The only religions that speaks of a fall of man from a pristine original state of existence are the Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  All other religions assume the human state was same as it is today. 

For many Christian denominations the doctrine of the fall is closely related to that of original sin; ie., they believe that the fall brought sin into the world corrupting the entire natural world, including human nature, causing all humans to be born into original sin, a state from which they cannot attain eternal life without the grace of God.

The term "prelapsarian" refers to the sin-free state of humanity prior to the fall.

The Eastern Orthodoxy accepts the concept of the fall but rejects the idea that the guilt of original sin is passed down through generations, based in part on the passage Ezekiel 18:20 that says a son is not guilty of the sins of his father. 

Calvinist Protestants believe that Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for the elect, so they may be redeemed from their sin. Other religions, such as Judaism and Gnosticism, do not have a concept of "the fall" or "original sin" and have varying other interpretations of the Eden narrative.

The question of whether the sin is transmitted through genetic coding or not is not really the question because every act or impulse or thought is forever recorded and transmitted subtly to every generation.  At the fall, the individual freedom was asserted by Man as against the consonance and resonance of the whole creation within the body of God.  If there is just one selfish person within a commune evidently everyone will have to be selfish to survive..  This is exactly what happened.  In order to bring back the Kingdom of God with the entire body elements back in good health and synchronized with the will of god without violating the freedom of the individual beings is the problem of redemption.    

 In the early days when genetics were not developed it was thought through by the early fathers like  Irenaeus,Bishop of Lyons Augustine Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Ambrosiaster   based on the New Testament portions of Romans 5:12–21 and1 Corinthians 15:22) and the Old Testament verse of Psalm 51:5. These passages considerst humanity assharing in Adam's sin, transmitted by  from one gerneration to another .generation. We should not forget that these were long before the genetic DNA, RNA discovery,

St. Basil attributes to us the act of the first man: "Because we did not fast (when Adam ate the forbidden fruit) we have been turned out of the garden of Paradise" (Hom. i de jejun., iv).

St. Irenæus; "In the person of the first Adam we offend God, disobeying His precept" (Haeres., V, xvi, 3).

Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, equated original sin with concupiscence, without explaining the details, affirming the total depravity of Man and complete destruction of freedom of will and choice. In other words with the fall of Adam, mankind lost the freedom to choose and was fully at the mercy of God,   Within Roman Catholicism, the Jansenist movement, which the Church then declared heretical, also maintained that original sin destroyed freedom of will and that human destiny after the fall was totally predestined

Cornelius Jansen (1585–1638), professor at the Old University of Louvain

The Greek Fathers emphasized the cosmic dimension of the Fall, namely that since Adam human beings are born into a fallen world, but held fast to belief that man, though fallen, is free. This approach is corroborated by the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who though strayed away and fallen in sin was able to make up his choice to return who was received by the father and reinstated with full rights as a Son. The emphasis here is that inspite of the fall the sinful nature is transmitter from parents to children, the mankind still retains the freedom to choose ultimately against any such tendency to return to the original state with God the Father.


Augustine of Hippo (354–430) taught that Adam's sin  is transmitted by concupiscence, or "hurtful desire", sexual desire  and all sensual feelings resulting in humanity becoming a massa damnata (mass of perdition, condemned crowd), with much enfeebled, though not destroyed, freedom of will. In other words the sin of Eve and Adam was the sexual act.



Definition of CONCUPISCENCE:  strong desire; especially :  sexual desire


Was the sin of Adam and Eve the sexual act?  Though no one of the early fathers have defined this clearly, here is one explanation:

·        The Divine Principles - Young Oon Kim gives the following explanation:

“According to Genesis 3:6, sin originated from the fact that Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This sin was passed on to their children, and it is still inherited by us today. Therefore Christianity teaches that everyone is born a sinner, and needs the Savior for his deliverance from the moment of his birth.

This sin could not be originated by eating a fruit. Therefore the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil should not be interpreted literally but symbolically. What does it symbolize? What Adam and Eve did after they ate the fruit gives a hint to the meaning of the eating of the fruit. They had been nude and not been ashamed at all. After they ate the fruit they felt ashamed, and sewed fig leaves together and made aprons in order to conceal their lower parts.(Genesis 2:25; 3:7, 8) What does this mean?

It is human nature to conceal what is wrong or defective. Job said in Chapter 31:33, " If I have concealed my transgressions like Adam by hiding my iniquity in my bosom let the Almighty answer me. " Job defended himself by saying that he had not the same sin as Adam, in other words, what Adam concealed was his defective part, and that was h is lower part, therefore the 'transgressions like Adam's means sexual sin. To have eaten the fruit, therefore, represented that Adam and Eve had had unlawful and immoral sexual relations which God had forbidden.

In creating man and woman, God blessed them to marry. "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. "(Genesis 1:27) But unjust and unlawful sex relations are forbidden; thus adultery is regarded as the gravest sin leaving a scar deep in heart and body. God blessed marital love above all, but adultery is regarded as the degraded deed. The sin that Adam and Eve committed was adultery which became the origin of sin.

 …., Lucifer could not help feeling the stimulating impulse of 1ove toward her. Lucifer ventured to join together with Eve in spite of the threat of death, and this was the spiritual fall between Eve and Lucifer. Thus Lucifer became Satan……

 ….. Eve perceived that Lucifer was not her husband, but, that in accordance with the Divine Principles, Adam would be.  …. Having committed sin Eve wished to recover her previous position in God's favor, and compelled Adam to behave as her husband. Being tempted by Eve, Adam responded to her by committing adultery…….   



Serpent seed, dual seed or two-seedline theory is a controversial doctrine, according to which the serpent in the Garden of Eden mated with Eve, and the offspring of their union was Cain. This belief is still held by some adherents of the white-supremacist Christian Identity, who claim that the Jews, as descendants of Cain, are also descended from the serpent.  The idea has also existed in several other non-racial contexts, and major proponents include Daniel Parker (1781–1844)  and William M. Branham.


William Marrion Branham (1909– 1965) was an American Christian minister, usually credited with founding the post World War II divine healing movement which gave the boost to the Pentecostal revival.

The doctrine that Eve mated with the serpent, or with Satan, to produce Cain also appears in early Gnostic writings such as the Gospel of Philip (c. 350).  This teaching was explicitly rejected  as heresy by Irenaeus (c. 180) and later mainstream Christian theologians. A similar doctrine appeared in Jewish midrashic texts in the 9th century and in the Kabalah. 

 Some Kabbalist rabbis also believe that Cain and Abel were of a different genetic background than Seth. This is known among Kabbalists as "The Theory of Origins". (Rabbi Donmeh West. "Kabbalistic Genetics").  The theory teaches that God created two "Adams" (adam means "man" in Hebrew). To one he gave a soul and to the other he did not give a soul. The one without a soul is the creature known in Christianity as the serpent. The Kabbalists call the serpent Nahash (meaning serpent in Hebrew). This is recorded in the Zohar:

"Two beings [Adam and Nachash] had intercourse with Eve, and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species; from the side of Abel comes a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial – good wine mixed with bad." (Zohar 136)

 In support of this theory the proponents quote the following verses :

  "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted..." (Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

"Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." (1 John 3:12)

John also recorded in his gospel that Christ said, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." (Jn 8:44)

Advocates of the serpent seed doctrine have interpreted these verses to imply that the New Testament writers believed Cain, the first murderer, was indeed the serpent's seed.

The following points and scriptures are largely agreed upon by all proponents to be the basis of the Serpent Seed doctrine, although variations do occur as mentioned above.

           The Two Trees. The starting point of the discussion is usually on the two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:10) Proponents note the difference between the "trees that grow out the ground" as opposed to "the trees in the midst of the garden." This is used to indicate the two trees are not physical trees but principles (e.g. ideas, rules). They also point to the Book of Revelation, where the Tree of Life is now in heaven to show that the two trees are not the same kind of trees that grow on Earth but instead are something spiritual. (Rev 2:7 and 22:2) Furthermore they point out that since man chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it should still be visible somewhere in the world today, which they claim is the overt sexuality of society.

           The Serpent. (Gen 3) The serpent in its original form was a creature capable of speech, and it had not yet at that point been cursed to go "upon [its] belly"; thus some proponents claim that the "serpent" was originally an upright human-like creature. Some proponents claim the serpent was intended to be used for manual labor and therefore was made to look like a man but was not given a soul.  The chapter states that the serpent "beguiled" Eve. In Early Modern English this word literally meant to seduce or lead astray.

           Sex. In the Bible, the sexual act is always obliquely referenced in Moses' writings. It is always referred to discreetly, such as "knowing". Similarly in the Book of Proverbs, it states "such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness." (Prov 30:20) This is used as evidence that the trees and the fruit are just another cryptic way to describe sex.

           The Punishment. (Gen 3) Proponents also point to the punishment to show that the act was sexual. When Adam and Eve sinned they covered their genitals, not their mouths, indicating they sinned not with their mouths but with their genitals. The punishment God put on them also affected sexual reproduction: He caused the woman to have menstrual cycles and to have increased pain in childbirth. God's curse also put enmity between the descendants of Adam (e.g., Abel) and the descendants of the serpent (e.g., Abel's murderer Cain).

           The Birth. (Gen 4) At the birth of Cain, Eve said "I have gotten a man from the Lord." Proponents claim that in the remaining two pre-Flood chapters, Adam's descendants are called the "sons of God", not "men", while the word "men" refers solely to the descendants of Cain. Eve was also called "the mother of all living" (Gen 3:20), but Adam was not similarly called "the father of all living".

           The Offspring. (Gen 4) Cain and Abel were of different occupational backgrounds. Abel tended the flocks and Cain tilled the ground. Proponents claim these traits were inherited from their fathers; Adam was to rule over the animals and the serpent was intended to tend the Garden of Eden. Another difference between them was that Abel, being of pure birth, knew how to give a proper sacrifice to God. Cain, not being pure, did not know how to give a proper sacrifice, he only knew he needed to give one, indicating he was only inherited a portion of the knowledge that Abel had inherited. His impurity was also displayed by his jealousy and murder of Abel, some proponents argue that these are not traits God would have created in Adam and Eve and could not have been inherited from them.

           The Two Lines of Descent. (Gen 4-5) Some proponents claim that because the two lines of descent are recorded separately it indicates they were somehow different. It notes how the developments in Cain's sides were all negative (e.g. Lamech's declaration in Gen 4:23 that "I have slain a man to my wounding".) But in Seth's line (Gen. 5) nothing is mentioned of anything evil, and each patriarch "begat sons and daughters". Ultimately, the two lines intermarry (Gen 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."), and God then destroyed the world with a flood. Proponents also point to the biological principle of heterosis being evidenced in the offspring of the interbreeding of the two lines being giants.

           Christ. Ultimately Seth's line leads to Jesus, who was born of a virgin. Proponents point to the fact that all humanity was impure and therefore incapable of "breeding" a "pure" Son of God as the reason Christ had to be born of a virgin. Many proponents claim that Christ was born in the same state that Adam was created: perfect and without sin. They claim he had to be created by God in order for him to be pure and to be the "perfect sacrifice".

           Parable of the Tares. Regardless of the understanding of the Serpent Seed based on the book of Genesis, many who believe in the doctrine hold that one of the most important evidences for the doctrine comes from Jesus unfolding the revelation the Parable of the Tares. In this parable Jesus confirmed there were two distinct children present in the world until the end.

This gene continues to be in every human being which is the original sin.



Since all humanity came out of  Adam and Eve, via sexual reproduction, the sin of Adam and Eve were transmitted into every  human being as part of their nature.   In Augustine's view (termed "Realism"), all of humanity was really present in Adam when he sinned, and therefore all have sinned. Original sin, according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit. As sinners, humans are utterly depraved in nature, lack the freedom to do good, and cannot respond to the will of God without divine grace. Grace is irresistible, results in conversion, and leads to perseverance.  This eventually led to the concept of Predestination.

According to Augustine sexual desire itself as well as other bodily passions were consequence of the original sin, in which pure affections were wounded by vice and became disobedient to human reason and will. As long as they carry a threat to the dominion of reason over the soul they constitute moral evil, but since they do not presuppose consent, one cannot call them sins. Humanity will be liberated from passions, and pure affections will be restored only when all sin has been washed away and ended, that is in the resurrection of the dead.

 Following Augustine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1261 declares: "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God”,  as it clearly states in the funeral rites for them.

Pelagius ( c. 390-418) on the other hand insisted that the fall of Adam did not make every one of Adamic race depraved and claimed that the influence of Adam on other humans was merely that of bad example.

 His supporters cite Deuteronomy 24:16 to deny original sin. He denied the more specific doctrine of original sin as developed by Augustine. Pelagius was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism. He continued to insist on the total freedom of will of man to be able to receive Jesus even as sinners by choice.

A 17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says:

"Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence

Durst thou excuse Man's foul Concupiscence,

Or cry down Sin Originall,
 or that The Love of GOD did Man predestinate."

Protestant reformation

Martin Luther  (1483–1546) asserted that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of   The second article in Lutheranism's Augsburg Confession presents its doctrine of original sin in summary form:

“It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers’ wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Rejected in this connection are the Pelagians and others who deny that original sin is sin, for they hold that natural man is made righteous by his own powers, thus disparaging the sufferings and merit of Christ.”

Luther, however, also agreed with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was conceived free from original sin) by saying:

“[Mary] is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. God is with her, meaning that all she did or left undone is divine and the action of God in her. Moreover, God guarded and protected her from all that might be hurtful to he”r.

This is because Mary’s inherited original sin would still be in Jesus

John Calvin (1509–1564) developed a systematic theology of Calvinism by his interpretation of Augustine of Hippo's notion of original sin. Calvin believed that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of conception. This inherently sinful nature (the basis for the Calvinistic doctrine of "total depravity") results in a complete alienation from God and the total inability of humans to achieve reconciliation with God based on their own abilities. Not only do individuals inherit a sinful nature due to Adam's fall, but since he was the federal head and representative of the human race, all whom he represented inherit the guilt of his sin by imputation. Man is dead and is incapable of even responding to God. This is known as “Total Depravity”.  Redemption by Jesus Christ is the only remedy which is given only to those whomsoever Jesus chose since the sinner has no ability to choose any more.

John Calvin defined original sin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion as follows:

“Original sin, therefore, seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God's wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls "works of the flesh" (Gal 5:19). And that is properly what Paul often calls sin. The works that come forth from it – such as adulteries, fornications, thefts, hatreds, murders, carousings – he accordingly calls "fruits of sin" (Gal 5:19–21), although they are also commonly called "sins" in Scripture, and even by Paul himself.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all humans.

Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".

As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

The Catholic Church teaches that every human person born on this earth is made in the image of God.[54][55] Within man "is both the powerful surge toward the good because we are made in the image of God, and the darker impulses toward evil because of the effects of Original Sin."[56] Furthermore, it explicitly denies that we inherit guilt from anyone, maintaining that instead we inherit our fallen nature. In this it differs from the Calvinism/Protestant position that each person actually inherits Adam's guilt, and teaches instead that "original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants ... but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man".[57] "In other words, human beings do not bear any 'original guilt' from Adam and Eve's particular sin."

Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eastern Orthodox's  never accepted Augustine of Hippo's notions of original sin and hereditary guilt.

Orthodox Churches accept the teachings of John Cassian, as do Catholic Churches eastern and western,  in rejecting the doctrine of Total Depravity, by teaching that human nature is "fallen", that is, depraved, but not totally. 

Eastern Orthodoxy accepts the doctrine of ancestral sin: "Original sin is hereditary. It did not remain only Adam and Eve's. As life passes from them to all of their descendants, so does original sin."