Non Adventist sources affirm the SDA understanding of Daniel’s and Revelation’s 1,260 year prophecy

More than 1,200 years of Papal supremacy
  • Rome has been a government under the Popes for some twelve hundred years. (Source: Complete Works of the Most Rev. John Hughes, Archbishop of New York, 1866, Volume 2. pg. 778) (a)
  • "... the right to her Temporal Sovereignty is an integral right of the Church as constituted by her Divine Founder. It has prevailed de facto for more than twelve hundred years, and has been possessed de jure by Divine Natural Law from the beginning of Christianity, ...". (Source: The Victories of Rome and the Temporal Monarchy of the Church, 5th edition, By Kenelm Digby Best, London, 1906, pg. xii.) (a)
  • "From that hour, which I might say was fifteen hundred years ago, or, to speak within limit, I will say was twelve hundred, the Supreme Pontiff has been a true and proper sovereign, exercising the prerogatives of royalty committed to him by the will of God over the people to whom he is father in all things both spiritual and temporal". (Source: The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, by Henry Edward Manning, D.D. (appointed Archbishop of Westminster in 1865 and Cardinal in 1875), second edition with a preface, published in 1862 in London by Burns & Lambert, 17 &18 Portman Street.)(a)
  • In 1689, Drue Cressener (1638-1718) wrote the following incredible prediction about 100 years before its fulfillment: “The first appearance of the beast was at Justinian’s recovery of the Western Empire, from which time to about the year 1800 will be about 1260 years...For if the first time of the beast was at Justinians recovery of the city of Rome, then must not it end till a little before the year 1800.” [Drue Cressener, The Judgment of God Upon the Roman Catholic Church, p309, 312] (d)
  • Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness, D.D., F.R.A.S. (1835-1910), “The seventy weeks of Daniel, or 490 days to the Messiah, were fulfilled as 490 years; that is, they were fulfilled on the year-day scale. On this scale the forty-two months, or 1,260 days, are 1,260 years. We ask then, Has the Papacy endured this period? An examination of the facts of history will show that it has.”..: “the notable decree of the emperor Justinian [525-565 A.D.] constituting the Bishop of Rome as the head of all Churches [in Western Europe].” (H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, 84. Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness has often been called “England’s Greatest Teacher of Prophecy.” Founder of the East London Institute for Home and Foreign Missions (1872), Dr. Guinness was considered to be one of the three greatest preachers of his day, right along with Dwight L. Moody and Charles Haddon Spurgeon) 

The 1,260 year period is from 538AD-1,798AD 
  • David Simpson (1745-1799) theologian and religious writer, educated at St. Johns College, Cambridge, a Methodist, wrote: "Is it not extremely remarkable, and a powerful confirmation of the truth of Scripture prophecy, that just 1260 years ago from the present 1,798, in the very beginning of the year 538, Belisarius put an end to the empire of the Goths at Rome, leaving no power therein but the Bishop of that Metropolis? Read these things in the prophetic Scriptures; compare them coolly with the present state of Europe, and then, I say again, deny the truth of Divine Revelation, if you can. Open your eyes, and behold these things accomplishing in the face of the whole world. This thing is not done in a corner." (Page 166 "A Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings”)(b)
  • Edward King, F.R.S., F.S.A. (1,735-1,807), educated at Cambridge, wrote: "Is not the Papal power, at Rome, which was once so terrible, and so domineering, at an end? But let us pause a little. Was not this End, in other parts of the Holy prophecies, foretold to be, at the End of 1260 years? And was it not foretold by Daniel, to be at the END of time, times, and half a time? which computation amounts to the same period. And now let us see: hear; --and understand. THIS IS THE YEAR 1798. And just 1260 years ago, in the very beginning of the year 538, Belisarius put an end to the Empire, and Dominion of the Goths in Rome. He had entered the City on the 10th of the preceding December, in triumph, in the name of Justinian, Emperor of the East; and had soon after made it tributary to him: leaving thenceforward from A.D,. 538, NO POWER in Rome, that could be said to rule over the earth, excepting the ECCLESIASTICAL PONTIFICAL POWER." (Page 768 "Remarks on the Signs of the Times" in 1,798) (b)

The beginning of Papal power is AD538
  • The scholar, Richard Valpy (1,754 – 1,836), noticed the importance of the year 538 as the beginning of unhindered Papal power: "In the year 538, the Goths were driven from Rome, and at that time the aspiring Vigilius, by his secret intrigues with the artful Theodora, was promoted to the Pontifical dignity, which he purchased with 200 pounds of gold: an unequivocal proof of the character of a man of sin. During the Pontificate of Vigilius, the pretentions of the successors of St. peter to a general superiority began to be openly asserted; and shortly after, their supremacy was publicly acknowledged. It was at this time that the Pope assumed the title of Vicegerent of Jesus Christ . . . . Now too celibacy was more generally enjoined. The use of Holy Water was first publically recommended by Vigilius in 538 (Sermons Preached on Public Occasions. With Notes, and an Appendix, Vol. 1, 258). (b)

The 1260 year period ended in 1,798AD
  • In 1,799, Christian Thube, a pastor in Germany wrote in his book on Revelation (Anleitung zum Richtigen Versande de Offenbarung Johannis): "The beast has received a deadly wound, Rev. 13:12. It received the wound by the sword, verse 14 “this was fulfilled by the French who with sword in hand banished the pope and his cardinals from Rome, dissolving the papal States and erecting a so-called Roman Republic. “The present condition of the Papacy is the following; it received a wound by the sword and yet it is alive. How long this condition will continue and under which form this still continuing life will exist, is not yet to be decided with certainty. The deadly wound will be healed, but whether it will take a short or long time we do not know; nor do we understand now in which manner and by which process it will come to pass.” (pp. 123-124)] (b)

The 1260 days are 1260 years (e)
  • Albert Barnes, the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, suggested 533 AD - 1793 AD as one possible date for Papal supremacy.  
  • Bishop Thomas Newton, an English Anglican theologian, for the 1260 day/year period Newton suggested at least three starting points. The earliest is with Justinian's degree (533 AD). 
  • Thomas Scott was the author of a popular Bible Commentary.
  • John Gill was an English Baptist pastor.

AD538 is a significant date
  •  “AD 538, the year when the Ostrogoths collapsed. It was out of the smoking ruins of the western Roman Empire and after the overthrow of the three Arian kingdoms that the pope of Rome emerged as the most important single individual in the West, the head of a closely organized church with a carefully defined creed and with vast potential for political influence. Dozens of writers have pointed out that the real survivor of the ancient Roman Empire was the Church of Rome”. (E.G. McKenzie, "Catholic Church" p. 14)
  • “[The Roman Emperor] Justinian...enriched himself with the property of all ‘heretics’ - that is, non-Catholics; published edicts in 538 AD compelling all to join the Catholic church in 90 days of leave the empire and confiscated all their goods.” (Dr. N Summerbell, History of the Early Christian Church, p310-311)
  • The events centering about the siege of Rome in (537-538) were a turning point in church and state as is evidenced by such statements as: “With the conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city may be considered as terminating: and with his defense against Witiges (538) commenses the history of the Middle Ages - of the times of destruction and of change.” (Finlay, Greece under the Romans, p 240).
  • Vigilus (537-555A.D.) is the first in a series of popes, who no longer bears the title [saint], which is henceforth sparingly conferred. From this time on the popes, more and more involved in worldly events, no longer belong solely to the church; they are men of state, and then rulers of the state.” (Charles Bemont & G. Monod, Medieval Europe From 395-1270, p120-121.)
  • "Vigilius ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius, AD. 538.", (Shaff's Church History vol. 3, p. 327)
  • "The (Roman Church-State) power became supreme in Christendom in 538AD, due to a letter of the Roman Emperor Justinian, known as Justinian's decree, which setup and acknowledged the bishop of Rome as the head of all churches. It gave the (Roman Church-State) political power, civil power, as well as ecclesiastical power. This letter became part of Justinians code, the fundamental law of the empire, and that year, pope Vigilius ascended the throne under the military protection of Belasarius (one of Justinians Generals)." (The History of the Christian Church, Vol.3)

What about AD533?

*Dr. George Croly in The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 170, (2nd Ed.), says: "In another letter written by Justinian on March 25, 533, he repeated his decision that all affairs touching the church shall be referred to the pope, 'Head of all Bishops and the true and effective corrector of  heretics' ".

The authority granted the pope by letter could not then be fully exercised, for at that time Italy was ruled from Ravena by a Gothic king, who was opposed to Roman Catholicism. But in 538 the armies of Justinian, under Belisarius, defeated the Goths, and deposing Pope Silverius, whom they accused of plotting with the Goths, they made Vigilius pope.

In Shaff's Church History vol. 3, p. 327, we read: "Vigilius ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius, AD. 538."

Bemont and Monod's History of Medieval Europe, says: “Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the martyrologies.  Vigilius (537-555) is the first of a series of popes who no longer bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred. From this time on the popes, more and more involved in worldly affairs, no longer belong solely to the Church;—they are men of the state, and then rulers of the state."—Charles Bemont and G. Monod, Medieval Europe from 395 to 1270, pp.120-121 [It is widely recognized that Vigilius' reign began in 538, the year that so much power was given to the papacy by Justinian. His predecessor, Pope Silverius, did not die until June, 538].

Thus the year 538 became a turning point in the history of the Papacy.

Beginning in 538, the 1260 years terminated in 1798:

In The Modern Papacy, by Joseph Rickaby, p. 1, we read: "When Pope Pius VI fell grievously ill in 1797, Napoleon gave orders that in the event of his death, no successor should be elected. The pope recovered but Berthier (with a French army) entered Rome on the 10th of February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic. The aged pontiff was hurried from prison to prison in France. He died on the 19th of August, 1799, in the French fortress".*

“In 1798 he [Berthier]...made his entrance into Rome, ABOLISHED the PAPAL GOVERNMENT and established a secular one.” The Encyclopedia Americana, 1941 ed. (d)

Present Day Sources (AD. 2012)

538AD is a possible starting date for 1260 year papal supremacy 

  • Dr. Francis Nigel Lee, Th.D., Ph.D, born in 1934 in the Westmorland County of Cumbria (in Great Britain). Professor-Emeritus, Queensland Presbyterian Theological College (website:
  • Harold Hemenway, a British-Israel pastor, the creator of "Can You Trust The Bible?" and author of 20 booklets and books. His web site is (, “From 538 to 1798 A.D. Church and State Were United - In 538 A.D., Justinian wrote a letter to the Pope offering to unite church and state. The Pope accepted. If we add 1260 SOLAR years we arrive at February 11th, 1798 when Napoleon's general Berthier took Rome and established the Roman Republic February 15th. Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner.”(Source: * According to Pastor Harold Hemenway, "most british-israel pastors agree with sda understanding of 1260 year periods").

1260 days are 1260 years in connection with the Papacy

  • Pastor Alan Campbell (B.A.), born in Ireland in 1949, is a Pentecostal pastor, co-director of Open Bible Ministries. For the 1260 days in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation, one possible fulfillment he suggests is: “533:  Decretal Letter, recognizes the Pope as "Head of all the churches." 1793: Reign of Terror in France - Roman Catholic churches burned, thousands of priests, monks and nuns slain”. ("The Divine Calculator" by Alan Campbell,
  • J. Parnell McCarter, Current President, The Historicism Research Foundation , a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland  adheres to the original Westminster Standards; "All conservative Presbyterians (hold to 1260 years in connection with papacy), given their adherence to the original Westminster Standards.  For example, the entire Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland does".    (Website:,
  • Pastor Paul Rendall of reformed Baptist church of Tama , IA,  “I have shown you the evidence from the Bible that it is right for us to conclude that these 1260 days are prophetic days here in the book of Revelation….. It is no different with the 1260 days prophecy in the Book of Revelation. Some begin them in the year 310.  Others in the year 400 or thereabouts. Others think 610.  Others 756 A.D.” (Source: Pg 1,2 Revelation 11: 6-10; "When they finish their Testimony", Sermon # 82 in the series - "The Faithful and True Witness", Delivered on December 2nd, 2007, in the Afternoon Worship Service" 


b) Froom's "Prophetic Faith" Vol. II  Chapter 35.