Episode 23: Apocalypse Now?

Episode 23: Apocalypse Now?


So once again Harold Camping’s date for God’s judgment came and went without so much as a whimper… unless of course you include all of his followers who were no doubt let down by yet another failed prediction. With this in mind we decided to have another look at the end times and the people who predict them. You may have seen last week’s teaser for this show where Bob counts down our top ten doomsday predictionsbut there have been far more than ten, here are some which were not in the top ten.

In the year 634 BCE, the city of Rome celebrated its 120th year. At this time many people believed the world was going to end because of a myth concerning twelve eagles who revealed the lifetime of Rome to Romulus. People believed that each eagle represented ten years. Like so many predictions this one was rehashed when it failed to materialize and a new date was predicted for 389 BCE, 365 years after the founding of Rome.Simeon of Peraea was possibly the first messianic claimant to be killed. A slave to Herod the Great, he led a small uprising by claiming to be the offspring of David sent to usher in the end times. He supposedly helped burn down Herod’s palace at Jericho but was soon captured and killed.In the year 44 CE Theudasled 400 Jews into the wilderness where he claimed to be the returned messiah, promising to usher in the end times. The Roman army was dispatched and Theudas was beheaded.

In the year 132 CE, there was yet another large Jewish revolt in Jerusalem, the third in less than a century. Simon bar Kokhba, another messianic claimant, led a revolt against Rome meant to usher in the new Davidic kingdom. According to Casius Dio 580,000 Jews were killed and nearly 1100 fortified towns and villages were razed. The aftermath of the revolt reshaped Judaism, shifting the center of religious, political and social life to Babylon.

These are but a few early predictions. Many more would circulate over the next two millennia particularly around years of seeming importance, 1000 CE, 1666 CE, and 2000 CE. There have literally been hundreds of claims and so far not a single one has panned out. If one thing can be said of doomsday prognosticators, at least they have persistence.



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About author

Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.

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