Why is Original Sin called the “Sin of Adam,” not the Sin of Adam and Eve?

Community in Mission | 2/18/2019 | Msgr. Charles Pope
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Why is Original Sin called the “Sin of Adam,” not the Sin of Adam and Eve?

Original sin is that first sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, committed when they ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 3:1-7). While it clearly involved them both, Scripture and Tradition refer to it formally as the “Sin of Adam” or “Adam’s Sin,” not the “Sin of Adam and Eve.” It is also described as coming to us “through one man,” not “through one man and one woman.” Consider the following quotes from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Adam - Israel - Covenant—they - Hosea

Like Adam, they [Israel] have broken the covenant—they were unfaithful to me there (Hosea 6:7).

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, … death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam (Rom 5:12, 14).

Adam - Die - Christ - Cor

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:22).

All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners” “sin came into the world through one man …” (CCC # 402).

St - Paul - Church - Misery - Men

Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin … (CCC # 403).

How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man.” By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice (CCC # 404).


Again, why just Adam?

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