I’m going through one of Professor Scott Hahn’s books titled “First Comes Love”, which goes over how we as humans fit into the Trinitarian life of God.
In the middle of the book, he discusses Adam & Eve in the Garden, and he offers a very interesting & fresh explanation but one which I haven’t encountered before. His points are as follows:
Adam was placed in the Garden, and the jobs he was given by God were to till the Garden and guard it. This begs the question: why was he guarding the Garden if he had mastery over all the animals? Who was he keeping out?
Later, after Eve’s creation, Adam & Eve encounter the Serpent. This serpent wasn’t a traditional animal, like a small cobra, but would have been a powerful & intimidating beast. The word “serpent” in Genesis is the same Hebrew word used to describe “dragon” or “sea monster”. Satan, manifested as this Serpent, would have been capable of physically killing Adam and his wife.
Adam’s sin, even before he ate of the fruit, was his silence and his unwillingness to accept martyrdom in the service of God. He could have rejected the Serpent’s offer, despite the Serpent’s ability to kill him, and yet out of fear and lack of faith in God, he instead gave in. Thus, he did not die in body (Hebrew: die), but rather he died in Spirit (Hebrew: die die. It is a superlative of normal death).
Jesus came because he needed to fulfill the service unto death which Adam failed to do.
The book goes into much greater detail than this, and I would strongly recommend giving it a read for those further interested.
This explanation makes an enormous amount of sense in the context of the entire narrative of scripture from Old Testament to New Testament. My question is: how long has this interpretation been around? Scott Hahn isn’t a little league Bible scholar and I’m assuming he didn’t just invent this explanation on his own. It must have earlier roots.
Anybody know? Thanks.