Scott Hahn

Scott W. Hahn (born October 28, 1957) is an American Roman Catholic theologian. A former Presbyterian who converted to Catholicism, Hahn's popular works include Rome Sweet Home and The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. His lectures have been featured in multiple audio distributions through Lighthouse Catholic Media. Dr. Hahn is known for his research on early Christianity during the Apostolic Age and various theoretical works concerning the early Church Fathers.

Hahn presently teaches at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic university in the United States.[1] He has also lectured at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Hahn is married to Kimberly Hahn, who co-runs their Catholic apostolate, the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology.


Hahn received his B.A. degree magna cum laude in 1979 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a triple major of theology, philosophy, and economics.[2] He obtained his M.Div. degree summa cum laude from Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982. In May 1995, he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in systematic theology from Marquette University (Phi Beta Kappa). His dissertation is entitled Kinship by Covenant: A Biblical Theological Analysis of Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments, and a version was published by Yale University Press in 2009 as Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises.

Conversion to Catholicism

After receiving his education at Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary, Hahn started out as a pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. Since that time, he has held a variety of positions at institutes, seminaries, and universities.[3]

As a young man, Hahn was convinced that the Catholic Church was in error and boasted of having converted some Catholics into embracing a purer Christianity. His conversion began when he and his wife became convinced that contraception was contrary to God's law. He was also bothered that the Catholic Church was the only Christian church tradition that upheld the ancient teaching of prohibiting contraception that Protestants abandoned in the 1930s. Hahn continued to study various issues relating to salvation, faith, and good works, as well as the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura.

According to his book Rome Sweet Home, a key factor behind his conversion is his research on what he saw as the key to the Bible: the covenant. This is a sacred kinship bond that brought people into a family relationship. God established a series of covenants and the new covenant established by Jesus Christ is an establishment of a worldwide family. He believes that Jesus and the apostles used family-based language to describe his work of salvation: God is Father, Christ is Son and the firstborn among brethren, heaven as a marriage feast, the Church is the spouse of God, Christians as children of God.

This new family, according to Hahn, is headed by Christ and the Pope is his "prime minister" to whom he has given the keys of the kingdom, a process that he believes is also present in the Old Testament. Hahn writes that the Catholic Church, whose head is called "Holy Father", is the worldwide family described by the Bible and that the Protestant doctrines of sola fide and sola scriptura are not biblical because they are not found in the Bible. In his view, the Bible stresses charity and works as necessary for saving faith, i.e., justification, and, therefore, salvation. He also points to the Church as "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", quoting 1 Timothy 3:15. [4]

Hahn converted to Catholicism at Easter 1986 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And he came to be called "Luther in reverse",[5] from his wife's words.[6]

Hahn's wife, Kimberly, had a similar conversion at a slightly later date, entering the Catholic Church at Easter 1990 in Joliet, Illinois. Rome Sweet Home describes their process of conversion together.

In Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace, he narrated the influence of Opus Dei in his conversion and what made him feel that Opus Dei was his specific calling within the Catholic Church: (1) its members' devotion to the Bible; (2) its ecumenism, since Opus Dei was the first Catholic institution to welcome non-Catholics as cooperators; (3) the upright lives of its members; (4) they were ordinary people, who lived theology; (5) holy ambition: "a devout work ethic"; (6) the practice of hospitality in answering his questions; (7) prayer: "They made time for intimate prayer every day."[7]

Current work

Hahn founded and is currently the president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology,[8] a Catholic non-profit research and educational institute committed to the promotion of biblical literacy among the Catholic laity and biblical fluency among Catholic clergy.

Some of his projects include online and parish-based Bible studies, a book series, pilgrimages, and a scholarly journal, Letter and Spirit. He is also the founder and director of the Institute of Applied Biblical Studies.

A popular speaker,[9][10] Hahn has given over 800 talks in the US and other countries on theological and biblical topics related to the Catholic faith and appears regularly on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). His talks have also been featured in multiple audio titles distributed by Lighthouse Catholic Media. He has also written numerous books (see list below) and is the co-editor of several volumes of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.

Since 1990, Hahn has taught at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he is the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization.[11] He was awarded Doctor of Humanities – honoris causa, by the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 2004.[12] In 2014, Francis Cardinal George appointed Hahn to the newly established McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago.[13]


  • Rome Sweet Home (co-written with Kimberly Hahn), Ignatius Press, 1993. ISBN 0-89870-478-2
  • Catholic for a Reason (with Leon Suprenant, editor), Emmaus Road Publishing, 1998. ISBN 0-9663223-0-4
  • A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Servant Publications, 1998. ISBN 0-89283-829-9
  • The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, Doubleday, 1999. ISBN 0-385-49659-1
  • Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God, Doubleday, 2001. ISBN 0-385-50168-4
  • First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity, Doubleday, 2002. ISBN 0-385-49662-1
  • Lord Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession, Doubleday, 2003. ISBN 0-385-50170-6
  • Swear to God: The Promise and Power of the Sacraments, Doubleday, 2004. ISBN 0-385-50931-6
  • Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy, Doubleday, 2005. ISBN 0-385-50933-2
  • Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace, Doubleday, 2006. ISBN 978-0-385-51924-3
  • Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, Doubleday, 2007. ISBN 978-0-385-50935-0
  • Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins' Case Against God, (with Benjamin Wiker), Emmaus Road Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-931018-48-7
  • Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises, Yale University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-300-14097-2
  • Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots, Image, 2009. ISBN 978-0-385519496
  • Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood, Image, 2010. ISBN 978-0-307590770
  • Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture 1300-1700 (co-written with Benjamin Wiker), The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2013. ISBN 978-0824599034.
  • Consuming the Word: The New Testament and The Eucharist in the Early Church, Image, 2013. ISBN 978-0307590817
  • Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization, Our Sunday Visitor, 2014. ISBN 978-1612787732
  • Angels and Saints: A Biblical Friendship with God's Holy Ones, Image, 2014. ISBN 978-0307590794
  • Joy to the World: How Christ's Coming Changed Everything and Still Does, Image, 2014. ISBN 978-0804141123
  • The Creed: Professing the Faith Through the Ages, Emmaus Road Publishing, 2016. ISBN 978-1941447772

Books in Spanish:


  1. ^ Franciscan University of Steubenville Archived 2004-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Morrow, Jeffrey L. (2010). "Scott Hahn (1957-)". In James D. Smith (ed.). Encyclopedia of Christian Literature. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 352–353. ISBN 9780810869837.
  3. ^
  4. ^ 1 Tim 3:15 RSV-CE
  5. ^ Adam S. Francisco; Korey D. Maas; Steven P. Mueller, eds. (2007). Theologia et Apologia. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 156. ISBN 1-55635-166-6.
  6. ^ Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn (1993). Rome Sweet Home. Ignatius Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-89870-478-2.
  7. ^ Opus Dei, Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, Father John McCloskey, Scott Hahn
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Next Scott Hahn?
  10. ^ Augustine Institute Fellows Biography of Scott Hahn
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Pontifical University Honors Hahn for 'Outstanding Service'". The Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico has awarded an honorary doctoral degree to St. Paul Center Founder, Dr. Scott Hahn. Marcelina Velez de Santiago ...
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-05-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

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Angelus is a weekly magazine published jointly by The Tidings Corporation and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the most populous Catholic archdiocese in the United States. The magazine began publication in 1895 as a newspaper named The Tidings and is the oldest continuously published Catholic periodical on the west coast of the United States. It is also the oldest weekly periodical in the Los Angeles market. The last issue of The Tidings was published in June 2016; in July 2016 it was transformed into the multimedia news platform Angelus (AKA Angelus News).The archdiocese reported that The Tidings reached 230,000 adult readers every week. The newspaper's online archive was lost in the migration from domain to the domain.

The magazine regularly or frequently features columns written by the following, among others:

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Kathryn Jean Lopez

Mike Aquilina

Rev. Ronald Rolheiser ("In Exile")

Greg Erlandson

Heather King ("The Crux")

John L. Allen Jr.

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Andre Hahn, German Footballer

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August Hahn (1792–1863), German Protestant theologian

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Carl Wilhelm Hahn (1786–1835), German zoologist

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Johannes Hahn (born 1957), Austrian politician

Dave Hahn (born 1959), guitarist, singer/songwriter

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David Hahn (Nebraska), 2006 Democratic candidate for Governor of Nebraska

David Hahn (cartoonist), cartoonist

Dirk Meinerts Hahn (1804–1860), German captain

Don Hahn American Film Producer

Edith Hahn Beer (1914–2009), Jewish Holocaust survivor

Erwin Hahn (1921–2016), U.S. physicist, best known for his work on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)

Frank Hahn (1925–2013), Cambridge economist

Hans Hahn (mathematician) (1879–1934), Austrian mathematician

Hans "Assi" Hahn, (1914-1982), German World War II fighter ace

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James K. Hahn (born 1950), politician, 40th Mayor of Los Angeles, California

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Janice Hahn, politician, member of the Los Angeles City Council

Jerri Ariel Farias Hahn, Brazilian footballer

Jessica Hahn (born 1959), celebrity, nude model, and church secretary

Jody Margolin Hahn, American television director

Jörg-Uwe Hahn (born 1956), politician

Kathryn Hahn (born 1974), actress

Kenneth Hahn (1920–1997), politician, member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Kimberly Hahn (born 1957), Catholic author and apologist

Kurt Hahn (1886–1974), German teacher and education reformer

Lloyd Hahn (1898–1983), American middle-distance runner

Marjorie Hahn (born 1948), American mathematician and tennis player

Martin Hahn (born 1964), Venezuelan telenovelas writer

Otto Hahn (1879–1968), German nuclear chemist, discoverer of nuclear fission, Nobel Prize winner (Chemistry 1944), founder of the Max-Planck-Society, peace activist

Philipp Matthäus Hahn (1739–1790), German priest and inventor

Reynaldo Hahn (1874–1947), Venezuelan composer and lover of Marcel Proust

Rick Hahn (born 1971), general manager for the Chicago White Sox

Robert A. Hahn (born 1945), American medical anthropologist and epidemiologist

Robert C. Hahn, American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts

Scott Hahn (born 1957), Catholic writer and apologist

Walter Hahn (born 1987), Austrian professional wrestler

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Kimberly Hahn

Kimberly Hahn (née Kirk; born 1957) is a Catholic apologist and author, and member of the Steubenville City Council. She is the eldest child of Jerry and Patricia Kirk, and is married to apologist and author Scott Hahn.

Hahn was born into a Presbyterian family and her father was a minister. She studied Communication Arts at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1979. She married fellow student Scott Hahn on 18 August that year. She then worked as a secretary for a year while her husband began studies for a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She enrolled the following year and earned a Master of Arts in Theology in 1982.

While studying for her M.A., Hahn carried out research into the history of Christian attitudes towards contraception. She discovered that every Christian Church without exception had condemned the practice until 1930, and that some of the most famous Protestant reformers — Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Knox — had condemned it strongly. She also read Catholic author John Kippley, who likened contraception to the practice of feasting and deliberately vomiting. At that stage, Scott and Kimberly both had strong objections to many Catholic teachings, but, after prayer, Bible study, and reflection, they both became convinced that on that issue, at least, the Catholic position was biblical. They changed to Natural Family Planning for a while, then decided to leave the timing of pregnancies entirely to God. Their first son was born on December 4, 1982.

Scott Hahn was received into the Catholic Church at Easter 1986. His reception caused a great deal of distress to Hahn, as described in their book, Rome Sweet Home. However, after struggling for a few more years with issues such as transubstantiation and, in particular, the veneration of Mary, she was herself received into the Catholic Church at Easter 1990. She is now a well-known Catholic apologist, a homeschooling mother of six children, and author of three books. She gives talks about Catholicism, feminism, and contraception, both nationally and internationally.

On November 3, 2015, Hahn was elected to the Steubenville City Council as Councilwoman-at-Large, winning with 56% of the vote citywide. She sits on the Service, Planning, Transportation and Economic Development Committees of Council.

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