While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, everyone is not entitled to their own set of facts.

Friday, April 17, 2020

What Christianity has missed about Jesus Christ

The new book “Behold!” turns some of the beliefs of Christianity upside down

Millions of Christians revere the cross.  It is the symbol of the world’s largest religion.  The cross and the holy holiday of Easter represent the foundational belief that Jesus is the Son of God who came to die so all who believe in Him may have their sins forgiven and obtain eternal life.  Right? But what if that is all wrong?
Jesus did not die at Easter
Easter is considered the holiest day of the year in Christianity.  However, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus did not take place at Easter.  The Bible says it occurred during the Jewish holiday of Passover.  While Jesus is recognized as the Lamb of God, the fact that Passover lambs were not sacrificed for sin atonement is generally not known or acknowledged in Christianity.
What we have missed
Christ? Messiah? What these titles tell us:  The word “Messiah” and “Christ” both mean “anointed” as in symbolic of being empowered and consecrated to serve God and carry out specific tasks. Kings, Priests and Prophets were anointed to serve in the young nation of Israel.  One may ask when did Jesus serve as a Prophet, King or Priest and when was He “anointed” for these roles? 
Sin Atonement required for forgiveness: One of the foundational beliefs in Christianity is sin cannot be forgiven without substitutionary death atonement.  Is this true?  Hidden in plain sight are Bible verses where God forgave sin without the mention of sacrificial animal atonement (Exodus 34:6-7, II Chronicles 7:14 Psalm 103 and Isaiah 43:22-25), and said certain sins could never be covered by animal sacrifices (Numbers 15:30-31, I Samuel 3:14, Exodus 23:21, and Joshua 24:19).  In Jeremiah 7:22 God says He never commanded the people to sacrifice animals.  It is in Isaiah 1:11-18, and Amos 5:21-23 that God strongly expresses His distaste for the sacrifices. Oddly enough, we seem to miss there is no situation in the gospels where Jesus called for the sacrifice of an animal for sin atonement.  However, Jesus did speak of forgiving others as God forgives us. These verses and others from the Old Testament and the gospels make an astounding case that Christianity has long misunderstood the concept that the death of Jesus was required for forgiveness of mankind’s sin
Did Jesus come to replace Judaism or the Law?  Jesus was born into and practiced Judaism, the religion established by God beginning with Abraham.  In John 4:22 Jesus said salvation is of the Jews.   Jesus observed the commands and teachings of the Old Testament Torah saying in Matthew 5:17 He had not come to “destroy” (take away or lessen its meaning as in misinterpret) the Law or the Prophets, but rather to “fulfill” (in Rabbinic Hebrew meaning to correctly interpret or fill with meaning) the instructions.  No prophecy of the Old Testament nor teaching of Jesus indicated God’s relationship with the Jews or God’s instructions (laws, Torah) for right living would become obsolete or need to be replaced. 
Questioning what we believe about Jesus & Christianity
While many Christians believe certain doctrines within the Christian faith have always been a part of the church and are Bible based, in reality Christianity has been an evolving system of theories that have become doctrines.  Surprisingly, when researched, we discover some of these beliefs were developed as late as 200 years after the resurrection or as recently as the last couple of hundred years.
As the early Church gradually shifted away from Judaism and the Old Testament, the Greco/Roman influence of bishops, philosophers and theologians weighed in. Superseding scripture, their theories on the identity and nature of Jesus, why He came and what God requires of His followers formed the foundational doctrines of what is still believed and practiced today. Through new archeological discoveries and the internet, this information is now readily available for better translations of Hebrew and Greek words, and idioms.  Therefore, it is easier than ever before to determine if some of these beliefs have scriptural support in the Bible.
The new book “Behold! The Jesus We NEVER KNEW: God from the Beginning” provides explanations for these important topics and tells a very different story about who Jesus is and why He came.  “Behold!” is written by first time author Anna A. Goodman with her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Goodman,[1] an archeologist, author and M
essianic Jew.  Utilizing archeology, history, cultural practices, and the Hebrew and Greek language, the authors’ of “Behold! The Jesus We NEVER KNEW: God from the Beginning” unravel the mystery of who Jesus is, and present scriptural answers to the questions why Jesus came and what He wants us to know, that will transform the understanding of the most pivotal person in history. 

 (This blog contains excerpts from the new book “Behold! The Jesus We Never Knew: God from the Beginning” by Anna A. Goodman with Jeffrey Goodman, Ph.D.  The book that causes us to examine what we believe as a Christians is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple books.  For more information visit the website Home | Behold! Jesus and Facebook at Intrigue & Engage books by Anna.)

[1] Dr. Jeffrey Goodman’s last book is THE COMETS of GOD: New Scientific Evidence For God--Recent archeological, geological and astronomical discoveries that shine new light on the Bible and its prophecies.

Monday, January 27, 2014


                                                            "A BLOOD MOON"          NASA


Due to John Hagee’s recent book, Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change (Worthy Publishing, Oct. 2013) there has recently been a surge of interest in “four blood moons” as a sign that relates to end times Bible prophecy. The premise for Hagee’s book is that key events in Jewish history have occurred around the time of Jewish holy days when lunar eclipse blood moons have also appeared.  Pastor Hagee says that the four blood moons that are to appear and coincide with the Jewish holidays of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015 because of lunar eclipses may constitute a sign for important end time events.
 Astronomers know that a blood moon can occur when a lunar eclipse makes the moon appear red as it passes behind the Earth’s shadow and the moon glows red. On the other hand, we must not forget that the moon can also appear red when it is low on the horizon at sunset or sunrise, or when there is a lot of dust in the atmosphere.  NASA’s website, which records and calculates lunar eclipses, is the basis for Pastor Hagee’s assertion that four total lunar eclipses in a row during a period of two years (called a tetrad) will produce red moons in 2014-2015.  In his book, Pastor John Hagee suggests that since some important Jewish historical events have occurred around the time of Blood Moon tetrads, the upcoming 2014-2015 tetrad could signal the coming fulfillment of Biblical prophecies that relate blood moons to the day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ.  A number of end time aficionados also relate this tetrad to the rapture.
 However, are the red moons a sign of the end times or does scripture indicate that the red moons are the result of something else happening during the end times?  In the ancient world the word “star” could refer to any luminous body in the sky, be it a meteorite (a shooting star) or comet (a hairy star) or planet (a wandering star), etc.  Further, in the ancient world the term “host of heaven” could also refer to the objects of heaven such as comets (Deuteronomy 4:19). The blood or red moons that Pastor Hagee says the Bible is referring to do not occur because of lunar eclipses!  A careful reading of the scriptures Hagee refers to shows that that instead of lunar eclipses they speak of end time events that occur because of stars i.e. comets falling and impacting the Earth.  Cometary impacts would cause great earthquakes, pillars or columns of smoke to rise from impact sites, and put huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere that would quickly circulate worldwide.   In turn, this tremendous amount of dust would result in the moon appearing red or being darkened, and the sun being darkened.  It is believed that the cosmic impacts that lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs put so much dust into the atmosphere that the Earth laid in darkness for over a year. 
Impacts raising dust into the atmosphere would cause phenomena that are not unlike a volcano putting dust into the atmosphere and causing red moons and sunsets, but millions of times more dust would go up into the atmosphere from a cosmic impact.  Depending on where one is located this dust would filter out the blue/green light passing through the atmosphere with the longer wavelengths of red light being the least affected, therefore causing the sun, moon, and stars to appear either darkened or reddened.  It is interesting to note that after a small cometary fragment struck Tunguska, Siberia in 1908 it was reported that the whole northern sky appeared to be on fire. On October 25, 2007, there was not a lunar eclipse, but Nick Carlson took a picture of a full red moon over San Diego that glowed red because of the smoke and dust particles in the sky over San Diego that night.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/truelifeimages/1766830897/
 Below are some of the verses Pastor Hagee cites for the blood red moons.  These verses clearly show that something other than a lunar eclipse is happening in the heavens to produce the blood moon. 
Acts 2:19-20
“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come...”
This passage says there will be a blood moon before the day that the Lord comes. Since it says that the sun will be darkened, we know the blood moon referred to can’t be caused by an eclipse, because it is physically impossible for a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse to occur simultaneously.  However, a large fiery comet impact that puts dust in the atmosphere is indicated as being the cause of both the darkened sun and the moon being reddened, since “fire” and “smoke” is mentioned.
Revelation 6:12-14
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
Here again is the same description as the passage in Acts of a comet impact that would put vast amounts of dust into the atmosphere where the moon would become as blood and the sun would become darkened or black. These verses contain several clues that a comet impact is being described.  Verse 13 says the “stars (i.e. comets) of heaven will fall to the earth.”  A comet hitting the earth would also cause a huge earthquake described here as a “great earthquake.”  A comet impacting the ground would also cause the atmosphere to roll back just as it does in nuclear explosions, and indeed we are told that the “heaven (atmosphere) departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.” We also know that the “great earthquake” referred to in verse 12 was caused by a comet impact because only cosmic impacts can generate earthquakes large enough to move “every mountain and island.” (Nuclear bombs and faults in the Earth cannot produce earthquakes over 10 on the Richter scale, but cosmic impacts can produce earthquakes over 12 or 14 on the Richter scale.)

Matthew 24:29
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken...”
This verse is describing a similar cosmic event as it tells us the sun will be darkened and that stars or comets of heaven shall fall.  Although the moon is described here as darkened instead of reddened, depending on where one is on the Earth the moon as the sun can appear to be darkened by all the dust thrown up into the atmosphere by the comet impacts. We seem to be given some indication of comets coming into the solar system and gravitationally disturbing the moon and the inner planets when we are told  that the “powers (the objects) of the heavens will be shaken.”

Joel 2:30-31
 “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
Joel 2:30-31 says the same things that Acts 2:19-20 (discussed above). Instead of the term “vapours of smoke”, the term “pillars of smoke” is used. Large impacts from big bombs or cosmic impacts raise pillars or columns of smoke, which can also be called mushroom clouds. This supports the interpretation that comet impact is being described not lunar eclipse.
Joel 2:10
“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining...”
Here we see that the sun the moon and the stars (as we use the word today such as the North Star) are all darkened indicating that comet impacts put vast amounts of dust into the atmosphere.   The descriptions that “the earth shall quake” and “the heavens shall tremble” once again speaks of comets entering the inner solar system and striking the Earth and causing earthquakes, as it has been explained in the comments for Matthew 24:29 above.

Clearly, the scriptures that Pastor Hagee says refer to red moons are not the result of lunar eclipses. Instead, these verses describe cosmic phenomena that tell of the moon turning red or being darkened because of comets falling and putting so much dust into the atmosphere that even the sun will be darkened. These verses tell of impact events that are to take place in the last stages of the Tribulation Period as described in the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Trumpet, and the Seventh Vial of the Book of Revelation. (Also, see Isaiah 13:5-13 and Isaiah 34:4).  Bottom line: the four blood red moons caused by solar eclipse that are to occur in 2014-2015 do not constitute signs of important prophetic events that will soon take place.
To learn more about cometary impacts and their connection to Biblical catastrophes and prophesied end times events visit www.thecometsofgod.com.  In addition, a satellite radio show about this subject is available at https://soundcloud.com/omegamanradio/the-comets-of-god-weapons-of-wrath-dr-jeffrey-goodman   

About the author:
An archeologist and a geologist, Dr. Goodman has devoted over twenty-five years to the study of the Bible. He holds a geological engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines, a M.A. in anthropology from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from California Coast University. He also earned a M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He was accredited by the former Society of Professional Archeologists. Goodman is a Messianic Jew who was saved in 1987.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What was Comet Ison all about?

Comet Ison approaching the Sun---NASA
What was Comet Ison all about?

Comet Ison put on quite a show before it disintegrated as a result of its close pass around the sun.  In the December 4, 2013 issue of NASA Science News Karl Battams of NASA says, “rather than mourn what we have lost, we should perhaps rejoice in what we have gained – some of the finest data in the history of cometary astronomy.”  Ison dramatically demonstrated the fact that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery.  It is interesting to note that a growing number of astronomers have been looking at the Bible for accounts of cometary impact and in the last decade scientific evidence for the Earth having experienced cosmic impacts during Biblical times is being found.  This evidence includes impact craters and geological materials produced by the extremely high temperature associated with impact. 

Furthermore, as we learn more about comets, we are discovering that not only does the Bible contain accounts of cometary caused catastrophes but the Bible also contains scientifically sound information about comets ranging from their origin, composition, behavior and what happens during and after various types of impacts.  For example, when the media reported about Comet Ison’s outgassing, long tail and told about Comet Ison coming in from the Oort cloud, a reservoir of comets at the end of our solar system; we now know that information about comets outgassing and the reservoir of comets at the end of our solar system is contained in the Bible. 

Actually there are many other things scientists have recently learned about comets that have also been correctly written about in the Bible.  For instance the Bible recognized that comets have “mouths” or “vents” in their crust through which they outgas long before astronomers observed Comet Halley outgassing through vents for themselves.  Also NASA was excited to discover Comet Hartley II spewing deadly cyanide gas and that its core is surrounded by hailstones weighing upwards of 100 pounds. Few have recognized that the Bible describes how comets can produce poisonous gases and vent hailstones weighing upwards of 100 pounds (Revelation 16:21).    In the last 20 years or so scientists have learned that comets were the main source of the water in the Earth’s oceans by comparing the chemical fingerprint of the water in the ocean to the chemical fingerprint of the water in a certain class of comets.  Amazingly enough, the Bible refers to comets as the “sources of the great deep” and the “water jars of the heavens.”  

Only after scientists witnessed the details of nuclear explosions did they learn of the thermal pulse, fierce winds, atmospheric roll back, towering mushroom clouds and sky blackening dust that such massive explosions can produce.   Subsequently it became easier for scientists to recognize that comet impacts which can release energy that is tens of thousands times greater than that released by nuclear explosions, can produce the same types of phenomena as nuclear explosions. Yet few people are aware that the Bible tells of these same phenomena when it describes comet impacts.  

Until recently, the time period between successive comet impacts of the Earth was believed to involve very long periods of time, but in July of 1994 over the course of just a week millions of TV viewers watched 21 separate large fragments (mini comets) from the breakup of Comet Shoemaker-9 hit the surface of Jupiter.  We now had proof and an explanation of how cometary bombardment can involve multiple impacts during a relatively short period of time.  Thus, it is interesting to note that the Bible in the Book of Revelation prophesies a series of seven separate cometary impact events to occur over just a three and a half year period during the end times.  What was once thought to be impossible in terms of frequency of impacts is now understood, especially if a large comet would break up into a number of pieces while approaching the Earth.  The seven impact events prophesied in the Book of Revelation are to involve impacts that occur in the atmosphere, on the land and in the sea.  The after impact effects of these impacts are to include massive earthquakes, tsunamis, blackened skies, 100 pound hailstones, poisoned waters, and skin diseases. (See http://blogs.christianpost.com/comets-of-god/is-there-scientific-support-for-the-seven-trumpets-of-the-book-of-revelation-11018/ ).  Or see July 29, 2012 in  Blog Archive here.


In the Bible and in the ancient records of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians comets were referred to as a “stars” (hairy stars) and as part of the “host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19).  The Bible also refers to comets as God’s “mighty ones,” “weapons of wrath” and “ministers of flaming fire.”  The Bible tells how God controls comets and brings them in from the reservoir of comets at the end of the solar system (Job 38:22-23 NIV) for correction and judgment.  The Bible has even prophesied that man’s response to comets or asteroids found on a collision course with the Earth will include efforts to shoot them down.

Comet Ison has come and gone.  Surely there will be other comets for us to observe and gain more information about the universe we live in.  To learn more about comets, and what happens after impacts it would a good idea to get a head start by picking up the number one bestselling book on the planet – the Bible.





About the author:

An archeologist and a geologist, Dr. Goodman has devoted over twenty-five years to the study of the Bible. He holds a geological engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines, a M.A. in anthropology from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from California Coast University. He also earned a M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He was accredited by the former Society of Professional Archeologists. Goodman is a Messianic Jew who was saved in 1987.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Russia, Syria and Bible Prophecy

Russia, Syria and Bible Prophecy

            In September 2013 Mother Jones.com ran an article entitled “Oh Magog! Why End Times Buffs Are Freaking Out About Syria.”  In response to allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people many Americans called for the United States to bomb this government’s inhuman military.  Syria’s military controls its capital city of Damascus, one of the oldest cities in the Middle East.  For end time buffs this brings to mind an end time prophecy from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah.  In Isaiah 17:1 KJV the prophet wrote “The Burden of Damascus.  Behold Damascus is taken away from being a city and it shall be a ruinous heap.”  If the U.S. bombed Damascus this could result in the city becoming a ruinous heap and be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy?

            This controversy over Syria has renewed attention in end times Bible prophecy, especially since both Russia and Iran support the Syrian government.  Many Christians believe that Russia and Iran will play key roles in the fulfillment of end times Bible prophecy that ultimately leads to Armageddon and the end of the world as we know it.  Many end time enthusiasts believe Russia is Gog/Magog, the leader and his evil empire that Ezekiel 38/39 says will lead a multi-national invasion of Israel during the end times. The battle of Gog/Magog of Ezekiel 38/39 is considered to be one of the most important events prophesied for the end times.  Many evangelical Christians believe that Ezekiel 38/39 offers an exact description of Russia with Ezekiel 38:5 also listing Persia (Iran), Libya and Ethiopia among the invaders. Historian Paul Boyer at the University of Wisconsin in his book When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture, Harvard University Press, 1992, (p.162) wrote “So hackneyed had this scenario (Magog and Scythia as Russia) become by the 1980’s that its proponents hardly bothered with geographic and linguistic evidence marshaled by earlier writers.”

            The Mother Jones article “Oh Magog!” focused on bestselling novelist Joel Rosenberg books (Implosion, Epicenter 2.0, Damascus Countdown, The Ezekiel Option).  Rosenberg talks about how the innocent bloodshed in Syria is setting the stage for terrible judgment that includes the battle of Ezekiel 38/39 and Armageddon.  Rosenberg fervently believes that the Ezekiel 38/39 Gog/Magog invasion involves Russia.  In his book Epicenter 2.0 on page 87 Rosenberg writes, “Based on the textural, linguistic and historical evidence we can therefore conclude with a high degree of confidence that Ezekiel is speaking of Russia and the former Soviet Union in chapter 38/39.” The only data Rosenberg gives to support this bold statement is given on page 364 in footnote no. 8 of Epicenter which lists outdated information from scholastically questionable sources. He also refers to this same footnote for reasons why Russia is Gog/Magog in his recent book Implosion in the endnotes for page 116. Yet throughout his books Rosenberg keeps repeating the mantra that Russia is represented by Gog /Magog with no further support.  In other words Rosenberg calls for a Russian-led Gog/Magog alliance invading Israel even though there is no credible historical or Biblical evidence for connecting Russia to Gog/Magog.

            Rosenberg has taken up the call for Russia leading the invasion of Ezekiel 38/39 that was first popularized by Hal Lindsey, an evangelist famous for his 1970 book The Late Great Planet Earth.  Hal Lindsey still calls for a Russian led Gog/Magog alliance invading Israel despite new archeological and historical evidence to the contrary.  This new primary evidence comes from the ancient records of the Assyrian Royal Court.   These cuneiform records cover the time period of when Ezekiel wrote. The Assyrian Empire lay to the south of Asia Minor and it was the dominant power of the region. Their court records talk about all the ancient countries referred to in Ezekiel 38/39.  The Assyrians received annual tribute from all of the nations of Asia Minor. The documents record the dealings these nations had with the Royal Court over the years. The Assyrian records were not discovered and translated until the 1900’s.  These ancient records constitute primary evidence in identifying the nations referred to in Ezekiel 38/39. 

            These court records tell of a warrior king called Gog (Gugu to the Assyrians and Gyges to the Greeks) from the country of Lydia (Ludu), a country the Assyrians also referred to as Magog.  “Magog” simply means “the land of Gog” (matu-gugu).  They tell how Gog and the nations allied with Gog were situated across Asia Minor (modern Turkey). We also read how Gog sent two shackled Cimmerian (Gomer) chieftains with rich gifts to Assurbanipal, the Assyrian King. 

             The Scythians (Ashkuza to the Assyrians and Ashkenaz to the Hebrews-Genesis 10:3) were at different times friends or foes of the Assyrians, and these court records make it clear that the Scythians were in no way related to Magog.  Therefore it is very clear that there is no relationship between Magog and Russia, a nation that would not come into existence for another 1400 years or so.  Russian origins are Scandinavian not Scythian.  In May 2000 National Geographic did a special issue and documentary on Russian origins.  The Assyrian Court records also support the information given in Ezekiel 38/39 and Ezekiel 27:13-14 about Meshech, Tubal and Togarmah trading people, brass vessels, and horses.  Archeologists now know Gog was a militant king who led the countries of Meshech and Tubal to defeat the Cimmerians (Gomer - Ezekiel 38:6) who were invading Asia Minor just as Ezekiel 38:2 refers to Gog of the land of Magog, as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.  In yet another tie to scripture Gog even sent an army to Egypt to help support Pharaoh Psammetichus the son of Pharaoh Necho (II Chronicles 35:20-22) who met with Judah’s King Josiah.

.            Everything that is needed to properly identify the nations referred in Ezekiel 38/39 is given in the records of the Assyrian Royal Court.  These records can all be read in Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol.ll – Historical Records of Assyria, University of Chicago Press, 1926, Greenwood Press Reprint, 1968, by Daniel Luckenbill.  If the Assyrian court Records are correct in these events, why would they be wrong about the identity of Gog/Magog?  As an archeologist it is astonishing to see that the scriptures about the ancient nations of Ezekiel 38/39 are directly supported by the Assyrian records. The primary evidence of the Assyrian records trump all of the subjective evidence put forth for Russia being Gog/Magog of Ezekiel 38/39.  There is one historical record; Christians cannot have a separate historical record for Bible interpretation. The bottom line is that Russia is not Magog of Ezekiel 38/39. I believe that there will be a war as prophesied in Ezekiel 38/39 but Russia will not be the leader of the invasion of the nations named in Ezekiel 38/39. The correct identification of these nations brilliantly ties together .a number of important Biblical prophetic passages and shows that the Bible contains information about some very important ancient events which only recently came to be known by archeologists and historians. These new discoveries are based on DNA studies of ancient skeletons and DNA studies of Tuscan cattle.

            When I read the Mother Jones article “Oh Magog!” I was disturbed that some prominent politicians such as some members of Congress, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Michele Bachman, former Senator Rick Santorum, Governor Sam Brownback, Governor Rick Perry, and Benjamin Netanyahu seem to be buying into the erroneous Biblical interpretations Rosenberg and some other evangelicals are espousing.  During his presidency Ronald Reagan even bought into this erroneous Biblical interpretation which portrays Russia as an “evil empire” and the “focus of evil in the modern world”.  As one critic said “Bad Biblical interpretation makes for even worse politics.” It is important that Christians and political leaders have a correct understanding of just who the nations of Ezekiel 38/39 are to be as they are being influenced and making decisions based on this information. 

Below is a more detailed report about Russia and the War of Gog and Magog


Russia and the War of Gog and Magog


While most end times Bible prophecy authors have argued that Russia's origins trace back to the ancient nation of "Magog” described in Ezekiel 38-39, this is simply not true.    This myth that traces back to the mid 1800’s is built on historical statements that were deliberately altered, and on the assumption that the similarity of certain words could mean something else in another language.  Although ancient records have been found that tell a different story about the identity of Magog and about Russia’s origins, the “Russia is Magog” myth persists.

Assyrian Court Records

The popular identification of the nations of Ezekiel 38-39 is not correct.  Despite the traditional viewpoint, professional archeologists know the identity of these nations from the Assyrian Royal Court records.  The reliable, clear and detailed records of Assyrian Royal Court show they dealt directly with each of these nations about 100 years before Ezekiel wrote. These are the same records that are referred to in Ezra 4:15, 19 and 5:17-6:7. These passages tell how the Jews of the fifth century BC 538 BC–457 BC overcame opposition by the local Persian governor to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem by referring to these same Assyrian cuneiform court records.  They are also the same records Bible scholars now use to provide independent verification and edification of the Bible’s historical accounts from about 805 BC to 530 BC.

 The Assyrian Royal Court records provide direct evidence and represent an incontestable primary source on this subject, since they were written during the time period in question by people who were directly involved.  Primary sources have greater value than secondary sources, which can include generalizations, speculation and interpretations made long after the occurrence of the events.  On this particular subject, too often what has been written about these countries constitutes secondary evidence and is not based on facts.  In some instances statements are the product of mischief, bias or not studying all of the available information.

The Assyrian Court records show dealings with Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:3-6), the nations that stretched across ancient Asia Minor (modern Turkey) from west to east.  From these records we also learn that the ancient nation of Gomer (Ezekiel 38:6), an enemy of the Assyrians invaded Asia Minor by coming down from an area around the northeast shore of the Black Sea.  Archeologists know that the militant leader called “Gog” in Ezekiel 38/39 led a confederacy of these nations against invading Gomer.    

Who and what are Gog and Magog?

Gog is a historical man who the Greeks called Gyges of Lydia.  In Gyges of Lydia we have the leader the Assyrians called “Gugu, King of Ludu,” and “Gugu of Magugu,” who is referred to in the Bible as Gog of Magog.   “Magog” simply means “the land of Gog.”  In Akkadian ma means land, so in Akkadian Ma- gugu means “the land of Gugu,” which becomes our Ma-gog. (Just as the Assyrian eponym for the land of the leader called Zamua is rendered as Ma-zamua).  Magog is an eponym for the ancient nation of Lydia that was in the westernmost part of Asia Minor. The Assyrians often referred to a new land by the name of the first leader they learned of from this land. The Assyrians dealt with Lydia through Meshech, who were subsequently defeated by Gomer, and thus the Assyrians finally came to deal with Lydia directly. In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39 Gog is being used as a “historical type” of the “antichrist” who is prophesied to come during the end times, and Magog is being used as a “historical type” of “the land of the antichrist.”


It has been mistakenly believed that the ancient nation of “Magog” in western Asia Minor was the ancient “tribal name” of the “Scythians,” a group of Iranian speaking nomadic tribes from Central Asia (north of Iran) that traveled across the Russian steppes, and came to live in the territory north of the Black Sea. Then, in turn, and again in error, it has been believed that the ancient Scythians were the progenitors of the modern Russians. In Foes from the Northern Frontier Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, a professor of history at Miami University in Ohio emphatically explains that none of the ancient nations referred to in Ezekiel 38-39 can possibly be related to modern Russia.  Further, Yamauchi says:


 “Even if one were to transliterate the Hebrew rosh as a proper name (as does the NAS) rather than translate it as ‘chief’ (as does the KJV, NIV, and Hebrew Tanakh), it can have nothing to do with modern ‘Russia.’  This would be a gross anachronism for the modern name is based upon the name Rus, which was brought into the region of Kiev, north of the Black Sea, by the Vikings only in the Middle Ages.”

Daniel I. Block, a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in The Book of Ezekiel writes,

“The popular identification of Tubal with Tubolsk in Russia (H. Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth 1970, p.53) is ludicrous . . . The popular identification of Meshech with Moscow (of Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth p.53) is absurd.


How did Russia become associated with Magog?


The erroneous belief that Russia is Magog can be traced back to a small group of 18th and 19th century theologians who wrote long before the primary evidence from the ancient Assyrian records was discovered, translated and made available to the public.  Instead, they based their assertions on secondary sources, historical works written over 500 years after the time of Ezekiel, and to make matters worse some of these sources had come to be purposefully altered. These altered references include statements attributed to the first century AD Jewish historian Josephus, and first century AD Roman historian Pliny.


In his book The Antiquity of the Jews Josephus says that the Greeks called the “Magogites” the “Scythians” despite the fact that the Greeks did not call the Magogites the Scythians.  In this same passage there are other errors in the identification of other ancient nations of Asia Minor.  This passage shows that the author did not understand that Ashkenaz is the Hebrew word for the Scythians. (Interestingly, the Assyrian word for the Scythians, Ishkuza or Ashguza is similar to the Hebrew word for the Scythians – Ashkenaz.)  This passage also comes into conflict with what the ancient Greek historian Herodotus who after living with each group wrote about the Scythians and the Lydians in his book The History. Since Josephus used Herodotus’ book as a reference, one can only speculate how and why these obviously wrong statements are in Josephus’ book.  Were these inaccurate statements the products of Josephus’ imagination, or were they the result of alterations to the few copies of Josephus’ work that existed in medieval times? (Jews did not preserve the writings of Josephus because they considered him to be a traitor.)  Beginning in the 11th century these surviving manuscripts were copied by Catholic monks, and obviously altered in some places to suit prevailing beliefs.  Ecclesiastical acceptance of the erroneous connection between Magog and the Scythians traces back to Saint Jerome of the late fourth century AD.  Unfortunately, the oft quoted statement that has Josephus connecting Magog with the Scythians is an act of document forgery.


Similarly, the oft quoted statement that has the ancient Roman historian Pliny in his work The Natural History that connects Magog with the Scythians is another forgery.  Nineteenth century Scottish Reverend John Cumming is credited as being a leading promoter of the Bible interpretation that calls for Russia invading Israel. In his book The Destiny of Nations Cumming quotes a passage from Pliny’s book about Magog which he purposefully altered.


Reverend Cumming on page 126 wrote: Pliny says ‘Hierapolis taken by the Scythians was afterwards called Magog.’”


Pliny on page 439 actually wrote: “Bambyx (a part of Lydia) the other name of which is Hierapolis, but by the Syrians called Magog.”



Pliny’s statement has been misquoted by Cumming in a way that makes it seem that Magog was related to the Scythians rather than the Lydians.  Unfortunately, this same misquote of Pliny has been carried forward in time and appears in Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth (page 53).   This alteration is easily verified by going to a copy of Pliny’s book and seeing how key words were changed and switched around.  It is difficult to believe that none of the many authors of books that discuss Ezekiel 38/39 and the war of Gog and Magog have not discovered this sleight of hand and exposed the deception. (While many contemporary Evangelicals gave Cumming’s books on prophecy favorable reviews, an article in the Westminster Review in 1855 about Cumming attacked him for his “intellectual dishonesty, anti-Catholic bigotry, and moral and spiritual perversion.”)


The correct identification of Magog with Lydia and not Scythia is consistent with the ancient texts of the Assyrians, who at various times were either the allies or the foes of the Scythians, but had peaceful dealings with the Lydians, who they also referred to as “Magog.”  Within academia today, no professional archeologists, historians or serious Bible researchers associate Magog with the Scythians or the Scythians with the Russians.  The truth is that modern scholars have unequivocally documented that a group of Scandinavian Viking traders called the Rus began the Russian state during the mid AD 800's, and gave their name to Russia.  Therefore there is no historical or factual basis for any connection of Russia to Magog.

ANCIENT NATIONS OF EZEKIEL 38/39 Ezekiel 38/39 makes reference to a group of ancient nations that are all found in Asia Minor: Magog (Lydia), Meshech, Tubal, Togarmah and Gomer. The correct identification of these nations comes from the “Royal Court Records of the Assyrians”; the primary source on this subject. These same Assyrian Court records are referred to in the Bible (Ezra 4:15, 19).

 LYDIAN MIGRATION TO ITALY An early Lydian dynasty experienced a prolonged famine which caused half of the Lydian population to migrate to the west coast of Italy, just north of Rome. The Romans called these Lydian migrants “Etruscans.” The Etruscans settled in an area called Tuscany and they helped found the city of Rome and jump start the Roman civilization. Hundreds of years after this migration, the Lydian population in Asia Minor came to be ruled by a militant ruler whom the Greeks called “Gyges of Lydia.” To the Assyrians this same leader was known as “Gugu King of Ludu,” and “Gugu of Magugu.” Ezekiel referred to this same leader as “Gog of Magog” where “Magog” means “the land of Gog.”


 Why understanding Gog and Magog is important


As for comparing Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38/39 to Gog and Magog of Revelation 20:7-10, two different wars are being referred to and the terms Gog and Magog are not being used literally but being used as “historical types.”  As referred to in Ezekiel 38-39, the historical Gog who was a “prince” of the nations of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, serve as “historical types” of the “antichrist” and the multi-national confederacy over which the antichrist is to rule during the tribulation period. The Bible uses the historical leader Gog as a historical type of the antichrist to come in the exact same ways the Bible uses the historical King David as a type of Jesus’ Second Coming (Ezekiel 34:23 and Ezekiel 37:22-24). Similarly, in Matthew 11:14 (also see Malachi 4:5) and Matthew 17:10-13 (“if you will receive it”) Jesus in effect says that John is a historical type of Elijah.  In other words, “Gog and Magog” (remember in Akkadian “Magog” means “the land of Gog”) in their most basic meaning, are taken to be types or references to any “antichrist” and “the land of this antichrist;” just as I John 2:18, 22, 4:3, and II John 7 says “there are many antichrists.”  Thus, Revelation 20 tells of a second and separate battle involving another Gog and Magog, that is, a different battle involving another antichrist and the lands of this antichrist that takes place around 1,000 years after the battle of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38/39. The Gog or antichrist of Ezekiel 38 is involved with one war that is to occur before Jesus returns, and the Gog or antichrist of Revelation 20 is involved with another war that is to occur after Jesus returns and dwells with mankind for one thousand years.


The bottom line for what is said in Ezekiel 38/39 is that just as a real person called Gog led a confederacy of nations around 660B.C., Ezekiel is using Gog as a historical type of the antichrist, and Magog as a historical type of the nations the antichrist is to lead, for a war that Ezekiel is prophesying to occur during the end times.  This could be fulfilled by the appearance of an antichrist and a confederacy of European nations representing a revived Roman Empire.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 and 3:15 teach that which is to be hath already been and that there is nothing new under the sun. Has such an invasion of the Holy Land and effort to kill Jews by a confederacy of European nations ever occurred before?  Yes, deadly invasions of Israel have taken place a number of times. These invasions are called the Crusades of the Middle Ages.  A confederacy of European nations has invaded Israel before and according to scripture it seems that these nations will do so again. While Russia’s anti- Israel actions regularly appear in the news, it is interesting to note the ever growing anti-Israel attitude and actions of the European Community.


. This overview ties to two free downloads on my website (www.thecometsofgod.com) which give the evidence and explanations supporting this overview: 1-“Russia Is Not Magog” (http://www.thecometsofgod.com/dwnlds/appndx-b.pdf   and 2- “Armageddon, Magog, and the War of Ezekiel 38/39” (http://www.thecometsofgod.com/dwnlds/chap9.pdf

A chart that illustrates how The Battle of Gog and Magog and the Battle of Armageddon is one in the same war that occurs at the end of the tribulation can be found at: http://www.newscientificevidenceforgod.com/2012/03/chartthe-war-of-gog-and-magog-and.html#links