Re: Rev.13:18 (was Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)

From: gordon brown <>
Date: Fri Aug 19 2005 - 15:50:26 EDT

Irenaeus said that there were some manuscripts that said 616 but that he
believed that 666 was the correct reading. He claimed that some people who
had known John personally had confirmed this.

The fact that there are these two different readings lends credence to the
view that early Christians thought it referred to Nero. This
interpretation depended on transliterating Nero Caesar into Hebrew and
evaluating the resulting Hebrew transliteration. When transliterated from
Greek, the value is 666. When transliterated from Latin, it is 616.

John's contemporaries would have been familiar with the fact that 888 is
the number of Jesus's name in Greek and would have been struck by the
comparison between 666 and 888. If, as some claim, 6 represents evil, then
666 is an exceedingly evil number not depending on the use of base 10
since it is the sum of the numbers 1 through 36.

616 also has some interesting factorizations, including 8x77 and 7x88. In
the Bible 77 is associated with vengeance (Gen. 4:24) and forgiveness
(Matt. 18:21,22). It is also the number of generations in the genealogy in
Luke 3 in some manuscripts.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395

On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, Vernon Jenkins wrote:

> Don,
> Concerning 616, I enclose a copy of the appendix to my page "On testing the uniqueness of Genesis 1:1" (
> Appendix: On the correct reading of Rev.13:18
> Doubts continue to be expressed in some quarters concerning our proper understanding of the 'number of the beast'. Is it 666 or 616? Apparently both appear as possible candidates in the early Greek manuscripts. However, I suggest there are a number of good reasons why we should accept 666 as the God-ordained number, viz
> (a) generations of scholars involved in the study and translation of the Greek originals have clearly understood the true value to be 666 - otherwise why would this number unfailingly appear in the text proper and 616, if at all, in a footnote?
> (b) the evaluation of 'Jesus', the Christ, from the Greek (nominative case) is 888; hence, that of the Antichrist is more likely to be the counterfeit lookalike, 666, than 616;
> (c) 666 is the epitome of numerical geometry; as 'triangle of triangles' it features in the geometrical representation of Genesis 1:1; on the other hand, 616 is devoid of any such associations
> (d) 666 as triangle is linked to two other dimensionless NT numbers, 153 and 276 - both of which are also triangular - by the theme "out of the sea'; details are provided on the page "666 - and All That!" (
> I hope you will agree that these considerations settle the matter in favour of 666.
> Vernon
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Don Nield" <>
> To: "Vernon Jenkins" <>
> Cc: "Randy Isaac" <>; <>
> Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:07 AM
> Subject: Rev.13:18 (was Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)
> > Vernon Jenkins wrote:
> > .....
> >
> >> Randy, you concluded your email with the paragraph, "Rev. 13:18 is an
> >> intriguing verse and I certainly do not know what the proper
> >> interpretation is. But I believe I can bound the range of
> >> possibilities. At most, it implies that a person with wisdom would
> >> know that the "beast" has the characteristics conveyed by the
> >> symbolism represented by "666". No more."
> >>
> >> I am not happy with certain modern translations which begin this verse
> >> with "This requires wisdom." - or words to that effect. What the
> >> original Greek actually says is "Here wisdom is." or, as the AV and
> >> NASB correctly have it, "Here is wisdom". In other words, wisdom is
> >> _being offered_ rather than _required_. I'm sure you will agree that
> >> that is an important distinction which fundamentally influences one's
> >> proper understanding of the verse. And regarding your "No more", the
> >> fact that 666 is uniquely triangular, has triangular NT companions in
> >> 153 and 276, and appears in triplicate in the numerical reading of
> >> Genesis 1:1, offer clear leads to its proper interpretation - and to
> >> the acquisition of wisdom.
> >>
> >
> > In intepreting Rev. 13:18 we should also take into consideration of the
> > fact that some ancient manuscripts read "six hundred and sixteen"
> > instead of "six hundred and sixty-six". This upsets Vernon's scheme.
> > The variant reading is accounted for if the verse is a reference to
> > Nero(n) Caesar. Dropping the final "n" reduces the count by fifty.
> > Don
> >
Received on Fri Aug 19 15:51:48 2005

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