The Islamic Antichrist: Debunked by Chris White
Author Chris White has released a new book which challenges what is becoming the established view on the religion and ethnicity of the Antichrist. In this book Chris has added some amazing research on the basis for Islamic “holy” writings for which he is to be commended. Unfortunately his main premise is based on a number of misinterpretations of scripture. I highly endorse his section on Islamic eschatology but can’t endorse the book as a whole.
I think we all need to have our theology challenged now and then. All of us should hold our eschatological views loosely because we see through a glass darkly. None of us will be sure of the identity of the Antichrist until he sits in the Temple of God and declares himself God. So I applaud the book for taking on such a challenging subject. The author is a gifted writer and thinks “outside the box.” “Iron sharpens iron,” so I read this book with an open mind but came away even more convinced than ever that the Antichrist will be Islamic.
In Chapter One the book attempts to dispute the analysis of Daniel Chapter Two found in Mideast Beast by Joel Richardson, specifically Daniel 2:40. The verse in question is:
Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. (Dan. 2:40 NASB)
The traditional view of historic commentators was that this fourth kingdom referred to Rome. Joel Richardson showed in his book that this verse, better describes Islam. The reasons it better fits Islam are centered on the the word translated “crushes.”
- Islam conquered each of the preceding kingdoms of the statue (Babylon, Persia and Greece) while Rome only conquered Greece.
- Islam “crushed” the culture of the those they conquered while Rome, rather than crushing the cultures of those they conquered, actually incorporated elements of the conquered cultures into their own. (for example using Greek as the language of commerce.)
The book addresses the first of these items, but completely ignores the second. The concept that Rome did not crush their conquests but allowed their conquered lands’ languages and religions to still flourish is an incredibly important aspect of this verse. Not even addressing it severely weakens any arguments that the book does make.
The primary argument that the book sets forth is that the verse doesn’t suggest that it was necessary for the fourth kingdom to conquer each of the preceding three kingdoms. The book’s thesis is that the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue was Rome. Because Rome did not conquer Persia or Babylon, it is necessary for those holding this position to say it wasn’t necessary for the fourth kingdom to do so. As way of proof, the author offers the English translations of the KJV and the obscure ISV. (This book makes a habit of finding obscure translations and using them as “proof” of its points.) The book also quotes a Hebrew scholar who states that the verse is somewhat unclear as to whether the Hebrew infers a conquest of the other kingdoms must take place. The book then claims that the second half of verse 40 (where it states that the fourth kingdom will crush all of these) is simply a restatement of the first half and has no independent meaning of its own. The books conclusion is that it was not necessary for Rome to conquer Persia and Babylon (which it didn’t) in order to qualify as the fourth kingdom.
Of all the English translations available, the two used by the book are the only two I could find that take that extreme minority position. This is not proof that the majority translations are incorrect. It doesn’t even call the majority of translations into question.
The book also claims the Septuagint verse is “incomplete.” This isn’t true. The verse from the Septuagint appears below. Immediately after it is the “Nelson” translation of the Greek:
And a fourth kingdom, which shall be strong as iron: as iron beats to powder and subdues all things, so shall it beat to powder and subdue. (Dan. 2:40 LXX)
And a fourth kingdom will be strong as iron: as iron pulverizes and forces all things to obey it, in the same way it will pulverize these and force obedience. (Dan. 2:40 ) my own translation.
The Greek is 100% congruent with the majority translations which were taken from the Hebrew. All of these are congruent with Joel Richardson’s original thesis as well. Reading the Greek translations, you can see the importance of the work “crush” or “pulverize” in relation to how Islam crushed the culture of their defeated foes. Interestingly the nickname of ISIS is “crush” in the Arabic Language! (Daesh) See IS ISIS FULFILLING PROPHECY?
The Holy Spirit through the pen of Daniel makes one more reference to “crush” in this passage. It is an unexpected one that the author overlooks.
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. (Dan. 2:44 NASB)
Here we see the Kingdom of God crushing all these previous earthly kingdoms. Jesus will conquer them completely and not leave a trace of their evil ways. This complete conquest of the kingdoms by Christ shows what the term “crush” means back in verse 40 as well. Isn’t it interesting that Christ is described as ruling with an “iron” scepter? Iron crushes. This further explanation of the word “crush” in Daniel 2:44 completely negates the book’s thesis.
DANIEL 2 AND THE FIRST COMING
The book then makes a very interesting suggestion: that Daniel 2 is a prophecy of the First Coming of Jesus. It discusses the Rock that destroys the statue found in Dan. 2: 34-35. The book goes into great detail how the rock isn’t Jesus but rather is his Kingdom which in the author’s opinion crushes Rome. All of this is well and good, but it neglects an incredibly important point. The rock crushes the statue after the “ten toes” are seen. The vast majority of prophecy teachers (myself included) claim the ten toes are the ten kings of Revelation 17 and are part of the end time kingdom of the Antichrist. Clearly Daniel 2 is not a prophecy of the First Coming of Jesus, but of the second coming.
Unfortunately, this is only a sampling of the misinterpretations found in Chapter One. And this is only the first chapter of a long book that, in my opinion, stretches scripture where it shouldn’t go in order to prove a point. I applaud the author’s challenge of the Islamic Antichrist position, but in my view, the book falls short of its goal.
In the final section of the book, however, the author compares Islamic eschatological Haidiths to heretical, extra-biblical “Christian” writings of the first several centuries. Amazingly, the author rather conclusively shows that Islamic eschatology is based to a large extent on these heretical Christian writings. If the author had based the book on these incredible findings, the book would be a roaring success.