Who is the Beast of the Book of Revelation? There are many fanciful and wrong ideas about this, but many Bible scholars are now pointing to the Roman Emperor Nero.
J.D. King writes in the World Revival Network blog:
Who The ‘Beast of Revelation’ Really Is
As far back as I can remember people have been speculating about the “Antichrist,” an evil figure referenced in portions of the New Testament.
After President Ronald Wilson Reagan was shot and miraculously recovered in 1981, people made the ridiculous assertion that he was the prophesied evil figure of “end-times.” It didn’t help that his first, middle, and last name all had six letters (666).
At that same time, others argued that the Antichrist was Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev or Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Less than a decade later Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians were insisting that the “Man of sin” was actually Iraqi Saddam Hussein in the land once known as Babylon.
Later, I learned that previous generations believed that the Antichrist was Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy or Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany. The actual listing of individuals identified with this role is quite long and ludicrous. Whatever nation happens to be the current enemy of America (or Israel) usually supplies us with the current candidates for the antichrist.
Obviously there’s a lot of misunderstanding and misapplication here. Many of our collective anxieties and fears are coloring our readings of the Bible. We’re bringing into the text things Scripture never actually articulates. Much of this happens because of our confusion about the Bible and ignorance of the apocalyptic genre. We don’t comprehend its intended meaning or its use of fierce imagery and symbols.
Read the full article here