Chapter 4

Types of the Antichrist

A number of arguments for the Islamic Antichrist theory center around what are sometimes called “types” of the Antichrist. A type can be defined as “a preordained representative relation in which certain persons, events, or institutions in the Old Testament correspond to persons, events, or institutions in the New Testament.”1 For example Moses, in his role of prophet, leader, and mediator for God’s people, was a type of Christ.

There are also many types of the Antichrist in Scripture; one of the more prominent and obvious types of Antichrist was Antiochus Epiphanies. The arguments that Islamic Antichrist theorists make in this case center around the idea that since Antiochus, who ruled in Syria, was such a major type of Antichrist that we should expect the Antichrist to be from Syria as well. Alternatively they might make general statements about how most of the types of Antichrist were Middle Eastern, even if not from Syria itself, so the Antichrist will be Middle Eastern as well.

The problem with this is idea is that even if we are relatively selective with what we decide is a type of Antichrist in Scripture, we find that these types are from different places and include both Jews and Gentiles.

  • Pharaoh, king of Egypt
  • Antiochus of Greece/Syria
  • The king of Tyre
  • The king of Babylon
  • Herod of Israel
  • Saul of Israel
  • Absalom of Israel

The obvious problem with deciding a certain type of Antichrist will give us information about where the Antichrist comes from is if you do that, you will have several mutually exclusive answers to that question. Using typology in this way is simply not a sound method of interpretation.

Even the people who want to focus in on Antiochus sometimes overlook the fact that, although he ruled in Syria, he was a Greek man ruling a Hellenistic empire and worshipping Greek gods. Calling him a prefiguration of a Muslim ruler would be like calling Julius Caesar a Muslim king because Rome ruled over Egypt.

To conclude this point, types of Antichrist are not clues to the country of origin of the Antichrist, not simply because the Bible never gives us the impression that we are to understand types in this way, but because by applying this idea you come up with multiple contradictory origins for the Antichrist. Even the types of Antichrist that people hold in high regard, such as Antiochus, would have to be considered more Greek than anything else.