This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Where Did the Term "Original Sin" Originate?

QUESTION: When did the term "original sin" originate in Christian theology?

ANSWER: The doctrine of an inborn propensity to sin was taught by the New Testament writers, but the phrase "original sin" probably arose soon after Jerome, the author of the Vulgate version, erroneously translated Rom. 5:12, "in whom all men have sinned." This was quoted in proof that we all were present in Adam and were guilty of the sin we then committed and are consequently deserving of eternal punishment. The correct rendering is "death passed unto all men, for that all sin," sooner or later. That is the bent of fallen humanity. Original sin is now understood to mean that hereditary leaning toward moral evil which is removed by the completed work of the Holy Spirit in entire sanctification.

Steele's Answers pp. 91, 92.