Most know Sir Isaac Newton as the father of modern science. Newton who died in 1727 is considered among the world’s most influential scientists. He formulated the law of gravity and the law of motion thereby explaining the movement of the planets, moons and stars due to gravitational pull of larger bodies. It radically transformed man’s approach to astronomy.
But Newton was also an ardent Christian and had a tremendous interest in end-times theology. He spent hours researching the Bible on the second coming of Jesus Christ.
This curious side of Newton was unveiled in a display of Newton’s writings at the University of Jerusalem entitled “Newton’s Secrets.” It was an odd combination — Hebrew scholars analyzing Christian prophecy.
A truckload of Newton’s writings and letters — located in the house of the Earl of Portsmouth one of Newton’s heirs — was auctioned off in 1936. English economist John Maynard Keynes purchased the document and then willed them to King’s college in England and to Abraham Shalom Yahuda, a Jewish Oriental studies scholar.
The later bequeathed them to the state of Israel.
Newton predicts end of world
The Hebrew researchers estimate Newton wrote over 1 million words related to his Biblical study. But perhaps the most telling statement was a marginal note in a letter he wrote in 1704 where Newton predicted the world would end in 2060 AD.
Newton came to this conclusion after an intensive study of the Book of Daniel, particularly chapter 12 verse 7:
“I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times and half a time; and as soon as they finished shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”
It was the phrase “times, times and a half a time,” that caught Newton’s attention. He interpreted it to mean three and half years or 1,260 days (also referenced in Daniel 7:25, Revelation 11:3, 12:6 and 13:5). But he made a slight adjustment, he interpreted days to mean years – 1,260 years — which marked the countdown to the end of the world and return of Christ.
Of course, Newton also required a start date for this countdown. For that, Newton used the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 AD by Charlemagne. This signaled the merging of the Pope’s religious primacy with Charlemagne’s political supremacy.
Consequently, the 2060 date was simply calculated by adding 1,260 years to 800 AD.
End time prophecy was popular in the protestant movement during Newton’s day. The Protestants, who had just broken free from the Roman Catholic Church, suffered severe persecution from the Catholic Church. Early Protestant leaders, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, regaled the papacy as the antichrist. The 144,000 elect who were preserved by God were considered the Protestants. The great apostasy involved those still in the Roman Catholic Church.
Newton believed that 800 AD marked the earliest start date for the countdown, but added that it could be later, stating:
“[It] did not commence before the year 800 in which the pope’s supremacy commenced,” Newton said. He later added, “It may end later, but I see no reason for it ending sooner.”
“This I mention,” Newton added, “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.”
In the New Testament, Jesus said we would not know the exact day or hour of His return (Mathew 24:36). In fact, Jesus admitted even He did not know the specific date adding that only the Heavenly Father knew the exact time. But there would be a number of indicators, signalling Jesus’ return was near. One of those signs was the restoration of the nation of Israel.
The restoration of Israel
In Newton’s day, the nation of Israel did not exist. Nevertheless as Newton studied end-time prophecy, he realized Israel’s restoration as a nation was a critical sign post to the end of the world.
In his commentary on the Book of Revelation, Newton wrote, “the ruin of the wicked nations, the end of weeping and of all troubles, the return of the Jews (from) captivity and their setting up of a flourishing and everlasting kingdom.”
“At that time is also predicted the end of the king of the North, the fall of the great Apostacy, the return of the Jewish captivity and the great tribulation…” he added.
The other end-times writers of Newton’s day also believed Israel needed to be restored, but predicted it would happen within the 17th or 18th century. Newton based on his study said it would not happen until much later.
Newton’s prediction, of course, proved true and the Jews were restored to the Promised Land two centuries later with the setting up of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948.
- Source: University of Jerusalem (http://www.jnul.huji.ac.il/) / http://www.newtonproject/.sussex. ac.uk / Father of modern Science calculated: World to end in 2060 by Ofri Ilani (http://www.haaretz.com/) / The world will end in 2060, according to Newton (thisislondon.co.uk)
The world will end in 2060 says Isaac Newton he will be correct since he is the greatest scientist ever lived and the bible unlocker that means we will all be dead in the year 2060 omg from Luke Clark
Not sure we will all be dead lol. But the Bible does talk about the end times. The Bible also says we will not know the exact time or day of Jesus’ return. But Newton is guessing it will happen about this time.
No one knows the day or time, but does anyone know the month or year? Sir Newton seemed to think so.
Not only that, he has never been wrong. I repeat NEVER!
Newton has never been wrong.. No reason not to believe he will be correct here as well, at least within five years or so.
The Lord’s coming is not synonymous with the end of the world, but with end of the present corrupt system of things, preparatory to the ushering in of God’s Kingdom on earth. The goal of eschatology in not about the extinction of the material Universe, but about its renewal and restoration. God’s Kingdom will reign over the nations and usher in a time of abundant peace, goodwill and prosperity unprecedented in human history. Even so come, Lord Jesus.
Thank you very much for your post. You are absolutely right it is about renewal and restoration. I think Newton was talking about the new heaven and new earth referred to in Revelation 21:1. The old world system corrupted by sin will be ended and a new one brought in. However, the title of the article leaves the impression it is the end of the world, when it is in fact a restoration back to what it was supposed to be. I appreciate your clarification.
I still doubt this even though i know 2060 ain’t finding me alive
Thanks for your comment Ray. It is interesting though. He had a different take on the verses.
Isn’t it weird that people always claiming that the world will end on the chinese Year of the Dragon? 2000,2012, now 2060
Thanks for your comment summerbunny. I didn’t realize that. Well, they have been wrong so far. I am not sure what to think of Isaac Newton’s 2060 prediction. It was just interesting to see how he arrived at that date.
Newton is considered by many to be the smarted person ever, even by scientists who do not believe in God. So if I were going to listen to any person on what they thought would be the end, it would be Newton. Newton said it would be about 2060 or soon after, but not before. Jesus warns not to predict the day or time, but He says there will be clear signs the end is near. I think Newton’s calculations are building up to be true…
Thanks for your comment Chris. Who knows. I have wondered if he might be right. He made that prediction nearly 400 years ago.
ALL OF HIS PREDICTIONS AND HYPOTHESIS HAVE COME TRUE.
July 2,2015 @ 2:07 PM
When Jesus condemned the corrupt temple for the second time, (according to Moses, when a house is corrupted by leprosy, the house must be burned down and demolished. Nothing is to be left standing) Jesus lead His disciples to the Mt. of Olives and looking at the temple, Jesus stated that not a stone shall be left upon stone and that this generation shall not pass away till all this has happened. His disciples ask, we know it will be this generation, but tell us the day and the hour. Jesus responds that only the Father who is in heaven, knows the day and the hour.
When Jesus is on trail before Pilot, Pilot asks us the crowd, what shall I do with this Jesus? I find no guilt in this man! The crowd yells “crucify Him” “crucify Him”, “and may His blood be upon us and our children”. When Jesus is carrying the Cross, He meets the weeping women of Jerusalem, “weep not for me but for your children”. The book of Revelation was written prior to the destruction of the second temple. The opening words state “the things that must shortly come to pass” and at the end of Revelation, “Come Lord Jesus”. Just live the WORD and all will be righteous in the eyes of the Lord.
well,the probability that newton has always been right is 1 non of his theories have failed in fact greatest strongholds n basis to our world thanks be to God for the brains of this man …but how did time times and a half translate to 3.5 yrs. …shhh that’s the genious secret R.I.P Isaac you biult us by strength of God.thou you may not see this
Thanks for your comment. Newton had an interesting perspective on things.
“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:4-14 NIV
Thanks Jonathan for your comment. I appreciate you sharing that verse because Jesus had lots to say about the end times.
Newton believed in Alchemy, the ability to turn abundant metals into gold and silver. Just stating that he has can wrong, since a few of you said incorrectly he hasn’t.
This would take nothing from the hypothesis he stated.
Well, the ideas behind the Alchemy of one metal into another are actually scientifically possible in theory, the only issue is that the energy to do such a thing has yet to be acquired, and even if we developed a feasible process through which to do it, the amount of energy required to do it would make it impractical, you would lose way more than you would gain, basically.
Technically, his beliefs on the matter have been proven to be true, through science. We can alter the atomic structure of metals, changing one into another, which is in essence, alchemy. For example, uranium atoms are broken apart to yield xenon and strontium, which are two separate elements.
I have actually thought about this subject quite a bit, and there is more information that lines up with Newton’s theory.
Primarily, Matthew 24:34. This verse is popularly interpreted as Christ saying “The generation to witness the re-founding of Israel shall not pass away before by return”. This, of course, took place in 1948. Since then, several end-time dates have come out of it, both at, i believe, 40 and 70 years, which are popular biblical interpretations of what a generation means. Both of these have proven false, however, I have contested, what if by “generation” he simply meant, all who were alive on that day. Given the maximum known lifespan of a human, that gives us 120 years at most. Add that to 1948, and you have no later than 2068. Which is EXTREMELY close to Newton’s prediction, given how long ago he made it. And of course the Bible does not speak to how long before the entire generation dies off, so perhaps it could be in 2060.
I’ve personally decided on a range of 2055 to 2065 as my estimate. And given current events in the world today, I feel this date lines up fairly well with everything.
Thanks for your comment Jacob. Most people miss the verse in Genesis where God limited people’s life span to a maximum of 120 years. I wondered exactly the same thing after Israel’s formation in 1948.
“Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:v3 NASV)
the end is not necessarily important, but what is important is whether you shall be on Jesus Christ’s side: the bride, when that happens. so don’t live like a spectator waiting for an event but be righteous to leave and live with Christ forever. repent your sins and seek Him when He is still the forgiving Father. shun the devil and he will flee from you. Amen
Thanks for your comment. Very well put. God Bless
A lot of respect for Newton also you should read what his thought are on “trinity”
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