Contact: Jeffrey Goodman Ph.D., 520-885-5874, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.thecometsofgod.com
TUCSON, Az., Sept. 28, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian archeologist Dr. Jeffrey Goodman in his book "THE COMETS OF GOD" pokes a big hole in the theory long held by most evangelical Christians that Russia will be one of the bad guys during the end times. Based on misconceptions about Russia's origins, many evangelicals believe Russia is to be the evil empire of Ezekiel 38-39 that is to attack Israel during the end times. Goodman says this error about Russia has the potential to create an international misunderstanding that could provoke unwarranted political action.
Most end times Bible prophecy authors have argued that Russia's origins trace back to the ancient nation of "Magog" of western Asia Minor, and that Magog was the ancient "tribal name" of the "Scythians." They wrongly believe the "Scythians," a group of nomadic tribes from Central Asia traveled across the Russian steppes, and came to live in the territory north of the Black Sea. The erroneous belief that Russia is Magog from Ezekiel 38/39 can be traced back to a small group of 18th and 19th century theologians who based their assertions on historical references that had been purposefully altered. These altered references include statements attributed to the Jewish historian Josephus, and the Roman historian Pliny. Within academia today, no professional archeologists or 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.
So if Russia is not Magog of end times Bible prophecy, who is? Dr. Goodman says archeologists and historians know the correct identity of the nations of Ezekiel 38-39 based on the dealings these ancient nations had with the Assyrian Royal Court. Records of the ancient Assyrian Royal Court talk about these ancient nations the same way that the Bible does. Based on the Assyrian records, archeologists recognize the Bible's Gog as a historical militant king who indeed led a multinational force that included the nations of Mesheck and Tubal, as called for in Ezekiel 38-39. Gog of Magog means "Gog of the land of Gog" and the Assyrian records identify this land as Lydia of western Asia Minor. To the Greeks Gog was known as Gyges of Lydia.
Goodman says that since Gog, Lydia (Magog) and their confederates no longer exist, Ezekiel 38-39 uses them as "historical types" of those who are to be involved in the end times battle described in Ezekiel 38-39. As King David is used as a type of the Messiah, Gog is used as a type of the antichrist. The Bible says this battle is to take place in the mountains (Ezekiel 38:8, 21 and Ezekiel 39:2, 4, 17) where God fights for Israel and reveals Himself to Israel. Moreover, the Bible's books of Daniel and Revelation both indicate that a revived Roman Empire (in essence) will be involved in such a battle.
Dr. Goodman explains that there is a connection between ancient Lydia and ancient Rome. Historians know migrants from Lydia called the Etruscans took control of the population of central Italy and put them on the fast track to becoming the powerful Roman Empire. The Etruscans were responsible for the urbanization of Rome, as well as its army and its economic advancement. The Penguin Dictionary of Archeology says "the influence of the Etruscans on Roman civilization was enormous." In the Fifth century BC the famed Greek historian Herodotus told how the Etruscans came to Italy as a result of a migration from Lydia. From fancy pottery to oriental style burial tombs, the culture of Lydia was lifted and replanted in Tuscany, north of the city of Rome. As Gog's descendents became the Kings of Lydia, their Etruscan cousins became the monarchs or Kings of Rome, and they even used the word "Etruria" as a synonym for Italy.
The historical record shows a clear connection between Magog (an eponym for Lydia) and what the Bible says will be the final expression of Roman Empire, since an Etruscan last sat on the throne of Rome before it became a Republic, and the Etruscan right to rule traces back to Lydia.
For details and illustrations please go to FREE DOWNLOADS at www.thecometsofgod.com and see "Russia is Not Magog" and "Armageddon, Magog and the War of Ezekiel 38/39."