In my profile page, I include this obscure piece of trivia, rarely appreciated in its fullest:
“God created humanity which was already flawed by mortality. The idea that humans were once perfect is a bit of sacrilege - - how could man be perfect without being Gods? The phrase “The Fall” was coined by a Greek church father named Methodius of Olympus - - sometime in the 300’s CE.”
There was no “Fall” until Methodius of Olympus wrote centuries after the New Testament (let alone after Genesis was written).
The Eastern Church takes a totally different spin:
“Eastern Orthodoxy rejects the idea that the guilt of original sin is passed down through generations. It bases its teaching in part on Ezekiel 18:20 that says a son is not guilty of the sins of his father. The Church teaches that, in addition to their conscience and tendency to do good, men and women are born with a tendency to sin due to the fallen condition of the world.”
"It follows Maximus the Confessor and others in characterising the change in human nature as the introduction of a “deliberative will” (θέλημα γνωμικόν) in opposition to the “natural will” (θέλημα φυσικόν) created by God which tends toward the good. Thus, according to St Paul in his epistle to the Romans, non-Christians can still act according to their conscience "
“Orthodoxy believes that, while everyone bears the consequences of the first sin (that is, death), only Adam and Eve are guilty of that sin. Adam’s sin isn’t comprehended only as disobedience to God’s commandment, but as a change in man’s hierarchy of values from theocentricism to anthropocentrism, driven by the object of his lust, outside of God, in this case the tree which was seen to be “good for food”, and something “to be desired” (see also theosis, seeking union with God)”
If we want to extend the logic of the Eastern church’s “deliberate will” argument, we can connect it to the first moment all humanity experiences as they grow from infancy to an age of moral responsibility: All Humans (who are mentally competent) go from an innocent state where they are not expected to have Moral Judgment (and hence Moral Responsibility) … to the first moment where they behave in such a way as to reveal the common trait of humanity - - the imperfection of their moral sense!
This is inevitable because of the flesh nature of humanity, yes?
And then there is the even more momentous historical event ,… when a troop of animal hominids, in the judgment of the Lord and Great Creator … suddenly judges them to be capable of Moral Agency… of Moral Responsibility (again, not in the innocent years of infancy … but at some point in their maturation).
This had to be a wondrous day for humanity … when enough neural synapses had been enabled in the hominid brain that, in God’s eyes!, established us as a morally responsible life form - - truly Human!
Evolution matches this First Sin scenario rather well… and I don’t think we have to be embarrassed about that!