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 Post subject: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:48 am 
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My wife is attending a Bible study on the Old Testament and was told that the serpent (nahash) in the Garden of Eden was really a dragon that threatened to kill Adam. IIRC, it was Scott Hahn that popularized this theory. In reality, how old is this theory? It there any support from the Church Fathers or from Tradition that supports this theory?

Justin

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:57 am 
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The Douay Rheims version says serpent. It used guile to trick Eve not threats.
Anne Catherine Emerick said the serpent was afraid of Adam because it thought Adam was Jesus.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:58 am 
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Along that same note, what about a point that was brought up in my dd's university religion class? Namely, that the serpent was never specifically described as being the devil?

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:00 am 
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I don't know if Hahn is the main popularizer of it, but he definitely does promote it. I rather doubt that it has a lot of patristic support, since the LXX and the Vulgate don't support it and very few of them were were working from Hebrew.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:57 am 
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Cuniculus Dei wrote:
My wife is attending a Bible study on the Old Testament and was told that the serpent (nahash) in the Garden of Eden was really a dragon that threatened to kill Adam. IIRC, it was Scott Hahn that popularized this theory. In reality, how old is this theory? It there any support from the Church Fathers or from Tradition that supports this theory?

Justin


I think any distinction here is primarily etymological and pointless. No matter how large we picture the serpent to be, it's still a serpent. I can't recall reading any commentary on the Talmud or Torah that adds any distinctions or qualifiers to describe the serpent as dragonlike, so it seems like the distinction is generally unimportant in Judaism as well. I could be forgetting something, but I can't think of that distinction being drawn much in any of the Jewish texts that I read. Although, it has been some time.

I've heard the whole translation-would-be-a-giant-serpent-more-like-a-dragon theory (I think by Hahn and Cavins, perhaps), but I don't know about the threat to kill Adam?

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:34 am 
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This is news to me.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:13 pm 
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HeyAgain wrote:
I've heard the whole translation-would-be-a-giant-serpent-more-like-a-dragon theory (I think by Hahn and Cavins, perhaps), but I don't know about the threat to kill Adam?

I believe that is a Hahn novelty as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:56 am 
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Cuniculus Dei wrote:
My wife is attending a Bible study on the Old Testament and was told that the serpent (nahash) in the Garden of Eden was really a dragon that threatened to kill Adam. IIRC, it was Scott Hahn that popularized this theory. In reality, how old is this theory? It there any support from the Church Fathers or from Tradition that supports this theory?

Justin

I've been thinking about this and I just can't buy it. If Satan threatened to kill Adam in order to coerce Eve into eating the fruit it wouldn't have worked because she didn't know what death was or meant.
Not only that she had to commit original sin of her own volition and not because she was being forced by a hideous scary creature threatening her. If she committed original sin by coercion it would have mitigated the punishment. God wouldn't have punished mankind so severly if original sin was committed by a person with a gun to her head.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:01 am 
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Scott Hahn gets a lot of his theories (such as Melchizedek actually being Seth) from rabbinical writings and traditions. While examining rabbinical writings can be useful, Hahn makes a serious error when he makes these traditions central to his exegesis.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:57 am 
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Thanks, everyone.

Justin

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:09 am 
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Snow Miser Doom wrote:
Scott Hahn gets a lot of his theories (such as Melchizedek actually being Seth) from rabbinical writings and traditions. While examining rabbinical writings can be useful, Hahn makes a serious error when he makes these traditions central to his exegesis.


Hahn is just starting to drive me crazy. I used to hang on his every word until I learned that some of his theories (e.g., the "fourth cup") might be his own idea at worst, or barely supported by Church Fathers at the least. He comes across as so sincere and knowledgable that I don't know when he's re-stating Church dogma and when he's merely advancing his own hypothesis.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:33 am 
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MySweetLord wrote:
Along that same note, what about a point that was brought up in my dd's university religion class? Namely, that the serpent was never specifically described as being the devil?
It is true that nowhere in the Genesis 3 account of the Fall is the serpent explicitly called the Devil or Satan, In the New Testament book of Revelation there are a couple of back references dealing with dragons and serpents and using the "names" of Devil and Satan.

<Rev 12: 9 >The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.


<Rev 20:2 >He [An angel] seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years


Edward Pothier


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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:20 am 
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Edward Pothier wrote:
MySweetLord wrote:
Along that same note, what about a point that was brought up in my dd's university religion class? Namely, that the serpent was never specifically described as being the devil?
It is true that nowhere in the Genesis 3 account of the Fall is the serpent explicitly called the Devil or Satan, In the New Testament book of Revelation there are a couple of back references dealing with dragons and serpents and using the "names" of Devil and Satan.

<Rev 12: 9 >The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.


<Rev 20:2 >He [An angel] seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years


Edward Pothier

Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Snow Miser Doom wrote:
Scott Hahn gets a lot of his theories (such as Melchizedek actually being Seth) from rabbinical writings and traditions. While examining rabbinical writings can be useful, Hahn makes a serious error when he makes these traditions central to his exegesis.



Scott Hahn is not infallible? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Cuniculus Dei wrote:
My wife is attending a Bible study on the Old Testament and was told that the serpent (nahash) in the Garden of Eden was really a dragon that threatened to kill Adam. IIRC, it was Scott Hahn that popularized this theory. In reality, how old is this theory? It there any support from the Church Fathers or from Tradition that supports this theory?

Justin


Well, a serpent, if poisonous, can also threaten to kill someone, provided it has the use of language, of course, which this one did. However, the theory doesn't make any sense to my admittedly rather unlearned mind. How could Adam and Eve be threatened in an unfallen world? While we are, of course, supposed to be willing to give our lives for God, it would also seem to lessen our collective human responsibility a bit. We sin mainly as an assertion of ourselves now, and, while our first parents obviously did not have concupiscence at that stage, I think the point is that it was to self assertion, and not basic self preservation, that the devil tempted them. I may, of course, have missed something, but I would take a good bit of convincing before I could consider the death threat theory a real possibility.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
Well, a serpent, if poisonous,


:flag Serpents aren't 'poisonous' they are venomous! :fyi:

Oh man, this 'penalty flag' emoticon is fun, why didn't I discover it earlier? ::):

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:22 pm 
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I think you're making perfect sense, NB.

Why would one think that the serpent would have needed to threaten to kill Adam? The first sin had everything to do with deciding that one should make one's own rules instead of abiding by God's, and modern sin continues this same trend. That first act of defiance and our own sinful actions have in common that we are deciding to be our own authority instead of obeying God's authority, wanting power and satisfaction that do not rightly belong to us.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Perhaps the poison is not so much like the venom we associate with creatures today, however the words of the dragons mouth were poison to the soul of Adam and Eve. I often wonder how long Adam and Eve had been in the garden seeing the tree, but yet it didn't become good for food and a delight to the eyes until after the lie's the serpent spewed forth about making them equal to God. I see this in direct contrast to Jesus when it was written that our Lord emptied Hemself completely and didn't consider equality with God something to be considered. Pretty much the exact opposite of what Adam and Eve tried to achieve.

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:26 pm 
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The serpent only tempted Eve it didn't speak to Adam. Eve is the one who tempted Adam.
I think Adam and Eve were in the garden a long time since Adam's job was naming the animals.

There was poor old Adam getting up early, picking up his briefcase, leaving the cave and naming animals all day. And what was Eve doing? Standing around talking to a snake when she should have broken off a limb and whacked it because it wasn't supposed to be talking! Then when Adam got home from work and propped up his feet on a rock for a little rest before supper here comes Eve with guess what? an apple pie. She probably even had a little ice cream on it to make it irresistable. She carried on with her flirty little smile until Adam couldn't stand it any more. He crushed out his cigar and picked up a fork...

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 Post subject: Re: The "dragon" in the Garden of Eden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:38 am 
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Snow Miser Doom wrote:
Norwegianblue wrote:
Well, a serpent, if poisonous,


:flag Serpents aren't 'poisonous' they are venomous! :fyi:


:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


Quote:
Oh man, this 'penalty flag' emoticon is fun, why didn't I discover it earlier? ::):


It is kind of cool. I don't know why I've never used it. 8-)

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