— Events —
Book of Daniel
Resurrection of the dead
Gog and Magog
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
by Albrecht Dürer.
Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an
apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation, but now
usually refers to the belief that the end of the world is imminent,
even within one's own lifetime. This belief is usually accompanied by
the idea that civilization will soon come to a tumultuous end due to
some sort of catastrophic global event.
Apocalypticism is often conjoined with the belief that esoteric
knowledge that will likely be revealed in a major confrontation
between good and evil forces, destined to change the course of
history. Apocalypses can be viewed as good, evil, ambiguous or
neutral, depending on the particular religion or belief system
promoting them. They can appear as a personal or group tendency, an
outlook or a perceptual frame of reference, or merely as expressions
in a speaker's rhetorical style.
2.2 Year 1000
2.3 Fifth Monarchy Men
Isaac Newton and the end of the world in 2060
Millerites and Seventh-day Adventists
2.7 Jehovah's Witnesses
4.1 Harold Camping
4.2 UFO religions
4.4 Mayan calendar 2012
4.5 David Meade
5 See also
7 Further reading
Jewish eschatology and Jewish
Jewish apocalypticism holds a doctrine that there are two eras of
history: the present era, which is a combination of good and evil, and
a purely good world to come that will be ruled over by God. At the
time of the coming era, there will be a messiah who will deliver the
faithful into the new era. Due to incidents arising very early on in
Jewish history, predictions about the time of the coming of the Jewish
messiah were highly discouraged, lest people lose faith when the
predictions did not come true during the lifespan of the believer.
Moses of Crete, a rabbi in the 5th century, claimed to be the messiah
and promised to lead the people, like the ancient Moses, through a
parted sea back to Palestine. His followers left their possessions and
waited for the promised day, when, at his command, many cast
themselves into the sea, some finding death, others being rescued by
Christian eschatology and Christian eschatological
Some scholars believe that Jesus' apocalyptic teachings were the
Jesus intended to impart, more central even than his
Various Christian eschatological systems have developed, providing
different frameworks for understanding the timing and nature of
apocalyptic predictions. Some like dispensational premillennialism
tend more toward an apocalyptic vision, while others like
postmillennialism and amillennialism, while teaching that the end of
the world could come at any moment, tend to focus on the present life
and contend that one should not attempt to predict when the end should
come, though there have been exceptions such as postmillennialist
Jonathan Edwards, who estimated that the end times would occur around
the year 2000.
The gospels portray
Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet, described by
himself and by others as the
Son of Man
Son of Man – translated as the Son of
Humanity – and hailing the restoration of Israel.
as the Son of God, a description also used by himself and others for
him, was to rule this kingdom as lord of the Twelve Apostles, the
judges of the twelve tribes.
Albert Schweitzer emphasized that
Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet,
preparing his fellow Jews for the imminent end of the world. Many
historians concur that
Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet, most notably
Paula Fredriksen, Bart Ehrman, and John P. Meier. E. P. Sanders
Jesus as expecting to assume the "viceroy" position in God's
kingdom, above the Apostles, who would judge the twelve tribes, but
below God. He concludes, however, that
Jesus seems to have rejected
the title Messiah, and he contends that the evidence is uncertain to
Jesus meant himself when he referred to the
Son of Man
Son of Man coming
on the clouds as a divine judge (see also Daniel's Vision of Chapter
7), and further states that biblical references to the
Son of Man
Son of Man as a
suffering figure are not genuine.
The preaching of John was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand" (Matthew 3:2), and
Jesus also taught this same message
(Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15). Additionally,
Jesus spoke of the signs
of "the close of the age" in the
Olivet Discourse in
Matthew 24 (and
parallels), near the end of which he said, "[T]his generation will
not pass away until all these things take place" (v. 34). Interpreters
have understood this phrase in a variety of ways, some saying that
most of what he described was in fact fulfilled in the destruction of
the Temple in the Roman Siege of Jerusalem (see Preterism), and some
that "generation" should be understood instead to mean "race" (see NIV
marginal note on Matt 24:34) among other explanations. Other scholars
such as Ehrman and Sanders accept that
Jesus was simply mistaken, that
he believed the end of the world to be imminent. "We make sense of
these pieces of evidence if we think that
Jesus himself told his
followers that the
Son of Man
Son of Man would come while they still lived. The
fact that this expectation was difficult for Christians in the first
century helps prove that
Jesus held it himself. We also note that
Christianity survived this early discovery that
Jesus had made a
mistake very well." 
There are a few recorded instances of apocalypticism leading up to the
year 1000. However they mostly rely on one source, Rodulfus Glaber.
Specifically in Western Europe, during the year 1000, Christian
philosophers held many debates on when
Jesus was actually born and
when the apocalypse would actually occur. This caused confusion
between the common people on whether or not the apocalypse would occur
at a certain time. Because both literate and illiterate people
commonly accepted this idea of the apocalypse, they could only accept
what they heard from religious leaders on when the disastrous event
would occur. Religious leader, Abbo II of Metz believed that
born 21 years after year 1 which was commonly accepted by close
circles of his followers. Abbot Heriger of Lobbes, argued that the
Jesus occurred not during the year 1 but rather during the
42nd year of the common era. Eventually many scholars came to accept
that the apocalypse would occur sometime between 979-1042.
Although there were debates about the apocalypse itself, few people
actually understood the consequences of what would happen if the
apocalypse occurred. Unfortunately, few documents from around the year
1000 exist to actually interpret what people thought would happen, and
because of this, many scholars are unaware of what people actually
felt. People do understand that the idea of apocalypticism has
influenced several Western Christian European leaders into social
With influences by the German ruler Otto III, the Sibyls, and Abbot
Adso of Montier-en-Dier, many of the people under these influential
figures felt that their rule was a sign of spiritual preparation for
the apocalypse itself. It is suggested that because of the influence
and reputation of these people, many wanted to follow suit and believe
that the apocalypse would occur simply because their leaders felt it
to be true.
Fifth Monarchy Men
Main article: Fifth Monarchists
The Fifth Monarchy Men were active from 1649 to 1661 during the
Interregnum, following the English Civil Wars of the 17th century.
They took their name from a belief in a world-ruling kingdom to be
established by a returning
Jesus in which prominently figures the year
1666 and its numerical relationship to a passage in the Biblical Book
of Revelation indicating the end of earthly rule by carnal human
Around 1649, there was great social unrest in
England and many people
Oliver Cromwell as England's new leader. The Parliamentary
victors of the First
English Civil War
English Civil War failed to negotiate a
constitutional settlement with the defeated King Charles I. Members of
Parliament and the Grandees in the New Model Army, when faced with
Charles's perceived duplicity, reluctantly tried and executed him.
Isaac Newton and the end of the world in 2060
Main article: Isaac Newton's occult studies
Isaac Newton proposed that the world would not end until the year
2060, based largely on his own study and deciphering of
Millerites and Seventh-day Adventists
Main articles: Great Disappointment, Millerites, and Seventh-day
Preacher William Miller, who led his followers to the Great
Disappointment of 1844.
Millerites were the followers of the teachings of William Miller
who, in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second
Jesus Christ in roughly the year 1844.
The ideological descendants of the
Millerites are the Seventh-day
Adventists. One notable example was the following of Margaret Rowen, a
member of the Los Angeles Seventh-Day Adventists, who believed the
second coming of
Jesus was to strike on February 6, 1925.
Second Coming (LDS Church)
Like many 19th-century American Protestant churches, the Mormon
tradition teaches that adherents are living shortly before the Second
Coming of Christ. The term "latter days" is used in the official names
Mormon churches, including The Church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. LDS president
Wilford Woodruff preached multiple
times that many then-living adherents "would not taste death" before
witnessing the return of Christ.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Watch Tower
Society unfulfilled predictions
Jehovah's Witnesses denomination has issued several predictions of
the end of the world. It presently believes that the world entered the
"latter days" in 1914 and that the actual return of Christ is going to
take place before the death of some contemporaries of people who were
alive in 1914.
Main article: Islamic eschatology
Main article: 2011 end times prediction
2011 end times prediction
2011 end times prediction made by American Christian radio host
Harold Camping stated that the
Rapture and Judgment Day would take
place on May 21, 2011, and that the end of the world would
take place five months later on October 21, 2011.
UFO religions sometimes feature an anticipated end-time in which
extraterrestrial beings will bring about a radical change on Earth or
lift the religious believers to a higher plane of existence. One such
religious group's failed expectations of such an event served as the
basis for the classic social psychology study When Prophecy Fails.
Main article: Year 2000 problem
Apocalypticism was especially evident with the approach of the
millennial year 2000, in which simultaneous computer crashes caused by
uncorrected instances of the Y2k bug were expected to throw global
commerce and financial systems into chaos. Piggy-backing on these
issues, and probably driven by the "interesting date" unsupported
allegations of an apocalypse were common.
Mayan calendar 2012
Main article: 2012 phenomenon
The 2012 doomsday prediction was a contemporary cultural meme
proposing that cataclysmic and apocalyptic events would occur on
December 21, 2012. This idea has been disseminated by numerous books,
Internet sites and by TV documentaries with increasing frequency since
the late 1990s. This date is derived from the Mesoamerican Long Count
calendar which completes 12 baktuns or 1 Great cycle equaling 5,125
years on December 21 or 23, 2012. There is also a movie called 2012
made in 2009 inspired from this theory. The prediction given by the
Mayans about what would happen at the end of this Great Cycle is
described as a rebirth of this world and the beginning of an age of
enlightenment. There are also other interpretations of assorted
legends, scriptures, numerological constructions and prophecies
encircling this date.
Main article: David Meade (author)
See also: Revelation 12 sign prophecy
Self-claimed Christian "numerologist" David Meade predicted in 2017
that a hidden planet named Nibiru (sometimes known as Planet X) would
collide with Earth on September 23rd, 2017. His claims received
extensive media attention. He calculated his prediction based on
numerical bible codes and coded messages in the Giza Pyramids. After
his September 23rd prediction failed, he revised the apocalypse to
October 2017, where he predicted the seven-year tribulation would
begin on October 15 as well as other events that month, such as
magnitude 9.8 earthquakes, that people would levitate in the air
Donald Trump and Mike Pence), a nuclear attack by China,
North Korea on the United States, and that Barack Obama
would be president for an illegal third term. October passed without
incident. He received criticism over his predictions from Christians
and his theories have also been debunked by scientist, including NASA
by stating that Nibiru does not exist and a collision with Earth is
1975 in Prophecy!
1975 in Prophecy! (book)
Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius
Center for Millennial Studies
Jack Van Impe
Order of the Solar Temple
Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth
Chuck Smith (pastor)
The Brethren (Jim Roberts group), also known as "The Body of Christ".
Ultimate fate of the Universe
Unfulfilled Christian religious predictions
^ Donna Kossy, Kooks
^ Bart D. Ehrman's Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet
^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a
comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German
^ a b c Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.
Chapter 15, Jesus' view of his role in God's plan.
^ Matt 3:2
^ Matt 4:17; Mark 1:15
^ Matt 24
^ Sanders, E. P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.
Chapter 13, The Coming of the Kingdom.
^ "Holy spirit's role in the outworking of Jehovah's purposes". The
Watchtower. 15 April 2010. p. 10. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
Jesus Returning to Earth On May 21, 2011". Flashnews.com.
2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
^ Wikinews:Prophets predict the end of the world to 2011 may 21
^ "May 21, 2011: Judgment Day believers descend on Joburg". The Daily
Maverick. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
Harold Camping issues new apocalypse date". BBC News. 24
May 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
Allison, Dale C. (1999)
Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet
(Augsburg Fortress) ISBN 0-8006-3144-7
Aukerman, Dale. (1993). Reckoning with Apocalypse. New York:
Crossroad. ISBN 0-8245-1243-X
Boyer, Paul S. (1992). When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in
Modern American Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap/Harvard University
Press. ISBN 0-674-95128-X
Brasher, Brenda E. (2000). "From Revelation to The X-Files: An Autopsy
Millennialism in American Popular Culture",
Cohn, Norman. (1993). Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient
Roots of Apocalyptic Faith. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Fuller, Robert C. (1995). Naming the Antichrist: The History of an
American Obsession. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hall, John R. (2009). Apocalypse: From Antiquity to the Empire of
Modernity, Cambridge, UK: Polity. (ISBN 978-0-7456-4509-4 [pb]
and ISBN 978-0-7456-4508-7)
Heard, Alex and Klebnikov, Peter, December 27, 1998, "
No, Really. Now!", The New York Times Magazine
Mason, Carol. (2002). Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of
Pro-life Politics. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
ISBN 0-8014-3920-5 (hard cover) ISBN 0-8014-8819-2
O’Leary, Stephen. (1994). Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of
Millennial Rhetoric. New York: Oxford University Press.
Palmer, James T. (2014) "The
Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages"
Cambridge, Cambridge University press ISBN 978-1-107-08544-2
Quinby, Lee. (1994). Anti-Apocalypse: Exercises in Genealogical
Criticism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
ISBN 0-8166-2278-7 (hard bound) ISBN 0-8166-2279-5
Robbins, Thomas, and Susan J. Palmer, eds. 1997. Millennium, Messiahs,
and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements. New York: Routledge.
ISBN 0-415-91648-8 (hard bound) ISBN 0-415-91649-6
Stewart, Kathleen and Susan Harding. 1999. "Bad Endings: American
Apocalypsis." Annual Review of Anthropology, 28, pp. 285–310.
Stone, Jon R., ed. (2000). Expecting Armageddon: Essential Readings in
Failed Prophecy. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92331-X
Strozier, Charles B. (1994). Apocalypse: On the Psychology of
Fundamentalism in America. Boston: Beacon Press.
Strozier, Charles B, and Michael Flynn, eds. (1997). The Year 2000:
Essays on the End. New York: New York University Press.
ISBN 0-8147-8030-X (hard bound) ISBN 0-8147-8031-8
Thompson, Damian. (1996). The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the
Shadow of the Millennium. London: Sinclair-Stevenson.
Thompson, Damian. (1997). The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the
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England. ISBN 0-87451-849-0
Wessinger, Catherine, ed.. (2000). Millennialism, Persecution, and
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ISBN 0-8156-2809-9 (hard bound) ISBN 0-8156-0599-4
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Zuquete, Jose Pedro. "Apocalyptic Movements. "Encyclopædia
Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012
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