The word antichrist is made up of two roots: αντί + Χριστός (anti + Christos). "Αντί" can mean not only "against" and "opposite of", but also "in place of", "Χριστός", translated "Christ", is Greek for the Hebrew "Messiah" meaning "anointed," and refers to Jesus of Nazareth within Christian, Islamic and Messianic Jewish theology.
- 1: one who denies or opposes Christ; specifically : a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming
- 2: a false Christ
The antichrist is a Christian concept based on the exegesis of Second Temple (500 BCE–50 CE) Jewish texts that refer to anti-messiahs. The legend of the Antichrist is only within the context of Christian belief, where Jesus the messiah, appears in his Second coming to earth, to face the emergence of the Antichrist figure. Just as Christ is the savior and the ideal model for humanity, his opponent in the End of days will be a single figure of concentrated evil. In the New Testament, the term "antichrist" occurs five times in 1 John and 2 John, once in plural form and four times in the singular.
The term "Antichrist" is widely used through popular culture, and most prominently in punk subculture. This trend was spurred by the Sex Pistols' song "Anarchy in the UK", in which lead singer Johnny Rotten proclaimed that he was an Antichrist. After the release of the song, adherents of the punk culture began to use the word as a term to describe someone who is very vulgar, crude, or rebellious. However, after Johnny Rotten's denouncement of useless violence in his years with Public Image Ltd, this trend began to subside with those who had used it for the sheer sake of being "punk". It is now used in the fringe groups of anarcho-punks and is most commonly used to describe those who practice violent and sensational forms of anarchy.