Newton – Scientist and Prophet

030421Sir Isaac Newton was famous for formulating the laws of gravity, but he was also a theologian, who wrote extensively on biblical subjects.  For most of his life he studied the Bible in an effort to understand what he saw as God’s plan for the universe.  Since Newton got the physical mechanisms right, there are some who believe we should pay special attention to his views on spiritual meaning.

New documents, part of thousands of pages from Newton’s theological papers which remained for two hundred and fifty years in the house of the Earl of Portsmouth in England, are now being studied.  They contain some fascinating predictions.  A large part of this collection of hand written papers finished up in the Jewish National Library in Jerusalem.  They include details about Newton’s understanding of the prophetic books of the Bible, like Daniel and Revelation.

Although Newton generally argued against setting dates for future events, and he was a cautious scholar, he nevertheless gave a detailed rationale for his claim that we could predict the date of Armageddon from Biblical prophecy.  He concluded that the date of the apocalypse preceding the end of the world would be 2060.  This date for the world to end, came out of half a century of studying the Bible, trying to understand what God was telling us about the future unfolding of His purpose.

So next time you hear about Newton, remember he not only talked about the way the universe runs, but also about how the world might end.