The Real Difference Between the ‘Apocalypse,’ ‘Armageddon,’ and ‘Doomsday’

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With the magnitude of straight-up atrocious quality we’re confronted with each day, it’s casual to consciousness similar we’re surviving successful the End Times—and possibly we are. We definite say we’re surviving successful a dystopia often enough, throwing astir words similar “apocalypse” and “armageddon.” But what bash those words mean? Are they the aforesaid thing? And what astir “doomsday”?

What is the apocalypse?

The word “apocalypse” refers to immoderate clip erstwhile a supernatural being—like a god—reveals mysteries oregon the aboriginal to a human, according to Greg Carey, writer of Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature. Per Merriam-Webster, it besides refers to “an imminent cosmic cataclysm successful which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to beingness successful a messianic kingdom.”

Those, of course, are not however we commonly usage the connection these days. When you google “apocalypse,” you get this succinct definition, which is person to however we usage the connection today: “The implicit last demolition of the world, arsenic described successful the biblical publication of Revelation” oregon “an lawsuit involving demolition oregon harm connected an awesome oregon catastrophic scale.”

So, “apocalypse” has spiritual connotations a batch of the time, but not always. When we speculate astir what a atomic holocaust mightiness look like, for instance, we thin to accidental it would beryllium “the apocalypse.” Nuclear demolition is manmade, arsenic are astir of the things that could origin planetary damage, but this thought has its roots successful the Bible.

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What is armageddon?

You mightiness sometimes perceive idiosyncratic notation to “armageddon” successful the aforesaid mode they’d notation to the apocalypse—to picture a bleak, destroyed wasteland oregon the extremity of civilization. That’s not rather it.

Armageddon refers to the determination of the last conflict betwixt earthly evil and God, arsenic laid retired successful the New Testament, according to Britannica. The connection tin notation either to the place wherever this conflict volition beryllium held earlier the Day of Judgment, oregon to the conflict itself. That conflict could lead to immoderate benignant of apocalypse, but it won’t really be the apocalypse.

What is doomsday?

You already cognize astir the Doomsday Clock, which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists uses to bespeak however adjacent humanity is to annihilation, but what is doomsday? Like the apocalypse and armageddon, this 1 has spiritual roots, but has grown successful its explanation arsenic the horrors of the satellite person expanded beyond the scope of what’s covered successful centuries-old texts.

The connection tin either notation to the past time of the world’s beingness or, much broadly, a clip of large danger. In Christianity, it refers specifically to the time of the Last Judgment. The Cambridge English Dictionary says it’s “the extremity of the world, oregon a clip erstwhile thing precise atrocious volition happen.”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says that their Doomsday Clock really positions the apocalypse astatine midnight, past repositions the clock’s hands annually to amusement however adjacent we are to demolition based connected threats to humanity and the satellite similar atomic escalation and clime change. So, doomsday is pretty interchangeable with the apocalypse, though it usually refers to a large lawsuit and the apocalypse tin mostly beryllium understood to beryllium a small much ongoing.