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The question of original sin, therefore, comes in only incidentally. Paul supposes the idea that the faithful have of it from his oral instructions, and he speaks of it to make them understand the work of Redemption.
(2) Adam by his fault transmitted to us not only death but also sin, "for as by the disobedience of one man many [i.e., all men ] were made sinners " ( Romans ). Theodorus of Mopsuestia opened this controversy by denying that the sin of Adam was the origin of death. As to the sin of Adam we have not to examine the circumstances in which it was committed nor make the exegesis of the third chapter of Genesis .If according to them we must read death where the Apostle wrote sin , we should also read that the disobedience of Adam has made us mortal where the Apostle writes that it has made us sinners .But the word sinner has never meant mortal , nor has sin ever meant death . Original Sin in face of the Objections of Human Reason VI. How Voluntary Original sin may be taken to mean: (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.
(See the "Excerpta Theodori", by Marius Mercator ; cf.
Moreover, this supposed influence of the bad example of Adam is almost chimerical; even the faithful when they sin do not sin on account of Adam's bad example, a fortiori infidels who are completely ignorant of the history of the first man.
And yet all men are, by the influence of Adam, sinners and condemned ( Romans , 19 ).
Smith, "A Dictionary of Christian Biography", IV, 942.) Celestius, a friend of Pelagius, was the first in the West to hold these propositions, borrowed from Theodorus : " Adam was to die in every hypothesis, whether he sinned or did not sin.
His sin injured himself only and not the human race " ( Mercator, "Liber Subnotationem", preface). Paul speaks of the transmission of sin they understood by this the transmission of death. To take the word sin to mean death was an evident falsification of the text, so the Pelagians soon abandoned the interpretation and admitted that Adam caused sin in us.
Augustine's statement: "the deliberate sin of the first man is the cause of original sin" (De nupt. It is the hereditary stain that is dealt with here.