There are many figures in history, legend, and myth that tend to capture the imagination of people from different times and places. One such figure is the Antichrist. There is a general belief that the Antichrist is clearly identified in the Bible as a figure who will return, be identified, and defeated at the end of time. This figure looms large in fiction and modern myth.In fact, the Antichrist is not so clearly or consistently defined in the Bible. This paper will review the three major biblical references to the figure that can be associated with the Antichrist and examine how the writers of those New Testament texts perceived these figures.
[...] The Book of Revelation also identifies a second beast, a beast in the form of a human, and this beast is often referred to as the Antichrist, though that word is never used in Revelation. In Revelation 13:18, the writer describes the mark of this beast as the number 666, and identifies this beast as human. Numerology was widely known and used in the ancient world, and the author of Revelation used it consistently. The prototype first beast in Revelation was Babylon. [...]
[...] In this case, the latter is more likely. The second letter to the Thessalonians is suspect because it is in conflict with the first letter, which is believed to be authentic. According to Acts Paul, Silas, and Timothy did visit the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia, and it was a practice of Paul to write letters to the cities he had visited. In the first letter, Paul assures the people of Thessalonica that those who have died will be raised when Jesus returns, so they need not be concerned about those who have died Thessalonians 4:13–18). [...]
[...] Part of the prophetic warning in the first letter is a warning about a group of people called antichrist, or those against Christ. The author of the first letter of John assumed that the recipients of the letter already knew about the antichrist, you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come” John 2:18). An antichrist is defined as one who denies that Jesus is God John which would have included the majority of people in the first century. [...]
[...] For the Christians, the Messiah was already identified as Jesus, so Jesus was expected to return in the first century to defeat Rome, the oppressor of the Christians. Bibliography Barnwell, F. Aster. Meditations on the Apocalypse: A Psycho-Spiritual Perspective on the Book of Revelation. Rockport, MA: Element Cambra, Walter C. Gog and Magog: A Study in thematic Clarification, ms. Graduate Theological Union Library, Berkeley, CA. Collins, John J. Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls. London: Routledge Haggith, David. End-Time Prophecies of the Bible. [...]
[...] Nero committed suicide by stabbing himself in the throat, and Revelation mentions that a mortal wound on the head of the beast had healed: of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed” (Rev. 13:3). An expectation that the beast would return soon was consistent with the view expressed by both Paul and the writer of the letters of John. They taught that the end of the world was very near in the first century. [...]
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