Millennium Doomsday Prophecies

Skeptic's Version

Calculating the start of the 21st century is not as simple as believers make it seem. The obvious starting point for the millennium is midnight on 31, December 1999. However, before the 21st century can be said to begin, a full 20 centuries must have ticked away since the birth of Christ. Take the year 96 AD - at the beginning of this year only 95 years had passed.

Similarly, at the beginning of the year 2000 only 1999 years will have passed. The true arithmetical millennium, therefore, will come on midnight of December 31, 2000, one year after the date many believers are expecting great things. So one question is, do you follow the arithmetic strictly, or simply celebrate the first moment of a magic number, the year 2000?

An additional complication - if you are measuring the millennium from Christ's birth, do you use 4 BC (the date many Biblical scholars agree Christ was born) or the first moment of AD 1? Do you use December 25th or one of the other proposed birthdays of Jesus?

Skeptics of millennium prophecies can't help but notice the arbitrariness of the use of the Gregorian calendar. Many people around the world use other calendars, i.e.:

the Muslim Calendar - begins at 622 AD

the Jewish Calendar - begins at 3761 BC

the Japanese Calendar - begins at 660 BC

and the Chinese Calendar - begins at 2698 BC.

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