Monday, May 16, 2011

Camping Rained Out by Flood

One of the key items in Harold Camping's interpretation that leads him to conclude that 2011 is the last year is that the flood was in 4990 B.C. and that A.D. 2011 is "exactly" 7000 years later. That 7000 years number is important to Camping, because at one point God said to Noah, "For yet seven days, ... and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth" (Genesis 7:4). Moreover, elsewhere Camping has noted that with the Lord one days is as one thousand years, and one thousand years as a day. Thus, Camping concludes that it is 7000 years from Noah's Flood until Judgment Day.

First, this is completely arbitrary. There's nothing about Genesis 7:4 that would lead someone to conclude that does not refer simply to the seven literal days that were fulfilled in the days of Noah. The reference to the earth being destroyed there is a reference to the world being destroyed by a flood, and we have been promised that a global flood will never again destroy the earth (see Genesis 9:13), of which the rainbow is a sign of the covenant.

The arbitrariness of the interpretation can be seen from the full context of the verse itself: "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." (Genesis 7:4)

There is no room for 40,000 years in Camping's chronology, so this part of the verse is conveniently ignored. Perhaps a justification is given that when it says "days ... and ... nights" it is not referring to thousands of years - but such an explanation doesn't come from the Bible.

There's another problem, though. The Bible doesn't date the flood to 4990 B.C. Of course, the Bible doesn't give year numbers, the Bible gives genealogies. Those genealogies can be used, to some extent, to reconstruct the history of the Old Testament era.

If one uses those genealogies, however, one will not arrive at 4990 B.C., one will arrive with a number like 2349 B.C., the number that Archbishop Ussher calculated, or 2957 B.C. - the number similarly calculated from the Septuagint translation (incidentally, the former calculation places Creation at 4004 B.C., while the latter places it around 5200 B.C.).

The 4990 B.C. date for the flood is actually something that Camping came up with around 1970 or so, and published in "Adam When?" in 1974. There is an updated version available on Camping's website now. Lord Willing, we will discuss "Adam When?" some more in a future post.

What suffices for this post is to point out that if Camping is right about the flood being 7000 years before the end of the world, then we have well over a 1000 years to go.



PeaceByJesus said...

Camping arbitrary being is a key to his conclusions.

As CRI ( also pointed out re his book 1994?,

The Lord had told His disciples, who were about 200 cubits out in the Sea of Galilee, to throw their net on the right side of the boat, resulting in a catch of 153 fish. Camping takes that to mean that the 200 cubits represent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ. (p. 503)

Now as Camping believes that the most likely date for the birth of Christ is October 4, 7 B.C. when the Jubilee Trumpet allegedly sounded (p. 418), then he only needed to add 2,000 years, minus one year for the year 0, to get 1994.

As for the 153 fish, Camping finds that 153 equals 3 times 3 times 17, and that “The number three signifies the purpose of God whereas the number seventeen sig­nifies heaven. Thus we can learn that [the] purpose of God is to bring all believers that are caught’ by the Gospel into heaven p. 503,504).

Being able to see a prophetic significance to virtually every number in every closet, He also tells us in no uncertain terms that the 276 saved from drowning in Acts 26 has relates to the final tribulation period:

"The number 276=3x4x23. It also equals the sum of all the numbers that come before 23. Thus, 276=1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10...+21+22+23. By this unique arrangement, God focuses our attention on the number 23."

"The number 3 signifies the purpose of God, and the number 4 signifies universality... "

"The number 23 is identified with the final tribulation period, when God's judgment comes upon the church. Therefore, one can understand why God gives the precise number 276 in the Acts 27 account: the ship represents the church. During the final tribulation, the era of the New Testament church will end, i.e., the ship is entirely destroyed.

"True believers within the church, represented by the 276 people aboard the ship, are saved... The number 276, which equals 3x4x23, represents the purpose of God that in all the world the believers who are present during God's judgment on the external church - during the final tribulation period - cannot lose their salvation..." (The Great Tribulation, pp. 149-150).

Now the above totals 376 words, which is about as significant as re the final tribulation period as Camping makes the 276 men do.

PeaceByJesus said...

Make that Acts 27. Sorry