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Why Accreditation Is Important II

September 4, 2010

Let’s be honest. What’s your perception after reading this headline?

Biblical scholar’s date for rapture: May 21, 2011

Most likely, that this is a person who has gone through appropriate training defining some minimum criteria for competency which is examined by his peers, and whom has developed some scholarly sustainable methodologies to meet the goals and objectives of their training.

Let’s see what we get from this scholar

Harold Camping lets out a hearty chuckle when he considers the people who believe the world will end in 2012.

OK. I’m down with that. I find some 2012 stuff quite humorous as well. Let’s continue

“That date has not one stitch of biblical authority,” Camping says from the Oakland office where he runs Family Radio, an evangelical station that reaches listeners around the world. “It’s like a fairy tale.”

Hmmm. A bit odd. Perhaps ‘biblical authority’ is not the phrase I would choose. And the choice of ‘fairy tale’ doesn’t seem appropriate; certainly not with the simile (really, what does ‘like’ a genre mean for its truthiness?). I think we would be using the word ‘myth’. Perhaps, he was just off his game a little. We’re still early in the interview and he needed a little time to warm up.

The real date for the end of times, he says, is in 2011.

And we officially know we are no longer dealing with a scholar! And then the reality of the situation sets in as my eyes wander to the pull quote under his photo

Former civil engineer Harold Camping of Oakland, who runs Family Radio, has studied the Bible for almost 70 years.

And there you go. Civil engineer does not equal Bible scholar. But as they say, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” so let’s see what our civil engineer scholar has cooked up.

Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011…

By Camping’s understanding, the Bible was dictated by God and every word and number carries a spiritual significance. He noticed that particular numbers appeared in the Bible at the same time particular themes are discussed.

The number 5, Camping concluded, equals “atonement.” Ten is “completeness.” Seventeen means “heaven.” Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.

“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he began. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days – the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.

Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.

“Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story,” Camping said. “It’s the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you’re completely saved.

“I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that,” Camping said.

Yeah, I just about fell off of my chair too when I read that! The stupid, it burns!

Let’s apply Camping’s method so we can understand the “Secret” meaning that has “Biblical Authority” for some other passages.

The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.

However, now that we know that ‘five’ really means ‘atonement’ we can understand this verse properly

The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had Atonement husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.

What Jesus is really saying is that multiple husbands leads to atonement. Ladies you now have a free pass thanks to Mr. Camping. Divorce that old, lazy model you’re stuck with, and get yourself a young hunk. Jesus said so. It’s a biblical principle with authority.

How about the number ten that means ‘completeness’?

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”

Which really means

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the completeness.”

What? God said he wouldn’t destroy Sodom because of its completeness? I’m just going to leave this one alone.

Seventeen is such a stretch in logic it’s impossible to even begin to understand how it could mean ‘heaven’… 10 and 7 together maybe? Anyways, the number is used only a handful of times, most prominently as the number of years that Rehoboam and Jehoahaz, two epically evil kings who follow in the sins of Jeroboam and lead the nation into sin. So apparently, their reigns were ‘heaven.’

Here’s the kicker. Get ready for it. Come on now: put on your surprise faces

This is not the first time Camping has made a bold prediction about Judgment Day.

On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping’s believers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.

But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error.

Hagios skubalon, why am I not surprised? And this my friends is why I am a fan of the scholarly machine and the accreditation process.

(I was going to make a joke about submitting Camping’s work under the guise of another scholar [as a joke!], but I guess with the whole Cargill situation [someone actually trying to hamper another scholar’s career – allegedly] I guess I’m just going to leave that one alone.)

Thanks to Josh for sending me the article.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. EricW permalink
    September 4, 2010 6:53 am

    You wrote:

    Hagios skubalon, why am I not surprised?”

    Shouldn’t that be “Hagion skubalon,…”?

    • September 4, 2010 6:58 am

      That’s what you get out of me at five in the morning: non-agreement. I’m a Hebrew guy lookin’ for a laugh.

      • EricW permalink
        September 4, 2010 7:05 am

        Well, since you’re awake now – Does Harold Camping even know Biblical Hebrew and Greek?

        • September 4, 2010 7:08 am

          I’m going to go with no. Probably a little shy on context as well.

  2. September 4, 2010 9:11 am

    Moments like this make me question the logic of putting the bible in the hands of the common people.

    • EricW permalink
      September 4, 2010 10:36 am

      Let us hope that the likes of Harold Camping is not TOO common.🙂

      • September 4, 2010 8:10 pm

        As a pastor in a denomination that have charismatic leanings I see this kind of stuff all too often.

  3. September 4, 2010 10:07 am

    this is exactly why putting the bible in common hands is unhelpful. but you get the same sort of idiocy from ‘accredited’ scholars. bwIII believes the shroud of turin is the burial shroud of jesus and james tabor believes they’ve found jesus’ family plot and jesus’ bones.

    so what does accreditation do, scott, besides feed itself? it has- as ive said- good motives but in practice it is completely meaningless.

  4. Pete permalink
    September 5, 2010 7:02 am

    As a professional (in another discipline) who has seen the dark underbelly of the accrediting bodies and felt the wrath of their baseless (ok, not TOTALLY baseless, the lead auditor didn’t like my boss) rejection, I would caution you in an altogether predictable way: Accreditation is made of people, and people are idiots.

    Ranting….sorry, just make sure your faith in accreditation is tempered with some realism.

    Gonna go cry now.

    • Chris E permalink
      September 7, 2010 8:26 am

      Yep. Most of the things that go on in the world can be explained by “People are Stupid”

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:46 pm

    Camping’s got competition.

    Last week, somebody lit up one of the Christian Fiction Yahoogroups I’m on plugging her book of Scripture and “done-the-math” Calculations which set the date as this coming Rosh Hashanah. As in this Thursday, 9 Sep 2010.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:49 pm

    On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping’s believers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.

    At least they weren’t on hilltops wearing white robes. With one steamer trunk and a cow decked out in white sheets so the latest fashions and milk for the children could make it into Heaven…

    But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error.

    The best comeback to an end-of-the-world date coming and going was from some unrelated French or Belgian end-of-the-world scare. After their date passed with nothing happening, they issued the following press release:

    “Anyone can make a mistake. Be glad I did!”

  7. October 6, 2010 12:28 pm

    Everybody knows that the Bible is an inspired math textbook🙂

  8. January 3, 2011 2:57 pm

    Like William Miller before him, he may found a new denomination.
    http://ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=607&nm=Millerites

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