an epic mistranslationI have to give the guy credit for being tenacious. Even in the face of the spectacular failure of his May 21, 2011Second-Coming of Jesus” prediction, Bible scholar religionist crank Harold S. Camping remains unshaken in his claim that his “prophecy” will ultimately come to pass. His had always been a two-part prediction: That Jesus Christ would return on May 21, 2011 — ushered in by a vast globe-spanning earthquake, among other “signs” — followed 6 months later, on October 21, 2011, by an even more catastrophic “End of the World.”

Obviously the events he predicted would happen this past May never took place, but afterward Camping rationalized away his failure. WIth his promised “End of the World” coming up in just a few days, as LiveScience reports, Camping remains firmly and irrationally committed to his (already-demonstrably false) crankish scenario (WebCite cached article):

The radio preacher who predicted Judgment Day on May 21 has not backed down from his claims that the end of the world is near, despite the lack of a Rapture or world-devastating earthquakes leading up to the doomsday.

In an announcement on his Family Radio Network website, Harold Camping stands by his earlier predictions that the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21. Originally, Camping had predicted hourly earthquakes and God’s judgment on May 21, to be followed by months of torment on Earth for those individuals left behind. Using numerical codes extracted from the Bible, Camping set the date for the end of everything for Oct. 21.

The article briefly explains how — in typical crankish manner — Camping redefined both the events of this past May 21, and his own prediction about it, so as to make himself still look “correct” even though he most certainly was not:

When May 21 came and went without fanfare, Camping revised his story. The “earthquakes” he had predicted did occur, he writes on his website in a post titled “What Happened on May 21?” — only instead of shaking the Earth, God shook mankind “with fear.” Likewise, although no one was raptured, God is no longer saving souls, Camping writes.

“What really happened this past May 21st?” Camping wrote. “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen.”

I’m really not surprised at the screaming irrationality that Camping exhibits. He’s invested a lot of his time and money into his doomsday predictions (including a prior one that failed to come true back in 1994). For him to just throw up his hands — after all these years and after all these predictions — and just ‘fess up to having been wrong, would obviate all of that … not to mention it would call into question whether he should consider returning the millions of dollars in donations he and his organization have collected over the past couple years, from his sheep who believed in his obviously-wrong predictions. Simple economics and personal pride, then, all but force him to insist that “the End of the World” will take place this coming Friday, October 21, 2011. He just can’t help himself. Even if the rest of us know better.

Finally, for the record, I’d like to point out something that is also demonstrable, and that is that all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. A putrid, steaming load scooped right out of the back of the barn. All “Biblical prophecies” are false! Every stinking last one of them. Every time. All the time. And it will always and forever be so, because the very words of the Bible prove it, beyond the shadow of any possible doubt. It’s not up for debate or interpretation or number-crunching or anything else — it simply is. Period.

Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.

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  • C.P. Ruddick

    Daniel's prophecy of the four last kingdoms in chapter 7 is obviously true. Here's why: We are manifestly living durung the first two kingdoms – Britain/USA (lion with eagles' wings), and Russia (the bear). These two world powers fit the details in Dan.7 with a precisio which is breath-taking! (Incidentally, the passages referring to the Last Judgement and the 'one like a son of man' are obviously insertions into the original prophecy, and date from nearly four centuries later during the Maccabean period).

    • Unfortunately I'm not impressed with Daniel's alleged "breath-taking precision." First, the USA and Britain are by no means a single kingdom. Second, the lion with eagle's wings was a common symbol in the ancient Near East. It was called a lamassu, found in some Babylonian art, and later frequently used in Assyria (to the point where it was considered a symbol of that state). The bear was a symbol for Median Persia. No one reading Daniel in the time it was written (and later edited as you acknowledge) would have taken these as references to anything other than Assyria (or Neo-Babylonia) and Persia. As for the interpolations you mention, they can be found in Daniel as well as in many other Bible books. Which forces one to wonder what parts need more attention than others.

      Also keep in mind that, as I explain elsewhere, all "Biblical prophecy" must be considered suspect at best, and B.S. at worst, because there are clear predictions made in its pages that haven't come true yet and never can. For instance, three gospels record Jesus having said (emphasis my own):

      “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Mt 16:28)

      And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” (Mk 9:1)

      “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:27)

      Those people to whom Jesus spoke in the first century certainly have "tasted death" (and they must have done so over 1,900 years ago), yet "the kingdom of God" has yet to "come with power."