessment levied by ancestral spirits; only later did the idea of atonement develop. As man got away from the notion of the evolutionary origin of the race, as the traditions of the days of the Planetary Prince and the sojourn of Adam filtered down through time, the concept of sin and of original sin became widespread, so that sacrifice for accidental and personal sin evolved into the doctrine of sacrifice for the atonement of racial sin. The atonement of the sacrifice was a blanket insurance device which covered even the resentment and jealousy of an unknown god.
89:4.6 Surrounded by so many sensitive spirits and grasping gods, primitive man was face to face with such a host of creditor deities that it required all the priests, ritual, and sacrifices throughout an entire lifetime to get him out of spiritual debt. The doctrine of original sin, or racial guilt, started every person out in serious debt to the spirit powers.