The "Great Deception"

 It is written that a great deception will deceive "even the elect". What is that great deception? Is it a subtle, consistent lie as in "tell a lie often enough, and people will eventually believe it"?  Did Himmler say that? :dubious:

A quick Google search says it’s a quote from the Bible:

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
-Matthew 24:24

Not even that says that great signs and wonders will succeed at deceiving even the elect.

It’s Anti Christ, End-Times, Rapture woo-woo.

Matthew 24:24 from above, and another commonly thrown around scripture, Revelation 13:11-14:

There’s a quote that makes not a lick of sense (esp. if it’s Jesus who’s supposed to have said it) without supposing a scribal interpolation.

Almost certainly the original said it would decieve the elect, and someone later was like “but how could that be? I need to fix this up…” and he proceded to insert the “if possible” language, not really thinking through the implications.

That is a rather strong way of putting the matter. It is fairly easy to get it to make a lick of sense; consider where there are no elect, then it is not possible to decieve the elect. But if there are, even they will be deceived.

We could also have that the elect are around the threshold of being able to be deceived. If they are below it, even the elect, who are the hardest to deceive, will be deceived. If they are above it, well, it is not possible to deceive them.

A couple of translations that I’ve looked at render this passage like this"

“False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect.”

In this rendering, the implication is that it’s not possible to deceive the “elect” (whoever they are understood to be). More to the point, though, there is no longer a suggestiong that the intention will be to decieve the elect; the language becomes a figure of speech to indicate the magnitude of the deception embodied in the “signs and wonders”. And I don’t think it requires any later scribal interpolation.

(I have no way of knowing which translation is the more accurate, or is better supported by the Greek text.)

Obama will pull a coin out of your ear. But don’t you believe him! It wasn’t in your ear, it was really in his palm the whole damn time.

And then he sends you to the guillotine. So it’s a really crappy trick.

Joseph Goebbels

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you flee.

Sorry to disappoint, but we have not come within a million miles of being deceived.

-The Elect

I would put my money on “hiding in plain sight”. A variation is manipulating the talk show circuit so that sexy topics dominate important ones.

“Manipulating” implies a manipulator. Do you suggest the dominance of sexy topics would come about thanks to deception by false prophets rather than, say, sex is fun?


Dear Andros,

Of course sex is fun, and one will never notice that big thing in the corner, or the small thing hiding behind the big thing. So the talk circuit (my straw man, which represents what passes for media political discourse) is worthless. Editorial bias is mostly a matter of selection, so I really don’t blush at using the word manipulate. What if they gave some some sheep-whipping press releases the silence they deserve?

Nice thing about SDMB is that anybody can post a topic, and it gets discussed.

Regards, Robinson

The reason to never cease questioning (dogmatic authoritarians, for example) is simply that the information is not all in, if indeed it ever will be in any circumstance of time, space or place. Therefore an opinion/ conclusion is but a temporal convenience for some relatively short term utility or system.
Will “the truth” ever be known? In my humble “opinion”, when Christ referred to himself as the way, the truth and the life we humans became recipients of the great possibility that we may know the way, the truth and the life. It may take a very long time to comprehend this, but he desires that none are left behind, correct?
In order to be deceived, one must subscribe to the notion that the truth does not exist nor will ever be knowable to any degree of satisfaction. Eternal life is necessary. We must be apprehended by it in order to even begin to comprehend. An omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent nameless namer ( God-as Spirit) had to come in human form so that most of humanity could begin to begin.
** The deceivers themselves are the most deceived of all.** That’s why the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
Don’t worry, be happy!

Thanks for clearing that up.

No, no, it’s “the truth shall make you fret”. Except in France, where the Truth shall make you Brie.

Long bathroom break?

Don’t you love it when you’re reading a thread, and you come across a comment, and think “woah, dude that’s a weird thing to say”, and then you realize that you made the comment yourself 18 months ago?

I had exactly the same reaction regarding my own comment in this thread.

On reflection, though, it was quite witty. So I forgive myself.