RE: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Wed Apr 16 2008 - 15:15:44 EDT

Is not the concept of original sin the solution to the problem of evil?



From: on behalf of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
Sent: Wed 4/16/2008 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

I wonder if we have been trying to put too much of a historical and causal interpretation on original sin. I think the common Hebrew term translated "sin" means "error." /chat/, etc. The common Greek term is /hamartia/, missing the mark. In other words, we are dealing with moral imperfection, a necessary consequence of finitude. The Fall was the ancient explanation for this consequence of finitude in keeping with the broad tradition of a Golden Age.
This general failure is different from the deliberate act, /pasha/ and /anomia/. I leave the connection between failure and lawlessness unexplained here. I'd expect fireworks here, and more than George expects from the first paragraph.
Dave (ASA)
On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 11:15:58 -0400 "George Murphy" <> writes:

        Yes, there are views on the "transmission" of Adam's sin that range from a hard Augustinian hereditary view & a soft Pelagian exemplary view. (In saying that I am not trying to characterize the views of Augustine or Pelagius precisely.) For myself, I think that some combination is appropriate, corresponding to the idea (P. Hefner) of the human as a "symbiosis" of biology & culture.
        But the question of transmission is really a 2d order one. It certainly makes a difference in the way we try to develop a coherent theological anthroplogy &, because of that, understanding of atonement. But it isn't central. What is central is the reality & seriousness of our "sin of origin" - i.e., the sinful state in which each one of us originates. & that doesn't require an understanding of how that sin of origin is related to original sin in the sense of the first human sin.
        & yes, there are disagreements about that too. Failure to appreciate that our original state is indeed sinful - i.e., that our sin of origin is indeed sin - leads to various errors, such as works righteousness & denial of infant baptism.
        At which I will pause & wait for the firestorm to erupt.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Apr 16 15:17:54 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 16 2008 - 15:17:54 EDT