I’m going to start with a tale from about 180 years ago. In the early 1840s, a religious leader named William Miller believed the second coming of Jesus was foretold in the Bible with mathematical accuracy, and using a myriad of verses and tidbits from the Bible, he sought to compute as closely as possible when exactly J.C. was going to come back.
At first, he didn’t offer anything very exact:
Using an interpretive principle known as the day-year principle, Miller, along with others, interpreted a prophetic “day” to read not as a 24-hour period, but rather as a calendar year. Miller became convinced that the 2,300-day period started in 457 B.C. with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia. His interpretation led him to believe and promote the year 1843. Despite the urging of his supporters, Miller never announced an exact date for the expected Second Advent. But he did narrow the time period to sometime in the Jewish year 5604, stating: “My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.” (more…)