Did the Serpent really speak in the garden of Eden?

Hmm… Genesis 3? Or, perhaps, Genesis 1 – the six-day creation narrative – was what they had heard being discussed as ‘poetry’? That narrative is in the form of epic poem; I’ve heard Scott Hahn assert that this is true. Not Genesis 3, though…

How would you like to be the parent of kids 10, 13, and 16 yrs old, and have them hear that the serpent never spoke in the garden. From a priest.
This is my issue with the comment.

Jesus was tempted in the desert by the devil. Did they not have a conversation?
How much of scripture is going to turn into ‘it never happened’ when you have kids hearing that from a priest and repeating it back to parents. Parents are on damage control every day, and then a priest throws this bomb out there.

At a bible study with adults, there is a maturity and intellect to take the scriptures further than a grade 6 level. An awareness of children present during a homily is a very pastoral, and smart. They are tender shoots just growing.

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Genesis 1 - sorry, could have been more specific. And if I recall, the individual was either Jewish, or had a Jewish background. Interesting that Hahn says the same thing.

It’s a reasonable reaction. Still, though, it becomes an opportunity to talk about how we tell truth through the medium of stories. Does your 16-year-old think that Goldilocks or Snow White really existed? Do they understand that the morals of those stories are true, though?

It’s also an opportunity to discuss the fact that the Bible is made up of many books, written in many times and places, and of different genres of literature. Your 10-year-old recognizes the difference between ‘history’ and ‘poetry’ and ‘stories that teach morals’, right? The Bible has examples of each of these.

It’s a good opportunity to teach that Catholics read different parts of the Bible through different lenses, and aren’t strict Scriptural literalists (i.e., fundamentalists). That’s a very important lesson here in the States, where many non-Catholic Christians are hyper-literalistic in their approach to Scripture. It’s important because they’ll say things to your kids that challenge their Catholic faith, and it’s good that your kids know enough to say “we don’t interpret that story in that way; Catholics understand it differently.” If they’re unable to do so, then they walk away thinking, “hmm… wow! I guess Catholics are wrong about that stuff we believe, since it says something different in the Bible!”, rather than thinking “hmm… we read the same Bible, but they and we interpret it differently!”

Does the same dynamic – vis-a-vis the presence of fundamentalists – exist in Canada?

Yet… the comment is true. Are we now deciding that priests shouldn’t preach the truth about Scripture as taught by the Church, in the name of “keeping things uncomplicated”? :thinking:

Thanks for a great answer!

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I was taught it’s figurative

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