Before I begin, allow me to state that I don't particularly believe in 2012 as a special event; the most I would possibly construe it as, even in the
"metaphorical" sense is a road sign on the side of the universal highway, indicating an eminent proximity to a destination. Out of curiosity I
decided to see if Christianity had anything to say about 2012; as far as I've seen it hasn't been dragged into the equation, thus far, in the modern
twitter about the concept. Some of the first results I found interesting were books from the 19th century, written in interpretation of Biblical
prophecies - specifically Daniel and the theory that it implied literal dates. What I present is snippits from two of the books I located, tied
together a bit, with a paraphrase of one aspect of the book of Daniel; thus - for your consideration !
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and
asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
These great beasts, which are four, [are] empires, [which] shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall become the empire, and
possess the earth for ever, even for ever and ever.
I then knew the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth [were of] iron, and his nails [of]
brass; [which] assmilated all, broke it to pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a world
empire- that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his
empire is [that] which shall not be destroyed --
And the ten horns out of this empire [are] ten rulers [that] shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the
forebearers, and he shall subdue three of his kin. And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom
three fell; [by] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the
same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them - Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most
High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they
shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Yet the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to
consume and to destroy [it] unto the end. And then the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of
the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Hitherto [is] the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my
They shall be given into his hand until a time and the dividing of a time." Every writer upon prophecy is satisfied that a "time" signifies, in
prophetic language, a year; "times," two years; and "the dividing of a time," or "half a time," half a prophetic year. But, as the prophetic day
stands for a literal year, so a prophetic year consists of 365 prophetic days, or 365 literal years. A time, times, and a half time, make then, when
added together, 1,260 prophetic days, called by St. John in the Apocalypse, 42 months. We are to understand, then, that the saints of God were to be
given into the power of the ecclesiastico-political despotism for 1,260 years. If we begin to count the period in A.D. 752, under Pope Stephen* and
the grant of Pepin, the 1,260 years will bring us A.D. 2012, still in the future. The grant conferred by Pepin was confirmed also by Charlemagne and
his successors, and it was undoubtedly at this period that the papacy began to assume its place among the sovereignties of Europe. In favour of this
opinion - that this event was the rise of the Papacy -- the terminus a quo of a prophecy, the following considerations may be urged.
*(Pope Stephen can be remembered for ordering the forgery of the Donation of Constantine. Ostensibly penned by Constantine the Great in 315 AD after
his conversion to Christianity in return for being cured from leprosy, the document granted the See of Rome (the pope) dominion over all earthly
thrones of Europe. In 1440, anachronisms in the document proved that it was really a fraud written around 752, during the reign of and under orders of
Pope Stephen II. )
(a) We have here a definite act -- an act which is papable and apparent, as characterizing the progress of this domination over men.
(b) We have here properly the beginning of the temporal dominion, or the first acknowledged exercise of that power in the acts of temporal
sovereignty -- in giving laws, asserting dominion, swaying a temporal sceptre, and wearing a temporal crown. It was only in the time of Pope Stephen,
and by the act of Pepin and Charlemagne that this dominion of a temporal character was settled in the Papacy. All the acts before had been of a
spiritual character, and all the deference to the Bishop of Rome had been of a spiritual nature. Henceforward, however, he was acknowledged as a
temporal prince, and took his place as such among the crownded heads of Europe.
(c) This is properly the beginning of that mighty domination which the Pope wielded over Europe -- a beginning, which, however small at first,
ultimately became so powerful and so arrogant as to claim jurisdiction over all the kingdoms of the earth, and the right to absolve subjects from
their allegiance, to lay kingdoms under interdict, to dispose of crowns, to order the succession of princes, to tax all people, and to dispose of all
newly discovered countries.
(d) This accords better with the prophecies than any other one event which has occured in the world -- especially with the prophecy of Daniel, of the
springing up of the little horn, and the fact that that little horn plucked up three others of the ten into which the fourth kingdom was divided. The
three empires supplanted by this little horn were the three kingdoms of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and the Lombards, who were, after a succession of
troubles, routed up by the papacy, and constitutied into the states of the Church; and the pope wears upon his head at this very moment, the tiara, or
three crowned cap, to denote the three kingdoms or horns which he rooted up, and over which he now reigns.
(e) And it should be added that this agrees with the idea all along held up in the prophecies, that this would properly be the fourth empire
prolonged. The fifth empire or kingdom is to be the reign of the saints, or the reign of righteousness on the earth; the fourth extends down in its
influences and power to that. As a matter of fact, this Roman power was thus concentrated in the Papacy. The form was changed, but it was the Roman
power that was in the eye of the prophets, and this was contemplated under its various phases, as heathen and nominally Christian, until the reign of
the saints should commence, or the Kingdom of God should be set up.
[As prophecy had a gradual beginning, it is likely it will have a gradual ending. ]
Notes critical, explanatory and practical on the Book of Daniel, Volume 2 By Albert Barnes (1852)
Select notes on the International Sunday school lessons by W.A. Wilde Co. (1877)
edit on 8-1-2011 by illusionincarnate because: clarification