Fall, the

Fall, the
A post-biblical expression for the doctrine of Adam's transgression and mankind's consequential inheritance of a sinful nature. The story of the disobedience of Adam and Eve is depicted in the J version of the creation (Gen. 2:4b–3:24); human sin is rooted in the desire to be like God and to live lives wholly centred on themselves and their own desires. According to the narrative, the result of this primal sin was expulsion from the garden. God was afraid that Adam, having disobediently eaten from one tree, might be tempted to become immortal by eating next from the tree of life. So the way back to the garden was barred. Paul appears to misunderstand the story as if Adam had the gift of immortality, but lost it by eating the forbidden fruit. He refers to the story in Rom. 5:21, taking it up from Ecclus.=Sir. 25:24. The doctrine of original sin was much developed by Christian theologians, especially Augustine in the 5th cent. CE and, later, by Protestant Reformers.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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