I normally try to ignore things like this, but this is just too funny.
In general, I find arguments like this to be extremely silly. This is, basically, like
playing with gematria – only instead of doing real gematria (which can be quite silly enough),
it’s like our friend “Gotcha” – mixing systems and screwing things up until you get the results
Lots of the particularly crazy strain of Christians really, desperately want to believe
that Barack Obama is the antichrist. They want an explanation for how this black man with
a muslim name could possible have actually been elected – they don’t believe it could possibly
have happened honestly. And their doctrine requires the antichrist to come soon. Combine
those two, and you’ve got what, for them, is a sort of perfect storm.
Which gives us things like this. For more mockery, see beneath the fold.
According to the video, if you take a phrase from the new testament that supposedly talks about the
antichrist, and then you translate it to english, you’ll get the phrase “lightning from above”. If you then
take the word lightning, and translate it to a third language, hebrew, you get “xarak”. If you then take the
word “above”, and translate it, you get “bamah” or “bimah” (depending on conjugation). If you put those words
together, hebrew requires a prefix on the “bamah” part, which our oh-so-brilliant video author claims would
be “O-”. So, according to this fundie nutcase, if you translate a line from the new testament into hebrew
(using English as an intermediate), you’ll get “Barak O-Bamah”.
There are a few oh-so-minor problems with this.
- The phrase in greek is actually “lightning from heaven”. “Lightning from above” is
a clear, blatant mistranslation. But hey, what’s a minor mistranslation if it
produces the results you want?
- The correct conjugation in hebrew would use the prefix “U-” not “O-”, and either
prefix would cause the initial consonant to be shifted to the “V” form. So
the phrase in hebrew wouldn’t be “Barak Obamah” but “Barak Uvamah”
- The name “Barack” in the case of the president of the US, is not the same as
the Hebrew name “Barak”. Our presidents name is arabic – the corresponding hebrew name
isn’t Barak, but “Baruch”. The two words are quite different in Hebrew – Baruch means “Blessed”;
“Barak” means lightning. They’re different words, pronounced differently.
(Barak ends with a hard-K sound; Baruch ends with an aspirate-H. The K and the CH are
written with different characters – BRK versus BRC.)
So… If you mis-translate greek to english, and then translate the english to hebrew making
a conjugation error, you get something which sounds (to an english speaker) kind-of like the name
of the current president of the US. Therefore, he’s the antichrist.
I’ll just point out (in an attempt to work in something vaguely on-topic) that
mathematically, this really isn’t surprising at all. It’s basically exactly the same
as my usual critique of gematria-type stuff. There are a finite number of phonemes in
human languages. Almost any combination of phonemes that you can imagine is a word in some
language. If you’re willing to search a bit, and be flexible in your translations, you can
find almost any kind of pattern or correspondence that you want.
Looking at this, it looks unlikely. The number of phonemes is fixed, but it’s
big enough that the number of combinations is pretty staggering. For instance, english has
somewhere around 40 distinct phonemes. It’s a whole lot. Even if you’re willing to cheat,
what are the odds that even a mistranslation of a passage would produce a result like this?
And for that, we go back to the bible codes. You’re not working forwards, looking for what’s
there. You’ve got a result that you want, and you’re working backwards from it. You’ve got a name,
like “Barak Obama”, and you want to make an argument that he’s the antichrist. So you try to find some
way that you could translate something close to those phonemes into something from the texts that
purport to speak about the antichrist. It would be surprising if you couldn’t. There’s no shortage
of passages in the bible, and for many of the fundies, they see a huge number of them as being, in
some way, about the antichrist.
Let me show you an example. I’m going to “prove” that I am the antichrist.
Let’s start with my first name, “Mark”. The name “Mark” has several possible histories to
it. One connects it to the god Mars; another one to the babylonian god “Marduk”. Some christian
sects associate Marduk with the devil, because among other things, he was the god of magic.
Now, let’s look at with my pre-marriage last name. One way of transliterating it into
hebrew gives us the word for “melody”.
“Chu” has no direct translation to hebrew, because hebrew has no “Ch” sound. But
the closest thing I can come up with is a hebrew prefix which translates as “the”.
So my name could be (stretching, but stretching no more than this Barak Obama” thing)
translated as “The melody of the devil”.
So, the things that I’m saying to you are the melody of the devil. Sure sounds like I’m the
antichrist, doesn’t it?