Michael S. Heiser

Michael S. Heiser

Mike Heiser earned an MA and PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He has also earned an MA in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania (major fields: Ancient Israel and Egyptology). His main research interests are Israelite religion (especially Israel’s divine council), biblical theology, ancient Near Eastern religion, biblical & ancient Semitic languages, and ancient Jewish binitarian monotheism. Mike’s full academic CV can be found on his homepage, http://www.michaelsheiser.com/.

Mike is currently the Academic Editor at Logos Bible Software in Bellingham, WA. Before joining Logos, he taught biblical studies and history on the undergraduate level for twelve years. He currently teaches biblical Hebrew and Greek online through his MEMRA Institute.

Mike maintains three blogs that focus on his interests: The Naked Bible (biblical studies and biblical theology); PaleoBabble (fringe beliefs about archaeology and antiquity); and UFO Religions (how popular beliefs about UFOs and extraterrestrials shape religious beliefs and worldview). He podcasts on biblical studies at the Naked Bible Podcast.

Mike has been interviewed on a number of radio programs such as Coast to Coast AM, where he has been a frequent guest. He is best known for his critique of the ancient astronaut theories of Zecharia Sitchin, modern Jesus bloodline myths, and critique of the belief in Bible codes.

If you’re interested in having Mike speak at your conference or on your radio or TV program, podcast, or blog, please contact Kirkdale Press.

The Facade: Special Edition

Michael S. Heiser

Kidnapped by military insiders known as “The Group,” Dr. Brian Scott joins a team of world-class scholars working on an above- … Read More

Interview

You use a lot of Biblical research and facts in your book. Is there really Biblical evidence for extraterrestrial life?

The Bible is silent on ET life, and I don't claim in The Facade that it offers any evidence for ET life. That said, it does not rule out the idea. There is nothing in Scripture that forbids an intelligent extraterrestrial, as the Bible is a human-centered text, since humans are God's imagers on this planet we call Earth. That focus often raises a big "what if" -- namely, if there are ETs out there, would their existence mean Jesus had to incarnate on their planet and die for them? I think such questions are misguided, since the Bible is clear that the work of Christ was for human sin; humans are the explicit focus. According to Colossians 1, the effect of the atonement is universal in that it accomplishes redemption for all creation in some way. ET may therefore be peripheral to the work of Christ (like the animal kingdom, or intelligent non-human spiritual beings like angels) in terms of its focus. ETs might benefit from the atonement in the sense that the created order will be transformed into its intended ideal, but we just aren't told, since that whole issue is way out of the scope of the Bible. For some reason, many Christians assume that ET can't exist since the Bible doesn't mention them. That's a flawed way of thinking, as the Bible doesn't mention several of the known planets, electricity, microwaves, blood cells, etc. The Bible never presents itself as the repository of all things that exist and are real. Some Christians have managed to make the Bible what it isn't in that regard.

The Facade explores the biblical foundations for extraterrestrial life. Did this idea come from a curiosity about aliens or inconsistencies you found in your biblical studies?

I wouldn't exactly say my goal was to lay out the biblical foundations for ET life -- it was only to demonstrate that the Bible could accommodate such a reality. As a Christian who has had a longstanding interest in the subject, I was surprised to find that the history of Christian thinking on this subject (through the centuries referred to as the question of "other worlds") has been overwhelmingly positive in its perspective. It's only been the relatively recent linking of Darwinism to the subject of the possibility of ET life that has turned the believing Church against the idea.

What was the most surprising thing you discovered during your research?

How much de-classified government documentation exists regarding the UFO problem. Now, years after the initial release of The Facade, that documentation has increased, as the governments of France, Brazil, and the UK have released their UFO documents. Despite U.S. refusal to go that far, the documents from the U.S. government that have been de-classified is still surprisingly rich.

After writing The Façade, did you find yourself believing in extraterrestrial life?

My views on the subject didn't change. I have no theological problem with a potential ET reality, but to date I don't see any hard evidence for extraterrestrial life. That may come, naturally, and if it does I won't be disturbed by it at all. Many Christians would be, however, which is part of the reason I wrote The Facade. Supporters of the ET life idea really have only statistical probabilities to offer, but that approach -- namely the famous Drake Equation -- is pretty flimsy, since every element of that equation is contrived.

You are currently working on the sequel, The Portent. What can your readers expect in this book? What will surprise them?

I have to be cryptic here. There are several twists coming relating to several characters from The Facade who appear in the sequel. I'm confident none of them will be expected.