I am thankful to the folks at The LAB (Logos Academic Blog) for sharing my post “COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast.” With the host of rumors and odd theories floating around the internet (not least on social media platforms), many sincere Christians are becoming increasingly concerned that “the mark of the beast” is somehow related to the pandemic (e.g., a vaccine, the quarantine). Much of the fear is based upon wrong assumptions about the book of Revelation and “the mark,” and I attempt to address some of these in my post. I’ve always had a passion to “bridge the gap” that exists between scholarship and the local church (what’s the point of biblical scholarship if it doesn’t trickle down, at some point, to the church)? At any rate, this was my motivation in writing the post.
Here’s a snippet from it:
I know of no reputable biblical scholar or theologian who would endorse that the COVID-19 quarantine or a vaccine is related to the “mark of the beast”. For starters, in Revelation, the “mark of the beast” is by no means a medical procedure. Most likely, it’s not even a physical or visible mark at all. Contrary to some of the more fear-inducing theories that have in the past gained steam in some evangelical circles, the “mark” is not at all something that could be accidentally taken either. Why? Because the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18) is a mark that is closely tied to the worship of the beast (13:12, 15; cf. 19:20; 20:4). Thus, the mark of the beast is a mark of loyalty and devotion to the beast.
You can read the rest here.