There’s an ad on TV about Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” movie and he says that the word means “a new beginning”, but he is of course wrong in the case this is indeed about the Greek word (there’s a small-to-none chance that the word means something in the Mayan language). I hope he didn’t name his movie based on false information he got… Ap??a??pt? means “I blurt or detect, disclose, divulge, manifest, reveal, uncover, unfold, unveil” and not “a new beginning” in Greek.

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Luis wrote on December 4th, 2006 at 2:49 AM PST:

Hehe, you didn’t expect Mel Gibson to study classical languages at school, did you? :)

Strangely enough, as a Christian believer he is (if I’m not mistaken) he must have heard the word in the bible, where the Apocalypse describes the end of the world, not a new beginning (in this sense it’s used in the movie “Apocalypse now” too).

Kitty wrote on December 4th, 2006 at 4:27 AM PST:

In the strict sense, even in biblical studies, apocalypse means just what Eugenia said is the meaning of the Greek word: “revelation”. There are a number of writings that are known as apocalypses ( for example the gnostic apocalypses ) and that are not about the end of the world. But in common language “apocalypse” has taken that sense, of course because of the most famous of them all: John’s “revelations”.

In that sense the word is probably not entirely inappropriate as Mayan had a calendar and a mythology that revolved upon I think five great cycles of time and cosmology, so that the idea of the time ending and civilizations being swept away was sort of embedded in their culture.
In the same way the rapture/judgement day/escathon of christian and giudaic tradition is sort of the end of a time cycle and the beginning of a different one (and for a while the millenarist linked that moment with a precise time on the calendar, year AD 1000, much like the 2012 of mayan calendar).
So yes, the part about the new beginning is not really the meaning of the word, that’s plain wrong. Though “apocalypse” in layman’s terms has something to do with the movie’s subject… and I suppose Gibson’s fundamentalist point of view is that the mayan civilization mirrors ours and that we should be conscious it will end for good.

KCorax wrote on December 4th, 2006 at 11:27 AM PST:

JCS is it on Youtube or sth ?

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