The Fathers on Original Sin

Post by
Ambrose Andreano

Quotes from the fathers on the topic of Original Sin

Ambrose of Milan (AD 337-397)
"For death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed upon all; that we may not refuse to acknowledge Him to be also the Author of death, Whom we do not refuse to acknowledge as the Author of our race; and that, as through one death is ours, so should be also the resurrection; and that we should not refuse the misery, that we may attain to the gift. For, as we read, Christ 'is come to save that which was lost,' and 'to be Lord both of the dead and living.' In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of Paradise, in Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ. If, then, death be the debt of all, we must be able to endure the payment. But this topic must be reserved for later treatment."
On the Death of His Brother Satyrus, 2.6.
“Before we are born we are stained by contagion, and before seeing the light we receive the injury of our very origin, we are conceived in iniquity…[for] there are already some sins in the one being born... The conception is not without iniquity, since the parents are not without sin, and if not even a child of one day is without sin, so much more are those days of the maternal conception not without sin. Thus, we are conceived in the sin of our parents and are born in their iniquities. But birth itself also has its own contagions, and the nature itself has not merely one contagion.”
-Defense of the Prophet David, 11.
Ambrosiaster (AD 384)
"In whom" -- that is, in Adam -- 'all have sinned'. And he said 'in whom,' using the masculine form, when he was speaking of a woman, because the reference was not to a specific individual but to the race. It is clear, therefore, that all have sinned in Adam,en masse as it were; for when he himself was corrupted by sin, all whom he begot were born under sin. On his account, then, all are sinners, because we are all from him. He lost God's favor when he strayed."
-Commentaries on thirteen Pauline Epistles, Rom 5:12.
Aphraates of Persia (AD 270-345)
"Moreover, among the sons of Adam there is none besides Him who might enter the race without being wounded or swallowed up. For sin has ruled from the time Adam transgressed the command. By one among the many was it swallowed up; many did it wound, and many did it kill; but none among the many killed it until our Savior came, who took it on Himself and fixed it to His cross."
-Treatises, 7.1.
Athanasius of Alexandria (AD 296-373)
“When Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men. For He brought them into His own garden, and gave them a law: so  that, if they kept the grace and remained good, they might still keep  the life in paradise without sorrow or pain or care besides having the  promise of incorruption in heaven; but that if they transgressed and  turned back, and became evil, they might know that they were incurring  that corruption in death which was theirs by nature: no longer to live  in paradise, but cast out of it from that time forth to die and to abide  in death and in corruption… So here, once more, what possible course  was God to take? To demand repentance of men for their transgression?  For this one might pronounce worthy of God; as though, just as from  transgression men have become set towards corruption, so from repentance  they may once more be set in the way of incorruption. But repentance  would, firstly, fail to guard the just claim of God. For He would still  be none the more true, if men did not remain in the grasp of death; nor,  secondly, does repentance call men back from what is their nature — it  merely stays them from acts of sin. Now, if there were merely a  misdemeanor in question, and not a consequent corruption, repentance  were well enough. But if, when transgression had once gained a start,  men became involved in that corruption which was their nature, and were  deprived of the grace which they had, being in the image of God, what  further step was needed? Or what was required for such grace and such  recall, but the Word of God, which had also at the beginning made  everything out of nought? For His it was once more both to bring the  corruptible to incorruption, and to maintain intact the just claim of  the Father upon all. For being Word of the Father, and above all, He  alone of natural fitness was both able to recreate everything, and  worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be ambassador for all with the  Father.”
Four Discourses Against the Arians / On the Incarnation of the Word
"And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent's deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, 'For we are not ignorant of his devices' Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself' sent, that, He, being and remaining the same, by taking this alterable flesh, 'might condemn sin in it,' and might secure its freedom, and its ability s henceforth 'to fulfill the righteousness of the law' in itself, so as to be able to say, 'But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in us.' "
-Against the Arians, 1:51.
Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
“Why did Ham sin and yet vengeance was  declared against his son Canaan? Why was the son of Solomon punished  [for Solomon’s sin] by the breaking up of the kingdom? Why was the sin  of Ahab, king of Israel, visited upon his posterity? Now we read in the  sacred books, ‘Returning the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of  their children after them’ (Jeremiah 32.18) and ‘Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation’ (Exodus 20.5)?…  Are these statements false? Who would say this but the most open enemy  of the divine words?”“However, it is called sin, not in such a way that  it makes us guilty, but because it is the result of the guilt of the  first man and because by rebelling it strives to draw us to guilt,  unless we are aided by the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord,  lest even the dead sin so rebel that by conquering it revives and  reigns.”
Against Julian
"This grace, however, of Christ, without which neither infants nor adults can be saved, is not rendered for any merits, but is given gratis, on account of which it is also called grace. 'Being justified,' says the apostle, 'freely through His blood.' Whence they, who are not liberated through grace, either because they are not yet able to hear, or because they are unwilling to obey; or again because they did not receive, at the time when they were unable on account of youth to hear, that bath of regeneration, which they might have received and through which they might have been saved, are indeed justly condemned; because they are not without sin, either that which they have derived from their birth, or that which they have added from their own misconduct. 'For all have sinned'--whether in Adam or in themselves--"and come short of the glory of God.' "
-On Nature and Grace, 4.
"[T]his concupiscence, I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration, does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of sin to a man's posterity, unless they are themselves loosed from it by regeneration."
-On Marriage and Concupiscence, 1.23.
“But even the infants, not personally in their own life, but according to the common origin of the human race, have all broken God’s covenant in that on in whom all have sinned…Even the infants are, according to the true belief, born in sin, not actual but original, so that we confess they have need of grace for the remission of sins.”
-City of God, 16.27
Basil of Caesarea (AD 329-379)
“ not the personal sin of Adam, but the original human being himself, who exists in us by necessity.”
“Little given, much gotten; by the donation of food the original sin is discharged. Just as Adam transmitted the sin by his wicked eating, we destroy that treacherous food when we cure the need and hunger."
-Eulogies & Sermons,Famine & Drought, 8.7.
Cyprian of Carthage (d. AD 258)
“But again, if even to the greatest sinners, and to those  who had sinned much against God, when they subsequently believed,  remission of sins is granted — and nobody is hindered from baptism and  from grace— how much rather ought we to shrink from hindering an infant,  who, being lately born, has not sinned, except in that, being born  after the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of  the ancient death at its earliest birth, who approaches the more easily  on this very account to the reception of the forgiveness of sins— that  to him are remitted, not his own sins, but the sins of another.”
Epistle to Fidus, 58.5.
Cyril of Alexandria (AD 378-444)
“How did many become sinners because of Adam?… How could  we, who were not yet born, all be condemned with him, even though God  said, ‘Neither the fathers shall be put to death because of their  children, nor the children because of their fathers, but the soul which  sins shall be put to death’? (cf. Deut. 24:18)  … we became sinners through Adam’s disobedience in such manner as this:  he was created for incorruptibility and life, and the manner of  existence he had in the garden of delight was proper to holiness. His  whole mind was continually beholding God; his body was tranquil and calm  with all base pleasures being still. For there was no tumult of alien  disturbances in it. But because he fell under sin and slipped into  corruptibility, pleasures and filthiness assaulted the nature of the  flesh, and in our members was unveiled a savage law. Our nature, then,  became diseased by sin through the disobedience of one, that is, of  Adam. Thus, all were made sinners, not by being co-transgressors with  Adam,… but by being of his nature and falling under the law of sin…  Human nature fell ill in Adam and subject to corruptibility through  disobedience, and, therefore, the passions entered in.”
Commentary on Romans
Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 313-386)
"Through him our forefather Adam was cast out for disobedience, and exchanged a Paradise bringing forth wondrous fruits of its own accord for the ground which bringeth forth thorns. What then? some one will say. We have been beguiled and are lost. Is there then no salvation left? We have fallen: Is it not possible to rise again? We have been blinded: May we not recover our sight? We have become crippled: Can we never walk upright? In a word, we are dead: May we not rise again? He that woke Lazarus who was four days dead and already stank, shall He not, O man, much more easily raise thee who art alive? He who shed His precious blood for us, shall Himself deliver us from sin."
-Catechetical Lectures, 2.4-5.
Didymus the Blind (AD 313-398)
“If Christ had received His body from a marital union and not in another way it would be supposed that he too is liable to an accounting for that sin, which, indeed, all who are descended from Adam contract in succession.”
-Against the Manicheans
Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)
"Adam sinned and earned all sorrows;--likewise the world after His example, all guilt.--And instead of considering how it should be restored,--considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.--Glory to Him Who came and restored it!"
-Hymns on the Epiphany, 10.1.
Gregory Nazianzen (AD 329-390)
"And further, above this, we have in common reason, the Law, the Prophets, the very Sufferings of Christ, by which we were all without exception created anew, who partake of the same Adam, and were led astray by the serpent and slain by sin, and are saved by the heavenly Adam and brought back by the tree of shame to the tree of life from whence we had fallen."
-Against the Arians, 33:9.
Gregory of Nyssa (AD 335-394)
“Evil was mixed with our nature from the  beginning… through those who by their disobedience introduced the  disease. Just as in the natural propagation of the species each animal  engenders its like, so man is born from man, a being subject to passions  from a being subject to passions, a sinner from a sinner. Thus sin  takes its rise in us as we are born; it grows with us and keeps us  company till life’s term.” “For He Who bestowed on all things that are,  the power of being, is the God and overseer of what He has Himself  produced. But since, by the wiles of him that sowed in us the tares of  disobedience, our nature no longer preserved in itself the impress of  the Father’s image, but was transformed into the foul likeness of sin,  for this cause it was engrafted by virtue of similarity of will into the  evil family of the father of sin: so that the good and true God and  Father was no longer the God and Father of him who had been thus  outlawed by his own depravity, but instead of Him Who was by Nature God,  those were honored who, as the Apostle says, ‘by nature were no Gods,’  and in the place of the Father, he was deemed father who is falsely so  called, as the prophet Jeremiah says in his dark saying, ‘The partridge  called, she gathered together what she hatched not.’  Since, then, this  was the sum of our calamity, that humanity was exiled from the good  Father, and was banished from the Divine oversight and care, for this  cause He Who is the Shepherd of the whole rational creation, left in the  heights of heaven His unsinning and supra-mundane flock, and, moved by  love, went after the sheep which had gone astray, even our human nature.  For human nature, which alone, according to the similitude in the  parable, through vice roamed away from the hundred of rational beings,  is, if it be compared with the whole, but an insignificant and  infinitesimal part. Since then it was impossible that our life, which  had been estranged from God, should of itself return to the high and  heavenly place, for this cause, as says the Apostle, He Who knew no sin  is made sin for us , and frees us from the curse by taking on Him our  curse as His own , and having taken up, and, in the language of the  Apostle, ‘slain’ in Himself ‘the enmity’  which by means of sin had come  between us and God —(in fact sin was ‘the enmity’) — and having become  what we were, He through Himself again united humanity to God. For  having by purity brought into closest relationship with the Father of  our nature that new man which is created after God , in Whom dwelt all  the fullness of the Godhead bodily , He drew with Him into the same  grace all the nature that partakes of His body and is akin to Him. And  these glad tidings He proclaims through the woman, not to those  disciples only, but also to all who up to the present day become  disciples of the Word, — the tidings, namely, that man is no longer  outlawed, nor cast out of the kingdom of God, but is once more a son,  once more in the station assigned to him by his God, inasmuch as along  with the first-fruits of humanity the lump also is hallowed. ‘For  behold,’ He says, ‘I and the children whom God has given Me.”
The Beatitudes; Against Eunomios, Book 12
Hilary of Poitiers (AD 310-368)
“Having been sent in a flesh in the likeness  of that of sin, He did not have sin in the same way that He had flesh.  But as all flesh comes from sin, that is, it derives from the sin of  Adam the progenitor, He has been sent in a flesh similar to that of sin,  because in Him sin does not subsist, but the image of sinful flesh...“[David] does not think he lives in this life, for he had said: ‘Behold I have been conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me.’ He knows that he was born of sinful origin and under the law of sin.”
Commentary on Psalm 118
Irenaeus of Lyons (AD 130-202)
“....having become disobedient, [Eve] was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race....Thus, the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith. ...But this man [of whom I have been speaking] is Adam, if truth be told, the first-formed man....We, however, are all from him; and as we are from him, we have inherited his title [of sin]. -Against Heresies, 3:22:4; 3:23:2.
"And not by the aforesaid things alone has the Lord manifested Himself, but He has done this also by means of His passion. For doing away with the effects of that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;" rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was wrought out upon the tree of the cross. Now He would not have come to do away, by means of that same image, the disobedience which had been incurred towards our Maker if He proclaimed another Father. But inasmuch as it was by these things that we disobeyed God, and did not give credit to His word, so was it also by these same that He brought in obedience and consent as respects His Word; by which things He clearly shows forth God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning."
Against Heresies, 5.16.3.
Jerome of Stridon (AD 347-420)
“Those of adult age [do penance], and it reaches to the smallest, for none is without sin, not even if their life were only one day, or the years of their life were able to be counted.”
-Commentary on Jonah, 3.5.
John Chrysostom (AD 349-407)
"How then did death come in and prevail? "Through the sin of one." But what means, "for that all have sinned?" This; he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal ... From whence it is clear, that it was not this sin, the transgression, that is, of the Law, but that of Adam's disobedience, which marred all things. Now what is the proof of this? The fact that even before the Law all died: for 'death reigned' he says, 'from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.' How did it reign? 'After the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.' Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ ... [W]hen the Jew says to thee, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? thou mightest be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned?"
Homilies on Romans, 10.
“You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his members”
-Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian, 1:6:21.
Justin Martyr (AD 100-165)
"He stood in need of baptism, or of the descent of the Spirit like a dove; even as He submitted to be born and to be crucified, not because He needed such things, but because of the human race, which from Adam had fallen under the power of death and the guile of the serpent, and each one of which had committed personal transgression. For God, wishing both angels and men, who were endowed with freewill, and at their own disposal, to do whatever He had strengthened each to do, made them so, that if they chose the things acceptable to Himself, He would keep them free from death and from punishment; but that if they did evil, He would punish each as He sees fit. For it was not His entrance into Jerusalem sitting on an ass, which we have showed was prophesied, that empowered Him to be Christ, but it furnished men with a proof that He is the Christ; just as it was necessary in the time of John that men have proof, that they might know who is Christ."
– Dialogue with Trypho, 88:4.
Maximus the Confessor (AD 580-662)
There then arose sin, the first and worthy of reproach,  that is, the falling away of the will from good to evil. Through the  first there arose the second – the change in nature from incorruption to  corruption, which cannot elicit reproach. For two sins arise in [our]  forefather as a consequence of the transgression of the Divine  commandment: one worthy of reproach, and the second having as its cause  the first and unable to elicit reproach
Quaestiones ad Thalassium
Methodius of Olympus (AD 250-311)
"But if any one were to think that the earthy image is the flesh itself, but the heavenly image some other spiritual body besides the flesh; let him first consider that Christ, the heavenly man, when He appeared, bore the same form of limbs and the same image of flesh as ours, through which also He, who was not man, became man, that "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' For if He bore flesh for any other reason than that of setting the flesh free, and raising it up, why did He bear flesh superfluously, as He purposed neither to save it, nor to raise it up? But the Son of God does nothing superfluously. He did not then take the form of a servant uselessly, but to raise it up and save it. For He truly was made man, and died, and not in mere appearance, but that He might truly be shown to be the first begotten from the dead, changing the earthy into the heavenly, and the mortal into the immortal."
On the Resurrection, 13.
"That Lord, I say, who in His simple and immaterial Deity, entered our nature, and of the virgin's womb became ineffably incarnate; that Lord, who was partaker of nothing else save the lump of Adam, who was by the serpent tripped up."
Oration concerning Simeon and Anna, 13.
Origen of Alexandria (AD 185-253)
“But if it pleases you to hear what other saints also might think about this birthday, hear David speaking, "In iniquity I was conceived and in sins my mother brought me forth," showing that every soul which is born in flesh is polluted by the filth "of iniquity and sin"; and for this reason we can say what we already have recalled above, "No one is pure from uncleanness even if his life is only one day long.” To these things can be added the reason why it is required, since the baptism of the Church is given for the forgiveness of sins, that, according to the observance of the Church, that baptism also be given to infants; since, certainly, if there were nothing in infants that ought to pertain to forgiveness and indulgence, then the grace of baptism would appear superfluous.”
Homilies on Leviticus, 8.5.
“It is clear that each of those in the inhabited world has fallen through sin, and the Lord is he who sets aright those who have collapsed and raises up all of those who have fallen down. In Adam all die, and so the inhabited world has fallen and has need of being set aright, in order that in the Christ all may be made alive.”
Homilies on Jeremiah, 8.4.
“Then the Gospel says, "When the days of their purification were fulfilled, according to the law of Moses, they brought him into Jerusalem." The passage says, on account of "their" purification. Who are "they"? If Scripture had said, "on account of 'her' purification"-that is, Mary's, who had given birth-then no question would arise. We would say confidently that Mary, who was a human being, needed purification after childbirth. But the passage reads, "the days of their purification." Apparently it does not signify one, but two or more. Did Jesus therefore need purification? Was he unclean, or polluted with some stain? Perhaps I seem to speak rashly; but the authority of Scripture prompts me to ask. See what is written in the book of Job: "No man is clean of stain, not even if his life had lasted but a single day." The passage does not say, "No man is clean of sin," but, "No man is clean of stain." "Stain" and "sins" do not mean the same thing. "Stain" is one thing, "sin" another. Isaiah teaches this clearly when he says, "The Lord will wash away the stains of the sons and daughters of Zion, and he will cleanse the blood from their midst. By the spirit of judgment he will purge the stain, and by the spirit of burning the blood. Every soul that has been clothed with a human body has its own "stain. " But Jesus was stained through his own will, because he had taken on a human body for our salvation. Listen to the prophet Zechariah. He says, 'Jesus was clothed with stained garments." Zechariah says this to refute those who deny that our Lord had a human body, but say that his body was made of heavenly and spiritual substance. They say this body was made of heavenly matter or, they falsely assert, of sidereal matter, or of some other more sublime and spiritual nature. Let them explain how a spiritual body could be stained, or how they interpret the passage we quoted: 'Jesus was clothed with stained garments." If this difficulty drives them to assume that the "stained garment" means the spiritual body, then they should be consistent and say this, that what is said in the prophecies has been fulfilled, that is, "an animal body is sown, a spiritual body rises." Do we thus rise soiled and stained? It is an impiety even to think this, especially when one knows what Scripture says: "The body is sown in corruption, but will rise in incorruption; it is sown in obscurity, but will rise in glory; it is sown in weakness, but will rise in strength; our animal body is sown, but a spiritual body will rise.
Thus, it was fitting that those offerings that, according to the law, customarily cleanse stain, should be made. They were made for our Lord and Savior, who had been "clothed with stained garments" and had taken on an earthly body. Christian brethren often ask a question. The passage from Scripture read today encourages me to treat it again. Little children are baptized "for the remission of sins. ' Whose sins are they? When did they sin? Or how can this explanation of the baptismal washing be maintained in the case of small children, except according to the interpretation we spoke of a little earlier? "No man is clean of stain, not even if his life upon the earth had lasted but a single day." Through the mystery of Baptism, the stains of birth are put aside. For this reason, even small children are baptized. For, "unless a man be born again of water and spirit, he will not be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  The Gospel continues: "When the days of their purification were fulfilled." Days are also fulfilled mystically. For a soul is not purified as soon as it is born, nor does it gain perfect purity in birth itself. It is written in the law, "If a mother bears a male child, she will sit for seven days in unclean blood, and then for thirty-three days in clean blood. At the end she and the infant will sit in the purest blood." But "the Law is spiritual"" and "has a shadow of good things to come";" so we can understand that true purification will come about after time. I think that we shall need a sacrament to wash and cleanse us even after resurrection from the dead." No one will be able to rise without stains, nor will any soul be found that immediately lacks all vices. So the rebirth of Baptism contains a mystery: just as Jesus, in the economy of the flesh, was purified by an offering, so we too are purified by spiritual rebirth.”
Homilies on Luke, 14.3-6.
“For the opinion which says that death passed through to all men  suffices, both that of the Apostle and of him who said, “No one is pure  from uncleanness, even if his life should be one day long.” But when  that death of sin which passed through to all had come to Jesus and had  attempted to pierce him with its sting—“for the sting of death is  sin”—it was repulsed and broken. “For he was life,” and death was  inevitably destroyed by life. At that time it is said to [death],  “Where, O death, is your sting? Where, O death, is your victory?”  Because death had conquered all, it is said to death here, “Where, O  death, is your victory?”
Homilies on Romans, 5.1.
“Therefore our body is the body of sin, for it is not written that  Adam knew his wife Eve and became the father of Cain until after the  sin. After all, even in the law it is commanded that sacrifices be  offered for the child who was born: a pair of turtledoves or two young  doves; one of which was offered for sin and the other as a burnt  offering. For which sin is this one dove offered? Was a newly born child  able to sin? And yet it has a sin for which sacrifices are commanded to  be offered, and from which it is denied that anyone is pure, even if his  life should be one day long. It has to be believed, therefore, that  concerning this David also said what we recorded above, “in sins my  mother conceived me.” For according to the historical narrative no sin  of his mother is declared. It is on this account as well that the Church  has received the tradition from the apostles to give baptism even to  little children. For they to whom the secrets of the divine mysteries  were committed were aware that in everyone was sin’s innate defilement,  which needed to be washed away through water and the Spirit. Because of  this defilement as well, the body itself is called the body of sin; it is  not because of sins the soul committed when it was in another body, as  they who introduce the doctrine of metempsychosis imagine. But because  the soul was fashioned into the body of sin, and the body of death and  lowliness, and just as he said, “You have lowered our soul to the dust.”
Homilies on Romans, 5.9.
Pacian (AD 310-391)
"After Adam sinned, as I noted before, when the Lord said, 'You are earth, and to earth you shall return', Adam was condemned to death. This condemnation passed on to the whole race. For all sinned, already by their sharing in that nature, as the Apostle says: "For through one man sin made its entry, and through sin death, and thus it came down to all men, because all have sinned. ... Someone will say to me: But the sin of Adam deservedly passed on to his posterity, because they were begotten of him: but how are we to be begotten of Christ, so that we can be saved through Him? Do not think of these things in a carnal fashion. You have already seen how we are begotten by Christ our Parent. In these last times Christ took a soul and with it flesh from Mary:this flesh came to prepare salvation."
-Sermons on Baptism, 2.6.
Symeon the New Theologian (AD 949-1022)
“Human nature is sinful from its very conception. God did not create man sinful, but pure and holy. But since the first-created, Adam lost this garment of sanctity, not from any other sin than pride alone, and became corruptible and mortal, all people also who came from the seed of Adam are participants of the ancestral sin from their very conception and birth. He who has been born in this way, even though he has not yet performed any sin, is already sinful through this ancestral  sin. Thus, in soul Adam died immediately, as soon as he had tasted  [from the fruit of that tree from which God had commanded him not to  taste, threatening him that if he should only taste of it he should die]; and later, after nine hundred and thirty years, he died also in body. For, as the death of the body is the separation of it of the soul,  so the death of the soul is the separation from it of the Holy Spirit…  

Later, for this reason, the whole human race also became such as our forefather Adam became through the fall – mortal, that is, both in soul and body. Man such as God had created him no longer existed in the  World.”
Homily 37:3; Homily 45:3
Tertullian of Carthage (AD 155-240)
Finally, in every instance of vexation, contempt, and abhorrence, you pronounce the name of Satan. He it is whom we call the angel of wickedness, the author of every error, the corrupter of the whole world, through whom Man was deceived in the very beginning so that he transgressed the command of God. On account of his transgression Man was given over to death; and the whole human race, which was infected by his seed, was made the transmitter of condemnation...Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame.
-The Testimony of the Soul, 3.2; 40.

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