I really hate to rain on the holiday season, but all our fates are hanging in the balance. According to ancient Mayan prophecies, 2012 marks the end of the world, or so says Hollywood and its fans. The Mayan predictions raise the question of just how easy is it to predict the future?
The Bible also gives us futuristic, apocalyptic prophecies, and prophecy is one of the many objective proofs that God and only God could have inspired the Bible. Biblical prophecy directly contradicts Postmodern dogma, which claims nobody can know if there is only one God, yet the Bible says there is a way to know for sure:
“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
God should have an opportunity to say who God is, obviously, so why would anyone assume God has no voice on the question of His own existence? Yet the claim that God is unknowable or cannot communicate clearly by necessity excludes His voice without a fair hearing–like declaring someone insane and unable to stand trial before any evidence is presented.
My first encounter with the Mayan challenge to the Bible’s exclusive grip on prophecy occurred back in 2001. It was in the early days of our KSU Bible study, and each week a young, excited Christian named Joe Allie loaded his Mustang convertible with students from Youngstown State and drove 45 minutes to our meeting. (Where is that young, enthusiastic believer today?) One guy named “JT” came every week, but he was an avid atheist, which was interesting. As I got to know JT, I learned his biggest misconception was that trusting in the Bible required blind faith. I explained how the Bible deplores blind faith, so it provides objective evidence through prophecy, among other proofs. Prophecy is verifiable proof, since we know the prophecies were recorded long before the events foretold, and especially since the prophecies are intricate and numerous. In the case of Jesus Christ, more than 300 specific prophecies detailing his life—from birth to death—were given at least 400 years beforehand. Archeology confirmed the antiquity of these prophecies with the Dead Sea Scrolls, which makes it difficult for an atheist to reject this large body of evidence and still claim the “high road” of a scientific worldview.
JT threw me for a loop when he said prophecy was not unique to the Bible. I already knew about the hallucinogenic ravings of Nostradamus, which hardly qualifies as anything intelligible, and much less as verifiable prophecy. (Isn’t it astonishing how devoted people are to deciphering these babblings, while Bible prophecy is scorned?) But JT agreed Nostradamus was a farce. It was the ancient Mayans who recorded detailed prophecies, he said. I asked for references, which JT never produced, and for good reason—it’s a disgrace.
Ten years later, and now everyone knows about about the Mayans and their connection to 2012, thanks to Hollywood, although the sensationalism is greatly exaggerated. It turns out the Mayans did not predict the end of the world in 2012, according to Mayan scholars. Their calendar simply ran out in 2012, that’s all. Hollywood and other sensationalists filled in the rest with their imaginations. (See the list below for a smattering of the hype.)
What does it mean to the more sane Bible students? First, enjoy your New Year’s celebration this year—it may be your last! Second, and most important, 2012 opens an opportunity to contrast the silliness of pseudo-prophecy with the verifiable and joyful prophecies found in the Bible concerning the plan of God for mankind. See my teaching on Daniel 9 for an example.
- 2012, NASA and the Mayan Calendar, which scientifically debunks the Internet hype about 2012 and rumors about some “invisible planet” ready to collide with earth.
- 2012: What did the Maya think? Dr. Jennings from the Royal Ontario Museum explains the Maya never predicted a doomsday. Their calendar simply ran out.
- Real Maya Prediction of 2012 – it’s not a doomsday message. In this video, a Mayan Indian explains that 2012 will be a year when “wise men will return” to earth.
- 2012 the Movie – by Sony. Not a bad action film, starring Danny Glover and other notorieties, including the token “Crazy Christian” Hollywood is so fond of. Somehow they make a connection between the Mayan predictions and the Bible’s prophecies.
- Alien Gods Return 2012 – a bizarre belief that the “Anunnaki from Planet X” are returning to earth, citing a “professor of Philosophy” from “Tulane University” as the primary authority. Planet X “does, in fact exist,” because “the ancient Sumerians” say so, even though “modern astronomers can’t detect it.” Planet X is the source of life on earth, they say, when “the Anunnaki colonized earth in a place called Eden.”
- Alien message to Earth (Captured on Video) – makes more sense than the Anunnaki video. The Aliens assure us “we mean you no harm.”