In Eschatology, there is a lot of speculation about the identity of the AC, and if he's active on the world stage now, [in other words, a well known leader but just not having revealed his true identity yet] There is also a common view that he will be Jewish, and this is related to the idea that the Jews will think he is the Messiah.

**This is not to be seen in any way as a Anti-Semitic - I' am actually part Jewish, and very proud of this part of my heritage.
I'm happy to have answers from Jews and Catholics, but I'm only looking for answers from the 66 Books of the Canon.

  • 4
    "There is also a common view that he will be Jewish". Could you give us examples of people who believe this? I don't think it's really common. And remembering that lots of internet hits doesn't mean lots of people believe it. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:41
  • DJ, it's the predominant view taught in church of God Holiness, southern Baptist, Bible Methodist, independent, Nazarene, Calvary Chapel and some Pentecostal denominations. Are you able to help?
    – Tennman7
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 18:25
  • @DJClayworth Early Church Fathers held this viewpoint!
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 4:11
  • 1
    there are a number of protestant churches who actually believe, based on the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and historical evidence from the early church, dark ages and reformation era, that the actual beast is the pagan Rome and out of this the Papal Roman Catholic Church! It does not surprise me therefore that the Catholic Church would attempt to cover this up by pointing the finger at the Jews! A question to ask is this, who gave the pope the power to change Gods statutes and laws as talked about in prophecy? (Daniel 7.21, Revelation 13.5)
    – Adam
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 20:24
  • 1
    I agree there is a lot of speculation about the identity of the Antichrist. SOME Christians might think he will be a Jew who will claim to be the Christ, but others think he might be the second beast. Others think he might be a Muslim. Bottom line is the Bible does not say the Antichrist will be Jewish - or a Muslim, or anything else. It's all a matter of interpretation.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


What is the Scriptural evidence for the Protestant view that the AntiChrist will be Jewish?

This is not a view that is shared uniquely by some Protestants. Many Catholics, Orthodox and other denominations hold this viewpoint.

The problem with prophecy is that it becomes understood, only after the event foretold have run their course!

The Church Father, Irenaeus was the first to write that the Antichrist would be of Jewish origin from the Tribe of Dan.

As is well known, there is some lack of consistency among the Church Fathers in the way each tried to synthesize the variegated traditions that formed the Christian expectation of the Antichrist. This is no less true when it came to the question of the Antichrist's origins. The starting point for much of New Testament and later Christian thought, as well as much Jewish apocalyptic thought in this area, was the book of Daniel, particularly the portrayal of the final wicked ruler of Daniel's fourth kingdom in the visions of chapters 2 and 7, and filled in with details from chapters 8 and 11 which were thought to point beyond the past historical appear- ance of Antiochus Epiphanes. Paul (assuming it was indeed Paul) plainly draws upon this tradition in his description of the 'man of lawlessness' in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12. The book of Revelation too is indebted to this tradition in its depiction of the beast from the sea (13: 1-9), who embodies in some sense the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7. This tradition of the fourth kingdom, wedded always in some way in the literature of our period to the Roman empire, lent itself to fears and speculation about the return of Nero as the head of the revived fourth kingdom, as may be seen in the Ascension of Isaiah and in Sibylline Oracles 3, 4, ands. And Origen can refer to his three main sources for Antichrist teaching, Daniel, the writings of Paul (2 Thess. 2: 1-12), and the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels (pels. 6. 45), without even men- tioning the Johannine writings. But it is precisely in those writings (1 John 2: 18, 22; 4: 3; 2 John 7), written towards the end of the first century AD, that the term 'Antichrist' makes its first known appearance in literature, and there no hint survives of a Roman or even a chiefly political foe. The author shows no trace of the Danielic fourth kingdom tradition at all. Rather, the emphasis is on deception, error, and false teaching, specifically about Jesus. This tradition is easily linked with words of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse about false prophets and false Christs working signs and wonders so as to deceive those who might still be looking for the Christ and, if such were possible, even the elect (Matt. 24: 5, ii, 23-24).

The idea of a Jewish Antichrist in Christian thought may be quite old. Bousset, with others, believed Paul had in view an Antichrist who would deceive the unbelieving Jews into thinking he was their Christ. Bousset goes on to intimate that Paul in 2 Cor. 6: 15 knows a name for the Antichrist, Belial, citing Test. Dan 5, the Sibyls, and Asc. Isa. But G. Jenks has recently shown this to be mistaken. At Qumran, Belial is a Satan figure, not an Antichrist. Jenks has established with some success the view that 'hellenistic Jewish literature was not familiar with an Antichrist figure such as occurs in the later Antichrist literature of early Christianity'. If one has in mind, as Jenks does, centrally important, human, messianic pretenders, and not merely evil 'Endtyrants' (such as show up in Daniel, and possibly in 4Q246 and the Testament of Moses) who may pose a military threat to the people of God, Jenks appears to be correct.

But our first explicit mention of a Jewish Antichrist comes in the writings of Irenaeus, where it occurs already in tandem with the people of God, the opinion that he will also spring from the tribe of Dan (AH 5. 11 30. 2). In AH 5. 25 Irenaeus details the career of the Antichrist: from 2 Thess. 2, tying the notice of Antichrist's taking his seat in the temple with Christ's 'abomination of desolation' in Matt. 24: 15 (cf. Dan. 9: 27); from Dan. 7, the little horn from the fourth beast; and from Jesus' parable of the unjust judge, Luke 18: 2 ff., wherein the judge is the Antichrist and the widow is the earthly Jerusalem: 'he shall remove his kingdom into that [city], and shall sit in the temple of God, leading astray those who worship him, as if he were Christ'. - Antichrist from the Tribe of Dan

The Early Church believed that the Antichrist will have Jewish roots of some sort.

St. Methodius of Olympus 250 - 311

"When the Son of Perdition appears, he will be of the tribe of Dan, according to the prophecy of Jacob. This enemy of religion will use a diabolic art to produce many false miracles, such as causing the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the deaf to hear. Those possessed with demons will be exorcised. He will deceive many and, if he could, as our Lord has said, even the faithful elect.

"Even the Antichrist will enter Jerusalem, where he will enthrone himself in the temple as a god (even though he will be an ordinary man of the tribe of Dan to which Judas Iscariot also belonged).

St. John Chrysostom 347-407

"Antichrist will be possessed by Satan and be the illegitimate son of a Jewish woman from the East. This world will be faithless and degenerate after the birth of Anti-Christ”

The Church Fathers on the Antichrist

Many Christians believe that the Jewish nation as a whole will be converted to Christianity. However, they are still expecting the Messiah to come. Some have ventured to speculate that it will only be altered they have been deceived by the Antichrist.

In some sense this seems a logical step, since the Chosen People, as true to their heritage would not acknowledge an Antichrist (false messiah) of Gentile origins. It simply a logical future situation in the minds of many, whether Protestant, Catholic or other denominations.

The widespread conversion of the Jews to Christianity is a future event predicted by many Christians, often as an end time event. Some Christian groups consider the conversion of the Jews to be imperative and pressing and make it their mission to bring this about. However, since the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church has formally upheld Constitutio pro Judæis (Formal Statement on the Jews), which stated:

We decree that no Christian shall use violence to force them [the Jews] to be baptized, so long as they are unwilling and refuse. ...

Despite such papal declarations, personal, economic and cultural pressure on the Jews to convert persisted, often stirred by clerics. Persecution and forcible displacements of Jews occurred for many centuries, and were regarded as not inconsistent with the papal bull because there was no "violence to force baptism". There were occasional gestures to reconciliation. Pogroms and forcible conversions were common throughout Christian Europe, including organized violence, restrictive land ownership and professional lives, forcible relocation and ghettoization, mandatory dress codes, and at times humiliating actions and torture. The object often was for the Jews to choose between conversion, migration or dying. The Anglican Ministry Among Jewish People, founded in 1809, used non-coercive means in its outreach and missionary efforts.

A 2008 survey of American Christians by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that over 60% of most denominations believe that Jews will receive eternal life after death alongside Christians

The biblical basis for this expectation is found in Romans 11:25–26:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved... (NIV).

The meaning of Romans 11:25-26a has been disputed. Douglas J. Moo calls Romans 11:26 "the storm center in the interpretation of Romans 9–11 and of New Testament teaching about the Jews and their future." Moo himself interprets the passage as predicting a "large-scale conversion of Jewish people at the end of this age" through "faith in the gospel of Jesus their Messiah".

Pope Benedict XVI in his book Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (2011) has suggested that the church should not be targeting Jews for conversion efforts, since "Israel is in the hands of God, who will save it ‘as a whole’ at the proper time." - Conversion of the Jews

At the same time, there is the possibility that the two witnesses of the Apocalypse will come to the aid of the Jewish nation in the end times.

In the Book of Revelation, the two witnesses are two of God's prophets who are seen by John of Patmos, during the "Second woe" recorded in Revelation 11:1-14. They have been variously identified by theologians as two people, as two groups of people, or as two concepts. Dispensationalist Christians believe that the events described in the Book of Revelation will occur before and during the Second Coming. The two witnesses are never identified in the Christian Bible. Some believe they are Enoch and Elijah. as in the Gospel of Nicodemus, since they are the only two that did not see death as required by the Scriptures. Others believe them to be Moses and Elijah because they appeared during the transfiguration of Jesus, or because Enoch was not Abraham's descendant. Some also believe that they are Moses and Elijah due to the description of what they are to do. They have the power to shut the heavens (Elijah) and turn water into blood (Moses). - Two witnesses

What will be the result of the death of the Two Witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation? Perhaps nothing more than Israel’s true conversion to the Christian Faith.

If the Jews were in effect to be deceived by one of their own, God in his infinite mercy would send his Holy Prophets Elijah and Enoch to save the remnant of God’s Chosen People.

11 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. - Revelation 11: 1-13

  • 1
    Interesting suggestion that the Son of Perdition will come from the tribe of Dan. But how could that genealogy be proven? My understanding is that since the destruction of the templei n 70 A.D. there are no records to show which tribe a Jewish person comes from.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 17:31
  • 1
    @Lesley Personally, I do not believe it, but Early Christians thought things differently! Your question is obviously unanswerable.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 17:34
  • While your knowledge appears extensive, your answer is very long and very tedious, and very tiring for an old man like me. The question requested Scriptural evidence, not your opinion, not the pope's, nor the early church leaders.
    – AFL
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 22:19
  • 3
    @AFL There are Scripture references throughout this post! Pax! Tennman7 stated he would be happy to hear answers from Catholics. For the record this is not my personal opinion, as I do not have one on this subject. It is simply too speculative.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 6:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .