Doctrines are used as a foundation to Christian beliefs. They serve to many churches as fundamentals in the direction their members chose to live their lives. It is important to understand the historical backgrounds of the doctrines that pertain to one's particular beliefs. I will be discussing this very information for the doctrine of original sin. The doctrine of original sin mostly pertains to the Roman Catholic religion. I will be covering when, where, and why the doctrine was originated. Original sin is the theory that every man is born into sin because our mother and father have sinned. The definition given by the Catholic Encyclopedia is: "(1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam."# Saint Augustine was the fundamental theologian in the formulation of this doctrine, which states that the essentially graceless nature of humanity requires redemption to save it. The purpose of Baptism is to wash away original sin and to restore the individual to an innocent state, although even after baptism a tendency to sin remains as a result of original sin.
Although the concept of original sin is derived from the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience recorded in Genesis, the term "original sin" and the concept of a hereditary sin passed on to the entire human race are totally absent from the Old Testament and the gospels. Jesus is not recorded as ever having mentioned original sin, and Genesis relates only that the sin of the first parents brought consequences upon them. The theology of original sin developed out of questions that arose in the third century concerning the custom of infant baptism. "St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) is credited with developing the traditional doctrine in response to Pelagius, who denied original sin."# Augustine appealed to Scripture to blame Adam for original sin and to the existing practice of infant baptism to defend the...
Bibliography: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company by K. Knight Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
Reverend M. James Divis, Original Sin http://users.binary.net/polycarp/origsin.html
William B. Lindley, Original Sin (New York, New York 1972)
Jim Stoffels, Original sin: an understanding from human psychology © Copyright 2001
J. Weatherman, "The Importance of Doctrines," (1984) 101-102
Wikipedia: The free Encyclopedia Copyright © 2001 by Penguin Publishing Company
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