The Number of the Beast, Now 7.5% Off!

A newly translated fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament seems to indicate that the number of the beast isn’t what we thought:

Instead of 666, it’s actually the far less ominous 616.

The new fragment from the Book of Revelation, written in ancient Greek and dating from the late third century, is part of a hoard of previously unintelligible manuscripts discovered in historic dumps outside Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Now a team of expert classicists, using new photographic techniques, are finally deciphering the original writing.

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.”

No surprise that the professor interprets the text in a non-prophetic way.

I’ll wait to see what other experts have to say about it. The fact that Caligula reigned from A.D. 37 to 41 argues against Parker’s interpretation, since most scholars believe that John wrote Revelation in the 90s. I mean, Caligula was dead 50 years; why bother?

However, if Parker is right, does this mean he holds that the gospels, which are generally agreed to pre-date Revelation, were written in the 30s–within 5-10 years of Jesus’ death?

Probably not. And I doubt it will matter to skeptics anyway. Certainly the Satanists won’t care one way or the other:

Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, based in New York, said: “By using 666 we’re using something that the Christians fear. Mind you, if they do switch to 616 being the number of the beast then we’ll start using that.”

Whatever, Pete. But we’re not afraid. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”


5 responses to “The Number of the Beast, Now 7.5% Off!

  1. Is it just me, or does Peter Gilmore read like he has an inferiority complex?

  2. Pingback: Kentucky Packrat

  3. Hello, Umm Yasmin, and thanks for another comment. Yes, Mr. Gilmore’s beliefs aren’t in anything so much as against something.

    Disregarding the unpleasant nature of his ultimate destination, that’s a pretty lousy way to guide your life.

  4. This has been blown way out of proportion. Manuscripts have been available for centuries with this reading, just none anywhere near this early in date. That tells us a bit more about the textual history, i.e. that the original reading got corrupted much earlier than we’d thought, but virtually no scholar will take this as a sign that the reading of ‘666’ is wrong. See my post and the links there for more.

  5. Here is an atempt to take away the myth
    of Evil and Good Numbers and Explain !
    The Key to The Numbers of The Beast 2*3*3*37=666 and 2*2*7*11=616 Is The Positive Natural Integer Six(6)
    The Holy Numbers of God is Three(3) and Seven(7)accordingly to Moses Writtingsin The Genesis 1600 B.C.
    The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetics
    Sounds like This “Any Positive Natural Integer
    can be written as an Product of Prime Factors
    except for the Individual orders of The Prime Factors”
    Prime Factors are Defined as Positive Natural Integers
    Who can be Divided Even Only By Two Numbers
    The Number one(1) and the Prime Factor It Self.

    Look at the folowing numbers
    2*2*3*13=117,7*17=119 and so the squereroot of 121 witch is Eleven(11)
    For Proving if the Numbers upp to the
    power two of Eleven(11) witch is 121
    It is only neccessary to prove with
    the Prime Factors:
    2,3,5,7 more Practical it is
    only neccessary to prove with
    the Gods Holy Numbers Three(3)
    and Seven(7) Accordingly to Moses
    The Number Six(6) is Just Below the Gods Holy Seven(7) On the other hand Just Above Seven(7) Is the King of Numbers The Eight(8) Compare Henry the Eight(8) of England also Compare 1997 and 1789 The Year of The French Revolution It Contains two Prime Factors 89 and 97
    Proof or Evidence Can Be Found In The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetics
    Många Varma Hälsningar
    Hoppas Det Skall Komma Till Nytta
    Urban Salomon Avierfjärd Gråbo,Visby,Gotland,The Baltic Sea,Sweden

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