Thursday, February 24, 2011

Doomsdays of Yesteryear: "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988"

In honor of the approaching Mayan Calendar Doomsday in 2012, I am presenting an occasional series of "Doomsdays of Yesteryear," to show how often the world has ended in the past, entirely without effect.

The former NASA engineer and self-taught Biblical scholar Edgar C. Whisenant attracted many followers in the Evangelical Christian community with his confident prediction that the Rapture would occur in 1988, probably to coincide with Rosh Hashana. Over four million copies were sold, and many others distributed for free. He confidently stated, "Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong," and we know that isn't possible. He also predicted that a nuclear war would break out between the US and the USSR on October 4, and the Final Judgment occurring in November, 1995. When the world failed to end in 1988, he issued more rapture predictions for 1989, 1993, and 1994, but these did not attract as much attention.

How Whisenant calculated the date of The Rapture
According to religious broadcaster Harold Camping, The Rapture is set to begin in less than three months, on May 21, 2011. But I would not forego any sinning on that account. Camping's earlier prediction of The Rapture in September, 1994 was likewise a bust.

This Looks Like Fun!


  1. Doesn't look like fun to me. What if you're halfway up and He changes his mind?

  2. I've always wondered what happens to these kooks when their predictions fail. These doomsayers should be publicly mocked before the time of their prophecy, and then mocked more savagely after it fails to come to pass.

  3. You've got to hand it to Rev. Camping. If anything, he's a testimony to perseverance. No matter how many times his highly specific predictions fall through, he just plugs away with a new one.
    Having grown up in a bookstore - that the loony, absentee owner slowly converted into a New Age shop - I've seen more books predicting the end of the world than you could shake a stick at. It's like Anton LaVey (I read his books, too) used to say when paraphrasing P.T.Barnum, that when adjusted for the population explosion, it's more a like a sucker's born every second now.


Keep your comments relevant, and keep them civil! That means no personal attacks will be allowed, by anyone, on anyone. Commenters are welcome to disagree with me, or with other comments, but state your arguments using logic, and with a civil tone. Comments in violation of these rules will be deleted, and offenders banned.

Comments should be in English, although quotes from foreign-language sources are fine as long as they're relevant, and you explain them. Anonymous postings are not permitted. If you don't want to use your real name, then make up a name for yourself, and use it consistently.