AI is not the Anti-Christ

AJ Mastav
3 min readNov 25, 2023
Image by https://deepai.org/ and AJ Mastav

For the better part of 2,000 years, Christians have been engaging in one of the faith’s most entertaining pasttimes: Antichrist spotting.

The Antichrist in the Bible is originally identifed as a deceiver, or a bunch of deceivers, out to spread an anti-Gospel: that Jesus wasn’t divine, or that he never existed. As the author of 1 John says:

“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18

The Book of Revelation doesn’t talk about the Antichrist per se — instead, Revelation talks about The Beast. But it’s assumed that the Antichrist is also the Beast. Revelation is where we get the number 666 as the Devil’s number and where the idea of a “mark of the Beast” comes from.

Modern scholars have usually interpreted the Book of Revelation as being an anti-Roman polemic, reflecting the primary political crisis of the first century A.D.: the domination of Israel, and the entire Western world, by the Roman Empire. From the perspective of a non-Roman, the Roman Empire really was a beast — an indomitable monster that could consume everything.

But the almost hallucinatory nature of the narrative in Revelation means that its symbolic language can be made to fit most political and/or cultural contexts, if you work at it. Obviously, if you were a Christian living in Western Europe after 476 AD, pinning all your anxieties about the world and the future on the Roman Empire got a lot harder, because its dominance ended. The Book of Revelation, Rohrschach inkblot that it is, slowly but surely started to point people in other directions.

Over the past 1,500 years, anyone you didn’t like, didn’t agree with, or were vaguely scared of could be labeled “antichrist”. In the 1980s, when computers started to be integrated into business on a large scale, it seemed obvious to a lot of Christians in the U.S. that this was the beginning of the kind of One World Government that had never been possible before. It was also, purely coincidentally, a great way to sell books.

Writing in The Deseret News way back in 1990, folklorist Jan Harold Brunvard documented some of the rumors that he had heard about computers and the antichrist:

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AJ Mastav

Professional planner, unprofessional writer. Member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Also, a former Sunday School teacher.