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19 May 2011


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The Washington Post (USA daily broadsheet)
Wednesday 18 May 2011

Under God:

May 21, 2011: 
Harold Camping’s
calculations for the 
end of the world

by Elizabeth Flock

Harold Camping explains his calculations for the end date in an interview in April. (Screengrab from Family Radio evangelist Harold Camping is certain “Judgment Day” is coming this 

Saturday 21 May

On that day, Jesus will return to earth and set into motion a five-month countdown to the end of the world.

Camping arrived at the date of May 21 through some complex calculations he says are drawn from the Bible. In case you’re perplexed, as many biblical scholars are, we’ve drawn out the calculations for you:

Get it now? If not, Camping will further explain it to you: “Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story. It’s the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you’re completely saved.”

“I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that,” he said.

- 30 -


2011 end times prediction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2011 end times prediction made by Christian radio host Harold Camping states that the Rapture (in premillennial theology, the taking up into heaven of God's elect people) will take place on

Saturday 21 May 2011

[1][2] at 6 P.M. local time (the rapture will sweep the globe time zone by time zone) [3] and that the end of the world as we know it will take place five months later on October 21, 2011.[4] Camping, president of the Family Radio Christian network, claims the Bible as his source and says May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment "beyond the shadow of a doubt".[5] His followers claim that around 200 million people (approximately 3% of the world's population) will be raptured.[6]

Camping's predictions have not been embraced by most other Christian groups;[7] some have explicitly rejected them.[8][9][10][11] An interview with a group of church leaders noted that all of them have scheduled services as usual for Sunday, May 22.[12] Camping previously claimed that the world would end in September 1994.


"I know it's absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true."[13]
— Harold Camping, president, Family Radio

Camping has presented several numerological[14] arguments, or biblical "proofs", in favor of the May 21st end time. A civil engineer by training, Camping states he has attempted to work out mathematically-based prophecies in the Bible for decades. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle he explained "...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.' "[15]
Harold Camping being interviewed about his prediction in early 2011.

As early as 1970, Camping dated the Great Flood to 4990 BC.[16] 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, and 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.[6] Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be the 21st May, and hence predicts the rapture to occur on this date.[6]

Another argument[17] that Camping uses in favor of the May 21st date is as follows:

    According to Camping, the number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen 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 
(atonement × completeness × heaven)^2 also equals 722,500.

Thus, Camping concludes that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a "story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we're completely saved."[15]

Camping has not been precise about the exact timing of the event, saying that "maybe" we can know the hour.[18] He has suggested that "days" in the Bible refer to daylight hours particularly.[18] Another account says the "great earthquake" which signals the start of the Rapture will "start in the Pacific Rim at around the 6 p.m. local time hour, in each time zone."[19]

In Camping's book 1994?, self-published in 1992, he predicted that the End Times would come in September 1994 (variously reported as September 4[13] or September 6[20]). When the Rapture failed to occur on the appointed day, Camping said he had made a mathematical error.[21]


Camping's rapture prediction, along with some of his other teachings and beliefs, have sparked some controversy in the Christian world. His critics often quote Bible verses (such as Matthew 24:36) which they claim imply the date of the end will never be known by anyone but God until it actually happens. James Kreuger, author of the book Secrets of the Apocalypse - Revealed, has stated that while he believes the rapture is coming, Camping is incorrect in attempting to nail down a date. "For all his learning, Camping makes a classic beginner's mistake when he sets a date for Christ's return," writes Kreuger. "Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:36, 'Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.'"[15] However, Camping and his followers respond that this principle only applied to the "church age" or "pre-tribulation period" and does not apply to the present day, citing other verses (such as 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5:5) in their rebuttal.[22]

In a 2001 pamphlet, Camping asserted that believers should "flee the church," resigning from any church they belong to, because the "Church Age" is over and the "Great Tribulation" has begun.[23] This assertion was controversial[24] and drew "a flurry of attacks".[23]

Edwin M. Yamauchi critiqued Camping's dating of the Flood when Camping first published his ideas in 1970.[16]

Criticism of the May 21 prediction has ranged from serious critique to ridicule. Theology professor Matthew L. Skinner, writing at the Huffington Post, noted the "long history of failed speculation" about the End Times and cautioned that end-of-the-world talk can lead Christians to social passivity instead of "working for the world's redemption".[25] Some columnists have mocked the prediction with humorous columns from a skeptical viewpoint.[26][27]

Evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins dismissed Camping's prediction, writing that "he will inevitably explain, on May 22nd, that there must have been some error in the calculation, the rapture is postponed to ... and please send more money to pay for updated billboards."[28] California Director of American Atheists Larry Hicock said that "Camping's well-intentioned rapture campaign is indicative of the problems with religion".[29]

Camping's prediction and his promotion of it via his radio network and other promotional means have spread the prediction globally,[14] which has led believers and non-believers to a variety of actions.

In 2010, Marie Exley of Colorado Springs made news by purchasing advertising space in her locality, promoting the alleged Rapture date on a number of park benches.[30] Since then, 'Judgment Day' billboards have been erected at locations across the world.[31] Some people have adorned their vehicles with the information.[32]

On October 27, 2010, Family Radio launched "Project Caravan". Five RVs arrayed with reflector lettering that declare that Judgment Day begins on May 21, 2011 were sent out from their headquarters in Oakland, California, to Seattle, Washington. Upon arrival, teams are sent out to distribute tracts.[33] The caravan has made stops in Oregon,[34] California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Utah, Maryland,[35] and other states, as well as Canada and Mexico.[citation needed]

Hmong gathering

About 5000[14] ethnic Hmong gathered at a remote town in Viet Nam's Muong Nhe province in early May, where they planned to await the arrival of Christ. The Vietnamese government broke up the gathering and arrested some people, describing them as "extremists".[36] Pastor Doan Trung Tin indicated that a translated version of Camping's prediction had influenced about 300 of his parishioners to go to the assembly point, selling their belongings to be able to afford the journey via bus.[37]

Skeptical responses

The group Seattle Atheists formed the Rapture Relief Fund which they will use "to help survivors of any Armageddon-sized disaster in the Puget Sound area";[38] if the rapture fails to come as predicted, the money will fund a camp that teaches children about critical thinking.[39] The group American Atheists has sponsored billboards in several American cities declaring the Rapture to be "nonsense", and are holding a party during the period of the predicted rapture.[29]


Camping's writings that detail the timing of the end include:

        1994? (1992 - predicts the End Times for September, 1994)
        Time Has An End (2005 - discusses Camping's belief that 2011 is in all likelihood the end of the world)
        Has the Era of the Church Come to an End? (2001 - advises that the Great Tribulation has begun and that Christians should "flee their churches")
        We Are Almost There! (2008 - contains all the information on how May 21, 2011 was arrived at)
        The End of the World is Almost Here! Holy God Will Bring Judgment on May 21, 2011 (2009)
        God Gives Another Infallible Proof That Assures the Rapture Will Occur May 21, 2011 (2009)
        No Man Knows the Day or the Hour? (2009)

See also:

    End time
    Last Judgment
    Great Disappointment
    List of dates of the end of the world
    2012 phenomenon - Another prediction about the end of the world.


    ^ "Jesus Returning to Earth On May 21, 2011". 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011: Judgment Day believers descend on Joburg". The Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011 - Judgment Day!; October 21, 2011 - The End of the World". 1988-05-21. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch". Associated Press, cited at MSNBC. January 23, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
    ^ a b c "Judgment Day". Family Radio. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
    ^ "May 21st, The New Christian Doomsday". ReliJournal. May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    ^ "A Response to Harold Camping's Erroneous Teaching". Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
    ^ "Letter to Harold Camping (Family Radio) True Prophet or False?". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ "Billboards Marking Jesus' Return in May 'Misguided,' Says NT Scholar". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ "End times theology: an insider’s guide". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ Church Leaders Across Denominations Reflect on Camping's Prediction NBC29, May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
    ^ a b "Doomsday campers Project Caravan say the world will end May 21". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
    ^ a b c End of the world? How about a party instead?, Associated Press, quoted at MSNBC, May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011
    ^ a b c Berton, Justin (1 January 2010). "Biblical scholar's date for rapture: May 21, 2011". Retrieved 12 March 2011.
    ^ a b Camping, Harold (1970). "The Biblical Calendar of History". Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 22. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
    ^ Camping, Harold (August 2010). "We Are Almost There!". Family Stations, Inc. pp. 44-63.
    ^ a b Countdown to Armageddon: Maybe the World Will End Friday Night (or Sunday Morning), Slate, May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011
    ^ Is The End Nigh? We'll Know Soon Enough, NPR, May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011
    ^ David S. Reynolds. "The end of the world is here ... again". Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Apocalypse Soon: Christian Movement Says 5/21/11". CBS News. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "No Man Knows The Day Or The Hour?". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ a b Kellner, Mark (May 21, 2002). "New Dispensation? Camping: 'Leave Church'". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
    ^ Jackson, Wayne. "Harold Camping’s New Revelation: “Leave the Church!”". Christian Courier. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ Skinner, Matthew L. (2011-03-27). "Apocalypse Now? A Christian Understanding of the End Times'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Sinners, you have four days until Judgment Day. Are you prepared?". Vancouver Sun. 17 May 2011.
    ^ 10 unhealthy things to do before Armageddon Orange County Register, May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
    ^ "Science explains the end of the world". On Faith, Washington Post. May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    ^ a b Middleton, RJ (2011-05-12). "Atheists Offer Doomsdayers a Party". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Bus bench ads on Christ's return funded by unemployed Springs woman". 38.833882;-104.821363: Colorado Springs Gazette. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011 Judgment Day and Rapture Billboards". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "Examples of "Moving Billboards"". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "Project Caravan". Retrieved 2010-12-02.
    ^ "Entourage brings message of doom". Oroville Mercury-Register. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
    ^ Gross, Daniel (28 March 2011). "Judgment Day caravan spreads message on campus". The Towerlight. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
    ^ "Vietnam says ‘extremists’ detained after Hmong gathering; area still off limits to media". The Washington Post. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Vietnam protesters lured by doomsday cult". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Atheists Offer Post-Rapture Services". 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Seattle Atheists collect for "Rapture Relief Fund'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-19.

External links

    Official website
    We Can Know
    The Latter Rain
    Family Radio Discussion Forum

Categories: Eschatology | Prophecy

    This page was last modified on 19 May 2011 at 18:53.


James J. Olson said...

For those to whom it matters, may I suggest Matthew 24:36-44. Only God knows when the end might come.

Permit me a paraphrase.

"About that day, no one knows the day or hour, not even the Son. Oh, except some whackjob with a KJV bible, a highlighter and a pad and pencil. He'll figure it out."

Vleeptron Dude said...

Look, Agence-Vleeptron Presse jusr reports the news. Guy says world ends this Saturday, you want me to keep secret about it? Some people may want to go out and buy bottled water and beef jerky and Coleman mantles.

I'm just amazed this very same Prophet pulled this very same stunt before, and now has the cojones to pull it off again.

Mayra said...

It seems as if another group has entered the billboard wars in Camping's/Family Radio's back yard of Oakland, CA. They are disputing Camping's claims with a compelling message of "Jesus is already here." Here's a short video about their billboard:

John said...

I would point out a fatal flaw with the calculation of the end of days.

Jesus could not have died on the cross on April 1, 33 AD.

It is generally accepted according to the chronology of Jesus's life in the gospels that he was 33 at the time of his death.

The gospel according to Matthew describes an event known as "The Massacre of the Innocents" whereby King Herod orders the deaths of all male infants in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas in order to prevent his crown from being usurped. King Herod (who is an actual historical figure) died in 4 BCE. Therefore, if Jesus was born at all, he would have to have been born sometime before 4 BCE and would have to have died sometime before April 1, 29 AD.

DawkinsDisciple said...

I would like to leave a preemptive rebuttal to my above comment for any religious apologists out there. I believe this quote from "The Merchant of Venice" refers to the devil's temptation of Christ as described in Matthew 4.

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek.
[1596 Shakespeare Merchant of Venice i. iii. 93]

pattheatheist said...

Armer Tropf ! What a poor little man. This nice little tune was almost written for him:

I could almost feel sorry for him if it was not for the fact that he takes this book of fairy tales serious. I was about to point out something similar as John and wonder if that loony little man with his radio station considered the gregorian calendar reformation in his whackjob logic ? Prolly not. And has the moron also taken into consideration that summer/winter time is artificial ? Well, as me dad used to say: Dont argue with idiots, gegen Dummheit kämpfen selbst allein die Götter !

Vleeptron Dude said...

Thanks everybody! Thanks Mayra! Damn! My YouTube isn't working, if I want to see your YouTube I'm gonna have to restart this computer, which is a royal pain in the butt. But thanks!

Okay John, yeah, that date of 33 AD for the Crucifixion ... that sure looked fishy to me. If we accept that Jesus was indeed a historical figure, everybody's always questioned that very dubious date of birth at Year Zero.

The Jesus wiki puts his birth at between 7BCE amd 2BCE, and his death from 30 to 36 CE, so I guess that's an averaging of the best estimates of modern scholars and historians.

Seems a pity that he was born and died, and even got into some notorious criminal trouble, within the Roman Empire -- a people notoriously orderly about chronicling and record-keeping -- and yet generated almost no records of his life.

Every Christmas Sky & Telescope magazine goes apeshit with articles using computers to try to identify the Star of Bethlehem, and the date it was in the sky above the Middle East. The articles are always very instructive -- but it's a very iffy business to look back into the Heavens 2000 years ago and affix a date with any certainty.

Vleeptron Dude said...

Oh well anyway in case it is really tomorrow, don't forget fuel for the Coleman lantern and stove, canned fruit, insulin for you diabetics ...

This is cool! The best thing about Vleeptron is that I can never guess in advance which posts will generate any interest. (So far the most popular posts were about men's shaving, and I forget the other one that started a mob.)

Well, I suspect this mob will depart and lose interest come Sunday 22 May.

pattheatheist said...

One wonders where the money to produce this trash came from.

DawkinsDisciple said...

The film Zeitgeist The Movie (still available on the internet I think) has an interesting take on the astrological phenomenon surrounding Dec 25th. Apparently, as Dec 25th approaches, the three stars which make up Orion's belt (known since antiquity as The Three Kings) form a line which predicts the spot where the sun will rise. After the winter solstice on Dec 21st, the sun appears to stop moving southward for three days and then begins to appear to move northward. According to the film, this accounts for many half man half god savior myths starting with the Egyptian god Horus.

Harold C said...

Ok, now what? Dec 2012 according to the Mayan calendar? Perhaps it will be a comet that could annihilate all of us? I guess we must prepare right away or simply just expect Superman to save the world.

Vleeptron Dude said...

Hiya Harold!

Ah, the Maya Doomsday doesn't scare me.

Because it's the exact same astronomical event that all the naked long-haired hippies sang about:

"This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!"

So the Mayas saw only doom and gloom in it, but the naked LSD-trippin' hippies perceived it as

peace ... love ...
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation

I like the naked LSD pot-smokin' orgy-writhin' hippies' interpretation better.

HOWEVER ... if you're disappointed that the Rapture and the End Times missed us, may I direct your attention to a far more likely End Times scenario, direct from the Old Testament.

And this one differs from your average End-of-World scenario because real living, breathing human beings with real identities are as we speak trying to kick-start this one to make the End begin ... and it could happen any year now!

This prophesy of the End Times ... well, it's sort of like a terrorist A-bomb. Maybe it won't really, truly explode like a proper, respectable superpower Atomic Bomb.

But even if it's an amateurish dud -- wow, this will surely bring about The Mother Of All Messes!

The following article originally ran in The New Yorker magazine, but its archive wants $$$ for the whole thing. The reporter posts his entire article here. Read it and lemme know whatcha think.

Just knowing there are whackos out there trying to pull this off made me poop my drawers.

Vleeptron Dude said...

And remember -- you read about it first on VleeptronZ!

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