WorldNetDaily and the Muslim Anti-Christ Yet Again

The latest from WorldNetDaily:

The headline is aimed at conservative Christians who bought into the “Revived Roman Empire” theory of apocalypticism in the 1970s and 1980s, which warned that European integration part of Satan’s plan to create a powerbase for the Anti-Christ. The theory was most famously promoted by Hal Lindsey, and although Lindsey has published many columns in WND, he appears to have been quietly dropped a year ago.

WND wants Christians to focus instead on the Islamic world as the locus of Satan’s ultimate designs, and the headline is just the latest in a long line of puffs for Joel Richardson, author of  The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. Economic woes in Europe provide the hook for the latest outing; Richardson – who is personally congenial and has left a few comments on this blog – himself writes

As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece’s economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive… Could it be that what the Bible actually teaches is that the Roman Empire would revive, then collapse and then revive again? Not likely.

While such a scenario will surely invite mockery from the new atheists, what is important to remember is that if the EU does collapse, this does not represent a failure on the prophetic accuracy of the Bible, but simply of a particular school of interpretation. Atheists come and go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever, baby.

…Throughout the history of the church, many great Christian leaders have looked not to Europe, but to the Middle East for the emergence of an end-time empire. In fact, going back to the first few centuries of the church, the consistent testimony of the early believers is that the Antichrist, his empire and his religion would arise from out of the Middle East, and not Europe…

…What many Westerners, and perhaps Americans most of all, often fail to recognize is the fact that the Bible is a thoroughly Eastern book. It always has been. As shocking as this may be to some, the Bible was not written primarily for Americans.

When the prophets specify which nations surround Israel to attack her, the wording used in Hebrew is goyim caybib, which translated means “the surrounding nations.” These are Israel’s neighbors; they are not references to Belgium or Luxembourg or Rome.

The lead-in article adds:

Richardson believes the key error of many previous prophecy scholars involves the misinterpretation of a prediction by Daniel to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel describes the rise and fall of empires of the future, leading to the end times. Western Christians have viewed one of those empires as Rome, when, claims Richardson, Rome never actually conquered Babylon and was thus disqualified as a possibility.

It had to be another empire that rose and fell and rose again that would lead to rule of this “man of sin,” described in the Bible. That empire, he says, is the Islamic Empire, which did conquer Babylon and, in fact, rules over it even today.

Of course, this is a farrago of nonsense that would be dismissed outright by any serious Biblical scholar – whether atheist, Christian, Jewish, or whatever. As I wrote the last time this came up, the Book of Daniel was written in second century BCE, and, like the other books of the Bible, it was written with a contemporary audience in mind; it does not contain secrets that make sense only thousands of years later. The various empires that concern the author end with that of his own time and location: the Hellenistic kingdoms of the post-Alexander period. The author is not interested in Rome, and shows no knowledge of any kind of “Islamic Empire” hundreds of years in the future (or of a Christian future, for that matter). Babylon as a city had already lost much of its historical significance by the time the book was composed, and by the Islamic period the town itself was largely a ruin.

Like other self-styled “prophecy experts” (as opposed to actual Biblical scholars), Richardson believes in an Islamic Anti-Christ because he’s reading into the text what he wants to be there. On the one hand, he tells us that “the Bible was not written primarily for Americans”, but what he gives us an interpretation which obviously emerges out of early twenty-first century America. Just a few years after invading Iraq, and with increasing tension with Iran, American Christians suddenly discover that their holy book teaches that their nation’s current conflicts are central to a supernatural struggle between God and Satan. Who would have thought it?

But there’s still work to be done; WND also tells us that

Richardson, a student of Islam and the Middle east, found few churches in America welcoming him as a guest speaker. He was not invited to address many prophecy conferences. He found himself as a “political incorrect” outsider in most evangelical circles.

That’s suprising; Richardson’s website features a number of churches where he has spoken, and his associate Walid Shoebat, who promotes the same theory, seems to have a steady trickle of church invitations.

One man who must be too intelligent to take any of this seriously is Robert Spencer. However, Spencer sees Richardson’s book as useful for his own anti-Islam purposes, and he has given an endorsement:

A fascinating and provovative work. Joel has broken fresh ground in the ongoing exploration of the relationship between Islam and the rest of the world. A must-read for priests and pastors, students and lay readers everywhere. Bravo!

Part of that blurb appears on the cover:

12 Responses

  1. […] entitled The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse; the suggestion that the Bible predicts a Muslim anti-Christ; the suggestion that Jesus named Satan as “Barack Obama”; and a bizarre foray into […]

  2. […] The Biblical exegesis here is as foolish as ever: there is nothing in Ezekiel to suggest that the author knew anything about “the modern-day State of Turkey”, and “Gomer” in fact probably refers to the Cimmerians, who lived in the area now occupied by Ukraine and Russia. In reality, the Cimmerians fizzled out rather than leading an apocalyptic attack on ancient Israel, but US rivalry with Russia has unsurprisingly meant that American Biblical literalists have been keen to read modern Russia into the text. Recent conflict with the Islamic world has shifted “Gomer” a bit further south, just as the predicted Anti-Christ has gone from being a European to being a Muslim leader. […]

  3. […] such nonsense, but he sees Christian fundamentalists as useful allies, and he has endorsed a  book promoting the “Muslim Anti-Christ” […]

  4. […] Posted on June 29, 2010 by Richard Bartholomew More mangled pseudo-scholarship from Joel Richardson, who at WorldNetDaily asks a Great Religious Question to Which the Answer is No: Does the Bible […]

  5. Evidence abounds that Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain no longer have sovereign debt seigniorage, and are not viably obtaining and will not be viably obtaining revenue from sovereign debt sales; any upcoming bond sales are being done by banks which submit debt or have submitted debt to the ECB for funding of new debt issues. Such means of obtaining money is simply a Ponzi financing, it is monetization of debt, and cannot be sustained much longer.

    Theyenguy believes the sovereign crisis will intensify, and that out of Götterdämmerung, an investment flameout, according to Bible Prophecy, a Sovereign, Revelation 13:5-10, and a Seignior Revelation 13:11-18, an Old English term for top dog banker who takes a cut, will emerge to establish fiscal sovereignty and credit seigniorage for both Europe’s financial institutions and residents. And that those living in the Eurozone, as well as all the world, will live see a loss of national sovereignty, and live in debt servitude to the beast system of global corporatism as held forth in Revelation 13:1-4

  6. your mockery is showing.

  7. […] who is today famous as Glenn Beck’s “End-Times Prophet”. Richardson is the author of a book (endorsed by Robert Spencer) about how the Muslim world will come under the control of a Muslim […]

  8. […] What a shame that Richardson appears to put less energy into providing truthful witness than he does into trying to discern signs of the coming Muslim Anti-Christ. […]

  9. […] What a shame that Richardson appears to put less energy into providing truthful witness than he does into trying to discern signs of the coming Muslim Anti-Christ. […]

  10. […] actually a good question for anyone taken in by Joel Richardson’s crank claim that the Bible predicts a Muslim anti-Christ; yet Montgomery proudly displays Richardson’s […]

  11. […] as I’ve noted previously, takes the view that the Bible predicts a Muslim Anti-Christ, and he believes that Turkey holds the […]

  12. […] firmly in cheek”, although it should be remembered that Spencer has also, in all seriousness, endorsed a book which claims that the Bible predicts a Muslim […]

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