Day-year principle

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The day-year principle, year-day principle or year-for-a-day principle is a method of interpretation of Bible prophecy in which the word day in prophecy is considered to be symbolic of a year of actual time. It is used principally by the historicist school of prophetic interpretation.[1] It is held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, some Pentecostals and the Christadelphians.[2] The day-year principle is also used by the Bahá'í Faith, as well as in astrological prediction techniques, otherwise known as "primary directions".

Biblical basis[edit]

Proponents of the principle, such as the Seventh-day Adventists, claim that it has three primary precedents in Scripture:[3]

  1. Numbers 14:34. The Israelites will wander for 40 years in the wilderness, one year for every day spent by the spies in Canaan.
  2. Ezekiel 4:5-6. The prophet Ezekiel is commanded to lie on his left side for 390 days, followed by his right side for 40 days, to symbolize the equivalent number of years of punishment on Israel and Judah respectively.
  3. Daniel 9:24-27. This is known as the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks. The majority of scholars do understand the passage to refer to 70 "sevens" or "septets" of years—that is, a total of 490 years.

While not listed as primary precedent by the proponents, a direct reference to the day for a year concept is established in Genesis.

  1. Genesis 29:27. Laban requires an additional seven years of work in contract for Rachels hand in marriage, calling it a week.

Jon Paulien has defended the principle from a systematic theology perspective, not strictly just from the Bible.[4]


The day-year principle was partially employed by Jews[5] as seen in Daniel 9:24–27 and in the early church.[6] It was first used in Christian exposition in 380 AD by Ticonius, who interpreted the three and a half days of Revelation 11:9 as three and a half years, writing 'three days and a half; that is, three years and six months' ('dies tres et dimidium; id est annos tres et menses sex').[7] In the 5th century Faustus of Riez gave the same interpretation of Revelation 11:9, writing 'three and a half days which correspond to three years and six months' ('Tres et dimidius dies tribus annis et sex mensibus respondent),[8] and in c. 550 Primasius also gave the same interpretation, writing 'it is possible to understand the three days and a half as three years and six months' ('Tres dies et dimidium possumus intelligere tres annos et sex menses').[8] The same interpretation of Revelation 11:9 was given by later expositors like Bede (730 AD), Anspert, Arethas, Haymo, and Berengaudus (all of the ninth century).[8] Primasius appears to have been the first to appeal directly to previous Biblical passages in order to substantiate the principle, referring to Numbers 14:34 in support of his interpretation of the three and a half days of Revelation 11:9.[9] Haymo and Bruno Astensis "justify it by the parallel case of Ezekiel lying on his side 390 days, to signify 390 years ; — i. e. a day for a year. — ".[10] Protestant Reformers were well established on the day/year principle and it was also accepted by many Christian groups, ministers, and theologians.[11][12][13]

Others who expounded the Historicist interpretation are John Wycliffe, John Knox, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Philip Melanchthon, Isaac Newton, Jan Hus, John Foxe, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards,[14] George Whitefield, Charles Finney, C. H. Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, and Bishop Thomas Newton as exponents of this school.[15]

Christian historicist application[edit]

490 year prophecy[edit]

Daniel 9 contains the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks.

1260 year prophecy[edit]

Historicist interpreters have usually understood the "time, times and half a time" (i.e. 1+2+0.5=3.5), "1,260 days" and "42 months" mentioned in Daniel and Revelation to be references to represent a period of 1260 years (based on the 360 day Jewish year multiplied by 3.5).[16]

These time periods occur eight times in scripture:

Historicists usually believe the "1,260 days" spanned the Middle Ages and concluded within the early modern or modern era. Although many dates have been proposed for the start and finish of the "1,260 days", certain time spans have proven to be more popular than others. The majority of historicists throughout history have identified the "1,260 days" as being fulfilled by one or more of the following time spans[17] and identify the Papal Office as the Antichrist and culmination of the Great Apostasy:

Seventh-Day Adventist interpretation[edit]

Timeline of "time, times and half a time", 1260 days or 42 month prophecy in historicist Seventh-day Adventism.

The Millerites, like the earlier Bible students of the Reformation and post-Reformation eras, and the Seventh-day Adventists, [21] understand the 1260 days as lasting AD 538 to 1798 as the (supposed) duration of the papacy over Rome.[22][23] This period supposedly began with the defeat of the Ostrogoths by the general Belisarius and ended with the successes of French general Napoleon Bonaparte, specifically, the capture of Pope Pius VI by general Louis Alexandre Berthier in 1798.

Other views[edit]

Robert Fleming writing in 1701 (The Rise and Fall of Rome Papal) stated that the 1260-year period should commence with Pope Paul I becoming a temporal ruler in AD 758 which would expire in 2018 by counting Julian years, or the year 2000 if counting prophetic (360 day) years.[24]

756 to 2016[edit]

British Theologian Adam Clarke writing in 1825 stated that the 1260-year period should commence with 755 AD, the actual year Pepin the Short invaded Lombard territory, resulting in the Pope's elevation from a subject of the Byzantine Empire to an independent head of state. The Donation of Pepin, which first occurred in 754 and again in 756 gave to the Pope temporal power over the Papal States. However, his introductory comments on Daniel 7 added 756 as an alternative commencement date.[25] In April of that year, Pepin, accompanied by Pope Stephen II entered northern Italy from France, forcing the Lombard King Aistulf to lift his siege of Rome, and return to Pavia. Following Aistulf's capitulation, Pepin remained in Italy until finalizing his Donations. Based on this, 19th century commentators anticipate the end of the Papacy in 2016:

“As the date of the prevalence and reign of antichrist must, according to the principles here laid down, be fixed at A.D. 756, therefore the end of this period of his reign must be A.D. 756 added to 1260; equal to 2016, the year of the Christian era set by infinite wisdom for this long-prayed-for event. Amen and amen!"[26][27]

Of the five areas of the Bible which mention this timeline,[28] only Revelation 11:9-12 adds a brief 3½ more years to the end of this 1260-year period.[29] If added to 2016, this would bring us to autumn of 2019 or spring of 2020 for the commencement of the Eternal Kingdom.[30] However, far more attention is paid by historicists to 2016 as the final end of the Papacy and the commencement of the Millennial rule than there is to 2019.[31] This may be due in part, to uncertainty as to who or what the two witnesses of the Book of Revelation represent. But for those 17th to 19th century historicists adhering to the day year principle who also predicted a literal restoration of the unconverted Jews in their original homeland,[32] the fall of the Papacy immediately precedes the rapid conversion of the Jews.[33] The two events are closely linked, with the former enabling the latter.[34]

The year 756 AD is also thought to occur 666 years from John's writing of the Book of Revelation.[35] The verse in Daniel 8:25 which reads "...but he shall be broken without hand" is usually understood to mean that the destruction of the "little horn" or Papacy with not be caused by any human action.[36] Volcanic activity is described as the means by which Rome will be overthrown.[37] The following excerpt is from the 5th edition (1808) of the Rev. David Simpson's book "A Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings":

"Antichrist will retain some part of his dominion over the nations till about the year 2016." "And when the 1260 years are expired, Rome itself, with all its magnificence, will be absorbed in a lake of fire, sink into the sea, and rise no more at all for ever*."[38]

Though the end of the 1260 years will be marked by dramatic events, it will not instantly remove all the governments of the world. The Messianic Kingdom will be established in place of the former Roman Empire, and continue to expand until it has enveloped the remaining countries. The following is an excerpt from "the Covenanter", a Reformed Presbyterian publication (1857):

“The end of the 1260 years will not at once usher in the brightness of the Millennial day. It will be marked by some occurrence, by some grand movement of Providence—such as the violent, it may be, and sudden crushing of the Papal power, and that of the corrupt and oppressive monarchies of the Old World, and of the governments similar to them in spirit, if not in form, in the New-— by some event in the pagan world, in which a new era will take its rise: new and signally successful efforts for the conversion of the Jews—for the evangelization of the nations-—for the subjecting of the “kingdoms of this world” to the law and government of “the Lord and of his Christ.” A generation may pass, or more than one, before this work will be fully completed; but it will advance with large strides.”[39]

While Daniel 2:35 makes reference to the various world powers (represented as various metals) being “broken to pieces together”, the previous verse (v.34) portrays the Eternal Kingdom coming as “a stone cut from a mountain without hands” and striking a statue (symbolizing the successive world empires) on its feet first. Most adherents of the day-year principle, interpret these feet “that were of iron and clay,” as denoting the nations descended from and occupying areas of the former Roman Empire.[40][41] The dominions of all the empires and nations are expected to be crushed simultaneously, but the end of “life” or existence of the Roman derived countries will precede that of the other nations of the world.[42][43]

The length of time for this worldwide expansion to complete is indicated in Daniel 7:12, which adds “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” Henry Folbigg (1869) elaborated on this verse:

It is here predicted that after the destruction of the papal beast, “the rest of the beasts,” by which I understand the Pagan, Mahometan, Hindoo, Chinese, and other empires, “ will have their dominion taken away,” that is, they will gradually lose their dominion, perhaps be conquered and lose their heathen rulers— “ but their lives ”—the existence of various corrupt "and unchristian principles, “ will be prolonged for a season and a time,” which, if intended to be taken in the usual prophetic and symbolic sense would indicate a period of 450 years. This would extend far into the Millennium, and therefore although we may and should look for, and hasten the coming of great and beneficial changes, we are not to expect universal civilization in a day, nor the conversion of the world in a year—but rather the gradual yet more rapid spread of the gospel and the spiritual reign of Christ and his saints—of Christ and his Church for 1,000 years.[44]

Prior to Adam Clarke (Methodist), Jonathan Edwards, an Evangelical Reformed (Congregational) theologian commented on the views of his more well-known predecessors and contemporaries, and wrote that Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Fleming (Presbyterian), Moses Lowman (Presbyterian), Phillip Doddridge (Congregational), and Bishop Thomas Newton (Anglican), were in agreement that the 1,260 timeline should be calculated from the year 756 AD.[45]

F.A. Cox (Congregationalist) confirmed that this was the view of Sir Isaac Newton and others, including himself:

“The author adopts the hypothesis of Fleming, Sir Isaac Newton, and Lowman, that the 1260 years commenced in A.d. 756; and consequently that the millennium will not begin till the year 2016.”[46]

Thomas Williams also acknowledged that this was the predominant view among the leading Protestant theologians of his time:

“Mr. Lowman, though an earlier commentator, is (we believe) far more generally followed ; and he commences the 1260 days from about 756, when, bv aid of Pepin, King of France, the Pope obtained considerable temporalities. This carries on the reign of Popery to 2016, or sixteen years into the commencement of the Millennium, as it is generally reckoned.”[47]

The timeline was also printed in other denominational publications including Lutheran,[48] Reformed,[49] Baptist,[50] Unitarian (Socinian),[51] and in countries with sizeable Protestant populations such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands and the United States.[52]

Catholicon, a monthly Catholic publication, implied (1816) that this timeline was more accurate than the other predictions of the time:

“Lowman, who allowing the greatest latitude, comes in our opinion nearest to the truth, to the distant year 2016.”[53]

In 1870 the newly formed Kingdom of Italy annexed the remaining Papal States, depriving the Pope of his temporal rule. Unaware that Papal rule would be restored, (albeit on a greatly diminished scale) in 1929 as head of the Vatican City state, the historicist view that the Papacy is the Antichrist rapidly declined in popularity as one of the defining characteristics of the Antichrist (i.e. that he would also be a political temporal power at the time of the return of Jesus) was no longer met.

In spite of its one time predominance, the 2016 prediction was largely forgotten and no major Protestant denomination currently subscribes to this timeline.

2300 year prophecy[edit]

Beginning of the 70 Weeks: The decree of Araxerses in the 7th year of his reign (457 BC) as recorded in Ezra marks beginning of 70 weeks. King reigns were counted from New Year to New Year following an 'Accession Year'. The Persian New Year began in Nisan (March–April). The Jewish civil New Year began in Tishri (September–October).
Seventh-day Adventist interpretation of the 2300-day prophecy time line and its relation to the 70-week prophecy

The distinctly Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the divine investigative judgment beginning in 1844, based on the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14, relies on the day-year principle. The 2300 days are understood to represent 2300 years stretching from 457 BC, the calculated starting date of the 70 weeks prophecy based on the 3rd decree found in Ezra, to 1844.[54][55]

The prophecy of 2300 days in Verse 14 plays an important role in Seventh-day Adventist eschatology. The Seventh-day Adventist Church traces its origins to the William Miller, who predicted that the second coming of Jesus would occur in 1844 by assuming that the cleansing of the Sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 meant the destruction of the earth, and applying the day-year principle.

The prophetic time always uses the day-year principle, thus "2300 days" was understood to be 2300 years. Starting at the same time as the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks found in Chapter 9, on the grounds that the 70 weeks were "decreed" (actually "cut off") for the Jewish people from the 2300-day prophecy. This beginning year is calculated to be 457 BC (see details here), then the end of the 2300 years would have been in 1844.

Although the Millerites originally thought that 1844 represented the end of the world, those who later became Seventh-day Adventist reached the conclusion that 1844 marked the beginning of a divine pre-advent judgment called "the cleansing of the sanctuary". It is intimately related to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and was described by the church's prophet and pioneer Ellen G. White as one of the pillars of Adventist belief.[56][57]

Baha'i application[edit]

Baha'i recognition of the 2300 Day-Year Prophecy[edit]

Baha'is also recognize the Day-Year Principle and use it in understanding prophecy from the Bible. In the book, Some Answered Questions, `Abdu'l-Bahá outlines a similar calculation for the 2300-year prophecy as given in the Christian section above. By applying the day-year principle, he demonstrates that the fulfillment of the vision of Daniel occurred in the year 1844, the year of the Báb's declaration in Persia i.e. the starting date of the Baha'i Faith.[58] This is the same year that the Millerites predicted for the return of Christ, and Baha'is believe that William Miller's methodologies were indeed sound.

The prophecy states "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." (Daniel 8:14) Baha'is understand the "cleansing of the sanctuary" to be the restoration of religion to a state in which it is guided by authorities appointed by its Founder rather than by people who have appointed themselves as the authority.[59] (The leaders of Sunni Islam were self-appointed; the first 12 leaders of Shia Islam had been appointed through a chain of succession going back to Muhammad, but that chain ended after 260 years—see next section below.) Thus Baha'is believe that divinely-guided religion was re-established in 1844 with the revelation of the Báb, continued through the revelation of the Baha'i founder (Baha'u'llah) and continues today through their Universal House of Justice, elected according to the method described by Baha'u'llah.[60]

Although Christians have generally expected their Messiah to appear somewhere in Judeo-Christian lands, Baha'is have noted[61] that Daniel himself was in Persia at the time the prophecy was made. He was in Shushan (modern day Susa or Shūsh, Iran), when he received his prophetic vision (Daniel 8:2). The Bab appeared 2300 years later in Shiraz, about 300 miles away from where Daniel's vision occurred.

Convergence of 1260-Day Prophecy and the 2300-Day Prophecy[edit]

The year 1260 was significant in Shia Islam, independently of any Biblical reference. The Shia branch of Islam followed a series of 12 Imams, whose authority they traced back to Muhammad. The last of these disappeared in the Islamic year 260 AH. According to a reference in the Qur'an,[62] authority was to be re-established after 1,000 years.[63] For this reason, there was widespread anticipation among Shi'ites that the 12th Imam would return in Islamic year 1260 AH. This is also the year 1844 AD in the Christian calendar. Thus both the Millerites and the Shi'ites were expecting their Promised One to appear in the same year, although for entirely independent reasons.

Therefore, Baha'is understand the 1260-day prophecies in both Daniel and in the Book of Revelation as referring to the year 1260 of the Islamic calendar[64] which corresponds to the year 1844 AD, the year the Báb pronounced himself to be a Messenger of God and the year that the Baha'i Faith began.

Day-Year Principle in Revelation 9:15 (391 Days)[edit]

Baha'is have also applied the Day-Year principle to Rev. 9:15[65] which states, "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men."

The slaying of "the third part of men" was interpreted by some Christian scholars[66][67] to refer to the fall of the Eastern Orthodox part of Christianity, centered on Constantinople in the year 1453 AD. (The other two-thirds being the Western Christian world, centered on Rome, and the southern part of the Christian world in North Africa, which was already under the dominion of Islam long before 1453.) Using the day-year principle, the formula gives 1+30+360 days = 391 days = 391 years after 1453. Adding 391 years to 1453 brings the prediction again to 1844, the same year as the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8.

Theoretically, this prophecy could be taken one step further, since there are accurate records of the dates of the start and end of battle for Constantinople. If "the hour" is taken to be 1/24th of a day, then, by the day-year principle, it would equate to 1/24 of a year i.e. 15 days. Since the battle of Constantinople lasted for several weeks, it is not possible to pin down the exact starting day of this 391-1/24-year prophecy, but if the formula is followed to this degree, it suggests the prophecy's fulfillment should have occurred sometime in May or June 1844.

Day-Year Principle in Daniel 12: 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies[edit]

In addition, Baha'is have applied the Day-Year principle to the two prophecies at the end of the last chapter of Daniel concerning the 1290 days (Dan 12:11) and the 1335 days (Dan 12:12).[68] The 1290 days is understood as a reference to the 1290 years from the open declaration of Muhammad to the open declaration of Baha'u'llah. The 1335 days is understood to be a reference to the firm establishment of Islam in 628 AD to the firm establishment of the Baha'i Faith (the election of its Universal House of Justice) in 1963 AD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moon, Jerry. "The Year-Day Principle". AtIssue. SDAnet.
  2. ^ Roberts, Robert, Thirteen Lectures On The Apocalypse, Lecture 10, 1921.
  3. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An Exposition of the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (2nd ed.). Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. 2005. p. 48.
  4. ^ Jon Paulien, "A New Look at the Year-Day Principle", talk at the 2008 Evangelical Theological Society meetings.
  5. ^ Froom, L. E. (1950). Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers. 1 & 2. Review and Herald. pp. 889 and 124.
  6. ^ Froom, L. E. (1950). Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers. 1. Review and Herald. pp. 170, 174–76.
  7. ^ Elliott, EB (1862). Horae Apocalypticae. III (fifth ed.). p. 279.
  8. ^ a b c Elliott, EB (1862). Horae Apocalypticae. III (fifth ed.). p. 280.
  9. ^ Prismasius; Elliott, EB (1862). Horae Apocalypticae. III (fifth ed.). p. 280. More Scripturae loquentis utentes, quod dictium legius de quadraginta diebus quibus exploratores terram Channan circuierunt, anus pro die reputabitur; ut hic, versa vice, dies pro anno positus agnoscatur
  10. ^ Elliott, EB (1862). Horae Apocalypticae. III (fifth ed.). p. 281.
  11. ^ du Ion, Francois (1596). The Apocalyps. p. 124.
  12. ^ Nigrinus. Antichrists Grundtliche Offenbarung. p. fils 28v,29r.
  13. ^ Burr, Aaron. The Watchman's Answer to the Question, What of the Night. p. 21.
  14. ^
  15. ^ S. Gregg, "Revelation: Four Views," Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1997, p. 34.
  16. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe (2nd ed). Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. 2005. pp. 184–185. ISBN 1-57847-041-2.
  17. ^ Leroy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith Of Our Fathers, volume II (1948), pages 784 and 787; volume III (1946), pages 744-745; volume IV (1982), pages 392, 395-397, and 399-400.
  18. ^ Edward Bishop Elliott in his four-volume Horae Apocalypticae regarded the prophetic periods as representing the same temporal period. His view of the symbolic nature of the day-year principle was similar to the 'man as microcosm' argument; that a day in the life of a man could be likened to a year in the life of the wider world. Among his illustrations for this were Ezekiel 16 where the youth of a woman is likened to the growing in maturity of the Jewish people. (Edward Bishop Elliott Horae Apocalypticae London: Seeley, Jackson & Halliday 5th ed (1862) Vol 3 p. 263.) Similarly, the sabbath as a day for the individual is mirrored in the seventh fallow year of an agrarian society. Likewise, Ezekiel 4:1-7 where the prophet lies prostrate for a number of days to mirror the number of years of iniquity of Judah and Israel. "I have appointed thee each day for a year." He adds as another illustration Isaiah 20:2-3, in which Isaiah appears to walk naked for three years. Elliott suggests that his prophetic act would have lasted three days as a sign of what the Assyrians would accomplish three years thence.
  19. ^ The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1955), p. 880. "A time, times, and an half. That is, the 1260-year period, A.D. 538-1798, which is first introduced in ch. 7:25."
  20. ^ LeRoy E. Froom “Prophetic Faith of our Fathers” Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association (1946), vol. 3, page 219, citing Bishop Thomas Newton (1766): “But as the Pope did not acquire temporal power till 756, it is more probable that this delays the terminus until 1260 years from that date.”
  21. ^ What Prophecy Means to This Church, Frank B. Holbrook, Ministry, July 1983 Archived 2007-04-03 at the Wayback Machine..
  22. ^ The Great Controversy by Ellen White, p266. "Chap. 15 - The Bible and the French Revolution".
  23. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe (2nd ed). Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. 2005. pp. 184–185. ISBN 1-57847-041-2.
  24. ^ Fleming, Robert (1848). The rise and fall of Rome papal (New ed.). Houlston & Stoneman. p. 49. Archived from the original on 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2016-12-16. Now, as near as I can trace the time of this donation of Pepin, it was in or about the year 758, about the tune that Pope Paul the First began to build the church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Now, if we make this the era of the papal kingdom, the 1260 years will not run out before the year 2018, according to the computation of Julian years ; but, reducing these to prophetical ones, the expiration of the papal kingdom ends exactly in the year 2000, according to our vulgar reckoning. And if what I suggest above be true, that Antichrist shall not be finally destroyed until the coming of Christ, then may this calculation be looked upon to be very considerable.
  25. ^ Adam Clarke ”The Holy Bible” New York: Lane and Scott (1850) vol. IV, Introduction to Chapter VII, page 592, “It will be proper to remark that the period of a time, times, and a half, mentioned in the twenty-fifth verse are the duration of the dominion of the little horn that made war with the saints, (generally supposed to be a symbolic representation of the papal power,) had most probably its commencement in A.D. 755 or 756, when Pepin, king of France, invested the pope with temporal power. This hypothesis will bring the conclusion of the period to about the year of Christ 2000, a time fixed by Jews and Christians for some remarkable revolution; when the world, as they suppose, will be renewed, and the wicked cease from troubling the Church, and the saints of the Most High have dominion over the whole habitable globe."
  26. ^ Freeborn Garretson Hibbard “Eschatology: Or, The Doctrine of the Last Things” New York: Hunt & Eaton (1890), page 84.
  27. ^ D.D. Whedon “The Methodist Quarterly Review” New York: Carlton & Porter (1866), article V, page 256.
  28. ^ Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7, Revelation 11:2-3, Revelation 12:6,14 and Revelation 13:5.
  29. ^ The 3½ days follow the 42 months or 1260 days (representing years) mentioned in verses 2 and 3.
  30. ^ John Brown "A Dictionary of the Holy Bible" in two volumes. Philadelphia: William IV. Woodward, N°. 17 Chestnut Street (1798), vol. I, page 34: "But if we date the rise of Antichrist from the Pope's commencing a civil lord, about A. D. 756, we cannot hope for the beginning of the Millennium till after A. D. 2016."
  31. ^ Thomas Williams “The Cottage Bible and family expositor” Hartford: D.F. Robinson and H.F. Sumner (1834), vol. 2, page 1417: “Mr. Lowman, though an earlier commentator, is (we believe) far more generally followed; and he commences the 1260 days from about 756, when, by aid of Pepin, King of France, the Pope obtained considerable temporalities. This carries on the reign of Popery to 2016 or sixteen years into the commencement of the Millennium, as it is generally reckoned.”
  32. ^ Walter Chamberlain “The National Restoration and Conversion of the Twelve Tribes of Israel” London: Wertheim and MacIntosh (1854), page 402: “Mr. Faber erred in asserting the contrary; and this error was the cause of his not seeing that Israel's restoration precedes his conversion.”
  33. ^ James Lunn "A Dissertation on the Conversion and Restoration of the Jews" Edinburgh: J. Morren (1804), page 99: "the fall of the Papacy is to be the means of bringing in the Jews."
  34. ^ Robert Fleming (the Younger). "Apocalyptical Key" London: Paternoster Row (1793), page 72: "Therefore after various thoughts upon this head, being satisfied that the Jews were to be converted, and that this great event could not be wholly left out in the Revelation, I did at last conclude that this must not be (whatever particular conversions of some part of them might happen) until the final destruction of the Popish party; whose idolatry, villanies, lies and legends, and bloody temper, is the chief thing that prejudices them against Christianity."
  35. ^ William M'Gavin “The Protestant: essays on the principal points of controversy” (1835) Edwin Hunt - Middletown, vol. 1, page 726: “Thus was the bishop of Rome raised to the rank and sovereignty of a great prince. This is usually considered the last step of his elevation. It took place in the year 756; and this, I believe, is the latest period to which the commencement of the prophetic number of 1260 years is referred. Supposing the book of Revelation to have been written in the year 90, which is the period usually assigned to it, the time which elapsed between that and the last stage of papal usurpation, is precisely six hundred and sixty-six years, which reminds us of the number of the name of the beast, Rev. xiii. 18.”
  36. ^ Thomas Newton "DISSERTATIONS ON THE PROPHECIES" London: J.F. and C. Rivington (1789), 8th edition, page 327: "As the stone in Nebuchadnezzar's dream was cut out of the mountain without hands, that is not by human, but by supernatural means; so the little horn shall be broken without hand, not die the common death, not fall by the hand of men, but perish by a stroke from heaven."
  37. ^ East Apthorp, D.D. "Discourses on Prophecy" (1786) Discourse XI, page 273: "Rome the seat of Antichrist will be consumed with fire, at the coming of Christ, or when the period of her apostasy is expired, in 1260 years from the rise of Antichrist," page 275: "...present Rome, when by an eruption of fire the mountainous soil, being undermined, will fall into an abyss, and be covered with the sea."
  38. ^ Rev. David Simpson "A Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings" London: W. Baynes, and Paternoster-Row. (1808) 5th edition, pages 131 and 133.
  39. ^ James L. Willson (editor) “The Covenanter” Philadelphia: William S. Young (1857) vol. 13, page 238.
  40. ^ George D'Oyly “The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version” London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Gilbert & Rivington. (1830) Volume II. Daniel, chapter II: The Roman empire therefore is represented in a double state; first, with the strength of iron, conquering all before it, "his legs of iron;" and then weakened and divided by the mixture of barbarous nations, "his feet part of iron and part of clay." The Roman empire was afterwards divided into ten lesser kingdoms, the remains of which are subsisting at present.
  41. ^ William Greenfield “Pillar of Divine Truth” London: Samuel Bagster (1831), page 232: “The Roman empire became weakened by a mixture of barbarous nations, by the incursions of whom it was torn asunder about the fourth century after Christ, and at length divided into ten kingdoms, answering to the ten toes of the image, and the ten horns of the beast. The ten kingdoms into which the western Roman empire was divided were, primarily, according to Machiavel and Bp. Lloyd, 1. The Huns in Hungary, A. D. 356. 2. The Ostrogoths in Moesia, 377. 3. The Visigoths in Pannonia, 378. 4. The Sueves and Alans in Gascoigne and Spain, 407. 5. The Vandals in Africa, 407. 6. The Franks in France, 407. 7. The Burgundians in Burgundy, 407. 8. The Heruli and Turingi in Italy, 476. 9. The Saxons and Angles in Britain, 476. 10. The Lombards first, upon the Danube, 526, and afterwards in Italy. Though the ten kingdoms differed from these in later periods, and were sometimes more or less, yet they were still known by that name.”
  42. ^ Daniel 7:11, 12: “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”
  43. ^ James Bicheno “The Restoration of the Jews” London: Bye and Law (1800), page 48: “The destruction is to begin at the toes of the image, the kingdoms into which the Roman empire has been divided.”
  44. ^ Henry Folbigg “The Great Epoch” London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer (1869), pages 134-135.
  45. ^ Jonathan Edwards ”History of Redemption” New York: T. and J. Swords (1793), page 431: "The Beginning of the reign of Antichrist. The best interpreters (as Mr. Fleming, Sir I. Newton, Mr. Lowman, Dr. Doddridge, Bp. Newton, and Mr. Reader) are pretty well agreed that this reign is to be dated from about A. D. 756, when the Pope began to be a temporal power, (that is, in prophetic language, a beast) by assuming temporal dominion; 1260 years from this period will bring us to about A. D. 2000, and about the 6000th year of the world, which agrees with a tradition at least as ancient as the epistle ascribed to the apostle Barnabas (f 15.) which says, that " in six thousand years shall all things be accomplished."
  46. ^ Rev. F.A. Cox “Outlines of Lectures on the Book of Daniel” London: Westley and Davis (1833) 2nd edition, page 152.
  47. ^ Thomas Williams “The Cottage Bible and family expositor” Hartford: D.F. Robinson and H. F. Sumner (1837), vol. 2, page 1417.
  48. ^ Johann Friedrich Gleditsch "Nova Acta Eruditorum" in Latin. Leipzig (1739), no. VII, pars. I, page 302: "Accadamus ad Periodum III de phialis, qua: révélant rtatum Ecclefia:, temporibus Romani Imperii ultimis, quod per bertiam repradentatur; per ipfos 1260 annos, ab A. 756 ad 2016."
  49. ^ P. Meijer “Algemeene Vaderlandsche Letter-Oefeningen” Amsterdam: A. Van Der Kroe (1784) in Dutch, page 134: “Hierop werd de Paus het agtste Hoofd van Romen, en het tydperk, waarin hy zo blyven zou, eindigt omtrent het jaer 2016; of als men, (gelyk met reden gefchiedt,) de Profeetische jaeren rekent op 360 dagen, omtrent het jaer 2000; 't welk hy meent, dat de aenvang zal zyn van het duizendjaerig Ryk. FLEMING of Resurr. p. 120."
  50. ^ John Dowling “An Exposition of the Prophecies, Supposed by William Miller to Predict the Second coming of Christ, in 1843” Providence: Geo. P. Daniels (1840), page 125: “First Extract.—(Scott's Notes upon Rev. 11: 2.)—" The pope became universal bishop, A. D. 606, and was fully established as a temporal prince A. D. 756. (Mosheim says, 755.) Did we know exactly at what time to date the beginning of the 1260 years, we might show, with certainty, when they would terminate; but this would not consist with that wise obscurity, which always, in some respects, rests on prophecies, before they are fulfilled. The beginning of these years, however, cannot well be fixed sooner than A. D. 606, nor later than A. D. 756," page 126: “In his introductory remarks at the head of the same chapter, he says, "It will be proper to remark, that the period of a time, times and a half, mentioned in the 25th verse as the duration of the dominion of the little horn that made war with the saints, (generally supposed to be a symbolical representation of the papal power,) had most probably its commencement in A. D. 755 or 756, when Pepin, king of France, invested the Pope with temporal power."
  51. ^ Antoine-Augustin Bruzen de La Martinière “Cérémonies Et Coutumes Religieuses” Paris: PRUDHOMME Son. (1809) Vol. 10, in French, Page 126: “La troisième période représente l'état de l'empire Romain sous les Papes pendant 1260 ans, depuis 756 à 2016 : il trouve dans l'Apocalypse des preuves de jugement de Dieu contre le règne des Papes. Le septième siècle pronostique la destruction finale de Rome.
  52. ^ H. L. Chamberlain “Judah and Israel, or, The kingdom of the God of Heaven” San Francisco: The Bancroft Company (1888), page 216: “Many are still expecting his coming in the dim future, for those historical dates will not end until 2016 A.D.”
  53. ^ “Catholicon” London: Keating, Brown and Keating (1816) vol. 111, no. XIV, Aug. 1816, page 50: "Lowman, who allowing the greatest latitude, comes in our opinion nearest to the truth, to the distant year 2016."
  54. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe (2nd ed). Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. 2005. pp. 358–359. ISBN 1-57847-041-2.
  55. ^ William Shea, ""Supplementary Evidence in Support of 457 B.C. as the Starting Date for the 2300 Day-Years of Daniel 8:14".". Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 12:1 (Spring 2001), pp. 89–96.
  56. ^ White, E.G., "Counsels to Writers and Editors," pp. 30, 31 (Old Landmarks).
  57. ^ Venden, Morris, 1982, "The Pillars", Pacific Press, p. 13-15.
  58. ^ Some Answered Questions. US Baha'i Publishing Trust. 1990. p. 42.
  59. ^ The Prophecies of Jesus. OneWorld Publications, Ltd, Oxford, UK. 1991. p. 82.
  60. ^ The Covenant of Baha'u'llah. George Ronald Publisher, Ltd, Oxford, UK. 1992. pp. 1–441.
  61. ^ Thief in the Night, William Sears, George Ronald Publishers, Oxford, England (1992), ch. 18, p. 73.
  62. ^ Quran 32:5
  63. ^ Dawn of Mount Hira. George Ronald, Oxford, UK. 1976. p. 58.
  64. ^ Some Answered Questions. US Baha'i Publishing Trust. 1990. p. 46.
  65. ^ William Sears, Thief in the Night, part 1, chap. 6, page 24, George Ronald Publisher, Oxford, UK 1961.
  66. ^ H. Grattan Guinness, The Approaching End of the Age (1880, Hodder and Stoughton, London) at
  67. ^ Michael Paget Baxter, The Coming Battle (W. Harbert, Philadelphia, 1860).
  68. ^ Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, Appendix 7, pp. 201-204 (One World Publications, Oxford, UK, 1991.)

Further reading[edit]


  • William H. Shea, "Year-Day Principle – Part 1" (p67–104) and Part 2 (p105–110) in Selected Studies in Prophetic Interpretation; Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, vol 1. Maryland: Biblical Research Institute/Review and Herald, rev edn, 1982. Part 1 has been called "arguably the [Adventist] church’s best scholarly defense of the day-year principle."[1]
  • Gerhard F. Hasel, “The Hebrew Masculine Plural for ‘Weeks’ in the Expression ‘Seventy Weeks’ in Daniel 9:24” (AUSS 31/2 [1993] 105-18).
  • Frank W. Hardy, “The Hebrew Singular for ‘Week’ in the Expression ‘One Week’ in Daniel 9:27” (AUSS 32/3 [1994] 197-202).
  • Desmond Ford, Daniel appendix (note the author has since changed his position – see below)


  • Kai Arasola, The End of Historicism (PhD thesis). This is a history, which includes the decline of use of the day-year principle