Y2K and Christian Theology

This is a request for information, so I don’t think that it belongs in the Debates.

I understand that many Christians believe something special will happen 2000 years after Jesus was born. My question is: Wasn’t that 3 years ago?

I have head many claims that when the Christian calendar was set up, it was later found to be in error, and that Jesus was actually born 4 years before the time they originally thought. So I guess what I’m asking is: Is that idea just from some revisionist heretics, or is it genuine mainstream thought?

I can understand why ordinary people want to party for Y2K because it is a nice round number. But it seems to me that the Pope and so many others would not be making a big deal about it unless it had some kind of real significance. But if the “4 year error” is for real, then we’ve already been in the new millenium for quite some time now.

The truth is no one knows for sure. Also, the nice-round-number appeals to Popes and Dopes alike. There is nothing in Christian theology that indicates the 2000 year anniversary is at all special - in their own way they just wanna party.

The only millennium reference in the Jubilee proclamation is to the “coming of the third millennium.” That reckoning matches the calendar. The RCC often celebrates Jubilees or other events on years ending “00”. As noted, it’s a good excuse for a party.


Well, many people assume christians believe the end is near. And some actually do, but the bible says not even the angels in heaven will know when God makes his decision.

So why is it a big deal? Because everyone wants to feel as if they’re living in a great period in history. They want to believe they are part of something really important. what could be as important as the end of the world as we know it? I’m sure people made big deals out of all the XX00 years.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

Most historians place Jesus’ birth at somewhere between 6-8 BC.


Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Many Christian theologians are thoroughly convinced that the world is going to end at the turn of the millenium, not because of any numerological signifigance, but because of the Y2K bug.

AFAIAC, this kind of shamelss fear-mongering makes me ashamed to be a Christian.

If you replace “Many Christian theologians” with “A few Christian wackos along with sundry other wackos”, I’ll buy the above statement.

My general impression is that most of the early doomsayers, Christian or otherwise, are now trying to downplay or distance themselves from their earlier wilder speculations.

Whilst channel surfing, I heard a preacher explain why some Christians believe that J.C’s return upon us.

  1. Jesus rose on the third day, and the number three is used frequently throughout the Bible.

  2. The Bible also says that a day to God is as a thousand years.

  3. Hence, we are entering the dawning of the “third day” since Christ left this earth. (Of course, Jesus also said that some of the Apostles would still be alive when He came back, but that’s a different thread.)

  4. The reunification of the nation of Israel in 1941 is supposedly a fulfillment of end-times prophecy. As have been the numerous earthquakes in “divers places” (As a kid, I always thought this meant that the quakes would be underwater) and unrest in the middle east is, to Christians, a precursor to the battle of Armegeddon.

Sounds like a big load of bull excerement in a very small cart to me, but that’s what INSP at four a.m’s message for ya.

In Stephen J. Gould’s book Questioning the Millennium, Gould mentions a “standard” theological argument that came out of the middle ages. (I forget who came up with it originally.) It goes like this:

  1. God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

  2. One day with God is as a thousand years.

  3. God just loves flinging metaphor around.

  4. Therefore, since it took God 6 days + 1 day of rest to create the world, the world will last for 6 1000-year-long “days” plus 1 1000-year-long “day” of rest.

(Note that point #4 appears nowhere in the bible; it just seemed logical from the perspective of the medieval scholars studying the problem.)

  1. The 1000-year-long “day” of rest at the end of Creation obviously refers to the Millennium in the book of Revelation, the thousand years of peace following Jesus’s second-coming. (After the thousand years, Satan gets loose and Jesus whups the Dark One’s booty once and for all.)

  2. Each of the other 1000-year-long “days” of the world’s existence have to start with some event of high biblical significance. (The argument being that God likes to mark his calendar off with really obvious pencil strokes, or something like that.)

  3. The Creation was the start of the first 1000-year-long “day”.

  4. The Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt was the start of ONE OF the later 1000-year-long “days”.

  5. The birth of Jesus was the start of the second 1000-year-long “day” after the Exodus. So we know that each new “day” of the world begins some precise multiple of 1000 years before or after the birth of Jesus.

  6. Some other mildly important stuff must’ve happened in 3000 BC and 1000 BC.

  7. So the Creation occurred either in 4000 BC or 5000 BC.

  8. Since the Millennium of Revelation didn’t happen in 1000 AD, the Creation must’ve occurred in 4000 BC (not 5000 BC).

  9. Ergo, the Millennium of Revelation will happen in 2000 AD.
    Note that all these assume that the BC/AD system is aligned precisely with the birth of Jesus, which, if you believe the story of the Slaughter of the Innocents in the Book of Matthew, cannot be the case. (King Herod the Great, whom Matthew credits with this slaughter at the time of Jesus’s birth, died in 4 B.C…)

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Don’t we also need to see some Temple rebuilding in Jerusalem, too?