BaracK = BaracQ?

Discussion in 'Arts and Culture' started by manZERO, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. manZERO

    manZERO New Member

    By Dr. Hector Avalos An appalling ignorance of Hebrew is
    being used to perpetrate an absurd theory.

    This is one of the most sordid uses of Hebrew linguistics to support
    the claim that Barack Obama is the Antichrist. I would not spend much
    time on it, except that even some recognized "news" organizations are
    giving it coverage. In any case, this ridiculous argument comes from a
    YouTube video:

    It is also commented upon at World Net Daily:

    According to a man calling himself PPSimmons (the presumed narrator of
    the YouTube video), Barack Obama is mentioned in Luke 10:18, where
    Jesus is recorded as saying: “And he said to them, I beheld Satan as
    lightning fall from Heaven.” The narrator tells us to focus on two

    A. Lightning

    B. Heaven

    He then tells us that Strong’s Concordance (words 1299 and 1300)
    records the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word ASTRAPE (“lightning”)
    to be BARAQ. This equivalence seems sound enough.

    But PPSimmons has more trouble establishing the Hebrew for the second
    Greek word, OURANOS (“heaven”), which normally would be SHAMAYIM in
    Hebrew. Yet, PPSimmons wants to convince us that the word really
    should not be “heaven” (SHAMAYIM) in the sense of where God lives, but
    more like the “heights,” which he claims would be closer to the Hebrew

    To achieve such a Hebrew equivalent, the narrator refers us to Luke
    8:5, where we find the phrase “birds of the air,” which is a rendition
    of the Greek PETEINA TOU OURANOU. The narrator says that this proves
    that the Greek OURANOS, normally translated as “heaven” does not refer
    to the heaven of God (birds don’t live there) but to the parts of our
    own atmosphere where birds fly, and which is also the realm of Satan.

    Thus, PPSimmons now has found BARAQ + BAMAH in a hypothetical Hebrew
    or Aramaic version of Luke 10:18.

    There are so many things wrong with this argument that one wonders
    where to begin. But here are some brief responses:

    1. The narrator has the WRONG Hebrew root for the name Barack if we
    accept President Obama's explanation for his name. President Obama’s
    explanation of his name may be found in, among other places, the 2004
    National Democratic Convention speech: “They would give me an African
    name, Barack, or ‘blessed,’ believing that in a tolerant America your
    name is no barrier to success.” See
    Obama’s explanation

    What Obama meant by “African” is simply an African language version of
    a well-known Semitic root (BRK) for “blessed” that can be found in
    Arabic and Hebrew.

    Since his name means “blessed,” then this name is related to the
    Hebrew word BARAK, spelled with Hebrew Kaph, not a Qoph. These are two
    entirely different consonants and phonemes in Hebrew. The Hebrew BARAK
    and BARAQ are from two entirely different roots, with ONLY the latter
    meaning “lightning.”

    2. It is most suspect to use Luke 8:5 to argue that “OURANOS” (heaven)
    in Luke 10:18 should be associated with the Hebrew BAMAH (“high
    places”). Just because OURANOS in Luke 8:5 can refer to the normal
    part of the world where birds fly does not mean that the same applies
    to Luke 10:18.

    Other texts describe Satan as living or visiting the Heaven where God
    lives (e.g., Job 1:6). Revelation 12:9 tells us that Satan is thrown
    down from Heaven. The latter text, in particular, would be much more
    thematically related to what is happening in Luke 10:18 than what is
    described in Luke 8:5 or in Isaiah 14:14, which the narrator admits
    has to be given a Christian interpretation to even be speaking of

    PPSimmons also overlooks the fact that Jesus may have been in Heaven
    when he beheld Satan fall from it. Why assume that Jesus is on earth
    when he beheld this event (which Jesus places in the past)? Even by
    PPSimmons' Christian theology, one would presume that Jesus was in
    Heaven at the time of Isaiah 14, which PPSimmons says is speaking of

    3. To achieve the “heights” (BAMAH) reading of Luke 10:18, PPSimmons
    simply uses an undocumented consensus argument that can be summarized
    as: “Most scholars think that birds in Luke 8:5 are demonic, and so we
    should see the area where birds fly as the domain of the demonic.”
    But, the narrator provides no evidence that most biblical scholars
    have a demonic interpretation of birds in Luke 8:5, and certainly most
    academic biblical scholars do not. In any case, consensus arguments
    are not admissible unless the narrator can explain why the consensus
    is correct.

    4. The phrase “birds of heaven/birds of the air” is a very well-known
    phrase in Hebrew that is first encountered in Genesis 1:26, where the
    Hebrew has “OPH HA-SHAMAYIM.” One can find the same phrase in Genesis
    1:30, 2:19, 6:7, 7:3, and in 1 Kings 14:11. Thus, the fact that some
    English translations have “birds of the air” does not mean that the
    original Hebrew substituted some other word (e.g., BAMAH) for
    SHAMAYIM. We usually DO FIND the word SHAMAYIM when speaking of "birds
    of the air."

    5. To the best of my knowledge, one NEVER finds OPH HA-BAMAH when
    speaking of "birds of the air" in the Hebrew Bible.

    6. With few exceptions (e.g., Isaiah 14:14), the Hebrew BAMAH refers
    not to something in mid-air (where birds fly) but to high places that
    are part of the solid earth. That is to say, hills or altars built on
    hills rather than in mid-air. These places can be built (e.g., 1 Kings
    14:23) and can be destroyed (2 Kings 23:8).

    7. Contrary to the YouTube narrator’s statement that a Hebrew Rabbi
    today would translate the words of Luke 10:18 with BAMAH, the modern
    Hebrew translation of the New Testament published by the Society for
    Distributing the Holy Scriptures to the Jews translates “like
    lightning from the heaven” close to what I have noted: KA-BARAQ MIN-HA-
    SHAMAYIM. In other words, if you follow a more correct Hebrew
    translation THERE IS NO BARACK + BAMAH in Luke 10:18.

    8. Of course, the YouTube narrator was unable to find Hussein, the
    president’s middle name, in the text, which at least would be
    consistent with the president’s full name. PPSimmons cannot easily
    transform BAMAH into O-BAMAH without further violence to the Hebrew.

    9. The narrator does not explain why we should see the words in Luke
    10:18 as of any more significance for a link with Barack Obama than
    any other text we can choose. In overwhelming number, the word root
    BARAK (“bless”) and its variants, are positive, and so why not say
    that those instances prophesy a good God-given outcome for Barack

    10. We can follow similar rationales to show that "PPSimmons,” in
    fact, was prophesied in Acts 8:9. There you will find the a corrupt
    magician named “Simon,” which can be related to the name “Simmons.”

    But note also that the letter of his initials has an equivalent in the
    Greek letter, PI, and that letter is repeated exactly TWICE in the
    Greek word (PROUPERCHEN/"he previously [practiced magic]) that follows
    SIMON. That is a clue (once magically reversed and "properly
    understood") that, one day, PPSimmons, a false magician of YouTube
    interpretations, would put forth absurd arguments. Try out your own
    combination with any good concordance.

    In sum, this is another of those very pathetic attempts at pseudo-
    scholarship. By using similar methods we can prove that president
    Obama is God’s great “blessing” for the world.

    NOTE: My transcriptions of Hebrew and Greek are approximate.

    P.S. This week, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, attempted to refute the
    YouTube video. Unfortunately, Olbermann reflects a misunderstanding of
    his own. PPSimmons uses definitions 1299 and 1300 of Strong’s
    Concordance to establish that BARAQ means “lightning.” Olbermann used
    Strong’s Concordance word 1301 to say that BARAQ really means “an
    Israelite.” However, Olbermann did not give the rest of Strong’s
    definition which, in complete form, is: “The same as 1300; Barak; an
    Isr.:Barak.” In other words, Strong is still saying that the name of
    the Israelite named Barak (Judges 4:6-22) is related to the word for

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