Written by
Jonnie Hutchison
Copied from The Liledoun Road Anchor
December 30
, 2009

Nostradamus was a Frenchmen who lived from 1503 to 1566. He is famous for writing a book entitled Les Prophesies ("The Prophecies") now referred to as "The Centuries."  The first edition appeared in 1555 but the book has rarely been out of print since the death of Nostradamus.  The book supposedly contains various prophecies in the form of what is called quatrains (a stanza of poetry consisting of four lines).  Nostradamus has been credited with predicting the rise of Napoleon to power, the rise and fall of Adolf Hilter, the dropping of the atomic bomb, the landing on the moon, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The latest claims regarding the prophecies of Nostradamus have contributed to the production of a movie entitled "2012" and a television show entitled The Nostradamus Effect aired on the History Channel.  In addition, several books have been published, such as Lawrence Joseph's Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation into Civilizations End, which predicts widespread catastrophe in the year 2012.  According to these claims Nostradamus predicted that the world will come to an end in 2012.  Along with this supposed prophecy of the end of the world by Nostradamus, some have declared that an ancient Mayan calendar (dated between 300-900 AD) also predicts the end of the world in 2012.  This calendar was designed to predict events such as the winter and summer solstices thousands of years into the future.  But the calendar stops predicting these future events on December 21, 2012 - thus the conclusion by some of the end of the world on that date.

There are some very obvious flaws in the way the so-called prophecies of Nostradamus are interpreted.  Having read some of his quatrains, it is obvious that they can be made to mean whatever the reader wants them to mean.  They are vague rather than specific and are purposely written in cryptic language.  If any of the claimed prophecies resemble the fulfillment of actual events it is mere coincidence not prophetic ability.  If your author predicted that it would rain in 2012 (assuming Christ has not yet come) would he be a prophet?  No one in his right mind would consider such a prediction a sign of special prophetic ability.  So it is with Nostradamus and his "prophecies" which are filled with vague references to such things as wars, earthquakes and the rise and fall of world leaders, all of which obviously are common to every century.  When one reads the prophecies of the Bible, however, he finds an entirely different approach.  Most of the prophecies found in the pages of the Bible are very specific to refer to nations, kings, times and locations by name.  Indeed, one of the proofs of the inspiration of the Bible is the accuracy by which its prophecies have been fulfilled (Deut. 18:21-22).

Another problem with the "prophecies" of Nostradamus is that even among his most devoted followers there has been disagreement as to the interpretation of them.  Brother Wayne Jackson gave this example:

"...during World War II, devotees of the seer in Great Britain claimed that Nostradamus had predicted the defeat of Germany in the war, while fellow disciples in Germany were claiming their prophet had foretold the destruction of England.  The truth is, neither prediction had been made." (Christian Courier, Nostradamus - Prophet or Pretender?  By Wayne Jackson).

There is sufficient evidence to declare that Nostradamus was not a prophet or the son of a prophet.  His writings are no more able to predict future events than any other self-proclaimed prophet.  Any prediction that seems to be a possibility is mere coincidence.  As one writer put it, "arrows shot in all directions, even in the dark, are bound to hit something occasionally" (McClintock and Strong 1969, 198).  The only true prophets are those whose records are found in the pages of the Bible.

As for the Mayan calendar - there is absolutely no reason to conclude that because the authors ended their calendar on a certain date, that the date of its end marks the end of the world.  USA Today quotes University of Florida anthropologist Susan Gillespie as saying that the 2012 phenomenon comes "from media and from other people making use of the Maya past to fulfill agendas that are really their own." (http://www.usatoday.com'tech/science/2007-03-27-maya-2012n.htm).  With many, the agenda is likely nothing more than financial gain.

These latest predictions of the end of the world fall into the same foolishness as all of the prior failed predictions of specific dates by so many.  The world will end in God's time, not that of the biased interpreters of Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar.  The time of the end of the world is unknown to man and will not be known until it happens.  "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Matthew 24:36).  "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night."  (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Acts 17:31 reads, "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He had ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."  This is God's prediction and you can depend on it! 

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