Apocalypse of John – dated astronomically

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Die Offenbarung Johannis – Eine astronomisch-historische Untersuchung (English: The Revelation to John - An astronomic historical Investigation) is the title of the German edition of the 1905 book by the Russian astronomer Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov.

In the month of March in 1907 the Russian astronomer Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov published the book Revelation within Thunderstorm and Tempest. History of the Apocalypses Origin. (After an intervention of the Orthodox clergy, the book was placed on the index of prohibited books in the following year.) In his book Morozov makes the case that the Book of Revelation is describing the astronomical constellation over the island of Patmos on Sunday, September 30, 395 (Julian date). Morozov presumes that the highly educated John was able to calculate the Saros cycle and, therefore, did observe the sky on this day in attendance of a solar eclipse. (This eclipse did occur indeed - over South America, however[1]).

Morozov's claims[edit]

1. The weekday of the event is named explicitly:

  • Rev. 1,10: "I was in the Spirit on the Lords Day" (believed to be Sunday).

2. The description of the skies starts quite systematically at the pole with a constellation named Throne (today: Ursa Minor):

  • Rev. 4,2: And a throne was set in heaven...

3. The text continues mentioning the Milky Way and the signs of the zodiac denoting the four seasons: Lion, Taurus, Sagittarius and Eagle (today: Aquarius):

  • Rev. 4,6-7: And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

4. The four horses were interpreted by Morozov as traditional metaphors for the planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn. The constellations Sagittarius, Perseus, Libra and Scorpion were sitting on them:

  • Rev. 6,2: And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow;
  • Rev. 6,4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
  • Rev. 6,5: And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
  • Rev. 6,8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

5. Sun and Moon were named explicitly. The only female character within the zodiac is Virgo:

  • Rev. 12,1: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

6. As a Harlot, the planet Venus will be blamed, eventually. Venus, the symbol of female eroticism, united with the red star Antares (Anti-Mars) within the constellation Scorpion:

  • Rev. 17,3-4: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

The description within the Book of Revelation matches exactly the Constellation for the Julian date 30-9-395.

Figure of Rev. Assignment Constellation ~Right asc. Body Right ascension Declination
1 Sun Woman (dress) Virgo 12h - 14h Sun 12h 27m 56s -3° 02.9
2 Moon Woman (feet) Virgo 12h - 14h Moon 12h 19m 00s -2° 50.5
3 White horse Bow Sagittarius 16h - 18h Jupiter 17h 56m 56s -24° 01.5
4 Pale horse Death Scorpion 14h - 16h Saturn 14h 40m 40s -13° 45.5
5 Dark horse Balances Libra 12h - 14h Mercury 13h 52m 38s -14° 54.5
6 Red horse Swordsman Perseus / Aries 00h - 02h Mars 00h 59m 38s +3° 31.2
7 Woman / Whore Red beast Antares, Scorpion 14h 55m Venus 14h 54m 50s 18° 22.9

Right ascension and Declination for the island of Patmos at 15:00 UTC on this day were calculated using the program Yoursky.[2] (Due to precession R.A. of the stars has been shifted since 395).

Sun, Moon and the 3 outer and 2 inner planets will produce 3.732.480 combinations within the 12 signs of the zodiac (125 × 5 × 3). Therefore, an accidental match is quite unlikely.

At this point criticism on Chronology begins: Common understanding says, referring to Irenaeus (Haer. V,30,3), that the Revelation to John has been written down near the end of the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96). Consequently, either the Revelation has been dated some three centuries too old, or the reign of Domitian has. Unless of course real prophecy was going on and the constellations of 30th Sept 395 were predicted in it. Such confirmation by astronomy may have contributed to its acceptance as canonical.


  • Nikolai A. Morozov: "The Revelation to John - An astronomic historical Investigation" (Die Offenbarung Johannis – Eine astronomisch-historische Untersuchung, 223 pages, Stuttgart 1912.)
  • Nikolai A. Morozov: "Revelation within Thunderstorm and Tempest. History of the Apocalypses Origin." (Откровение в грозе и буре. История возникновения Апокалипсиса. СПб.: Былое, 1907.)


  1. ^ Solar eclipse catalogue 300-400: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEcat/SE0301-0400.html[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Planetarium program Yoursky (395-09-30 15:00; 37N 27E; Opt.: E,M,N,N) http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Yoursky


This article is a translation from the German Wikipedia.