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Sir Isaac Newton’s prophecy of the word ending in 2060

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Sir Isaac Newton's prophecy of the word ending in 2060
Sir Isaac Newton’s prophecy of the word ending in 2060

Sir Isaac Newton’s prophecy of the word ending in 2060

Best known for his advancements in scientific thought Sir Isaac Newton was also big into his apocalyptic prophecy. Largely unknown and unpublished documents, evidently written by Isaac Newton, indicate that he believed the world could end in 2060 AD. (He also had many other possible dates e.g. 2034). Despite the dramatic nature of a prediction of the end of the world, Newton may not have been referring to the 2060 date as a destructive act resulting in the annihilation of the earth and its inhabitants, but rather one in which he believed the world was to be replaced with a new one based upon a transition to an era of divinely inspired peace. In Christian theology, this concept is often referred to as The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of Paradise by The Kingdom of God on Earth. In his posthumously-published Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, Newton expressed his belief that Bible prophecy would not be understood “until the time of the end”, and that even then “none of the wicked shall understand”. Referring to that as a future time (“the last age, the age of opening these things, be now approaching”), Newton also anticipated “the general preaching of the Gospel be approaching” and “the Gospel must first be preached in all nations before the great tribulation, and end of the world”

Newton spent a great deal of time trying to discover hidden messages within the Bible. After 1690, Newton wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible. In a manuscript Newton wrote in 1704 he describes his attempts to extract scientific information from the Bible. He estimated that the world would end no earlier than 2060. In predicting this he said “This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail.”

The Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, holds in its collections Newton’s personal copy of the King James Version, which exhibits numerous marginal notes in his hand as well as about 500 reader’s marks pointing to passages of particular interest to him. A note is attached to the Bible indicating that it “was given by Sir Isaac Newton in his last illness to the woman who nursed him”. The book was eventually bequeathed to the Library in 1878. The places Newton marked or annotated in his Bible bear witness to his investigations into theology, chronology, alchemy, and natural philosophy; and some of these actually relate to passages of the General Scholium to the second edition of the Principia. Some other passages he marked offer glimpses of his devotional practices and reveal distinct tensions in his personality. Newton’s Bible appears to have been first and foremost a customized reference tool in the hands of a biblical scholar and critic.

Sir Isaac Newton’s prophecy of the word ending in 2060

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