2) "The Conversion of the Jews"
|Note: There are many "links" interspersed throughout these pages. By clicking on a link, you will be connected with background or source material regarding the text that directly precedes it. There are also many links that are underlined words, phrases or numbered footnotes.
Scripture, the Fathers, Saints and more
It also seems clear that Bob’s negative bias extends even to his interpretation of the Fathers and saints of the Church, Sacred Scripture, the CCC and other Catholic writings in regard to the Jews.
link1, link2 , link3
A) Antichrist as a Jew:
Bob conveys a high level of confidence that the Antichrist will be a Jew (from the tribe of Dan), even going so far as to has claim that the Church has “unofficially declared” this (a seemingly heterodox, oxymoron) or that “the Fathers” have taught this. While it is true there are several fathers or saints who believed that the Antichrist will be Jewish (although Bob has never provided a detailed account himself and even some of those he lists do not say what he claims), the importance of his assertion here is the confidence with which he makes it based on this level of evidence. His claim that “the Fathers” taught that the Antichrist would come specifically from the tribe of Dan seems much more tenuous.
As you read on, please continually keep in mind the very different approach Bob takes on a positive development regarding the Jews as opposed to this very negative one regarding Antichrist: reflexively dismissive of the former and reflexively accepting of the latter. This is the essential point of the entire section: further detailing the breadth and extent of Bob’s deeply negative bias. If something is negative about Jews, Bob exhibits a clear tendency to uncritically believe, defend and further propagate it. If something is positive about Jews, Bob exhibits a clear tendency to automatically reject and discredit it.
Please note: I do not at all dispute the possibility or even likelihood that the Antichrist will be of Jewish extraction from the tribe of Dan and I have researched it only at modest length. It seems plausible and rational. There is a certain symmetry to the expectation (Christ Jewish/Antichrist Jewish). And the idea seems to be espoused by at least two Church Fathers. Again, the point is to illustrate the profound inconsistency with which Bob views evidence that is negative toward Jews vs. evidence which is positive, which in turn illustrates his deeply negative bias.
1) The Catholic Encyclopedia: Solid Evidence or Merely One Man’s Opinion?
Note below where Bob readily dismisses the authority and credibility of the Catholic Encyclopedia when it states that the Fathers taught something hopeful and positive like an unusual conversion of the Jews. Yet, when he writes about a negative development like Antichrist being Jewish, he readily cites it as a trustworthy authority (from CAI link and the Catholic Legate link):
a) Bob dismissing the authority of the Catholic Encyclopedia in reference to a future large scale conversion of the Jews: [link]
(M. Cameron): "Traditionally, that is precisely what the Church has taught. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the "General Judgment" states: "Conversion of the Jews: According to the interpretation of the Fathers, the conversion of the Jews towards the end of the world is foretold by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (11:25-26): 'For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, . . . that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.'"
R. Sungenis: "Mark, I understand why you might hold this in high esteem, but let me warn you that the Catholic Encyclopedia is not our official authority on these matters. As for the CE's comment on Romans 11:25-26, that is merely the statement of a single person who has no ecclesiastical authority, except to write his opinion." END (emphasis added)
b) Bob citing the Catholic Encyclopedia as a trustworthy source and asserting that “Catholic tradition” has “unofficially declared” that the Antichrist will be Jewish: [link]
Sungenis: “In fact,…Catholic tradition… has unofficially declared that the future Antichrist will be of Jewish extraction. As late as 1911 the Catholic Encyclopedia stated it quite plainly:
“The individual person of Antichrist will not be a demon, as some of the ancient writers believed, nor will he be the person of the devil incarnated in the human nature of Antichrist. He will be a human person, perhaps of Jewish extraction, if the explanation of Gen 49:17, together with that of Dan’s omission in the catalogue of the tribes, as found in the Apocalypse, be correct [Ap 7:4-8]. St. Hippolytus...wrote a treatise on Christ and Antichrist in which he says: ‘As Christ springs from the tribe of Judah, so Antichrist is to spring from the tribe of Dan. And that the case stands thus, we see also from the words of Jacob: ‘Let Dan be a serpent, lying upon the ground, biting the horse’s heels” [Gn 49:17]” (On the Antichrist, 6, 14, PG X, 736, 738).” End of Sungenis excerpt
Note: In addition to what has been noted about his inconsistency in regard to the credibility of the Catholic Encyclopedia, Bob’s claim that “Catholic tradition” can “unofficially declare” something seems to be a heterodox oxymoron. It appears to be an effort to exaggerate the magisterial weight behind his opinion. Also note that the quote he provided from the Catholic Encyclopedia only says that the Antichrist will “perhaps” be of Jewish extraction. This does not seem to be indicative of an “unofficial declaration” of “Catholic tradition”.
Sungenis: “As we have documented earlier, our Catholic saints and doctors have said the same thing. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia predicts that the Antichrist will come from Jewry. The 1936 Catholic Encyclopedia followed this by predicting that a Temple would be built for him in Jerusalem…” [link]
Note: 1) Aside from once again citing the Catholic Encyclopedia as an authority, Bob seems to be saying that “our Catholic saints and doctors have said the same thing”, as though they all taught this universally. This is not true, at least certainly not by the standard he has established in regard to a future unusual conversion of the Jews. 2) While Bob points to the 1936 Catholic Encyclopedia regarding the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, he harshly condemns Roy Schoeman (Jewish convert to Catholicism) for asserting essentially the same thing. I do not believe Schoeman has ever identified the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem as salvific or objectively good, but rather, as a prophetic sign of Christ’s return.
2) The Fathers, Medievals and St. Bridget: [link]
(Sungenis): “Not only do the Fathers have much to say on these eventualities (note: Antichrist being a Jew), the medievals were just as informed…. Just two examples will suffice.”
“St. Bridget of Sweden writes in her Life and Revelations:
'Before Antichrist come, the portals of the Faith will be opened to great numbers of pagans....Just as children of God are born of a spiritual marriage, so will Antichrist spring from an accursed woman who will pretend to lead a spiritual life, and from an accursed man, through whose agency, and with God’s permission, the devil will accomplish his ends.'” (End Sungenis excerpt)
Note: 1) I do not see where St. Bridget says anything about the Antichrist being Jewish. 2) I am unaware of any occasion on which Bob has substantiated these purportedly numerous quotes that enable him to state with certainty that “the Fathers” have “much” to say and “the Medievals were just as informed.” In the article above he cited one Father (St. Irenaeus) and two Medievals, one of which (St. Bridget) does not say anything at all about the Antichrist being Jewish, at least as far as I see.
3) Maximizing the appearance of support for a Jewish Antichrist:
Sungenis: "Matt, there are various Fathers, saints and medievals who have stated that the Antichrist will come from the Jews. This is not surprising, since the Jews, by and large, have been the most antagonistic of any world religion,” [question#1]
Sungenis: “…Antichrist, who, according to the Fathers, is supposed to have his ancestry in the tribe of Dan.” [link]
Note: Bob unequivocally asserts here that “according to the Fathers,” clearly implying a consensus, Antichrist is supposed to be a Jew from the tribe of Dan. Bob himself has provided little evidence for this assertion. However, I have spent some time looking for evidence and it appears that two Church Fathers believed that Antichrist would be from the tribe of Dan.
Additionally, it is particularly noteworthy that the Scriptural evidence for this belief seems less direct, substantial and convincing than the Scriptural evidence for an unusual conversion of the Jews. To my knowledge, Bob has put forth no Scriptural exegesis of these passages at all, which is very strange in light of the amount of time he has spent formulating his technical grammatical interpretation of Romans 11:25-26 alone in order to dismiss the idea of a future unusual conversion of the Jewish people. It seems even more striking in light of the fact that Scriptural exegesis is supposed to be one of his areas of greatest expertise.
The Scriptural evidence for the Antichrist emerging from the tribe of Dan is apparently based upon three verses, primarily: 1) Jeremiah 8:16, which certainly seems a bit creative (and which one would expect Bob to summarily discount in light of the rigorous demands he has placed on passages used to support an unusual conversion of the Jews), 2) Revelation 7:57, which merely omits the tribe of Dan from the list the 144,000 Israelites marked with the seal of the servants of God and 3) Genesis 49:16-17 which says that Dan will be like a snake in the way that bites the horse's heels that his rider may fall. Again, for Bob to be consistent, he could not credibly claim that these Scriptural passages predict that the Antichrist will be a Jew from the tribe of Dan.
Sungenis: "Not only do the Fathers have much to say on these eventualities (the Antichrist being Jewish), the medievals were just as informed: St. Anselm, in his Details Concerning the Antichrist, will suffice for an example: 'Towards the end of the world Antichrist will draw the hearts of the Jews to him by his great generosity and sympathetic attitude so much so that they will praise him as a demi-god;....For, the Temple which Solomon built having been destroyed, in its place he [Antichrist] shall restore it, he shall circumcise himself, and he shall give forth the lie that he is the son of the omnipotent God.' " [link]
Note: 1) St. Anselm also expected an unusual conversion of the Jews in the latter days, as expressed in his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. 2) It is an exaggeration to say that “the Fathers”, implying effective unanimity, have “much” to say on this topic. In fact, Bob previously told me that there really was not much on this topic at all. 11 Yet, he was still publicly writing that the Antichrist would be Jewish and from the tribe of Dan as if it was an established fact.
If he has subsequently found more support (and I am not aware that he has), this is still irrelevant to the point: Bob exhibits a pattern of ready willingness to embrace and confidently repeat negative views of Jews regardless of the strength or credibility of the evidence in his possession. The converse is true of positive views of Jews. Again, my intention is not to refute the possibility that the Antichrist will be Jewish and from the tribe of Dan, but to bring forth stark inconsistencies that illustrate a persistent, profoundly negative predisposition.
4) St. Nilus’ Prophecy: Trustworthy or Not?
Below, Bob indicates that he knows the purported prophecy of St. Nilus is dubious, and so refused to use it in his apologetics Bible, yet in another circumstance he used this very same prophecy in his list of saints who purportedly believed that the Antichrist will be Jewish (or that Jews will figure prominently and negatively in the end-times). Ironically, if you read through the entire prophecy, you will notice that nowhere does this dubious prophecy even say that the Antichrist will be Jewish or that Jews will play any negative role at all. In fact, several of the other quotes he uses for support at the following link say nothing at all on that score, either.
Question 37- St. Nilus prophecy?
"Mr. Sungenis, The magazine Inside the Vatican (which has happily taken a more traditional position regarding theology and the Sacred Liturgy) recently published a prophecy accredited to St. Nilus. The prophecy was somewhat startling in its seemingly accurate vision of the future, and I was wondering if you have any knowledge of this prophecy and its authenticity. Thank you for all of your work."
"R. Sungenis: Andrew, yes, the prophecy of Nilus comes from a 4-5th century eastern mystic, at least the rudiments do. Whether the whole thing can be attributed to Nilus is another story, however. Some of the "prophecies" seem a little too convenient for someone so far away from the modern era. We did not use it in our CASB for that very reason." (End)
Conversely, Bob wrote the following when the topic was Antichrist and the Jews: [link]
Sungenis: "Many Fathers, doctors and saints have predicted the role of the Jews in the end time plot…."
"St. Nilus (~400 A.D.): 'After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents or elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society. At that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse. The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all. Then they will separate themselves out of the world in Holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints. And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other. At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist. And, the impious one! He will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Then the All-Good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible--then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants. The Father is my hope; the Son is my refuge; the Holy Spirit is my protector. O All-Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.' " (End)
Note: Aside from the fact that Bob acknowledged that his purported prophecy is dubious at best in another context not involving the Jews, is there even anything about Antichrist being a Jew here? Is there anything specifically and explicitly about Jews at all?
B) The Conversion of the Jews
On the question of the commonly termed “conversion of the Jews” as a people to faith in Christ before the judgment of the world, Bob has vigorously opposed any suggestion that the Church expects such a thing and confidently asserts that only a small number of Jews will continue to come in and be saved until the very end. Again, please keep in view the way Bob treats evidence of something clearly very positive and hopeful like this vs. the way he treats the evidence for a clearly negative development as illustrated in section “A” above.
I have included fairly extensive addendum (addendum #1) regarding the “conversion of the Jews” from the Fathers, Saints, Popes and highly respected Catholic scholars at the end of this study that illustrates the widespread belief that the Jewish people, in large numbers, will come to faith in Christ in the “end times.”
1) Bob in “Conversion of the Jews not Necessary?” September 2002:
Sungenis: “The unbelief of the Jews, by ‘God's design,’ will continue right up until the end, and only a remnant out of Jewry will be saved…” [link]
2) Bob in The Remnant, April 30, 2004:
Sungenis: “St. Paul did not teach a future mass conversion of Jews…Romans 11…speak(s) only of a ‘remnant’ or “some” of the Jews being saved and which the context states will transpire right up until Christ’s return, which coincides with the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ at the end of the world. Accordingly, the statement in Romans 11:26 ‘and so all Israel will be saved”, is not prophesying a future mass conversion of Jews, rather…is merely exclaiming how God has been continually saving Jews, even in the New Testament …which he will continue to do, in the remnant, to the end of the world…” (end)
Note: Based almost exclusively upon his own personal exegesis of this one passage (which in turn hinges on his own technical grammatical argument, an argument that is apparently unique to him as he has never indicated a source for it), Bob insists that in Romans 11, St. Paul only predicted that a small flow of Jews would continue to come to Christ until His return. He asserts with surety that St. Paul implied no change in the status of the Jews, as a people, “after” the fullness of the Gentiles have entered the Church when he wrote “a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25). But rather, Paul only taught that Jews will continue to trickle in right up until that time (the fullness of the Gentiles). It is at least clear that Bob has expended little effort to unearth contrary evidence, rendering the level of certitude he expresses unjustifiable.
For quite some time Bob asserted that there was almost no patristic evidence for belief in an unusual conversion of the Jews in the future but over time he apparently felt it necessary to modify his position slightly, at least conceding that the evidence from the Church Fathers and saints about a future unusual conversion of the Jews is “at best divided.” I would add that I am unaware of any evidence Bob has provided of any Pope, Father, Saint, Council, or Scripture scholar that teaches what he does. It is, at the least, an uncommon opinion.
While it is true that there are differences among the Fathers, saints, Popes and scholars regarding the details (a circumstance seen even in regard to dogmas before they are settled), the concept of an unusual conversion/restoration of the Jewish people is not fairly described as “at best divided.” It seems clear that the evidence is superior for this belief than for the belief that the Antichrist will be a Jew (and certainly in regard to his lineage being from the tribe of Dan), yet Bob readily accepts this latter idea and asserts that the Church has been quite clear about it, even “unofficially declaring it” and that “the Fathers” taught it as well.
Other great scholars and commentators also point to several other Biblical passages that imply a future restoration of the Jews. However Bob claims that no other Scriptural passages refer to such an event, that Romans 11:25-26 stands alone. And even this passage certainly does not predict any such thing in his view.
Additionally, Bob has claimed that 2 popes have expressly denied that the Jewish people will ever undergo any such unusual conversion, although when viewed it seems clear that these popes did not deny it at all. Furthermore, you will note that he has also never presented a quote from a Father or saint that expressly denied an unusual conversion in the future. This is important as it is clear from the addendum below that the idea of “the conversion of the Jews” is far from one that would have been unknown.
Why then do there seem to be no examples of stark, express denials from the Fathers, Saints or Popes of what Bob considers so serious an error? Pope St. Gregory’s words are of particular interest, in part because he writes in such a way that implies this belief was passed on and commonly held by the Catholic faithful, not merely his own personal view. The same is true of St. Cyril’s explication, St. Augustine’s and Cassiodoros’ as well.
3) Bob stating unequivocally that Scripture does not teach a future unusual restoration/conversion of the Jews:
Question sent to CAI, May 28, 2003:
In a message dated 5/28/2003 5:21:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,
(email address omitted) writes:
"Jews who do not believe in Jesus are not part of the Spiritual Israel. However, they are expected in large measure to return to God, which Romans 11 clearly points out."
(Sungenis) RS: "Romans 11:5, 14 only say a remnant will return, and that, according to verse 23, is only if they repent. There is no mass conversion or mass revival in Romans 11, nor does any other NT Scripture prophecy such a thing."
Note: Notice here the last phrase of the last sentence as well. Bob insists that there is absolutely no other Scriptural evidence for a future large scale conversion of the Jewish people. Keep this in mind when viewing the evidence I have compiled in addendum #1.
4) Bob asserting that the Church generally rejects the idea of such a conversion of the Jews:
Sungenis: “There is no "official" interpretation of Romans 11:25-27 in Catholicism. Different views are held whether Romans 11 teaches a national and spiritual revival of Israel, but in the main, this idea is rejected…” [link]
5) Bob dismissing/minimizing evidence in support of a future unusual conversion/restoration of the Jews, labeling the very idea “Zionist”
[link , link and link]
a) Sungenis: “At best, you have a couple of Fathers referring to a conversion of Jews, but none of them refer to a ‘mass conversion.’”
b) Sungenis: “Only two Fathers hold out for any future large restoration of faith in Israel.”
c) Sungenis: “Indeed, the earlier Fathers do not even envision a large conversion of the Jews.”
d) Sungenis: There are only a few personalities in Catholicism who even address the issue of a future restoration or conversion of Israel. There are only a few who give commentaries on Romans 11:25-27, e.g., Origin, Theodoret, Chrysostom, Jerome, Cyril, Augustine, Pelagius.
Note: please review the extensive, but not exhaustive list in addendum #1: Compilation on the Conversion of the Jews.
e) Sungenis: “it would be quite presumptuous to claim…that the Church Fathers held a consensus on the future conversion of the Jews.”
Note: It would then seem even more presumptuous then to claim that “The Church has unofficially declared” that the Antichrist will be a Jew or that “the Fathers” taught that he would come from the tribe of Dan.
f) Sungenis: “the only passage that speaks to this question (conversion of the Jews) is the somewhat cryptic Romans 11:25-26.”
Note: Please review the citations I have compiled on this topic (Conversion of the Jews, addendum #1). Romans 11:25-26 is not the only passage that orthodox Catholics have seen as pointing to a future conversion of the Jews.
g) Sungenis: “Schoeman’s next claim is that Hosea 3:5 is a prophecy concerning a distinctive conversion of Jews near the Second Coming of Christ…The obvious question is: what in the passage compels Schoeman to view this as applicable only to the Second Coming of Christ?....Hosea 3:5 is one of the passages Church tradition has understood as fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, but Schoeman is trying to confiscate it for Zionism…Suffice it to say, there is nothing in the context of Hosea 3:5 which even remotely points to the Second Coming of Christ and an exclusive conversion of Jews. (emphasis added)
Note: (the following is excerpted from addendum #1 presented on the issue of the “Conversion of the Jews”):
* The highly respected Scripture scholar Fr. Leo Haydock in his
Biblical commentary, published in 1859, (highly recommended
by Bob for its excellent scholarship (12) and included in Bob’s
short list of “must haves”) has the following to say about
“Ver. 2: The unbelieving Jews, who refrain from idols, receive
some temporal advantages, but not….faith of the blessed Trinity
and the observance of the Decalogue whereby they might obtain
eternal life. Towards the end of the world they shall be converted.”
“Verse 5: ‘David their king’ . That is, Christ, who is of the
house of David. Ch. - After the captivity, the Jews submitted
to Zorobabel. Yet this only foreshewed a more sincere
conversion to Jesus Christ. In fact, the house of David never
regained the throne, (C.) and it is not clear that Zorobabel had
any authority over the people. H.- Christ is the literal object
of this prediction.” (emphasis added)
I don’t believe Bob would seriously want to accuse acclaimed scripture scholar Fr. George Leo Haydock (writing in the mid 1800’s) of being a Zionist conspirator, impugn his exegetical skills and declare him to be in violation of "Church tradition" as he did Schoeman. Even more interesting is that Blessed Pope Pius XI referred to this very passage in terms of the return of Israel to Christ (see addendum #1).
h) Sungenis: “Schoeman then cites Mt 23:37-39 as more proof of “the conversion of the Jews prior to the Second Coming”... Here Schoeman has placed the cart before the horse. The verse is not saying that Jesus cannot return until the Jews acknowledge him.” (emphasis added)
Note: Notice that Bob states with certainty that this verse absolutely does not refer to the conversion of the Jewish people. Also worth noting is that Schoeman did not write that the verse is saying Jesus “cannot” return until the Jews acknowledge him. That is Bob’s wording, not Schoeman’s. Schoeman wrote that Jesus “will not” be seen again until such time (page 311 of Salvation is from the Jews). Here is what Fr. Leo Haydock has to say about this passage:
““Till you say ‘blessed is he that cometh’” …It may be understood of the Jews, who are to be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ towards the end of the world (St. Chrysostom, hom 1xxv).”
And Scripture scholar Fr. Charles Callan also cites Matthew 23:39 as referring to the conversion of the Jewish people in The Epistles of St. Paul, page 188.
Fr. Haydock, Fr. Callan and St. John Chrysostom were obviously not Zionist conspirators.
6) Does God “Do” Large-Scale Conversions or Not?
a) Bob insists that God doesn’t “do” such miraculous, large-scale conversions, when the topic is the conversion of the Jews: [link]
Sungenis: “Nevertheless, a universal conversion would simply be totally adverse to everything God has ever done…Ever since the beginning of time, there have only been a percentage of the world’s people who have sought and remained with the Lord. God simply does not do such universal conversions… He does not coerce people to believe in Him on massive scales…”
b) Sungenis Responds to Zugibe (originally from The Remnant): [link]
Yet here, when the topic is Fatima and Russia, Sungenis insists that a large-scale, miraculous conversion of Russia is precisely what God would have wrought if the consecration was done as per Our Lady’s direction at Fatima (which he argues was never done):
(Sungenis): “Naturally, if a major portion of the Russian people and government converted and joined the Catholic Church, the “errors” of Russia would be no more…The truth is that if the Church had mentioned ‘Russia’ in the 1984 consecration, we would have seen millions of Russians embrace the Catholic faith……True followers of Fatima are waiting for the time when Russia will mightily embrace Catholic Christianity….but that vision is too grand for the liberals and modernists who infest the Vatican apparatus…According to them, miraculous conversions are a pipe dream.”
Note: while one may notice that Bob chose the words “universal conversions” in regard to the Jews as opposed to “miraculous conversions” or “millions” or “mightily embracing” the Catholic faith in regard to Russia, the point still stands. Bob may have simply chosen to frame the conversion of the Jews in such extreme terms (“universal conversion”) because it is somewhat easier to defend against. Only St. Thomas used language with such possibly absolute implications. Bob also chose to frame the issue of the conversion of the Jews in terms of “coercion”, which is another straw man. No one I know of has suggested God will “coerce” Jews to accept Christ.
The real, fundamental issue is whether God “does” large-scale, miraculous conversions, and Bob chose to frame the issue in such a way as to dismiss even the possibility - one might even say he deemed it a "pipe dream"- when the subject was the Jews while insisting upon precisely such a miraculous conversion when the subject was the conversion of Russia.
In the context of the dialogue with Mark Cameron, it is clear that Bob intended to rule out even the possibility of a large-scale, miraculous conversion of the Jews. He asserted God would never bring about such a thing. Conversely, he framed the context of a miraculous conversion much more reasonably and sympathetically when dealing with Fatima/Russia and, in fact, expressed confident expectation with no hint of aversion to such a concept as “totally adverse to” the way God operates.
Of course, this does not even contemplate the miraculous apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, after which a mass-conversion of approximately 9 million natives to Catholicism occurred [link].
7) Must “All” Mean Each and Every Person or Not?
a) “All” in regard to the Conversion of the Jews in the end times [link]
In this dialogue with Mark Cameron, Bob argues that those who interpret Romans 11 as predictive of a large-scale conversion must expect literally every single Jew living at that time to convert, not just many, which might create a potential difficulty for this interpretation, if Bob was correct. This is, of course, closely related to his use of “universal conversion” in previous sections, a bit of a straw-man somewhat easier to defend against.
Sungenis: “in being required to be faithful to the meaning of "all" in the phrase "all Israel," would require you to interpret it as referring to every last Jew in the future conversion you envision.” (emphasis added)
Cameron: “I would accept that this future conversion does not imply a loss of free will, or necessarily imply a unanimous conversion. But there have been large scale conversions of whole nations.”
Sungenis: “What you accept and what the text demands are apparently two different things. The text says ‘all Israel’, not some. If, as is the case, you see ‘all Israel’ and figure that this must be something more than a remnant, then by what authority do you then retreat from the meaning of “all”? (emphasis added)
b) “Many” vs. “All” in regard to English translations of the Mass:
b1) To: (name omitted) 3/15/2004 8:20 a.m.:
Note: Yet, in a different context not directly involving a Jewish issue (the Mass), Bob insists that “all” is definitely not required to literally mean “all” in Scripture, that it may also legitimately be taken to mean simply “many”. Note that in both cases (Romans 11:26 above and Luke 3:6 below), the Greek for “all” is the same word:
Sungenis: “If you are referring to the change from ‘many’ to ‘all’, Scripturally speaking there is no difference between the two…In key soteriological tests, Scripture often interchanges the meaning of ‘many’ with ‘all’. In effect, Scripture neither always intends ‘many’ to exclude ‘all’ nor always intends ‘all’ to include all. For example….Luke 3:6 states that ‘all mankind will see God’s salvation.’” (emphasis added)
b2) Sungenis: “….Until if and when another pope says that "all" cannot subsitute for "many," then I will continued to use the same apologetic. We are not the authorities in these theological areas, only the pope can be the authority. Since no pope has condemned the use of "all" for "many," then we must assume it is allowed.” [October 2004, question 16]
b3) Here you can view what two Scripture sholars and a Church Father have to say about "all Israel."
8) Are Certain Church Fathers More Authoritative or Not?
Question 23- Which Fathers Are Authoritative; What is the Church's Eschatological View? (April 2004)
"Mr. Sungenis, How do we know which of the particular writings of the Fathers have authority, and how does the Church retrieve its infallible interpretation of Scripture from those writings?"
R. Sungenis: "There are certain Fathers that the Church esteems more highly and regards as higher authorities than other Fathers. For example, such Fathers as Irenaeus, Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, Basil, Chrysostom, and a few others are given much more weight." (emphasis added)
Note: Notice the list Bob gives for authoritative Fathers. According to the evidence he provides, only one says anything about the Antichrist being Jewish, yet he confidently asserts that “the Church” has “unofficially proclaimed” this. Conversely, note how many below have written in expectation of some kind of unusual conversion of the Jews to Christ in the end times. And yet here, while he eventually progressed from almost complete denials, he still dismisses the evidence as “divided at best”, even dismissing the same Catholic Encyclopedia he cites as proof that the Antichrist will be Jewish.
Of the Fathers Bob lists here as those “the Church esteems more highly and regards as higher authorities”, at least half of them do in fact write about an unusual future conversion of Jews, including the great Scripture scholar St. Jerome. I do not think it would be inappropriate to add St. Cyril, St. Ambrose and (although obviously much later) St. Thomas Aquinas as especially significant and weighty Catholic witnesses. Catholic apologists might wish there was this much Patristic evidence for the dogma of The Assumption.
9) Did Popes Really Deny a Large Conversion of the Jews in the End Times?
April, 2004: Question 29- Which Popes Say Only A Remnant of Jews Will be Saved?
(Brian, a CAI questioner, wrote): "Robert, in regard to your commentary on the various Popes you mentioned originally: "They spoke of only a remnant being saved at any given time, and made no mention that God was going to change that in the future." Going by what you say here, and without ever having read any of those papal texts themselves, it doesn't sound to me as if they are DENYING a future mass conversion of Israel, but rather, may have been PRESCINDING from that question - i.e., not addressing it. Were they perhaps just thinking about the normal course of history as we know it so far? For "at any given time", back then and up till now, only a remnant (small minority) of Jews currently living on earth have become Christrian."
R. Sungenis: "Brian, here are the popes' comments: Pope Innocent III, in speaking about the Jews to the Kings of France and Germany Regi Francorum, says:
...'not displeasing to the Lord, but rather, acceptable to Him that the Dispersion of the Jews should live and do service under Catholic Kings and Christian princes the remnants of which then will finally be saved (Romans 9:3-24), since in those days Judah will be saved (Jeremiah 33:6-26) and Israel will dwell in mutual trust.'
Gregory IX and Martin V also use this formula of predicting a future "remnant will be saved":
'Whereas the Jews are made to the image of God, and a remnant of them will one day be saved, and whereas they have sought our protection: following in the footsteps of our predecessors We command that they be not molested in their synagogues; that their laws, rights and customs be not assailed; that they be not baptized by force, constrained to observe Christian festivals, nor to wear new badges, and that they be not hindered in their business relations with Christians' "
Martin V, Declaration on the Protection of the Jews, 1419.
(End Q & A)
Note: Read these quotes carefully. I see nothing in these quotes that denies an unusual conversion of the Jews in the last days, and in fact, it may well be argued that they actually support it. Gregory IX and Martin the V speak of a remnant that “will one day be saved” or "will finally be saved." Bob asserts that only a remnant is being saved and will continue to be saved, dismissing any future, unusual conversion/restoration beyond the status quo of a persistent trickle. This does not readily square with the language of Gregory IX and Martin V, who each wrote in the future tense about a remnant that will one day be saved, not about a continuing trickle right up until the end as Bob asserts. 13
Then in April, 2005, in answer to a question about what proof there was for an unusual conversion of the Jews in the end times, Bob wrote the following:
Sungenis: “…there were three popes after (Aquinas) that said there would be no universal conversion, and that we should only expect to see a remnant of Jews convert to Christianity. These papal statements agree with what St. Paul wrote in Romans 11 about the future of the Jews, namely, that only a remnant would turn to Christ right up until the end of time.” [Question 1: link]
Note: 1) I have not found any evidence Bob has provided of a third pope who supposedly denies an unusual conversion of the Jews in the end times. 2) The two popes that Bob did cite back in 2004 did not write what Bob indicated. Bob chooses the words “universal conversion”, perhaps because it is easier to defend his argument this way (as only St. Thomas used such wording), but this is not warranted. It sets up a straw man. The ultimate issue is whether or not they expected an unusual, significant conversion of Jews in the end times. And it seems to me that even the two popes provided by Bob support that view. 3) The word “remnant” in the two papal comments cited by Bob is in reference to a future event, not a continuance of the status quo, i.e. a small flow of converts. This is sufficiently clear from the context as noted above already. 4) Bob omitted two very plain citations by Pope St. Gregory the Great in his answer each of which is quoted further below. As evident from previous articles, dialogues and Q & A’s, he is aware of these papal quotes that speak clearly about the Pope’s expectation of an unusual conversion of the Jews in the future. Additionally, Blessed Pope Pius XI supported this belief (see addendum #1).
As stated at the outset of this section, it seems clear that Bob's deeply negative bias in regard to Jewish issues extends even to Scripture, patristics and other ecclesial realms.
Please review addendum #1, a compilation on the conversion of the Jewish people. I have compiled over 30 pages of quotes from Fathers, popes, medievals and respected scholars on this topic.