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Is “Nero” in the new Star Trek movie an intentional Christian allegory?

If you haven’t seen Star Trek XI, you need to drop everything and go out and spend $10 (or whatever it costs in your town to see a movie these days) and see it. Not only is it the best Star Trek movie by far, but it will be the biggest movie of the year and shockingly, despite all the hype, it is much better than expected. I could go on and repeat all the critical drivel about how it will revive the franchise, how great is Chris Pine’s portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk, blah, blah, blah, but I won’t.

I am thinking that the “Nero” character in the new Star Trek movie is an intentional Christian allegory.

The “mythology” of a science fiction or fantasy series, whether it is The X-Files, Star Wars or Dune, works on several levels. There is the “back story” of a series, which enables the audience suspend ignorance and disbelief about the characters and their world. In The X-Files, Fox Mulder is obsessed with UFOs because he wants to believe that his younger sister’s disappearance when they were children is due to an alien abduction. It is what drives him to believe that “the truth is out there.” In Star Wars, the audience is asked from the beginning to understand that this is a mythological setting, for the story takes place, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” And thus we are willing to accept that there can be no reference to the world we are from. In Star Wars the impossibility of faster than light travel is explained by the existence of “hyper-space” – another dimension where those nagging laws of Einstein’s do not interfere. In Dune, the entire mythology revolves around the production of spice on the desert world of Arrakis or Dune, which not only makes interstellar travel possible, but drives the entire culture of the galaxy as well.

Science fiction and fantasy writers also draw upon mythic symbolism and universal archetypes. They capture the audience’s sense of wonder appealing to a deeper level of emotion and spiritual awareness. Therefore, George Lucas became an avid follower of Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and self-consciously used these symbols and stories in each of the Star Wars movies. Ursula K. LeGuin, author of The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, wrote what she called not science fiction but “thought experiments” relying on Jungian psychology and Eastern symbolism found in the Tao Te Ching. Frank Herbert, author of Dune, drew from biblical messianic prophecy tinged with ancient mythology and Arabic sounding words suggesting the religion of Islam. Other fantasy authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used Christian symbolism, although Tolkien claimed he hated the very idea of allegory and had no such intentions.

The original series of Star Trek was no stranger to allegory, mythology and dense symbolism. However, Christianity is the most common mythic reference. (Here I use the word “myth” in it’s proper literary sense.) One example is Episode 44 of Star Trek: The Original Series, entitled “Bread and Circuses,” a story about a planet whose leader has imitated the culture of the Roman Empire, but with 1960s technology. In the episode, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a persecuted minority known as “sun worshipers” who help McCoy and Spock escape certain death in the gladiator arena.

KIRK: Gentlemen.

MCCOY: Captain, I see on your report Flavius was killed. I am sorry. I liked that huge sun worshiper.

SPOCK: I wish we could have examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to develop a philosophy of total brotherhood. Sun worship is usually a primitive superstition religion.

UHURA: I’m afraid you have it all wrong, Mister Spock, all of you. I’ve been monitoring some of their old-style radio waves, the empire spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn’t. Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God.

KIRK: Caesar and Christ. They had them both. And the word is spreading only now.

MCCOY: A philosophy of total love and total brotherhood.

SPOCK: It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in their twentieth century.

KIRK: Wouldn’t it be something to watch, to be a part of? To see it happen all over again? Mister Chekov, take us out of orbit. Ahead warp factor one.

CHEKOV: Aye, sir.

A scene from “Bread and Circuses”

When I was a child I liked Mr. Spock and I even had a Vulcan haircut for a while, but I became a more serious fan of the show once I realized that each episode was a social commentary on one of the many issues during the turbulent 1960s. I was chagrined to realize when I visited Russia and Ukraine eleven times in the 1990s that the show never caught on in Europe or even in the post-Soviet Union. It made no sense at first, since the average Russian school child knew more about the American space program than we did and the whole society idolized its cosmonauts. They loved The X-Files and Star Wars, so why not Star Trek?

Finally, I realized that most Europeans disdained Star Trek as a crass expression of the American notion of Manifest Destiny. Not only would we take over the world, but an American styled “United Federation of Planets” would one day colonize space. Note that the crew of the Enterprise is multicultural and multi-ethnic, but the captain is predictably American. They hated that.

In the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan stepped up nuclear arms production in an attempt to win the cold war, William Shatner’s character appeared in the lyrics to a song, “99 Red Balloons,” by a one-hit-wonder German group, Nena, in a wry screed against the idea that a nuclear war is winnable.

Ninety-nine knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone’s a super hero
Everyone’s a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify, and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
As ninety-nine red balloons go by

But I digress.

A few years ago, I produced a preterist video commentary on Revelation 13 featuring Dr. Kenneth Gentry called The Beast of Revelation: Identified. Copies are always available on our website.

The preterist view of Revelation sees most of the events taking place in the first century since John was writing to seven churches in Asia Minor. In contrast to the preterist view, there are three other hermeneutic approaches to the book of Revelation.

Futurism is the most common “end-times view” of our day. According to the futurist, the book of Revelation is yet to be fulfilled. The locust plagues of Revelation 9 might be interpreted to be Cobra helicopters attacking modern day Israel. The Beast of Revelation 13 is a future world dictator.

Historicism is a view that states that the prophecies of the book of Revelation was fulfilled sometime in history, but not in the first century or in the future. The black plague of the Middle Ages might be interpreted to be one of the plagues brought by the four horsemen of Revelation 6. The pope at the time of Martin Luther is thought to be the Beast of Revelation 13.

Idealism is the spiritualist approach to Bible prophecy. This view states that the prophecies of Revelation are not to be taken literally, but have a general symbolic application in all history. The heavenly battle of Revelation 12 is thought to describe the ongoing battle between good and evil in the spiritual realm. The Beast of Revelation 13 might be any ruler in history who persecutes the church.

I find the preterist view to be most compelling because it has Caesar Nero as the Beast of Revelation 13. In fact, when we understand the historical background of the New Testament, we can see a lot of historical parallels in John’s vision to events that took place in the first century.

In Revelation 12 particularly, we see the figure of the Christ child who is persecuted by the dragon.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:1-9).

From a preterist point of view, this speaks of Israel, the Christ child, and the Church. Israel, the Old Covenant church, gives birth to the Christ child. But as soon as this happens, Satan, symbolized by the dragon, leads a war against Christ attempting to kill him through the Roman Empire’s military rulers. The first instance of this was the attempted murder of the Christ child by King Herod the Great.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men … Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:16-23).

After this occurs, Christ is finally crucified under the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate. He is resurrected from the dead, however, and is caught up to God’s throne. There He now rules the nations with a rod of iron. In the meantime, Satan is enraged with “the seed of the woman,” the church, and persecutes her through the Emperor Nero.

Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12: 13-17).

In Revelation 13 and 17, the “beast from the sea” and his number, “six hundred sixty-six,” is a symbol and cryptogram for Caesar Nero. This “Beast” has his power and authority to persecute the church from the dragon, the devil. The judgments on the “land” of the Jewish people are recounted in Revelation 18 and 19 leading up to the demolition of the Temple.

I cannot delve into a full-blown exposition of a difficult and controversial text here. I recommend if you want to know more about the preterist view that you check out the DVD, The Beast of Revelation: Identified, or one of Ken Gentry’s or David Chilton’s excellent books on the subject. It’s an interpretation that has had a minority following in church history, but is gaining ground among academics who see the frequent error of end-times hysteria in our culture.

Anne Rice, the recently converted Vampire horror fiction writer and author of a novel series, Christ the Lord, points out two important facts on preterism. A correct understanding of the biblical significance of the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD not only vanquishes crippling dispensationalism, but it also refutes the modernist conjecture that the New Testament was written late by non-eyewitnesses to Jesus.

When Jewish and Christian scholars begin to take this war seriously, when they begin to really study what happened during the terrible years of the siege of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple, and the revolts that continued in Palestine right up through Bar Kokhba, when they focus upon the persecution of Christians in Palestine by Jews; upon the civil war in Rome in the ‘60s which Kenneth L. Gentry so well describes in his work Before Jerusalem Fell; as well as the persecution of Jews in the Diaspora during this period – in sum, when all of this dark era is brought into the light of examination – Bible studies will change. Right now, scholars neglect or ignore the realities of this period. To some it seems a two-thousand-year-old embarrassment and I’m not sure I understand why. But I am convinced that the key to understanding the Gospels is that they were written before all this ever happened.

I understand the Star Trek XI movie as a prophetic landmark for the church pointing us toward a correct understanding of not just the book of Revelation, but of the entire New Testament. Let’s look at how perfectly the Star Trek mythology dovetails with the following biblical truths.

As any Trekkie can tell you, Spock’s sacrificial death and resurrection in Star Trek II and III cast him as the perfect Christ figure. Not only does he save the crew of the Enterprise, but he also saves the entire Federation of Planets from a doomsday machine called “Genesis.” The project is intended to create new inhabitable worlds in a few days or weeks out of barren planets. However, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy sees it for what it really is.

[In the film, Star Trek II, Kirk, Spock and Bones have just viewed a proposal video for the Genesis Project]

MCCOY: Dear Lord, do you think we’re intelligent enough to … suppose … what if this thing were used where life already exists?

SPOCK: It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.

MCCOY: Its new matrix? Do you have any idea what you’re saying?

SPOCK: I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications, Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.

MCCOY: [Sarcastically] Not anymore. Now we can do both at the same time! According to myth, the earth was created in six days. Now watch out! Here comes Genesis. We’ll do it for you in six minutes!

In Star Trek II, subtitled The Wrath of Khan, a genetically engineered super-villain named Khan captures Genesis and intends on using it to conquer the galaxy. The parallels between the biblical Genesis story here are all too obvious. Man, in his pride, succumbs to the desire to be like God by creating worlds. Then his adversary, the devil or Khan, manipulates man’s error in an attempt to rule the galaxy.

Ironically, Spock not only defeats “Genesis” by giving his life for the Enterprise, thus enabling the crew to destroy Khan, but later a newly created Genesis planet becomes the resting place of Spock’s body. Unknown to the crew of the Enterprise, Spock cannot remain dead on a planet that creates life out of non-life. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, McCoy discovers that upon Spock’s death he has received Spock’s soul which was imparted to him upon his death through a mind meld – a Vulcan ritual of laying on of hands and transferring thoughts and emotions. Spock’s DNA is reassimilated on the Genesis planet well into this third installment and he is resurrected and reunited with the crew. The Christian allegory here is obvious.

Fast forward to Star Trek XI, a movie that is all the more satisfying because the background mythology of the series alluded to elsewhere is spelled out clearly. While the story line is comprehensible to the newbie, Star Trek fans will see references to the mythology of the series in every scene, which makes it enjoyable on a deeper level.

Spock has been working as an ambassador toward universal peace among the planets for many decades. He attempts unification between his home world, Vulcan, and their ancestral enemies the offshoot race of the Romulans. Many years after this (Vulcans live much longer than humans you must know, it’s part of the mythology) it is discovered that a giant supernova threatens to destroy a large part of the inhabitable galaxy. Equipped with a substance called “red matter,” Spock attempts to cause the supernova to collapse on itself transforming the stellar phenomenon into a black hole. In the process the Romulan home world is destroyed.

A Romulan miner named “Nero” escapes death because he captains a vast starship apparently outfitted to drill, pulverize and process planetary matter and asteroids. He travels back into the past through this black hole. Nero resolves to eliminate the Federation by killing its greatest starship captain, James T. Kirk, before he could take command of the Enterprise. Kirk’s best friend, Spock, tries to undo the damage caused by Nero by following him through time. Arriving 25 years later than Nero due to the time distortion, Spock finds Nero is waiting for him. Rather than killing Spock, he imprisons him on an ice planet close to Vulcan. Spock is forced to watch the death of his own home world in this alternate universe. (Star Trek is no stranger to the time paradox theme as introduced in what is arguably the best episode, “City on the Edge of Forever.”) Nero then plans to use “red matter” to destroy the worlds that make up the Federation over 100 years prior to his own planet’s destruction in order to alter the future.

Star Trek XI’s theme becomes the “Wrath of Nero.” Or as the King James version of the Bible has it:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).

This war between the dragon and the woman becomes the mythic theme of Star Trek XI. In the plot of the film, there are several striking parallels. First, the elder Spock watches his mother killed and then he is forced to contend with the war of Nero against the Federation, the prime targets being the younger versions of Spock and Kirk.

It is important to understand here that the “woman” of Revelation 12 is not singularly Mary the Mother of God, but Israel and later “New Covenant Israel” or the church. In Revelation chapter 13, a new character is introduced, “a beast arose up out of the sea.” This is the Roman Caesar Nero who actually did kill the “seed of the woman,” the founders of the Christian church, in large numbers. The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in about 116 AD, records that Nero sought to use the Christians as the scapegoat for a great fire that consumed much of Rome on the night of July 18th, 64 AD:

But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed (Annals 15.44).

Writing about 20 years earlier (c. 96 AD), the Roman bishop Clement records that Peter and Paul were among the list of martyrs of his “own generation.” Clement is thought by many to be an eyewitness to the martyrdoms of the Apostles and other Christians in the arena under Nero from 64 to 67 AD.

But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience (1 Clement 5).

Star Trek’s villain Nero seeks first to punish Spock by destroying his home planet, but his family escapes except for his mother, an earth woman named Amanda. Spock is half Vulcan and half human and this too fits into the Christ myth that is developed throughout the Star Trek canon. Nero then seeks to kill “the remnant of the woman’s seed,” the young Spock and the crew of the Enterprise.

Likewise, Caesar Nero after proclaiming himself a god, was unable to countenance the existence of a growing Christian movement that placed a man from Palestine above his own authority. In his great wrath, Nero destroys the Apostles, but cannot destroy the church after three-and-a half years of bloody persecution. The Beast is said to “make war with the saints and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7). He is said to conduct such blasphemous warfare for a specific period of time: 42 months (Rev. 13:5).

As a consequence, Nero commits suicide stabbing himself in the neck with his own sword. The Beast not only slays by the sword, but ultimately is to die of a sword wound. “He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Rev.13:10). Finally, we see the Beast “cast into a lake of fire” at the end of John’s prophecy (Revelation 20:10). Star Trek’s Nero meets a similar end as he too dies in a conflagration.

As in any allegory, the weakness is found when we begin to stretch it too far. Obviously the time travel element and having two Spocks complicates “the seed of the woman” analogy a bit – or perhaps makes it more interesting. However, I have made it my purpose here to note the biblical parallels between Star Trek XI and the biblical story of the woman, the child, the dragon and the beast and to point out how the history of Nero can be understood to support the preterist interpretation of biblical prophecy.


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Comments

Your comments are welcome!

You are still nuts!!

The destruction of the planet Vulcan was symbolic of the shift in our society away from hard-work and left-brain dominant rational thinking to a right-brain emotional world. The whole new Star Trek enterprise is now young cadets, un-initiated, not even graduates, roaming around trying to run the ship. The perspective that risk-taking without rational calculation is the preferred world view is foolish and detrimental to our society.

Posted by  Anonymous on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

Hmmm... You might have something there.

The premise of Jungian psychology or Joseph Campbell's theory of myth-making is that we see certain archetypes, eternal themes or symbols, over and over again in literature.

Where I disagree with Campbell and Jung is over "why" these symbols are recurring. They would say that these archetypes are due to inate organizing principles inherent in our brain's DNA or that they are evolutionary race memories. That may or may not be true.

What I propose is that we each are given by God a level of natural revelation of the one eternal truth. One of the most overarching symbols in literature is of the woman and the dragon.

In Revelation 12, we see a young woman giving birth and even as she does so, the dragon tries to destroy her and her child with a flood spewed out of his mouth. But the earth hides the woman and the child. Later the "seed of the woman" goes to war with the dragon and prevails.

This is what we see in the opening scene of Star Trek XI and this is what grabs the viewer on a deeper spiritual level.

Star Trek is known for its use of allegory. If you search the Internet for "Star Trek allegory" you'll see a lot of articles claiming that this Star Trek movie has no message or allegory. But it's amazing to me that people can miss a theme that is so fundamental and universal.

Jung and Campbell wrote that an archetype works on an unconscious level. These symbols work best when we are unaware of them. Even writers may use them without intending it.

Here is where I agree. There is only one "Story" -- which is "His Story" -- and we are contantly making little stories in imitation of the original. We are most prone to it when we are unaware or try to ignore it. There is no escaping.

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

I thought "Nero" was only concerned about chasing down SPOCK, he didn't seem to care about Kirk....it just so happened that Kirk "appeared" on his bridge giving him a chance to kill him in person. I never noticed that he was intentionally pursuing Kirk. Kirk's Dad's ship just happened to be in the location of the "exit" side of the time warp when Nero appeared. Nero had no idea what he was up against or **when** (as opposed to where) he was. He popped out of the future, took what he thought was a suicide charge against a Federation vessel. Got a quick surprise victory, and was shocked to find he was in a different time. He then spent the next 25 years in solitude plotting (and doing the math as to when Spock was going to appear) his revenge on Spock. So, I just didn't get the Dragon after the Baby thing....

Posted by  Anonymous on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

When Nero arrives in the first scene he is hellbent on finding Spock in order to punish him. So he captures the captain of a starship he meets to question him.

Of course, Nero doesn't even know he has traveled back in time yet, so he has no plans to kill Kirk or anyone in the federation yet. It's only when he realizes that he can change the future that he devises a plan to destroy the federation planets.

Midway through the movie, Nero doesn't destroy the Enterprise because the recognizes the fleet number on the ship. He realizes a young Spock is aboard. His purpose is the make destroy the federation because he holds the whole federation is responsible for the death of his home planet.

When he first meets Kirk, he is delighted because recognizes him "from earth's history." The whole time paradox twist damages a straight one-to-one allegory if we want to comapre this to the hisotry of Nero, but all the elements are there.

Whether he intends on destroying Kirk, the fact that he escapes even as he is born really echoes Revelation 12:1-9.

"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars."

The setting is a starship in outer space. So far so good.

"Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth."

Just as Kirk's mother is about to be born, Nero appears literally out of another dimension. His mining ship resembles a great dragon. It spits fire, destroys starships and annihilates entire planets.

"And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne."

As Nero is about to destroy George Kirk, his son, James Tiberius Kirk is born as a child with a destiny of great deeds as a captain in the United Federation of Planets. It's interesting too that Christ came on the scene during the time of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 2:2).

"Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days."

Kirk's mother escapes. And this is where the interim plot develops.

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

"And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

This of course is the ensuing war between Nero and the Federation after the elder Spock (or "Spock Prime") appears out of another dimension. Since Nero is from a future time when his home world will be destroyed, he cannot return, but instead can only make war with the Federation.

The problem with allegory and analogy is that it can only be stretched so far before it breaks down. When Star Trek wants to make an allegory it is not subtle at all. If it's about Nazis, you see swastikas on everything. If it's about the Soviet Union, there is a "gulag planet." And so on.

I don't know how much more obvious one could get than calling the villain, "Nero" from Romulus. But as far as I can tell, I am the only person on the Internet who has written on this.

Here are the historical parallels.

* Romulus is destroyed in a fire.
* Rome is destroyed in a fire.

* Nero blames the Christians who had nothing to do with it and he executes them cruelly.
* Nero blames Spock and seeks to destroy the key Federation planets.

I am convinced it is intentional, but of course, preterism is a pet doctrine of mine. I could be reading into it. However, even if it is unintentional, it's a useful way of teaching this method of biblical interpretation.

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

This would speak of the entire Federation, not just Kirk or Spock. But if you know anything about the prior movies, you know that both characters die to save the Enterprise and are resurrected (to save it again).

Of course, most Christians are unaware of the preterist interpretation of Revelation, thinking instead that this verse refers to a future "Seven Year Great Tribulation." However, a more classical approach is to see it this way.

The dragon is Satan.
The woman is Israel (the Old Covenant Church).
The Child is Christ.
The remnant of her offspring - or the "seed of the woman" -- is the church.

There are parallels of course with the story of Genesis 1-3.

In Star Trek I I am not convinced that the Revelation story was in the writers' minds. However, as I said, it is always there whether we realize it or not. Revelation 12 is also Star Wars IV. It's also Beowulf, Arthurian Legend, Macbeth, and even many westerns.

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

OOO Very Good!
Now I see what you're trying to say....and I totally missed the "Romulus" and "Nero" allusions.

After all... in the old Star Trek the Klingons were the Soviets and the Romulans were the Chinese. That was my starting point. I wouldn't be surprised if it was all intentional, even if only from a literary perspective.

So are you working this summer?

Posted by  Anonymous on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

I am on summer vacation, but I am working on a lot of things that may actually get done. I was thinking of doing this Star Trek entry as a YouTube video, but it might be kind of time consuming and distracting from other things. It would introduce a lot of people to preterism though. Hmmm...

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

You need to read the book of Daniel together with the book of Revelation, then you will get a clearer picture that will provide absolute clarity and no more conjecture about what symbol / beast could relate to what object or country / power.

To make it easy for you. The beast of the the sea is the papacy or more specifically 'the Vatican'. It is a system of worship more than a person or group of people. BUT the system is controlled by one human in a rolling system interrupted only by death.
This video using Biblical texts may interest you …

http://www.worldslastchance.com/view-video/109/1amazing-prophecy-|-first-beast-of-revelation-13.html

The beast out of the earth is America. Interestingly enough, the UN is based in NY and it is the US that is dicatating to the world who is and who is not a threat to global society. I don't see too much of this advice coming out of Andorra ... ?

Look back to earlier this year when the pope visited the US and the UN specifically. Can you not see how the US will form an image to the beast in a 'mirrored false system of worship' ? Sunday laws and population control are all included in this agenda, but ultimately it is the basis for global acceptance and already the world leading polititians are following Obama's lead and calling for a 'new world order'...

Persecution is not far away.

Keep looking to star-trek for your inspiration and you will be drip-fed everything that occultist Hollywood wants you to know. Then using their allegories, you will question your own Biblical foundational beliefs thinking that maybe they have a point ....!

I will keep my $10.00 in my pocket for now and look to give it away or spend it on something that will benefit someone in need.

(I am not a number)

Posted by  Anonymous on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

When I read the book of Daniel as the back drop to Matthew 24 and Revelation, I got a clearer understanding of why preterism is the only relevant method of interpretation to these prophetic passages.

In short, Daniel is pointing to events taking place prior to and during the time when the messiah would come and the kingdom of God would come on earth -- the first century during the time of the Roman Empire.

These books may have APPLICATION to other time periods, but to treat them as anything other than messianic prophecies and fulfillment is to wrench the clear meaning of the text out of context.
You can read my commentary on Daniel here:

In the Days of These Kings: A Preterist Commentary on Daniel

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

I am a preterist, rather than a historicist or a futurist, because I believe the book of Revelation has to be interpreted in light of passages in Daniel and the Mount Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24). The book of Daniel points to the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, not the medieval Roman Church. Jesus himself points to the fulfillment of the “Fourth Kingdom” prophecy (“the abomination that causes desolation” — Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15) as occurring in the first century.

I know that some historicists like to stretch Daniel’s “Fourth Kingdom” prophecies to include all of history. So do the futurists and dispensationalists.

But if we let Daniel interpret Daniel, I think the only immediate application is the first century.

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

And in the days of these kings — Simply put, in the days of the Roman Empire. Daniel prophesied that the kingdom of God would be brought to earth by Jesus Christ “in the days of these kings” never to be destroyed. The saints of the kingdom will war against the kingdoms of this world and they will become part of “the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15).

While I agree that this is a progressive millennial kingdom, I do not see how any of the “kings” of Daniel and Revelation can be thought of as being the papacy or a future world dictator.

Daniel is not a prophecy given to Protestants to describe the time of the Reformation. It is not a prophecy given to Christians today that describes events in our future. It is a prophecy given to the Jews to prove the time of the coming Messiah. The context and purpose of the passage point to a first century fulfillment. Key timing elements of the prophecy as well as the application of specific descriptions of the “little horn” describe Nero Caesar.

The Mount Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation were both given to explain that Daniel’s prophecy is fulfilled in the time of Jesus Christ.

Posted by Jay Rogers on 08/20/2014 10:37 AM #

???HUH???

You are NUTS!!!

In a good way!!

So, off we go!

Posted by  Anonymous on 11/05/2009 11:21 AM #

Textile Help

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

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