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616, The Number of the Beast
May 5, 2005 5:29 AM   Subscribe

616, The Number of the Beast.
posted by tranquileye (37 comments total)

 
That's my area code. Heh.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:41 AM on May 5, 2005


My apartment number is 616 (cue eerie music...)
posted by AJaffe at 5:42 AM on May 5, 2005


First numerologist to connect this to Microsoft wins a place in email infamy!
posted by NinjaPirate at 5:43 AM on May 5, 2005


AskMe a few weeks ago.
posted by peacay at 5:48 AM on May 5, 2005


still awaiting comment from spider-man.
posted by jimmy at 5:53 AM on May 5, 2005


When you count the letters in his name, 616 = Ronald W. Reagan.

Makes you think, huh?
posted by PlusDistance at 6:02 AM on May 5, 2005


It's a Canadian exchange rate thing, right?
posted by sexymofo at 6:28 AM on May 5, 2005


Years ago I saw this in the notes of a study bible and asked a fundamentalist friend about it. He got very upset, and insisted that 666 and only 666 was the number. He didn't really have a coherent reason why, though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:36 AM on May 5, 2005


Here's the papyrus image and more info (see also the linked further discussion).
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:36 AM on May 5, 2005


"They can have mistakes in the copying, changes for political or theological reasons ... it's like a detective story piecing it all together. scholars now believe the number in question has very little to do the devil. It was actually a complicated numerical riddle in Greek, meant to represent someone's name, she said.Revelation was actually a thinly disguised political tract, with the names of those being criticized changed to numbers to protect the authors and early Christians from reprisals. "It's a very political document," Dr. Aitken said. "It's a critique of the politics and society of the Roman empire, but it's written in coded language and riddles."

But, but, I thought it was the perfectly revealed Word'o'God! Are you telling me this Bible thing had -gasp- editors????
posted by beelzbubba at 6:37 AM on May 5, 2005


I think it will be easier to rhyme "six-sixteen" instead of "sixsixsix" in heavy metal songs. You will no longer have to hear lines ending in "mix," "flicks," or "tricks" "dicks." Now satanist lyricists can come up with lines ending in "mean," "spleen" "bean" and "I don't really care for Ween."
posted by zaelic at 7:00 AM on May 5, 2005


Are you telling me this Bible thing had -gasp- editors????

Yes, and I can tell you right now, the editor went out and got drunk at the Alexandria Quill 'n' Papyrus the night Revelations was published. "I corrected that damn number in every single proof! 'For sixty-six read sixteen,' I wrote, in big red letters! But every time it came back 666. Fucking printers..."

Yeah, yeah, I know, it should be "For xi read iota," but that way lies madness and unintelligibility... much like Revelations itself.
posted by languagehat at 7:01 AM on May 5, 2005


Since when are links to The Onion worthy of FPPs?
posted by papercake at 7:04 AM on May 5, 2005


Makes you think, huh?

Makes me think you're silly.
posted by glenwood at 7:07 AM on May 5, 2005


And a careful reading of Luke reveals that the "H" stands for "Harlan."
posted by zaelic at 7:08 AM on May 5, 2005


where's b***ts when we need an authority?
posted by peacay at 7:18 AM on May 5, 2005


Actually, aaronshaf would be my go to for that sort of perspective on something like this, but I don't think he's around anymore.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2005


I think there is another papyrus that says that the number of the beast is 42.

Oh whait...
posted by c13 at 7:24 AM on May 5, 2005


And just last year they decided to rename Highway 666 (runs from Gallup to Shiprock...Monument Valley). I was there last week and it was beautiful except for the fact that every time you turned around you learned that John Fucking Wayne had slept here, eaten there, made a movie here...
posted by kozad at 7:28 AM on May 5, 2005


Some clarification from Ralph the Sacred River:
For laypeople, I want to emphasize these points: (1) the most likely reading of the number in Revelation 13:18 is still "666"; (2) the reading "616" has in fact been known for many years, and even the new papyrus has been known since the 1990's; (3) the variation between "666" and "616" does not materially affect the interpretation of the book of Revelation. In short, the reading "616" is mainly interesting to textual critics of the New Testament and is unlikely to make a change in anyone's Bible or beliefs.
posted by jbrjake at 7:32 AM on May 5, 2005


Beast's real mark devalued to '616'

Damn Inflation!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:42 AM on May 5, 2005


The fragment was part of a hoard of previously illegible manuscripts discovered in an ancient garbage dump outside the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus.

but it was in the trash! isn't that worth consideration, that someone threw it away? this was a time before shredders, too. imagine...

personally, i would consider it unfair if my early drafts were used as evidence for or against the factual/artistic/mechanical integrity of my writing...
posted by RockyChrysler at 8:15 AM on May 5, 2005


Heheh, that's my area code too (at least for my cell phone). And I had a comp-sci prof in that area who used to work for the phone company and always got calls from people who were like "I HAVE AN EVIL PHONE NUMBER! CHANGE IT!" because it had 666 in it.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:17 AM on May 5, 2005


If we keep letting facts get in the way of our religion, you never know where it might lead. The next thing you know, we might find out that Mary wasn't really a virgin and then where will we be????
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2005


"Mary wasn't really a virgin and then where will we be????"

we'll be needing a much older and more lascivious papyrus for that.
posted by Mme. Robot at 8:34 AM on May 5, 2005


Now we have to go back and change all those metal albums. Damn...
posted by ob at 8:59 AM on May 5, 2005


616, eh? So is Leopold Bloom now revealed as the anti-christ?
posted by soyjoy at 9:36 AM on May 5, 2005


You mean the tattoo on the back of my neck is wrong? Shit!
posted by Specklet at 9:55 AM on May 5, 2005


616, eh? So is Leopold Bloom now revealed as the anti-christ?

My late grandmother felt very strongly that both irishmen and jews were a bit evil. Now it looks like her opinion has a theological basis.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:04 AM on May 5, 2005


I've read that "666" should properly be considered "6 6 6" -- three separate sixes. The Greek text names the digit three times. Since the numbering system didn't use the Arabian 10-base system, "six hundred sixty-six" is a false reading. IANAS(eminarian), so I've no idea how such an error worked its way into the KJV. But such an error has lasted before -- for centuries, Moses' "glow" when he descended from Ararat was translated as "horns," so that some Renaissance painters depicted a horned Moses carrying the commandments.
posted by NickDouglas at 11:50 AM on May 5, 2005


This is new to me: Revelation was actually a thinly disguised political tract, with the names of those being criticized changed to numbers to protect the authors and early Christians from reprisals.

Anyone know any work that would outline just how, exactly, Revelations describes early Roman politics?
posted by kanewai at 12:01 PM on May 5, 2005


What, no Heinlein fans in the audience? Zeta, zeta, zeta or "6 to the power of 6, to the power of 6", obviously describes a treatise on how travel dimensionally.

Seriously, why change it now? Did someone find Rove's tattoo?
posted by FormlessOne at 12:01 PM on May 5, 2005


If it is political, it is very thinly disguised. Revelation 13:18 actually says “it is a number that stands for a person. His number is six hundred and sixty-six.” The footnote in my study bible says that if it really is a riddle that works out to the emperor Nero’s name in Greek, then the 616 interpretations could be referring to the Latin version of his name.
posted by BarePaw at 2:54 PM on May 5, 2005


I've read that "666" should properly be considered "6 6 6" -- three separate sixes. The Greek text names the digit three times. Since the numbering system didn't use the Arabian 10-base system, "six hundred sixty-six" is a false reading.

That makes no sense. There were no "sixes" in Greek; the Greeks used separate series of letters to refer to units, tens, and hundreds, with chi representing 600, xi 60, and stigma (Ϛ) 6. The numbering system of the language, however, was 10-base, and the Greek text of Revelations reads
?de ? s?f?a ?st??: ? ???? ???? ??f?s?t? t?? ????µ?? t?? ??????, ????µ?? ??? ?????p?? ?st??: ?a? ? ????µ?? a?t?? ??a??s??? ??????ta ??.
The last three words, hexakosioi hexekonta hex, are exactly equivalent to six hundred sixty six.
posted by languagehat at 3:16 PM on May 5, 2005


Goddammit. Well, pretend there's a line of Greek there. (You can see it by going here and entering book, chapter, and verse.)
posted by languagehat at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2005


Ah, sorry, I'd read wrong. Thanks for the correction.
posted by NickDouglas at 3:24 PM on May 5, 2005


My favorite resource for Number of the Beast stuff.

Considering it's Cinco de Mayo: Seis-Seis-Seis
posted by wendell at 4:14 PM on May 5, 2005


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