Mark of the Beast–616?

Interesting, though the Word of God is the Word of God…

FromNews:

A newly discovered fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament indicates that, as far as the Antichrist goes, theologians, scholars, heavy metal groups, and television evangelists have got the wrong number. 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.'”

Advertisements

One Response

  1. There’s a scholarly analysis here:

    http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/NTOxyPap.htm

    and some pictures here:

    http://www.papyrology.ox.ac.uk/beast/beast616.html

    In any event, this is still a 3rd century manuscript. Irenaeus in the late 2nd century was aware of the “616” variant, and claimed “666” was the original. We don’t have to believe that Irenaeus was right, but this new manuscript tells us nothing knew. Indeed, this controversy has been mentioned in Biblical footnotes for a long time.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: