DF 14 - The 2nd Question & a theory (January 2000)Dear Friends
There has been an excellent response to the first question in the competition. For those who are asking 'have I won yet?' the answer is no, not yet. We have a way to go. Don't worry if you miss a question, it will surprise me if anyone answers all the questions correctly. The first one was easy.
Is that easy too? Hard for me to tell, we'll soon find out. Don't forget to use the e-mail link and not put it up on the guestbook. Offenders will be shagged, unless of course they'd rather not be, in which case ridicule will do nicely.
I didn't notice it at first. Just slipped in there towards the end of the last DF; very subtle. To save looking it up let me quote for you: 'It is or very shortly will be (depending on your point of view), a new century….'. There, in parenthesis, is the challenge. Whilst most of us accepted that the turn of the century would mark the passing of two thousand years since the birth (sic) of Jesus Christ, not so my friend Steve. Admittedly he is not alone, there are at least seven others who share his theory that (hold the fireworks, oops too late) the millennium will not take place until next year, 2001.
I am always happy to learn, and one of the things I've learned is not to confuse notions with facts. The other thing I've learned is not to use a steam iron whilst naked, but I mentioned that before.
I don't think I've ever started to digress so early into a DF, it must be this diet I'm on. Well, it's not really a diet, more of patch of clean living. I find the festive season lasts a little longer every year and Christmas cake tastes even better in mid-January. Where was I? Ah yes, the millennium will not take place until next year, 2001. Let us investigate this theory.
2000 or not 2000
As I understand it, the 2001 theory is based on the conviction, as put forward by Patrick Moore, that the zero, or nought, had not been discovered (or invented) at the time of Christ's birth.
If you leave the other debatable points to one side, and assume, for the sake of argument, that Christ was born at the convenient moment on the 25th. December, in the year one (1), and that the number nought was stumbled upon shortly thereafter; then certainly the second millennium will fall at the stroke of midnight on 31st. December, 2000.
I accept that, if His birthday cannot be 25/12/0, (because the zero does not yet exist), then it must be 25/12/1.
His second birthday, having lived just one year, would therefore have been 25/12/2 and so on until he reached his tenth on the 25/12/10, or, if you follow the graph, he would reach his two thousandth birthday on 25/12/2000. Giving you your 2001 millennium.
But we already know that, with the missing year (0 becomes 1), He was only twelve months old on His second birthday, nine years old on his tenth birthday and one-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine years old on His two-thousandth birthday.
Therefore, it follows that we must either a) make adjustments to our notional calendar, so as to cater for the late discovery of the zero, or b) accept that He was not only born of a Virgin Mother, but also hit the ground running as a bonny one year old, having gestated for twenty-one months, or twenty if we ignore the first, which I'm afraid we must, in the absence of any noughts.
And, in the absence of noughts, we must ponder the two-year vacuum, which must have embraced His birth. The consequence of this is the distinct possibility that Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 50BC, not 49BC as is commonly thought .The arguments, for and against, are, of course, the identical reverse of the current millennium debate. The only caveat to both sides being, that at an unknown point of time, going the other way in the BC calendar, it is possible that someone found a zero, stuck it on the beginning (or end, as they mistakenly thought) and therefore created an imbalance in the mirror of time as we know it.
If this were true then it may throw some light on the Virgin Birth. The point being that there could have been a whole year (or minus nought, as it may have been known) about which we know nothing, because nothing had yet to be discovered. This would go some way towards explaining the sudden appearance of The Baby Jesus, and the subsequent furore.
Some way, but not entirely.
If we accept the entirely rational possibility that there was a zero in the BC calendar, but not in the AD, then either, a) Mary gave a normal birth (we're not going to quibble over three months after all these years) to a one-year old child, or, b) the Virgin Birth was a ruse to conceal the embarrassment of the authorities, who had misplaced a nought which seems to have existed right up to the point of birth.
Since the behaviour of the authorities is known to be the only constant in the history of mankind, we know that the very first thing they would have done is immediately deny the existence of the pre-birth zero, brush the whole thing under the carpet and wait, until they're long gone, for someone else to clean up the mess, i.e. the current disagreement, all these years later. We're not sure how many years later; most scholars would have the birth of JC as a year-six event, but never mind that.
Hardly surprising, we might conclude, in the context of the chaos of the moment. All kinds of weirdos roaming around with sandwich boards reading 'the start of the world is nigh' and 'be prepared to meet thy genesis' even though they'd already had one (a genesis that is) according to the Bible, but, strangely, knew nothing about it until it appeared in print many years later.
Peace & love,
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