7 Deadly Sins

    By Jeremy Thursday, September 10, 2009

    WIRED ran an interesting article about the 7 Deadly Sins as mapped out in America from Kansas State University Geography research.

    Curious where the "Se7en" Deadly Sins originated from, I did a bit a research, specifically from a Coptic Orthodox stand-point. Apparently, the 7 Deadly Sins were originally 8 in number, as established by the monk Evagrius Ponticus. He was a trusted friend of some of the most influential fathers of the Orthodox church, including St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Macarius and St. Basil. It wasn't until the 4th Century that Pope Gregory I revisted this list to create the more common 7 Deadly Sins we know today.

    But this brings along the question of whether some sins are worse than others? By what standards are these sins more "deadly" than others? Are they the sole sins that lead to Hades? I would think not, as is explicitly written in James 2:10, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."

    To understand this we must delve into the root meaning of "sin". From Isaiah 59:2 we read,
    "But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
    And your sins have hidden His face from you,
    So that He will not hear."
    And from that, we can conclude that all sins are "deadly" as they introduce a separation from God, because the lack of God is sin, and without God there is nothing. These seven are specifically deadly in name because they spark the path of sin, a slippery slope, if you will.

    23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for it is the wellspring of life.

    24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

    25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
    fix your gaze directly before you.

    26 Make level paths for your feet
    and take only ways that are firm.

    27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.
    (Proverbs 4)

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