Original Sin

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Gen. 2:17

“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.”

Rom. 5:12




First Sin
Works Against Bellarmine: Original Sin



Order of Contents

Articles  12+
Confessions  11
Early Church  1
Historical  1
How Persons are Rightly Guilty of Original Sin  2
Latin  1





Ames, William – The Marrow of Theology  tr. John D. Eusden  (1623; Baker, 1997), bk. 1

ch. 13, ‘Original Sin’ pp. 120-21
ch. 17, ‘The Propagation of Sin’, pp. 127-28

Ames (1576-1633) was an English, puritan, congregationalist, minister, philosopher and controversialist.  He spent much time in the Netherlands, and is noted for his involvement in the controversy between the reformed and the Arminians.  Voet highly commended Ames’s Marrow for learning theology.

Rivet, Andrew – 15. ‘On Original Sin’  in Synopsis of a Purer Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  Buy  (1625; Brill, 2016), vol. 1, pp. 350-84

Rutherford, Samuel

Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter  trans. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman  (1638-1642; 1668; RBO, 2019)

ch. 6, section 2, ‘Whether Original Sin is not Sin because it was not done Personally?’, pp. 83-84

ch. 10, section 8, ‘Whether the Covenant of Works entered into with Adam was rigid and of such a sort that God, according to its rigor, could not carry it out on his posterity?  We deny against the Remonstrants.’, pp. 97-99

‘How Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteousness are ours’  being pp. 234-35  of The Covenant of Life Opened…  (1655)



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – ch. 14, ‘Original & Actual Sin’  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vols. 1  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), pp. 381-407

a Brakel (1635-1711) was a contemporary of Voet and Witsius and a major representative of the Dutch Further Reformation.



Alexander, Archibald

Princeton Theological Essays  (1830)

‘The Early History of Pelagianism’, pp. 80-108

‘Original Sin’, pp. 109-27

‘The Doctrine of Original Sin as Held by the Church, Both Before & After the Reformation’  in The Biblical Repertory & Theological Review  (Oct. 1830)

Hodge, Charles

‘The Imputation of Sin’  3 parts in Princeton Theological Essays  (1830), pp. 128-217

‘Commentary on Rom. 5:12-21’  in Commentary on Romans  (1837)

Systematic Theology, vol. 2, Part II, ‘Anthropology’, ch. 8, ‘Sin’

8. ‘The Effects of Adam’s Sin upon his Posterity’  p. 192
9. ‘Immediate Imputation’  pp. 192-213
10. ‘Mediate Imputation’  pp. 205-14
12. ‘Realistic Theory’  pp. 216-26
13. ‘Original Sin’  pp. 227-54
14. ‘The Seat of Original Sin’  pp. 254-57
15. ‘Inability’  pp. 257-79

Shedd, W.G.T.

‘The Doctrine of Original Sin’  in Theological Essays (1852), pp. 211-64

ch. 5, ‘Original Sin’  in Dogmatic Theology  (1888), pp. 168-260

‘Commentary on Rom. 5:12-21’  in Commentary on Romans

Baird, Samuel J.

The First Adam & the Second: the Elohim Revealed in the Creation & Redemption of Man  (1860)  700 pp.

A Rejoinder to the Princeton Review upon The Elohim Revealed, touching the Doctrine of Imputation & Kindred Topics  (1860)  40 pp.

The anecdote in the first two pages gives a summary of the whole, shows in part the problems that Charles Hodge’s view is liable to, and gives the occasion and reason for the publication of his book on the topic above.

Thornwell, James H. – Collected Writings, vol. 1

Lecture 13, ‘Original Sin’, pp. 301-51

‘Nature of our Interest in the Sin of Adam: being a Review of Baird’s Elohim Revealed’  (1860), pp. 515-72

Breckinridge, R.J. – pp. 498-502  of ch. 32, ‘Origin of Evil… Fall of Man…’  in The Knowledge of God Objectively Considered

Landis, Robert

The Doctrine of Original Sin, as Received & Taught by the Churches of the Reformation, Stated & Defended, & the Error of Dr. Hodge in Claiming that the Doctrine Recognizes the Gratuitous Imputation of Sin, Pointed Out & Refuted  (1884)  572 pp.

”Unthinkable Propositions’ & Original Sin’  in The Southern Presbyterian Review  (April, 1875), pp. 298-315

‘The Gratuitous Imputation of Sin’  in The Southern Presbyterian Review, vol. 27  (1876), pp. 318-52

Dabney, Robert

Discussions, vol. 1

‘The Doctrine of Original Sin’  (1884), pp. 143-68  A review of Landis’ book above.

pp. 253-81  of ‘Hodge’s Systematic Theology’

Lectures 27-29, ‘The Fall & Original Sin’  in Systematic Theology  (1878), pp. 306-51

Cunningham, William – Historical Theology  (1863)

‘The Doctrines of the Fall’‘of the Will’  in vol. 1, p. 496 ff. & p. 568 ff.  70 pp. & 41 pp.

‘Original Sin’  in vol. 2, p. 386 ff.  8 pp.



Berkhof, Louis – ‘Original Sin & Actual Sin’  in Systematic Theology  (1950)  18 paragraphs




ed. Jean-Francois Salvard, Theodore Beza, Lambert Daneau, Antoine de la Roche Chandieu & Simon Goulart – The 4th Section, ‘Of Man’s Fall, Sin & Free-Will’  (1581)  in The Harmony of Protestant Confessions, pp. 57-80

In 1581, the first Harmony of Protestant Reformed Confessions of Faith was published in Geneva.  It was the result of a collaboration between the Huguenot ministers listed above.

They published it in response to the publication of the Lutheran Book of Concord in 1580.  It included a comparison of eleven Reformed confessions and the Lutheran Augsburg Confession.  In 1842, it was translated into English, reorganized and enlarged by Peter Hall.



The Early Church on Original Sin

‘Original Sin’  in ‘Patristic Passages of Interest for Lutherans’  (2014)  13 pp.

The article gives excerpts from Augustine, Hilary, Ambrose, Cyril of Alexandria & Origen.




Book on Original Sin in American Presbyterianism



How Persons are Rightly Guilty of Original Sin in Them


Peter van Mastricht

Theoretical-Practical Theology  (RHB), vol. 3, bk. 4, ch. 2

section 22, pp. 458-9

“From these things, what they object to the contrary can be dealt with easily, namely: (1) the primary-first motions of sins or of concupiscence, although they ack prior consent, nevertheless do not lack all consent.  (2) That man is a rational being. For it does not follow from this that all his acts are rational or voluntary.  For there are also natural acts, such as falling down, and those things for example that are committed during sleep. I would not say that all acts of the will flow from the prior consent of the will; it is sufficient that they have concomitant consent.  This can also be responded regarding original sin: for that also has the concomitant consent of the will, although it does not have antecedent consent.”


section 23, pp. 459-60

“Nor is it a hindrance: (1) that it [Original Sin] was not voluntary in every way, for it is sufficient (a) for it to be voluntary antecedently in the cause, namely in our first parents; (b) for it to be voluntary concomitantly in their posterity themselves, insofar as it exists in them not against the will, but with it. I need not mention that (c) lawlessness is sufficient for the constitution of sin.

(2) That the law nowhere prohibits being born with sin; for it is sufficient that it everywhere prohibits existing with sin, and in particular, wrongly coveting (Ex. 20:17; Rom. 7:7).

(9) That concupiscence is said to produce sin (James 1:14); since nothing hinders sin from producing sin, that is, inchoate sin from producing consummated sin.”





.Wendelin, Marcus Friedrich – ch. 10, ‘Of Original Sin’  in Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 1, ‘Knowledge of God’, pp. 205-27




“For it is better to bring good from evil than to never permit evil to be.”
“Melius enim iudicavit de malis benefacere, quam mala nulla esse permittere.”

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Rom. 5:20-21




Related Pages

On the Fall of Man

How did the First Human Sin Happen?

Covenant of Works

The Origin of the Soul: on Creationism & Traducianism