According to Christian theology, Original sin is the state of being sinful into which all people are born as descendants of Adam. Original sin refers to the very first sin, committed by Adam and Eve. Original sin is sometimes referred to as "the Fall". St. Augustine added theological explanation to the original sin that is described in the Bible.
For Christians, Paul's discussion in Romans Chapter 5, v. 12 ff is operative:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Elsewhere, Paul discusses the idea that Adam and Eve, as sinless creatures of God, were immortal in the flesh. The consequence of their sin (offense) was death, mortality, a sentence they passed onto all their progeny, the whole community of mankind. The sin was a supreme offense, and mankind became collectively offensive to God. Jesus, as the New Adam was a new, sinless creation within the whole body of Man; while capable of sin, Jesus never sinned, and was therefore exempt from the death penalty. But he died, and quite horribly in fact. The why of the death of Christ is wrapped up in the doctrine of the Atonement; suffice to say Christ (in his human nature) chose to suffer the penalty of human sin as an atonement for its offense.
An alternative interpretation is that the entire story of original sin and the 'fall' of humanity as a result of the actions of Adam and Eve is a spiritually significant religious myth rather than a literal account of events. It can be seen as describing the growth of humanity from the status of animals with no moral sense or sense of their own mortality. Alternatively, it can be seen as a description of the process of human maturation, which starts with a helpless and innocent child who goes through the process of individuation and separation from the family and become independent.
- According to Unification Church teachings, Rev. and Mrs. Moon were the first couple to conceive children without original sin.