Using Astronomy to Date the Book of Revelation

This article is contains a summary of the information presented in Chapter 3 of A. T. Fomenko’s 400 Years of Deception. The chapter is about the potential astronomical symbolism in the Biblical Book of Revelation and how an observation date can be obtained by recognizing that symbolism. I do not support or reject the validity of their assessment. However, I do think that their argument is built upon shaky grounds and also that a deeper investigation is needed to determine how much (or if any) of Revelation contains astronomical symbolism.

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The Method of Astronomical Dating

This dating uses the traditional seven planets of mediaeval astronomy (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn). Planets in mediaeval times were occasionally described as being horses or chariots. This can be seen in Fig. 1 of Saturn on a chariot pulled by dragons or in the Fig. 2 of Jupiter on a chariot pulled by eagles. There are many more examples in existence that demonstrate this style of reporting a planet.

Fig. 1. Saturn on chariot pulled by dragons.
Fig. 2. Jupiter on chariot pulled by eagles.

The method used for dating the Book of Revelation relies on astronomical symbolism to account for real astronomical descriptions. In earlier times, more symbolic terms were used in describing astronomical events. Planets were sometimes referred to as chariots, people, and animals, among other things.

N. A. Morozov was reportedly the first person to apply this method to books from the Bible, including the Book of Revelation. He believed history to be generally correct after the 6th century AD, and placed the writing of Revelation in the 4th century AD. Fomenko and Nosovsky re-examined the contents of Revelation using a similar method and arrived at the conclusion that a 15th century dating is the only satisfactory dating available.

The textual history of the Book of Revelation is vague. Opinions from specialists on when it was written sometimes vary from the 1st-4th centuries AD. Fomenko reports that the book is full of astronomical imagery, and that apparently the original meaning of the imagery was lost with the passing of time.


Identifying the Symbolism

Rev. 1:9 gives us the location of where the author was when he was witnessing the contents of his writings. “I, John, … was on the island of Patmos…” (NIV). This island is still called by the same name today. Fig. 3 shows its location.

Fig. 3. Patmos, south of Kampmos.

Rev 1:4, “John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,” (NIV). This may be a reference to the constellations of Cassiopeia (the Throne) and the seven main stars that make Ursa Major. Fig. 4 shows Cassiopeia in relation to Polaris and Ursa Major. Cassiopeia in the middle ages was sometimes depicted as Christ on the throne.

Fig. 4. The Throne and Ursa Major.

Rev. 4:5-6, “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” (NIV). Fig. 5. shows Albrecht Durer’s constellation map of 1515 that displays Ursa Major and Cassiopeia with no other names between them. The “sea of glass” is apparently the sky in which the celestial bodies are visible.

Fig. 5. Ursa Major and Cassiopeia. [1]

Rev. 4:1-3, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.” (NIV). The rainbow that is mentioned here may be the Milky Way, which lends credence to the notion that Cassiopeia has been identified. Fig. 6 shows Cassiopeia completely within the borders of the Milky Way. Cassiopeia in mediaeval depictions is also sometimes shown in front of the Milk Way.

Fig. 6. Star map showing Cassiopeia in the Milky Way.

Rev. 4:4, “Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.” (NIV). This is describing the 24 sections of the sky. Fig. 7 shows a middle age depiction of the celestial globe divided into 24 sections.

Fig. 7. The celestial globe.

The crowns that are mentioned may be the constellation of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. Reportedly, among other things, this constellation has occasionally been depicted as a group of elders. Fig. 8 shows the Corona Borealis.

Fig. 8. Corona Bor. near zenith.

Rev. 4:6-7, “In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.” (NIV).

The verse above reports on the constellations of Leo, Taurus, Sagittarius, and Pegasus. The lion is Leo, the ox is Taurus, the animal with a face like a man is Sagitarrius, and animal like a flying eagle is Pegasus. Leo represents where the sun is before autumn, Taurus represents where the sun is before summer, Sagittarius is where the sun is before winter, and Pegasus is where the sun is before spring.

The reasoning for choosing Pegasus is based on the Greek word used in the verse, as well as its astronomical positioning. The four constellations represent the four seasons, and when dividing the 24 sector celestial globe by four, each season gains authority over 6 sectors, or wings. The many eyes are the many stars of the sky which outline the bodies of the constellations.

The planets are located as follows:

1 – Jupiter in Sagittarius (Rev. 6:2)

2 – Mars is in Gemini or Taurus (Rev. 6:4)

3 – Mercury in Libra (Rev. 6:5-6)

4 – Saturn is in Scorpio (Rev. 6:8)

5 – Sun in Virgo (Rev. 12:1)

6 – Moon in Virgo (Rev. 12:1)

7 – Venus in Leo (2:26 and 2:28)


Conclusions summary:

According to Fomenko, given the positioning of the planets, only 4 dates are possible: 395 A.D., 632 A.D., 1249 A.D. and 1486 AD. The closest match was October 1st, 1486. This matches well with the idea of the apocalypse being the end of the world in light of the Byzantine Anno Mundi dating which would put 1492 as year 7000 AM. This means the Biblical Book of Revelations was not written until October 1st, 1486 at the earliest.

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[1] – Fig. 5. Ursa Major and Cassopiea

[2] –

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2 Comments on “Using Astronomy to Date the Book of Revelation

  1. Pingback: Ptolemaic Astral Ascent Mysticism – Egodeath theory

  2. Pingback: Mytheme: blade & harvest = mature for sacrifice to gain Eternalism – Egodeath theory

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