Modern Christian Mythology: The End Times

Modern Christian Mythology: The End Times

What’s better at kick starting a religion than a lot of talk about the end of the world? Nothing.

Beginning with post Exilic Jewish religious writings like Jeremiah and Daniel and continuing into early Christian writings, the end of the world has been coming for quite awhile.

The gloomy outlook on the future (or lack thereof) is most prominent in early writings from the 1st century CE, like the Pauline Epistles (the authentic ones), Revelations, and the Gospel According to Mark.

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,and the stars shall be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory …

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished.

-Mark 13: 24-30

and, to reiterate

Verily I say unto you, There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.

-Mark 9:1

Paul himself thought he would be alive when the end came,  as shown in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

However, by the second century, Christian writings began to pull back on the eminence of the end, falling back on the excuse that, well, maybe god didn’t mean what he said:

Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

… But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

-2 Peter: 4-8

I guess 50 years or so was as a bit too long to wait for the end.

But, some folks still haven’t given up hope. The End can still be nigh. Long after “this generation” passed away, Hal Lindsey made quite an impact with The Late Great Planet Earth, a book that compared the present day’s news (that present being 1970) with Biblical predictions of the imminent apocalypse.

So, why was there all this doom and gloom talk in Christian writings from the last quarter of the 1st century? Well, during the Jewish Roman Wars (66-73 CE), the Romans killed about 1 million Jews, and that’s bound to make any peoples think the world was about to end. I don’t think we need to look much further than that

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5 Comments on “Modern Christian Mythology: The End Times”

  1. 3woes Says:

    Would you be interested to know that the ancient writings “Revelation of Jesus Christ” and “Daniel” have been opened and reveal that the LORD returns in October 2011?
    If this is not important to you then please disregard the friendly memo.

    • Victor Says:

      While your mythology is quite interesting, the extent that modern believers in it will go to convince themselves and others that it is real is not. Just the fact that you believe in a supernatural being that hides clues in esoteric writings so that a few people can have a privileged insight is disturbing. I use to try to understand and have conversation with Christians, but the more I do, the more I am convinced that you’re all delusional whack jobs that really don’t give a shit about honesty or integrity. If you think that there are hidden messages in Revelations and Daniel just because they are old and esoterically written, I fear for your sanity.

    • Victor Says:

      You should do me a favor, though. While you’re going through this “End Times” phase, you should keep a daily journal. Pay attention to the people around you, your state of mind, the conversations you have, the reasons you find the impending “end times” convincing, etc.

      The day after the the world ends, continue to add to it. Find time to reflect, and do it away from anyone that will try to influence your train of thought. There are very few personal journals from Doomsdayers as they go through the experience, and I think it could be quite interesting.

  2. Maripi Says:

    1.000,000 Jews killed by the Romans ?… Numbers are not important to old people!

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