The number of the Beast is named only once, in Revelation 13:18. It is usually given as 666, but some ancient Greek texts give it as 616.
In some manuscripts, the number is written out literally – ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ = pron. hexakósioi hexēkonta héx = meaning six-hundred sixty six. (TRIVIA: Fear of the number 666 is hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.)
In other manuscripts, the number is written in Greek numerals.
Below are two 3d century examples of papyrus manuscripts, one that has 666 and one that has 616. Since Greek used letters to also stand for numerals, numerals have a line over the top.
The 4th c. Greek manuscript known as Codex Vaticanus (because it is owned by the Vatican) is widely considered to be the most important of all the early manuscripts of the Christian Bible. In the 19th c., a facsimile edition was printed to give scholars access to the contents of this unique and fragile book.
Former Muslim Walid Shoebat says that when he saw the symbols for 666 in the Codex Vaticanus, he saw “In the name of Allah” written in Arabic beside the crossed swords of Islam. [See the video posted @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/more-insight-into-the-mark-of-the-beast/.%5D
As I noted in my May 18, 2014 blog, I think the Holy Spirit provided all three interpretations for our benefit. In other words, it’s not 616 or 666 or In the name of Allah. It’s all three.
I’ve been writing a lot lately about the 616 and 666 angle. I doubt I’ll ever have much to say about Islam, since I know next to nothing about it. But I did see one interesting possibility in Shoebat’s interpretation.
A year ago, I wrote about why I believe the “Millennium” refers to the Age of the Gentiles, from the death of Jesus until the beginning of the final Week of the Jews. I explained my reasoning @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/why-i-think-the-millennium-is-now/.
There was one passage in Revelation that (as I noted) did not fit with my interpretation:
Revelation 20:4 “I saw the souls of those … who had not worshiped the beast or its image nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
If accepting the mark of the beast on forehead or hand is strictly a final Week of the Jews thing, then my “Millennium is now” interpretation has a real problem. However, if Shoebat is correct that one meaning for the beast’s mark is this Muslim thing … well, that’s been around for more than a thousand years, which neatly does away with my little problem.
- Number of the beast @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_beast
- Greek numerals @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_numerals
- P47 image @ http://www.csntm.org/manuscript/zoomify/GA_P47?image=P47_007a_k.jpg&page=3
- P115 image @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_115
- Codex Vaticanus facsimile @ http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_03/GA03_150b.jpg
- Codex Vaticanus ms scan @ http://kayceskorner.blogspot.com/2009/11/mark-of-beast-encoded-in-revelation-in.html
- 666 phobia @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
- Codex Vaticanus @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus
- Arabic with Codex Vaticanus 666 @ http://schnellmann.org/mark-of-the-beast.html