The Mark of the Beast, 666 or 616?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by le bel, May 15, 2006.

  1. le bel

    le bel
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    I'm not sure if this has been done before, but I've been hearing a lot about the passage in Revelation 13:18 actually being 616 and has no bearing on an antichrist figure or end of time. Thoughts on this?

    I tend to question all of these new studies that somehow discredit the Bible in one way or another. If the translation of six hundred and sixty-six is wrong, what does that say about God's precious Word? Especially seeing as how many believe His Word to be inerrant.
     
  2. gtbuzzarp

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    Do a web search for "preterist" or "preterism" and you will find the answer. Supposedly a few manuscripts have 616, but it is generally attributed to copyist error. In the Preterist view it doesn't really matter which number is correct, as the end result still points to Nero.
    616= Kesar Nero and 666= Kesar Neron.

    That is the short answer. Others on here can better explain or defend it than I.
     
  3. le bel

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    Thanks!
     
  4. Ransom

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    I'm not sure if this has been done before, but I've been hearing a lot about the passage in Revelation 13:18 actually being 616 and has no bearing on an antichrist figure or end of time. Thoughts on this?

    Why would the exact value of the "number of the beast" have some bearing on what it stands for?

    We Westerners like to attach a lot of significance on the fact that the number is represented as "666" in our system, but the truth is, that is an accident of history. John did not have the decimal system, and what he wrote was the Greek equivalent of six hundred and sixty-six, not three 6's.

    I have had Bibles for years that noted the 666/616 textual variant. Someone with fuller knowledge might be able to explain better, but my understanding is that it has given some commentators clues as to whom John intended to identify as the "beast," because in Greek the name might add up to 666 while in Hebrew it's 616, or vice versa.
     
  5. le bel

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    Thanks for explaining it. There have been a lot of discussions, debates started because of 6-6-06, with people questioning its meaning to the Biblical 666. Many have noted it not really being 666 but 616, so I thought I'd ask.
     
  6. Ransom

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    Again, the number of the beast, as described in Scripture, is six hundred and sixty-six, not six-six-six.
     
  7. le bel

    le bel
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    Yes, I know this, and have mentioned this before. My efforts at explaining this didn't go over well because afterall, I don't have a PhD in theology. :rolleyes:

    I am referring to another board. LOL, I was also told the Scripture I provided was polluted with modern language, this person wanted the original Coptic version.
     
  8. Grasshopper

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    http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive/05-10-05.asp


    Ancient numbering systems used an alpha-numeric method. This is true of the Latin (Roman) system that is still common today: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, M=1000. Greek and Hebrew follow a similar method where each letter of their alphabets represents a number. The first nine letters represent 1–9.3 The tenth letter represents 10, with the nineteenth letter representing 100 and so on. Since the Book of Revelation is written in a Hebrew context by a Jew with numerous allusions to the Old Testament, we should expect the solution to deciphering the meaning of six hundred and sixty-six to be Hebraic. "The reason clearly is that, while [John] writes in Greek, he thinks in Hebrew, and the thought has naturally affected the vehicle of expression."


    When Nero Caesar's name is transliterated into Hebrew, which a first-century Jew would probably have done, he would have gotten Neron Kesar or simply nrwn qsr, since Hebrew has no letters to represent vowels. “It has been documented by archaeological finds that a first century Hebrew spelling of Nero's name provides us with precisely the value of 666. Jastrow's lexicon of the Talmud contains this very spelling.

    When we take the letters of Nero's name and spell them in Hebrew, we get the following numeric values: n=50, r=200, w=6, n=50, q=100, s=60, r=200 = 666. “Every Jewish reader, of course, saw that the Beast was a symbol of Nero. And both Jews and Christians regarded Nero as also having close affinities with the serpent or dragon. . . . The Apostle writing as a Hebrew, was evidently thinking as a Hebrew. . . . Accordingly, the Jewish Christian would have tried the name as he thought of the name—that is in Hebrew letters. And the moment that he did this the secret stood revealed. No Jew ever thought of Nero except as ‘Neron Kesar.


    A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament shows that the number of the Beast of Revelation 13 is 616. Ellen Aitken, a professor of early Christian history at McGill University, states that “the majority opinion seems to be that it refers to [the Roman emperor] Nero.” The early fragment supports the view that Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and whether the number is 666 or 616, the number is a reference to Nero and not some end-time antichrist figure.


    The fragment supports the reading of some Greek New Testament manuscripts that read 616 instead of 666. Why would someone making a copy of the Revelation scroll make such a number change? “Perhaps the change was intentional, seeing that the Greek form Neron Caesar written in Hebrew characters (nrwn qsr) is equivalent to 666, whereas the Latin form Nero Caesar (nrw qsr) is equivalent to 616.” A Latin copyist might have thought that 666 was an error because Nero Caesar did not add up to 666 when transliterated into Latin. He then changed 666 to 616 to conform to the Latin rendering since it was generally accepted that Nero was the Beast. In either case, a Hebrew transliteration nets 666, while a Latin spelling nets 616. Nero was the “man” and either 666 or 616 was his number.
     
  9. JackRUS

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    If Nero was the anti-Christ of Revelation, then who was his false prophet?

    And what and where was the image that he set up for the world to worship?

    And how did he manage to get the whole world to take a mark so that they could only buy and sell at his authority?

    And since 2 Thes. 2:3 says that the beast will be revealed, where are all the Christian writings from any of the early church fathers that specifically name Nero as the anti-Christ of Revelation?

    Sorry, but I'm not buying it. Nero was an anti-Christ (1 John 2:18), but not the anti-Christ of Revelation.

    He was a weak clown that not even the Roman senate had any respect for.
     
  10. Deacon

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    Probably not a copiest error but poor attempt at textual correction.

    In Hebrew each letter was assigned a number.

    HEBREW NUMBER/LETTER CHART [LINK]

    An obvious choice at the time was Nero (right or wrong :rolleyes: ).

    Playing with his name and title allows one to fit the numbers into 666 (or 667), depending on what letters are used or ignored.

    “Nero Caesar” in Hebrew (transliterated from the Greek) is 666 (or 667 depending on what letters you use).

    One possible origin for the variant 616 is that in LATIN “Nero Caesar” is transliterated in Hebrew with different letters and therefore has a different number count.

    The numerical equivalent of "Nero Caesar" in Latin is 616.

    OOPS, Good job Grasshoppa.

    Rob
     
  11. gtbuzzarp

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    Is there any validity to this?

     
  12. Hope of Glory

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    Some manuscripts also have 606. Although the oldest manuscripts have 616 or 606, and 666 doesn't appear until later (also, some manuscripts abbreviate it and others spell it out), I think that 666 is legitimate because of the emphasis upon Babylonianism. In Babylonian pagan religious practices, their gods were numbered, and you could buy amulets to protect you against their gods. The richer you were, the more protection you could buy. When all the gods were added up, the number came to 666, which was the number of their most powerful god.
     
  13. Grasshopper

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    There is no anti-christ in Revelation.


    Would that be the same “whole world” of Luke 2:1? Would those marks on the hand and forehands be the same kind found in the OT?

    Clement of Alexandria (2nd Century)
    "We have still to add to our chronology the following, -- I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to the seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is "the half of the week," as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: "How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away."

    "These two thousand three hundred days, then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, "Blessed is he that cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: "And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." " (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 334)



    Perhaps I’ve missed something, tell me again where anti-christ is found in Revelation?
     
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  14. rbell

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    All of you who own Mazda 626's now may relax.
     

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