Saturday, December 31, 2016

Apocalypse Countdown

Nope, not 1844. Or any time since then...

Here we go again! Earlier this month, I posted an article about Nora Roth, a Christian computer programmer who converted her own variant of William Miller's scriptural countdown to the end of days into a software program. According to Roth's software, the end of the world would take place by the end of 2016. Which happens tonight, in about four hours.

In the previous article, I once again brought up my issues with Miller's interpretation-heavy reading of the Books of Daniel and Revelation, pointing out that he makes all sorts of logical leaps that might or might not have anything to do with real events. To be clear, I'm not a capital-S skeptic, and have no problem considering paranormal claims. But the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Miller finished his system in 1818, so for nearly two hundred years preachers have kept trying to use it to make predictions.

Obviously, the world is still the world, and has not been remade into the paradise that Revelation claims will follow the apocalypse. In fact, nothing even resembling an apocalypse has taken place on any of the days predicted by those who still support the Miller method. And tonight, when we toast the New Year, one more failure will be added to what is becoming a pretty thick pile. Unless, I suppose, the world really does end before midnight tonight - but suffice it to say that I'm not holding my breath.

Happy New Year, everyone. 2016 has been hard for a lot of folks, and here's hoping that 2017 will be better.

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Bruce Petersen said...

Is the world still the world? Depends on the definition used. The world in this case isn't the planet earth. That's a common mistake. People tend to use the modern definition instead of the usage at the time the bible was written. The world in this case is the word Kosmos (strong's 2889) which means something ordered. As in the order that humanity operates within. Arguably the world of today (the order of things) is vastly different from the world of over a millennia ago. As seen from the perspective of back then, today would be seen as a paradise. Has there been an apocalypse at the end of 2016? Apocalypse means to uncover or reveal. I think wikileaks accomplished that with the DNC email and Clinton shenanigans arguably leading to a presidency unlike any other in history. I don't claim this lends credibility to people like Nora Roth. I'm just saying we cannot properly determine this if we're not even using the correct definitions of words used. If we're looking to ancient prophecies we need to understand what the words they used actually mean.

Scott Stenwick said...

The trouble with the Millerites and neo-Millerites and so forth is that they tend to insist that what is in the Bible is all literally true - except when applying Miller's formula, which isn't literal at all. It's an interpretation-heavy system like the Ussher chronology, and it has failed over and over again.

If you read Revelation as a metaphor or allegory, the question of "the end of the world" is basically moot. That tends to be my interpretation, that what's being described is an initiatory spiritual process on the path to enlightenment or illumination or whatever you want to call it.

Millerism is based on the idea that the apocalypse is a physical event in which Jesus will literally return, 144,000 elders will be taken up into Heaven, and some ridiculous percentage of the world's population will die. But you're right that it's hard to say whether or not that was the original intent at all.