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Number Of The Beast Is 616, Not 666


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Religion News Blog

 

"This is a very nice piece to find," Dr. Aitken said. "Scholars have argued for a long time over this, and it now seems that 616 was the original number of the beast."

 

The tiny fragment of 1,500-year-old papyrus is written in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, and contains a key passage from the Book of Revelation.

Notice, it say it was written in Greek, and not Hebrew as some Christians claim. And Greek is the Original language of NT.

 

Where more conventional versions of the Bible give 666 as the "number of the beast," or the sign of the anti-Christ whose coming is predicted in the book's apocalyptic verses, the older version uses the Greek letters signifying 616.

The Older versions say 616, not 666.

 

"This is very early confirmation of that number, earlier than any other text we've found of that passage," Dr. Aitken said. "It's probably about 100 years before any other version."

 

I wonder when, yes when, does this fact, true fact, proof, evidence, real tangible information from a true manuscript of the Christians "Holy Book", get into the hard skulls of the Christians?

 

When will the lies about the number 666 be destroyed and forgotten?

 

*edit*

 

Another article

 

from BeliefNet

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Oh Crap! You mean I gotta get this tattoo on my forehead changed?

 

just kidding... ;)

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But it just wouldn't have the same appeal to hear Iron Maiden scream " SIX! ONE SIX! The number of the Beast!!"

 

Very true.

 

 

Or the movie "End of Days" with Aaa'nold Svartzanaager would have to change the year when the demon comes back to 1919 instead, since 666 upside down was 999. By the way, the demon came back every 999 years, and how the heck that would end up to be 1999 is a mystery to me, since 1999 minus 999 is 1000, and 1000 minus 999 is 1 and so on, so why did it have to be 1999 this time, and not 0+999=999, 999+999=1998? And how come the greek letters that represent 666 (in greek) could become 666 in modern characters? The character "6" didn't exist at the time when NT was written for Gawd sake! ... sorry for my ranting... :)

 

Religious symbolism at its best... completely childish...

 

Oh Crap! You mean I gotta get this tattoo on my forehead changed?

 

just kidding... ;)

And the VISA company?

 

Someone claimed that the letter VI, S, A represented 6,6,6 somehow (VI=roman 6, but S and A???) The guy have to figure out how S means one instead...

 

So if VISA is the Beast, that means they have to change company name to match 616 instead. Maybe VIIA? or VI1A?

 

Do I have to re-apply for a new card?

 

 

Oh, I just remembered, all the international bank transactions are encoded with the number of the beast too, 666, so now they have to change every computer system in the world to match the new encryption coding based on 616... Damn! And they thought Y2K was a hard hit!

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Guest zarathustra

616 and 666 are both the number of the beast for they are the number of Nero. For a good explanation of this bibilical scholar Bart Erhman's "the New Testament" (from the Teaching Company) is highly recommended. My rough recollection is that Hebrew letters also substitute for numbers. Ancient Jews would engage in gammatria, a system whereby certain numbers were used to encode names, etc. Augustus Nero's name when given a number value could be 666. However, it could also be 616, based upon an alternate spelling of his name. The fact that other copies of Revelation use 616 only confirm that the author of Revelation was referring to Nero and Rome (which is built on seven hills- as is also mentioned in Revelation) as the anti-christ and as the new whore of Babylon.

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616 and 666 are both the number of the beast for they are the number of Nero. ...

referring to Nero and Rome (which is built on seven hills- as is also mentioned in Revelation) as the anti-christ and as the new whore of Babylon.

I've seen this before and always thought it was a reasonable explanation.

 

As an aside, if this is the case, does it add any credibility to the Bible's historicity and accuracy, in your opinion?

 

As a further aside, is there any connection between Revelation's 'Beast' and the term 'anti-christ'? I've never seen any beyond an implicit assumption.

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616 and 666 are both the number of the beast for they are the number of Nero. For a good explanation of this bibilical scholar Bart Erhman's "the New Testament" (from the Teaching Company) is highly recommended. My rough recollection is that Hebrew letters also substitute for numbers. Ancient Jews would engage in gammatria, a system whereby certain numbers were used to encode names, etc. Augustus Nero's name when given a number value could be 666. However, it could also be 616, based upon an alternate spelling of his name. The fact that other copies of Revelation use 616 only confirm that the author of Revelation was referring to Nero and Rome (which is built on seven hills- as is also mentioned in Revelation) as the anti-christ and as the new whore of Babylon.

I heard that one too before, and I think that's what the number did represent or Caligula:

Professor David Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, thinks that 616, although less memorable than 666, is the original. He said: 'This is an example of gematria, where numbers are based on the numerical values of letters in people's names. Early Christians would use numbers to hide the identity of people who they were attacking: 616 refers to the Emperor Caligula.'

But whichever one it referred to, it surely wasn't 666 from the beginning, but 666 was a later construct (or copy-mistake).

 

I find in amusing that Christian Apologetics can argue about the "truthfulness" of the early manuscripts, but yet they don't change their knowledge or opinions on clear facts from the earliest manuscripts. They keep on believing what they do by tradition and what their sunday school teacher taught them, not what the manuscripts actually say.

 

If there was an earlier manuscript that removed the story about Jesus walking on water, they still would claim that he did. Even if you could prove and clearly see that it wasn't in the first stories, they rather believe than look at their source of information. Just like me trying to setup the VCR without reading the manual, because, of course, I know better than the users guide! :HaHa:

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Guest zarathustra

616 and 666 are both the number of the beast for they are the number of Nero. ...

referring to Nero and Rome (which is built on seven hills- as is also mentioned in Revelation) as the anti-christ and as the new whore of Babylon.

I've seen this before and always thought it was a reasonable explanation.

 

As an aside, if this is the case, does it add any credibility to the Bible's historicity and accuracy, in your opinion?

 

As a further aside, is there any connection between Revelation's 'Beast' and the term 'anti-christ'? I've never seen any beyond an implicit assumption.

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Guest zarathustra

Dio wrote:

 

As an aside, if this is the case, does it add any credibility to the Bible's historicity and accuracy, in your opinion?

 

As a further aside, is there any connection between Revelation's 'Beast' and the term 'anti-christ'? I've never seen any beyond an implicit assumption.

 

 

Dear Dio (Either you're Italian or a god - perhaps both? How appropriate since we are discussing Nero):

 

Unlike the 4 gospels, which purport to represent various historical accounts, Revelation was not written to prove historical facts. Revelation, like the many other apocalypses written in the centuries surrounding Jesus birth does purport to relate to future events. Revelation which by our best guess appears to be written around the time of Nero's reign represents the author's stab at foretelling the future. Obviously, Jesus did not come down from the clouds during Nero's reign and rule the nations. As prophecy, Revelation is not accurate.

 

The identification of Nero is a great response to all of the "Left Behinders" who claim that the anti-christ has yet to appear. It completely trips them up when someone throws a little history at them. Interestingly, there are a few evangelical christians who do accept that Revelation refers to the times of Nero. I think Hank Hanagraaf is one.

 

Revelation is neither accurate nor meant to be historical. With regard to the historicity of the Bible, the questions is not precise enough. The bible consists of 27 books written by several different authors for different communities of people. Each gospel or epistle has to be evaluated independently from one another for it's historicity. For instance, Mark is probably more historically accurate that John. For more detail, you really should get Erhman's "New Testament" on CD or read a book by a textual critic.

 

Z

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I'd just like to point out that it's a bit hasty to say that the number was supposed to be 616 rather than 666 based on a tiny scrap like this. For all we know, it's the 616 that's the error, and not the 666.

 

That said, if both 616 and 666 the sum of the letters in Nero's name... I'd say it's a safe bet to go with that interpretation.

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Revelation is neither accurate nor meant to be historical. With regard to the historicity of the Bible, the questions is not precise enough. The bible consists of 27 books written by several different authors for different communities of people. Each gospel or epistle has to be evaluated independently from one another for it's historicity. For instance, Mark is probably more historically accurate that John. For more detail, you really should get Erhman's "New Testament" on CD or read a book by a textual critic.

 

And it turns out this little gem of a "book" is also comprised of roughly 80% Old Testament quotations. It's no different than the National Enquirer recycling stories such as:

 

Oh my gawd, Jon Bonnet's murderer identified (for the 100th time) with DNA evidence (also for the 100th time) :loser:

 

On so religion keeps on recycling the myths … and Jesus is clearly not god if he doesn’t know the time of his return.

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I'd just like to point out that it's a bit hasty to say that the number was supposed to be 616 rather than 666 based on a tiny scrap like this. For all we know, it's the 616 that's the error, and not the 666.

 

That said, if both 616 and 666 the sum of the letters in Nero's name... I'd say it's a safe bet to go with that interpretation.

Not if the scrap of paper is considered older than the other one. And the debate has been going on for a while actually. It has been known that there was a conflict between 666 or 616, but this paper is considered to be the oldest fragment.

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I just saw a History Channel program on this. "Legends of the Bible."

 

Revelation was written to Christians in a political climate where persecution by the Roman empire was imminant. It's a warning to them, in their time. It's written cryptically for ancient Christians to understand.

Each Hebrew letter represents a number. The legend of the Golom is based on this and I believe so is the Kabballa. NERO translated from Greek to Hebrew is 616 by adding up the numbers each Hebrew letter represents. However, NERO translated from Latin to Hebrew is NERON. "N" equals 50, so the extra "N" makes it 666.

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I'd just like to point out that it's a bit hasty to say that the number was supposed to be 616 rather than 666 based on a tiny scrap like this. For all we know, it's the 616 that's the error, and not the 666.

Not if the scrap of paper is considered older than the other one. And the debate has been going on for a while actually. It has been known that there was a conflict between 666 or 616, but this paper is considered to be the oldest fragment.

 

Older does not mean more accurate. That is, the 616 might be a divergent text from the main tradition at the time. 616 makes sense, sure. But it's not a dead certainty that that's what it's supposed to be. Let's not treat it like one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd just like to point out that it's a bit hasty to say that the number was supposed to be 616 rather than 666 based on a tiny scrap like this. For all we know, it's the 616 that's the error, and not the 666.

Not if the scrap of paper is considered older than the other one. And the debate has been going on for a while actually. It has been known that there was a conflict between 666 or 616, but this paper is considered to be the oldest fragment.

 

Older does not mean more accurate. That is, the 616 might be a divergent text from the main tradition at the time. 616 makes sense, sure. But it's not a dead certainty that that's what it's supposed to be. Let's not treat it like one.

 

Absolutely. It is very important to note that scholars give "priority" to documents not only by age, but also by location, quality, etc. Perhaps there are other things at work here, but no honest scholar would claim that 616 is more "original" from the date alone.

 

Anyway, being a Semitist, I feel it my duty to give the full spiel about Nero's name. I personally am a proponent of the Nero theory, because I find the gematria, or numeric system of the letters, extremely compelling. Here's a breakdown of the details.

 

What it comes down to is more than just tradition...in languages, there are two kinds of lexical borrowing that happen: loan words and foreign words. A loan word is written as part of the language, unmarked and with that particular language's grammatical rules, etc. A foriegn word is usually marked, and inflected according to the original language. For example:

 

"Role" is a loan word from French which is now considered an English word and is written as one.

"raison d'etre is a foreign word from French written in English with Italics in its original form.

 

This is the same and only difference between the two versions of Nero. But I am beginning to think 616 may be more original, I'll show you why:

 

OK. First of all, it is not just the name "Nero" that we're counting, but rather the phrase "Nero Caesar" (King Nero). In Hebrew, there are no vowels explicitly written (except long O and Y) so the name would look like this:

 

NRO QSR

 

(Q is used because Hebrew Qof was used for loan words with k sounds, also the S is a samekh, not a sin, for you you know hebrew letters)

 

In the Hebrew number system this equals:

 

N= 50

R= 200

O= 6

Q=100

S= 60

R=200

------------

616

 

However, in Hebrew, a word just can't end in an O like that, it's too weird, for reasons I won't go into, it just sounds more Namey to them with the N on the end.

 

As you see, N= 50, thus giving us the exact amount we need for good ol' 666. I have a contention with this though, because in Hebrew, N at the beginning or in the middle of the word and N at the end of the word have different forms, and thus different values. Final N is worth 700, bringing us way off course.

 

So I see two possible scenarios. Either someone remembered that it was around 600 and found they had to use the 50 value of N to keep from skyrocketing to 1300+, or, the older, less Hebrew version was the original, and it was changed to seem more proper, and they used the lower value to keep the number similar. Since the rest of the text is presumably the same, it seems odd that a copyist wouldn't just copy it the way it was and do all the math. Perhaps it was being dictated and they didn't catch the number just right and made a note to go back and do the math later, and did it a little differently.

 

Either way, just a little info for those of you dorky enough to be curious...

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Is it just me that noticed this...

 

The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the land.

Here the number 666 represents a whole bunch of filthy lucre. When I was a pastor I suggested there was a link to the whole "buying and selling with the mark of the beast" issue. But I've never heard anybody else make the connection.

:blink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

But it just wouldn't have the same appeal to hear Iron Maiden scream " SIX! ONE SIX! The number of the Beast!!"

 

"If your 555 then im 616"...

 

So why did the great fire of London occur on 1666?

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HanSolo stated:

I find in amusing that Christian Apologetics can argue about the "truthfulness" of the early manuscripts, but yet they don't change their knowledge or opinions on clear facts from the earliest manuscripts. They keep on believing what they do by tradition and what their sunday school teacher taught them, not what the manuscripts actually say.

 

For them to admit that these little errors occured in their most precious translations, ie. the KJV, shows that it is not the "perfect, unadultreated, word of God." If the small stuff has been found in error, (the number of the beast or the crossing of the Sea of Reeds as opposed to the Red Sea), they can't state for certain that the big stuff has been mistranslated. To change is to say that the Bible used for centries was wrong and they can't do that.

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