Barack Obama the Antichrist? Shedding Some Lightning On The Subject

The claim has been circulating that Jesus referred to Barack Obama and singled him out as the antichrist, when he said he saw “Satan fall as lightning (baraq) from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

Obviously this misunderstands Jesus’ meaning. His point was not that Satan descends from heaven as Barack Obama (which would involve using different words). The point was simply that he could think of no more meteoric fall with which to compare Satan’s than Barack Obama’s own lightning-fast (pun intended) decline in popularity in recent days, as economic turmoils continue to envelop the nation and the world.

But we can be quite certain, once again on the basis of the Bible, that Barack Obama will make a comeback, and his fame will in the end completely overshadow his brief decline in popularity. That’s why Jesus compared himself to Barack Obama when he said that “For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning (baraq), which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other” (Luke 17:24). And in Luke 9:29 we are told that Jesus’ clothes shone like lightning – i.e. his clothes in the transfiguration were as fine as Barack Obama’s.

If Jesus compared himself to Barack Obama, then we can be sure that Barack Obama is not the antichrist. But if you are not convinced, note as well that Revelation 4:5 says lightning (presumably still Barack Obama) came from God’s throne, while both Jeremiah 10:13 and Jeremiah 51:16 say that God himself sent Barack, and Psalm 148:8 says Barack does God’s bidding. You can’t just pick and choose, people!

Do note as well that the person claiming that Jesus said “lightning and high place” (baraq ubamah) is claiming that the Greek New Testament, the “original texts” from which English translations are made, were wrong, that they mistranslated what Jesus said. And so it would be absolutely incoherent for anyone who believes in the Bible’s inerrancy to buy into this sort of claim.

Now that you all understand the Bible a bit better, we return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15643595412184843553 Jason Hughes

    LOL! That was great!! Thanks for the smile, much needed this evening!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05115370166754797529 Mark Goodacre

    Fantastic. I nominate this as the biblioblog post of the month so far.

  • http://missivesfrommarx.wordpress.com/ missivesfrommarx

    That's too awesome. It's sooooo fun to do a reductio ad absurdum with stupid rhetoric!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Thanks Mark, although it will really mean something only if you still feel this way on the 31st! :)

  • Daniel

    Made me laugh out loud….

  • http://cleverbadger.net Jay

    Nice, James. I always wonder what's going on in the minds of the folks that want to turn the Bible into a giant seek-and-find puzzle…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I deleted the last comment even though it was kinda funny. An anonymous commenter swearing while claiming that Obama is an anti-Christ and/or devil (same thing?) because he's (allegedly) a socialist (which presumably for this person = anti-Christ = devil).If the person who left the comment returns, he or she is welcome to leave one again, just without the swear word. I'd also encourage that person to read the description of the church sharing its property in Acts. Or was this commenter complaining that being a socialist is not good enough, because a real Christian would be a communist? ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Please read the description in Acts about the Church sharing its goods. It does not read that the people were forced to share their goods or that the government took their goods away from them. Christianity is about giving. Socialism is about taking. There is a big difference. I do not believe that Obama is the Anti-Christ, but I do believe that he is bad for this country and that every other nation in the World that is socialist has depressed and desperate citizens.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    It is interesting that many conservative Christians in the United States say they want to influence government and society, but they also don't want the government involved in taking care of the poor or addressing similar issues of social and economic justice. The whole "Obama is a socialist" idea is entirely implausible, unless by "socialist" what it really meant is "further to the left than the Republican position". Your comment about people living in socialist countries suggests to me only one thing: you haven't lived in a socialist country. Of course, relatively few countries have full-fledged socialism (just as most of the major capitalist countries do not have completely pure, unbridled capitalism). Having lived in the UK, I can say that national health care is not the dreadful curse that the opponents of the idea in the US make it out to be. Is it likely to be perfect? No, there is no chance that it will work perfectly. But there is at least a reasonable chance that it will work better than the system we currently have now.In my experience, it is those who have experienced national health care who complain when they live in the US, not Americans who complain when they live in countries with efficient, functioning national health care systems. But of course, I'm sure that exceptions can be found on both sides.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05115370166754797529 Mark Goodacre

    Excellent comments, James; music to my ears. My nomination of this as the biblioblog post of the month stands.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with you prof. you are biased

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I disagree with you Anonymous you are biased. :)

  • Anonymous

    James,I'm not sure I agree with you 100% but I do find what you say very interesting and like the way you handle disagreement – thx for your thoughts

  • Anonymous

    i am a student in high school deep in the south and everything anyone says is taken out of context and this article has very much cleared up a lot of issues as so many people claim they are strong christians but jump to the worst about anything so quickly

  • Anonymous

    More of the same…. Left vs. Right and Right vs. Left. For those of you here that take expection to the video, where were you when the Seattle Weekly ran "Is Bush the Antichrist?" http://www.seattleweekly.com/2004-12-08/news/is-bush-the-antichrist/No matter what anyone here says both sides do it to each other, and those of us in the middle sit back and watch the mud fly.Do I believe either one is the antichrist, No. Do I think the reputation of any group that promotes or even give this type of argument the time of day, is worth reading, No. Is there any reason to post a reply to my comment, No. Because the blog has lower itself to a point that makes me fell I will not be back.

  • Anonymous

    Your thoughts are interesting. However, I am not quite convinced of your logic. You say that "obviously Jesus' meaning has been misunderstood" and you support your argument with "the point was simply that he could think of no more meteoric fall with which to compare Satan's". I disagree. Surely there could be other Hebrew words in which to make an analogy and even if there weren't, even if "baraq O bamwah" was the only phrase available at the time to make his analogy, doesn't it still seem ironic that it resembles so closely Barack O'Bama? Also-Satan, to my knowledge was the highest of highest angel. He was an elite, an alpha, he was very close to thee level of God. Jesus' comparison about his clothing, or that baraq comes from God's throne than is no surprise. In any case, I think it is interesting and eerily ironic that the name so closely resembles the term "lightning from heaven". Whether it is coincidence or not, if there is such a thing as an "Anti-Christ" than this should definitely be pondered. It should not be discounted as some irrelevant and nonsensical statement that surely has been "misunderstood". Certainly, none of us (human's) have the ability to actually know what Jesus meant, so interpretation is biased (depending on your beliefs) and in addition, scripture has been translated so many times, there is no possible way to get the full meaning from any of this. Just translating our own current languages from one form to another (i.e. English to Spanish) causes degradation to some degree, so imagine the corruption translating Arabic to strong Hebrew. But, honestly, I don't think people are picking and choosing, I think that there are some very compelling coincidences (not just in this scripture, but many others) that indicate our time and age logically "fit" these prophetic statements. Last time I looked around, seems like this world is falling apart, seems very hopeless. I am indifferent toward Barack O'Bama and I am of no religious denomination. (that doesn't mean I am not spiritual or believe in a higher power-just that I have yet to find a religion on earth that feels "right" in my heart). Anyways, I enjoyed reading your posting (even if I don't agree with it completely…lol)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Thanks for the comment. A point I think you are missing is that there is no reason whatsoever to think Jesus ever said something that sounded like "baraq obamah". This suggestion starts with some minor similarities (between the sound of "lightning" in Aramaic and the name Barack) and then proceeds to argue that Jesus said something other than what the Gospels depict him as having said – not "lightning from heaven" but "lightning and high place". This interpretation is willing to claim that Jesus spoke in barely intelligble sentences that were mistranslated by the Gospel authors writing in Greek. They do this not because they have found Barack Obama's name in the text but because they are determined to introduce it even if it means taking liberties with the text.In short, there is no "coincidence". Those who claim to "find" Barack Obama in the text are introducing him into the Bible, not finding him there.

  • Anonymous

    Your article was funny. Those that try to force a Biblical interpretation of President Obama's name are beyond ridiculous. However, I will say you are being much too kind with UK's health system. I have also lived there and in Canada and both systems are fine if you have minor illnesses or injuries but if you are in need of care or diagnosis for brain or heart conditions you would find yourself wishing you had the good fortune to be in the US. People die all the time in Canada and the UK because of long waiting lists and lack of specialists and good surgeons. It is true, I have lost family members and suffered greatly myself because of this.

  • Anonymous

    Irregardless of all that. Sworn in at midnight, the lottery number in Chicago the next day 0666, all the satanic ties including Bohemian groove, theres too much to say he aint.Anyways if you do not believe in Jesus Christ as savior of mankind you yourself are a type of antichrist. But the true anti-christ is not as english would dictate, but a false witness which Obama is, a muslim playing christian, total fraud. Also a false sense of security which we live in today. Noone will know because the antichrist ushers in a false peace, again like today. Antichrist or not, right or left or not, it doesnt matter. The muslims are winning while Americans are whinning.Sorry for the spellingSteve

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Seriously, you think spelling is the only thing in this comment that needs to be apologized for? What about ignoring our president's own testimony about his Christian faith and deciding to label him a Muslim? What about pretending that the number in the book of Revelation has something to do with the lottery rather than the emperor Nero?

  • Anonymous

    Being Christian was campaign rhetoric, like everything else, admittedly. 666 has nothing to do with lottery, it's a very funny coincidence for the midnight swearing in ceremony. Everything about the entire proceedings was off the wall including the "serve satan" chantyou would also direguard. I merely eluded to the event that has made thousands of u-tube videos and websites for whatever reasons. How many coincidences would it take? Who knows.Who can guess who the antichrist is? Noone.Was it a person that lived 2000 years ago?This is the "spirit of antichrist" you speak of.For the events that unfold in the opening of the seals can not be accounted for. Those things have not happened.There are more false prophets today that also wear the number, and I am not going to comment on who, it is quit obvious.I realize now the differnce between a theologianand a preacher.There will come a man that will rule the earth, or whats left of it. NoOne will buy sell or trade without his mark.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Thanks again for reminding me why I need to focus more on information literacy in my classes!If you actually took the time to read a commentary on Revelation – a serious academic one, by a scholar connected with your own church tradition – you'd find out just how much we know about what the Book of Revelation was referring to.But instead, people express surprise that "sserpxemtel" sounds a little bit like "serve Satan." On the one hand, if Obama were the antichrist, do you think he'd be broadcasting it in a way that is apparently so easy to detect?On the other hand, does the fact that people have allegedly found backwards messages and "Bible codes" in so many different place at least give you pause?But as I said, if nothing else, your comment illustrates well the kind of "information" one finds online, and what those who work in higher education need to struggle against.

  • Anonymous

    I don't agree with scholars or Bible codes. The Bible is to direct one to salvation not expose individuals and secret messeges.Eventhough Jesus said you will know him by his name.Since you're goal is to make me look dumb compared to you're vast knowledge, let me say this. I witnessed backwards messeges directed at an individual who became a psycopathical criminal. When 70 ton rocks start falling, the sun goes black, the moon turns to blood, the seas die and the rivers turn to blood, along with 2-3 billion people die, I'll let ya know. When every mountain is moved and every island disappears, again I will say hey, look, it is time for the revealing of him. "higher education need to struggle against"People can talk freely on the net. People like you and Obama, who want to control what people think or say will shut that communication down in fear. People achieve academic authority to control the minds of others. Just like the catholics burning books of knowledge here you are missrepresenting them.Whether Obama is or is not the antichrist, All who lie and bear false witness are a type of antichrist. ALL.University's harbor control freaks, constantly attack the Bible, and self promote themselves to nirvana. How sad some feel so superior to others because they think their smarter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Right…that's why I approve your comments even though you disagree with me?I apologize if my knowing something about this topic or my ability to spell are offensive to you, but you clearly have beliefs which you've never taken the time to examine, even in terms of reading scholarship by Christian believers connected with whatever branch of Christianity you are connected with. High quality Evangelical scholarship. Try it!

  • Anonymous

    No offense, I know what scholars say, like it was the wind that seperated the Red Sea, lol.Jesus is my shepherd and he warned me about yous people. (intended mispelling)I do not belong to a group, I do not translate. If I find something I do not understand I will go to the original text and look word for word at what is meant. I will take up no more of you're time and thank you for responding. Theres really no point in arguing about this issue I do not support. I see Obama the best fit so far. If he becomes president of the EU, you heard it here first. I am just glad you study and teach the Bible. I think thats great as long as you are true to the meaning of the written word of God. I appologise for catagorizing you. You dont have to post this message, Thanks again.Steve.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Of course I'll post it. Because it is deeply offensive that you don't acknowledge that you depend on scholars to read he Bible in your own language, to consult lexical aids, and anything else you do that involves the Bible.Where exactly did Jesus warn you about "people like us"? And as for the Sea of Reeds and the wind, I'll just suggest that you read Exodus 14:21. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Well, I could go on. I don't know your'e true stance, and find that you are offended in the fact that I don't believe the orthodox or philisophical translateralations of the Bible surprising.The fact that a scholar needs to explain to me the meaning of what God himself said to the meek, humble and broken hearted people you feel so intellectually superior over, is in fact quit laughable. Not to insult you or you're profession. I will spell it out for all those that question these universal (catholic in latin, thank you) ideas.Big bang- hmm a 30 billion lightyear wide universe out of nothing in 14 billion years.Intelligent idea, I think not.God holds every bit of energy you would call particulate matter together in the entire universe while controlling all aspects of life on earth and in heaven with his feet up. Nothing is impossible unless you are a evilutionist, I call them the anti-entropy nuts.My point being that Jesus raised himself from the dead, it is written. Can you grasp that.Is every miracle a happinstance. The whole Bible is a history of atmospherical anomolies?Paul, you're favorite author, hated the Christians , didn't he? He was a scholar, no?Why do you kick against the thorns McGrath?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    You seem determined to insult categories of people based on your assumptions, and unwilling to admit that you have anything to learn from anyone. I wonder what God would have to do to get through to you and persuade you that you still have things to learn…

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