marks the 6000th year since creation, according to the calculations of
Bishop James Ussher (1581-1656). In 1701, Ussher's chronology was
the margin of the King James Version of the Bible and is still included
editions today. It has been noted that Ussher was motivated to study
chronology because of his interest in dating the future second coming
though Ussher's approach to biblical chronology is usually disdained in
day, I believe that he is basically correct in his approach and
think a few calendar adjustments should be made that would begin
4000 b.c. instead of Ussher's 4004
b.c. Thus, a.d. 2000 is more likely the 6000th year
since creation. If I believed that it were possible to date the second
of Christ, it is not possible, then the theory teaching that man has
before the second coming of Christ would make the most sense.
The 7000 Year Theory
of the most widely held beliefs of the first 400 years of the early
that Christ would return after 6,000 years of history and that He would
on earth for an additional 1,000 years. This view was based upon the
of creation with the seventh day of rest (Gen. 2:2), and the belief
from Ps. 90:4 & 2 Pet. 3:8) that each day was to be reckoned as
representative of a thousand years. Thus, just as man's work week (Ex.
20:8-11) is six days followed by the Sabbath rest, so the scope of
follows the pattern of six thousand years for man's history followed by
seventh thousand years of millennial rest (Heb. 4:9). This whole
referred to as the sex- or septa-millenary theory.
church proponents believed that the end of the world would come around
a.d. 500, because they followed the
inflated chronology of the Septuagint. Ussher and later proponents of
septa-millenary tradition followed the more accurate numbers of the
Hebrew Masoretic Text which produced Ussher's 4004 b.c. date for
creation with the 6000 years of man's week
ending in a.d. 1996. Others see a
4000 b.c. creation date with a
focus on a.d. 2000.
have noted the panic and great concern throughout Christendom that
events leading up to a.d. 500 and
speculated that we may expect similar behavior as the year a.d. 2000
approaches. This is highly
unlikely, because of the secular dominance of modern culture.
some may be curious about a biblically related viewpoint, but never is
as a whole fearful of anything relating to the God of the Bible. But
Bible support or allow for date-setting?
What About Date-Setting?
least six passages (eight if parallel passages are included)
believes against date-setting. It is enough for something to be stated
once in the Bible for it to be true, but when God says something many
emphasis should make such assertions even clearer. I am listing the
passages below so that we can readily see these important biblical
• Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour
no one knows, not
even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Mark 13:32 is an exact parallel.
• Matthew 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert,
for you do not
know which day your Lord is coming.
• Matthew 24:44 "For this reason you be
ready too; for the
Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
• Matthew 25:13 "Be on the alert then, for
you do not know
the day nor the hour. Mark
13:33-37 is a parallel passage.
• Acts 1:7 He said to them, "It is not for
you to know
times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own
• 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 Now as to the times and
the epochs, brethren,
you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves
full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the
passages are absolute prohibitions against date-setting. They do not
that it was impossible to know the date in the early church, but in the
days some would come to know it. They do not say that no one knows the
the hour, except those who are able to figure it out through some
The date of Christ' s coming is a matter of God' s revelation and He
not to reveal it even to Christ in His humanity during His first advent
1996 progresses toward the year 2000 Christians may come under
pressure to speculate about the return of Christ, especially since God
to be setting the stage for end-time events. However, such a
be resisted. The Bible is clear that date-setting is wrong and the
implication of an any-moment rapture makes it doubly wrong. Our hope
Christ could come at any moment. "And everyone who has this hope
Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).