Waiting for The End of the World

There's an undeniable tingle about 1,000 years. Some of it stems from the magical allure of special numbers, and some of it from Scripture. The 20th chapter of the New Testament book of Revelation (or Apocalypse) inscribes a famous vision of martyrs who "reigned with Christ a thousand years." This is the origin of the celebrated capital-M Millennium (from the Latin for thousand).

Most branches of Christianity agree with St. Augustine that the 1,000 years stand symbolically for the ongoing spiritual hegemony of Jesus Christ. An onward-and-upward millennial version holds that believers will gradually establish a kingdom of peace and righteousness...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!