When will the Tribulation Begin?
1) Do you believe that the tribulation will begin in 2026? Are your days "set in stone" or are they malleable given that the gregorian and julian calendars have been revised several times in the past 2000 years with as much as 3 years unaccounted for in locations?
2) Do you know where I could find evidence as to the origin of the ichthys symbol? Something concrete and not just hearsay (which is what I tend to encounter).
Response: On the issue of the origin of the acronym, see the page "Ichthys Explanation". The Oxford Dictionary of the Bible (s.v.) gives a good account: there really isn't any evidence that has come to light to support most of the stories one hears. 2nd century A.D. is a good guess for the time of origin, but I myself am most skeptical about the "secret sign" theory, not only because there is no evidence of this, but also because such an attitude of hiding one's belief in Christ seems to me to be antithetical to the evangelical nature of the true Christian faith.
On the issue of "2026": As I say in part 5 of the Satanic Rebellion series where this is covered in detail, this is not a prediction, only a projection based upon certain assumptions, which (while I personally believe them to be true) are not universally accepted; one hastens to add that God certainly has the authority not to follow the 1000 year pattern to the letter (even though it has been followed in the past pretty much in this way). See the portion entitled Specific Chronology of the Seven Days. As to the problem of different calendars, it is true that there is a difference between Gregorian and Julian, but not so much as several years. Certain parts of the Orthodox Church still have not adopted the Gregorian calendar and the difference after two millennia is about two weeks. More confusing for many is that there is no "year zero" so that between 2 B.C. and 2 A.D. there are only three years, not four. Another less well-known problem is that ancient systems of chronology tend to count inclusively - a problem aggravated by the fact that when one is calculating specific lengths of time (i.e., birth to death) which do not occur on the exact same date, the difficulty of partial years also arises (so that a third plus twenty plus a half can be reckoned as 20, 21 or 22, depending on the approach). So your point is well taken that a shift of a few years in the projection given of 2026 could easily be appropriate even if the analysis is essentially accurate. Any of the assumptions listed at the link given above have that potential. Here's an example: If the date of the crucifixion is really 31 instead of 33 (as some others hold), and if there is no "overlap" in the case of the Tribulation (most do not see an overlap), the result would be 2031 (i.e., minus 2, plus 7). So I would urge you to have a look at the analysis provided in SR#5 (if you haven't already done so) – it will be easy to see how I came to the particular date of 2026 (even if you don't entirely agree).
Please also see:
The Tribulation itself is covered in the extensive series Coming Tribulation.
Thanks for the e-mail - I hope this response has been somewhat helpful in addressing your questions on these two issues.
Yours in Christ,