• For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

How do Oriental and Eastern Orthodox view original sin?

Asteriktos

Strategos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,996
Reaction score
508
Points
113
Faith
-
Jurisdiction
-
That seems like an expansive topic 😇 Orthodox theology on the matter as I understand it: Adam and Eve were created and placed in Eden, and given a command so as to be able to make spiritual progress, since they were in essence spiritual infants. They chose to disobey that commandment, and then further wouldn't even take responsibility for their disobedience but tried to pass the buck. This caused a rupture in the blooming relationship between God and man, so that man was expelled from paradise and took on 'garments of skin' (birth pains, need to struggle to provide food, all sorts of bodily processes added, etc.) Man was still able to make a connection with God after that, because God provides grace, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13), as people like Enoch, Josiah, David, etc. demonstrated, but it was in a manner that wasn't what God had intended, and even the good people had flaws. The image of God hadn't been broken, but it had been tarnished, and the likeness capable of being lost to various degrees. Humans thereafter, living in a fallen world, struggled in cooperation with God to maintain (or if necessary, recover) that likeness to God. Living in the world, we now all sin, not because it is foreordained or predestined by God, but because in our freedom we cannot help but at times resist the temptations of sin, even though it's the privation of good rather than something substantive in itself. Infants and others unable to make freewill choices about their conduct are, many would say, to be considered separately.
 

Asteriktos

Strategos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,996
Reaction score
508
Points
113
Faith
-
Jurisdiction
-
Some of the above is wonkily written, most especially this part should be something more like:

Living in the world, we now all sin, not because it is foreordained or predestined by God, but because in our freedom we cannot help but fall short and yield to the temptations of sin
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
Orthodox do not follow "Augustinian Original Sin," which is the idea that people inherit the guilt of the sin of Adam biologically through the generations. Rather, we believe that because humanity had separated itself from God, the source of incorruption, it was in a corrupt state. Likewise, as humanity separated from the source of immortality, being God, death reigned over mankind.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
23,770
Reaction score
277
Points
83
Age
48
Website
archiveofourown.org
We inherit sin, sort of like I've got my grandfather's eyebrows.

That was a terrible explanation.

Thank you.
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
We inherit sin, sort of like I've got my grandfather's eyebrows.

That was a terrible explanation.

Thank you.
No, we don't. We inherit death, the result of sin. A baby isn't born sinful.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
No, we don't. We inherit death, the result of sin. A baby isn't born sinful.
That isn't entirety true.
Also from what I gather the OO don't have a concept of original sin.
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
That isn't entirety true.
Also from what I gather the OO don't have a concept of original sin.
So what is entirely true?
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
So what is entirely true?
Lets look at it this way. The consequence of sin is death right? So that begs the question. Whey do people die if they have no sin?
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
Lets look at it this way. The consequence of sin is death right? So that begs the question. Whey do people die if they have no sin?
Because we inherit death. Plants die. Are they sinful?
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
Cats are demons. Everyone knows that.
 

Stinky

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
1,654
Reaction score
613
Points
113
Location
US
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Near/far
Cats are demons. Everyone knows that.
The whole "9 lives" thing with cats throws a wrench in the argument if using a cat as an example of inhereting death. Notice how cats hate water too. Ever tried immersion with a cat?
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
".. the sin of Adam was not mixed naturally with our substance…; but it is because they had lost the grace of immortality."
St. Severus of Antioch.
I recommend this article
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
EO don't consider St. Severus of Antioch as a saint for this very reason.
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
EO don't consider St. Severus of Antioch as a saint for this very reason.
No, EO do not condemn St. Severus for rejecting Augustinian Original sin. You guys reject it too. Here's an EO video condemning Augustinian Original sin
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
St. Gregory Palamas taught that, as a result of ancestral sin (called "original sin" in the West), man's image was tarnished, disfigured, as a consequence of Adam's disobedience.[9] The Greek theologian John Karmiris writes that "the sin of the first man, together with all of its consequences and penalties, is transferred by means of natural heredity to the entire human race. Since every human being is a descendant of the first man, 'no one of us is free from the spot of sin, even if he should manage to live a completely sinless day'. ... Original Sin not only constitutes 'an accident' of the soul; but its results, together with its penalties, are transplanted by natural heredity to the generations to come ... And thus, from the one historical event of the first sin of the first-born man, came the present situation of sin being imparted, together with all of the consequences thereof, to all natural descendants of Adam."

Kallistos Ware, "The Orthodox way"
“For the Orthodox tradition, then, Adam's original sin affects the human race in its entirety, and it has consequences both on the physical and the moral level: it, results not only in sickness and physical death, but in moral weakness and paralysis. But does it also imply an inherited guilt? Here Orthodoxy is more guarded. Original sin is not to be interpreted in juridical or quasi-biological terms, as if it were some physical 'taint' of guilt, transmitted through sexual intercourse. This picture, which normally passes for the Augustinian view, is unacceptable to Orthodoxy. The doctrine of original sin means rather that we are born into an environment where it is easy to do evil and hard to do good; easy to hurt others, and hard to heal their wounds; easy to arouse men's suspicions, and hard to win their trust. It means that we are each of us conditioned by the solidarity of the human race in its accumulated wrong-doing and wrong-thinking, and hence wrong-being. And to this accumulation of wrong we have ourselves added by our own deliberate acts of sin. The gulf grows wider and wider. It is here, in the solidarity of the human race, that we find an explanation for the apparent unjustness of the doctrine of original sin. Why, we ask, should the entire human race suffer because of Adam's fall? Why should all be punished because of one man's sin? The answer is that human beings, made in the image of the Trinitarian God, are interdependent and coinherent. No man is an island. We are 'members one of another'(Eph. 4:25), and so any action, performed by any member of the human race, inevitably affects all the other members. Even though we are not, in the strict sense, guilty of the sins of others, yet we are somehow always involved.”
Can Sin be Inherited?

Nobody pretends that the doctrine of original sin is easy to understand: it is mysterious and to a certain degree counter-intuitive. But then so are several of the deepest and most central teachings of the Orthodox Faith. The temptation for the rationalist mind is to try and strip away the mystery and replace it with something that is clearer, more commonsensical. In the case of original sin, it is difficult for us to understand how sin can be passed down from Adam and Eve to all their descendants.


Of course, it is not personal responsibility for Adam’s personal sin that is inherited. For how can we be personally responsible for something that happened before we were even born? However, a certain sinful pollution of human nature is inherited by all those who have the same nature as Adam. As St. Symeon the New Theologian writes: “Human nature is sinful from its very conception. God did not create man sinful, but pure and holy. But since the first-created Adam lost this garment of sanctity, not from any other sin than pride alone, and became corruptible and mortal, all people also who came from the seed of Adam are participants of the ancestral sin from their very conception and birth. He who has been born in this way, even though he has not yet performed any sin, is already sinful through this ancestral sin.”[1]


This is the teaching of the Orthodox Church. And that is why babies are baptized “for the remission of sins”, even before they have committed any personal sins. So a certain mystery remains: the mystery of inherited, collective guilt that is manifest in the fact that every human being comes into this world already polluted by sin.
ROMANIDES
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
For an Oriental Orthodox understanding of this issue, I'm sure the article by Fr. Peter Farrington would be a very good read, which I've linked above. As well, this week I read the beginning of St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation, and I think what he says about what the fall did to humanity just covers it all. Our nature, which is dependent on God for immortality and life, was turning to death, sin. Since all that God created was good, we were turning to non-existence, His act of creation was being undone. Not one word about inheriting a sin biologically.
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
Here is a video of a priest excellently addressing the Oriental Orthodox view of the consequence of the fall. This is in response to the question: Do aborted babies go to hell because of inherited sin?
 
Last edited:

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
The whole "9 lives" thing with cats throws a wrench in the argument if using a cat as an example of inhereting death. Notice how cats hate water too. Ever tried immersion with a cat?
I gave a bath to a cat once.
 

Michael Seraphim

Sr. Member
BANNED
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
Points
18
Location
Indonesia
Faith
Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction
Ecumenical Patriarchate
Lets look at it this way. The consequence of sin is death right? So that begs the question. Whey do people die if they have no sin?
Because they inherit mortal nature. Mortality inheres to nature, not to person

Guilt inheres to person, not to nature. This is why innocent babies are also mortal

Let's call it Ancestral Consequence. Because when we say 'sin', automatically people think of guilt
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
For an Oriental Orthodox understanding of this issue, I'm sure the article by Fr. Peter Farrington would be a very good read, which I've linked above. As well, this week I read the beginning of St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation, and I think what he says about what the fall did to humanity just covers it all. Our nature, which is dependent on God for immortality and life, was turning to death, sin. Since all that God created was good, we were turning to non-existence, His act of creation was being undone. Not one word about inheriting a sin biologically.
You still haven't answered my question, so I will repeat it.
If the consequence for sin is death, why do people still die who are sinless?
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
983
Points
113
Age
160
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
You still haven't answered my question, so I will repeat it.
If the consequence for sin is death, why do people still die who are sinless?
Because the world is fallen. Christ died.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
No. Death didn't hold him. If he did we wouldn't have a religion.
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
The Creed we use doesn't say he died.
“And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the scriptures”
 

Sethrak

Protokentarchos
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
4,633
Reaction score
133
Points
63
Location
California & Nevada ranches
Faith
Armenian Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Etchmiadzin, Armenia
Human will die ~ women will have pain in childbirth ~ we struggle to obtain food, as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve but we did not commit the sin and are not guilty of it ```

Do you believe if a child dies without baptism ~ there is no going to heaven ```
 

Mor Ephrem

Hypatos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
36,372
Reaction score
239
Points
63
Age
40
Location
New York!
Website
www.orthodoxchristianity.net
Faith
Mercenary Freudianism
Jurisdiction
Texas Feminist Coptic
“And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the scriptures”
But it still doesn’t say he died. He suffered and was buried. Nothing about him dying. He probably visited the dead and his visit was cut short.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,507
Reaction score
190
Points
63
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
Stop bringing that protestant $tuff overhere mr. Phillips ;)
 

Michael Seraphim

Sr. Member
BANNED
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
Points
18
Location
Indonesia
Faith
Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction
Ecumenical Patriarchate
You still haven't answered my question, so I will repeat it.
If the consequence for sin is death, why do people still die who are sinless?
The consequence of sin is death. The consequence of Adam's sin was mortal and corrupt human nature

The wage of sin is death = this doesn't mean that if you never sinned you wouldn't die, since you are born inheriting mortal and corrupt nature from Adam, which was the consequence of his sin upon his human nature
 

Stephen Philips

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
244
Reaction score
71
Points
28
Location
Ajax, Ontario
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Coptic
Sorry, I meant heckler
I'm sorry for heckling you. It's not right for you to be treated with a lack of respect, especially since you're genuinely seeking the truth of the matter, and have already quoted some research you made. But I must say that I agree with Michael Seraphim's comment.
The consequence of sin is death. The consequence of Adam's sin was mortal and corrupt human nature

The wage of sin is death = this doesn't mean that if you never sinned you wouldn't die, since you are born inheriting mortal and corrupt nature from Adam, which was the consequence of his sin upon his human nature
 
Top