Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

46 failed end-of-the-world predictions that
were to occur between 30 & 1920 CE
, but didn't.

Sponsored link.

Overview: (Repeated)

Some Christians and secular individuals predicted several momentous events that they believed are related: occur

bullet The second coming of Jesus Christ -- his anticipated return to earth after almost two millennia.
bulletThe war of Armageddon -- a massive battle in Israel.
bulletThe arrival on earth of the Antichrist, an evil political, military leader.
bulletThe Tribulation, a seven year interval of great suffering and death.
bulletThe Rapture, when Christians who have been born again -- both living and dead -- will rise into the sky towards Jesus.
bullet Some horrendous natural disaster(s).
bulletetc.

It is worth noting that all of the following predictions have failed. We expect that all of the doomsday predictions about our future will also fail.

Disclaimer:

We offer no guarantees that the prophets listed below actually made these predictions. We have described their alleged predictions as they were reported on the Web, in newspapers, books, etc. We do not have the resources to track down original source material.

Failed prophecies:

bullet About 30 CE: The Christian Scriptures (New Testament), when interpreted literally, appear to record many predictions by Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) that God's Kingdom would arrive within a very short period, or was actually in the process of arriving. For example, Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 16:28: "...there shall be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." In Matthew 24:34, Yeshua is recorded as saying: "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Since the life expectancy in those days was little over 30 years, Jesus appears to have predicted his second coming sometime during the 1st century CE. It didn't happen. More details.
 
bulletAbout 60 CE:  Interpreting the Epistles of Paul of Tarsus literally, his writings seem to imply that Jesus would return and usher in a rapture during the lifetime of persons who were living in the middle of the 1st century. More details.
 
bulletAbout 90 CE: Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world end would occur at any moment.
 
bullet2nd Century CE: Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor.
 
bullet365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year. It didn't.
 
bullet375 to 400 CE: Saint Martin of Tours, a student of Hilary, was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 CE.
 
bullet500 CE: This was the first year-with-a-nice-round-number-panic.   The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.
 
bullet968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.
 
bullet992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event.
 
bullet1000-JAN-1: Many Christians in Europe had predicted the end of the world on this date. As the date approached, Christian armies waged war against some of the Pagan countries in Northern Europe. The motivation was to convert them all to Christianity, by force if necessary, before Christ returned in the year 1000. Meanwhile, some Christians had given their possessions to the Church in anticipation of the end. Fortunately, the level of education was so low that many citizens were unaware of the year. They did not know enough to be afraid. Otherwise, the panic might have been far worse than it was. Unfortunately, when Jesus did not appear, the church did not return the gifts. Serious criticism of the Church followed. The Church reacted by exterminating some heretics. Agitation settled down quickly, as it later did in the year 2000.
 
bullet1000-MAY: The body of Charlemagne was disinterred on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that an emperor would rise from his sleep to fight the Antichrist.
 
bullet1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.
 
bullet1033: Some believed this to be the 1000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His second coming was anticipated. Jesus' actual date of execution is unknown, but is believed to be in the range of 27 to 33 CE.
 
bullet1147: Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had actually started in 306 CE during Constantine's reign. Thus, the world end was expected in 1306 CE.
 
bullet1179: John of Toledo predicted the end of the world during 1186. This estimate was based on the alignment of many planets.
 
bullet1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the Antichrist was already in the world, and that King Richard of England would defeat him. The Millennium would then begin, sometime before 1205.
 
bullet1284: Pope Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.
 
bullet1346 and later: The black plague spread across Europe, killing one third of the population. This was seen as the prelude to an immediate end of the world. Unfortunately, the Christians had previously killed a many of the cats, fearing that they might be familiars of Witches. The fewer the cats, the more the rats. It was the rat fleas that spread the black plague.
 
bullet1496: This was approximately 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Some mystics in the 15th century predicted that the millennium would begin during this year.
 
bullet1524: Many astrologers predicted the imminent end of the world due to a world wide flood. They obviously had not read the Genesis story of the rainbow.
 
bullet1533: Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus' return would happen a millennium and a half after the nominal date of his execution, in 1533. The New Jerusalem was expected to be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg jail.
 
bullet1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist.
 
bullet1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.
 
bullet1736: British theologian and mathematician William Whitson predicted a great flood similar to Noah's for OCT-13 of this year.
 
bullet 1783: On JUN-08, a volcanic eruption in southern Iceland started. It pumped massive amounts of toxic dust, sulphur dioxide and fluorine into the atmosphere. Cattle died, crops failed, and about one quarter of the island's population died of starvation. By the end of June, poisonous clouds had reached England and much of Europe. Boats had to stay in harbor because they could not navigate. There was massive loss of life in England, particularly among farm workers. Many predicted that the end of the world was imminent.
 
bullet1792: This was the date of the end of the world calculated by some believers in the Shaker movement.
 
bullet 1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought that Doomsday would occur in this year.
 
bullet1830: Margaret McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN.
 
bullet1832?: Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Church of Christ, which became the Restorationist movement after many schisms. It now includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a.k.a. the Mormons, and about a hundred other denominations and sects. He heard a voice while praying. He wrote, in Doctrines and Covenants section 130:
14: "I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:"

15: "Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter."

16: "I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face."

17: "I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time." 14
The year in which this event occurred is not recorded. However, one commentator suggested 1832 or earlier. 16 Smith is later recorded as having said:

"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old." 17

Smith would have reached the age of 85 during 1890. Unfortunately, by that year, Smith had been dead for almost a half century, having been assassinated by a mob.

Sponsored link:

bullet1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date. A very large number of Christians accepted his prophecy.
 
bullet1844-OCT-22: When Jesus did not return, Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing happened; the day came and went without incident.
 
bullet 1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' ...now time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." 10
 
bullet1856 or later: At Ellen White's last prediction, she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." 11 That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. "By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure." 12
 
bullet 1881: Mother Shipton, (1488 - 1561), a 16th century mystic predicted the end of the world: "...The world to an end shall come; in eighteen hundred and eighty-one."
 
bullet1891 or before: On 1835-FEB-14, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 1891-FEB-15. (History of the Church 2:182)
 
bullet1914 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 based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This gave 1914 as the target date. When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule. 
 
bullet1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted.
bulletSince late in the 19th century, they had taught that the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would happen in 1914 CE. It didn't.
bulletThe next major estimate was 1925. Watchtower magazine predicted: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." 6
bulletThe Watchtower Society selected 1975 as its next main prediction. This was based on the estimate "according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." 8  They believed that the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, as it was the 6,000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Exactly 1,000 years was to pass for each day of the creation week. This prophecy also failed.
bulletThe current estimate is that the end of the world as we know it will happen precisely 6000 years after the creation of Eve. 9 There is no way of knowing when this happened.
bulletMore details on the WTS predictions.

bullet1919: 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 DEC-17.
 

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Richard Kyle, "The last days are here again: A history of the end times," Baker Books, (1998), Page 111. You can read a review and safely buy this book from Amazon.com online bookstore
  2. Watchtower magazine, 1924-JUL-15, Page 211).
  3. William Martin, "Waiting for the End: The growing interest in apocalyptic prophesy," The Atlantic Monthly, 1982-JUN. Online at: http://www.theatlantic.com/
  4. "Herman L. Hoeh," Wikipedia, downloaded on 2006-APR-24, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  5. Mike Harris Jr., "Arnold Murray. False Teacher. False Prophet.," Mikes Christian Corner, at: http://www.mikeschristiancorner.com/
  6. Sarah Chalmers, "And youthought THIS eruption was nasty! ..." The Mail, 2010-APR-24, at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Site navigation:

 Home page > > Religious conflict  > End of the world > here
or Home page > Religious information > End of the world > here

Copyright © 1997 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update: 2011-JUN-14

Compiled by B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or to the end of the world menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 

Sponsored link: