Re: [asa] New page

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 16:09:42 EDT

From: <>
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 10:58:08 EDT

With regard to the veracity of the number 666, I believe that the earliest manuscripts list the number as "616". Daniel Wallace from Dallas Theological Seminary states in his interview with Lee Stroebel (in "The Case for the Real Jesus") that he personally examined the manuscript and verified the 616 under a microscope. However, I do know that this is disputed by others - they recognize that the earlier manuscript reads 616, but defend the number 666 found in other (later) manuscripts for various reasons.

Thus, building a numerological argument on 666 may be building on a copying error in early manuscripts. It would be interesting to see what could be done with 616, although I hesitate to encourage this sort of thing.

Purely an academic interest. :)

If the textual apparatus in the UBS is to be trusted, the papyrus p47, 3d century, reads 666 - as do the great majority of Greek mss. The only Greek mss that reads 616 (deka in place of hexekonto), C is 5th century. The other witnesses to 616 are Irenaeus (late 2d century), Tychonius (4th century) & a doubtful reading of something designated it, a symbol whose meaning I can't figure out - I assume it means an old Italic mss.While the early witness of Irenaeus is significant, the fact that it's indirect (i.e., that we don't have the biblical text he was referring to) has to be considered. It should also be noted that Irenaeus thought that 666 was the correct number & that 616 was a mistake, perhaps a copyist's slip.

There is also very weak evidence for 646.

George - who has no stake in any of these possibilities

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Received on Tue Sep 9 16:10:19 2008

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