Nothing much to worry about. Really. But having mentioned the end of the world in the previous blog, i feel i should qualify the statement with a few facts so that mass paranoia does not break out or, even worse, Christians start publishing cheesy alarmist books to cash in on yet another marketing opportunity.
The church has a habit of doing that – creating the occasion (millenial fever, etc), stimulating the paranoia, and then offering books, tapes, and the opportunity for people to either give money or increase attendence at church. Anything we ask for, actually.
But this one is a little different. It has the potential to be a real alarmer, but the church is playing it down. Good on us!
Here’s the skinny. October 23, 4004 BC is the supposed date of creation that was printed in all English Bibles many years ago. Irishman James Ussher (1581-1656) was the guy who decided on the date, down to the day. John Lightfoot from Cambridge shared the findings, and even added a time. Apparently, 9.00am on a Monday morning was the exact time when God created the world.
How punctual of God! Turning up at the office at precisely 9:00am, just in time for a hard days work. It could sound quite ANTHROMORPHIC to some people, who might criticize James and John for not only going to excess on the dating thing, but also making God in our own image. Me, on the other hand, would certainly not poke fun at such great men of God as these. Men who were so important that there numbers actually made it into the Bible alongside the words of God.
And so we have the Ussher-Lighfoot Calender, that tells us we are about to complete 6000 years of human exisitence. And then of course, a few people have said that 6000 is the allotted years of the time of men, after which, the judgement. And so we have yet another reason to run out to the bookstores. This is bad news for paranoid people – every time sometime someone predicts the end of the world, they fork out $15 for the book. 8 predictions in one year = 8 books = $120. Dang – thats enough money for an Airport Express! Every year! Multiply that by dozens of predictions and you see the problem. No wonder they get upset when Jesus doesn’t come back according to someone’s schedule.
I am sure James and John were not thinking about end of world predictions. They were not prophets. Nor were they naughty boys trying to stir up trouble. They were just a couple of geeks who were having fun with their new technologies of modern science. And trying to use their geekness to honor God . . . not a lot different than some of us.
Anyway, October 23rd, 2004, at exactly 9 in the morning GMT, we will be celebrating 6000 years of living. We should celebrate. Lets have a party! If the world ends (which i do not believe it will, since Jesus told us that “no man knows the time or the hour”) then we get raptured from a chat room or a blog site. If not, we get to celebrate life together. A party like that doesnt come along but every 6000 years. Even the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic suggests we celebrate this day.
And in case you need some cheering up after that news, a Mayan calender gives us another 12 years before the end of the world.
But why wait 12 years for that one. Or wait until October for that last minute prayer of forgiveness. Today is the day to get your life righted up with God. You can do that right now . . . and you dont even have to buy someone’s book.
Andrew – I read and left this article, and then something went click in my brain. It the world started 4004 years BC, then isn’t the 6 millennium celebration in 1996 (ie 1996+4004 = 6000).
andrew, i am concerned that, by their wish to celebrate this day, the church of the apathetic agnostic has violated their premise for existence. or is their mission/vision statement such that, if they are proved wrong by the end of the world, that will, ironically, confirm the wrongosity of their agnosity and therefore help them reshape their vision, albeit too late as we shall all be deceased. could you, like, send them an apostolic circular or something to that effect? just a suggestion. rock on, dr. a!
Good suggestion! But why not let Janet contact them – she is the one with a calculator in her hand.
Of course they might come back with the objection that the world’s leading scientists were experimenting with mind altering drugs for an 8 year period in the 1960’s, thus bringing us back on track . . .
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)
If people actually started to pay attention to the Bible they would save a lot of money. Keep up the good work and God bless you.
——– 11 days of paradise ——–
Having followed the link to the exact day of creation (must have been bored) – I was for some reason disappointed to discover that the same calculation had A&E expelled from the garden on the 10th November 4004BC, which means we only managed 11 days in our unfallen state (which is assuming we were expelled on the same day as having sinned) – Except for naming all the animals, quite a time consuming exercise, I wonder what else went on?
Ooo… Now I can max out my credit card and by an Airport Express for all my friends (and three for me!)
bloddy heck / oct 23 has been my birthday for almost 45 years now and i never knew this important fact / i suppose i’d best make special plans for the one coming up.
pardon me for being a pedant, and I’d love to come to the party… but I think you’ll find that October 23rd 2004 will be the 6008th birthday on the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar.
But any excuse for a party…?!
Have a good weekend, AJ.
Yeah, I’ve just revisited to point out that it’s actually 6008 years since that 4004 date -to discover that someone else has already done so. Kind of takes the shine of the idea of celebrating it.
My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions!
Your jaw will drop!
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