The 'Spiritual Malpractice' of Dr. Eric Svendsen

Written By I. Shawn McElhinney

At the end of the day, we can come to no other conclusion than that it is young XXXX who has suffered the most in his decision to bypass the normal formal training period that apologists need to experience before they can be seasoned apologists. His lack of knowledge in critical areas (Greek, Hebrew, NT scholarship, and church history), combined with his backwoods, fundamentalist approach, prevents him from being the well-rounded apologist that he aspires to be. Young XXXX has attempted to correct me in my understanding of the issues. I have an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies, a graduate degree in NT Studies, a post-graduate degree in Theological Studies, and have just completed a second post-graduate degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Mariology. I suppose there is a chance that I really don't know what I'm talking about when I write on these issues; but I think any fair-minded person would have to agree that it is only a slim chance. [Dr. Eric Svendsen]

This essay can be considered a "sequel" of sorts to a previous critique I wrote examining one of Dr. Svendsen's associates in Protestant apologetics. As his associate tends to get mentioned far too often in my view (and thus is given too much publicity), I decided to omit the associate’s name and simply refer to him as 'Mr. Critic' throughout that review which can be found at the following link:


As Dr. Svendsen has made a point to emphasize his credentials, I will out of respect accord him with the moniker of Dr. throughout this critique. Dr. Svendsen's words will be in Georgia nine point font while mine will remain in Times font. These are from a list of questions that a Catholic sent me earlier on in the year as summarized points from Dr. Svendsen's book Evangelical Answers that the individual was having difficulty with. So without further ado, let us get right to it.

1. In the Old Testament, Moses was chosen by God, and he then chooses Joshua. No mention of who Joshua's successors were.

This is not a very good way for such an esteemed scholar as Dr. Svendsen to come out of the starting gate I am afraid. As for Joshua’s successors, I would recommend that Dr. Svendsen also pursue a degree in OT studies and start with the book of Judges. He can begin with Judges 2:16 which states that the Lord "raised up judges to deliver them from the hands of those who oppressed them…" This was also mentioned in Judges 2:18-19. And also a simple reading of the rest of Judges would answer his question. Here are some examples of note:

Judges 3 (Othoniel, Aod, and Samgar), Judges 4 (Deborah and Lapedoth: the former a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary btw for our Mariology-accredited doctor), Judges 6 (Gideon), Judges 10 (Theola, Jair), Judges 11 (Jepthe), Judges 12 (Abesan, Ahialon, and Abdon), Judges 13 (Samson), 1 Samuel (Samuel), and then there was the reign of kings, etc. The spiritual patrimony resided amongst the Levites with the High Priest passing on his position to one of his sons, etc.

Dr. Svendsen's chief flaw is the claim that there is a need for explicit biblical testimony for a doctrine. The reason why this is a serious flaw is this is a form of Sola Scriptura. Protestants not only cannot agree on what Sola Scriptura actually means but they also presume (regardless of their definition of the term) that whatever it means that it is nonetheless true. The irony of course is that they cannot defend this presumption with the same standards they seek to impose on any doctrine they personally do not like. There is far more direct explicit and also implicit Biblical evidence for the doctrine of Apostolic Succession then there is for Sola Scriptura. In fact, unlike the former the latter cannot be coherently defended either from Scripture, history, or common sense as the very concept is a tautology. The same though is not the case for the doctrine of Apostolic Succession.

It is amazing when you look closely just how literally the Bible supports the doctrine of Apostolic Succession - a doctrine which Catholics, the Eastern Churches, and Anglicans believe in. I could point out many biblical examples either defending Apostolic Succession or alluding to it. One that comes to mind right off the bat is the covenental concept of passing on headship of the clan from Abraham to Issac to Jacob to Joseph and his brethren. These would be examples of implicit doctrinal proofs. From the tribe of Levi came Moses who was succeeded by Joshua the son of Nun (Deut. 34:9). Then there is the above string of judges and also kings at the temporal level while at the spiritual level there was the High Priest passing on his spiritual patrimony to his sons. These are all bits and pieces that go into reinforcing the biblical doctrine of succession and already I have provided far more evidence from Scripture then can be provided for Sola Scriptura. There is also explicit NT evidences; however I want to keep this essay to a reasonable length as we have a lot of topics to cover. I will however point out one key passage that nails the doctrine solidly because it came from the lips of Our Lord Himself.

If you read John 20:21-23, you see is Our Lord saying to the Apostles "as the Father hath sent me do I send you." The word "Apostle" means "one who is sent." Literally John 20:21 reads "as the Father hath apostledme do I likewise send you". (If you check a concordance, the first sent is rendered as "apostolos".) The testimony of the Church Fathers on the doctrine of Apostolic Succession is unanimous. Now then, which is more credible, the unanimous testimony of the Church Fathers (along with of course taking Our Lord’s words literally) or Dr. Svendsen's position which was invented in the sixteenth century with no trace in the early Church anywhere??? In essence Dr. Svendsen is claiming that everyone for fifteen centuries (except the heretics of course) got it all wrong until some guys came along who proclaimed his position who "got it right." I seem to recall the Apostle Paul warning about those who preach another Gospel being anathematized (1 Gal. 1:8-9). In light of its absence from the first fifteen hundred years of Church history, Dr. Svendsen's gospel cannot logically be but anything but another gospel. As he claims to be an expert in church history, I would ask Dr. Svendsen to point out to me please three Church Fathers who denied the doctrine of Apostolic Succession. Silence is not sufficient for a response. I want to see an explicit denial of this doctrine by three Fathers that would be recognized as orthodox in their beliefs. Otherwise, he fails to confirm his statements by the word of two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16) and the anathema of the Apostle Paul on his novel doctrine can be recognized to be in full force.

Even if successors to Paul and Peter were chosen, that does not mean that God meant to have continual, apostolic succession.

This is a common Reformed trick used by apologists who think they are being clever. I could turn this around on them and say that "even if Jesus and the Apostles frequently quoted the Scriptures, that does not mean that God intended the Bible to be the only source of inspired truth". Heck, I actually like this kind of apologetic. It requires no effort whatsoever but then the Truth does not depend on being established by default the way Protestantism does - being essentially the movement of rebellion against God that it is (cf. Numbers 16; Jude 1:8-13).

No mention of further succession beyond what is mentioned in the Bible

Well let us see, the Bible was completed in the first century and we live in the twenty-first century. Our resident NT scholar apparently is unaware of the many exhortations of the Apostle Paul and his concern about how the Gospel was to be handed on. Our Lord also spoke of instructing successors in the Gospel. The evidence of dynastic succession is stamped throughout the Bible in countless places and is one of the foundations for the doctrine of succession of Bishops down through the centuries through the Apostolic college. I also already listed an explicit passage from the Gospel of John where Our Lord sends the Apostles as He was sent. As he appointed Apostles, it only stands to reason that His Apostles would act in like manner as their Lord and Master. There are also other passages that speak of handing on authority to successors and here are a few examples: Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2; Titus 1:5. There is another passage to Paul’s last written epistle (2 Timothy) where he specifically states in chapter 2 verse 2: "And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also." So if we consider that Paul is instructing his spiritual son Bishop Timothy to pass on what he has learned of Paul to other faithful men (who would be the spiritual sons of Bishop Timothy) who would be able to pass the teachings onto others after them, then what we have here is explicit Scriptural testimony of Apostolic Succession. There are four levels of succession there. I have mentioned a few passages here that witness to the doctrine of Apostolic Succession. There is also the united witness of all the Church Fathers who wrote on this principle. (And we have no reason to presume that those who did not directly address it were of a different point of view.) But then all of this is moot to Dr. Svendsen who chooses to ignore the Bible, the Fathers, or any other source that contradicts his precious Protestant systematic theology. This is a situation among Protestant apologists that is unfortunately quite typical.

2. Canon of the Bible was chosen first by Eastern Orthodox Church in 367, and the 27 books were included in Athanasius' Easter letter from Alexandria. This decision was made 26 years before Hippo. The Western Church did not include Hebrews, but eventually followed the East in including all 27 books. Rome simply adopted the decision of the eastern Church.

There was no uniform canon first proposed until 382 when the Catholic canon was first listed in the Decree of (Pope) Damascus in 382 at the Synod of Rome. (This is where Jerome was commissioned to begin composing the first Vulgate translation.) Athanasius died in 373: 9 years earlier so his testimony is irrelevant since the Church had not made a final decision on the canon issue yet. Most Fathers prior to 382 did not hold to Athanasius views on this issue and every other Eastern contemporary Father had a different NT canon then Athanasius did. To paraphrase Tertullian from his Prescription Against Heretics just slightly:

Grant then that there was an Eastern Orthodox Church in the mid fourth century separate from the Catholic Church. Let us further grant that they formulated a NT canon in which contained all twenty-seven books and did this in 367 or twenty-six years before Hippo as has been claimed here. Grant also that this decision by the Eastern Orthodox was represented in the twenty-seven book NT canon of Athanasius the Great from Festal Letter #39; - is it likely then that the Eastern Fathers who were contemporaries of Athanasius and who numbered many influential and holy men would all have become united in professing different NT canons??? A uniform NT canon accepted by many men does not issue in different canons being proclaimed by these same men. Unity in ecclesial decisions must necessarily have produced the exact same list of books among them. When, however, that which is deposited among many is found to be different from man to man, is it the result not of an ecclesial decision but instead a lack of such a decision having being made??? Can any one, then, be absurd enough to say that they were in agreement in the Eastern Church on a NT canon despite every other Eastern Father professing a different NT canon then that of the Bishop of Alexandria??? [1]

Presuming for a moment that Dr. Svendsen's claim that the Eastern Churches chose the canon, it stretches credulity to presume that the Eastern Churches have made such a decision if not one other Eastern Father had a NT canon identical to that of Athanasius. There is not one Father before the synod of Rome that possessed a full NT canon except Athanasius and then of course we should point out that Athansius’ OT canon was incomplete even by Protestant standards. The other Fathers likewise had differing NT canons but for the most part held in theory and in practice to the longer OT canon which Dr. Svendsen and the vast majority of Protestants reject. Besides, there is one factor which all the Fathers who held to the shorter OT canon in theory had in common. The Fathers who theoretically favoured the shorter canon were the ones who had frequent contact with the Jews (some of whom like Jerome and Cyril learned Hebrew from the rabbis as well). Because of this, the rationale (which originated with Origen) was that to quote them to the Jews when engaged in argument with them would be superfluous. Most of the Fathers who took this approach (such as Jerome, Cyril of Jerusalem, Rufinus of Aquileria, and Athanasius) were noticeably influenced by Origen. Besides, notice something about Athanasius' Festal Letter 39, which does not help the cause of those citing it as evidence (as Dr. Svendsen has here):

.... But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read... [2]
Notice how Esther is also mentioned among the non-canonical books. This is consistent in the Jews of that time many had reservations about the canonicity of Esther and Athanasius apparently does also. So the oft-quoted claim of Protestant apologists that Athanasius the Great held to the same biblical canon as they do is clearly false as Athanasius rejected Esther. This is similar to another favourite source Melito of Sardis who is cited as having an OT canon minus the Deuterocanonicals. In reality, Melito’s canon list included Wisdom of Solomon which is one of the Deuterocanonical books. As any in depth reading of the Fathers will reveal, there is not this clear cut distinction that Protestant apologists like to claim that there is. I have looked into this subject and have found that every Father commonly cited as an "opponent" of these books quoted them explicitly as Scripture. Thus it is a lie to claim that Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzen, Epiphanis of Salamis, Rufinius, Jerome, Gregory the Great, John Damascene or indeed ANY Fathers did not actively quote these books as inspired Scripture when it was to their tactical advantage to do so. This is despite the theoretical reservations about the Deuterocanonical books that the above Fathers did at times possess (and they were very much in the minority in doing so). I could do this with any of the Fathers I just listed but I will focus on Athanasius of Alexandria as the others in practice did no differently then he did (and besides, Dr. Svendsen brought him up to begin with as an ally). Notice Athanasius quoting the so-called "non canonical" books that are "merely read" in his debates with the Arians:
[T]he sacred writers to whom the Son has revealed Him, have given us a certain image from things visible, saying, 'Who is the brightness of His glory, and the Expression of His Person;'[Heb 1:3] and again, 'For with Thee is the well of life, and in Thy light shall we see lights;'[Ps 36:9] and when the Word chides Israel, He says, 'Thou hast forsaken the Fountain of wisdom;'[Baruch 3:12] and this Fountain it is which says, 'They have forsaken Me the Fountain of living waters'[Jer 2:13] [3]
So then I guess the Word spoke through the "uninspired" book of Baruch. But there is more:
And where the sacred writers say, Who exists before the ages,' and 'By whom He made the ages,'[Heb 1:2] they thereby as clearly preach the eternal and everlasting being of the Son, even while they are designating God Himself. Thus, if Isaiah says, 'The Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth[2];'[Is 40:28] and Susanna said, 'O Everlasting God[3];'[Daniel 13:42-Susanna] and Baruch wrote, 'I will cry unto the Everlasting in my days,' and shortly after, 'My hope is in the Everlasting, that He will save you, and joy is come unto me from the Holy One;'[Baruch 4:20,22] [4]
The story of Susanna and the Elders is Daniel 13 and is absent from the Protestant Bible but is instead a "Deuterocanonical" section of Daniel (along with Daniel 14 which is the story of Bel and the Dragon). Likewise no Protestant 66 book Bible contains the Prophecy of Baruch.
[I]t is written that 'all things were made through the Word,' and 'without Him was not made one thing,'[John 1:3] and again, 'One Lord Jesus, through whom are all things,'[1 Cor 8:9] and'in Him all things consist,'[Col 1:17] it is very plain that the Son cannot be a work, but He is the Hand of God and the Wisdom. This knowing, the martyrs in Babylon, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, arraign the Arian irreligion. For when they say, 'O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord,'[Daniel 3:57-Three Youths] [5]

The three youths in the furnace is a Deuterocanonical passage absent from the Hebrew Bible. Notice also that Athanasius is quoting as Scripture (with the modifier "it is written") a passage not contained in the Protestant Bible.

Daniel said to Astyages, 'I do not worship idols made with hands, but the Living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh;'[Daniel 14:5-Bel & the Dragon] [6]
Here is another Deuterocanonical part of Daniel not contained in the Protestant Bible.
But if this too fails to persuade them, let them tell us themselves, whether there is any wisdom in the creatures or not? If not how is it that the Apostle complains, 'For after that in the Wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God?'[1 Cor 1:21] or how is it if there is no wisdom, that a 'multitude of wise men' [Wisdom 6:24] are found in Scripture? for 'a wise man feareth and departeth from evil;'[Prov 14:16] and 'through wisdom is a house builded;'[Prov 24] and the Preacher says, 'A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine;' and he blames those who are headstrong thus, 'Say not thou, what is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire in wisdom concerning this.'[Eccl 8:1,7:10] But if, as the Son of Sirach says, 'He poured her out upon all His works; she is with all flesh according to His gift, and He hath given her to them that love Him,'[Sirach 1:8,9] [7]
Here he quotes Wisdom and Sirach along with other Scripture books not at all indicating that they are non-canonical. If you have figured out that Athanasius in practice quoted the books as Scripture while rejecting them in theory than you have found the pattern common to all the Fathers who had any doubts about the Deuterocanonicals. The latter were few in number I might add but then that only underscores the chief flaw of Protestantism: accepting the opinions of individual scholars over that of the Historic Church. The following six points underscore Dr. Svendsen's "malpractice" on this subject:


POINT 1: There was no "Eastern Orthodox Church" in 367 AD. The Eastern Churches had brief phases of schism but did not split from Rome until almost 700 years later. (And as Dave Armstrong has noted, in every case before 1054 the Eastern Churches came around to Rome’s point of view.)

POINT 2: Athanasius' Festal Letter excluded Esther from the canon so the canon was not exactly the same as Protestants. (Contrary to the claims of Dr. Svendsen, 'Mr. Critic', and other apologists of the Protestant persuasion who utilize these arguments.)

POINT 3: Athanasius often quoted from the Deuterocanonical books. He did not merely "read" them but actively quoted them in disputes right alongside the other books of Scripture without distinction and used the same modifiers ("it is written", "Scripture says", or "the sacred writers say", etc). Dr. Svendsen of course did not mention this in his book. I demonstrated in a few examples how in practice Athanasius did not act as Protestants claim he did (or as he espoused his position in the abstract). Actions are much more relevant then mere words and the actions of Athanasius the Great are quite clear and unambiguous in recognizing the authority and inspiration of the Deuterocanonical books.

POINT 4: The East did not possess a 27 book NT canon. Only Athanasius did. As it was but his personal opinion and not Magisterial, his letter cannot be used as any kind of doctrinal statement as to the status of the canon in the East.

POINT 5: Athanasius believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Papal Primacy, the Real Presence, the Mass as a Sacrifice, Apostolic Succession, the three fold hierarchy, the inspiration of Apostolic Tradition, and the unimpeachable authority of an Ecumenical Council. Will Dr. Svendsen even embrace one of these beliefs himself??? Of course he will not.

POINT 6: The Eastern Churches use the same canon of Scripture as the Catholic Church (including Deuterocanonicals).

As we have only just begun this examination, it is still possible that these glitches are but aberrations and that Dr. Svendsen's accuracy will begin to assert itself. Thus far though, his degree of accuracy is virtually nil as any "fair-minded person" would concur with.

3. Jesus and apostles used phrases like, "It is written", "the Holy Spirit says", or "The Scripture says." They knew what books comprised the canon without an infallible decision.

Obviously Our Lord did but as for the Apostles, this is very much debatable.

Instead, there was a general recognition of the canon.

Yes there was. As 90% of the quotes from the Old Testament are from the Greek LXX canon which included the Deuterocanonical books, there was indeed a general recognition. As the Deuterocanonical books are referenced quite often in either themes or parallel passages (not direct quotes), it would seem that the Apostles and Our Lord had no problems with them. The witness of the early Church as always using the LXX with Deuterocanonicals likewise reinforces the position of the Deuterocanonicals in the early Church. The actions of the Lord and the Apostles are on the side of the Deuterocanonical books to a much greater degree then with many OT books that Protestants acccept which they never cited or alluded to in any way.

No council or infallible Church decided the O.T. canon; yet, Jesus and the apostles quoted from and had confidence in it.

The Lord and the Apostles make many references to the Deuterocanonical books - especially the wisdom literature of Sirach, Wisdom, and Tobit - while not quoting or alluding at all to at least ten OT books. (Judges, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ruth, Joshua, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Lamentations, Ezra, and Nehemiah.) Are we to conclude that these non-cited books that Protestants accept are therefore not Scripture??? Or is there more to determining what is and is not Scripture then mere quotation??? By this standard we should chuck Judges and Song of Songs and include Enoch and Assumption of Moses (along with a few pagan poets).

There was no fixed canon in the time of Our Lord and the witness of the NT itself supports the authenticity of the Deuterocanonical books. The Jews were divided into at least three camps on the matter (if not more) and today the African Jews use the LXX with Deuterocanonicals while most other Jews use the Palestinian canon supposedly decided on twenty years after God destroyed the Second Temple. Of course the Jews had no authority to make this determination after God took the oracles from them, destroyed their temple, and scattered them; however consistency is hardly a hallmark of Protestantism so that they pick and choose here also should not surprise. Protestants would rather accept the verdict of the same rabbis who blasphemed Our Lord and looked upon the Christians with contempt as to deciding the limits of their canon of the OT then side with the early Christians on this matter who used the Greek LXX with Deuterocanonicals from as far back as we can determine.

Evidence to buttress my claim includes the internal witness of several books thought by many to be inspired in the early Church which cited one or more of the Deuterocanonicals without in any way distinguishing them from other OT or NT books. (Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, Didache, and the Shepherd of Hermas.) Polycarp’s Epistle to the Phillippians also cited the Deuterocanonical material and they are among the earliest extant writings we have except for the Scriptures themselves. Yet we are to for some reason presume that the Jews were suddenly experts in determining which books pointed towards the Messiah and which did not. Why would you trust the Jews to know what is and is not prophetic with regards to the Messiah when they missed him the first time around??? Also, why would you trust them to have the Oracles of God 20 years after God rejected their old wineskins when He destroyed their Temple??? Why also would you accept the decisions of a group of rabbis that made their decision to reject books from the canon solely to deny Our Lord to be the Messiah???

The whole idea behind the Jamnian rabbis rejection of the Deuterocanonical books was to claim that all prophecy left Israel at the time of the Babylonian Captivity [580 B.C.] and then later that the canon was fixed at around the time of Ezra [400 B.C]. It was seen as a defacto way of denying that Rabbi Yeshua was the Messiah. To do this, the Jamnian rabbis (with no authority from God mind you) declared that all books of Scripture had to be written in Hebrew (or that no inspired works were written in either Aramaic or Greek). This eliminated 2 Maccabees and that pesky book of Wisdom, which contained prophecies that were quite troubling for the rabbis. It would have eliminated Sirach also but you see, Sirach was initially written in Hebrew but later translated into Greek by Jesus Sirach's grandson and Sirach was translated much too closely to the time of Rabbi Yeshua to be a comfortable fit for the rabbis. Therefore, another standard was needed. All books had to be written in Palestine. Sirach was written in Alexandria so it was out (as was Judith and 1 Maccabees). Also, the Hebrew requirement was cause to eliminate additions to Daniel and Esther, which were written in Aramaic. That story of Susanna and the Elders was an embarrassment to the rabbis because it was an example of the leaders of Israel being shown in a not-so-good light. Then, the final coup de grace: the whole scheme of Ezra closing the canon around 400 BC was invented which further eliminated the book of Baruch.

Then, those Jamnian rabbis commissioned fresh Greek scriptures to be written to replace the LXX. A few changes needed to be made like the one to Isaiah 7:14 where "virgin" needed to read "young woman" so that the Christians could not use that verse to point towards Jesus Christ being "born of a virgin". Protestants claim implicitly that all of this blasphemy of Our Lord and the mutilation of the Scriptures took place under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit guiding the Jews fifty-seven years after Pentecost and twenty years after the Second Temple was destroyed. Did God have temporary amnesia and restore the oracles to the Jamnian Jews briefly in 90 AD and then retract it once they decided on the limits of their Scripture canon??? That must be the case if the Protestants accept their decisions. But the Protestants need to take their beliefs to the logical conclusion, which is fatal to their position. You see, if inspired Scripture must be written in Hebrew (and not Aramaic or Greek) then we have no NT Scripture!!! You see, Matthew's Gospel was written in Aramaic and the other Gospels, Acts, and all the other Epistles were written in Koine Greek. I hope it is obvious that every piece of criteria used by the Jews for rejecting the Deuterocanonical books would also reject the entire NT!!! Will Protestants be consistent and reject the entire NT too or is all of a sudden books written in languages other than Hebrew, places other than Palestine, and after 400 BC acceptable for the NT books but still unacceptable for the Deuterocanonical books??? If these standards are not acceptable now as disqualifying criteria, then they were not acceptable when the Deuterocanonicals were written also or when the Jamnian rabbis used this criteria to deny the Deuterocanonical books status as Sacred Scripture. You cannot have it both ways.

4. NT writers thought the Jews had the right books. 2 Tim 3:15 says, "From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise." The phrase "from infancy" signifies a time before Timothy was acquainted with Christianity.

Since Timothy was a Greek Gentile, guess which canon he would have used the LXX Greek translation with the the seven Deuterocanonical books that Protestants inconsistently reject. This is all that needs to be said about this argument except that the Jews did not have God’s guidance after Pentecost to decide the canon issue of course.

The Jews ".... have been entrusted with the very words of God." (Rom 3:12). Jews were the recipients of God's divine revelation (Rom 2:17-20, Rom 9:4)

The passages cited by Dr. Svendson of Scripture (if you check) have nothing to do with what he is stating. I will cover Romans 9:5 later on. As for Romans 2 and Romans 3, I go over them in another essay on justification linked to Matt’s site. As it is not germane to what I am dealing with in this essay I will not link to it here. Suffice to say, if the reader examines the passage from Romans 3:12, they will see that Paul is castigating the Jews as being under sin as the Gentiles are. Likewise , Romans 2:17-20 is another salvo launched at the arrogant Jews who boast of being secure in their adherence to the Law (as Paul notes that they indeed do not keep its precepts). The rest of the chapter is also a condemnation of this self-assured behaviour of the Jews and thus I fail to see why Dr. Svendson quoted it here or what relation it has to what we are discussing here.

5. 1 Tim 3:16-17, Scripture said to be "God breathed" (theopneustos). Tradition never given this designation. Scripture given that you "may be complete" Complete (artios) means adequately equipped for a task. And that task was "teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.". In other words, correct belief and practice.

Tradition is still never said by one Father of the Church to not be any less of an authority than Scripture. Besides, you have to read the entire passage in context. What Paul says is (paraphrasing) "continue in what you have learned knowing from whom you learned it." This is an exhortation to Timothy to continue to hold to what he has learned remembering that it was Paul who handed on these teachings to him (or "traditioned" them if you will). Then he is told that to remember the Scriptures he read from his infancy (again the Greek LXX) which can help make him complete. However, in James' epistle James says that steadfastness makes someone "complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4) so does that mean that James is rejecting the need for Scriptures for making someone "complete"??? If not then why would someone claim that Paul (in making the same statements about Scripture) would be claiming that only the Scriptures are needed to make someone "complete"??? Obviously someone who is consistent in their rationale would have to reject the Protestant position of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as teaching Sola Scriptura unless James 1:2-4 is teaching 'Sola Steadfasto'. It does not matter that Tradition is not said to be God-breathed if you do not know what that Scripture is. Either the tradition of the canon is inspired or it is not. If it is not than the books in the canon could be wrong. Since there were twelve books of the NT in the late second century that were disputed (including 2 Timothy), this really undermines Dr. Svendsen's arguments even more because he must then tell us how he knows that his canon is correct.

The same Church that made the determinations on the canon he has no faith in to get anything else right; therefore he should call into question the Church's decision on the canon since this was also determined through that faulty Catholic tradition that he dismisses with everything else. It was that these books taught the teachings that were recognized as Apostolic that was the determining factor. If that Tradition is uninspired than it is but a tradition of men and men are prone to error. Undermining Tradition in Dr. Svendsen's case (and in the case of Protestants) is sawing off the limb they are sitting on. Yet it seems that the only Protestant who is honest in this regard is R.C. Sproul who has admitted that it is quite possible that the recognized NT canon (according to Protestant methodology) is not actually correct.

6. Luke 1:28 uses the Greek word "chantos" for "favored one". Keating says that means a "perfection of grace." However, that same Greek word is used in Eph 1:6 for all believers. A Greek lexicon, BAGD, defines "chantos" as "to bestow favor upon, favor highly, or bless." The action on the part of God is unconditioned on antecedent state of the receiver.

The word in Ephesians is a reference to a state of being made favourable whereas in Luke 1:28 the tense is past. In essence Our Lady was already favourable before the crucifixion whereas the other believers were made so afterwards. But yes in both cases the action is totally free and unmerited on the part of the recipient.

7. Hippo omitted Baruch and included 1 Esdras in its canon.

Here is the canon list from the 393 synod of Hippo which was identical to that of the earlier (382) Rome synod:

That nothing be read in church besides the Canonical Scripture. Item, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis. Exodus. Leviticus. Numbers. Deuteronomy. Joshua the Son of Nun. The Judges. Ruth. The Kings, four books. The Chronicles, two books. Job. The Psalter. The Five books of Solomon. The Twelve Books of the Prophets. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Ezechiel. Daniel. Tobit. Judith. Esther. Ezra, two books. Macchabees, two books… [8]

This is the same canon as the Carthage synods in 397 and 418 respectively. Writing in the early fifth century, Augustine of Hippo clarified the meaning of the term "5 Books of Solomon" and makes it clear that they included the books of Wisdom and Sirach (Ecclesiasticus):

Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is to be exercised, is contained in the following books:--Five books of Moses, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one book of Joshua the son of Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth, which seems rather to belong to the beginning of Kings; next, four books of Kings, and two of Chronicles --these last not following one another, but running parallel, so to speak, and going over the same ground. The books now mentioned are history, which contains a connected narrative of the times, and follows the order of the events. There are other books which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected neither with the order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as Job, and Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Ezra, (ie. Ezra & Nehemiah) which last look more like a sequel to the continuous regular history which terminates with the books of Kings and Chronicles. Next are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David; and three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus, are ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach. Still they are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they have attained recognition as being authoritative. The remainder are the books which are strictly called the Prophets: twelve separate books of the prophets which are connected with one another, and having never been disjoined, are reckoned as one book; the names of these prophets are as follows:--Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; then there are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel. The authority of the Old Testament is contained within the limits of these forty-four books. [9]
Now of course the Catholic canon has forty-six books to it and Dr. Svendsen would likely say "see, Hippo and Augustine did not mention Baruch". This of course is surprising as Dr. Svendsen was noting his credentials at the beginning of this piece. You see, even the most novice of Church historians knows that both Baruch and Lamentations were included in the Book of Jeremiah (notice that neither Hippo nor Augustine cited Lamentations either). Athanasius in his Festal Letter #39 (quoted earlier) which Dr. Svendsen referred to he apparently has not actually read. Otherwise he would know that the Patriarch of Alexandria specifically noted in his list that "…Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations, and the epistle" were comprised as "one book". As for 1 Esdras, I just showed you the canon list from Hippo and nowhere is 1 Esdras mentioned. In fact my Vulgate Bible calls Ezra and Nehemiah "1 Esdras" and "2 Esdras" respectively and this was a very common practice in the Church which an accredited scholar should be familiar with (as it is pretty elementary stuff). The books generally referred to today as 1 and 2 Esdras are actually the apocryphal 3 and 4 Esdras and neither of these books was mentioned by Rome, Hippo, or Carthage.

8. After Jerome listed the books of the canon he said, "I beg of know nothing else, to seek nothing else." Jerome Letter LIII. 6-10.

If you look at Jerome’s list in the letter to Paulinus, he does indeed not mention the Deuterocanonical books but he also does not mention Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Proverbs, Lamentations, 1 Chronicles, or 2 Chronicles. If Dr. Svendsen is claiming if citing this passage from Jerome is supposed to tell against the Deuterocanonical books, presumably he is rejecting the aforementioned books as Scripture as well.

Every anti-Deuterocanonical Protestant loves to cite Jerome who along with Athanasius and Cyril had objections to the Deuterocanonicals in principle. In fact, he (Jerome) even went so far as to say the following initially:

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a 'helmeted' introduction to all the books which we now turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom ... the book of ... Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be in Hebrew, the second in Greek, as can be proved from the very style. [10]
That was Jerome's opinion in theory. It in practice it was diametrically different:
At least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men.'[Wisdom 4:9]
I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,'[Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,'[Ez 18:23] AND THOSE OF BARUCH, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,'[Baruch 5:5]AND MANY OTHER PROCLAMATIONS MADE BY THE TRUMPETS OF THE PROPHETS. [12]
Does not the SCRIPTURE say: 'Burden not thyself above thy power' [SIRACH 13:2]?" [11]
Jerome (like Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and a few other Fathers) rejected the Deuterocanonical only in theory. In practice every Father without exception cited them authoritatively along with the other books of Scripture without distinction as Scripture using standard conventional terms such as "Scripture says", "it is written", or other similar terms which tended to be reserved only for Scripture citations.

9. Israel instituted extra-Mosaic traditions, including the worshiping of "high places". King Josiah destroyed all the high places (2 Kings 23:2-3).

Just because you can read the Bible does not mean that you understand it.

He read words from Book of Covenant, interpreted plain meaning of text in opposition to ecclesial authority of his day.

The Book of the Covenant it is in our Bibles (and called Deuteronomy) and it is very straight forward. Let us see: If there are vessels for Baal in the temple (2 Kings. 23:4) and soothsayers sacrificing incense to Baal (2 Kings 23:5-6). Just a wild guess but this would go against the Law which commanded against worshipping other gods but Yahweh (Deut. 5:1-10) right??? I guess this type of "Spirit-led guidance" makes me a "prophet" also. I think not. Also, King Josiah had Saphan the scribe read the book to him, he did not read it himself (2 Kings 22:10-11). As for the "plain meaning of the text" I find this humourous as in almost every example I can think of where there are Catholic-Protestant squabbles over doctrine, it is us who are taking the Bible literally while our Protestant brethren jump through hoops to deny the literal understanding so that they can adhere to the systematic theologies of their respective sects rather then the plain words of Scripture (Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:6-9; Mark 7:6-7). The ones avoiding the plain meaning of the text (especially Our Lord’s words in the Gospels) are Dr. Svendsen and his crowd, not Catholics.

Israel is God's chosen people; its claims to indestructibility are as strong as that of the CC (Rom 9:4-5, Jer. 31: 35-37).

God made no such claims to Israel and Dr. Svendsen cannot supply proof from Scripture for his contentions because they are not to be found. Jeremiah 31:31ff is a prophecy of the new covenant which is patently obvious by the wording in the passage:

Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the Lord, who giveth the sun for the light of the day, the order of the moon and of the stars, for the light of the night: who stirreth up the sea, and the waves thereof roar, the Lord of hosts is his name.If these ordinances shall fail before me, saith the Lord: then also the seed of Israel shall fail, so as not to be a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord: If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I also will cast away all the seed of Israel, for all that they have done, saith the Lord. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hanameel even to the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall go out farther in his sight upon the hill Gareb: and it shall compass Goatha, And the whole valley of dead bodies, and of ashes, and all the country of death, even to the torrent Cedron, and to the corner of the horse gate towards the east, the Holy of the Lord: it shall not be plucked up, and it shall not be destroyed any more for ever. [12]

It helps to actually read the Bible before quoting it. His claim that the claims of Israel are as strong as the Catholic Church are yet again demonstrated to be him twisting the Scriptures from context and misinterpreting them (2 Pet. 3:14-17). He also cited Romans 9:4-5. For a bit of context I will cite the first eight passages of Romans 9 which read as follows:
I speak the truth in Christ: I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost. That I have great sadness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I wished myself to be an anathema from Christ, for my brethren: who are my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites: to whom belongeth the adoption as of children and the glory and the testament and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises: Whose are the fathers and of whom is Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath miscarried. For all are not Israelites that are of Israel. Neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children: but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh are the children of God: but they that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed.  [13]
Romans 9:4-5 says nothing about indestructability and in fact specifically refutes Dr. Svendsen's claims because Paul is saying that it is not by flesh that we are the seed of Abraham but the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. So you see, the verses Dr. Svendsen quoted applied to Israel according to the flesh not the spirit, or (in other words Israel under the Law and not under grace). Just as his citing of Jeremiah 31:34-35 in proper context blows up in his face, likewise Romans 9:4-5 in context also fails miserably as an argument against the Catholic Church’s claim of indefectibility. So yet again Dr. Svendsen demonstrates why it helps to read the WHOLE passage surrounding a quote for proper context for yet again he errs in his statements.

10. God works through a remnant of believers that obey his word (Rom 11:2-5).

This is true for the most part.

Arianism, condemned by Nicea became prevalent.

Politically yes. Never was the Church doctrinally overcome though. In fact, less than 10% of the episcopate was Arian at any time. The reason for the problems was that the Emperor, the Roman army, and the Roman Aristocrasy were openly Arian and that meant much political, financial, and military muscle opposed to the Church. There was also other complexities surrounding Nicaea that contributed to what happened but Dr. Svendsen is apparently not interested in the nuances of history. Instead he seeks to focus with a broad brush on anything that can be said in a generalized manner that can come across as condemning of the Church. This is why he and his polemic pals (including 'Mr. Critic') are not serious scholars. (Particularly compared to Jaroslav Pelikan, F F Bruce, Gregory Dix, John Meyendorff, or JND Kelly who are non-Catholic scholars with eminent credentials.)

Athanasius and other defenders of Nicea were sent into exile. Only significant defenders of the faith were found in the Eastern Church. The defenders of Nicea are fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, not Roman Catholicism.

I take it Dr. Svendsen has never heard of Hilary of Poiters (who was basically the "Athanasius of the West"), Ambrose of Milan, Pope Julius I, Pope Liberius, or other Western defenders of the Church. (Or Jerome.) These comments demonstrate an ignorance of church history on Dr. Svendsen's part. There were defenders in both the West and the East of orthodoxy and we must not forget the great Eastern Cappadocian doctors Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzen, and Basil the Great. Also, there was no "Eastern Orthodox Church" in the fourth century. Dr. Svendsen again commits a serious historical blunder.

Arians had complete authority.

Militarily yes.

Why reject the Arians; they had complete ecclesial authority.

At no time were they ever in "complete ecclesial control." 90% of the Episcopate was orthodox and at no time did the Arians ever successfully control the episcopate. There was much intimidation yes but there was no DOCTRINAL error ever promulgated by the Church during the Arian crisis or any other crisis in Church history.


Athanasius, like Luther, stood alone on the true teachings.

There were many who stood with Athanasius. The reason Athanasius is so noted is because of his tenacity. However, Athanasius made it clear that he was by no means alone in opposing Arianism and in fact, even in the East (where Arianism was more rampant) he had many who stood with him in opposition to the Arians. Please pardon this long passage but it is necessary to provide the information that Dr. Svendsen conveniently overlooks:

Banishment of Egyptian Bishops.
And the General Sebastian wrote to the governors and military authorities in every place; and the true Bishops were persecuted, and those who professed impious doctrines were brought in in their stead. They banished Bishops who had grown old in orders, and had been many years in the Episcopate, having been ordained by the Bishop Alexander; Ammonius[4], Hermes, Anagamphus, and Marcus, they sent to the Upper Oasis; Muis, Psenosiris, Nilammon, Henes, Marcus, and Athenodorus to Ammoniaca, with no other intention than that they should perish in their passage through the deserts. They had no pity on them though they were suffering from illness, and indeed proceeded on their journey with so much difficulty on account of their weakness, that they were obliged to be carried in litters, and their sickness was so dangerous that the materials for their burial accompanied them. One of them indeed died, but they would not even permit the body to be given up to his friends for interment. With the same purpose they banished also the Bishop Dracontius to the desert places about Clysma, Philo to Babylon, Adelphius to Psinubia in the Thebais, and the Presbyters Hierax and Dioscorus to Syene. They likewise drove into exile Ammonius, Agathus, Agathod'mon, Apollonius, Eulogius, Apollos, Paphnutius, Gaius, and Flavius, ancient Bishops, as also the Bishops Dioscorus, Ammonius, Heraclides, and Psais; some of whom they gave up to work in the stone-quarries, others they persecuted with an intention to destroy, and many others they plundered. They banished also forty of the laity, with certain virgins whom they had before exposed to the fires; beating them so severely with rods taken from palm-trees, that after lingering five days some of them died, and others had recourse to surgical treatment on account of the thorns left in their limbs, from which they suffered tornments worse than death[6]. But what is most dreadful to the mind of any man of sound understanding, though characteristic of these miscreants, is this: When the virgins during the scourging called upon the Name of Christ, they gnashed their teeth against them with increased fury. Nay more, they would not give up the bodies of the dead to their friends for burial, but concealed them that they might appear to be ignorant of the murder. They did not however escape detection; the whole city perceived it, and all men withdrew from them as executioners, as malefactors and robbers. Moreover they overthrew monasteries, and endeavoured to cast monks into the fire; they plundered houses, and breaking into the house of certain free citizens where the Bishop had deposited a treasure, they plundered and took it away. They scourged the widows on the soles of their feet, and hindered them from receiving their alms.
Tyrannous banishment of Bishops by Constantius.
Now what is yet wanting to make him Antichrist? or what more could Antichrist do at his coming than this man has done? Will he not find when he comes that the way has been already prepared for him by this man easily to deceive the people? Again[5], he claims to himself the right of deciding causes, which he refers to the Court instead of the Church, and presides at them in person. And strange it is to say, when he perceives the accusers at a loss, he takes up the accusation himself, so that the injured party may no longer be able to defend himself on account of the violence which he displays. This he did in the proceedings against Athanasius. For when he saw the boldness of the Bishops Paulinus, Lucifer, Eusebius, and Dionysius, and how out of the recantation of Ursacius and Valens[6] they confuted those who spoke against the Bishop, and advised that Valens and his fellows should no longer be believed, since they had already retracted what they now asserted, he immediately stood up[7] and said, 'I am now the accuser of Athanasius; on my account you must believe what these assert.' And then, when they said,--'But how can you be an accuser, when the accused person is not present? for if you are his accuser, yet he is not present, and therefore cannot be tried. And the cause is not one that concerns Rome, so that you should be believed as being the Emperor; but it is a matter that concerns a Bishop; for the trial ought to be conducted on equal terms both to the accuser and the accused. And besides, how can you accuse him? for you could not be present to witness the conduct of one who lived at so great a distance from you; and if you speak but what you have heard from these, you ought also to give credit to what he says; but if you will not believe him, while you do believe them, it is plain that they assert these things for your sake, and accuse Athanasius only to gratify you?'--when he heard this, thinking that what they had so truly spoken was an in-suit to himself, he sent them into banishment; and being exasperated against Athanasius, he wrote in a more savage strain, requiring that he should suffer what has now befallen him, and that the Churches should be given up to the Arians, and that they should be allowed to do whatever they pleased.
Constantius the precursor of Antichrist. Terrible indeed, and worse than terrible are such proceedings; yet conduct suitable to him who assumes the character of Antichrist Who that beheld him taking the lead of his pretended Bishops, and presiding in Ecclesiastical causes, would not justly exclaim that this was 'the abomination of desolation[8]' spoken of by Daniel? For having put on the profession of Christianity, and entering into the holy places, and standing therein, he lays waste the Churches, transgressing their Canons, and enforcing the observance of his own decrees. Will any one now venture to say that this is a peaceful time with Christians, and not a time of persecution? A persecution indeed, such as never arose before, and such as no one perhaps will again stir up, except 'the son of lawlessness[9],' do these enemies of Christ exhibit, who already present a picture of him in their own persons. Wherefore it especially behoves us to be sober, lest this heresy which has reached such a height of impudence, and has diffused itself abroad like the 'poison of an adder[10],' as it is written in the Proverbs, and which teaches doctrines contrary to the Saviour; lest, I say, this be that 'falling away[11],' after which He shall be revealed, of whom Constantius is surely the forerunner[1]. Else wherefore is he so mad against the godly? wherefore does he contend for it as his own heresy, and call every one his enemy who will not comply with the madness of Arius, and admit gladly the allegations of the enemies of Christ, and dishonour so many venerable Councils? why did he command that the Churches should be given up to the Arians? was it not that, when that other comes, he may thus find a way to enter into them, and may take to himself him who has prepared those places for him? For the ancient Bishops who were ordained by Alexander, and by his predecessor Achillas, and by Peter before him, have been cast out; and those introduced whom the companions of soldiers nominated; and they nominated only such as promised to adopt their doctrines. [14]

The difference between him and Luther was that Athanasius was orthodox and Luther was a heretic. Also, it is worth noting that Athanasius preserved in his records what he believed was the best endorsement possible for the validity of his position against the Arians in the form of a rebuke of the Arians by Pope Julius I. Here is the relevant part of the preserved text:

Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church. Word should have been written of it to us all, that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons. AND WHY WAS NOTHING SAID TO US CONCERNING THE CHURCH OF THE ALEXANDRIANS IN PARTICULAR? ARE YOU IGNORANT THAT THE CUSTOM HAS BEEN FOR WORD TO BE WRITTEN FIRST TO US, AND THEN FOR A JUST DECISION TO BE PASSED FROM THIS PLACE? If then any such suspicion rested upon the Bishop there, notice thereof ought to have been sent to the Church of this place; whereas, after neglecting to inform us, and proceeding on their own authority as they pleased, now they desire to obtain our concurrence in their decisions, though we never condemned him. Not so have the constitutions of Paul, not so have the traditions of the Fathers directed; this is another form of procedure, a novel practice. I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you... [15]
The Arian faction known as the "Eusebians" (different from the Church Father named Eusebius who was alive at this time) exiled Bishop Athanasius from his See in Alexandria. At the time Alexandria was the second ranking See in Christendom to the Roman See. That the Eusebians wrote to Pope Julius for his blessing of their actions and were sternly rebuked is evidence that Rome’s authority and jurisdiction was recognized even by the Arians. Pope Julius I's support of Athanasius’ orthodoxy was to the Bishop of Alexandria the key evidence for his position as the one of orthodoxy. Athanasius was not the Lone Ranger by any means contrary to what Dr. Svendsen has claimed.

11. Split in the O.T. between Northern and Southern tribes and Rehoboam (1 Kings 12). CC says there can not be more than one visible, unified institution. Yet, God worked through both sides and actually decreed the split (1 Kings 11:11-13, 29-39). If you need complete unity, which kingdom constituted "true" Israel?

This is easy: The kingdom of Judah. Like the "reformation" split Catholicism retained the priesthood and the sacrifice (of the Mass) as Judah had the Temple and the Aaronic priesthood. The lower tribes created two golden calves to worship much as Protestants did in their revolt. The two "golden calves" of Protestantism are "Sola Scriptura" and "Sola Fide."

12. Mt. 1:18 "before they came together". What sense is there to use "before" wedding if he believed Mary had taken words of lifetime virginity?

The theory of a vow of lifelong virginity is just that: a theory. It is a common one today and I hold to it but others who believed in Our Lady’s Perpetual Virginity (like the "reformer" John Calvin) did not. Luther however who (according to Dr. Svendsen in Q 10) "held out for the true teachings" believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and the Real Presence. Dr. Svendsen denies all of these doctrines but claims that Luther’s doctrines were the "true" ones. I hope the inconsistency and penchant for error that Dr. Svendsen has are becoming as clear as crystal.


13. There is an argument that there is no difference between a Catholic bowing before a statue and a Fundamentalist praying while holding a Bible. The difference is that the Fundamentalist is not bowing TO the Bible.

Says who??? I have seen Fundamentalists bowing their heads in front of their Bible many times. Obviously they are not reverencing the book itself but what the book represents (the Written Word of God). However, I want this handled fairly so I must state that it certainly appears to me as "bibliolatry". Or should I say it would if I was looking at it the way Dr. Svendsen looks at Catholics in prayer before a statue of Our Lord or one of the saints. The Catholic is venerating the person represented by the statue not the statue itself. In both cases there is an appearance of idolatry to someone who was not a supporter of either side looking on in a neutral manner. Appearances can be deceiving. Dr. Svendsen is the one highlighting a difference here that does not exist except in his mind because he knows this charge if applied consistently boomerangs back at him with equal force.

14. 1 Tim 4:1-3 "They forbid people to marry." To forbid marriage for any reason wrong; otherwise, Paul's words make little sense. If forbidding marriage for any reason were not inherently wrong, on what basis does Paul condemn these people?

Simple. The Nicolatians Paul refers to said that marriage was evil and forbid it entirely for this reason. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is holy and honourable and imposes a discipline on those who are priests that they are not allowed to marry. (This practice differs in the Eastern Catholic Churches where priests are allowed to be married if they were married before ordination to the priesthood.) However, the person is aware of this going in and therefore there is choice in the matter. This is a long ways from condemning marriage and forbidding everyone from getting married because of a belief that marriage and procreation of children is evil (this is what the Nicolatians believed. Liked their Gnostic contemporaries - and later groups like the Manicheeans and the Cathari/Albigensians - the belief was held that matter was evil).

15. Catholics say the mass is a re-representation, and not a re-sacrificing of Christ's sacrifice. What about the Last Supper than? Christ had not yet been sacrificed.

It is the same sacrifice as Calvary. I go over this subject in meticulous detail at the following link:


The link will underscore Dr. Svendsen's inability to understand these finer nuances. Such a shame for someone who claims to be so accredited but I digress.

16. Luke 22:20 and 1 Cor. 11:25 "this cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood." If "this is my body" means literal transubstantiation, what does the cup literally represent?

"This is my body" means "this is my body." This cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood" refers to the contents of the cup (wine) being made into the Blood of Our Lord. Obviously if Our Lord was holding up a cup and saying "this is my blood" (see Matthew and Mark) the Apostles would know he was referring to what was in the cup and not the cup itself. (Blood is a liquid substance after all.) Besides, I would submit that what Matthew and Mark are doing is narrating whereas Paul is possibly relating a consecratory formula used by Our Lord in the Last Supper. Luke’s rendering is similar most likely because Luke was influenced heavily by Paul. 

Does it represent Christ's blood or the New Covenant?

Dr. Svendsen has again hauled forward his manmade tradition of the either/or dichotomy (Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:6-9; Mark 7:6-7). The cup represents the New Covenant as it contains upon consecration Christ’s Blood which was offered for sin at the Last Supper before being shed for all men on the Cross to seal the New Covenant in blood. How else was Our Lord supposed to serve up His blood to be drunk…by pouring it on the table???


If you accept it as "new covenant", you must also except the other as symbolical.

Dr. Svendsen apparently has no concept about types and figures not to mention how the ancients understood these concepts. I would suggest that he temper his Hellenistic conceptions and apply a more Hebrew outlook on these matters. Until he does this, he will continue to ignorantly and unstably twist the Scriptures to his own destruction and undoubtedly the destruction of numerous others who swallow the misinformation that he puts forth as truth (cf. 2 Pet. 3:14-17). I go over this in meticulous detail in an essay on the Real Presence. I would suggest that Dr. Svendsen read it and better educate himself on these matters so that he does not continue to make such rookie mistakes. They are not becoming of someone who flaunts credentials in this realm as he has done.


17. "Trogo" is said to mean to "gnaw/ chew". It is used in John 13:18; however, it is not literal in this passage. So, it is not always used as literal chewing.

Trwvgw (transliterated as trogo) is not used figuratively. It means 1.) to gnaw/chew/crunch and 2.) to eat. In John 13:18 Our Lord is talking about people "eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage before Noah entered the Ark." Is Dr. Svendsen denying that they were actually literally eating food then??? I go over these subject in meticulous detail at the following link:


Dr. Svendsen's claims as the above link meticulously details have been "weighed in the scales and found wanting" (Dan. 5:27).


18. Irenaeus said, "We have learned from NONE others the plan of our salvation, then from those whom the gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a LATER period, by the will of God, handed them down to us in the Scriptures, to be the GROUND and PILLAR OF OUR FAITH." (emphasis mine). Against Heresies III 1.1

This merely says that the Scriptures are the ground of our faith. This applies to the Catholic Church quite nicely actually. However, what did Irenaeus say in Chapter 2 of Book 3 - since Dr. Svendsen apparently emphasizes part of Chapter 1 of the same said book:

When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce: wherefore also Paul declared, "But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world." And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. FOR EVERY ONE OF THESE MEN, BEING ALTOGETHER OF A PERVERSE DISPOSITION, DEPRAVING THE SYSTEM OF TRUTH, IS NOT ASHAMED TO PREACH HIMSELF. [16]

Which is of course what Dr. Svendsen and others of his ilk do constantly…

BUT, AGAIN, WHEN WE REFER THEM TO THAT TRADITION WHICH ORIGINATES FROM THE APOSTLES, [AND] WHICH IS PRESERVED BY MEANS OF THE SUCCESSION OF PRESBYTERS IN THE CHURCHES, THEY OBJECT TO TRADITION, SAYING THAT THEY THEMSELVES ARE WISER NOT MERELY THAN THE PRESBYTERS, BUT EVEN THAN THE APOSTLES, BECAUSE THEY HAVE DISCOVERED THE UNADULTERATED TRUTH. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition. [17]
Irenaeus seems to have people like Dr. Svendsen in mind in the third paragraph (not to mention the part about objecting to Tradition passed down through valid succession). Note the very applicable words to Dr. Svendsen:
19. Matatics (a Catholic apologist) said that the phrase "children of Mary" would clinch the fundamental view. Psalm 69:8-9 is about the suffering of the Messiah, and says, "I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons."

Let us take a closer look at that Psalm:

1 Unto the end, for them that shall be changed; FOR DAVID. 2 SAVE me, O God: for the waters are come in even unto my soul. 3 I stick fast in the mire of the deep: and there is no sure standing. I am come into the depth of the sea: and a tempest hath overwhelmed me. 4 I have laboured with crying; my jaws are become hoarse: my eyes have failed, whilst I hope in my God. 5 They are multiplied above the hairs of my head, who hate me without cause. My enemies are grown strong who have wrongfully persecuted me: then did I pay that which I took not away. 6 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my offences are not hidden from thee: 7 Let not them be ashamed for me, who look for thee, O Lord, the Lord of hosts. Let them not be confounded on my account, who seek thee, O God of Israel. 8 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. 9 I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to the sons of my mother. 10 For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up: and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. 11 And I covered my soul in fasting: and it was made a reproach to me. 12 And I made haircloth my garment: and I became a byword to them. 13 They that sat in the gate spoke against me: and they that drank wine made me their song. 14 But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O Lord; for the time of thy good pleasure, O God. In the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. 15 Draw me out of the mire, that I may not stick fast: deliver me from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. 16 Let not the tempest of water drown me, nor the deep swallow me up: and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. 17 Hear me, O Lord, for thy mercy is kind; look upon me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. 18 And turn not away thy face from thy servant: for I am in trouble, hear me speedily. 19 Attend to my soul, and deliver it: save me because of my enemies. 20 Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion, and my shame. 21 In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. 22 And they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 23 Let their table become as a snare before them, and a recompense, and a stumblingblock. 24 Let their eyes be darkened that they see not; and their back bend thou down always. 25 Pour out thy indignation upon them: and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. 26 Let their habitation be made desolate: and let there be none to dwell in their tabernacles. 27 Because they have persecuted him whom thou hast smitten; and they have added to the grief of my wounds. 28 Add thou iniquity upon their iniquity: and let them not come into thy justice. 29 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; and with the just let them not be written. 30 But I am poor and sorrowful: thy salvation, O God, hath set me up. 31 I will praise the name of God with a canticle: and I will magnify him with praise. 32 And it shall please God better than a young calf, that bringeth forth horns and hoofs. 33 Let the poor see and rejoice: seek ye God, and your soul shall live. 34 For the Lord hath heard the poor: and hath not despised his prisoners. 35 Let the heavens and the earth praise him; the sea, and every thing that creepeth therein. 36 For God will save Sion, and the cities of Juda shall be built up. And they shall dwell there, and acquire it by inheritance. 37 And the seed of his servants shall possess it; and they that love his name shall dwell therein. [19]
Well, if we read the full Psalm and apply everything in it to Our Lord then yes it would seem his mother had other children. However, let us not stop there but also recognize that Our Lord had reproach, was foolish, and had offenses that were not hidden from God. Um, I think such a statement would be blasphemous but if we are to believe what Dr. Svendsen says then we must assert this blasphemous notion simply to affirm that St. Mary had other children. Or could not the other children apply to David its author. David after all DID have other brothers, WAS a sinner, WAS foolish at times, and who actually needed to be saved from his sins. Also, I could frankly care less what Gerry Matatics says one way or the other. He is a theologically unstable individual. His views are hardly the final words on these or any other matters. The Fundamentalist view is only "clinched" if the wider scope of "brethren" is ignored which does violence to the Hebrew sentiments of the Scriptures. "Children of Mary" in the NEW Testament would indeed lend support to a literal reading of brethren as per the "brethren of Jesus" as flesh and blood siblings but OT typologies are not necessarily exact. If they were then the "New Adam" would have to have sinned also like the Old Adam did and to read Psalm 69 in the manner that Dr. Svendsen does to disprove the PVM is to (if one is consistent) endorse a blasphemous notion of Our Lord as a sinner.

Psalm 69:8-9 seems to be a reference to David of whom the Messiah is the Son. It could very well be referring to the nation of Israel as a mother. As an aside, it is frankly quite funny how the woman in Rev. 12 has to be Israel and cannot possibly have any reference to Our Lady yet now in Psalms 69:8-9 the woman has to be Our Lady and cannot possibly be a reference to Israel. (Consistency wherefore art thou???) Since even the "reformers" believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary (remember, one of those "true teachings" Luther held out for), I hardly find any convincing evidence in Dr. Svendsen's novel babblings. Besides, my good friend Dr. Art Sippo already gave Dr. Svendsen a tongue lashing for playing the common Reformed game of "make a statement and then supply no actual proof in defending it" when it comes to this issue. It is an old and tiring game played by people who know their position is unsustainable. That is of course the case with Dr. Svendsen and 'Mr. Critic' and their associates on a regular basis. I will exhort him to be consistent with his claims. Either use the Psalm to stand against the PVM and for a sinning Messiah or reject the latter and then by default reject his prooftexts against the PVM.

To save Dr. Svendsen the embarrassment of having to answer in the convoluted and internally contradictory manner that I believe he would, out of charity I will answer for him in a manner that allows him to save face. He rejects that the Messiah was foolish, had offenses not hidden from God, etc. He also recognizes - because truth by its very nature demands consistency - that Psalm 69:8-9 does not apply to the Messiah either. Well, we are nineteen down and one to go - as points fifteen and seventeen were dealt with in detail in the essays duly linked to above. So far Dr. Svendsen's degree of error is calling into serious question the "slim" chance that he does not know what he is talking about.

20. When cousin is meant, "adelphos" is used, not "anepsio" (Cor. 4:10). "Sungenis" is also used for cousins in Luke 1:36.

That is because "anepsio" means "sister’s son." The verse is Col. 4:10 and it reads as follows (All lexicon quotes are from the Authorized King James Version):

Col 4:10
Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, SISTER'S SON to Barnabas, * (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
jAspavzetai uJma'ß #Arivstarcoß oJ sunaicmavlwtovß mou, kai; Ma'rkoß oj AJNEYIO;ß Barnaba' peri; ouJ' ejlavbete ejntolavß, eja;n e~lqh/ pro;ß uJma'ß devxasqe aujtovn, [20]
How does this have anything to do with Luke 1:36???
Lu 1:36
And, behold, thy COUSIN Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
kai; ijdou; #Elisavbet hJ SUGGENIVß sou kai; aujth; suneivlhfen uiJo;n ejn ghvrei aujth'ß, kai; ouJ'toß mh;n e&ktoß ejsti;n aujth'/ th'/ kaloumevnh/ steivra/: [21]
Sungenis means "kinsman" and probably refers to distant kinship within a family (as Dr. Svendsen noted). However, this admission by him will be his undoing because, notice what Jesus said to those who referred to his mother and brethren:
Mt 12:47
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy BRETHREN stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
Íei\pen dev tiß aujtw'/, #Idou; hJ mhvthr sou kai; oiJ AJDELFOIV sou e~xw eJsthvkasin zhtou'ntevß soi lalh'sai.Ñ [22]

I agree with Dr. Svendsen here that indeed adelphos is used for "cousins". Notice what this admission on his part does to the whole "brothers and sisters of Our Lord" argument that he epouses.

Mt 12:48-49
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my BRETHREN? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my BRETHREN!
oJ de; ajpokriqei;ß ei\pen tw'/ levgonti aujtw'/, Tivß ejstin hJ mhvthr mou, kai; tivneß eijsi;n oiJ AJDELFOIV mou; kai; ejkteivnaß th;n cei'ra aujtou' ejpi; tou;ß maqhta;ß aujtou' ei\pen, #Idou; hJ mhvthr mou kai; oiJ AJDELFOIV mou: [23]
Mr 6:3
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the BROTHER of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his SISTERS here with us? And they were offended at him.
oujc ouJ'tovß ejstin oJ tevktwn, oJ uiJo;ß th'ß Marivaß kai; AJDELFO;ß #Iakwvbou kai; #Iwsh'toß kai; #Iouvda kai; Sivmwnoß; kai; oujk eijsi;n aij AJDELFAI; aujtou' wJ'de pro;ß hJma'ß; kai; ejskandalivzonto [24]
Adelphe is the feminine form of adelphos. If the latter is used to denote "cousins" (which is what Dr. Svendsen has claimed) then the same holds true for the word in its feminine form as well.
Mr 6:4
But Jesus said unto them , A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own KIN, and in his own house.
kai; e~legen aujtoi'ß oJ #Ihsou'ß o&ti Oujk e~stin profhvthß a~timoß eij mh; ejn th'/ patrivdi aujtou' kai; ejn toi'ß SUGGENEU’sin aujtou' kai; ejn th'/ oijkiva/ aujtou'. [25]

How interesting that Our Lord in the very next verse separates the parts referring to "kin" and "his own house". It seems plausible that this was because there was a separation between his mother (who is of his "house") and his brethren (who could very well be his "kin"). It is strange how at His death Our Lord could not find one of these many blood brothers to tend to his mother but had to ask an Apostle to do so. Nevertheless, enough evidence has been presented here to render a solid verdict so I will sum it up at this time.

Dr. Svendsen claims to be accredited and reliable in discerning these matters. And as Dr. Svendsen has admitted, adelphos and sungenis are used for ‘cousins’. Therefore, according to the good doctor, these popular verses cited by Evangelicals and Reformeds to argue against the Perpetual Virginity actually refute the notion that Our Lady had other children. With that in mind, Dr. Svendsen should have no difficulty proclaiming the Perpetual Virginity of Mary and siding with Dr. Martin Luther who believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary and (according to Dr. Svendsen) "held out for the true teachings". Therefore, admitting to my friend Dr. Art Sippo that he could not answer the challenge given him and indeed that he Dr. Eric Svendsen agrees with Dr. Sippo and us Catholics that Our Lady was the mother of only one son (the God-man Jesus Christ) should immediately be forthcoming from him. Should Dr. Svendsen muster up the integrity to make such an admission I would welcome it from him and be very pleased to see him take one small step back towards the Truth which he left. Perhaps with time to meditate on his many errors exposed in this essay (and which I cover in the posted links) he may well come back even further in our direction (Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27). In the meantime, let us review his words which opened this essay:

At the end of the day, we can come to no other conclusion than that it is young XXXX who has suffered the most in his decision to bypass the normal formal training period that apologists need to experience before they can be seasoned apologists. His lack of knowledge in critical areas (Greek, Hebrew, NT scholarship, and church history), combined with his backwoods, fundamentalist approach, prevents him from being the well-rounded apologist that he aspires to be. YOUNG XXXX HAS ATTEMPTED TO CORRECT ME IN MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUES. I have an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies, a graduate degree in NT Studies, a post-graduate degree in Theological Studies, and have just completed a second post-graduate degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Mariology. I SUPPOSE THERE IS A CHANCE THAT I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT WHEN I WRITE ON THESE ISSUES; BUT I THINK ANY FAIR-MINDED PERSON WOULD HAVE TO AGREE THAT IT IS ONLY A SLIM CHANCE. [26]

I wonder if any "fair-minded person" would call going 0-20 in accuracy the "slim chance" that Dr. Svendsen claims is his chance of not knowing what he is talking about. The smart money would be to chalk that claim of his up as the twenty-first such error out of his twenty-one points examined in this work. Of course there is an irony here about Dr. Svendsen making these statements of credentials being so important because if I am correct he is a Reformed Protestant. A standard confession of faith professed among Reformed Protestants is the Westminster Confession of 1646. Yet if we examine the first chapter of that confession, we will find the following interesting passage concerning the abilities of people - both learned and unlearned - to properly understand the Sacred Scriptures:

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, THAT NOT ONLY THE LEARNED, BUT THE UNLEARNED, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. [27]

It would seem that in light of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) statement on understanding the Scriptures that it is superfluous for Dr. Svendsen to speak of his degrees or seek to exalt them over someone else. After all, according to the WCF even the "unlearned" can attain a "sufficient understanding" of the Scriptures because of the ‘clearly propounded’ parts that are needed to be known for salvation can be discerned by them. Therefore, who is Dr. Svendsen or anyone else to criticise others who interpret the Scriptures differently then they do??? In this system that their theology proposes, I have as much of a right to my interpretations as Dr. Svendsen, 'Mr. Critic', or anyone else. Yet Dr. Svendsen and his crowd seek to deny to others what they claim for themselves - as witnessed by his criticisms of a certain Catholic apologist earlier for not having the "accredation" of Dr. Svendsen and thus supposedly being "less qualified" to interpret the Scriptures. This stance is both inconsistent and hypocritical.

On what principle does he claim this since the WCF specifically states that both the learned and the unlearned can attain a sufficient understanding of what is needed for salvation??? There is no consistency in this position whatsoever. In fact, the apologist whom Dr. Svendsen criticized for not being as "learned" as him could rightfully reply as follows: "Well I do not need you Dr. Svendsen to tell me what the Bible says because I believe in Sola Scriptura. According to the WCF chapter 1 article 7, I am capable regardless of my degree of education of reading the Bible for myself and you sir have no right to tell me that any of my interpretations are incorrect. After all, by 'good and necessary consequences' I have 'deduced from Scripture' my beliefs using the 'ordinary means' and thereby have 'attained unto a sufficient understanding of them' without your fallible opinions". Of course with this kind of theology floating around, is it any wonder why there are thousands of different denominations in Protestantism??? (*)

In concluding the main body of this essay though, I would like to point out to the reader what such a dismal track record of accuracy (0-21) that Dr. Svendsen has committed actually translates into by using a medical analogy. A medical doctor who handled examinations or surgeries with the degree of error that Dr. Svendsen has exhibited in this essay would be misdiagnosing patients left and right, prescribing the wrong remedies for their ailments, and seriously botching up surgical procedures. As a result of this, the medical doctor would probably be on the receiving end of many malpractice suits. What a pity that there are not similar ways of dealing with those in apologetics like Dr. Svendsen who are guilty of equally severe but much more subtle "spiritual malpractice". The former after all only affects the body while the latter affects the soul. I shudder to think of the size of the millstone that will adorn the neck of Dr. Eric Svendsen for all of the little ones that will perish as a result of his deceptions (Matt. 18:6-7; Mark 9:41; Luke 17:1-2). May the Lord mercifully grant to him the gift of perfect final repentance.

(*) According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, in 1980 there were 7,889 distinct Protestant denominations in 212 nations. Divided out over the 463 years from 1517 to 1980, the average is 17.03887. Thus, taking an average of 17 new denominations a year (the "average" you might say), that total as of 2000 would project to 8,229 distinct Protestant denominations today.


[1] The "Pseudo-Tertullian": Prescription Against Heretics, Ch. 28 (c. 2000 A.D.)

[2] Athanasius the Great: Part of Festal Letter 39 (c. 367 A.D.)

[3] Athanasius the Great: Defense of the Nicene Faith, 2:12 (A.D. 351), in NPNF2, IV:158

[4] Athanasius the Great: Discourses Against the Arians, 1:4 (A.D. 362), in NPNF2, IV:313

[5] Athanasius the Great: Discourses Against the Arians, 2:71 (A.D. 362), in NPNF2, IV:387

[6] Athanasius the Great: Discourses Against the Arians, 3:30 (A.D. 362),in NPNF2, IV:410

[7] Athanasius the Great: Discourses Against the Arians, 2:79 (A.D. 362), in NPNF2, IV:391

[8] Council of Hippo: Canon 36 (A.D. 393), in NPNF2, XIV:453-454

[9] Augustine: On Christian Doctrine, II:8 (A.D. 426), in NPNF1, II:53-539

[10] Jerome: Preface to Samuel and Kings [Prologus Galeatus] (A.D. 391), in NPNF2, VI:490

[11] Jerome: To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), in VI:119; To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4 (A.D. 399), in NPNF2, VI:159; To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (A.D. 404), in NPNF2, VI:207

[12] The Prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31ff

[13] Epistle to the Romans 9:1-8

[14] Athanasius the Great: Historia Arianorum, c. 360 AD

[15] Athanasius the Great: Pope Julius To The Eusebians, Defense Against the Arians, 35 (A.D. 347), in NPNF2, IV:118

[16] Irenaeus of Lyons: Against Heresies III 2, (c. 180 A.D.)

[17] Irenaeus of Lyons: Against Heresies III 2, (c. 180 A.D.)

[18] Irenaeus of Lyons: Against Heresies III 3, (c. 180 A.D.)

[19] Psalm 69 in its entirety

[20] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Col. 4:10

[21] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Lu 1:36

[22] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Mt 12:47

[23] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Mt 12:48-49

[24] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Mr 6:3

[25] KJV Interlinear Greek Lexicon: examination of Mr 6:4

[26] Dr. Eric Svendsen

[27] Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter I, Paragraph VII (c. 1646)

Other Notes:

The citations of the Church Fathers except footnotes 2,16,17, 19, 20, and 21 were obtained at Joe Gallegos' Corunum Apologetics web-site which specializes in Patristic studies:

The footnoted citations from Athanasius the Great’s Festal Letter 39 (footnote 2), his History of the Arians (footnotes 16 and 17), and Irenaeus of Lyons’ Against Heresies (footnotes 19,20, and 21) were obtained from the New Advent website available at the following link:

The footnoted citations 13, 14, and 19 were taken from the online Douay-Rheims Bible located at the following site: In the Douay Bible, Psalm 69 is referred to as Psalm 68.

The citation from the Westminster Confession of Faith can be found at the following link:

©2000, "The 'Spiritual Malpractice' of Dr. Eric Svendsen", written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.


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