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Did Jesus call Obama the Antichrist? Um...no. PDF Print E-mail
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News - Theology
Written by Tim Black   
Thursday, 03 September 2009 16:45

Since two of my friends have asked separately whether this video is correct, I decided to post a response. The video asks,

Did Jesus reveal the name of the Antichrist?

This guy doesn't know Hebrew like he should, and he even misspelled the English word "heights." Here are his errors in Hebrew and Greek:

1. Aramaic isn't the most ancient form of Hebrew.

2. He mispronounced the name of the letter "waw," which is normally pronounced the way Germans would pronounce it ("vov"), since the Germans were the best Hebrew scholars for a time and English-speakers still study and depend greatly upon their grammar textbooks, now translated into English.

3. He translates the waw ("O") in "Baraq O Bama" as potentially meaning "from," which is not at all a common use of the letter waw, which is normally a conjunction, not a preposition. The common way to say "from" in Hebrew is with the preposition "min." In addition, Jesus' words include a verb--"falling"--which is not really implied grammatically in "Baraq O Bama," which would most naturally mean "lightning and height." This makes me think the fellow looked up Barack Obama's name in Strong's and then found a verse where he could try to make the Bible say what he wants it to say.

4. He references Strong's numbers instead of the best Hebrew lexicons, and refers to Hebrew scholars as if he himself is not one--I agree with him on that. Did this fellow really study Hebrew? He doesn't seem to be able to read it. Very likely if he didn't study Hebrew, he didn't study Aramaic either. Few theological seminaries require their graduates to have a reading knowledge of Hebrew today, and even the ones that do (Westminster included) do not require the students to study Aramaic. We got only the shortest introduction to Aramaic--one hour of class time at most, a couple sentences to see the similarity to Hebrew, and the reference guide to the Aramaic abbreviations written in the margins of the Hebrew Old Testament.

5. Though Jesus spoke Aramaic, it's generally a bad idea to speculate about what Aramaic words Jesus spoke behind the Greek of the text of the New Testament--first, it's speculation; second, God gave us Jesus' words in Greek, not Aramaic; third, on average one Hebrew/Aramaic word has more possible senses than one Greek word, so while you CAN sometimes make a good guess as to what Hebrew word underlies its Greek translation, there is not a one-to-one correspondence between the words of the two languages, and you run a big risk relying on reverse-engineering the translation process for any solid conclusions. Specifically, in this case, there are at least 4 Hebrew words for lightning--"baraq," which means "lightning," "or," which means "light," "bazaq," which means "lightning flash," "laphid," which means "flame." Which one did Jesus use? The video is speculating too much. Similarly, "bama" IS a common Hebrew word for "above," but it is not the most common word for "heaven" ("shamayim" is), and the Greek of Jesus' word "heaven" is the most common Greek word for "heaven," "ouranos." The mismatch between the Greek and its proposed Aramaic original is too much to be convincing.

6. The Greek isn't saying that Satan IS "lightning from above," and so it's not treating "lightning from above" as a proper name, so why would the Hebrew have that meaning? Rather, the Greek says Jesus saw Satan fall like lightning. Even if Jesus used the word "baraq," meaning He saw Satan fall like Barack, to say this means Barack is the Antichrist is to say something the text doesn't mean.

He also didn't trace the etymology of Barack Obama's name through whatever language it comes from (Arabic? which admittedly is very similar to Hebrew & Aramaic) to see if it means "lightning from above" there.

Hope you found this helpful!

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 September 2009 19:29
 

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