A Little Bit of Gnosticism

February 2007

We received the paperback version of First Comes Love by Dr. Scott Hahn, unsolicited from the publisher, in August 2006. Then we received the paperback version from Scott Hahn himself in September 2006, saying, "Check out the changes: the controversial chapter is re-written and placed in the back as an appendix." We appreciate Scott sending it to us. The controversial chapter in the hardback version was Chapter 10: "The Family Spirit."

We critiqued First Comes Love (hardback) in our New Oxford Note "Burn, Baby, Burn!" (Sept. 2002), and Monica Miller's "The Gender of the Holy Trinity: Shall We Feminize the Holy Spirit?" (May 2003), and Edward O'Neill's "Scott Hahn's Novelties" (June 2004). And there were many letters and two articles replying to those three critiques.

In the hardback version, Hahn said: "Indeed, if the Magisterium should find any of them [his 'findings' in favor of a feminine Holy Spirit] to be unsatisfactory I will be the first to renounce them, and rip the following pages out of the book and gratefully consign them to the flames -- and then invite you to do the same." That's where our New Oxford Note "Burn, Baby, Burn!" came from. But in the paperback version, he omits this sentence; so he will not renounce them. Indeed, Hahn digs himself in deeper.

So, what is at issue? Hahn calls the Holy Spirit "mother," "motherly," "maternal," "feminine," "womanhood," and "bridal," in both the hardback and paperback versions.


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



New Oxford Notes: February 2007

Read our posting policy Add a comment
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed NOR's criticism of this subject. But I would like to know what they think motivates men to write such erroneous things. What do such men (think they will) get from it?
Money? Attention? Tenure? Scholarly credentials? Peer approval? Can someone please ask Mr. Hahn the simple question : why do you do it?
Posted by: Mike Ezzo
February 07, 2007 09:57 PM EST
Scott Hahn is a motor mouth. He talks fast using a level of English that requires a motor mouth dictionary.

Who really knows what this guy says. If he sometimes writes like he talks I question any on the button interpretation.
Posted by: paulc37
February 12, 2008 07:49 AM EST
It may not be, Mike Ezzo, that Mr. Hahn teachings these errors out of blatant malicious intent. He may genuinely believe it is in accord with the tradition. He is wrong, of course, and has erred in this area but I don't think we should necessarily think he does it merely to get attention. Maybe he does. Maybe not. Intentions are best left to Our Lord to sort out. In the meantime we can just deal with exposing errors as we find them.

Pax Christi tecum.
Posted by: StBasil777
January 05, 2008 02:44 PM EST
Add a comment


©