2018: A new year and another prediction to proclaim that the world will end in June. Once again people will explore that dark tunnel of apocalypse based on what someone has gathered from the numbers in the Bible.
The Bible is perhaps the most misunderstood and misused book since it was organized centuries ago after much controversy and compromise. The history of the current Bible in its various illustrations and iterations is a journey of complexity and misinterpretation.
The apocalyptic sections of the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the New Testament and other “non-canonical” texts have been studied for millennia without the end coming. In its purest sense apocalypse (Greek ἀποκάλυψις) just means “laying bare” or “uncovering”. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g602
Understanding the context of the Bible, the times in which it was written, and to whom it was intended to speak, is an arduous undertaking by scholars and other “experts”. However, too many sincere and misguided individuals (men and women) have bypassed the arduous undertaking and jumped into the fray of apocalyptic frenzy because they believe that their particular god, gods or goddesses have chosen them to be the last day messenger to a world in its final days of traversing the cosmos.
History, especially the history of the last two centuries, has seen a multiplication of these individuals and their interpretations of texts without consideration in most cases to the context of the sections which they pick and choose to explorate. Out of sincere hope or belief or sheer ignorance or fear people accept these utterances as coming from the divine.
They embrace the messenger and, in a great number of cases, exalt the human messenger to celestial status because they have been given the gnostic insight to the secrets locked away centuries, many centuries, before the current time. Abandoning rational thought and sometimes their own families and financial security, they give themselves to the cause or movement because they assume they are “the chosen few” who will ride out and be immune to the storms of plagues and other cataclysmic upheavals as their non-believing family and friends suffer the aeonian bowls of divine wrath.
Too many individuals down through the ages have used the Hebrew system of gematria to classify an individual or a system with the infamous numerical value of 666. The definition for gematria is in the references.
If you want to spend time use the Gematria calculator to see what numbers you deride from your name or anything else: it is in the references. It may be very enlightening or distressing if you have 666 or 616—which may be more accurate from the Greek.
All in all, their eschatological scenarios, created for the most part by sincerity and belief, are psychologically damaging. The human psyche can only endure so much pandemonium.
Fear of the unknown can cast a person into the dark shadows of despondency. Life on this planet was never meant to be lived in fear and dread.
The Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis is a prime example of eschatological failure. Belief in building a structure to withstand another global deluge was a sincere hope and motivation, but rational practicality was a missing ingredient because the architectural design was flawed based on climatic realities, human cooperation in the enterprise and divine intervention.
This like so many apocalyptic cases demonstrates cognitive dissonance.
“…the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information; persuade themselves that no conflict really exists; reconcile the differences; or resort to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in their conceptions of the world and of themselves.” https://www.britannica.com/science/cognitive-dissonance
The end did not come. Therefore, something else must have occurred to save the planet—be it in the heaven of their aspirations and dreams or in the planetary bodies composing the cosmos.
In some cases, the blame is assumed to be the faithful who did not do enough. With the sword of Damocles spinning above their heads, they wonder what could have been if they had given more, worked harder, or just purified themselves from the dross of their selfishness.
Reality is— there are countless suffering souls in the world who face each day and night with fear, genuine fear of what nature or their fellow humans will do to them. They live on the precipice, not knowing when, not if, but when their life will be taken.
Instead of spending countless resources on doomsday, those resources should be used to help their fellow humans on the road of life. For in the end what one has done for another human being is all that matters in the cosmic scheme.
Will the end of the world come? Eventually, but in the most profound sense it will be humans who destroy themselves unless a course correction is made to save this orb hanging in the majesty of space and the people on it.
G. D. Williams © 2018
Gematria is a numerological system by which Hebrew letters correspond to numbers. This system, developed by practitioners of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), derived from Greek influence and became a tool for interpreting biblical texts.
In gematria, each Hebrew letter is represented by a number (for example, aleph = 1, bet = 2, etc.). One can then calculate the numerical value of a word by adding together the values of each letter in it. In the realm of biblical interpretation, commentators base an argument on numerological equivalence of words. If a word’s numerical value equals that of another word, a commentator might draw a connection between these two words and the verses in which they appear and use this to prove larger conceptual conclusions.
The term “gematria” comes from the Greek “geometria,” and the concept can be found in the writings of the Greek philosopher Plato. In rabbinic literature it first appears in the Baraita of the Thirty-two Rules, by Rabbi Eliezer in 200 CE. This text, which no longer exists except in references, elaborated 32 rules for interpreting the Bible. The 29th rule involved the use of gematria.
Gematria or gimatria (Hebrew: גימטריה, gēmaṭriyā) is a system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other, or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to a person’s age, the calendar year, or the like.
End of the World