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  • arbible
    Very many thanks, Dr Bebawi. I am pasting the text of your attachment below for the benefit of those who receive the text-only or digest versions of group
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 25, 2006

      Very many thanks, Dr Bebawi. I am pasting the text of your attachment below for the benefit of those who receive the text-only or digest versions of group messages without attachments.
      Original Sin, a short historical note 
      by Dr George Bebawi

      Original Sin, a short historical note 



      The idea and the name "Original Sin" are not known in Judaism or Eastern Christianity.  Even in the West, there were three different schools:


      1      A strict Augustinian school represented by Peter Lombard, which taught that original sin was inherited and infected the whole human nature.


      2      A rejection of this view by Anselm of Canterbury, Duns Scotus, William of Occam and Gregory of Rimini, who saw the main characteristic of original sin, the absence of original righteousness resulting in concupiscence, as God's punishment of humanity.


      3      Alexander of Hales, Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas mediated these extreme positions by defending the idea that the absence of original righteousness from the human race would be the form of original sin, i.e. what we have lost rather than what we have received through procreation.  They also believed that the existing concupiscence in the whole human race is original sin itself (St 1.11, q. 82 art 1) which means that the fall did not result in inheriting a particular sin, but in inheriting a fallen nature.


      Death the cause of sin in Eastern Tradition    


      The Greek Patristic understanding of humanity never denied the unity of mankind.   The Pauline doctrine of the two Adams " As in Adam all men die, so also in Christ shall all be brought to life" (1 Cor 15:22)  leads  all the fathers to understand (Gen 1:27) to refer to the creation of mankind as a whole.  It is obvious, therefore, that the sin of Adam must also be related to the whole of the human race, just as salvation brought by Christ is salvation for all mankind; but neither sin nor salvation can be realised in an individual's life without freedom of choice.  Romans 5:12 which has played a decisive role in the polemics between Augustine and the Palagians, where Paul says "As sin came into the world through one man, and through sin, death, so death spread to all men because all men have sinned (ef w panta jemrtovn eph ho pantes hemarton) was translated in Latin to (in quo omnes peccaverunt, in whom all men have sinned)..  This translation was used by Augustine and in the West to justify the doctrine of guilt inherited from Adam and spread to his descendants. The masculine "quo" must refer to  "one man", mentioned earlier in the Pauline text:  "all have sinned in Adam" But the Greek does not allow such a meaning, and admits two grammatical possibilities:


      a) if eph  ho is a neuter and means "because",  then the sentence defines death as result of individual sin of any human (not original sin).


      b) If is a masculine, it refers to death as the cause of sin, so that death is a cosmic event and a universal reality, becomes the cause of individual human sins.  The fathers of the Eastern Church such as Theodoret, Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and Maximus the Confessor saw nothing in the Pauline text beyond a moral similarity between Adam and other sinners.

      If eph ho (because) is a masculine pronoun , referring to the immediately preceding substantive thanatos (death) , then the text should be translated "As sin came into  the world   through one man and death through sin, so death spread to all men and because of death all men have sinned."( For the meaning of the Greek text of  Rom 5:12 see, J A  Fitzmeyer, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, pp. 307- 308. For the historical side of this  reading see J N D Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 1958, pp 348-52 and J Myendorff, Byzantine Theology, 1987, pp 143-46).

      Eastern Patristic theology does not know the thought of a transmission of  "guilt" from Adam to his descendants.  However, it does not ignore the very fact of cosmic fallenness.  This fallenness is not expressed in terms of divine punishment inflicted upon all humans (the Augustinian Massa Damnata) from parents to children, but rather in terms of a usurpation or illegitimate tyranny exercised by Satan upon God's creation.  Humans are rather seen as victims of universal reign of death (indeed Satan is "a murder from the beginning" :Jn 8:44).  "Through fear of death, they are subject to lifelong bondage" (Heb 2:15).  What is being transmitted from parents to children is not sin but mortality and slavery to fear, creating a condition where sin is inevitable: "Having become mortal," writes Theodoret of Cyrus, " Adam and Eve conceived mortal children, and mortal beings are necessarily subject to passions and fears, to pleasures and sorrows, to anger and hatred." (Commentary on Rom PG 80:1245A).


      --- In arbible@yahoogroups.com, "George Bebawi" <gbebawi@...> wrote:
      > Please read the file ATT
      > G
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "arbible" mnkamel@...
      > To: arbible@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:34 AM
      > Subject: [Zeitun-eg.org] Re: ÇáÔíØÇä æÚÞíÏÉ ÇáÎØíÉ
      > However, the 'Original Sin/Consequences of the Original Fall' is a
      > different concept, although the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have
      > somehow DIFFERENT views of it, as explained in the articles by HG
      > Bishop Kallistos Ware (Greek Orthodox Bishop).
      > (This difference between the two Churches in their inderstanding of the
      > Original Sin was one of the reasons that led the Catholic Church to devise
      > their dogma of the 'Immaculate Conception' in the 19th century, a dogma that
      > is completely rejected by the Orthodox Church!)
      > Yours in Christ,
      > --arbible
      > _____________________
      > Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:19 pm
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