Track record of ancient apocalyptic prophecies quashes gravity of 2012 prediction

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Washington, November 7 (ANI): In a new research, a theologist has said that mankind has nothing to worry about the world ending in 2012, as prophesized by the ancient Mayans, as many ancient cultures have given such predictions earlier in history, and all have proven to be wrong.

The researcher in question is Allen Kerkeslager, associate professor of theology at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, US.

Interpretations of the Mayan long count calendar have indicated that the world might end on December 21, 2012, which is the date when then calendar ends its 5,125-year.

"But judging by the track records of other ancient apocalyptic traditions, we probably have nothing to worry about," said Kerkeslager.

"Those drawn to concepts of the apocalypse for religious and cultural reasons have often pointed to various events in history as signs of a coming Armageddon," he added.

According to Kerkeslager, "People who want to emphasize an apocalyptic end often look at natural disasters as signs of the end."

"They'll say these earthquakes, famines, floods and wars are signs, but the problem with that is that there have always been earthquakes, famines, floods and wars," he said.

The desecration of the Jewish temple in 168 B.C. is one such historical event.

"This led to apocalyptic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Daniel, which predicted a coming apocalypse in the following 1,290 days," Kerkeslager said.

However, it was an apocalypse that never happened.

Kerkeslager noted that sometimes, the prophecies are royal propaganda, as in the Egyptian oracle of Nefertiti.

"They are also typically ethnocentric: the people who write these stories claim that the gods who are about to destroy the world - and/or save the good people-play favorites, and treat their own group or nation with favoritism," he said.

However, according to Kerkeslager, prophecies of a coming annihilation, like Daniel's, have been wrong regardless of the religion or culture from which they originate for the simple fact that there has yet to be a great watery or fiery end, despite thousands of years' worth of prophecies.

As for the concerns of a possible 2012 doomsday, Kerkeslager said, "If anything does happen, it'll be pure coincidence." (ANI)

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