The current push to see a needle in every arm has given rise to new speculations among Christians about the identity of the beast and the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation 13.
The hunt for the beast and his mark has been the past-time of many churches throughout the last 500 years, with Pope’s and princes often featuring in the line up. In the last century, the search for the beast and his mark has gained even more momentum.
When the US introduced social security in the 1930’s some Christians labelled Roosevelt “the beast” and the “mark of the beast” was the assigned social security number.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, when giant telephone companies were seen as part of the shift from agricultural rural life to technological urban life, rural Christians labelled these companies “the beast.” They said the newly assigned three-digit area codes were the “mark of the beast.”
It happened again with the rollout of the credit card in the 1970’s, bar codes in the ’80’s, the internet in the ’90’s and the introduction of RFID technology since the year 2000.
And now it’s happening with the vaccine. The consensus in some churches is that the beast is the government, Bill Gates, or a pharmaceutical institution and that the jab is the “mark of the beast.”
Among those wanting to rescue the reputation of the vaccine, and the reputation of those profiting from it, is Eric M. Vanden Eykel, Associate Professor of Religion, Ferrum College, Virginia, in the United States. His article in The Conversation is an attempt to show a more historical approach to Revelation 13, and explain why the vaccine is not likely to be the mark of the beast.
He also takes the opportunity to label the whole thing as a “fringe idea” that’s being promoted by “conspiracy theorists”.
Now, on biblical grounds, I quite agree that the vaccine is not the mark of the beast. I also think that Vanden Eykel’s historical understanding of Revelation 13 has merit. The book of Revelation is addressed to a first-century audience with first-century problems, and both the beast and his mark seem to refer to a first-century character whose identity would be familiar to John’s audience. Think Nero.
But, before we get into that debate, and before we start labelling Christians as “fringe conspiracy theorists”, we should be wondering how they could have possibly reached that conclusion in the first place.
Oh, I don’t know. Could it be the fact that you won’t let people buy or sell without it (Revelation 13:17)? You know, it’s just a thought.
Gollum is as Gollum does. If you don’t want to be mistaken for a beast, then stop acting like one.