Antichrist; Minus the Hype and Hyperbole

Published on March 28, 2023 at 12:16 pm by LEW


After watching several end time videos and listening to several preacher pontificate about the antichirst, I felt the need to tackle this particular piece of Christian dogma.

Taking this discussion from a strictly logical review and analysis of the biblical text leads to some surprising results. However as a book of faith, the Bible is not solely open to strictly logical interpretation. You should be reading it yourself and coming to your own conclusions. And believe me, when you start down this path, it will raise some serious questions about what others are telling you and who you have been listening too.

For myself, after reading the actual verses in context and studying their relationship to the entire bible, I have reached my own interpretations, which I will not be sharing in this post. Here I am looking at the various verses logically, and separating fact from opinion (mine or anyone else’s).

And that tends to be the crux of my issues with most of today’s churches. What they should be doing is putting forth their ideas as their ideas and challenging you , instead of trying to state them as fact. Because in many cases, if you compare them to the written word, they are not fact, just interpretations.

Entomology of the Word Antichrist

The English word antichrist is derived from two Greek words; avti and Christos (ἀντί + Χριστός). The Greek word Christos (Χριστός) means anointed one, and is the origin of the English word Christ. The Greek word avti (ἀντί) means “in opposition”. It can be translated as anti, against, opposed to, or in place of. In old English it would be antecrist, and in Latin antichristus.

Biblical Occurrences

It might surprise some people to find out the word “antichrist” only occurs in four verses of the Bible. And none of these verses are from the apoplectic texts (like Revelations or Danial). From a strictly logical perspective the only place the term antichrist occurs are in the first and second letters of John (1st John and 2nd John).

In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark there is a similar but distinct word, the Greek pseudokhristos or false Christ. However the meaning is somewhat different.

Textual Meaning

From 1st John 2:18 we read “Little children, it is the last hour. Just as you heard that an antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know it is the last hour. “ (ISV)

The meaning that people take away can vary slightly depending on the Bible version. However this verse indicates there is more than one antichrist. Some will argue that in addition to the antichrists already here, a specific one will be coming in the future. Others will argue that from the context of this verse, there is no one “Antichrist”.

From 1st John 2:22 we read “Who is a liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? The person who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.” (ISV).

Here we get some specifics. An antichrist is basically a person who denies Jesus. An interesting word choice, nothing about belief, just denial (see James 2:19).

Now lets jump to 1st John 4:2-3, and read “This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiah has become human—and remains so—is from God. But every spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard that he is coming, and now he is already in the world.” (ISV)

Here we again see indications of more than one antichrist. The word used here is acknowledge. Again nothing about belief or unbelief. The antichrist is also referred to as a spirit here, rather than a person or persons.

Next is 2nd John 1:7, which reads “For many deceivers have gone out into the world. They refuse to acknowledge Jesus the Messiah as having become human. Any such person is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

Here John refers to anyone who devices us about the gospel as an antichrist. Because of this we need to consider two more verses, even though they use a slightly different descriptor, false Christ (pseudokhristos).

Matthew 24:23-24: “At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look here! The Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it, because false messiahs and false prophets will have arisen and will produce great signs and startling demonstrations so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (ISV).

Mark 13: 21-22: “At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look here! The Messiah!’, or, ‘Look there!’ don’t believe it, because false messiahs and false prophets will have arisen and will produce signs and omens intending to deceive, if possible, the elect.” (ISV).

Note that messiahs and prophets are both plurals.

And here we come to the end of any mention of the antichrist in the Bible. But some will ask “what about Thessalonians, Danial, and Revelation?” In these books you will find terms like beast or man of lawlessness. But nowhere is the term antichrist or false Christ to be found.

One can make a lot of good theological arguments for claiming a relationship, but in the end, since it is not definitely stated, they are just that, arguments.

Who is the Antichrist of Scripture

Going strictly on scripture, the antichrist is anyone who denies Jesus the Messiah, and attempts to device others about the nature of Jesus. It is that simple.


The “Antichrist” sounds like such a good title, it is easy to see how some marketing geniuses would exploit it. However, scripture does not really support using the title to any of the apocalyptic figures in the Bible.

According to scripture the antichrist is anyone who denies the gospel of Jesus, and presents a false gospel leading others astray. Sad to say that sounds like quite a number of preachers I have seen and heard lately.

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