Home > Antichrist, Book of Daniel, Book of Revelation, The 3 ½ years > Tyso’s notes on the historicists

Tyso’s notes on the historicists

July 20, 2011

Joseph Tyso commented on some of the interpretations of the 1260 days of Revelation 11 and 12 :3 that are included in my post Genealogy of the gap.

Table III in Tyso was the source of some of my data. Below are Tyso’s comments. [1]


Fox the martyrologist reckons one month, seven years, so that 42 months are 294 years: this accounts for the apparent error in the termination.

Dr. Hammond and Grotius reckon literal days.

Brightman reckoning by lunar years, says the 1260 years are equal to 1242 Julian years.

Joseph Galloway also reckoned by lunar time.

Mitchell and some others reckon solar years of 365 ¼ days, which reduces the period about 18 years.

Mr. Pirie reckons the prophetic years shorter than common years by 5 days and a quarter, so that the close of 1260 days, will terminate A. D 2000 or A. M. 6000.

Keith considers the Waldenses and Albigenses to be the two witnesses, and that they began to prophecy about 1198 or 1208.

Robert Fleming reckons 1260 days =1278 years.

Bengelius says 42 prophetic months are precisely 666f common years, but on Rev. xi. 2. 3. ‘these 42 months and these 1260 days are to be understood in the usual acceptation, and mean common months and days.’ p. [7.]

But on Rev. xii. 6. he says, “these 1260 prophetical days, are 657 years full, and began 864, and end 1521.” He says the 42 months began Sep. 25th, 1143, and end June 1st, N. S. 1810. The beast rises out of the Abyss Oct. 14th, 1832. The ten kings give their power to the beast Oct. 22nd, 1832, and the beast is utterly destroyed, and the Millennium commences June 28th, 1836!! page 205. 250. 239.

John Wesley adopted Bengelius’s method of reckoning, and says on Rev. xii. “The time, times, and an half are from 1058 to 1836.”

Edward Irving and the prophets in his church, reckoned the 1260 days, common days, which commenced Jan. 14th, 1832, and were to end July 14th, 1835. See Morn. Watch, No. xvi. p. 308. 309. and Baxter’s Irvingism, p. 22. 23.

Many writers on the prophecies, finding they could not reckon from the commencement of the powers to which they suppose the prophets referred, searched for some remarkable event in their history, as the epoch from which to commence the prophetic period, so as to adapt it to their scheme. Example. The little horn mentioned, Dan. vii. 25. thought to represent the Papacy, has existed several centuries too long, to reckon the 1260 years from its commencement. Cunninghame, Bicheno, Frere, Croly, Keith, &c. in order to make the events, and mystic times to correspond, have adopted the year 533, as the commencement of the 1260 years; the time when the saints were given into the hands of the little horn, by a decree of the Emperor Justinian. This important period ended 1793, the time of the French Revolution, as they would have it, though it gives an error of four years, for it is a well known fact that it commenced 1789, but many writers refuse to acknowledge this, because of the visible error it would produce in their calculations. They need not however, be so tenacious of the edict of Justinian, for that part of it which relates to the giving the saints into the hands of the Pope, is now acknowledged to be a forgery. [1] What a foundation for a prophetic era! Habershon and others adopt the year 583, when the Pope was declared infallible; from which date the 1260 years, will end 1843. Faber dates the commencement of the 1260 days in 604, and the end, 1864. Many others adopt the decree of Phocas, who declared the Pope universal Bishop 606, which will make the the important period end 1866, others adopt 755, when the Pope became a temporal prince, which will carry us on to 2015.  [2] The different methods of reckoning prophetic times are very dissimilar, and would be amusing, were it not that men were led astray by them. The most ancient writers of the christian era, very justly reckon days, weeks, months, and years, in prophecy, just the same as we reckon them in history, that is, common days, weeks, &c. but others of modern times have reckoned prophetic days to be 7 days, 12 days, 30 days, 33 ½ days, 50 days, 84 days, 100 days, 120 days, 190 10/21 days, and 235 days!! [2] Some reckon years lunar, and other solar; some say a year contains 360 days, and others 365 ¼ days. Brachmair reckons centuries of days that is 350 years. p. 182. ‘When Doctors disagree, who is to decide?’ We have often heard of the glorious uncertainty of the law, but who has ever heard of the glorious uncertainty of the prophets.

Mede does not fix upon any particular year, for the commencement of the 1260 days, but supposes they began between 365 and 455, he seems however most inclined to the second epoch of Alstedius 376. Samuel Johnson, M. A. says, Time is 100 years, times 200, and half a time, 50. Vol II. p. 18. but he reckons months as years, p. 125 and 156. Cunninghame in his “Year Eighteen Hundred and Thirty-six a Great Era,” says,

“I pass by as unworthy of notice the opinions of those writers, who tell us the 1260 days are literal.” p. 16. To which I reply, I pass by as unworthy of credit, those writers who tell us that 1260 days are years, because time has proved the greater part of them mistaken. “The vision is yet for an appointed time: but in the end it will speak and not lie.” The discrepancy among the above writers is so great, that we are constrained to ask, who can believe any one of them? Their united testimony cannot produce conviction, because their depositions agree not together. If the 1260 days, be put for years, and their commencement be known, as most commentators suppose, then the time of their termination may be as certainly known. What would be the effects of this foreknowledge? To contradict the scriptures, and render inapplicable the exhortation of our divine Lord, “Take ye heed, watch, and pray, for YE KNOW NOT WHEN THE TIME IS.” Mark xiii. 33.

Various writers of eminence have asserted that the saints were given into the hands of the little horn at a particular period. Some say in the first century, some in the second, others in the third, and many in the fourth, and some in the fifth, and others as confidently assert that it did not take place until the sixth, and others give the date at various times, from the seventh to the twelfth century. See Table III. Yet the saints themselves have never been able to tell: and even to this day,- they do not know whether they are in the hand of this persecuting power, or have been delivered from it! or whether the whole period is yet to come! Did not John Bunyan know the day he was put in Bedford jail? and the day when he came out? And are the whole body of the saints so ignorant, or the hand of the little horn so light, that they cannot tell whether they are under his power or not? Whiston, Daubuz, Bicheno, Keith, Cunninghame, Frere, Brooks, and many others tell us that the tyranny of the little horn is expired, and the saints are liberated from his hand; while Faber, A. Q. Brown, Dr. Gill, Bishop Newton, Lowman, Habershon and many others, say the time is not expired, yet the latter are not agreed as to that period within 170 years!!!

Author’s notes to the text:

1. See Investigator, Vol. III. p. 263, and Bickersteth’s Practical Guide to the Prophecies, p. 82.

2 See Bengelius, p. 219.

In the time since Tyso, tens of thousands of denominations and sects have emerged, and disagreement, and disputes amongst Christians about the interpretation of the time periods of prophecy have continued. Whoever says that the “little horn” of Daniel 7 is yet to appear must be blind!


1. Joseph Tyso. An elucidation of the prophecies, being an exposition of the books of Daniel and the Revelation.  Jackson and Walford. 1838. p. 78.

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  1. Benaiah
    November 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    The 1260 days on a day for a year principle, corresponded with 1260 years from 312AD (Constantines enthronement opf the awful Catholic Apostasy) to 1572, when Rome massacred the Hugenots in Paris on the eve of Bartholmew, and celbrated this in the Vatican with Te Deums. This was the end of the period of papal downtreading of the witnesses (Rev.11.2). A second period, the witnessing period commenced with the decree of Justinian (534AD) and ends with the French Revolution when National Justice was visited on the Catholic Bourbons, 1789-1794, when Justininas code was overturned.
    The 3 and half days is the period between 1685, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes till the French Revolution, when the witnesses stood up, in a great apocalyptic earthquake. (see Peter Jurieu, Mr Bicheno, and Dr John Thomas). Napoleon was a type of Christ who will similarly smash the nations when he returns, and rule them with a rod of iron (Pslm2, Pslm 149, Pslm 172, Rev.17,18, 19). We are now living in the time just prior to this glorious revolution in the affairs of making, a time of trouble such as never was, culminating in the battle of Armageddon on the mountians of Israel, and the destruction of the Papacy thereafter.

    • November 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      You might be interested in the following post on the views of Pierre Jurieu: Pierre Jurieu on the 1,260 days

      The dates you suggested imply that a certain period of time elapsed before the beginning of the 1260 days, and the time, times and a half; you can compare your proposed dates with other alternatives that have been proposed in the table below, from my post on Genealogy of the gap. The names are ordered by the middle column, which is the size of the “gap” that is invoked in the interpretation; that is, the period of time invoked from 30 AD, taken as the date of the crucifixion of Jesus, and the beginning of the 1260 days of Revelation 12:6 and 14, interpreted by the year-day theory as 1260 years, and sometimes taken as literal days.

      Author Gap Proposed Dates
      Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) 20 years 50-64
      James Stuart Russell (1816-1895)
      Robert Young (1822-1888)
      Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. (1950- )
      37 67-70
      Henry Hammond (1605-1660) 102 132-136
      Walter Brute c. 1391 104 134-1394
      B. H. Carroll (1843-1914) 220 250-1510
      Dr. H. More (1614-1687) 227 257-1517
      Peter Artopaeus (1505-1574) 230 260-1520
      Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) 262 292-1522
      John Napier (1550-1617) 270 300-1560
      Thomas Brightman (1562-1607) 274 304-1546
      James Brocard (b. 1563) 283 313-1573
      John Napier (1550-1617) 286 316-1576
      Michael Servetus (1509-1553) 295 325-1585
      Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588-1638) 332 362-1622
      Joseph Mede (1586-1639) 346 376-1636
      James Macknight (1721-1800) 349 379-1639
      Thomas Parker (1595-1677) 359 389-1649
      Ephraim Heut 360 390-1650
      Samuel Hartlib (1600-1662)
      John Cotton (1585-1652)
      365 395-1655
      Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) 376 406-1666
      E. R. Leorinus 380 410-1670
      David Chytraeus (1530-1600) 382 412-1672
      William Alleine (1614-1677) 396 426-1686
      Joseph Hussey 397 427-1687
      Hanserd Knollys (1599-1691) 398 428-1688
      Pierre Du Moulin (1568-1658) 399 429-1689
      Thomas Beverley 407 437-1697
      Pierre Jurieu (1637-1713) 420 450-1710
      William Whiston (1667-1752) 425 455-1715
      Mitchell 425 455-1697
      Joseph Mede (1586-1638)
      William Whiston (1667-1752)
      Charles Daubuz (1673-1717)
      446 476-1736
      James Bicheno (1752- 1831)
      Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875)
      John Bayford
      499 529-1789
      B. D. Bogie 500 530-1790
      James Hartley Frere (1779-1866)
      William Cunninghame (1776-1849)
      502 532-1792
      Archibald Mason (1753-1831)
      Charles David Maitland (1785-1865)
      Edward Cooper (1770-1833)
      George Croly (1780-1860)
      James Hartley Frere (1779-1866)
      503 533-1792
      Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
      Matthew Habershon (1789-1852)
      Alexander Keith (1791-1880)
      Edward Irving (1792-1834)
      Albert Barnes (1798-1870)
      Edward Bickersteth (1814-1892)
      Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)
      Sylvester Bliss (1814-1863)
      503 533-1793
      Michael Paget Baxter (1834-1910) 507 537-1797
      David Simpson (1745-1799)
      William Miller (1782-1849)
      Uriah Smith (1832-1903)
      508 538-1798
      Sharpe 510 540-1800
      William Ettrick (1757-1847) 518 548-1808
      Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716) 522 552-1794
      Roderick C. Meredith (1930- ) 524 554-1814
      Matthew Habershon (1789-1852)
      John Aquila Brown (c. 1827)J. Fry
      554 584-1844
      Joseph Wolf (1795-1862) 557 587-1847
      George Stanley Faber (1773-1854) 574 604-1864
      Drue Cressener (1642-1718)
      Joel Mann (1789-1844)
      576 606-1848
      Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716) 576 606-1848
      Joseph Galloway (1731-1803) 576 606-1849
      Thomas Parker (1595-1677) 576 c: 600-1859
      Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
      Matthias Flacius (1520-1575)
      David Pareus (1548-1622)
      William Whiston (1667-1752)
      John Gill (1697-1771)
      John Mayer (c. 1627)
      Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
      Joseph Galloway (1731-1803)
      David Simpson (1745-1799)
      Henry Gauntlett (1762-1833)
      George Stanley Faber (1773-1854)
      Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875)
      Albert Barnes (1798-1870)
      Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)
      576 606-1866
      William Hales (1747-1831) 590 620-1880
      John Chappel Woodhouse (1749-1833) 592 622-1882
      Edward Wells (1667-1727) 600 630-1890
      Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560) 630 660-2000
      David Simpson (1745-1799) 636 666-1926
      Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
      Frederick Fysh (d. 1867)
      697 727-1987
      Albert Barnes (1798-1870) 722 752-2012
      Dr. John Smith 725 755-2015
      Alexander Fraser (1749-1802) 726 756-1998
      Bryce Johnston (1747-1805) 726 756-1999
      Moses Lowman (1679-1752)
      David Simpson (1745-1799)
      726 756-2016
      Alexander Pirie (c. 1794) 727 757-2017
      Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716) 728 758-2000
      Isaac Newton (1642-1727) 770 800-2060
      Johan Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752) 834 864-1521
      1028 1058-1836
      John Wesley (1703-1791) 1028 1058-1836
      Albert Barnes (1798-1870) 1043 1073-2333
      J. J. Brachmair 1120 1150-1500
      Keith 1168 1198-2450
      Hans Hut (c. 1490-1527) 1495 1525-1528
      Melchior Hoffman (1495-1544) 1496 1526-1530
      Lodowicke Muggleton (1609-1698) 1622 1652-1658
      Robert Baxter
      Edward Irving (1792-1834)
      1802 1832-1835
      Michael Paget Baxter (1834-1910) 1837 1867-1871
      Joseph Franklin “Judge” Rutherford (1856-1942) 1884 1914-1918
      Florence Houteff 1925 1955-1959
      Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986) 1942 1972-1975
      Ronald Weinland (1949- ) 1975 2008-2012
      Herbert L. Peters (1946-2007) 1977 2010-2014
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