Is Donald Trump specifically named in the New Testament prophecies about the end times? Some are speculating that the new U.S. president is "the last trump" that is mentioned in the Bible and that his geopolitical moves are heralding the end times. But one biblical expert says not so fast.
Dr. Samuel Lamerson, professor of New Testament and president of Florida's Knox Theological Seminary, told The Christian Post that such analysis is "ridiculous."
"First of all, it only works in the English language. The New Testament was written in Greek. Second of all, it only works in the King James Version and some other older translations. Many other translations will have 'trumpet' instead of 'trump,'" Lamerson explained.
Historian David Montaigne, who has written End Times and 2019, Antichrist 2016-2019, and The Two Witnesses of Revelation, pointed to two Bible passages in an online post last year that refer to "trump:"
1 Thessalonians 4:16 reads: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
I Corinthians 15:52 states: "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Montaigne noted that it is possible to look into such verses and explore what they might be saying about God's plans concerning Trump.
"I am not suggesting that Donald Trump absolutely *IS* the last trump – but since the LAST TRUMP is one of the most clear and final signs in end times prophecy, can we overlook the possibility that a presidential candidate named Trump is being used as a sign by God?" he posed.
Rejecting the argument, Lamerson told CP that he doubts that any New Testament scholar with legitimate credentials would give weight to such reading of prophecy.
"It's a textbook example of how not to read the text," Lamerson stressed. "It's what we would call an exegetical fallacy.
"These ideas that somehow the current president is named in the New Testament is the sort of thing that I teach my students to avoid at all costs."
Lamerson pointed out that this kind of discussion took place from Barack Obama's presidency all the way back to Abraham Lincoln.
"I think that often people forget that the book of Revelation was written 2,000 years ago," he said. The notion that what the Scripture says applies to the shape of the political world today "is to totally misunderstand what exactly is going on there," he added.
Other end times prophets have focused on the wider impact of Trump's presidency so far, such as his criticism of the European Union, particularly when it comes to allowing millions of refugees to enter its territory.
Author and commentator Erika Grey, who analyzes Israel, the U.S., Russia, and other major players in geopolitics today and their role in biblical prophecy, has linked Trump's opposition to the EU to factors that could bring about the end times.
While previous U.S. administrations all embraced the EU, Trump has taken the opposite stance, Grey noted, and aligned himself with Britain's Nigel Farage of the UKIP party, who successfully oversaw Brexit, or Britain voting to leave the EU.
"In end time Bible Prophecy we know that the EU is going to become the greatest most powerful world empire to have ever existed and it is going to be an economic powerhouse," she wrote on her website.
"Despite BREXIT and Donald Trump in Bible Prophecy the EU is still going to move forward despite taking these bumps. With Donald Trump as president there is a new sheriff in town and the era of EU, US relations has come to an end, but with the new president will come a geopolitical shift and the EU will continue to move forward even to the surprise of some EU officials."
People have long been making predictions about U.S. presidents playing a part in end times prophecy, Lamerson noted, and they have all turned out to be wrong.
"I suppose sooner or later, just by pure luck, somebody is going to be right," the Knox Theological Seminary president commented. "But it will not be because they have carefully understood the text. One of the things about biblical prophecy is that often, it needs to be fulfilled before we can really understand it. It's intentionally vague. And often the fulfillment is much better than what we could have ever expected."