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

I’ll reply to your post tomorrow, but in the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy these articles from Jim Hofmann on Catholicism, monogenism, and original sin.




Very good objection!

At the end of the day, sin is the denial of God’s love; it means to reject the will of God for making us partakers of the divine nature. Accordingly, the first and necessary condition to being capable of sin is to be a creature that has being called and ordered by God to eternal life and divine beatitude.

According to the Bible the only creatures fulfilling these conditions are human beings after “God made humankind in the image of God”.

Chimps and other animals are in principle not capable of sin. Therefore, the evolved urges present in them cannot actually be considered tendencies to sinful behaviors, and it is nonsensical to claim that chimps or other animals have propensity to sin.

By contrast, after God made Homo sapiens into the image of God, each human being is called and ordered to divine beatitude, and therefore capable in principle of rejecting this call and sinning. Accordingly, the inherited selfish Darwinian tendencies present in human children become truly urges to sinful behaviors by the mere fact of being present in human beings!

In summary: Animals share NO propensity to sin. By contrast the propensity to sin is present in each human being, even in children, although these cannot actually sin as long as they have no awareness of moral responsibility.

As said, the “evolved urges” that existed prior to A&E were by definition not sinful, because before God created A&E there was NO creature called and ordered to divine beatitude and therefore prior to A&E nothing was sinful.

Our selfish “evolutionary inheritance” or “animal instinct” are with us from the start. By contrast they were NOT in A&E from the start, but appeared only after their first transgression of God’s will. The propensity to sin is the very mark of the “state of original sin”, the fallen condition of A&E (the first sinners) after sinning, and of each human being coming into existence after the first human sin.

This amounts to claim that God created the first human beings in the image of God (“Adam and Eve”) WITH propensity to sin.

As @Christy very well states:

With @Christy I endorse the view that God’s initial plan was incarnation, not redemption. For this reason, God created the first image bearers free from any sinful propensity (anger, jealousy, envy, lust, etc.), so that “their choice to sin would be a move from total innocence to rebellion”, as in fact it was.

The narrative in Genesis 3 clearly shows that A&E’s temptation initiates because they indulge in distrusting God, without presence of any strong sinful urge. As it progresses covetousness emerges, and after the fall A&E remain in a condition with presence of slavering sexual urges.

By contrast, the narrative in Genesis 4 describes that Cain’s temptation starts because Cain is urged by a strong sinful envy toward Abel from the very beginning. God encourages Cain to resist this urge, but he rejects God’s invitation.

The consequence of the Fall was both:

  • “ loss of perfection”, i.e.: the original grace God had bestowed upon A&E to make them capable of totally mastering the evolved urges, and so free from propensity to sin;


  • “an awareness of ourselves as guilty before God”, and “as being in need of redemption”.

Uh-oh, …
Interbreeding Discovery

Don’t know why you dug up a 3 year old comment but I will just say monogamy doesn’t mean you only mate with your own kind.

Why? (a) Because I am between a nap and a meal, and (b) there are about 1574 posts in this thread and I just got started reading through it. Although my reply might seem to have been addressing your statement:

my reply was intended to address @AntoineSuarez 's statement:

specifically, the part in bold lettering above.

Thanks for referring this important point of discussion.

The History essay you refer to strongly backs my claim!

The “Early Humans” referred to in the essay were NOT “creatures in the Image of God” i.e. beings called and ordered to eternal life in God.

As discussed in previous posts in this thread God made Homo sapiens into humankind in the image of God later than 12,000 BP and not later than 5,300 BP , i.e.: at a time when all intermediate varieties like Neanderthals and Denisovans did already disappear.

This means, evolution laid the groundwork for marriage to happen only between people called and ordered to become like God in heaven, and therefore with awareness of being accountable toward God. The interbreeding of Sapiens with Neanderthal, Denisovan, and possibly other archaic hominins, cannot be considered marriage but rather mere animal hybridization.

This is the reason why I consider that Genealogical Adam and Eve is an odd explanation: Swamidass assumes that God constituted marriage so that one of the partners is called to share divine life in heaven, the other partner is not ordered to heaven, but both have to raise children called and ordered to eternal beatitude. In my view this is a strange family model!

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I post the following without expectation that it will change your claims, but to justify, so to speak, my doubt about the accuracy of your “time range” of your claim: i.e. " God made Homo sapiens into humankind in the image of God later than 12,000 BP and not later than 5,300 BP

  • As I understand you:
    • you prefer

      a model with descent from a primeval population than one with a genealogical Adam and Eve

    • it is important to avoid interbreeding between people with free will and capable to sin and creatures without free will,

    • In my view becoming image bearers with capacity to sin and accountability toward God is the result of an act of God who endowed a primeval population of humans with this gift at a precise moment of evolution (the beginning of writing about 3,500 BC,

So, if I’ve understood you, your sequence goes something like this:

  • Primeval population endowed with free will at ‘the precise moment of evolution’, as evidenced by “the beginning of writing” which was somewhere between 12,000 BP and 5,300 BP.
  • Question #1: Where did I go wrong? Did God endow a population with free will around 3,500 BC /5,500 BP (as evidenced by the beginning of writing) or did God endow a population with free will somewhere between 12,000 BP and 5,300 BP? or am I completely off the track of understanding?
    • Conceivably, your 3,500 BC date coincides with the earliest evidence of writing, which was Sumerian cuneiform tablets, no? And your range, from 12,000 BP to 5,300 BP is just your “range of years” during which you propose that God endowed a population with the requisite free will necessary to be held accountable?
  • Question #2: What if some evidence were found to suggest a much earlier date (by around 25,000 years) for God’s endowment of a population with free will?
  • To be clear (I hope): I’m quibbling over “the precise moment in evolution” when God endowed a population with free will.

During a visit to Ashmolean Museum in January 2019 I was taught by Paul Collins that the Kish tablet (may be the earliest known writing) should be dated at 3,200 BC. The British Museum dates the origin of cuneiform around 3,300 BP. The first cuneiform tablets document contracts and registers, and thereby evidence legal accountability relationship.

On the other hand, the prohibition of homicide in Genesis 9:3,5-6 contains tightly united the three following ingredients:

  • Accountability toward God.

  • Accountability toward humankind (presupposes penal law and trials).

  • The reason for this accountability: “for in the image of God has God made mankind”.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that the creation of humankind in the image of God, endowed with free will and sense of moral and legal responsibility, did not happen later than 5,300 BP.

You are well “in the track of understanding”.

As just stated, 5,300 BP is chosen because it marks the beginning of written documents evidencing legal accountability relationships.

Regarding 12,000 BP (beginning of Neolithic):

It is the date when Homo sapiens reaches the full set of features we see in living people today (see this important article authored by 23 leading evolutionary scientists). By this date all intermediate varieties between Homo sapiens and Chimps/Bonobos have already disappeared, and the difference between humans and animals becomes established as it is today, it was at the time of Jesus-Christ, and at the time of the writing of Genesis (2,600 BP).

This sharp difference between humans and animals is a necessary condition for the declaration of God in Genesis 9:3,5-6, since here God prohibits humans to kill other humans but allow them to use animals for food.

Accordingly, one can conclude that this declaration was made by God only after 12,000 BP.

Suppose for the sake of argument one would found a stela like the Hammurabi’s code by around 25,000 BP. Then, one should predate the data for God’s endowment of a population with free will and awareness of accountability to 25,000 BP (instead of 5,300 BP).

Nonetheless, every legal code, and even every contract, is based on the sharp distinction between humans and animals. As said this clear distinction becomes established only around 12,000 BP. So I dare to predict that we will never find clear-cut signs of legal accountability before 12,000 BP.

I share your interest for precision over the moment in evolution when God ordered a Sapiens population to eternal life in heaven, called the new human beings in the image of God to live respecting each other, and endowed them with free will and awareness of accountability.

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That’s a relief; I’ll try not to let your confirmation go to my head… :grinning:

I readily agree on the importance of a sharp distinction between humans and other animals. What I’m not ready to agree on yet is your choice of distinctions. IMO, a distinction can be made which is supported by discovery of “the Lebombo bone”, discovered in the Border Cave, in the Lebombo mountains of Swaziland. The Lebombo Bone.

Radiocabon testing indicates an age of 44,200 and 43,000 years, substantially farther back in time than 12,000 BP.

Screenshot_2021-05-06 Lebombo bone - Wikipedia

According to The Universal Book of Mathematics the Lebombo bone’s 29 notches suggest “it may have been used as a lunar phase counter, in which case African women may have been the first mathematicians, because keeping track of menstrual cycles requires a lunar calendar”. However, the bone is clearly broken at one end, so the 29 notches may or may not be the total number. In the cases of other notched bones since found globally, there has been no consistent notch tally, many being in the 1–10 range.

Show me a non-human animal that can do that without being trained to do it, and I’ll show you a pretty clever non-human animal. On the other hand, if you can show me a trained animal that can do that, I’m going to wonder who the trainer was.

I reject points 5-7 as pure speculation. There is no indication in the text that Melchizedek saw the Son of God in heaven, or that he was created like Adam without being born, or that he did not sin and was taken into heaven. As you explain it, Melchizedek was created (not born), was taken into heaven as sinless prior to the Flood, and returned from heaven to appear to Abraham after the flood to establish the priestly order of Christ.

Frankly, I find the scenario you sketch out to be far-fetched. Any number of OT characters appear in the narrative without their genealogy being listed, and a similar number disappear from the story without the reader learning how they died. Are all of these people likewise contemporaries of Adam and translated directly into heaven without dying? It’s special pleading. Was Melchizedek really sinless? What in the text even implies that? I could multiply objections ad nauseum, but I think I’ll let it stand at that. Sorry.

That’s a fundamentally flawed definition of sin. It requires two things that not even everyone born today possesses: 1) an awareness of God’s love, and 2) an awareness of God’s will to make humans partakers of the divine nature. Just to cite two examples, a child born in a non-Christian culture and family environment will not have an awareness of God’s love or his will. Ask a Muslim child about God’s love. The concept is absent from Islam. Ask a child of Chinese atheist parents about God’s will. They won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. Are such children therefore incapable of sin, being unaware of God’s love or his will? I could multiply examples all day. If the “first and necessary condition” of sin fails a modern-day test, it’s certainly inadequate for the first humans.

That “therefore” carries more weight than it can bear. Everyone can agree that chimps and other animals can behave in ways that, if they were human, would be called “sinful.” They have an evolutionary urge to selfishness, which humans also possess. They behave in ways that are selfish. Why are their actions not called “sinful” or evil? Simply because they lack the requisite knowledge. The “propensity to sin” didn’t appear from nowhere. It is nonsense to claim sinful urges didn’t have evolutionary roots. The only solution that makes sense is to recognize that the human propensity to sin existed before the fall, but God did not count such actions as “sin” because early humans had “no awareness of moral responsibility,” as you said.

Out of time. I’ll try to return tomorrow to finish up.

If I understand well you are proposing as a criterion for distinction between humans and non-human animals the skill of counting, aren’t you?

If yes, you may be interested in reading this National Geographic article:

“Counting abilities were once thought to be a uniquely human skill, perhaps because of the perceived association of advanced mathematical ability and genius.”

However recent research supports that basic numerical abilities are widespread in the animal kingdom and have a high adaptive value:

Numerical competence “enhances an animal’s ability to survive by exploiting food sources, hunting prey, avoiding predation, navigating, and persisting in social interactions. It also plays a major role in successful reproduction, from monopolizing receptive mates to increasing the chances of fertilizing an egg and promoting the survival chances of offspring.”

As interesting as your links are, in addressing animal counting talents, my cursory reading of them suggests to me that the difference between talented non-human animals’ inherent mathematical ability and talented humans’ mathematical ability seems, IMO, to be that human’s take the ability one step further than non-humans, as evidenced (I say) by the Lebombo bone. Humans don’t just recognize numbera like many other animals seem to do, humans have figured out how to intentionally manipulate objects outside of their heads/bodies and represent the numbers inside their heads/bodies with the objects outside of their bodies, whether the objects be sticks and stones or with scratches and marks in the dirt or on sticks (e.g. the Lebombo Bone) or some other material.

Like I said: show me a non-human animal that can do that, and I’ll show you a very clever animal.

The ability to represent (and keep track of) numbers with internal processes and the ability to do that with objects or marks outside of one’s body demonstrates an “advance in abilities”, as important, IMO, as the advance in intra-group animal communication that I believe occurred when humans started talking to each other instead of just making noises or waving hands at each other.

Sidebar trivia: William C. Stokoe’s article in Sign Language Studies [Vol. I, No. 4, 1978] posed the thesis that “In the debate over continuities vs. discontinuities in the emergence of language, sign language is not taken to be the antithesis but is presented as the antecedent of spoken languages.” What’s the relevance to the topic of animal math that I talk about above? I propose that the physical (3-dimensional) representation of numbers, analogous to the physical (3-dimensional) sign language representation of words–signaled a substantial evolutionary event in the transition from being just another animal to being human, which preceded the distinction you prefer to focus on.

AND, if the Lebombo Bone is any indication, I’d say that that substantial evolutionary event occurred no less than 43,000 years ago.

I left off here:

The “evolved urges” are nothing more nor less than behaviors that would be sinful if the person or creature had the requisite knowledge to recognize the behavior as sinful. Prior to the Fall, nothing was sinful because the fruit of the tree of knowledge had not yet been consumed.

Nothing was sinful because ha’adam (the man) had not yet eaten the fruit, symbolically acquiring the “divine knowledge” of good and evil. The evolved urges were by definition not full-blown “sin” because humanity, like a child, had not yet acquired mature moral knowledge.

You seem to be equating the imago Dei with a call to divine beatitude. That’s an interpretive stretch. You cite Middleton in your 2016 article, so I know you’re aware of the view that the image of God is a calling to a vocation. Specifically, the vocation is to “represent” God on Earth, not to contemplate God in his perfections and beauty throughout eternity.

Also, you seem to be claiming that the divine “call” to represent God on Earth must be explicitly revealed to A&E (humanity) for sin to be possible. Again, this fails the common sense test. Children are born all across the globe every single day, and how many have had God appear to them and make their task as imago Dei explicitly clear? I grew up in a Christian culture and home and never missed a Sunday at church, and I had no idea what the image of God meant until I was well into adulthood. Does this mean I was incapable of sin until then? Obviously not. The same is true for billions of others throughout human history. It’s not required for a person to be aware of his/her status and calling as imago Dei for him/her to commit sin. The same was true of early humans.

Now, I can agree that no creature was called to the vocation of imago Dei prior to “the man” and “the woman” (A&E). The question is when that occurred.

I’ll try to return tomorrow and finish up.

You rightly say: “If they were human, would be called sinful”.

And this means more precisely: “If they were human beings in the image of God, would such behaviors be called sinful”.

Since chimps and other animals are not humans in the image of God, whatever behaviors such creatures show, these cannot in principle behave in “sinful ways”. Only figuratively can animal behaviors be called “sinful”.

Not only because they lack the “requisite knowledge”, but first of all because they are not created in the image of God, that is, they are not called and ordered to share eternal life in Jesus Christ, the authentic image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

I absolutely agree in claiming that “sinful urges have evolutionary roots”. However, such “evolutionarily rooted urges” become “sinful urges” and “propensity to sin” only when they are engrained in human beings in the image of God.

As said, it would be unfitting to the divine mercy that God had created A&E with such “sinful urges” or “propensity to sin". As @Christy claims:

So Got created A&E in a state of original virtue, with strength to totally master such evolved urges.

By contrast, the new human beings coming into existence after the first sin are not endowed by God with such original virtue. And (as argued in previous posts) God makes things this way, i.e.: “bounds everyone to disobedience”, for the sake of redemption, “so that he may have mercy on them all” (Romans 11:32).

You keep repeating the same objections, so this seems to be going nowhere. I’ll try to wrap up without being too lengthy.

It doesn’t just amount to that claim, it is that claim. I said as much long ago when I questioned how your definition of “evolutionary urges” differed from the “propensity to sin.” A “propensity” is nothing more than a tendency, an urge, a habit. God created the first human beings through evolution. Human morality had to progress from an animal state to something resembling “human.” The “habit” of selfish behavior was established long before chimp and human diverged. It didn’t suddenly disappear at some point in human evolution. Behavior that we eventually learned to identify as “sin” was not “sinful” for humans in the distant past, simply because humanity lacked the knowledge of good and evil (mature morality). The state of a “propensity to sin” cannot be the consequence of “original sin” because such a state has accompanied humanity from its earliest beginnings.

Now, there’s a flipside to the story, because habit is not destiny. Human evolution also includes cooperation and an instinct to share our psychological states with others. We inherit a “propensity to good” as well as a propensity to evil. Throughout childhood, we observe both good and evil types of behavior, and are enculturated into both. The “fall” may appear inevitable when viewed from the outside, but it was still a choice, both for the first humans and for every human. The man and the woman didn’t need to be perfect. Their innocence was the childlike innocence of ignorance, not the perfections of Superman.

Finally, the concept that the first humans are created in the image of God with a propensity to sin isn’t hard to grasp. It happens every day. Children are born/created in the image of God, but they lack the knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge is learned, not inborn. The same is true of humanity writ large. Ha’adam received the “breath of life” from God in Gen. 2:7, but the “fall” doesn’t occur until chapter 3. The human population was tasked with imago Dei long before they acquired the necessary knowledge for the “fall” to occur.

You keep invoking Christy and implying that she agrees with you against me, but in context her comment was actually disagreeing with something you said:

I don’t recall saying anywhere that God required the “fall” to have someone to redeem. If I did, please point it out so I can clarify or repudiate it. This feels like you’re putting words into my mouth. My previous comments were to the effect that God plans the end from the beginning. To be specific, in Gen. 1:26-28 God states his plan, which is to create adam/humanity in his image. That is the telos, the goal. God’s plan was to create a people for himself, which is basically what Christy says in her comments that follow the quoted bit above.

Your language about an “initial plan” seems to imply a fallback or secondary plan in case the first plan should fail. Obviously, I wouldn’t agree with that. I also don’t think we can enumerate the “steps” in God’s plan to glorify the Son. As far as I can tell, incarnation and redemption and calling a people to himself are inextricably intertwined. It’s like divorcing concepts that are married from the start. And who’s to say that God’s plan came to him step-by-step in logical human order? I don’t think anyone can definitively claim to know how God thinks, or in what order thoughts and plans must have occurred to him. God isn’t bound by time like we are.

Returning to the theme of the image of God, I explained above (for the umpteenth time) that animal behaviors are not “sinful.” Simply, human behaviors and morality evolved from animal roots. The “fall” involved the transition from moral ignorance (animal innocence) to moral culpability (human shame). You want to draw a hard line between animals and humans, but what you’re missing is the transitional phase of childhood that corresponds to the evolutionary phase of hominin (genus “Homo”) evolution.

I explain the process in more detail here:

I pointed out the problem with your definition of the image of God in a previous post. Here’s a good rundown of the history of interpretation, and yours doesn’t fit anywhere on that spectrum:

Again, you imply that Christy agrees with both your premise (it would be unfitting to the divine mercy that God had created A&E with such “sinful urges” or “propensity to sin") and your conclusion (So Got {sic} created A&E in a state of original virtue, with strength to totally master such evolved urges). She can speak for herself if she chooses, but I seriously doubt she would agree to either of those.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to address your claim to @Terry_Sampson that “God made Homo sapiens into humankind in the image of God later than 12,000 BP and not later than 5,300 BP.” Buckle up. :wink:

I get lost in the speculations and differences without much distinction sometimes. I don’t think sinlessness or sinfulness is something “created.” I don’t think good or evil are created entities, I think they are judgments about effects. Sin is disobedience and doesn’t exist outside of God relating to people and making requirements. I think humans from time immemorial have been born with selfish tendencies and free will to choose what to do with them. I think these tendencies are “natural” in that all creatures evolve will to survive and coping mechanisms for self-preservation. I don’t think that is something God specifically put into humanity or took away from “the first humans.” I don’t think self-preservation had a sinful aspect to it until God called humans to trust him for life and sustenance and live under his rule, and they rebelled against that call. I’m personally not all that interested in the question of whether the Adam and Eve in the story were created with a propensity to sin or not, because it doesn’t fit with my idea of what “created” means. I don’t think it’s part of the theological points to story is making, it’s something imposed on the story to help smooth out other constructs we have invented to try to understand how sin and redemption work.


Thanks Christy! I fully agree to this.

Before humans rebelled against God’s call to trust him and live under his rule, no evolved urge can be considered sinful.

Now, in a previous post you have stated:

From this it seems to follow you support that:

  1. Adam and Eve in the pre-fall state had the grace of not being affected by “those subconscious sinful propensities” rooted in selfish evolutionary mechanisms. Their choice to sin was “a move from total innocence to rebellion”.

  2. After Adam and Eve’s fall, “by the time any human reaches an age of moral accountability, those subconscious sinful propensities are fully ingrained”.

I endorse this view as well, and claim that this “post-fall state 2” is what the “state of original sin” consists in. In particular Cain’s sin (as described in Genesis 4) was NOT “a move from total innocence to rebellion”: Cain was urged by envy, a strong sinful propensity.

There is a big difference between the temptation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, and the temptation of Cain in Genesis 4: Adam and Eve were in the pre-fall state of grace and had no sinful propensity; by contrast Cain was in the post-fall state of sin and envy was fully ingrained in him.

These claims seem to contradict a bit your previous post 1556. I would be thankful if you could clarify.

I think the account of Adam and Eve is a theological narrative meant to teach about humanity in general, not necessarily a historical first human pair. I don’t take it as literally as you do. I tend to think the lesson about moving from innocence to rebellion applies to corporate humanity and is re-enacted on an individual level in every human. I am agnostic about the idea that an actual innocent couple without selfish propensities, segregated from human culture existed, even if hypothetically they could have. As humans evolved, it certainly appears there was an unbroken chain of human communities enculturating their children. I don’t believe God specially created a human pair separate from these other human communities and personally raised them in innocence in a garden. That strikes me as an ad hoc explanation and the only way you get unenculturated humans. I would say the fall is not this objective move on the part of one couple from entirely pure and morally innocent actions and attitudes to previously uncommitted and unexperienced impure and evil actions and attitudes so much as it is a representation of corporate humanity’s changed state of accountability before God. I think it is the accountability in relationship with God that changed at some point in history, not their hearts or actions. The fall is humanity’s transgression of God’s revealed will and breaking of relationship with God. None of that can happen before God reveals his will and initiates relationship, no matter what actions or attitudes were present in human community beforehand and no matter what propensities they inherited.


In Hebrews 7:3 it is literally said:

“resembling the Son of God” or “made like the Son of God”.

How can someone “be like the Son of God” without “being the Son of God”?

Interpreting Scripture by Scripture I quote:

1 John 3:2:

“But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

It is therefore fitting to state that Melchisezek is like the Son of God because he has immediate vision of the Son of God.

In this respect Hebrews 11 is highly eloquent:

This chapter list explicitly a hug number of OT most relevant characters:

Abel, Cain, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Essau, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets.

Regarding Abraham and his descendants it is said:

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Regarding “Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets” we read:

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

None of them is said to be “like the son of God, he remains a priest forever”, or “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days”.

Interestingly, regarding Enoch, it is said:

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

So it is fitting to conclude that Melchizedek (“without end of life”) with even more reason than Enoch “did not experience death… because God had taken him away”, and God did this because “he was commended as one who pleased God.”

This said, I thank you once again for raising these stimulating objections, which in the end seem to strengthen the scenario I sketch out.

This is the step you are missing:

Animals behave instinctively, as they were created to behave, so they are not in need of redemption. Men evolved to loosen the bonds of instinct so they could make choices (but they had to learn to make the right choices: to know the difference between good and evil).

In the process called neoteny, the development of the fetus goes through the entire phylogeny of man’s evolution, so infants from birth behave instinctively like the animals who are not in need of redemption. Only as the child’s sense of self develops from experience does the child become self-conscious and acquire the knowledge of good and evil and become subject to the need for redemption. Jesus knew this and favored children. See logion 37 in the Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi library) for the Return from the Fall.

I have written about this extensively in:

The Book of Genesis from a Darwinian Perspective
The Fundamental Structure and Systematic Theology of the Torah

The Biblical Significance of Adam and Eve and Jacob and Esau
The Biblical Significance of Melchizedek
The Biblical Significance of Walking on Water…

and more on my academia.edu page

…and now you understand that redemption is the return to instinctive behaviors.

Jesus returned from the Fall. He memorized and internalized the Torah.

Learn as much as you can for as long as you live.
Make your learned behaviors intuitive.

See logion 37 of the G of T. It’s the return from the Fall.