Richard Ruhling and John  H Williams disagree about the world ending after 6000 years:

1    6000 Years Ending  

2    Numerology Doesn't Add Up

(Investigator 116, 2007 September)

I did a Google search for "6,000" and found your site which said you get opposing sides in disputes to give their best evidence concisely.

I wonder what you think of this?

Speaking of the time of judgment Peter says not to ignore this relationship, that 1,000 years is like a day, and a day is like 1,000 years. (2 Peter 3:8). All the Bible writers understood that God made the world in six days and the 4th Commandments says He gives us six days to do all our work. Integrate Peter's text and we have 6,000 years till the time of judgment, but how would we know when 6,000 years are complete?

TIME Magazine noted – "May 5, 2000: the date that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up with the sun and moon – the first time in 6,000 years." (Jan 17, 2000, European Edition)

On the surface, it looks like God missed His time, but we may be forgetting what Jewish sages know, that every important truth is found in the Torah, the first five books. Specifically, Joseph had a dream of the sun, moon and stars making obeisance to him, but the dream didn't make sense until, after seven years of famine, his brothers lined up and bowed before him like the stars in his dream.

We've had seven years without famine and perhaps we are in line for the seven bad years to start?

This is from a webpage I'm preparing.

Richard Ruhling

John H Williams

(Investigator 120, 2008 May)

Regarding Richard Ruhling's letter in Investigator #116 (6000 Years Ending), I'd advise him to validate his information before incorporating it in a website. "Best evidence" means different things to different people, and I'm skeptical about that which "Jewish sages know", as well as "every important truth found in the Torah".

The number 6,000 is just that, a number, of no more significance than 5,999, 1984 or 2001. Some give extra weight to millennial numbers but history suggests that little of great import occurred in 1000 or 2000, apart from "the best Olympics ever in Sydney"!

When the Gregorian calendar (retrospectively) clicked over to 1000 CE there were other dating systems used by most of the world's people, including three Hindu ones, a Buddhist/Thai solar (1543/4), a Chinese (3636), a Coptic (716) and a Japanese Imperial (1660): a reminder that one needs to consider other cultures' non-apocalyptic perspectives.

In 1000CE, the greatest scientists/mathematicians were all Muslims, Leif Ericsson the Viking had landed in Vinland (Newfoundland), Scandinavia and Hungary were becoming Christianised, Constantinople was big and powerful, while the Song Dynasty ruled China. It had 101 million of the world's 310 million (estimated), used gunpowder and paper money, and produced 125,000 tons of iron per annum! In England 99% of the population were illiterate, most adults died in their 40s and, as there was no sugar, honey became a form of currency.

Apocalyptic expectation about the year 1000 was apparently largely confined to Christian monks in France.

There's no shortage of material on the May 2000 planetary 'Grand Alignment', and should Richard do some reading he'll find the following:
  1. There's some bad science about, as well as misapplication of scientific ideas, and astronomy is often misunderstood and/or misused  (See Phil Plait's 'Bad Astronomy').
  2. A similar multiple planetary conjunction took place in 1962.
  3. The May 2000 confluence will re-occur in 2438.
  4. Even if all the planets and the Sun were perfectly aligned, the tidal impact would be an extremely small rise of 0.042mm!
  5. The theory of gravity does excite some who have a minimal understanding of it: our Moon exerts a far greater pull than all the planets combined, and 10% more tidal pull than the Sun.

Is Richard asking us to pay attention to what a biblical character  apparently dreamed over 3500 years ago in relation to the coincidental arrangement that occurred in May 2000? The pseudo-maths of numerology just doesn't add up, though it was a 'big number' in the ancient world, and was acquired by the Jews from Babylonian and Zoroastrian cultures. Even a cursory glance at this topic (see The Skeptic's Dictionary) will demonstrate its invalidity.

Joseph's "seven good and seven bad years" is more likely to be allegorical rather than authentic history. Is Richard saying that "we've" had seven years without famine, and now we're in for seven bad (famine) years on the basis of what's in the OT, and is he offering this as "evidence"?

I suspect that Richard believes in the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath), a concept which, to me, belongs in the surreal realm of literal-minded fantasy. Trust me, Richard, someone's thought this up and run with it for millennia, and, as we'll soon be dead, it'll all be irrelevant, unless you believe that a 'ghostly' remnant of us will be hauled off to a sky court for judgement.

Since Peter II was written around 150CE by someone believed to be Silvanius (Simon Peter, who was illiterate, having died around 64CE) so it seems that what Richard believes in could happen in 6150CE. However, as he's aware, there've been innumerable prophecies and predictions of rapturous or wrathful end times, but history records a never-ending story, while the Earth's demise, via our Sun's, will occur one astronomically distant day.

Biblical phrases sound meaningfully prophetic, and may be earnestly believed, but with a less literal/more skeptical reading they appear as figurative poetic imagery, intended as persuasive spin for the dominant 'spiritual' paradigm (Yahweh, prophecy, Heaven, Day of Judgement). I think that this realm has no real basis, and it didn't exist then and doesn't now, apart from 'ingrained' beliefs in the minds of believers. By the way, the earliest Yahweh was, understandably, a "savage, partisan god of war, one of several deities worshipped by the Israelites"(K Armstrong).

I don't believe there's an entity micro-managing the cosmos. I've previously referred to this god as being anthropomorphically imagined by a patriarchal society. Why should it be male? Why should it need a gender? Is there anyone so deluded that they believe that we look like this sky god? Assuming that the thousands of gods of the ancient world were imaginary, isn't it stretching credulity to believe that only this ancient Jewish god (who later mutated to became the Christian god) is fair dinkum?

I find it hard to comprehend that so many believe the myth of a 'human' god being 'fathered' by his 'dad' via one third of an indivisible trinity "immaculately" impregnating a woman (retrospectively) free from "original sin", then returning 'home' after 'death'. This story is unbelievable and flagrantly elusive to William of Ockham's Razor and his principle of economy.

(I've just discovered, to my surprise, that the doctrine of Immaculate Conception was announced by Rome as recently as 1852, while the dogma of the "Assumption" stated, in 1951, that Mary (Mariamne) was sinless, and since the wage of sin is death she couldn't have died and went straight to Heaven!) (God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens, p 117)

I encourage Richard to write again, supporting his assertions, and/or attempting to debunk my views. He's a reader of Time Magazine (as am I), so has looked beyond the Good Book: however, any persuasive argument needs to recognize the figurative/allegorical nature of the writing in ancient texts, about which there's a robust debate as to their historicity.

'Heavenly' bodies are highly unlikely to "make obeisance" to any Earthling, even a biblical hero, so it's futile attempting to connect happenings up there to what may be earnestly and devoutly wished for down here. The answer to Richard's question, "how will we know when 6,000 years are complete?" depends on which year the count began, which we don't know, but, even if we did, I'd bet my super that the 6,000th will be just as ho-hum as were 1000CE and 2000CE.

Jacob was the 11th son of Joseph, who founded two of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Manassah, Genesis, Chapters 37-50). "Joseph lived to be 110", and is mentioned in the Quran.
Jacob's "coat of many colours", was in fact a coat of many sleeves (a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for sleeves). 


Armstrong K A History of God, Knopf, New York, 1993
Carroll RT The Skeptic's Dictionary: A collection of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions and dangerous delusions, on numerology
Glaber R (Dijon monk, d 1044) Medieval Sourcebook (corrected by Roy J, L'An Mille Hachette Paris 1885).
Hitchens C, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Allen &Unwin, New York, 2007
Lacy R. & Danziger D. The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the Century, Bay Books, 1999
Peter II, KJV Bible, Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville 1977