The Church Fathers and Original Sin by Joe Gallegos
Justin Martyr,Dialogue with Trypho,88:4(A.D. 155),in ANF,I:243-244
"And not by the aforesaid things alone has the Lord manifested Himself, but [He has done this] also by means of His passion. For doing away with [the effects of] that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;" rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was [wrought out] upon the tree [of the cross]. Now He would not have come to do away, by means of that same [image], the disobedience which had been incurred towards our Maker if He proclaimed another Father. But inasmuch as it was by these things that we disobeyed God, and did not give credit to His word, so was it also by these same that He brought in obedience and consent as respects His Word; by which things He clearly shows forth God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning."
Irenaeus,Against Heresies,V:16:3(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:544
"Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame. "
Tertullian,On the Soul,40(A.D. 208),in ANF,III:220
"Everyone in the world falls prostrate under sin. And it is the Lord who sets up those who are cast down and who sustains all who are falling. In Adam all die, and thus the world prostrate and requires to be set up again, so that Christ all may be made to live."
Origen,Homilies on Jeremias,8:1(post A.D. 244),in JUR,I:205
"If, in the case of the worst sinners and of those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from Baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been BORN, has done no sin [committed no personal sin], except that, born of the flesh according to Adam. He has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another[i.e. from Adam]." Cyprian,Epistle to Fidus,68:5(c A.D. 250),in ANF,V:354
"But if any one were to think that the earthy image is the flesh itself, but the heavenly image some other spiritual body besides the flesh; let him first consider that Christ, the heavenly man, when He appeared, bore the same form of limbs and the same image of flesh as ours, through which also He, who was not man, became man, that "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' For if He bore flesh for any other reason than that of setting the flesh free, and raising it up, why did He bear flesh superfluously, as He purposed neither to save it, nor to raise it up? But the Son of God does nothing superfluously. He did not then take the form of a servant uselessly, but to raise it up and save it. For He truly was made man, and died, and not in mere appearance, but that He might truly be shown to be the first begotten from the dead, changing the earthy into the heavenly, and the mortal into the immortal."
Methodius,On the Resurrection,13(A.D. 300),in ANF,VI:368
"That Lord, I say, who in His simple and immaterial Deity, entered our nature, and of the virgin's womb became ineffably incarnate; that Lord, who was partaker of nothing else save the lump of Adam, who was by the serpent tripped up."
Methodius,Oration concerning Simeon and Anna,13(ante A.D. 300),in ANF,VI:392
"Moreover, among the sons of Adam there is none besides Him who might enter the race without being wounded or swallowed up. For sin has ruled from the time Adam transgressed the command. By one among the many was it swallowed up; many did it wound, and many did it kill; but none among the many killed it until our Savior came, who took it on Himself and fixed it to His cross." Aphraates the Persian Sage,Treatises,7:1(ante A.D. 345),in JUR,I:303
"Adam sinned and earned all sorrows;--likewise the world after His example, all guilt.--And instead of considering how it should be restored,--considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.--Glory to Him Who came and restored it!"
Ephraem,Hymns on the Epiphany,10:1(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,XIII:280
"Through him our forefather Adam was cast out for disobedience, and exchanged a Paradise bringing forth wondrous fruits of its own accord for the ground which bringeth forth thorns. What then? some one will say. We have been beguiled and are lost. Is there then no salvation left? We have fallen: Is it not possible to rise again? We have been blinded: May we not recover our sight? We have become crippled: Can we never walk upright? In a word, we are dead: May we not rise again? He that woke Lazarus who was four days dead and already stank, shall He not, O man, much more easily raise thee who art alive? He who shed His precious blood for us, shall Himself deliver us from sin."
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,2:4-5(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:9
"And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent's deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, 'For we are not ignorant of his devices' Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself' sent, that, He, being and remaining the same, by taking this alterable flesh, 'might condemn sin in it,' and might secure its freedom, and its ability s henceforth 'to fulfil the righteousness of the law' in itself, so as to be able to say, 'But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us.' " Athanasius,Against the Arians,I:51(A.D. 358),in NPNF2,IV:336
"Little given, much gotten; by the donation of food the original sin is discharged. Just as Adam transmitted the sin by his wicked eating, we destroy that treacherous food when we cure the need and hunger." Basil,Eulogies & Sermons,Famine & Drought 8:7(ante 379),in JUR,II:23
"And further, above this, we have in common reason, the Law, the Prophets, the very Sufferings of Christ, by which we were all without exception created anew, who partake of the same Adam, and were led astray by the serpent and slain by sin, and are saved by the heavenly Adam and brought back by the tree of shame to the tree of life from whence we had fallen."
Gregory of Nazianzen,Against the Arians,33:9(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,VII:331
"For death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed upon all; that we may not refuse to acknowledge Him to be also the Author of death, Whom we do not refuse to acknowledge as the Author of our race; and that, as through one death is ours, so should be also the resurrection; and that we should not refuse the misery, that we may attain to the gift. For, as we read, Christ 'is come to save that which was lost,' and 'to be Lord both of the dead and living.' In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of Paradise, in Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ. If, then, death be the debt of all, we must be able to endure the payment. But this topic must be reserved for later treatment."
Ambrose,On the Death of his brother Satyrus,II:6(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,X:175
"In whom" -- that is, in Adam -- 'all have sinned'. And he said 'in whom,' using the masculine form, when he was speaking of a woman, because the reference was not to a specific individual but to the race. It is clear, therefore, that all have sinned in Adam,en masse as it were; for when he himself was corrupted by sin, all whom he begot were born under sin. On his account, then, all are sinners, because we are all from him. He lost God's favor when he strayed."
Ambrosiaster, Commentaries on thirteen Pauline Epistles,Rom 5:12(A.D. 384),in JUR,II:177
"How then did death come in and prevail? "Through the sin of one." But what means, "for that all have sinned?" This; he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal ... From whence it is clear, that it was not this sin, the transgression, that is, of the Law, but that of Adam's disobedience, which marred all things. Now what is the proof of this? The fact that even before the Law all died: for 'death reigned' he says, 'from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.' How did it reign? 'After the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.' Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ ... [W]hen the Jew says to thee, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? thou mightest be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned?"
John Chrysostom,Homily on Romans,10(A.D. 391),in NPNF1,XI:401-402
"After Adam sinned, as I noted before, when the Lord said, 'You are earth, and to earth you shall return', Adam was condemned to death. This condemnation passed on to the whole race. For all sinned, already by their sharing in that nature, as the Apostle says: "For through one man sin made its entry, and through sin death, and thus it came down to all men, because all have sinned. ... Someone will say to me: But the sin of Adam deservedly passed on to his posterity, because they were begotten of him: but how are we to be begotten of Christ, so that we can be saved through Him? Do not think of these things in a carnal fashion. You have already seen how we are begotten by Christ our Parent. In these last times Christ took a soul and with it flesh from Mary:this flesh came to prepare salvation."
Pacian,Sermons on Baptism,2,6(ante A.D. 392),in JUR,II:143-144
"Evil was mixed with our nature from the beginning ... through those who by their disobedience introduced the disease. Just as in the natural propagation of the species each animal engenders its like, so man is born from man, a being subject to passions from a being subject to passions, a sinner from a sinner. Thus sin takes its rise in us as we are born; it grows with us and keeps us company till life's term"
Gregory of Nyssa,The Beatitudes,6(ante A.D. 394),in ECD,351
"This grace, however, of Christ, without which neither infants nor adults can be saved, is not rendered for any merits, but is given gratis, on account of which it is also called grace. 'Being justified,' says the apostle, 'freely through His blood.' Whence they, who are not liberated through grace, either because they are not yet able to hear, or because they are unwilling to obey; or again because they did not receive, at the time when they were unable on account of youth to hear, that bath of regeneration, which they might have received and through which they might have been saved, are indeed justly condemned; because they are not without sin, either that which they have derived from their birth, or that which they have added from their own misconduct. 'For all have sinned'--whether in Adam or in themselves--"and come short of the glory of God.' "
Augustine,On Nature and Grace,4(A.D. 415),in NPNF1,V:122
"[T]his concupiscence, I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration, does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of sin to a man's posterity, unless they are themselves loosed from it by regeneration."
Augustine,On Marriage and Concupiscence,1:23(A.D. 420),in NPNF1,V:274
"Can. 1 If anyone says that by the offense of Adam's trangression not the whole man, that is, according to body and soul, was changed for the worse, but believes that while the liberty of the soul endures without harm, the body only is exposed to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and resists the Scriptures .... Can. 2 If anyone asserts that Adam's trangression injured him alone and not his descendents, or declares that certainly death of the body only, which is the punishment of sin, but not sin also, which is death of the soul, passed through one man into the whole human race, he will do an injustice to God, contradicting the Apostle." Council of Orange,Canon 1(A.D. 530),in DEN,75
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