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22.02.03

FACTUAL & ARTS TV


Newton set 2060 as the end of the world


Newton: The Dark Heretic; Saturday 1 March, BBC TWO, 8.05-9.05pm


A BBC documentary uncovers, for the first time, the original manuscript where Newton forecast the date of the end of the world.


Newton, the father of modern mathematics, dedicated a large part of his life to a quest to decode the Bible which he believed to be the word of God.


For over 50 years, he studied the Bible trying to unravel God's secret laws of the Universe.


He was fanatical in his quest to discover the date for the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world.


Scholars have spent years trying to unravel Newton's writings on the Book of Revelation to establish when he thought the apocalypse was coming.


For the first time, Newton: The Dark Heretic reveals the date he forecast is within many people's lifetimes - 2060.


The BBC was given rare access to Newton's original manuscripts in the Hebrew National Library in Jerusalem.


Buried in his papers, Dr Stephen Snobelen, from the University of King's College in Nova Scotia, found the original document where Newton had written down his prediction.


In 2060, Newton believed the dramatic events forecast in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation would occur: massive plagues and fires; the terrible battle of Armageddon between good and evil and the destruction and eternal damnation of the wicked.


Producer Malcolm Neaum says: "Newton prayed daily for the end of the world which he believed would herald the Second Coming of Christ. This would usher in the 1000 year rule of the Saints and Newton believed he would then take his place as Chief Saint."


Notes to Editors


The programme is a Blakeway Production for BBC TWO.


Pictures are available, for press use only, on the BBC Bulletin Board.


www.bbc.co.uk/religion


All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels - including BBC THREE - as well as six BBC radio networks.


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