Questions on scott hahn


does scott hahn teach prima scriptura?

i recently got accepted into Franciscan University’s MA program in Theology. i was looking forward to having Dr. Hahn as a professor, but then heard that he only teaches one class a semester. is that true?

i also heard that dr. hahn has been criticized on a theory he developed on the holy spirit, something along the lines of the spirit having a feminine nature or something like that. is it true? if so, what did his theory actually say?


He is my teacher and I can say he is an orthodox Catholic. He teaches a correct understanding of scripture and tradition. There have been many times where I have heard him say something and wondered if it was his own idea and then found it later in some other reading I do on the side. He is not very original.

He teaches two classes per semester I think. Principles of Biblical Studies and Biblical Foundations.

I don’t know what he teaches about the Holy Spirit. I read in an article somewhere on the internet that there was a dispute between him and Robert Sungenis about this idea that you bring up but I am not sure what Dr. Hahn has said about it.

The idea that the Holy Spirit being referred to in the feminine is not developed by Scott Hahn. The ancient Syrian Christians(or atleast some of them) used the feminine when referring to the Holy Spirit. Atleast that is what Chorbishop Seely Beggiani says in his book, Early Syriac Theology; With special reference to the Maronite tradition.


There have been many times where I have heard him say something and wondered if it was his own idea and then found it later in some other reading I do on the side. He is not very original.

As a professor myself, I imagine that one could probably say the same thing about me when I teach my class. To determine whether he is original, I think we need to look at his overall scholarship, not just the classes he teaches.


One of the famous composers once pointed out that the important skill is to only steal from the best sources. :smiley:

Has always worked for me. Scott Hahn is one of my favorite sources.


Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t a teacher teach what has already been established?

This is not to say that there are teachers that lack creativity. Socrates, for instance, was a great creative mind and also taught.



You know Jimmy may not have ment that in a negative way…

With our Faith. being unoriginal can be a VERY good thing :smiley:


Not really. In the world of academia, there are hordes of theories held by equally eminent authorities which contradict each other. Professors are expected to do their own research (a requirement for a doctorate is that you add something significant to your field). In linguistics and other sciences, this comprises performing your own experiments, reading others’ experiments, synthesizing the results. In theology and other philosophies, perhaps reading massive amounts of stuff by other people and critiquing, or coming up with a new theory, or something of that sort.


I didn’t mean it in a bad way. I think it is a good thing that he is faithful to what the Church has handed on.


He is definately well read. He knows his theology.


Just google Scoot Hahn Holy Spirit Feminine and you will find lots on his controversy in this area.



First off with the idea to the feminine nature of the Holy Spirit he has put it to the fact that if the magisterium of the Church were to ever condemn his theory he would be the first to rip the pages from his book and throw them into a bon fire. So he’s well within the established bounds for discussion within the theologians of the Church. But to base the theory is that the Holy Spirit is wisdom and wisdom through out the Old Testament is personified in the feminine and is of feminine declension.


Also one must remember that during his conversion he read hundreds of Catholic Apologetic works and dissected every church council. His theological doctorates count only for a small part of his theological training. He is in fact the leading lay Catholic theologian in the country if not the world. (Oh, joy that was a tounge twister)


This attack on Scott Hahn’s theology of the Holy Spirit has been going on since 2002 when his book *First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity *came out. The *New Oxford Review *launched a scathing attack; Bishop Bruskewitz responded in Hahn’s defense in the pages of the National Catholic Register (13 October 2002).

 Bruskewitz pointed out that, if you read the citations, Hahn's Pneumatology cannot really be considered all that original standing as it does on the writings of the Church Father (and Doctor of the Church) St. Ephrem of Syria, St. Methodius of Olympus, St. Catherine of Siena (also a  doctor), St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Edith Stein, and "the contemporary thinking of the eminent Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger" (whom we now call Pope Benedict XVI).

 At any rate, the attack must have been good for subscriptions because the *New Oxford Review *devoted another long article to attacking Hahn in June 2004.  That article was attributed to someone named Edward O'Neill.  Also around that same time Chris Ferrara and Bob Sungenis joined in the attack in an article in the traditionalist newspaper *The Remnant*.  Scott Hahn sent a brief response to the NOR which they printed in their Sept. 2004 issue.

 Last year, *First Comes Love *was released in paperback.  The publisher took that opportunity to allow Dr. Hahn to make a few changes that help make the point a little clearer (particularly for those readers who did not bother to look at the endnotes in the first edition).  

 Receiving courtesy copies of the paperback seems to have been the catalyst for this current round of calumniation in the pages of the NOR (Sungenis has weighed in with another entry, this time on his website).  If Hahn has replied, NOR has yet to publish it.

I found a [brief response]("") on but Hahn seems to be letting the book speak for itself; there was no direct response either on []("") or on []("").  He did get permission from Doubleday to post a [pdf of the rewritten chapter]("") from the new paperback edition.  

 Whether Hahn is right or not about the Holy Spirit, he clearly does **not **say what the *New Oxford Review *article and Bob Sungenis' website are claiming.  I can't find a single instance of him using feminine pronouns to refer to God and, as far as I can tell, his whole discussion is well within the teaching of the *Catechism of the Catholic Church*:  

“He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective ‘perfections’ of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.” (CCC370)


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