The 2011 end times prediction
made by Christian radio host
Harold Camping states that the
Rapture (in premillennial
theology, the taking up into
heaven of God's elect people) will
take place on May 21, 2011
at 6 p.m. local time (the rapture
will sweep the globe time zone
by time zone) and that the end
of the world as we know it will
take place five months later on
October 21, 2011. Camping,
president of the Family Radio
Christian network, claims the
Bible as his source and says May
21 will be the date of the Rapture
and the day of judgment
"beyond the shadow of a doubt".
 His followers claim that
around 200 million people
(approximately 3% of the world's
population) will be raptured.
Camping's predictions have not
been embraced by most other
Christian groups; some have
explicitly rejected them.
 An interview with a group
of church leaders noted that all
of them have scheduled services
as usual for Sunday, May 22.
Camping previously claimed that
the world would end in
The rapture will occur on May 21,
2011 with approximately 3% of
the population being called to
Earthquakes will begin on May 21
on the Kiritimati Island
(Christmas Island near Australia)
at 6:00 pm CXT (11:00 am UTC).
Citing Jeremiah 25:32,
earthquakes will continue "as the
sun advances" with New York to
be affected at approximately at
6:00pm EDT (10:00 pm UTC).
the end of the world as we know
it will take place five months later
on October 21, 2011.
Camping has presented
arguments, or biblical
"proofs", in favor of the
May 21st end time. A civil
engineer by training,
Camping states he has
attempted to work out
prophecies in the Bible for
decades. In an interview
with the San Francisco
Chronicle he explained "... I
was an engineer, I was
very interested in the
numbers. I'd wonder, 'Why
did God put this number in,
or that number in?' It was
not a question of unbelief,
it was a question of, 'There must
be a reason for it.' "
Harold Camping being
interviewed about his
prediction in early 2011.
As early as 1970, Camping dated
the Great Flood to 4990 BC.
Taking the prediction in Genesis
7:4 ("Seven days from now I will
send rain on the earth") to be a
prediction of the end of the
world, and combining it with 2
Peter 3:8 ("With the Lord a day is
like a thousand years, and a
thousand years are like a day"),
Camping concludes that the end
of the world will occur in 2011,
7000 years from 4990 BC.
Camping takes the 17th day of
the second month mentioned in
Genesis 7:11 to be the 21st May,
and hence predicts the rapture
to occur on this date.
Another argument that
Camping uses in favor of the May
21st date is as follows:
1. According to Camping, the
number five equals "atonement",
the number ten equals
"completeness", and the number
seventeen equals "heaven".
2. Christ is said to have hung on the
cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time
between April 1, 33 AD and April
1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
3. If 1,978 is multiplied by
365.2422 days (the number of
days in a solar year, not to be
confused with the lunar year),
the result is 722,449.
4. The time between April 1 and
May 21 is 51 days.
5. 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
6. (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement ×
completeness × heaven)2 also
Thus, Camping concludes that 5 ×
10 × 17 is telling us a "story from
the time Christ made payment for
our sins until we're completely
Camping has not been precise
about the exact timing of the
event, saying that "maybe" we
can know the hour. He has
suggested that "days" in the
Bible refer to daylight hours
particularly. Another account
says the "great earthquake"
which signals the start of the
Rapture will "start in the Pacific
Rim at around the 6 p.m. local
time hour, in each time
In Camping's book 1994?, self-
published in 1992, he predicted
that the End Times would come
in September 1994 (variously
reported as September 4 or
September 6). When the
Rapture failed to occur on the
appointed day, Camping said he
had made a mathematical error.
Camping's rapture prediction,
along with some of his other
teachings and beliefs, have
sparked some controversy in the
Christian world. His critics often
quote Bible verses (such as
Matthew 24:36) which they claim
imply the date of the end will
never be known by anyone but
God until it actually happens.
James Kreuger, author of the
book Secrets of the
Apocalypse — Revealed, has
stated that while he believes the
rapture is coming, Camping is
incorrect in attempting to nail
down a date. "For all his learning,
Camping makes a classic
beginner's mistake when he sets
a date for Christ's return," writes
Kreuger. "Jesus himself said in
Matthew 24:36, 'Of that day and
hour knows no man, no, not the
angels of heaven, but my father
only.' " However, Camping
and his followers respond that
this principle only applied to the
"church age" or "pre- tribulation
period" and does not apply to
the present day, citing other
verses (such as 1 Thessalonians
5:1-5:5) in their rebuttal.
In a 2001 pamphlet, Camping
asserted that believers should
"flee the church," resigning from
any church they belong to,
because the "Church Age" is over
and the " Great Tribulation" has
begun. This assertion was
controversial and drew "a
flurry of attacks".
Edwin M. Yamauchi critiqued
Camping's dating of the Flood
when Camping first published his
ideas in 1970.
Criticism of the May 21 prediction
has ranged from serious critique
to ridicule. Theology professor
Matthew L. Skinner, writing at the
Huffington Post, noted the "long
history of failed speculation"
about the End Times and
cautioned that end-of-the-world
talk can lead Christians to social
passivity instead of "working for
the world's redemption".
Some columnists have mocked
the prediction with humorous
columns from a skeptical
Evolutionary biologist and atheist
Richard Dawkins dismissed
Camping's prediction, writing
that "he will inevitably explain, on
May 22nd, that there must have
been some error in the
calculation, the rapture is
postponed to ... and please send
more money to pay for updated
Director of American Atheists
Larry Hicock said that "Camping's
campaign is indicative of the
problems with religion".
Camping's prediction and his
promotion of it via his radio
network and other promotional
means have spread the
prediction globally, which
has led believers and non-
believers to a variety of actions.
On May 19, 2011, the search term
"end of the world may 21st"
reached the top position on
Google Trends, based on the
popularity of the search term.
 The related searches "Harold
Camping" and "judgement day
2011" were also represented
among the top 10 positions.
Friday, 20 May 2011
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