Pope Benedict, Bible scholars, and the Antichrist

No, I am not going to break my rule on this blog that I don’t speculate about the end times. But I was struck by the extract from Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, about the temptation of Jesus, quoted by Michael Barber. Here is part of it (typos corrected):

The devil proves to be a Bible expert who can quote the Psalm exactly. The whole conversation of the second temptation takes the form of a dispute between two Bible scholars. Remarking on this passage, Joachim Gnilka says that the devil presents himself here as a theologian. The Russian writer Vladimir Soloviev took up this motif in his short story ‘The Antichrist.’ The Anitchrist receives an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Tübingen and is a great Scripture scholar. Soloviev’s portrayal of the Antichrist forcefully expresses his skepticism regarding a certain type of scholarly exegesis current at the time. This is not a rejection of scholarly biblical interpretation as such, but an eminently salutary and necessary warning against its possible aberrations. The fact is that scriptural exegesis can become a tool of the Antichrist. Soloviev is not the first person to tell us that; it is the deeper point of the temptation story itself. The alleged findings of scholarly exegesis have been used to put together the most dreadful books that destroy the figure of Jesus and dismantle faith… [T]he Antichrist, with an air of scholarly excellence, tells us that any exegesis that reads the Bible from the perspective of faith in the living God, in order to listen to what God has to say, is fundamentalism; he wants to convince us that only his kind of exegesis, the supposedly purely scientific kind, in which God says nothing and has nothing to say, is able to keep abreast of the times. The theological debate between Jesus and the devil is a dispute over the correct interpretation of Scripture…

Well said, Your Holiness. These days I try (not always successfully) not to get involved in disputes with Bible scholars of this Antichrist kind.

With the apostle John in 1 John 2:18, I refuse to identify any single Antichrist but think in terms of multiple antichrists. These may include the liberal Bible scholars Pope Benedict has in mind. But ironically it is not just theological liberals who want to limit what God has to say by “supposedly purely scientific” exegesis. I often come across an essentially similar approach from those who call themselves evangelical Bible believers, but in practice hold that “God says nothing and has nothing to say” beyond the interpretations of the Bible by certain typically 16th and 17th century teachers. So I also wonder if among the antichrists are some evangelical scholars who are so sure of their traditional interpretations that they refuse to read the Bible “in order to listen to what God has to say”.

0 thoughts on “Pope Benedict, Bible scholars, and the Antichrist

  1. Anyone who begins reading the Bible with the idea that they will find fault, will find fault. To be able to hear what God has to say to you when you read the Bible is to clear your mind and read it for the truth you know is there.

  2. The holy father is correct in his insight.
    Although it is true that holy scripture can be interpreted in several ways, lets remember that many so-called evangelical or fundamentalist understandings of scripture have been discarded by modernist catholic scholars, interpretations which once went without question in the Church for thousands of years. Personally, although I find many interesting things in modern exegesis, I still believe that the Noah story is true, mainly because Our Lord did, who said “as it was in the days of Noah” not “in the story (or fable) of Noah”
    However, you would be hard pressed to convince me of the literal truth that the Jonah was swallowed by a fish.

  3. Lets set aside Biblical exegesis, and fudamentalism vs. modernism for a moment and look at two statements to the Apostles by our Savior.

    Mt. 7:
    False Prophets
    15. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    16. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    17. Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
    18. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
    20. So by their fruits you will know them.
    Prayerfully with You
    God Bless
    Deacon

  4. Harold, if you believe one part of the Bible (The word of God) you must believe it all! It is the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free… For nothing “Nothing” is impossible with GOD!!! Luke 1:37

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  7. The anti-christ is not the devil himself, but rather a man who will be used by the devil to guide many human beings astray, “even some of the elect if that were possible”. This person will present himself as a savior of the world.

    But what is he to save the world from?

    Will the anti-christ be conscious the he is the anti-christ?—or will it be someone who has been deceived and used as a puppet by the father of lies?Will he be a religious figure? A political figure? A military figure?

    I suspect the anti-christ be someone we would least expect to be the anti-christ. After all, many 1st Century Jews expected the messiah to be a great military king—not a poor carpenter whom everyone knew as the son of a simple man named Joseph. And yet, the world was saved by the messiah upon on a cross in what seemed to be total defeat.

    According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the message of the anti-christ will be simple: Christianity without the cross. Christianity without Christ. Christianity devoid of all supernatural realities. Christianity without a cross is demonic.

    Determining who the anti-christ is when he arrives may be hard to do. Many have identified Stalin and Hitler as “anti-christs”, which would seem logically obvious. But in reality, tyrants such as Hitler and Stalin have always been in the world. The anti-christ will be someone who will lead many into apostasy and away from truth.

    As we survey the political and social landscape of the 21st century, we hear a clamoring for the salvation of planet Earth from the evils of man-made Global Warming. I suspect that the anti-christ will be someone whom we wouldn’t expect. lead many to believe that we are our own saviors, replacing God with science, and religion with secularism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5crbtwXYc1U

  8. Perhaps the anti-christ will be the one who says I embrace the cross but reject the church. Christ without his spouse makes his cross devoid of purpose.

  9. God is Love. Self-less Love. Christ is the Son of Selfless Love, the reflection of the Father , if you will, and is therefore also self-less Love.

    The Anti-christ is already here, it is self-ISH Love or Self-Love. We have only to look in the mirror to see him / her. We have only to look at our surroundings to see evidence of this. Through living the faith (not through having faith!), the Anti-Christ is conquered

  10. I think the anti christ will come thru the enviroment and the new age. New Age preaches that their is no sin, that Christ’s walk to the cross was useless and yes Oprah is backing this. Chris Venter (scientist creating artifical life) is real true evil and is passing his work off like it will help the enviroment. We are in for sad times. Pray the Rosary.

  11. In Catholic theology, the old Adam and Eve were replaced by the new Adam (Christ). Mary is seen as the “new Eve” and mother of all the living (members of the Church.

    Let’s see…Oprah and Obama?

  12. The one who committs BLASPHEMY against The Holy Spirit of The Most Holy and Blessed Trnitu will be the anti-christ.

    Abomination of Desolation:
    The phrase “abomination of desolation” refers to Matthew 24:15: “So when you see standing in the holy place ”the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand.” This Scripture is referring to Daniel 9:27, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ”seven.

    In 167 B.C. a Greek ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies set up an altar to Zeus over the altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. He also sacrificed n pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the “abomination of desolation.”

  13. The meaning of Rapture to our non-catholic brothers and sisters is the same of that of The Warning, prophesied by The Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima Garabandal and Medjugorje.

    The Warning (Rapture) will be accomplished by The Power of The Holy Spirit which comes from God The Father and The Son, The Most Holy and Blessed Trnity.

  14. The one who committs BLASPHEMY against The Holy Spirit of The Most Holy and Blessed Trnitu will be the anti-christ.

    In Catholic teaching, the “sin against the Holy Spirit” is simply the refusal to respond to God’s saving grace. This is someone who refuses repent or to seek God’s mercy to the very end.

  15. It is my understanding of another interpretation the word “Blasphemy” was/is some sort of “act” or ” words” against The Holy Spirit that can NEVER be forgiven. Please kindly excuse me if I am mistaken. Thank you.

  16. I like this quote from the La Salette Journey Blog:

    “Antichrist will pervert some in his day by exterior persuasion…He is the head of all the wicked because in him wickedness is perfect…As in Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead, so in Antichrist the fullness of all wickedness. Not indeed in the sense that his humanity is to be assumed by the devil into unity of person…but that the devil by suggestion infuses his wickedness more copiously into him than into all others. In this way all the wicked that have gone before are signs of Antichrist.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa III, 8:8).

    The Antichrist will be an individual person who wages a final war on the Church and who (for a period of time) banishes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as foretold in Daniel and the Apocalypse.

  17. “Everything in the bible is true and some of it actually happened.”

    -fr. fitzpatrick, biblical scholar-giant

  18. Gabrielle,

    If what you are reporting is true, then I believe that Oprah is the false prophet, with her evil Course in Miracles which is a new age jesus-without-the cross. No where does it say the false prophet must be a man. Lets see, that would make Obama-mabus-supercharisma-must have partial-birth-abortions-psuedochristian the messianic Antichrist. Sounds accurate. Get ready.

  19. The Ark on earth rests in Axum, Ethiopia, the True Presence of God The Father Almighty amongst His Peoples of Israel

    The New Ark is The Blessed Virgin Mary

    After The Old and The New Ark unite, a new sacrifice shall be offered. It is not the kind of sacrifice of the old (animals), but The Sacrifice in celebrating The Holy Eucharistic Mass of The Holy Roman Catholic Faith in the Presence and in veneration The One True Ark of The Covenant of Israel

    Abomination of Desolation:
    The phrase “abomination of desolation” refers to Matthew 24:15: “So when you see standing in the holy place ”the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand.” This Scripture is referring to Daniel 9:27, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ”seven.

    In 167 B.C. a Greek ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies set up an altar to Zeus over the altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. He also sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the “abomination of desolation.”

    “The Holy Eucharist is the True Presence of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Holy and Eucharistic Sacrifice is the Sacrifice to be. All other sacrifices not of The Holy Roman Catholic Faith will be considered null and void. An act of BLASPHEMY before God The Father Almighty!”

  20. By The Power of The Holy Spirit which comes from God The Father and The Son will Unite The Old and The New Testament. Will Unite The Old and The New Ark of The Covenant to Battle against the Evil of The World.

  21. Continued….

    Through The Intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima Garabandal and Medjugorje.

    The Secrets of Fatima, Garabandal and Medjugorje are Heavens Weapons of Peace (HWP)in the wave of mass conversion into The One True Faith and The Love of God within my heart soul and mind, The Holy Roman Catholic Faith.

  22. Since December 1994, we have been conveying and revealing The Words of The True Faith and The Love of God of The Blessed Virgin Mary to The US Cardinals and Bishops. Most recently (2003) to my home parish, The Catholic Church of The Holy Trinity, Frs. Harrigan, Peacha, Daly Located at 3722 Boyce Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039 323-664-4723 (USA).

    Below are The First Three of The Seven Sequence of Events Prophesied:

    1) When you see the skies illuminated by strange lights like that of the Aurora Borealis, this was and/is The Sign God is about to punish the World of its sins. It will be the same today as it was yesterday, however, The Strange Lights will be world wide, as it was meant on Oct 13th, 1917.

    2) The Great Earthquake in 3 Continents Simultaneously (Africa is one of the Continents)

    3) The Warning (The Rapture)

    Joseph B. Reyes
    +
    MY WILL
    I love and accept God The Father, God The Son, God The Holy Spirit
    As The Most Blessed Trinity to Whom I submit my human will to live forever
    In Divine Will together with Our Blessed Mother, all Angels and Saints in Heaven
    Amen
    +
    God Our Father
    Please send us holy priests
    All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
    All for the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
    In Union with St. Joseph
    Amen
    +
    Prayer to The Holy Spirit
    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father
    Send now Your Spirit over the earth
    Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations
    That they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war
    May The Lady of All Nations, The Blessed Virgin Mary, be our advocate.
    Amen
    The Lady of All Nations to Ida Peerdeman
    http://www.de-vrouwe.net/english/index.html
    +
    http://WWW.SpiritDaily.Com
    +

  23. Comment left at La Salette Journey:

    “Venerable Mary of Agreda once prophesied: ‘When the world will be drowned in terrible vices, Satan and all his devils will be let loose so that they may pave the way for the godless Antichrist to attain world dominion and final persecution.’ And she died in 1665. Those who believe that Antiochus – or someone else – was Antichrist, are deceiving themselves. He is clearly yet to come according to the Saints. Thus far, not one of his precursors (all antichrists), have succeeded in doing away with the Mass. Antichrist will for a short time.”

    The Antichrist is foretold in Scripture. He will reign for a brief time and will outlaw the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. St. Pio spoke of him as one yet to come. And he was a great mystic who had the stigmata.

  24. Joseph R, Gabrielle etc, please note that I am not interested in identifying the Antichrist with any individual, and consider comments on this subject to be off topic. If they continue to come they may be deleted.

    I welcome comments concerning which kinds of Bible scholars, theologians etc might show antichrist characteristics.

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  26. Dear Mr. Peter Kirk:
    Please accept my humble apologies if I violated and/or offended you or the readers. I meant no disrespect in any way shape or form.

    You wrote:
    “I welcome comments concerning which kinds of Bible scholars, theologians etc might show antichrist characteristics.”

    I believe I have describe in Faith alone in identiyfying who the AC of the End Times will be. What I have written about the Third Temple, The Ark and The Battle deals with the coming anti-christ. The One who will committ the false sacrifice in the Presence of The One True Ark of Covenant of Israel, The SEAT of The Most Holy and Blessed Trinity on earth as it is in Heaven.

  27. There is only one place about where truth comes. That is stated by St. Paul. He says truth comes from the church and I believe it the one church he is buried.

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  29. Ddear John Ahsley:

    I believe you have misunderstood my writings. It is not to inform the readers that Antiochus was/is the AC, it is to explain the act of “Abomination of Desolation” means. The act of false sacrifice in The Presence of The One True Ark of The Covenant.

    However, your statement is correct for the coming AC, the one who will committ the ACT of Blasphemy against The Holy Eucharistic Mass of The Holy Roman Catholic Church in the presence of The One True Ark of The Covenant of Israel. The Temple of The Holy Spirit of The Most Holy and Blessed Trinity on earth as it is Heaven

    Please kindly read my previous postings and you will come to understand the Unity of The Old and The New Testament. The Unity of The Old and The New Ark of The Covenant.

    This is the Unification of The Jewish and Catholic Faith in preparation for The Battle against The Evil of the World, The AC.

    You wrote an excerpt:
    Those who believe that Antiochus – or someone else – was Antichrist, are deceiving themselves.
    He is clearly yet to come according to the Saints. Thus far, not one of his precursors (all antichrists), have succeeded in doing away with the Mass. Antichrist will for a short time.”
    The Antichrist is foretold in Scripture. He will reign for a brief time and will outlaw the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. St. Pio spoke of him as one yet to come. And he was a great mystic who had the stigmata.

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  31. The Catholic Antichrist will probably be the Christ. The Catholic church has for centuries embraced all that is anti-Christ. So when they embrace their Christ it will probably the anti-Christ.

  32. Christians taught the wrong understanding of anti christ!
    Body: I am still getting massive numbers of e-mails from people who fear that the anti-christ was just elected president. How can we minister to frightened Christians in deep despair? We do have the spirit of Babylon rising in our own country, and the foundations were being built long before 2008’s election.

    The public is not challenging the salaries of Police and firemen unions. These organizations are not needed in our society. Yet they have taken control of New York City, California and many other cities and states. These government unions are masking their use of public employees in an organized effort to grow government and remove local control of government. Unions were originally created to help private sector employees and were never intended for gaining government power.

    The Soviet Union was another massive government workers union! Our city government located in my town is entirely unionized, they represent a left wing voter block that we cannot remove in the election process. Arnold the governator tried to break California’s public employees unions power and quickly learned that they were strong enough to terminate him. When will the people in this nation see these trends? Our schools are unionized, and controlled by the left, and have educated a generation of kids who feel perfectly at home with socialism.

    I have spent years writing a book to re-educate people by waking them up to the fact that we are supporting a state growing within a state, and it has formed deep roots within our most trusted institutions. This government power and abuse are a twin prophecy connected to the 3 Hebrews who were forced to fall down and either worship the golden statue erected by the state of Babylon, or die in the fire. (Daniel Chapter 3) The Idol we must bow and worship today is political correctness! If we do not do this we may be fired, or destroyed by character assassinations directed by the Babylon media. If you do not fall down and worship the image of the beast you must be destroyed. (Daniel 3) That is how they sought to destroy Sarah Palin and George W. Bush, even though Bush desperately tried to stop Freddie and Fannie 7 times.

    The time has come where we cannot buy nor sell, nor have employment without our tax money being used to build this modern Babylon. They are literally building a political God of gold by taking our own money, robbing our own job. They are ignoring sound principles and offering us as sacrifices to appease their angry god.

    We are like cattle (property) being lead by those we have elected to the slaughter. Our thoughts are that these people are honest humans who intend to take care of us. We are being lulled into slavery by the beast of Babylon. And they have us paying for the transportation to the train station, the ticket for the journey, and all the failing plans of scheme. They are empowering their status by allowing us to think all is well as we become enslaved to build their palaces with our sweat and money! They are actually Beastly men who have sold out their own humanity. Everybody is anxiously looking for the mark of the beast while we are being marked by the Beast through our service in Babylon with our own right hand. The mark in the forehead is not a computer chip, like Christians imagine. It is a mark of deception brainwashed into their minds, or foreheads.

    Look how people just voted with their right hands! What kind of Beast has entered their brains? Is it not the mark of the beast implanted into their thought processes by the media? This deception causes people to sell out their own freedom! Peoples’ right hands voted for slavery in Babylon. Your right hand is the work hand! By their own will people in fear sacrifice their freedom thinking they are accomplishing a greater good. The poor are being used to justify this mass robbery done through slave taxation. Our education systems, and our health care are to become the final foundation to construct the monsters idol. Poor people become the image of the golden idol. The money Idol in which the beast hides himself behind, in order to hide the fact that our sacrifices are not for the poor after all, but actually for the beasts own glory. The poor are just pawns, and will soon become slaves to this modern Babylon after their plight is used.

    I have great hope that this failing economy will not respond to Babylon’s social fixes, and things may get much worse. Christians do not comprehend what the mark of the beast is! This makes it easier for them to also be enslaved by spiritual ignorance. They think a tattoo is coming that will be placed upon their head. This blinds them from seeing the true mark! They misplace the Bible’s true meaning of the real mark. Did anyone ever notice that John the revelator clearly stated the mark would be imposed “in the forehead” and not placed on the forehead?? The forehead represents mans intellect. His mind, and thought processes being influenced by either good or evil.

    The mark is spiritual, and not literal! There were not any computer chips present when Cain was marked in ancient times! The number 666 is the measurement of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol. The mark of the historical calendar for the Babylon system, was 600 BC. Sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. See Daniel Chapter Three verse one. Therein resides the meaning of 666. Herein is depicted Babylon’s beastly slavery as recorded in your own Bible. How did so many miss this? The measurements are written in the Bible.

    I am still getting frightened e-mails from lots of Christians who believe that the anti-christ has just come to power. Millions of these people have been taught wrong meanings for the “Beast of Babylon” from self serving preachers who do not understand, nor can they properly identify this enemy within correct Bible context. Suddenly after the election millions of these people are confused and lost, not knowing where to turn for spiritual understanding! The evil one wants to destroy America. America protects Israel.

    The enemy wants to remove our presence in the Middle East. This is why Sarah Palin and others supporting victory in Iraq must prepare to lead America after they learn hard lessons. Perhaps I can help re-educate willing minds when they begin to feel the hard times.. I believe God will even give ignorant people another chance. He will attempt to teach them something before he resorts to his final judgments.

    I am trying to be of some positive assistance, even though I am not a writer, and require another author to help me articulate and promote my book. Help me to reach thousands of frightened and confused Christians, who do not understand what prophecies are happening, or where they can go to find the correct biblical information, to change it.
    Read about the 8th beast on this sight www. eternaltrut. net

  33. Paul, I approved your comment because it is not abusive and at least slightly relevant. But I should say that I disagree with almost everything in it – but don’t want to discuss these issues here. You may like to comment instead on my posts about Obama.

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