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  #61  
Old Feb 28, '12, 9:09 am
Robert Sungenis Robert Sungenis is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Mr. Palm, you write: “And let’s not forget that the promise of a future special conversion of the Jews to Christ marks them out as special as well. No other group is given such a promise in Scripture and the teaching of the Fathers. This doctrine is taught by dozens of Fathers and Doctors of the Church and has been reiterated again in the CCC (par. 674). Fr. Denis Fahey himself—after surveying the weight of the witnesses for this belief through Church history—says, “The conversion of the Jewish people to the true Supernatural Messias is, therefore, certain . . .”

Unfortunately for you, it is not Catholic dogma and it is not taught in CCC 674. Once again, you read into a given text what you want to see. CCC 674 merely says “The ‘full inclusion’ of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of ‘the full number of Gentiles…” CCC 674 doesn’t define what it means by “full inclusion of the Jews.” It could easily refer to all the Jews from Abraham to Christ’s second coming that become saved, not a large group of Jews just before Jesus returns. Nowhere does the CCC teach that there will be an en masse conversion of Jews before Christ returns. As for the Fathers and medievals, there is no firm consensus on the issue, besides the fact that the “en masse conversion of Jews” idea originated with the Premillennial eschatology that the Church rejected at the Council of Ephesus. In fact, we recently found a number of them who say that the Jews will remain unrepentant until the end of time (e.g., Chrysostom, Agobard, Bruno, Juliana of Norwich, Liguori, and Popes Gregory the Great, Innocent III, Gregory IX, Martin V).

You write: “Can you see understand a bit more now as to why we have described your approach to this as a ‘Theology of Prejudice’”?

This is just another example of your infamous demagoguery. The larger problem is your reading into Church documents what you want to see; your redefining of basic English words to suit your own agenda; and your ignoring of basic Scripture texts just because they have no official Catholic commentary.

Mr. Palm, a word of warning. If you want to continue this dialogue, then you need to stop the name-calling, the caricatures, the accusations, the digging up things from the past that are argumentative, which are obviously done in an effort to draw prejudice against me. I am simply not going to put up with it any longer. If you don't stop, this will be the last dialogue I have with you.
  #62  
Old Feb 29, '12, 7:10 am
YanniP YanniP is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Mr. Palm:
It is a better approach to these issues to acknowledge, as you did, that what you are proposing is “still being sifted and considered”. Thank you for that.

Still, with that concession, your insistence and continued reliance on Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate simply do support your entire position. Also your “6” evidences for “an abiding love” simply beg the question, let alone are only your musings. Again, assuming you are correct on the en masse conversion, which is simply opinion, the Church has also never spoken as to “why” the remnant exists as it does or why an en masse conversion would occur leaving centuries of unconverted, condemned souls – is that a positive or a negative? Ultimately unique, yes, but you do not have support to go as far as you do. I don’t see a need to rehash the support, for which I believe Mr. Sungenis has already pointed out quite accurately.

What I would like to spend time exploring though, as it now has become obvious to me, is that you have a clear prejudice for promoting a positive continuation of the mosaic covenant, in that it is “not just ‘done for’”. I don’t believe you can even consider that the Mercy and Love God shows the Jews after their breach is that he so graciously continues to offer them a chance of salvation. It must be more for you. Yet, you do not define it. Can you define this “more” that specifically exists? Is it Grace? Is it a continued working of the Spirit through the OT? What do you mean?

Much of your position revolves around a misconception of what was really fulfilled, and the consequence of the fulfillment. The people of Israel as a unit, as the Chosen of the OT, prefigured Christ. This type was then completely fulfilled, as all the other messianic types, ceremonial, etc. Once fulfilled, as completely as Christ fulfilled the types, there is no longer a prefigurement – no more type, no more shadow. Only the light now exists. That is the exact reason why the Council of Florence and Pope Benedict IVX in Ex Quo were so harsh in condemning any old precept which foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah. St. Thomas and St. Augustine were equally clear:

“Consequently, just as it would be a mortal sin now for anyone, in making a profession of faith, to say that Christ is yet to be born, which the fathers of old said devoutly and truthfully; so too it would be a mortal sin now to observe those ceremonies which the fathers of old fulfilled with devotion and fidelity. Such is the teaching Augustine (Contra Faust. xix, 16), who says: "It is no longer promised that He shall be born, shall suffer and rise again, truths of which their sacraments were a kind of image: but it is declared that He is already born, has suffered and risen again; of which our sacraments, in which Christians share, are the actual representation." Summa Theologica, I II Q 103, 4

This is true of any type foreshadowing Christ. See, Mr. Palm, we all can agree that because all of the prophecies which assured physical Israel of eternal blessings were fulfilled in the Messiah, fulfilled differently than Israel in her blindness had imagined, Israel rejected her inheritance. God took the vineyard and gave it to the Gentiles, a New Israel.

Paradoxically, as we find so often in God’s plan, this New Israel was the Israel that existed from the beginning, the one fulfilled in Christ. This was the New Israel, the Christianity, of Abraham. Whether there is a remnant of the “past Chosen” now accepting this new Messianic Kingdom of grace throughout time, or whether these “past Chosen” will en masse accept Christ near the second coming is irrelevant for this discussion in my view. The important fact is the transfer, and singularity, of the word and concept of “chosen”. We do not currently have chosen becoming part of the Chosen. You have past-chosen becoming part of the Chosen.

Unless you admit that your whole premise is, as I stated from the beginning, simply that God can temporally deal with a nation or group of people, even uniquely, as we all admit the remaining “unique” role of Jews, and that any blessing or positive special relationship is based upon the continued offer of salvation through the Abrahamic Covenant, specifically through Jesus Christ, to all men, then you are insinuating and instigating a belief in two “chosen” groups. Although you do go a good distance to declare the non-salvific nature of the relationship that exists, you simply do not see the impropriety in your implications and insinuations that this continuing unique dealing is a positive or, as you say, a “role in God’s design for man’s salvation”. The past-chosen play no “role”, implying causation, in “man’s salvation”.

These type of statements support and give credence to those advocating more than what I am assuming you wish to advocate. Christ does not have two brides Mr. Palm, as you know, but your attempt to create an additional “chosen” beyond what has been usurped by the Church is tantamount to bringing that second bride to the wedding. Your title “All in the Family: Christians, Jews, and God” and your statements “are the Jewish people still “chosen”, maintaining a special relationship with God? . . . Yes”, and your incessant attempt to create a positive out of a negative is doing more harm than good.
  #63  
Old Feb 29, '12, 7:10 am
YanniP YanniP is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Your most revealing statement was in your objection to Mr. Sungenis’ usage of the word “revoked”. You stated:

““Revoked” carries an additional negative nuance . . . Conversely, “revoked” also tends also to imply a rebuke of the holder of the item. . . Conversely, if I say that someone’s license has been “revoked”, that naturally tends to imply that the license holder has done something wrong and that is why the license has been taken away.”

Do you really find that analogous? Do you really believe that the “licensee” here was not to blame for the “revocation”? Is it wrong to imply that the “license holder” has done something wrong to have the “license” taken away? In your view, why was the Old Covenant abrogated and superseded?

Yes, God loves the Jews, but not as Jews, as you have stated, but because of the Incarnation, because they individually reflect the same potentiality for fulfilling their Imago Dei. That fulfillment is offered to them, despite their rejection, because of God’s eternal Promise and Fulfillment in Christ Jesus.

As for your question related to Mr. Sungenis, are you really taking the “But he’s doing something worse!” defense? We’re focusing on your problematic essays, Mr. Palm. You are the one taking theological positions and claiming they are Magisterial and taught by the Church, and we are exploring the correctness of your representations. I have seen nothing but charitable discussion from Mr. Sungenis. Please stay on topic.

Thank you for your time, and for answering my above questions.
  #64  
Old Feb 29, '12, 12:36 pm
YanniP YanniP is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

In Post 62 - Correction - "your insistence and continued reliance on Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate simply do NOT support your entire position."
  #65  
Old Feb 29, '12, 2:47 pm
SwissGuard25 SwissGuard25 is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

1 Timothy 2:4-6
Quote:
4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
  #66  
Old Feb 29, '12, 7:29 pm
robindenver robindenver is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Christianity teaches that Jesus is the Messiah for everyone, and that salvation from the wages of sin is only through acceptance of Him as such. Christianity teaches that Jesus was also G-d, the Son of the Holy Trinity.

Judaism teaches that the Messiah has not yet come, and that when he does, he will be an ordinary human being, not G-d.

These views will be reconciled when Christ comes again, whatever form that may take.

Then everyone will know the truth. Until then, one follows one's heart, as one is guided by G-d.
  #67  
Old Mar 1, '12, 8:36 am
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Bob, "Yanni", I've read your postings and when I can carve out the time I'll have a good deal to say to them. Just wanted to let you know I'm not ignoring you.
  #68  
Old Mar 1, '12, 9:09 am
cornbread_r2 cornbread_r2 is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Church should not pursue conversion of Jews, pope says

“Israel is in the hands of God, who will save it ‘as a whole’ at the proper time, when the number of Gentiles is full,” the pope writes. The historical duration of this “proper time,” Benedict says, cannot be calculated.
  #69  
Old Mar 1, '12, 5:18 pm
YanniP YanniP is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Cornbread: Let's be clear here. Are you telling us that you agree with that quote and that the Jews living and dying until the Second Coming are so blinded, and therefore condemned, that we should just let them be, and ignore all the scriptural and Magisterial calls to evangilize the world? The last generation of Jews who convert is simply good enough?
  #70  
Old Mar 1, '12, 6:07 pm
cornbread_r2 cornbread_r2 is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YanniP View Post
Cornbread: Let's be clear here. Are you telling us that you agree with that quote and that the Jews living and dying until the Second Coming are so blinded, and therefore condemned, that we should just let them be, and ignore all the scriptural and Magisterial calls to evangilize the world? The last generation of Jews who convert is simply good enough?
I was just passing on what I thought was a relevant article written by someone who is generally regarded as a scholarly Catholic theologian. I think it's important to view Benedict's opinion in the context of a long history of Jewish "evangelism" that can reasonably be argued to have done more harm than good to all the parties involved.
  #71  
Old Mar 5, '12, 1:12 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

"Yanni" writes,

Quote:
Originally Posted by YanniP View Post
As for your question related to Mr. Sungenis, are you really taking the “But he’s doing something worse!” defense? We’re focusing on your problematic essays, Mr. Palm. You are the one taking theological positions and claiming they are Magisterial and taught by the Church, and we are exploring the correctness of your representations. I have seen nothing but charitable discussion from Mr.Sungenis. Please stay on topic.
"Please stay on topic." Okay, as both you and Bob seem to be suffering from the same mark-ed amnesia, let's refresh your memory about the actual topic of this thread, as opposed to what you and Bob want it to be about, "Yanni".

What was the actual topic of this thread? "Was Jesus Also the Messiah for the Jews". Hoxbar wanted to know if "Jesus was sent for the Gentiles and not for the Jews...us Gentiles needed a messiah not the Jews." 18 comments followed, both for and against this serious error—this heresy.

And, of course, considering the fact that you and your friend Bob Sungenis consider this to be one of the most nefarious heresies the Church has faced, you jumped in immediately to oppose and denounce it, right?

Nah. Instead, you only jumped in after a CAF member legitimately cited our Lay Witness article to combat that heresy. And then what? You ignored the plain heresy right in front of your face—that Jesus was not the Messiah for the Jews—and instead only felt compelled to come out of the woodwork in order to warn people about how dangerous our article supposedly is, even though we’re both on the same side, in opposition to that heresy. Interesting priorities, don’t you think? And you completely misrepresented what we wrote in the process. As such, your admonition to “stay on topic” seems more than a little ironic and self-serving, don’t you think,“Yanni”?

And speaking of “ironic” and “self-serving”, you said that I am “the one taking theological positions and claiming they are Magisterial and taught by the Church.” Well, yes. And we’ve given more than ample evidence that we’re correct and you and your friend Bob are wrong. Conversely, neither you nor Bob have brought forward any magisterial evidence that you're right and we’re wrong. And remember, we’re not out and about branding anyone a heretic for simply disagreeing with our understanding of the evidence. That's what your friend Bob Sungenis is doing to Bishop Rhoades and us. And after being repeatedly challenged to support those charges from magisterial teaching?

Crickets.

Instead, we get more of Bob’s personal Scripture interpretations.

Continuing yet further on the "ironic" and “self-serving” theme, you also chided me for supposedly “taking the ‘But he’s doing something worse!’ defense.” But what did I ask you and why, “Yanni”? I pointed out that you seemed extremely concerned with our balance on these issues involving Jews. So I simply questioned whether your concerns themselves were balanced. I asked if you were concerned at all with the fact that Bob is currently promoting the work of David Duke - former “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan; has publicly spread a lie about Jewish convert Roy Schoeman (and knows it is a lie, yet he refuses to retract and apologize for it--see here); has repeatedly slandered Bishop Rhoades; has made the kind of offensive and erroneous statements listed here; and right now has an entire website that appears to be a clearing house for Jewish conspiracy theories. I asked you if this represented the kind of balanced approach you think is an effective way to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And your response?

Crickets again.

That’s telling, “Yanni”. I can think of very few people who wouldn’t willingly distance themselves from this sort of outrageous behavior.
  #72  
Old Mar 5, '12, 1:12 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

So, why do all of these outrageous and offensive things Bob has said and done get a complete yawn from you, “Yanni”? I think that’s more than a bit odd. I also think it's odd that you jumped in this thread only to take a cheap shot at an article written by Michael and me, repeating a totally skewed perspective that obviously came from Bob Sungenis. And when you got called on the carpet, most interestingly, Bob himself suddenly popped into the thread.

Now, I’ve known Bob for quite a number of years and he’s always been very reluctant to venture out from his home audience on the Internet. Instead, he typically lets his closest supporters do that for him. In fact, one of the only times I’ve seen him make a personal appearance was after a very close supporter—the president of his board of directors, in fact—had first entered the thread and started to need some help. Here's what I'm talking about at the Discover Magazine blog:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...comment-304846

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...comment-305190

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...comment-316247

Well, I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature, so I’m not going to jump to rash conclusions, especially in public. But, there is some other information that I’m sure you’ll agree is also oddly coincidental.

Over at the Catholics for Israel forum, there’s a poster with the screen name “truthseeker” who's been making almost identical arguments to the ones you’re making here and at almost the same time, “Yanni.” I mean, some of them are almost word for word. And he even likes the same German theologians that you like – Heinisch and Heidt. That’s how I found those posts—way back when you first mentioned them, I did a Google search on Heinisch, Heidt, Jews and Covenant. See here.

And the other really interesting and coincidental thing about that screen name (truthseeker) is that it has commonly been used by the very same friend and board member I mentioned above who appeared on the Discover Magazine blog defending Bob Sungenis. In fact, he’s used that screen name right here at the CAF and at Wikipedia.

His name is Mark Wyatt, president of Bob's board of directors (see here), member of the CAF forum writing under the name "trth_skr" (see here and here), and at Wikipedia using Truth_seeker and Truth_seeker_new:

Interestingly enough, Mark Wyatt is the same person who went to great lengths right here at the CAF—using the screen name truthseeker (trth_skr) —to help Bob Sungenis deceive people into thinking that Bob hadn’t been rejected by Bishop Rhoades for an imprimatur on CASB2 (see here).

But again, I’m sure this is all just completely coincidental.

Now, I’ve answered enough of your questions, as absurd as those have sometimes been. It’s your turn to answer some questions. So, once again, “Yanni” I ask you:
  • Do you have any objection to your friend Bob Sungenis promoting a video about Jews by former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke?
  • Do you have any objection to Bob continuing to publicly slander his Bishop with bogus charges of heresy when Bob has privately admitted that he knows he may well not be right?
  • Do you have any objection to Bob spreading a lie about Jewish convert Roy Schoeman’s beliefs and not retracting and apologizing for it even though he knows it's a lie? http://www.pugiofidei.com/fraud.htm
  • Do you have any objection to Bob trying to convince people that Michael Forrest, Jared Olar, Jacob Michael and I may secretly be Jews who are hiding our identities? Do you have any objection to the stunt that Bob pulled, enlisting a young man - against his conscience - to try to "out" Jacob Michael as a Jew (see here)?
  • Do you have any objection to any of the statements Bob has made about Jews, listed here?
  • Do you have any problem with the fact that Bob has broken multiple promises to stop attacking Jews and to at least stick to theological issues involving them (see here)?
  • Do you believe that the kind of material presented by Bob and the sources behind them represent the sort of balance you are seeking and are rightly viewed as an effective way to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

We’ll all look forward to your answers now, “Yanni”.
  #73  
Old Mar 5, '12, 1:15 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

I apologize to the forum moderators in advance for the length of my response. I would prefer to simply post links to my website for the bulk of what follows, but Bob Sungenis has stated that he won't read it there. So, as much as I think his refusal is unreasonable, I decided to try to accommodate him to a large degree, for the sake of getting to the bottom of some very important and complex matters. I appreciate your understanding and patience.

---------------------

Bob,

Let me make clear why I'm even discussing these particular issues in such detail with you. You've been making unjustified charges of heresy in public against us, but more seriously against Bishop Rhoades. I wanted to give you another opportunity to finally do the right thing by retracting and apologizing for these false accusations. Failing that good result, I at least want others to see for themselves what you’re willing do to a Catholic bishop and Catholic laymen like Roy Schoeman, Michael Forrest and me in your quest to condemn people for “heresy”. I also wanted to let everyone see for themselves that you are unable to back up your charges or support your private interpretations from the teaching of the Magisterium.

To use Bishop Rhoades' words, your behavior continues to be “slanderous”, “uncharitable and un-Christian”.

These issues involving the relationship among Christians, Jews and God are very interesting and worth discussing in and of themselves, but I'm not going to allow you to take the attention off of the central issue underlying this whole matter: your completely unacceptable behavior with respect to Bishop Rhoades, Jews, and anyone who has criticized you about your dealings with them. If and when you retract and apologize for your multiple public slanders of Bishop Rhoades and finally honor your multiple broken promises to stop attacking Jews, then we would be more interested in and willing to continue to discuss these issues with you on a purely theological level.

But as matters stand right now, you have a great deal to answer for, Bob. And I'm going to press you hard for those answers after addressing a few of your points, below. But, unless you bring forward something really new and pertinent, then I’m not going to waste any more time dealing with these doctrinal points. It’s time for you to finally face up to the central issues here and stop tap dancing around them.

Below are four links to new material we’ve written in response to some of your latest, specific arguments. This was necessary to keep the length of my response within reason here on the CAF. If you refuse to read them, that’s up to you. But please don't complain you haven't been answered.


Have We “Changed Our Minds”? https://sites.google.com/site/sungen...#HaveWeChanged – No. What’s actually happening is that you and “Yanni” are finally beginning to read our material for the first time and understand it a bit better.

Supersessionism…Yet Again https://sites.google.com/site/sungen...essionismAgain – Neither sacred Scripture nor the Catholic Church has ever used this word. Yet you deploy it as an absolute litmus test of Catholic orthodoxy - even against a successor of the Apostles.

Revoked…Yet Again https://sites.google.com/site/sungen...m#RevokedAgain – Neither sacred Scripture nor the Catholic Church has ever used this word that you use as an absolute litmus test of orthodoxy and insist is one of "the most important legal words related to the topic of the Old Covenant today."

The Conversion of the Jews https://sites.google.com/site/sungen...rsionOfTheJews – Your treatment of the future conversion of the Jews remains one of the clearest indications of your “theology of prejudice”. Here, I lay out additional examples of that. Most glaring is your treatment of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and also Catechism of the Catholic Church 674. The Catechism speaks of the “full inclusion” of the Jews into the Church after (post in Latin) the full number of the Gentiles. In the CCC this information is placed under the section dealing with what will occur leading up to the Second Coming. Everything else listed there is something that a person could perceive—Christ's return itself, the "final trial" of the Church that will "shake the faith" of her members, and the coming of Antichrist. And the recognition of the Messiah by "all Israel" is right square in the middle of that section. According to your unusual interpretation of Romans 11, this really isn't really that big of a deal. Very odd, then, that the Church found it important enough to include along with the Great Tribulation, the Great Apostasy, and the Antichrist as signs of the Second Coming. See more details here
  #74  
Old Mar 5, '12, 1:15 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

Faulty Foundation, Faulty Conclusions:

So what’s behind all of this? I believe the problem is that you’re beginning with unbalanced, faulty presuppositions. It is no wonder that you come to erroneous conclusions, which do not reflect what the Magisterium teaches.

I believe you have a fundamentally unbalanced and confused understanding of God's relationship with Israel according to the flesh, the Jewish people. You have adopted what we've called a "theology of prejudice", but upon further reflection it might also be called a "theology of punishment." From this flows your private choice of a word that the Magisterium has never used: “revoked”. From this flows your denial that the Jewish people retain any special place in salvation history (unless it’s at the service of Satan, of course). From this flows your insistence that the Jews have no special ongoing relationship with God (again, unless it's negative. For more, see Internal Contradictions in Sungenis’ Own Theology here). From this flows the great double standards you employ, latching onto any negative thing the Fathers or Scripture might say about Jews, while working desperately to explain away the instances in which Scripture, the Fathers, and the Magisterium affirm positive things about them. From this flow your extremely tendentious readings of Romans 11. From this flow all of the contortions you go through to try to divorce the Church as much as you can from its inherent Jewishness.

Let’s look at this more closely. More examples could be cited, but the following will suffice.

From your “Question 231”, you write:
Also, your insistence that the revoke or annulling of the Old Covenant had nothing to do with "rebuke" or "disownership" is incorrect. Whether we use "revoke," "annul," "set aside," "take away," "cancel" or any other similar term, the fact remains that the legal or covenantal commission that God had originally given to the Jewish nation was revoked, and in the process of the revocation, the Jews were, indeed, "rebuked" for their sins and they were also severed from "ownership" of the Mosaic law. No longer could the Jews have a relationship with God based on the Mosaic law, legally speaking. No longer would the Jews be the "chosen people" or "the people of the covenant" in opposition to everyone else in the world. As a national or ethnic entity, God, indeed, has "repudiated" the Jews. . . . [i]n regards to national or ethnic aspects, the Jews have, indeed, been rejected. God no longer deals with or has a relationship to the Jews based on their Jewishness or their national origin. God will only relate to the Jews as he relates to everyone else in the world -- accept Jesus Christ for the salvation of your souls or perish.
And then the following, from your critique of our Lay Witness article:
R. Sungenis: The only way a Jew can become a member of the “Chosen People” today is if he accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior…If he is unconverted, he is not of the “Chosen People.” In fact, a Jew, because he denies that Jesus Christ is the divine Savior, is consigned to hell by “divine choice.”
You sure can feel the love.

I submit that this is at the heart of your whole approach to the Jews. You believe that the replacement of the Mosaic covenant with the New Covenant was a “rebuke” of Israel according to the flesh. The Jewish people, according to you, were “repudiated” by God and have no special relationship with God, as Jews and as a people. God only deals with Jews as individuals and their Jewishness is irrelevant now. That’s your position.

Now, everyone agrees that St. Paul’s teaching in Romans 11 is the key biblical text in this whole discussion. And as I will demonstrate, you’ve seriously misunderstood and misrepresented St. Paul, to the point of taking a position that is almost the exact opposite of what he teaches at points.

Last edited by DavidPalm; Mar 5, '12 at 1:26 pm.
  #75  
Old Mar 5, '12, 1:16 pm
DavidPalm DavidPalm is offline
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Default Re: Was Jesus also the Messiah for the Jews?

So, what has led to your faulty understanding of this passage of Scripture? As I said above, faulty foundations lead inevitably to faulty conclusions. Let’s look at what you have said about the context of Romans 11:
R. Sungenis: "The very reason Romans 11 was written is that, after God rejected and decimated the Jews in the first century, the question of whether any Jew could still be saved came to the fore, which is the very reason St. Paul opens the chapter with: 'Has God forsaken the Jew?'" (The Latin Mass Fall 2005, p. 54; emphasis added.)
Now let’s unpack this. You state that the context of Romans 11 is when God “decimated the Jews in the first century”. You’ve repeated this claim in various forms several times. Here’s what you said in your commentary on Romans in the CASB series:
R. Sungenis: "Rm 11:24 must be interpreted within these specific parameters, but this is an easy task once one understands the context of Rm 11:1-4. As we noted earlier, the logical question one would ask after the Temple curtain was miraculously torn in two at the exact moment of Christ’s death on the cross (Mt 27:51), followed by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Romans, is: Do the Jews have any future with God at all? Can any of them be saved any longer? We saw above that the answer is “yes”, but it is a qualified “yes”, since only a remnant will be saved. The rest will remain in unbelief…" (CASB3, p. 437f.)
And elsewhere you state:
R. Sungenis: "After God abolished the Old Covenant in 33 AD and destroyed the Jews in 70 AD for their unbelief, a curious observer might ask: “Well, does that mean the Jews can no longer be saved?” The answer comes back, “No, God has not forsaken the Jews, for I Paul, a Jew from Benjamin, have been saved; and even in the OT God had a remnant of Jewish believers that he saved, even though most of the nation was in apostasy.” That is the context of Romans 11:1-8." (CAI Answers Its Critics)
The obvious problem with this is that the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 took place more than a decade after Romans was written and in fact at least three years after St. Paul was dead. Bob, how can an event that occurs after the death of the author serve as even a part of the context for what he wrote?

So, let’s be totally clear. There is no way that the context of a passage of Scripture can be formed by events that took place after it was written, indeed, after the author of that Scripture passage was dead. There’s no way around that. What you are teaching here is flatly and demonstrably false.

It’s not surprising, then, that you come to erroneous conclusions about the meaning of Romans 11 and take positions out of alignment with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, when your understanding of the context for that chapter is so skewed.

Now let’s look at just some of the exegetical mistakes that arise out of this fundamentally flawed understanding of the context of Romans 11. I’m only going to look at a few here—many more are documented in Sungenis on Romans 11: Theological Bias in Biblical Exegesis.

The place where your fundamentally flawed approach to Romans 11 really comes to the fore is in your treatment of the olive tree in vv. 17-24. First, you have previously gone to great lengths to deny that the “olive tree” of which St. Paul speaks is Israel. You’ve claimed that the olive tree is Christ and that "this was also the constant teaching of the Fathers" (CASB2, p. 149), going so far as to publicly castigate Jewish converts for saying that the olive tree was Israel. Of course, you seem to have forgotten that Jesus is a Jew. He is the Israelite par excellence, the representative head of Israel. So, even if you were correct, to be grafted into Christ is still to be grafted into Israel.

And although you offered a few citations from the Fathers as a "representative sample" of your claim, it turns out that you missed in the very same context of those citations where those Fathers made it quite clear that they saw Israel as the Olive Tree. Even though this was pointed out to you by both Ben Douglass and Michael Forrest, you went to print with these errors in your CASB2 volume (the book that was denied an imprimatur by Bishop Rhoades, by the way). See complete documentation in "The Theology of Prejudice: The Olive Tree or 'Root' of Romans 11".

Last edited by DavidPalm; Mar 5, '12 at 1:32 pm.
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