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I would like to share with you an article I read on another networking site. I would be most interested in reading your comments, especially if you did some research on this latest data.
666 Is Not the Number the of the Beast - Get it Right!

· Posted by Pastor KD James on February 27, 2010 at 5:45pm in Doctrine

Most bible-believing Christian believe that the numbers '666' directly correspond to 'the number of the beast' and the anti-Christ as described in Revelation 13:17-18.

The King James translation reads;

'And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the
number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is - six
hundred threescore and six

The fact of the matter is everything we've believed about the number 666 is all wrong. Here are the facts:

  1. The number 666 is proven translation error.
  2. The correct number is 616.
  3. All previously held theories associating the numbers 666 to any political or religious figure to the anti-Christ must be rejected and discarded because it is factually


In May 2005, scholars at Oxford University using the latest advanced imaging techniques reexamined a 1,700 year old previously difficult to read papyrus and discovered that the fragment reads '616', not 666.

This papyrus fragment is the earliest known record of the Book of Revelation. The fragment was taken from the Oxyrhynchus site and is Papyrus #115 or P115. The fragment clearly identifies the number of the beast
as 616.

Reference sources:

  • "A new Oxyrhynchus Papyrus of Revelation": P115 (P. Oxy. 4499)
  • "Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse", vol. 2, p. 364; Herman C. Hoskier.
  • David C. Parker, Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.}

Dr. Paul Lewes in his book, 'A Key to Christian Origins' (1932) wrote: "The figure 616 is given in one of the two best manuscripts, C (Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Paris), by the Latin version of Tyconius (DCXVI,
ed. Souter in the Journal of Theology, SE, April 1913)

Professor David C. Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, states on record that "616, although less memorable than 666, is the original".

Now that we have the truth in our hands, we should accept the truth for what it is. Every teacher of bible of prophecy should review the evidence for themselves and take the appropriate steps in making these truths
available to their flock.

During my seminar years I recalling studying the works of Irenaeus (202 AD), a great church father. Bishop Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp, who in turn was a direct disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.
Irenaeus played a key role in the formation of early church doctrine. He
reported several scribal errors of the number 666. (See: "Book V, Chapter
XXX.". Adversus Haereses).

There are other reliable sources such as 3rd century manuscripts of Revelation which clearly read 616. {Reference: Grout, James. "Nero as the Antichrist". Encyclopaedia Romana. Retrieved

Now that you have a knowledge of the truth, it's up to you to become a faithful steward of it. Will you continue to believing the error just to protect sacred religious cows? Or will you embrace the Light of truth
God is giving us in order to understanding His plan for the end-time
generations. The choice is yours.

Views: 29977

Tags: Doctrinal, Knowledge, Research

Comment by Lisa Robinson on February 28, 2010 at 2:35pm
I'm sure Marv would have more to say about this. But this is the benefit of textual critical analysis (not to be confused with higher criticism), that evaluates the evidence of the ancient manuscripts and makes a determination in the advent of variants of which reading is the most likely. According to Metzger and Ehrman, in The Text of the New Testament, P115 is cited as one of the earliest witnesses to the book of Revelation, and therefore considered very reliable. Codex C is not as significant but nonetheless does support the earlier manuscript in this instance.

To be honest, I am not clear on why the number has inserted as 666 as opposed to 616. I would gather than since it is a King James translation that was based on the majority text (containing later byzantine manuscripts), that is the number we go with. If Marv, greek guru that he is, comments on this, I'm sure he'll have a much more thorough response.

While this exercise does point to the value of understanding textual critical issues, I'm not sure that the differences in the number of the beast should carry so much weight in context of God's overall plan for history. Of course, I know that some have used it to demonize the number 666, but I think that's because there is a bigger issue than understanding that number could be something else.
Comment by Daniel on February 28, 2010 at 7:02pm
I'm like Lisa. I don't know the Greek like Marv does, so I'll be looking forward to his insight as well. I have heard this before though.

Also, we have a rule here against lots of cut-and-paste. It is one thing if it is a one-time event with your own work (blogs are, by definition, primarily about your thoughts anyway), but I've seen sites get into real trouble when others claim copyright of content published there. Some have even been shut down because of it. So, to play it safe, it's better to post some short quotes that would fall under "fair use" and link to the original source. Check out this link for why we are cautious about this kind of thing.


Comment by Marv on February 28, 2010 at 8:54pm
Wait a minute, Pat. There is nothing really new here, is there. I take it YOU had never heard of the variant reading at this place in Revelation. But this has been known for a long time. You even cite a 1913 article that refers to it. So what was discovered in May 2005? One particular manuscript, p115, seems to read 616 instead of 666. Why does THAT discovery lead to your enthusiastic statement that we've all had the wrong idea all this time?

As I understand it, most manuscripts read 666, but a few read 616. So the original was either one or the other. But which one? How do we know? Why have you decided that it was 616?

Anyway, this isn't a “proven translation error.” First, it isn't a “translation” issue as such, but a textual criticism issue. Second, nothing is “proven.” Third, we don't know that 666 is the error. 616 might be the error.
Comment by Lisa Robinson on February 28, 2010 at 9:13pm
See, I knew Marv would swoop down to save the day, lol
Comment by Marv on February 28, 2010 at 9:53pm
Derek, I'm not sure I understand your point when you say, "John said the correct reading is 666." Do you mean Ireneus said the apostle John verified it was 666?
Comment by Marv on February 28, 2010 at 10:04pm
By the way 50 is the letter nu. A number of words can have a kind of optional nu on them. Some suggest the name was Nero. Greek writes it Neron, Latin Nero. If I recall correctly, the calculation with Nero is done in Hebrew/Aramaic, reading Caesar Nero or Kaisar Neron as it would appear in Greek. So in Hebrew/Aramaic QSR NRWN=666. If you read Nero instead of Neron, you get QSR NRW=616. Personally, I'm far from convinced that it refers to Nero, even though this calculation kinda, sorta works. A lot of people, I think, find it convincing because it accounts for both 666 and 616. But the movable nu is very common, and many other names and words would have the same feature. Also, I don't believe we have any record of the Nero interpretation from ancient sources.
Comment by Marv on February 28, 2010 at 11:53pm
Derek, thanks. The Irenaeus citation is great. Against Heresies V.30.1, reads in part:

1. Such, then, being the state of the case, and this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies [of the Apocalypse], and those men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony [to it]; while reason also leads us to conclude that the number of the name of the beast, [if reckoned] according to the Greek mode of calculation by the [value of] the letters contained in it, will amount to six hundred and sixty and six; that is, the number of tens shall be equal to that of the hundreds, and the number of hundreds equal to that of the units (for that number which [expresses] the digit six being adhered to throughout, indicates the recapitulations of that apostasy, taken in its full extent, which occurred at the beginning, during the intermediate periods, and which shall take place at the end)—I do not know how it is that some have erred following the ordinary mode of speech, and have vitiated the middle number in the name, deducting the amount of fifty from it, so that instead of six decads they will have it that there is but one. [I am inclined to think that this occurred through the fault of the copyists, as is wont to happen, since numbers also are expressed by letters; so that the Greek letter which expresses the number sixty was easily expanded into the letter Iota of the Greeks.]
Comment by Worship on March 1, 2010 at 2:30pm
I think 666 is part of the bible code(sick since sin)
Comment by Lisa Robinson on March 1, 2010 at 5:20pm
Worship, what do you mean by being part of the bible code (sick since sin)?
Comment by Daniel on March 1, 2010 at 7:21pm
I didn't get that either.


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