9

In Calvin's Commentary on Genesis, he spends some time dealing with the question of how long Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden together before they sinned. He writes:

The opinion has been pretty generally received, that they fell on the day they were created; and, therefore Augustine writes, that they stood only for six hours. (commentary on Genesis 3:6)

I haven't been able to confirm that Augustine actually wrote this. I have found mention of six hours in Dante's Paradiso (Canto 26), but so far nothing from Augustine.

Did Augustine say six hours, and if so, where?

4
+50

Did Augustine say six hours, and if so, where?

Probably not.

Finally, Calvin erroneously claims Augustine for the view that Adam and Eve fell after a mere six hours. (emphasis added)

This is from John Calvin: Student of the Church Fathers1 in which Lane references Saint Augustin dans l’oeuvre de Jean Calvin2


1. John Calvin: Student of the Church Fathers (Anthony N. S. Lane, A&C Black, Jan 1, 1999, p.220)
2. Saint Augustin dans l’oeuvre de Jean Calvin (Luchesius Smits, Van Gorcum, 1957)

2

It seems that Stephen's conclusion is correct. Here's a bit more context.

More fully quoting Lane, we see his theory for Calvin's error:

Calvin erroneously claims Augustine for the view that Adam and Eve fell after a mere six hours. Calvin is either relying upon an inaccurate memory of Augustine or has been misled by an intermediate source. (John Calvin: Student of the Church Fathers, 220)

In fact, Augustine addressed this issue in City of God, and concluded that the time in paradise was short, as Carolyn Dinshaw writes:

Augustine doesn't specify exactly how long the couple was there, but he does insist that human history started here with Adam's creation, and maintains that the little while in question was not time enough for procreation. (How Soon is Now?, 85)

Dinshaw continues with a possible origin of the idea of six hours:

Later exegetes get much more specific. Dante, following Peter Comestor, famously has the couple stay there only a bit more than six hours. (85)

Peter Comestor was a 12th-century author, and in Canto 26, Dante seems to have relied on his work, Scolastica Historia, as per commentator Cary.

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