What explanations do Christians offer for the origin of sin?

Essay by blinkbabe13B, April 2006

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Over the years Christians have interpreted and reinterpreted the Bible in many different ways and these interpretations have led to several explanations for the origin of sin. Sin is one quarter of what is known to Christians as the 'Human Condition' which consists of sin, alienation, suffering and death. In biblical terms sin is seen as a deviation from the right or true path, or as a rebellion against God.

In the Old Testament the Greek word 'hamartia' is used for sin. Literally this word means to miss the mark - a term most commonly used in archery. Basically sin is an act or thought which breaks the human relationship with God - in the Old Testament sin is ultimately seen as being against God. In the New Testament, however, there is the appearance of more words relating to sin. The word 'hamartia' is still used but sometimes replace by one of several other words.

The meaning of the word 'paraptoma' is transgression or deviation - an idea closely linked with the missing of the mark suggested by 'hamartia'. This idea is continued through the use of the word 'adikia' meaning that something is not straight. However another word used - 'anomia' - means lawlessness which makes sin appear far more sinister than just not following the right path.

The biblical origin of sin can be found in the third chapter of Genesis - the first book of the Bible. Here we find one of the best known stories of the Bible; the story of Adam and Eve and their fall into sin. Man was created by God from the soil and was named Adam. God, deciding that Adam's full potential could not be reached without companionship, took one of Adam's ribs and from this he formed a woman whom...