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May 05, 2005

The Number of the Beast? 616

Scholars now believe the famous Number of the Beast is not "666" as so notoriously imagined, but actually 616:

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.

Think of all the Heavy Metal albums and posters that will have to be recalled in order to fix this glitch... it's going to be like the Y2K megacoding correction all over again.

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...."

They and satanists responded coolly to the new "Revelation". 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."

This is just like when people get annoyed at having to switch from the "good" old area code to the less-desirable new area codes. The Satanists can claim they're willing to switch, but believe me, if you've got a 212 area code, it stings to have to give it up for a lame "917" or "646." They say they're waiting for Christains to "switch" first; that's just Satanist-double-talk for "we're sticking with our old number, even if it means we have to stay forever in the same apartment to keep it."

So I think 666 is going to be around for a long time to come.

But seminarians announced that 666 would no longer be refered to as "the Number of the Beast" or the "Brand of the Antichrist," but rather merely "the Number of a Guy You Might Want to Keep Your Eye On" and further that "666" found on someone's scalp constitutes "Suggestive, But Not Quite Conclusive, Evidence That This Dude Might Be a Real Fucking Prick."

Thanks to Irwin.

Damn, This is Old, and This Time I Mean It's Really Old Update:

Hondo:

This isn't really new. Irenaeus, a Church father from the Second Century, wrote about the 666 / 616 difference in the second century in Chapter XXX of Against Heresies.

Emily:

The actual line from revelations says "If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666*". So 666 is actually man's number. Also, some versions of the bible actually have a footnote from that line that says "*616 on some manuscripts". The discovery of these new texts may have simply changed the balance so that more than 1/2 of the "original" manuscripts now say 616, and less than half say 666.

Zorachus blames Nero for the confusion:

If I remember correctly, the difference between 616 and 666 is because of the way Nero's name was rendered in Greek and Hebrew (or Aramaic). In other words, Nero's name in one language was *something*, and those numbers added up to 666. His name in the other language was * something else*, and that added up to 616.

Whatever. I might be wrong, but at least I'm long-windedly rong.

Dude, on that last point, you're preachin' to the choir.

Hondo clarifies:

The Greek Neron Kesar, in Hebrew, has the numeric value of 666. The Latin Nero Caesar, in Hebrew, has the numeric value of 616.

Ummm... you guys seem to know an awful lot about Satan.

Just sayin'.

The Ace of Spades HQ Blog

When News Breaks, I'm On It, No More Than 2,000 Years Late. That's the Ace of Spades Guarantee (TM).

Too Bad He Doesn't Play Baseball For the Damn Yankees Update: Stumbo adds:

The NHL sections of the ESPN, CNN/SI, FoxSports, and Yahoo!Sports websites have individual player pages identified by 3-digit numbers. (The same numbers correspond to the same players on each site, so presumably the numbering system has a common source.)

I'm sure y'all can guess who #666 is.

ESPN
CNN/SI
Fox
Yahoo

Can't make this stuff up. Can't. Make. This stuff. Up.

Well, I guess you actually could, but that would involve time and effort, and I don't play that.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:47 PM

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