- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Bible Prophecy and the End Times
- Published on Friday, 11 March 2011 08:21
According to many who interpret the Mayan calendar, there will be a world-wide catastrophe in December 21, 2012. How did 12/21/2012 come to the year of the end of the world? Will there be catastrophes or disasters that end civilization? Are there prophecies in the Bible about this being the Great Tribulation or the coming of Christ?
The Mayan civilization was very involved with the study of the movements of the stars. For hundreds of years they carefully observed the stars and created several different calendars that accurately predicted the future positions of planets and stars as viewed from earth. They noticed that there was a wobble in the earth’s rotation that caused slight variation in the positions of the stars. The effect is slow, taking 5,125 years to complete one cycle. The Mayan astronomers noticed that the dark band at the center of the Milky Way (called the Galactic Equator) coincides with the plane of sun’s movement across the sky, once every 5,125 years. The last time these two intersected was in 3114 B.C. The next time they coincide is 2012 A.D.
This intersection is significant to the Mayans because they believed that the Sun is a god and the Milky Way is the gateway to life and death. The Mayans believed that 3114 B.C. was the year of the creation of the earth and that 2012 A.D. would mark the change of a new cycle bringing some significant change to the earth which gives rise to the theory that the Mayan’s know when and how the world will end.
As to the specific day of the end of the world, December 21 is the date of the winter solstice every year in the northern hemisphere (the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere) where the sun reaches its maximum distance north (or south) of the equator. This marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere and the first day of the summer season in the south which is important for a society of farmers.
The end of the world scenarios is based on uncertain interpretations by scholars of Mayan hieroglyphs. The calendar may end in 2012, but it doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world. Other than the astronomical coincidences, there is little proof that the Mayans prophesied the events of this distant future. The Mayans were not even able to predict their own cultural apocalypse. They died out without any special predictions of their own. They were great astronomers, but lousy prophets.
If we are to believe that the Mayan’s knew the exact date of the end of the world, logically we would have to accept other beliefs of theirs:
• The Mayans believed that the blood of human sacrifices was what powered the sun and gave it life.
• The Mayans believed that the world was created in 3114 B.C.
• The Mayans believed that the movements of the stars affected life on earth – astrology.
Bible prophecies do no indicate the specific year of the end of the world. In fact, the Bible speaks of future events as two periods of time that are yet to come – the Tribulation, which will last seven years, and the Millennium, which will last 1,000 years. (Revelation 21:1-10).
The Mayan religion is described along with other false forms of worship in the Bible in Romans chapter 1. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).