Did Jesus call Obama the Antichrist? Um...no. PDF Print E-mail
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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
1 Thess. 2:17-20 - The Hope of Fellowship PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 30 August 2009 20:00
  1. Introduction

    1. At Covenant College I gained some very dear friends, especially among the young men who lived on my hall, who were exceptionally mature, and godly. After graduation I remained at the college, but most of my hallmates left town. It was painful to know that they were gone, because in this life many of them I will never see again. Have you experienced a painful parting of fellowship? Why does it hurt? And what should we do about it?

    2. In the past 2 weeks I've begun to plan my 10 year high school class reunion, and have begun to reconnect with several long-lost friends from college who live in this area. Why do we seek to reconnect with old friends?

    3. Well, the reason it hurts to lose the fellowship you once had, and the reason we seek to restore it, is because we were made for fellowship with God and with one another. In our sin we broke fellowship with God and one another, and now in our salvation God has made it His delight to restore us to fellowship with Him and with one another. It is this hope of fellowship toward which the church's gospel-labor of love aims, and to this one hope of fellowship toward which she must press on, to the end.

Matt. 12:22-32 - The Kingdom of the Holy Spirit PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 30 August 2009 12:45
  1. Introduction. Matthew 11-13 reveals to us the nature of Christ's kingdom. In today's passage we learn Christ's kingdom is a kingdom characterized by the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of Christ is the kingdom of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Christ's Greater Prominence. You may not yet recognize this passage's focus on the Holy Spirit, because the passage gives a greater prominence to Jesus Christ than to the Holy Spirit. But this is nearly always the case in scripture, because the Holy Spirit, while co-eternal and of the same substance with God the Father and God the Son, equal with them in power and glory, yet in the economy of salvation God the Spirit does only what the Father and the Son send Him to do. In a word, the Holy Spirit makes men holy, as God is holy, perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect. In doing this, in true humility the Spirit always exalts the glory of Jesus Christ, and so gives greater prominence in scripture to Christ than to Himself. Throughout every aspect of Christ's work you see the Spirit serves the purpose of Christ—He conceived Christ, revealed Christ, performed Christ's miracles, raised Christ from the dead, was given by Christ to the apostles and was poured out by Christ upon His church, and so now unites us to Christ by faith and works in us obedience to Christ our Lord, and one day will raise us up in glory to be with Christ, and to be like Christ. This is the work of the Spirit.

    2. The Spirit's Necessity. Christ's kingdom would not be what it is without the work of the Holy Spirit, because in fact nothing would happen. Christ does all the work of His kingdom in this world by the immediate agency of His Holy Spirit. All the work of salvation, and even the miracle in this passage, is done by Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Calling, regeneration, faith, repentance, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification only come by the work of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we would have nothing in salvation.

    3. Outline. Because the Spirit is essential to Christ's kingdom, so we would recognize the nature of the Spirit's work, and so the Spirit would receive the worship He deserves, it was the Father's wise design for Jesus to reveal the fact that His kingdom is characterized by the work of the Holy Spirit in three ways in this passage. Christ reveals:

      1. The Victory of the Spirit vv. 22-23

      2. The Vindication of the Spirit vv. 24-30

      3. The Veneration of the Spirit vv. 31-32

Matt. 12:15-21 - My Chosen Servant PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 23 August 2009 13:00
  1. Introduction

    1. If it was your job to plan Jesus' appearance on the stage of history, how would you choose to reveal the Savior of the world? How would you have done it? I think most of you would want to make sure Christ's coming was awe-inspiring. Innumerable angels dressed for war in a glorious array filling the sky singing "Glory to God in the Highest?" Yes! Make that first on the list! A voice like thunder coming from heaven saying "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him?" Excellent! Put that on the list too! Healing the sick, raising the dead? Yes! But how about riding on a donkey? No, that's not so good. How about eating with sinners, or washing His disciples' feet like the slave of all? Maybe not. How about dying a cruel death on the cross as a convicted criminal, to be buried and forgotten by the world? No, we would never plan it that way. But God did!

    2. God chose for Christ to be a servant. To stand not only in the glorious place of the holy God, but also in the humble place of unrighteous man. Christ humbled Himself to serve His Father, and to serve you. We would never plan it that way, but in this way Jesus Christ is God's chosen Servant.

    3. Outline. We see how Christ is God's chosen Servant in two great ways in this passage.

      1. The Fact of Christ's Humility vv. 15-16

      2. The Fulfillment of God's Promise vv. 17-21

        1. The Father's Pleasure in Christ v. 18a

        2. The Father's Promise to Christ v. 18b

        3. The Father's Prediction concerning Christ vv. 19-21

Matt. 12:1-14 - Lord of the Sabbath PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:00
  1. Introduction

    1. The Law's True Requirement. In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ corrected the Jewish rabbis where they neglected the true import of God's law. In today's passage Christ corrects them for applying it too strictly, in a way it was not originally intended to be applied, as if strict outward conformity could atone for inward corruption. How easy it is for we sinners to "tithe mint and dill and cumin, and...[neglect] the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness." Christ told the Pharisees, "These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." (Matt. 23:23) By explaining the true requirement of the law of the Sabbath—the Fourth Commandment, Christ neither adds to, nor takes away from, the law of God. (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Rev. 22:18, 19; Prov. 30:6)

    2. God's Mercy. But Christ does not only explain the law's requirement. He also reveals God's mercy. Because God is merciful to us in our great need, we should show mercy to others. In His mercy our Savior is Lord of the Sabbath. His mercy is why we rest in order to worship. We rest to worship Him for His mercy. Any rest that does not imitate His mercy is no true Sabbath-rest, for Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.

    3. Outline. We learn Jesus' merciful lordship over and in the Sabbath in this passage's two main points:

      1. Works of Necessity Are Proper on the Sabbath vv. 1-8

      2. Works of Mercy Are Proper on the Sabbath vv. 9-14

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