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Forum - "Blood Moons" and New England's "Dark Day" of 1780

debunking "Bible prophecy" with science and logic

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live and learnPosted: Apr 08, 2014 - 00:22

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This is going to be long f.y.i. I'm assuming most of us know what New England's "Dark Day" was (May 19th 1780). If you don't then here's the link:

Some christians who believe the "great tribulation" was a past event that already happened, not a future event that has yet to happen, use this day as a "proof" that their bible prophecy is true. This "prophecy" consists of the sun (and its light) not being visible, a blood moon, "stars falling from heaven" and a large earthquake. They base it off of the following verses:

1. Matthew 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken

2. Joel 2:31
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come

3. Revelation 6:12
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood

a) The "sun shall be darkened" is easy enough to debunk, the Wikipedia page talks about causes that could have been the culprit for this. A combination of clouds covering the sun, smoke from forest fires and thick fog, this would definitely be the cause for the sun not shining its light. and if you want to take the above verses literally, the Sun obviously didn't become black, it just wasn't visible.

b) the "stars falling from heaven" was likely a meteor shower

" "The morning of November 13th, 1833," says an eyewitness, a Yale astronomer, "was rendered memorable by an exhibition of the phenomenon called shooting stars, which was probably more extensive and magnificent than any similar one hitherto recorded... Probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country since its first settlement, which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class." -Denison Olmsted in The American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. 25 (1834), pp. 363, 364 "

I will update this soon with info on the other 2 aspects of this "prophecy", I will make it known if I need help.
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live and learnPosted: Apr 08, 2014 - 22:27

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c) as for the earthquake part of this "prophecy", a large earthquake actually did happen 25 years before New England's Dark Day (November 1st, 1755, Lisbon, Portugal earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.7 ). Some believe Revelation 6:12 tells these things will happen shortly after one another, others believe it happens in chronological order, far apart from one another, starting with the earthquake, then the darkened sun and blood moon.

The Matthew verse says "the powers of the heavens shall be shaken", which might refer to an earthquake. I'm not sure what else it may refer to, if it does refer to an earthquake, then this is a clear contradiction! as it differs from the Revelation verse order of events.

" "A violent shock threw down the greater part of the city. In the course of about six minutes, 60,000 persons perished. The sea first retired and laid the bar dry; it then rolled in, rising 50 feet or more above its ordinary level... The area over which this convulsion extended is very remarkable." -Principles of Geology (11th ed., 1872), vol. 2, pp. 147, 148 "

Obviously this was a noteworthy earthquake. A christian website called "" uses this event as part of its article on how the "Great Tribulation" already happened in the past. It also claims that this 1780 Lisbon earthquake was of the greatest magnitude ever recorded in history, not true. The greatest magnitude earthquake I can find is a 9.5 magnitude earthquake on May 22nd 1960 in Valdivia, Chile. There are some other earthquakes after that one with a magnitude higher than the Lisbon one.

So whichever interpretation of Revelation 6:12 you choose doesn't matter, this 1780 Lisbon earthquake, while noteworthy, was NOT the biggest magnitude recorded in history (as you would expect a prophetic earthquake to be), nor did it result in the largest number of casualties compared to other earthquakes (the Lisbon earthquake is listed at the bottom of the "Deadliest Earthquakes on Record" on the wiikpedia page below)

d) the last aspect of this "prophecy": blood moon. The night before the "Dark Day" the moon was at its full, and it did appear blood red. As for what caused this blood red appearance, it couldn't have been a solar eclipse, my initial guess was a lunar eclipse.
(a lunar eclipse can make the moon appear pretty red: )

The christian website I mentioned before makes this claim: "not only was the moon full this day, but it was on the inner side of the planet. This means those cunning skeptics out there can't claim a lunar eclipse as the culprit for this prophetic event... I suggest you check the lunar charts for the date May 19 1780 to verify this event...PLUS, an eclipse can never last all day and all night. Unless of course the sun stopped dead in its tracks for 24 hours"

I don't know if this person's claim (above quote) is true or not, but this "blood moon" that occurred the night before "Dark Day" is found in this catalog of lunar eclipses:

specifically click on May 18/1780 in that catalog list (link above), and there's this photo: <--- so apparently it wasn't any kind of eclipse either, and that lunar eclipse catalog is wrong

update: the "blood moon" appearance of the moon, if not caused by a lunar eclipse, would have been due to all the smoke from the forest fires, among other things

I think this has now been debunked. some Christians I guarantee will still continue saying it was a prophetic event, no point arguing, let them believe it, but they should realize that the events of that day were all due to natural causes, not anything supernatural
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