What’s Up With May 21st Doomsday?


The blogoshpere is ripe and a buzz with notions of doomsday and judgement day on May 21, 2011, just days away…

Given the curiosity factor as to why this date is popping up on the Internet, a little investigation was in order, and this is the short story.

Apparently this started with someone named ‘Harold Camping‘ who predicts “the Rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and God will completely destroy the Earth and the universe five months later on October 21″.

Harold is currently 89, has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley, member of the ‘Christian Reformed Church’ until 1988, began purchasing FM-radio Gospel stations in the 1960’s, and now president of ‘Family Radio’, a California-based religious broadcasting network of more than 150 outlets in the United States.

A page on Harold Camping’s Family Radio website reads ominous headlines,

MAY 21, 2011

Camping’s methodology is apparently mathematically based from calculations of Jewish feast days in the Hebrew calendar from the Old Testament, the lunar month, and the Gregorian calendar projected into the future, along with other information and biblical chronologies gleaned from the Bible.

Camping said during a recent interview with SFgate, “…I was an engineer, I was very interested in the numbers. I’d wonder, ‘Why did God put this number in, or that number in?’ It was not a question of unbelief, it was a question of, ‘There must be a reason for it.’ ”

How did he come up with the doomsday date, May 21, 2011?

First, Camping dated the Great Flood (Noah) to 4990 BC.

Taking the prediction in Genesis 7:4, “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth”, to be a prediction of the end of the world, he combining it with 2 Peter 3:8, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”.

Camping concludes that the end of the world will occur in 2011, 7000 years from 4990 BC.

Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be the 21st of May, and hence predicts the rapture to occur on this date.

Additional confirmation of the date according to Camping, the number 5 equals “atonement”, the number 10 equals “completeness”, and the number 17 equals “heaven”.

Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD.
The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.

If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.

The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.

(5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.

So, there you have it… the source of the doomsday date of May 21, 2011.

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