Skip to comments.Do the Father’s Support Scott Hahn's "Dragon" Theory?
Posted on 10/11/2004 8:24:38 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
RE: Hahns treatment of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we see the same mistakes being made. Mind you, these are serious errors,because they undermine the traditional understanding of who, precisely, was responsible for the first sin, as well as the theological ramifications of that initial sin. In brief, Hahn claims Adam sinned first, not Eve. He writes: "Thus, Adam's failure was virtually complete by the time Eve took her first bite" (A Father Who Keeps His Promises (FKP), p. 72).
Suffice it to say, Hahn's conclusion is utterly false. But in observing how he deals with biblical texts, it is not surprising that Hahn would come to such an erroneous conclusion. In the same book, he lets us in on a little secret about his exegetical methodology. It's called, in his own words, "going back and reading between the lines" (FKP, p. 69). Unfortunately, the salient "lines" Hahn forgot to read, and to which he makes no reference in his two book sections (FCL pp. 62-79; FKP, pp. 57-76), are the divinely inspired lines of 1 Tim 2: 14: "And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression," or 2 Cor 11:3: "I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness..."
How much more evidence do we need that Eve was the initial culprit? Either Hahn forgot to mention those Scriptures, or worse, he is deliberately avoiding them for his own personal agenda. Hahn's interpolations wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that St. Paul bases his entire teaching on how women should be conducting themselves precisely on the fact that Eve was the first one who sinned. (1 Tim 2: 13-15). If the order of sin is reversed, then St. Paul is turned into a fabricator, and the New Testament's proscriptions for women are neutralized (cf., 1 Cor 11: 116; 14:33-38; 1 Tim 2: 11-12). Is that what Hahn is secretly trying to do? I hope not.
Hahn tries to relieve himself of these exegetical responsibilities by claiming that, if Eve sinned first, was Adam then "expected to forsake his new bride at that point?" (FKP, p. 72). The answer, quite frankly, is "yes." As soon as she sinned, Adam should have brought her to God and allowed God to make the decision of her fate. That was the normal prescription for a husband whose wife sinned against him (Nm 5:11-31; Dt. 22:13-22; 24:14; Jer. 3:8, 20; Ezk 23:36-49). If Adam did so, he would have saved the world from Original Sin, since it was passed down only through him, not Eve (Rom 5:12-14).
Contrary to what Hahn claims, there is no evidence in the text that Adam was "fearing for his life" from a threatening dragon. The simple fact is that Adam was duped into thinking that he could be as great as or greater than God, and in the process, he made God a liar and the devil a god. That, and that only, was Adam's sin, but the key fact here is that the devil used Eve to deceive Adam into entertaining such criminal intent.
If we examine the record, this is precisely what tradition tells us. As was the case in Hahn's treatment of the Holy Spirit, he has absolutely no support from the patristics, Aquinas, or any dogmatic Catholic teaching for his controversial "reading between the lines." The one Father that Hahn brings to his aid, Irenaeus, is not even in the same, ballpark. In fact, apparently unbeknownst to Hahn, Irenaeus obliterates the foundational plank of Hahn's thesis. Hahn claims that during the temptation from the devil "Adam was right there all along" (FKP, p. 67), and because of this, Hahn says Adam was responsible to stop Eve from eating the fruit, but was scared to do so for fear of his life. To support this claim, Hahn quotes part of a passage from Irenaeus in FKP to suggest that Adam sinned and Eve could be excused: "The woman, moreover, can be excused; she wrestled with a demon and was thrown. But Adam will not be able to find an excuse...he had personally received the commandment from God." (Irenaeus, Fragments, ANF, Ch. 16, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 571). But,just one sentence later, Irenaeus says: "The serpent found her working alone, so that he was enabled to confer with her apart. Observing her then either eating or not eating from the trees, he put before her the fruit of the forbidden tree." Obviously, when Hahn wants to support a pet interpretation he seems to have no problem "reading between the lines," but he has a great problem reading the lines right in front of him that contravene his very thesis.
Elsewhere Irenaeus confirms our critique. He writes: "Mary the Virgin is found obedient...but Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin having become disobedient... (Against Heresies,Bk 3, Ch 22); "For, while promising that they should be as gods...he wrought death in them" (Ibid, Bk 3, ch 23).
All the other Fathers give us the same information. Not one deviates from it. Accordingly, we can provide a relative sampling of their testimony beginning with the letter "A," since we don't have the space to add the numerous Fathers whose names begin from B to z: Ambrose: "...for, we know that those temptations are more severe which arise through women. For even Adam was overthrown by Eve..." (Letter XX); Aphrahat: "For it was through Eve that he came in upon Adam" (The Demonstrations, 3); Athanasius: "...the devil, the author of heresies, because of the ill savour which attaches to evil, borrows Scripture language...to seduce the simple. Thus he deceived Eve; thus he framed former heresies; thus he persuaded Arius..." (Against the Arians, Discourse I, 3, 8); Augustine: "...because by Eve he had mastered the first man" (A Sermon to the Catechumens).
*** Adam was "fearing for his life" from a threatening dragon.***
Adam, being unfallen, would not even be able to conceptualize what "fear" was.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Fear only comes after sin entered the picture.
As a convert he should realize that Catholics don't just walk into the place and start spouting newfangled apologetics based on idiosyncratic ideas.
I wonder what the point of the speculation is.
Perhaps its in attempt to score points with Catholic "feminists" who after reading this might come into contact with works that are orthodox and not speculative.
Sungenis is just as much a convert as Hahn is.
The difference is that Hahn doesn't run a "apologetics ministry" which endorses geocentrism, plagiarizes anti-Semitic screeds written by Nazis, and sets itself up in opposition to the Pope. (A cursory search on Yahoo will demonstrate what I'm talking about.)
Bob Sungenis used to have a program on EWTN. They dumped him because of his views, which are a whole lot stranger than Scott Hahn's.
He probably hasn't learned that we have the catechism, not do-it-yourself ministers with bright ideas.
I thought based on the scripture that "Adam was not deceived", that Adam wasn't duped at all. Rather Adam chose to share in the fate of his wife, based on his love for the woman. That decision meant rebelling against God. Adam should have at the very least consulted God to see what the options were, rather than automatically disobeying God.
IMO converts make some of the best Catholics we have.
It's funny to watch these vestigial protestants snipe at each other over whose Bible interpretation is better.
Praise God, you can't take the protestant out of the boy.
Why does the word "Fathers" have an apostrophe in it?
Ad hominem. Let's address the texts, shall we? Your character assassination of Robert Sungenis has nothing to do with his Biblical scholarship. Too bad the same criteria isn't used in the Novus Ordo church or EWTN on Hahn's apparent "faulty scholarship."
The EWTN and Novus Ordo vendetta against Sungenis happened because he became a traditionalist. No ecumenism in the Novus Ordo Church for that now, huh?
It shouldn't. It's a typo on my part.
LOL!! Sungenis quotes directly from a Nazi pamphlet, as late as 2002, and throws in his lot with Holocaust Deniers.
It's all right here.
Sungenis, like Joe Sobran, can't keep their paleoconservative politics out of their religious discussions.
do you have a live link to this article or did you type it in?
Address the text of the article deacon. It would seem to me that you are not much of a Scott Hahn fan either, so why don't you address the textual analysis of the text in the article?
Ray Brown and Little Rock Scripture Study and Historical Criticism doesn't prepare one much to do that, does it?
By the way, deacon, how much study in Sacred Scripture did you have in order to become a deacon?
Bill Cork? Please...