Pastor Chris, I listened to a recording that put forth the idea that Barack Obama could be the antichrist. Here is the link to that message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXMAnlMmEPw. The speaker referred to Luke 10:18 and said that since Jesus spoke Aramaic, the words He used could be pronounced the same way as Barack Obama’s name even though the verse was written in Greek. He further stated that Jesus might be trying to identify the name of the antichrist in this verse. Is this interpretation biblically sound? – Kathy
I clicked on the link you sent and watched the video. It is true that the Bible has predictive prophecy that is 100% accurate. The most notable example of that are the prophecies concerning the Messiah (over 200). Jesus is the only person in history that fulfills ALL of those prophecies.
However, Luke 10:18 is not spoken by Jesus as predictive prophecy. He speaks a word about His observation concerning the work of the disciples. The demons were subject to the disciples and Jesus comments on that by saying that He “…saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” It does not appear from the text that Jesus is intentionally trying to give us the name of the antichrist.
Furthermore, when I checked out the Hebrew word for “lightning” I found four different Hebrew words that can all be translated “lightning.” Only one of them has the pronounciation “baw-rawk” (Strong’s Concordance, word #1300, “baraq”). The other numbers for Hebrew words for lightning from Strong’s are: #216 (“owr”); #965 (“bazaq”); and, #2385 (“chaziyz”). Jesus could have spoken any one of these four words to refer to lightning if He was speaking Hebrew, but He was actually speaking Aramaic. Aramaic is close to Hebrew and Jesus may very well have said the word and the pronunciation “baw-rawk” but there is no way to know exactly which one of the four words He used. An Aramaic scholar would be needed tell us if the words for lightning in Aramaic are exactly the same in Hebrew.
The word given in Greek for “heaven” in Luke 10:18 is “ouranoú.” Again, the Hebrew has more than one word for heaven. There is Strong’s #8064, “shamayim.” This is by far the most often used Hebrew word for heaven. There is also #1534, “galgal” and #7834, “shachaq” and #8065, “shamayin.”
The speaker on the video uses the Hebrew word for “heights” (Strong’s #1116, “bamah”). I checked the definition of “bamah” and it does not include “heaven.” Strong’s Concordance says that “bamah” means “an elevation, height, high place, wave.”
It is difficult for me to believe that if Jesus wanted to communicate the word for “heights” (“bamah” in Hebrew; not sure in Aramaic, which again Jesus would be speaking) that He would use the word for “heaven.” Why wouldn’t Luke use the Greek word “hupsoma” for Jesus’ expression, which (according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 211) means, “height, as a mountain or anything definitely termed a height…a high thing lifted up as a barrier or in antagonistic exaltation, 2 Cor. 10:5.” Again, Luke used the Greek word “ouranoú” which simply means “heaven.”
CONCLUSION: I do not think that Barack Obama is the antichrist. I do not think that Jesus is alluding to him or trying to name him. If I am wrong on this then we will not have to worry about it anyway, because the true believers will be taken to heaven before the antichrist is revealed to the world (1 Thess. 4:14-17; Rev. 11, 13). Rev. 11 and 13 reveal the antichrist to the world during the mid-point of the Tribulation. We (those that are the true believers) will have been in heaven for 3 1/2 years by that time.
God bless you! Keep digging! The Word of God is a gold mine!