Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sungenis' Scriptural Exegesis of Passages Predicting the Antichrist Will Be Jewish

Once again, here is a small sampling of the positively confident statements Robert Sungenis of Catholic Apologetics International has made in expectation of the Antichrist being of Jewish ancestry (specifically from the tribe of Dan):

Sungenis: “…Antichrist, who, according to the Fathers, is supposed to have his ancestry in the tribe of Dan.” (here)

Sungenis: “In fact,…Catholic tradition… has unofficially declared that the future Antichrist will be of Jewish extraction." (here)

The following are four examples of the exhaustive, expert Scriptural exegesis Robert Sungenis has completed in order to support statements like those above:





(No need to adjust your monitor, all four are indeed blank.)

The following is from Robert Sungenis and the Jews:

"It is particularly noteworthy that the Scriptural evidence for this belief [Jewish identity of the Antichrist] seems far 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."

In light of Sungenis' almost Herculean efforts over the past several years to discount the broad and deep Catholic witness for an unusual conversion of the Jewish people to Christ in the last days (centered almost exclusively around his own personal exegesis of Romans 11), why were Catholics not treated to an even more vigorous Sungenis dismissal of the relatively thin Catholic witness for the belief that the Antichrist will be a Jew from the tribe of Dan? After all, the Scriptural evidence for this belief is rather flimsy, at least compared to the scriptural citations and interpretations in support of the "Conversion of the Jews" (see here) and these Scriptural passages are central to what historical Catholic support there is (Patristic and otherwise).

Why has Sungenis not exerted similarly sustained exegetical efforts to save Catholics from believing the evidence that the Antichrist will be a Jew? Indeed, why was his reaction in this case the polar opposite: a ready embrace of this idea as taught by "the Fathers" and that it was "unofficially declared" by "Catholic tradition" without so much as a cursory exegesis of the Scriptural evidence?

Certainly this is an odd development for a man whose expertise is purportedly Scriptural exegesis.

(Note: Again, the intention of this post is not to completely undermine belief in the possibility that the Antichrist will be a Jew. The point is to underline the clear inconsistencies exhibited by Robert Sungenis. If something is positive about Jews, Sungenis tends to spare no effort to contradict and undermine it. If something is negative about Jews, Sungenis tends to readily accept and further propagate it.)