May 21st Might Not Be Judgment Day

I wanted to call this post “May 21st Definitely Will Not Be Judgment Day.” The only reason I didn’t is because anything could happen on any given day. It could be tomorrow or this Saturday or April 8, 2071 or 10,435 years from now. I’m not prophetic or arrogant enough to claim to know when the Rapture will or won’t happen.

At the same time, I have a problem with the biblical interpretive reasoning that led Harold Camping and others to arrive at this particular date. It’s based on the understanding that the world was created in the year 11,013 BC and Noah’s Flood took place in 4990 BC. People have carefully examined biblical genealogies to arrive at these dates and I respect that effort, but I’m convinced (yes, partially by science) that our planet is well over 13,000 or 14,000 years old. And I’m just not convinced that all humanity except 8 people were literally wiped out 7000 years ago by a flood. The Bible has some things in it that are historically accurate, and some things that aren’t. Faith always plays a role, but responsible scholars still need to search out the difference.

[Can’t spend too much time on this here, but the Noah’s Ark story has been retold in a lot of cultures. The writer of Genesis wasn’t the first one to tell it. For more on that, check out the Pulitzer Prize winning book “God: A Biography” by Jesuit scholar Jack Miles.]

There’s another part to the prophecy that I’m not clear on. The May 21st crowd is saying that the Bible says that a day is like 1000 years and 1000 years is like a day for God. I got that. But they’ve also concluded that the world’s destruction will come “7 days”  (7000 years) after the flood, but I don’t see what they’re basing that on.

The argument for a 5/21/11 Judgment Day centers around the belief that May 21st, 2011 will mark 7000 years since the Noah’s ark account took place. The Bible says the rain began on the “17th day of the 2nd month.” It’s true that any Hebrew Calendar Converter will tell you that the 17th day of Iyar translates to May 21st. But I wonder if these prophets have considered the fact that a complete Hebrew calendar year is 6 minutes and 25 seconds shorter than our Gregorian year, so every 231 years, the Hebrew Calendar falls a day behind the Gregorian calendar and there’s no agreed upon way to account for this. Also, the Hebrew Calendar inserts 7 leap months every 19 years, and we insert a leap day every 4 years. So the 17th of Iyar would have been May 21st in the year 4990 BC, but do they still line up so evenly this year?

I’m  not telling people “don’t believe these wackos,” because at the end of the day, I have no idea when or precisely how the new heaven and new earth will be ushered in.

But I do think it’s fascinating that the people and organizations telling us there are only a few days left are getting some big donations from people who think there’s no reason to store up savings, rent, or tuition beyond next week. And they are definitely accepting them.

I’m just saying May 21st, 2011 may not be Judgment Day.


10 responses to “May 21st Might Not Be Judgment Day

  1. In Genesis7:4 God tells Noah “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth”.
    God was warning the people of the world in that day (4990 BC) that they had 7 days to enter the safety of the ark.
    In 2 Peter 3: 4-8 God states “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willinglly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. God is warning us today when Judgement Day is. May 21, 2011! Our Lord is letting us know that we have 7,000 years from the day of the flood to come to the safety of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a gracious and loving God we have, and, if we cry out to our Lord. humble ourselves, and turn from our evil ways as the people of Nineveh did, God may save us. It is still the day of salvation!

  2. I really don’t intend to be one of the scoffers, especially where God’s Word is concerned, but I just don’t see God telling us that an earthquake is coming this Saturday based on the scriptures you just provided. Whenever the Rapture happens, I hope and pray I’ll be on the right side of it, but I don’t interpret the signs the way you do.

  3. There is no EXACT date or time God is coming back down to earth to carry us up into heaven. He doesn’t say “sup my children! May 21st of 2011 i will be bring all of whom repent and believe in me up to heaven and all of you other fools will stay on earth and feel my rapture.” No. Doesn’t work like that. By saying stuff like that it just scares people. I’m sure God doesn’t want his children to repent and turn to him out of fright. That’s ridiculous. They turn to God if they want to. If they truly love and honor our Lord. If its anything other than that its a lie. and lying is a sin 😉 sooo lets put it out all in front of us Mr. Garibaldi. Does God want us to turn to him because we are scared of dying here on earth or living through his rapture? Or does he want us to turn to him because we see what we have done in our lives and we realize we truly love God and want Him in our hearts??

    agreeing with Seth, Saturday COULD be judgment day. The point in the matter is I do not know for sure, you do not know for sure, Seth does not know for sure, and neither does Mr. Camping. The only person who knows is God Himself. So dont question it, do not try and figure it out, and do not fear it. God simply wants us to live the lives he has given us and turn to him if we chose to. He has let us have our own minds and our own decisions. He did not want us to be robots and follow Him. He wants us to want Him on our own. So all he simply asks is for us to wait. Wait for Him. Im only a 16 year old girl, simply stating my opinion on the matter.

    On Saturday, May 21st 2011, i will be living my life EXACTLY how i would live it every other day, and if Sunday comes, i will go to church just like every Sunday and thank Him for letting me live another day, just like i do EVERYDAY. Because if He wanted us, He will bring us up with Him when its our time ((: Have a blessed day
    and many more to come ❤

  4. Allysa,

    Very well put, and only 16 years old! When I was 16, I was nowhere near this theologically comfortable in my own skin. Keep living, loving, and learning, my sister.

  5. 1st Thessalonians 5:2
    For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    He is saying here that you can’t predict when he comes. He does not allow anyone to predict the day of His coming. I disagree completely with John.

  6. It wasn’t May 21st, 2011. Sorry, John.

    While reading their websites and their explanations about why they believe what they do, it was pretty apparent to me that they were misinterpreting some scripture.

    I know the most commonly used verse against this is Matthew 24:36,

    -“But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (KJV)

    But, let’s take this verse at face value. Doesn’t this disprove ANY attempt to solve the date of Judgement? It kinda does.

    The verse saying that a thousand years as one day and one day as a thousand years and then coupling that with the verse about God giving Noah 7 days warning. <– I know that sentence makes no sense. I'm trying to get to that topic.

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

    Okay, sorry again, I know it's very incoherent.

    Now think: God gave Noah 7 days warning. Elsewhere in the Bible you find that a day is as a thousand and a thousand is as one day. So naturally you're assuming that in 7,000 years He will do it again. Why? Please show me where in the Bible it states that God will bring His Judgement to the world in 7 "days" from Noah. It just seems contradictory to me. The first verse I posted states that only the Father himself knows the date, but then He's going back and telling us the exact date? I think this is only wishful thinking on our part.

    One other thing that really got me was on one of their websites,, they state at the end of one of their pages that God has, to paraphrase, "cleverly hidden the exact date in the scripture so it would be harder for man to find it out." It's just… really? God is not a God of confusion.

    Another point I would like to make is their misinterpretation of another verse, which would also cause a contradiction. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6,

    -"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."

    They've interpreted this as, "You're believers, so you'll know the exact date, unlike the nonbelievers."
    To be blunt, this should be interpreted as, "You're believers, so you'll always be ready, you will not be surprised."

    That's just my two cents. It's currently 11:15 PM on May 21st, 2011 here in Florida. It's already the 22nd in New Zealand. Time zones are rather confusing.

    -Abrupt ending-

  7. I believe Judgement day has started on May 21, 2011. God is in control. Many people world wide have heard of this date and how they react now – May 22, 2011 and forward – will be another way our LORD is seperating the wheat and the tares.

  8. John,

    In what way do you observe the Judgment Day as having started yesterday? Is there a biblical rationale? I thought it was supposed to be the Rapture.

  9. So, if you don’t mind my asking, John, where where these massive earthquakes and other natural disasters that were predicted? Or the rapture? Nothing that Mr. Camping prophesied has come true, yet you still choose to believe him? His words directly contradict other passages in the Bible; there are NO contradictions in the Bible. Because our God is a God outside of time, He knows that no man knows the day nor the hour, so it is pretty obvious that Judgment day cannot be foretold.

    I believe we are indeed in the end times, but I do not believe that any man can or will know when that day nor hour will come. The reason why I believe such is much due to the shape I see this world end. I could be wrong. It could possibly get much worse. The entire world could be turned into a Sodom or Gomorrah before that day comes. I don’t know. neither does Mr. Camping, and neither do you. Wishful thinking is not blind faith. (Hebrews 11:1)

    Deu 18:20-22
    – “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (NIV)

  10. I find it comical, how 7 days turns into 7,000 years. I believe that people find it exciting to think of the end of the world, so they come up with something like a puzzle and put pieces together and eventually they believe it themselves. Then convince other people of their beliefs. Its ridiculous. such as:

    ^^ This states amazing FACTS. The guy put a puzzle together, twisted the verses to mean something else and came up with this conclusion. So John, This^^^^ is all complete facts. The May 21st was NOT a fact, it was simply a man stating what he believed to be true. Now this video is completely true. Every word that comes out of his mouth is true. Are you going to believe it? That’s what it all comes down to. Believing what is or what will be. NO ONE KNOWS! I get it okay? its exciting to put stuff together and find stuff out that seems frightening, yet exciting, but sharing it with the whole world and scaring everyone else just isn’t right.

    I have a question though….

    lol, were you freaking out on Saturday when God didn’t bring you up to Heaven xD ahahahah

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