Every day we seem closer to the extinction of humanity - aka the apocalypse. So, nothing more natural than to talk about the mythology of the end of the world prevailing in the Christian world. What is, after all, the historical context behind the Antichrist?
Religion is a great historical or social construct (whether you're a believer or an atheist - whether or not you attribute this construct to some divine force). So we can trace a bit of how the Antichrist came about, historically speaking. Is he Bill Gates? Is he George Soros? Is he George W. Bush? Who is the Antichrist? Forget these conspiracy theories - we'll talk about scientific facts and interpretationshistorical.
The bible doesn't mention this entity much. The most fervent Christians don't even like to speak its name. But it is an evil entity, in this game of good and evil forces.
Jesus is the Christian messiah. For Islam, he is one of the most important prophets. Of the great monotheistic triad, only the Jews do not attribute to him anything very important - the Jewish messiah has not yet come to earth. And for historians, it is a fact that Jesus really existed.
There is also another important point to highlight. Human beings have become accustomed to duality, at least in our society. There is the positive pole and the negative pole, in politics there is left and right, there is good and evil, there is God and the Devil. Naturally, there must be the antagonist of Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is Christ and the Antichrist.
Illustration of the Antichrist by Luca Signorelli, (1501)
In Christian mythology, the Antichrist would come to Earth posing as the true Christ. This false Messiah would preach and bring many believers to their feet, deceiving the people. But then, the true Messiah would return to Earth, his promise after the crucifixion.
Who is the Antichrist, anyway?
The Bible mentions the Antichrist only 5 times, yet there are descriptions beyond that. When the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 C.E., many thought it was the end of time, and that this would open the door for the arrival of the Antichrist. But the world did not end, and new descriptions would emerge.
One of the most famous descriptions is that of the Benedictine monk Adso of Montier-en-Der, extremely popular in the Middle Ages. This version copied biblical descriptions and supplemented them with unofficial descriptions. He said that the antichrist would be a Jew from the tribe of Dan born in Babylon. But he did not choose the birthplace; he just put together a few accounts. Hippolytus of Rome was already describing thetribe of Dan as the origin of the false messiah a few centuries earlier.
La predicazione dell'Anticristo, Luca Signorelli, (work done between 1499 and 1502)
However, the description again did not remain unchanged. To this day, many believe, in fact, that he will be a Jew born in Babylon. But at various times, even some popes have been accused of being the antichrist. This idea became quite famous among the early adherents of the Protestant Reformation, at a time when Lutheranism and other Christian interpretations were separating themselves fromRome.
But another interpretation that has existed since the early days of Christianity is that the antichrist is not just one person. Since the beginning of the Christian religion, multitudes have been accused of being the antichrist. There is even an NGO called Anti-Christ Watch, which aims to find potential antichrists.
Today, there are many conspiracy theories regarding the Antichrist - from almost every former president of the United States, Bill Gates, George Soros, the UN, the Masons, the Illuminatis.