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In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ refers to people prophesied by the to oppose and substitute themselves in Christ's place before the . The term Antichrist (including one plural form)1 John ; . 2 John . is found five times in the , solely in the First and Second Epistle of John. The Antichrist is announced as the one "who denies the Father and the Son."

The similar term pseudokhristos or "false Christ" is also found in the Gospels. In Matthew (chapter 24) and Mark (chapter 13), Jesus alerts his disciples not to be deceived by the false prophets, who will claim themselves as being Christ, performing "great signs and wonders".

(1983). 9780802806352, Wm. B. Eerdmans.
(2022). 9783161488764, .
(2022). 9780802825018, Wm. B. Eerdmans.
Three other images often associated with the singular Antichrist are the "little horn" in Daniel's final vision, the "man of sin" in Paul the Apostle's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, and the Beast of the Sea in the Book of Revelation.
(2022). 9789004250260, .
(2022). 9780195170498, Oxford University Press.
From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1889.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.

Antichrist is translated from the combination of two ancient words ἀντί + Χριστός (anti + Christos). In Greek, Χριστός means "anointed one" and the word Christ derives from it.See Strong's Bible Dictionary: χριστος "Ἀντί" means not only anti in the sense of "against" and "opposite of", but also "in place of".See Strong's Bible Dictionary: αντί See the Lexicon to Pindar. Related terms as noted by the Catholic Encyclopedia include: antibasileus - a king who fills an ; antistrategos - a ; anthoupatos - a ; antitheos - in , one resembling a god in power and beauty (in other works it stands for a hostile god).


New Testament
Whether the New Testament contains an individual Antichrist is disputed. The Greek term antikhristos originates in 1 John.
(2022). 9780567088086, A&C Black.
The similar term pseudokhristos ("False Messiah") is also first found in the , but never used by in his accounts of various false messiahs. The concept of an antikhristos is not found in Jewish writings in the period 500 BCE–50 CE. However, Bernard McGinn conjectures that the concept may have been generated by the frustration of Jews subject to often-capricious or , who found the nebulous Jewish idea of a who is more of an opposing angel of God in the heavenly court insufficiently humanised and personalised to be a satisfactory incarnation of evil and threat.

The five uses of the term "antichrist" or "antichrists" in the Johannine epistles do not clearly present a single latter-day individual Antichrist. The articles "the deceiver" or "the antichrist" are usually seen as marking out a certain category of persons, rather than an individual.

(2022). 9780801026874, Baker Academic.

Consequently, attention for an individual Antichrist figure focuses on the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians.

(1979). 9780802808516, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. .
However, the term "antichrist" is never used in this passage:

Although the word "antichrist" (Greek antikhristos) is used only in the Epistles of John, the similar word "pseudochrist" (Greek pseudokhristos, meaning "false messiah") is used by Jesus in the :

Early Church
The second or first century book, Odes of Solomon made by an convert into Christianity, makes mention of the Antichrist in figurative terms, where the redeemer overcomes the monstrous dragon.
(1987). 9789004076099, BRILL. .
(2015). 9781107497733, Cambridge University Press. .
(1998). 9781850756606, Sheffield Academic Press. .

The only one of the late 1st/early 2nd century Apostolic Fathers to use the term is (c. 69 – c. 155) who warned the that everyone who preached false doctrine was an antichrist., paragraph 7 His use of the term Antichrist follows that of the New Testament in not identifying a single personal Antichrist, but a class of people.

(2022). 9780802807694, William B. Eerdmans Publishing.

(2nd century AD – c. 202) wrote Against Heresies to refute the teachings of the . In Book V of Against Heresies he addresses the figure of the Antichrist referring to him as the "recapitulation of and rebellion." He uses "666", the Number of the Beast from Revelation 13:18, to decode several possible names. Some names that he loosely proposed were "Evanthos", "Lateinos" ("Latin" or pertaining to the ). In his of Daniel 7:21, he stated that the ten horns of the beast will be the Roman empire divided into ten kingdoms before the Antichrist's arrival. Additionally, he stated that the antichrist would be of the tribe of Dan, evoking Jeremiah 8:16. This would correlate to the Talmudic view of the Jewish Messiah coming from the tribe of Dan on his maternal line. However, his readings of the Antichrist were more in broader theological terms rather than within a historical context.

(2022). 9780813214153, Catholic University of America Press. .

The non-canonical Ascension of Isaiah presents a detailed exposition of the Antichrist as and .

(1979). 9780802837813

(c. 160 – c. 220 AD) held that the Roman Empire was the restraining force written about by in 2 Thessalonians 2:7–8. The fall of the Western Roman Empire and the disintegration of the ten provinces of the Roman Empire into ten kingdoms were to make way for the Antichrist.

Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170 – c. 236) held that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan and would on the in order to reign from it. He identified the Antichrist with the Beast out of the Earth from the book of Revelation.

(185–254) refuted ' view of the Antichrist. Origen utilized scriptural citations from Daniel, , and the . He argued:

Post-Nicene Christianity
Cyril of Jerusalem, in the mid-4th century, delivered his 15th catechetical lecture about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, in which he also lectures about the Antichrist, who will reign as the ruler of the world for three and a half years, before he is killed by Jesus Christ right at the end of his three-and-a-half-year reign, shortly after which the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will happen.

Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 298–373) wrote that of Alexandria is to be associated with the Antichrist, saying, "And ever since the has Arius's error been reckoned for a heresy more than ordinary, being known as Christ's foe, and harbinger of Antichrist."from Athanasius' " Four Discourses"

(c. 347–407) warned against speculating about the Antichrist, saying, "Let us not therefore enquire into these things". He preached that by knowing Paul's description of the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians, Christians would avoid deception.Chrysostom

(c. 347–420) warned that those substituting false interpretations for the actual meaning of scripture belonged to the "synagogue of the Antichrist". "He that is not of Christ is of Antichrist", he wrote to Pope Damasus I. He believed that "the mystery of lawlessness" written about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 was already in action when "every one chatters about his views." To Jerome, the power restraining this mystery of lawlessness was the Roman Empire, but as it fell this restraining force was removed. He warned a noble woman of :

In his Commentary on Daniel, Jerome noted, "Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form." Instead of rebuilding the Jewish Temple to reign from, Jerome thought the Antichrist sat in God's Temple inasmuch as he made "himself out to be like God." He refuted Porphyry's idea that the "little horn" mentioned in Daniel chapter 7 was Antiochus IV Epiphanes by noting that the "little horn" is defeated by an eternal, universal ruler, right before the final judgment. Instead, he advocated that the "little horn" was the Antichrist:

Circa 380, an apocalyptic pseudo-prophecy to the describes Constantine as victorious over Gog and Magog. Later on, it predicts:

Augustine of Hippo (354–430) wrote "it is uncertain in what temple the shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple which was built by Solomon, or in the Church."

Pope Gregory I wrote to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice in A.D. 597, concerning the titles of bishops, "I say with confidence that whoever calls or desires to call himself 'universal priest' in self-exaltation of himself is a precursor of the Antichrist."quote from McGinn, Bernard, Visions of the End. Apocalyptic Traditions in the Middle Ages, New York: Columbia University, 1979. p. 64,.found in Brug's A Scriptural and Historical Survey of the Doctrine of the Antichrist

By the end of the tenth century, Adso of Montier-en-Der, a Benedictine monk, compiled a biography of Antichrist based on a variety of exegetical and Sibylline sources; his account became one of the best-known descriptions of Antichrist in the Middle Ages.

De Antichristo libri undecim, published by in 1604, is still considered the most complete treatise on the subject.

(1988). 9789061862598, Leuven University Press. .

Pre-Reformation Western Church accusers
Arnulf, archbishop of Reims disagreed with the policies and morals of Pope John XV. He expressed his views while presiding over the Council of Reims in A.D. 991. Arnulf accused John XV of being the Antichrist while also using the 2 Thessalonians passage about the "man of lawlessness" (or "lawless one"), saying: "Surely, if he is empty of charity and filled with vain knowledge and lifted up, he is Antichrist sitting in God's temple and showing himself as God." This incident is history's earliest record of anyone identifying a pope with the Antichrist (see Christian Historicism).
(2022). 9780231119771, Columbia University Press.

Pope Gregory VII (c. 1015 or 1029 – 1085), struggled against, in his own words, "a robber of temples, a perjurer against the Holy Roman Church, notorious throughout the whole Roman world for the basest of crimes, namely, Wilbert, plunderer of the holy church of , Antichrist, and arch-heretic."

(1990). 9780231096270, Columbia University Press.

Cardinal Benno, on the opposite side of the Investiture Controversy, wrote long descriptions of abuses committed by Gregory VII, including , of a former friend upon a bed of nails, commissioning an attempted assassination, executions without trials, unjust , doubting the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and even burning it.From long quotations in Benno held that Gregory VII was "either a member of Antichrist, or Antichrist himself."

Eberhard II von Truchsees, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg in 1241, denounced Pope Gregory IX at the Council of as "that man of perdition, whom they call Antichrist, who in his extravagant boasting says, I am God, I cannot err." He argued that the ten kingdoms that the Antichrist is involved with were the "Turks, Greeks, Egyptians, Africans, Spaniards, French, English, Germans, Sicilians, and Italians who now occupy the provinces of Rome." He held that the papacy was the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8:

Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformers, including , , , , John Thomas, , , , and , as well as most of the 16th-18th centuries, felt that the Early Church had been led into the by the and identified the Pope with the Antichrist.
(2009). 9780511495847, Cambridge University Press.
(1989). 9780809130405, Paulist Press. .
Luther declared that not just a pope from time to time was Antichrist, but the was Antichrist because they were "the representatives of an institution opposed to Christ".Roland H. Bainton, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1952), 43, 44. The Centuriators of Magdeburg, a group of Lutheran scholars in headed by , wrote the 12-volume Magdeburg Centuries to and lead other Christians to recognize the Pope as the Antichrist. So, rather than expecting a single Antichrist to rule the earth during a future Tribulation period, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other Protestant Reformers saw the Antichrist as a present feature in the world of their time, fulfilled in the Papacy.

Among the others who interpreted the biblical historically there were many ; wrote about the Antichrist: "He Whom Daniel foretells would have dominion for a time and times and a half, is even now at the door". Dialogue with Trypho, ch. 32, in Ante-Nic. Fath. I:210. wrote in about the coming of the Antichrist: "This Antichrist shall ... devastate all things ... But then, the Lord will come from Heaven on the clouds ... for the righteous". Against Heresies, III: 7:2, in Ante-Nic. Fath. Ib., V:30:3-4. looking to the Antichrist wrote: "He is to sit in the temple of God, and boast himself as being god. In our view, he is Antichrist as taught us in both the ancient and the new prophecies; and especially by the , who says that 'already many false-prophets are gone out into the world' as the fore-runners of Antichrist". Against Marcion, V:16, in Ante-Nic. Fath. III:463f. Hippolytus of Rome in his Treatise on Christ and Antichrist wrote: "As Daniel also says (in the words) 'I considered the Beast, and look! There were ten horns behind it – among which shall rise another (horn), an offshoot, and shall pluck up by the roots the three (that were) before it.' And under this, was signified none other than Antichrist." Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, chs. 25 to 63, in Ante-Nic. Fath. V:209-18. Fragments from Commentaries, 2:1-3, in Ante-Nic. Fath. V:178. Athanasius of Alexandria clearly hold to the historical view in his many writings; in The Deposition of Arius, he wrote: "I addressed the letter to Arius and his fellows, exhorting them to renounce his impiety.... There have gone forth in this diocese at this time certain lawless men – enemies of Christ – teaching an apostasy which one may justly suspect and designate as a forerunner of Antichrist". The Deposition of Arius, paras. 2 & 4, in Nic. & Post-Nic. Fath., 2nd Ser., IV:69. wrote: "Says the apostle Paul, 'Unless the should first be desolated, and antichrist proceed, Christ will not come.'"

(1988). 9780923309220, Hartland Publications.
He also identifies the little horn of and which "He shall speak as if he were God."
(1997). 9780529106346, World Publishing.

Some had considered the Emperor Frederick II a positive Antichrist who would purify the Catholic Church from opulence, riches and clergy.

(1989). 9780679724681, . .

interpretations of Book of Revelation usually included the identification of one or more of the following:

  • the Antichrist (1 and 2 John);
  • the Beast of Revelation 13;
  • the Man of Sin, or Man of Lawlessness, of 2 Thessalonians 2 ();
  • the "Little horn" of Daniel 7 and 8;
  • The Abomination of desolation of Daniel 9, 11, and 12; and
  • the Whore of Babylon of Revelation 17.

The Protestant Reformers tended to hold the belief that the Antichrist power would be revealed so that everyone would comprehend and recognize that the Pope is the real, true Antichrist and not the vicar of Christ. Doctrinal works of literature published by the , the Reformed Churches, the , the , the , and the contain references to the Pope as the Antichrist, including the Smalcald Articles, Article 4 (1537), the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope written by Philip Melanchthon (1537),Philip Melanchthon, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope ( full text) in the Triglot translation of the Book of Concord. the Westminster Confession, Article 25.6 (1646), and the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Article 26.4. In 1754, published his Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, which is currently an official Doctrinal Standard of the United Methodist Church. In his notes on the Book of Revelation (chapter 13), he commented: "The whole succession of Popes from Gregory VII are undoubtedly Antichrists. Yet this hinders not, but that the last Pope in this succession will be more eminently the Antichrist, the Man of Sin, adding to that of his predecessors a peculiar degree of wickedness from the bottomless pit." Archived copy at the Library of Congress (May 8, 2009).

The identification of the Pope with the Antichrist was so ingrained in the Reformation Era, that Luther himself stated it repeatedly:


similarly wrote:

wrote on the Pope:

on the Antichrist wrote:

, speaking of the identity given in the Bible of the Antichrist, wrote:

wrote about the Pope:

The identification of the Roman Catholic Church as the apostate power written of in the Bible as the Antichrist became evident to many as the Reformation began, including , who was well known throughout Europe for his opposition to the doctrine and practices of the Catholic Church, which he believed had clearly deviated from the original teachings of the early Church and to be contrary to the Bible. Wycliffe himself tells ( Sermones, III. 199) how he concluded that there was a great contrast between what the Church was and what it ought to be, and saw the necessity for reform. Along with John Hus, they had started the inclination toward ecclesiastical reforms of the Catholic Church.

When the Swiss Reformer became the pastor of the Grossmünster in (1518) he began to preach ideas on reforming the Catholic Church. Zwingli, who was a Catholic priest before he became a Reformer, often referred to the Pope as the Antichrist. He wrote: "I know that in it works the might and power of the Devil, that is, of the Antichrist". Principle Works of Zwingli, Vol. 7, p. 135.

The English Reformer held that while the Roman Catholic realms of that age were the empire of Antichrist, any religious organization that distorted the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments also showed the work of Antichrist. In his treatise The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, he expressly rejected the established Church teaching that looked to the future for an Antichrist to rise up, and he taught that Antichrist is a present spiritual force that will be with us until the end of the age under different religious disguises from time to time.Tyndale, William, Parable of the Wicked Mammon, c. 1526, (facsimile copy of later printing, no ISBN number, Benediction Classics, 2008) at pages 4-5. Tyndale's translation of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, concerning the "Man of Lawlessness" reflected his understanding, but was significantly amended by later revisers,"Tyndale's Doctrine of Antichrist and His Translation of 2 Thessalonians 2", R. Davis, New Matthew Bible Project; a shorter version of this article was also published in the Tyndale Society Journal No. 36, Spring 2009, under the title Tyndale, the Church, and the Doctrine of Antichrist). including the King James Bible committee, which followed the more closely.

In 1973, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the USA National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation in the official Catholic–Lutheran dialogue officially signed an agreement on Papal Primacy and the Universal Church, including this passage:

In 1988 , and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, made headlines in an infamous manner by accusing Pope John Paul II as the Antichrist during one of the pope's speeches before the European Parliament, which at the time Paisley was member of. His accusation, and the reactions of both Pope John Paul II and other members of the European Parliament, was recorded on video. Ian Paisley Heckles the Pope (1988)

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod states about the Pope and the Catholic Church:

Currently, many Protestant and still officially maintain that the Papacy is the Antichrist, such as the conservative Lutheran ChurchesNolting, Paul F., The Antichrist (part 1) A Brief Statement of our Doctrinal Position, 1932 and the Seventh-day Adventists......

Counter Reformation
In the Counter-Reformation, the views of and Futurism were advanced by Catholic Jesuits beginning in the 16th century in response to the identification of the Papacy as Antichrist. These were rival methods of prophetic interpretation: the futurist and the preterist systems both are in conflict with the historicist method of interpretation.

Historically, preterists and non-preterists have agreed that the Jesuit Luis de Alcasar (1554–1613) wrote the first systematic preterist exposition of prophecy— Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi (published in 1614)—during the Counter-Reformation.

Christian views

Roman Catholicism
From the Fifth Council of the Lateran, the Catholic Church teaches that priests may not "preach or declare a fixed time for...the coming of antichrist..." PapalEncyclicals: Lateran Council V, Session 11 They are in no way to presume to preach or declare a fixed time for future evils, the coming of antichrist or the precise day of judgment; for Truth says, it is not for us to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. Let it be known that those who have hitherto dared to declare such things are liars, and that because of them not a little authority has been taken away from those who preach the truth . The church also teaches that it must undergo trials before the , Catechism of the Catholic Church 769 and that the church's ultimate trial will be the mystery of iniquity. Catechism of the Catholic Church 675 In Judaism, iniquity is a sin done out of moral failing. Jewish Encyclopedia: Sin The mystery of iniquity, according to the church, will be a religious deception: Christians receiving alleged solutions to their problems at the cost of . The supreme religious deception, according to the church, will be the Antichrist's : mankind glorifying himself rather than God and Jesus. The church teaches that this supreme deception is committed by people who claim to fulfill Israel's messianic hopes, such as and secular messianicism.

Pope Pius IX in the encyclical Quartus Supra, quoting , said Satan disguises the Antichrist with the title of Christ. Papal Encyclicals: Quartus Supra, 2 Pope Pius X in the encyclical E Supremi said that the distinguishing mark of the Antichrist is claiming to be God and taking his place. Vatican.Va: Pius X encyclical Supremi, 5 Pope John Paul II, in his August 18, 1985 address on his apostolic journey to Africa, said 1 John 4:3 ("Every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist") evokes the danger of theology divorced from holiness and theological culture divorced from serving Christ. Vatican.Va: John Paul II, August 18, 1985 Address Pope Benedict XVI said in the Sunday Angelus of March 11, 2012 that violence is the tool of the Antichrist. Vatican.Va: Benedict XVI, Angelus March 11, 2012 In the General Audience of November 12, 2008, Benedict XVI said Christian tradition had come to identify the son of perdition as the Antichrist. Vatican.Va: Benedict XVI, General Audience of March 11, 2012 , in his morning meditation of February 2, 2014, said that Christian faith is not an ideology, but that "the Apostle James says that ideologues of the faith are the Antichrist." Vatican.Va: Francis' morning meditation, 2-2-14 In his morning meditation of September 19, 2014, Francis said the Antichrist must come before the final resurrection. Vatican.Va: Francis' morning meditation, 9-19-14 In his morning meditation of January 7, 2016, he said the evil spirit spoken of in 1 John 4:6 is the Antichrist. Vatican.Va: Pope Francis Morning Meditation 1-7-16 In his morning meditation on November 11, 2016, Francis said whoever says the criteria of Christian love is not the Incarnation is the Antichrist. Vatican.Va: Francis, Letter of Love (November 11, 2016)

The Prophecy of the Popes claims Rome will be destroyed during the pontificate of the last Pope, implying a connection to the Antichrist.

Fulton J. Sheen, a Catholic , wrote in 1951:

Eastern Orthodox
Throughout history, various ecclesiastics of the Eastern Orthodox Church have identified the office of the Roman Catholic papacy with the antichrist. Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, in explaining the necessity of rebaptism for Roman Catholics, Protestants and Nestorians, declared:

In a Christmas 2018 interview on Russian state television, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow warned that "The Antichrist is the person that will be at the head of the world wide web controlling all of humanity. That means that the structure itself poses a danger. There shouldn't be a single centre, at least not in the foreseeable future, if we don't want to bring on the apocalypse." He exhorted listeners not to "fall into slavery to what's in your hands"..."You should remain free inside and not fall under any addiction, not to alcohol, not to narcotics, not to gadgets."

Old Believers
After Patriarch Nikon of Moscow reformed the Russian Orthodox Church during the second half of the 17th century, a large number of held that Peter the Great, the of the until his death in 1725, was the Antichrist because of his treatment of the Orthodox Church, namely subordinating the church to the state, requiring clergymen to conform to the standards of all Russian civilians (shaved beards, being fluent in French), and requiring them to pay state taxes.

Age of Enlightenment
Bernard McGinn noted that complete denial of the Antichrist was rare until the Age of Enlightenment. Following frequent use of "Antichrist" laden rhetoric during religious controversies in the 17th century, the use of the concept declined during the 18th century due to the rule of enlightened absolutists, who as European rulers of the time wielded significant influence over official state churches. These efforts to cleanse Christianity of "legendary" or "folk" accretions effectively removed the Antichrist from discussion in mainstream Western churches.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the "Antichrist" is anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ. The great antichrist is , but he has many assistants is directly referred to in The Book of Mormon as an anti-Christ (Alma 30:6) both as spirit beings and as mortals." use the New Testament scriptures, 1 John 2:18, 22; 1 John 4:3–6; 2 John 1:7 and the Book of Mormon, Jacob 7:1–23, Alma 1:2–16, Alma 30:6–60, in their or interpretation of the Antichrist.

Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-day Adventists teach that the "Little Horn Power", which (as predicted in the Book of Daniel) rose after the break-up of the Roman Empire, is the . The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century. In 533, , the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (which historians have labelled the Byzantine Empire), legally recognized the bishop (pope) of Rome as the head of all the Christian churches.
(2022). 9780415922302, Psychology Press. .
Because of the domination of some of the Roman Empire by barbarian tribes, the bishop of Rome could not fully exercise such authority. In 538, , one of Justinian's generals, succeeded in withstanding a siege of the city of Rome by Arian besiegers, and the bishop of Rome could begin establishing universal civil authority. So, by the military intervention of the Eastern Roman Empire, the bishop of Rome became all-powerful throughout the area of the old Roman Empire. The Ostrogoths promptly re-captured the city of Rome eight years later in 546, and again in 550.

Seventh-day Adventists understand the 1260 years as lasting AD 538 to 1798 as the (supposed) duration of the papacy's domination over Rome. The Great Controversy by Ellen White, p266. " Chap. 15 - The Bible and the French Revolution".

(2022). 9781578470419, Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
This period is seen as starting from one of the defeats of the by the general and as ending with the successes of French general Napoleon Bonaparte, specifically, with the capture of Pope Pius VI by general Louis Alexandre Berthier in 1798.

Like many Protestant leaders, the Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White (1827–1915) spoke of the as a fallen church in preparation for its nefarious eschatological role as the antagonist against God's true church; she saw the pope as the Antichrist. Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther, John Knox, William Tyndale and others held similar beliefs about the Catholic Church and the papacy when they broke away from the Catholic Church during the Reformation.

Ellen White writes,

Seventh-day Adventists view the length of time the apostate church's unbridled power was permitted to rule as shown in Daniel 7:25: "The little horn would rule a time and times and half a time" - or 1,260 years. They regard papal rule as supreme in Europe from 538 (when the Arian Ostrogoths retreated from Rome into temporary oblivion) until 1798 (when the French general Louis-Alexandre Berthier took Pope Pius VI captive)—a period of 1,260 years Paulien, John (2006) - " The 1260 Days in the Book of Revelation" - including the 67 years of the Avignon Captivity (1309-1376).

Other Christian interpretations

Martin Wight
The devout Christian and political theorist , writing immediately after World War II, favoured the revival of the Antichrist doctrine not as a person, but as a recurrent situation featuring "demonic concentrations of power."
(2022). 9781403969279, Palgrave Macmillan.

As "man of lawlessness"
The Antichrist has been equated with the "man of lawlessness" or "lawless one" of 2 Thessalonians 2:3, though commentaries on the identity of the "man of lawlessness" greatly vary.
(1991). 9780810003798, Northwestern Publishing House.
The "man of lawlessness" has been identified with , Nero,St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on II Thess., Nicene-Post Nicene Fathers and the end times Antichrist. Some scholars believe that the passage contains no genuine prediction, but represents a speculation of the apostle's own, based on contemporary ideas of the Antichrist. Net Bible: Man of sin

As "being in league with other figures"
Several American and theologians, including Cyrus Scofield, have identified the Antichrist as being in league with (or the same as) several figures in the Book of Revelation including the Dragon (or Serpent), the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Whore of Babylon.See footnotes in Revelation 7 and 13 in the Scofield Reference Bible, 1917

As Satan
Bernard McGinn described multiple traditions detailing the relationship between the Antichrist and Satan. In the dualist approach, Satan will become incarnate in the Antichrist, just as God became incarnate in Jesus. However, in Orthodox Christian thought, this view was problematic because it was too similar to Christ's incarnation. Instead, the "indwelling" view became more accepted. It stipulates that the Antichrist is a human figure inhabited by Satan, since the latter's power is not to be seen as equivalent to God's. Luca Signorelli's fresco, The Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist (see above), depicts the indwelling view. Satan whispers in the ear of this Christlike figure and his left arm is slipped through the Antichrist's garment as if he is manipulating him.

Non-Christian views

There are warnings against in the of the bible.

An anti-Messiah figure known as , said to be the offspring of Satan and a virgin, appears in some schools of Jewish eschatology, such as the 7th century CE and 11th century CE . He is stated to be the God and Messiah of the Christians, making him identical to Jesus Christ. Jewish Encyclopedia: Armilus: He is described as "a monstrosity, bald-headed, with one large and one small eye, deaf in the right ear and maimed in the right arm, while the left arm is two and one-half ells long." Being considered similar to, or even identical with Gog, his believed destruction by a "Messiah ben Joseph" (Messiah, of the tribe of Joseph) symbolizes the ultimate victory of the Jewish Messiah in the .

Al-Masih ad-Dajjal (Deceitful Messiah) is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology, who will appear after the coming of the . The Dajjal is never mentioned in the but he is mentioned and described in the . Like in Christianity, the Dajjal is said to emerge out in the east, although the specific location varies among the various sources.
(2022). 9783959941211, Gerlach Press.
The Dajjal will imitate the miracles performed by ʿĪsā (Jesus), such as healing the sick and raising the dead, the latter done with the aid of demons ( ). He will deceive many people, such as weavers, magicians, half-castes, and children of prostitutes, but the majority of his followers will be . According to the Islamic eschatological narrative, the events related to the final battle before the Day of Judgment will proceed in the following order:

(al-Mahdī, meaning "the rightly guided one") is the redeemer according to Islam. Just like the Dajjal, the Mahdi is never mentioned in the Quran but his description can be found in the ḥadīth literature; according to the Islamic eschatological narrative, he will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment.Martin 2004: 421Glasse 2001: 280 At the time of the Second Coming of Christ, the prophet ʿĪsā shall return to defeat and kill al-Masih ad-Dajjal. Muslims believe that both ʿĪsā and the Mahdi will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice, and tyranny, ensuring peace and tranquility.Momen 1985: 166-8 Eventually, the Dajjal will be killed by the Mahdi and ʿĪsā at the gate of , who upon seeing Dajjal will cause him to slowly dissolve (like salt in water).

Prophecies concerning the emergence of the Antichrist ( Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl) are interpreted in teachings as designating a specific group of nations centred upon a false theology (or Christology) instead of an individual, with the reference to the Antichrist as an individual indicating its unity as a class or system rather than its personal individuality. As such, Ahmadis identify the Antichrist collectively with the missionary expansion and colonial dominance of European Christianity throughout the world that was propelled by the Industrial Revolution.
(2022). 9780759101906, Altamira Press. .
(2022). 9780231700948, Columbia University Press.
Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote extensively on this topic, identifying the Antichrist principally with colonial missionaries who, according to him, were to be countered through argumentation rather than by physical warfare and whose power and influence was to gradually disintegrate, ultimately allowing for the recognition and worship of God along Islamic ideals to prevail throughout the world in a period similar to the period of time it took for nascent Christianity to rise through the .
(2022). 9780231700948, Columbia University Press.
The teaching that Jesus was a mortal man who survived crucifixion and died a natural death, as propounded by Ghulam Ahmad, has been seen by some scholars in this regard as a move to neutralise Christian soteriologies of Jesus and to project the superior rationality of Islam.Francis Robinson. ‘The British Empire and the Muslim World' in Judith Brown, Wm Roger Louis (ed) The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 411. "At their most extreme religious strategies for dealing with the Christian presence might involve attacking Christian revelation at its heart, as did the Punjabi Muslim, Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908), who founded the Ahmadiyya missionary sect. He claimed that he was the messiah of the Jewish and Muslim tradition; the figure known as Jesus of Nazareth had not died on the cross but survived to die in Kashmir."Yohanan Friedmann. Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and its Medieval Background Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 114. "He Ghulam realized the centrality of the crucifixion and of the doctrine of vicarious atonement in the Christian dogma, and understood that his attack on these two was an attack on the innermost core of Christianity "Kambiz GhaneaBassiri. A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order Cambridge University Press, 2010, p. 208. "Ghulam Ahmad denied the historicity of Jesus' crucifixion and claimed that Jesus had fled to India where he died a natural death in Kashmir. In this way, he sought to neutralize Christian soteriologies of Christ and to demonstrate the superior rationality of Islam."
(2022). 9780231700948, Columbia University Press.
"Proclaiming himself as reformer of Islam, and wanting to undermine the validity of Christianity, Ahmad went for the theological jugular, the foundational teachings of the Christian faith. 'The death of Jesus Christ' explained one of Ahmad's biographers ‘was to be the death-knell of the Christian onslaught against Islam'. As Ahmad argued, the idea of Jesus dying in old age, rather than death on a cross, as taught by the gospel writers, 'invalidates the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of Atonement'."

The Antichrist is considered to subvert the religion of God from the inner reality of man as 'Abdu'l-Baha narrates: "Christ was a divine Center of unity and love. Whenever discord prevails instead of unity, wherever hatred and antagonism take the place of love and spiritual fellowship, Antichrist reigns instead of Christ."

In popular culture
In February 1900, the Christian Russian philosopher and mystic Vladimir Solovyov published the apocalyptic A Short Tale of the Antichrist, showing his prophetic vision about the oncoming 20th century and the end of the human history. It is prophesied that the antichrist will present himself to the whole humanity like a , and , "will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one."

The enthronement of the Antichrist is associated with conspiracy theories and particularly a Satanic plot to destroy the Christian faith.

See also



External links

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