A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!


Original Sin, as interpreted by Augustine in Romans 5, is one of the most persistent obstacles to seeing Adam/Eve as figurative or allegorical narratives.

For the usual Creationists, Adam and Eve must be absolutely historical … or Romans 5 doesn’t mean what they think it means.

The fact that millions of Eastern Orthodox Christians have totally dismissed Original Sin, and they do just fine, doesn’t have much traction with Creationists in the Western tradition of Christianity!

This is a topic that I have written much about, but have restrained myself. The simple answer is both are partially correct. The Adam and Eve in the Garden are spiritual beings in Paradise (Luke 23:43). Starting in Genesis 4:1 Adam and Eve are now incarcerated as humans around 200,000 years ago. But no one wants to pursue a line of thinking that could unify Christianity.


I’ve found this thread, which you started, to be the most productive of the many that I have followed on this forum. If one wanted to distill the most important conclusion to be reached from a review of the entirety of this thread it may be this: _“Just because a particular author has reached a worldview that is unappealing to you, does not mean that he/she has no wisdom to impart”_Richard Dawkins is a good case in point. As @Relates is quick to point out, readers of ‘Selfish Gene’, ’ The God Delusion’, etc. are easily misled as to how a belief in evolution should influence the relationship with our creator, but surprisingly, as you point out, Dawkins does express some insights worthy of careful consieration:

This is a clear statement that human nature is more strongly affected by evolution in the Noosphere (as proposed by Chardin some 50 yrs. earlier) than by Darwinian evolution in the biosphere. But Dawkins failed to grasp the wisdom Chardin was trying to impart._(This is not unusual, most of the readers of his of his original works in French readers struggle.). So Dawkins considered Chardin as a failed scientist, and ended up with, what I see as, a warped worldview.

Antoine, I believe that you and I and Dawkins–all three of us plus many contributors to this Forum–are trying to form a worldview consistent with what we perceive of the Universe “as viewed through a glass darkly”._I think both you and I look forward to an afterlife where we will attain a clear vision of just how magnificent and incomprehensible (to he human mind) our Creator actually is. I admire Dawkins’ mental abilities, but I pity anyone that approaches the end of their earthly existence without the anticipation of an eternal existence with one’s loving Creator.

Be well and God bless!
Al Leo


To pursue such a line is the aim of this thread.
So let us try to join efforts for this.

What do you mean by this? Please elaborate:

Did Adam and Eve in Paradise have a body?
Were they in need of the Redemption by Jesus Christ?

What do you mean by “incarcerated”?

Why did Adam and Eve become “incarcerated”?

Thanks for contributing!

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Adam and Eve were two of the ten fallen Elders of Heaven. The 24 Elders are shown on the Menorah and reflected in the human ribcage. We have 24 ribs and 14 of these are attached the sternum (Jesus) while 10 are false or floating ribs. Adam and Eve were two of these false ribs.

Paradise is the spiritual realm where Jesus went after His death on the cross. He went there in spirit and this is where Adam and Eve had once lived in spirit, before they failed their test. Yes, they had a spiritual body.

Adam and Eve were the first two of the fallen angels that wanted to reconcile with their King. The first test that God designed was to use these two as a proxy for all the fallen. The test was in the spiritual realm. But when they failed the test, the second test was implemented, but this time the material world. So, Adam and Eve needed to incarnate into a human body to start their redemption process.

We know from Genes 5 that Adam was not the first to complete his path of redemption. All of these needed to wait in Paradise for the coming of King to open the gates to heaven.

The King came down from Heaven, incarnated as Human to return the 1/3 of Heaven that had been long ago cast out.

I have met very few Christians willing to accept this story and the key tenets of Jesus’ teaching.

  • Not one will be lost! ( Luke 15:4-5 ) and even the Prodigal Son will be celebrated when he finally comes home ( Luke 15:11-32 ) .
  • We must repay our debts to the last farthing ( Matt 5:21-26 ) and become perfect as God created us ( Matthew 5:43-48 ). We need to learn to love our neighbors and eventually our enemies before we have become perfect.
  • While the only way to gain eternal life is by believing the Jesus is the King of Heaven. ( John 3:15 )

We all have the same spiritual ancestry.

Huh? How much time did they serve?


I totally agree. From Richard Dawkins we can learn two important things:

  • It is impossible to establish at which moment humanity begins exclusively by biological means.

  • “We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.”

The conclusion of this two insights is that humanity begins at the moment humans become aware they should live respecting each other because they are in God’s Image. This is precisely what Genesis 9:6 tells us.

Albert, what you tell here is also confirmed by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Aquinas writes in Summa Theologiae I, Question 48, Article 3, Reply to objection 3:

as Augustine says (Enchir. 11), "God is so powerful that He can even make good out of evil." Hence many good things would be taken away if God permitted no evil to exist; for fire would not be generated if air was not corrupted, nor would the life of a lion be preserved unless the ass were killed. Neither would avenging justice nor the patience of a sufferer be praised if there were no injustice .

Aquinas actually states here the same Richard Dawkins states: “one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives. […] We should not live according to Darwinian principles”.

As you rightly point out this means that humans should not behave according to the Biosphere principles of Darwinian evolution, but according to Noosphere principles deriving from the fact that we are in the Image of God.

Thus, at the end of the day Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Teilhard de Chardin, and Richard Dawkins are all stating the same, cast in different words!

“Augustine in Romans 5” and “Adam and Eve as the absolutely historical first sinners” are perfectly compatible with Evolution.

The most persistent obstacle to understand what the “state of original sin” is all about, is to think that all accountable Image Bearers must absolutely be genetically or genealogically descended from a single primeval couple.

Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Dawkins, you, me, and most people in BioLogos, we all share the same view regarding the state of “original sin”, that is, the state where humanity is today.

The difference is about whether or not the primeval accountable humans were created by God in a state of original righteousness.


You know, I used to share your thoughts (as quoted above) … especially about “most people in BioLogos”.

But there’s a quick acid test to see exactly what is going on their minds. It goes like this:

  1. Eastern Orthodox priests and bishops encourage infant baptism for lots of reasons.

  2. But for most members of the Eastern Orthodox communion, the reasons do not include cleansing or re-mediating the infant of Original Sin.

I find most BioLogos folks assume Original Sin is the baseline for everything and everyone, even when they personally confess that it is an allegorical issue (which is a fairly confusing stance).

In this context it may be interesting to discuss the importance Baptism seems to have in Jesus’ Great Commission:

Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Mark 16: 15-16
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

That’s a very interesting topic. To illustrate the variety of beliefs out there, my father grew up in an Ultra-dispensationalist tradition (The Berean or Grace Movement) which believed that baptisms was abolished in the church age. He was never baptized, as a result–nor did their church baptize. It’s sort of based, I guess, on the idea that Paul developed a different dispensation (gospel) after Jesus and the other disciples (this has some relationship to the earlier thread on another thread) Simply Jesus or simply Paul?

I think they thought that Matt 28: 19-20 above was a later addition to the gospels, not by an inspired writer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperdispensationalism

That’s quite a contrast to what I understand was Augustine’s position that we were conceived in sin from Rom 5:12 and allusions to Psalms (surely in sin my mother conceived me, etc), when he advocated for infant baptism to save them prior to dying from the very high infant mortality rate (about 50% before the age of 5 up through 1830).

And in case you’re wondering–yes, I was baptized, but not till age 33, when I joined a Baptist church (I couldn’t very well skip that part!)

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Nice quote. And I hope it did not escape your notice that the last part of verse Mark 16:16 is not a mirror image of the text just before!

The first part speaks to preaching, baptizing and believing. The second part confirms that those who do NOT believe will be condemned. It specifically avoids saying: ‘but whoever does not become baptized will be condemned’ !!


Neat; I missed that. Thanks.

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Excellent George!
So the question arises:
Why does Jesus consider it important to add the term ‘is baptized’ in the first part?

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Being baptized is an aid to spiritual development… and it was legitimate for an assembly of God to require it. But it was not required for salvation.

From Jesus’ words in Mark 16: 15-16 I conclude:

  • Baptism is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one for salvation.

  • Baptism and Belief together are sufficient condition to be saved.

  • Absence of Baptism is not sufficient to be condemned.

  • Absence of Belief is sufficient to be condemned.

From this it follows that Jesus establishes Baptism as the ordinary way to reach salvation. And this means as you say, that through Baptism Jesus give us his Grace, his aid to spiritual development. Through this growth in the life of Grace we become able to see Christ as he is, and thereby be like him (1 John 3:2), the authentic Image of God.

My point is now that when God created the first accountable Image Bearers (“Adam and Eve”), He endowed them with the same Grace or spiritual aid we receive through Baptism.

Just reflecting on my personal life, baptism is not something I did for God, but rather something God provided for my benefit. That is, I look back at baptism as a touchstone, a defining event symbolizing my decision to follow Christ, and that event is of comfort in times of doubt and trouble.

I might add that while my tradition does not include infant baptism, I can see that it would have a similar role in connecting ones self to their spiritual heritage.


I think what you say is also the very meaning Jesus’ teaching conveys:

On the one hand, each human being is created by God in his Image, and this means capable of becoming like his Son Jesus Christ, “true image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15)

On the other hand, we carry in us selfish tendencies rooted in evolution, which can seduce, overwhelm, and lead us into pride, lust, and greed, bearing “times of doubt and trouble”. I think most people in this Blog agree to this.

With baptism we receive God’s help to master such propensities. Baptismal grace is like a seed that develops and transforms me into Christ himself provided I do not thwart this growth.

In my view, it is fitting to assume that “Adam and Eve” (the first accountable Image Bearers) were created by God in a state of grace comparable to that God provides with Baptism.

Happy New Year to all of you.

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Ironically, Genesis 2 says nothing about Adam and his gal friend Eve being Image Bearers.

Genesis 1, however, refers to humanity in general as Image Bearers. Then we have to go to Genesis 9 before we get a clear reference to Image Bearing: all of Noah’s descendants are or will be Image Bearers (hence the taboo on murder).


  1. If we see Genesis 1 as referring to an Evolved human population (as per Geneal.Adam scenarios);

  2. And that Adam & Eve were made to be like these humans, then we can accept that Adam & Eve are also image bearers.

  3. Interestingly, the murder taboo is not established by God until after the Flood. One might be tempted to imagine that Noah’s sons acquire Image Bearing by marrying into the lineage of the Genesis 1 “Pre-Adamite” humans!

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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