Shawn: Yes, Boston’s sins are myriad (Big Dig, anyone?). Seriously, though, here’s a very interesting post by Michael Covington about Mark of the Beast numerology:
[The number is n]ot six-six-six, but six hundred sixty-six, which in Roman, Greek, or Hebrew numerals is not written as three sixes. (For example, in Roman numerals, 6 = VI and 666 = DCLXVI.)
And in some manuscripts of the New Testament, the number is given as 616.
Hebrew, Greek, and Roman numerals consist of letters from each respective language’s alphabet. Especially in Hebrew and Greek, ordinary words can be assigned numerical values. You can do that with Roman numerals if you simply skip the letters that are not numerals, which are many….
But the most convincing explanation I’ve found is that 666 is what you get when you transcribe “Nero Caesar” into Hebrew (נרון קסר) and then interpret it as a numeral. What is particularly appealing is that if instead of the Latin stem Neron- you transcribe the nominative form Nero, you get נרו קסר, which comes out to 616, the number found in some of the manuscripts.
So in Verse 18, St. John was warning us about dictators like Nero, but hiding his message from the Roman authorities. This is a genuine use of a code in the Bible. Da Vinci Code fans, enjoy it.
(Hat-tip: Jonathan Adler.)
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