The End is Nigh?
Predictions that the world is about to end, especially
based on interpretations of passages in the Book of
Revelations, have been going on for centuries. Although many may be
convinced that the world will end or Jesus will return in their lifetime, it never happens.
Some failed predictions:
There was wide-spread panic in this first year with a
round number. The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus
Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about
An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of
the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.
- Jan 1, 1000: Christians in Europe had predicted the end of the
world on this date and waged war against pagan countries
in Northern Europe to convert them to Christianity before
Christ returned. Meanwhile, some gave their possessions to the Church
in anticipation of the end. When Jesus did not appear, the
church did not return the gifts and serious criticism
John of Toledo predicted the end of the world based on the alignment of many
- 1284: Pope
Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years
onto the date the Islam was founded.
Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus' return would
happen in 1533 and that the New Jerusalem would be
established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested
and died in a Strasbourg jail.
The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of
the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned
themselves to death from 1669 to 1690 to protect
themselves from the Antichrist.
- March 21, 1843:
William Miller, founder of the Millerite
movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this
Jesus did not return, Miller predicted Oct. 22, 1844, an event
now referred to as "The Great
Disappointment" because many sold their
property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared
themselves for the second coming.
- 1914: This year was one of
the more important estimates of the start of the war
of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society). They computed 1914 from
a prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4.
Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the
conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic
current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf
the earth on December 17, 1919.
Herbert W Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide
Church of God, predicted that the Day of the
Lord would happen sometime in 1936. When that
prediction failed, his new estimate was1975.
For more predictions and information on predictions, see the
Religious Tolerance website.