The End of the World Is Nigh (or Is It?)

The Independent has this fascinating report:

The end of the world is nigh; 21 May, to be precise. That’s the date when Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California, is confidently predicting the Second Coming of the Lord. At about 6pm, he reckons 2 per cent of the world’s population will be immediately “raptured” to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.

If Mr Camping were speaking from any normal pulpit, it would be easy to dismiss him as just another religious eccentric wrongly calling the apocalypse. But thanks to this elderly man’s ubiquity, on America’s airwaves and billboards, his unlikely Doomsday message is almost impossible to ignore…

I’m not terribly impressed with the exegetical methodology that Mr Camping has used:

After 70 years of studying the Bible, he claims to have developed a system that uses mathematics to interpret prophesies hidden in it. He says the world will end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion. The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice…

Given this rather strange approach to Scripture, it’s not surprising that Mr Camping has a somewhat patchy record with regard to prophecy.

Critics point out that this isn’t the first time Mr Camping has predicted the second coming. On 6 September 1994, hundreds of his listeners gathered at an auditorium in Alameda looking forward to Christ’s return.

The consistent witness of Scripture is that no one knows when Christ will return – and that includes wealthy radio preachers! I look forward to seeing what he has to say on May 22.

3 thoughts on “The End of the World Is Nigh (or Is It?)

  1. When I was at school I won second prize in a public speaking competition on the subject of the End of the World is nigh(ish) after finding a book in the library entitled “1976 year of doom” – this was at some point in the 80’s.
    I’m wondering whether May 22nd would be a good time for Mr Camping to quote from the Peter Cook: “not quite the conflagration we were hoping for. Oh well, same time tomorrow lads, we’ve got to get it right one of these days”.

  2. I’ve wondered why Camping hasn’t sold his radio network to close on May 22, and use the money to fuel knowledge of May 21 to all!!
    It should be interesting to hear what he says on the May 22.

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