While there’s a multitude of theories about how the world will or could end — inspired by everything from religious texts to Stephen Hawking’s studies — doomsday prophecies are rarely treated as upcoming potential threats in mainstream media. However, Fox News published a theory Wednesday that the Rapture is scheduled for April 23, just in case its readers would like to prepare.
Fox published the prophecy courtesy of the British rag Daily Express, which cites numerologist David Meade. The numerologist picked April 23 based on his own interpretation of the Bible and the theory that Planet X, aka Nibiru, will crash into Earth. The theory is in stark contrast to NASA’s multiple statements that there is no evidence of Nibiru or even a planet that could fulfill Nibiru’s role.
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth,” reads Revelation 12:1-2. According to Meade, the woman mentioned in this verse is represented as Virgo and the planet Jupiter represents Jesus. And on April 23, it just so happens that the sun and moon will be in Virgo, as will Jupiter.
Meade also claims to believe in Nibiru, the planet that according to fringe theories is on course to hit Earth. Meade combines this idea with Christian interpretations of the Book of Revelations, whereby Jesus will return to Earth to guide believers into Heaven before all hell breaks loose on Earth. According to Meade, Jesus is slated to appear right before Nibiru enters our atmosphere, which is expected to cause volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes.
In addition to Meade’s vague interpretation of astrology and Christian scripture, the inclusion of the Nibiru theory adds an extra level of shakey variables. NASA has repeatedly claimed that Nibiru is a hoax. The agency went so far as to remind people that “no giant, rogue planet has been found in the outer solar system to play the role of Nibiru” after estimating that “2 million websites are discussing the impending Nibiru-Earth collision.” But at least this theory has a short shelf life. Whereas other doomsday prophecies have been lingering since Nostradamus, we’ll know for sure about this one by April 24.
For those who find Meade’s theory a bit sensationalist, Fox News mentions NASA’s concerns and offers an alternative interpretation of the scripture as well. Author Jonathan Sarfati, who does not see April 23 connected to biblical prophecy, told readers, “We won’t know the day or the hour — so we should be prepared at all times!”