A film entitled 2012 is being released this November with a top Hollywood cast that explores the idea of a global doomsday event that many New Age followers and a few Christians believe will occur at the time of the northern hemisphere's winter solstice on December 21, 2012. This date coincides with the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar's current cycle which only extended until 2012. The Mayan Empire developed in Central America and flourished from 250 AD to 900 AD gradually declining until the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century fully destroyed it. The Mayans developed a complex calendar utilizing cycles of 52 years including a remarkably accurate solar year of precisely 365.242 days which was more precise than the western world’s calendar until a century ago when it was determined that the solar year consisted of precisely 365.2425 days.
While such disaster movies such as 2012 with their awesome computer generated special effects are often fun to watch, the reality is that there is no real evidence that indicates, let alone proves, that the Mayan calendar’s final date which concludes with 2012 had any prophetic importance or meaning whatsoever for either the Mayans or ourselves. Furthermore, there is not the slightest evidence among the thousands of prophecies found in the Bible that mentions the Mayan people, their long deceased Central American empire, their territory or any connection to a future global catastrophe in 2012.
The Mayan Long Count calendar is the basis for the popular New Age belief, originally suggested by José Argüelles (a founder of the Earth Day concept) in his 2002 book Time and the Technosphere, that a global catastrophe will occur on or near December 21, 2012, the time of the Winter Equinox. It is important to remember that his 2012 theory is unsupported by any professional Maya scholar. Serious academic Maya scholars consider this 2012 theory a major misinterpretation and to be without any scientific foundation. An astronomer, Dr. Philip Plait, declared that the Mayan calendar does not actually end in 2012. Rather, Dr. Plait stated that we should consider it in the same way that the odometer on your car’s dashboard rolls over, after reaching 100,000 miles. When each section of the odometer reaches 9 and then clicks over to 0, the following number to it starts a new cycle.
The executive director of the Mesoamerican research organization FAMSI, Dr. Sandra Noble, has written that for "the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle". However, Dr. Noble declared that the New Age prediction of December 21, 2012 as a global doomsday or a cosmic-shifting Armageddon to be "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.” The most probable interpretation is that the Calendar cycle ending in 2012 was never intended to predict a global collapse or the “end of the world” in 2012, but, rather, to simply indicate the end of one calendar cycle and the beginning of a new cycle that would simply carry on into the future. There is no evidence in the Maya language or engravings to indicate that they foresaw a global catastrophe in 2012.
Christians who place their trust in the Word of God and His promises should remember the words of Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”