Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama Conspiracy Theories: Obama in the Bible

There are a lot of comical Obama themed conspiracy theories floating around. My favorite is the claim that Luke 10:18 refers to US President Barack Obama. Here's the "logic" behind the claim as stated by Sollog (John Patrick Ennis, born July 14, 1960), a self-proclaimed "New Nostradamus"

In Luke 10:18 Jesus states,

“I beheld Satan as Lightning fall from Heaven.”

How does a Jewish Rabbi, which Jesus is credited with being (John 1:38), say in HEBREW, that Satan is like LIGHTNING from heaven?

Barack, also transliterated as Baraq in Hebrew, is LIGHTNING (Strongs Hebrew word 1300). Even in Greek, Barak is LIGHTNING (Strongs Greek word 913) for the name of a person!

The ONLY WAY, a Jewish Rabbi can say in Hebrew that SATAN is LIGHTNING is, SATAN BARACK!

Let's set aside the fact that a self proclaimed Rabbi is spending his time quoting the New Testament. While we're at it we'll ignore the fact that Sollog is a convicted criminal. Instead, I'll point out that the article's cornerstone are similarities between the Hebrew word for "Lightning" and the name Barack. There's a small problem with Sollog's argument. The book of Luke was written in Greek and Jesus would have spoken not Hebrew, but Aramaic. While the Hebrew alphabet is derived from Aramaic, we only have a vague idea as to how it was actually pronounced. Ancient Aramaic recorded largely consonants, not vowels. As a result the vowels we assign to many ancient texts are based upon tradition and conventional pronunciation. This means we don't know how Jesus would have pronounced the Aramaic word for "Lightning." Sollog's claimed use of modern interpretations of now to pronounce Hebrew are irrelevant to his claim.

Without a Lightning / Obama connection, Ennis' claims fall flat. He no longer has a supporting argument.

Believing Ennis' claims requires you to play Mad Libs with the Bible, assuming words with vaguely similar pronunciations in different languages and time periods are meant as part of some kind of hidden code. Ennis' claim is just bit of Post Hoc mental gymnastics. Luke 10:18 is a clear reference to the fall of Satan and trying to claim that the verse is somehow related to the current US President is using the kind of contorted, theologically unjustified garbage dogma that lead to things like the claim that Gorbachev was the Antichrist.

Believing Luke 10:18 refers to Obama as Satan involves trivializing the Bible itself, turning it from divine revelation into some kind of encrypted and obfuscated horoscope. It's a claim fostered by people who are more concerned with reasons to hate a given politician than in actual scholarship. A lot of idiotic "rationales" have been spun around this stupidity, but in the end it's just a racist "theologian" looking for a reason to hate Obama while boosting his own readership.

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