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Prophecy of St. Nilus

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The '''''Prophecy of St. Nilus''''' is an [[apocrypha]]l work of uncertain origin (thus often referred to as the '''''Prophecy of Pseudo-Nilus''''') predicting the [[apocalypse]] to occur in the 19th or 20th century (depending on the version of the text). As there are serious problems with the text, it is clear that it was either not written by St. Nilus or that it has been altered in translation. With the advent of the Internet, the work has taken on the status of urban legend.
The ''Prophecy'' claims to be written by a saint named Nilus, variously the 4th century St. [[Nilus the Ascetic]], the 17th century St. [[Nilus the Myrrhstreamer]] of [[Mount Athos]], or someone from the 14th century.
[ An "opposing views" piece asserts that there is an urban legend version, but one that sprung from genuine hagiography and a genuinely old source (not that what is arguably vindicated is not the status of St. Nilus's alleged prophecies as prophecy, but their status as a genuinely old historical document that didn't exactly date things to the mid-twentieth century).]
==Problems with the text==
The most obvious problem with the text is one of dating. It claims to be regarding either the 19th or 20th centuries with varying levels of internal consistency in the actual text. Some, for instance, read "After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 19th century," which is contradictory, since starting with the year 1901, the 20th century began. Additionally, with several different versions circulating, especially with variances in this key opening phrase, it would seem that the text has been altered, so one cannot be sure about the period it supposedly is addressing.
The claim that the ''Prophecy'' is from the 4th century is also problematic, as in the 4th century it was not yet the practice of Christians to date from the [[Nativity|birth of Christ]], a practice introduced only in the 6th century by Dionysius Exiguus ("the Short"), a Roman [[monk]]. In the 4th century, dating was still calculated from the [[Creation]], the founding of Rome, from the accession of the current emperor, or from the time of [[Diocletian ]] according to the [[Indiction]]. Even after its introduction by Dionysius, it did not come into general use in the West until the 8th century.
Eastern Christians waited even longer to use the Nativity as a dating point. Most Orthodox Christians began the practice only after the [[fall of Constantinople]], while the [[Church of Russia]] introduced it only with the time of Tsar Peter the Great (16th/17th c.).

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