What numbers do we think about when we hear the word ‘devil’ or ‘evil?’ 666. But why is 666 the number of the Beast, and what does it mean? How far back are we going?
666 In Pop Culture
Why is 666 the number of the beast? The number 666 goes back a while, but we also use it to represent something negative, such as the Beast in today’s world. Often when houses or buildings have 666 addresses, they have a lower price—people associate, like the number 13, a bad reputation.
WARNING: Conspiracy theories | Religion | Catholicism | Christianity
However, if we look into the music industry, bands used 666 to their advantage. From Iron Maiden‘ song, The Number of the Beast in 1982 to Marilyn Manson‘s song Deep Six from 2014, 666 prevailed. The number became a vehicle for transmitting a message of what it means to individuals.
We see 666 in movies, in songs, in books, and many other sources of entertainment. Movies like Flight 666 and The Omen are only a few putting the number of the Beast upfront. But, where did it all started?
The History Of 666
The number itself falls in association with the Book of Revelation. It is part of the Beast of Revelation as verse eighteen of the thirteenth chapter. It is also a part of the New Testament. Once translated from its original writing to English, the number translates to six hundred and sixty-six.
The sources come from Papyrus 115, the oldest manuscript preserved for translation of the Revelation. Other ancient sources confirm the number, such as Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus from Arabic, turns it to six hundred and sixteen and not six hundred and sixty-six. So we go from 666 to 616.
Because of the Arabic finding, the Novum Testamentum Graece mentions 616 as a variant of 666. This variant comes from the Apostle John, who, scared of having his writing destroyed by the Romans, converted his early Christian teaching. Exiled on Patmos, Apostle John’s number from Greek to Hebrew gematria equaled 666, but in Caesar Nero Latin, it equaled 616.
Finding The Beast With 666
Numbers are nothing more than what they are mathematical. Many people do not believe in numerology or luck or bad luck. However, 666 often gets people to express or note the time or date. Like June 6th, 2006 or June 6th at 6:00 AM/PM.
But there is more to 666 if you are someone who has an interest in numerology, theology, demonology, and so on. 666 is the identity of the Beast and has specific interpretations and has three methods to do so. Yes, we are talking about finding the Devil or the Antichrist.
One method is using gematria to associate with global leaders and match it to the scriptural number.
The second method is to treat the number as a mean of time or a duration period.
The third and final method consists of finding leaders that disregard Catholicism and Christianity. One needs to link the scriptural imagery and representation to the Antichrist with those leaders.
But, this often falls under conspiracy theories and can lead to madness. After all, if anyone looks long and hard enough, we see what we want to see.
Further 666 Conspiracies
The Bible is a book that people tend to use to find links to theories. But, if not careful, it leads to fear and creates a spiral of conspiracies. One of them is that the 666 number is related to the government joining forces with religion to control.
Some conspiracies associate 666 with the United Nations, historical figures in North American history, European people, and monuments condemning them as evil.
Another conspiracy theory is that 666 represents the ‘www’ prefix to World Wide Web. But this more recent conspiracy is not the only one. Some believe 666 is also using its power with the barcode system. Others associate it with the smart cards for paying by swiping. The list goes on, and all goes back to 666.
What Does The Revelation Say
The sentence “Here is Wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast—” It comes from Revelation 13:15-18. The sentence alone had many translations. However, the word “count” can also mean “reckon,” “vote,” or “decide.”
“Here is Wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast…”The Bible
Byzantine manuscripts read the number six hundred and sixty-six in the Textus Receptus with the Greek numerals χξϛ and the Greek letter stigma ϛ, which represents the numeral 6.
καὶ ἵνα μή τις δύνηται ἀγοράσαι ἢ πωλῆσαι εἰ μὴ ὁ ἔχων τὸ χάραγμα, τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θηρίου ἢ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ. Ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν· ὁ ἔχων τὸν νοῦν ψηφισάτω τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου· ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου ἐστί· καὶ ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτοῦ χξϛʹ.
“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast: for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”
The 666 Imitation
We understand from the sentence from The Bible that the number of the man refers to an imitation of Jesus Christ, i.e., Son of Man. It states that those who do refer to themselves as Son of Man are exercising idolatry toward humanism. Humanism is another way of saying that your belief is in yourself or humankind. In that instant, your number is 666.
After many debates dating back to the 2nd century AD, 666 became the official number of the Beast in The Bible. It took many examinations and studies to conclude that despite 616 can be a variant, 666 is the definite number relating to the Beast. In the existing Latin version of the New Testament, theologians agree that 666 is the number of the Beast.
The 888 Confusion
It was in 2005 that a piece from the Papyrus 115 surfaced from the Oxyrhynchus site. At the Oxford University Ashmolean Museum, we can see the fragment. However, again, the number 616 appears. The papyrus itself dates back 1’700 years and shows Revelation 13.
Because of the Papyrus 115, many scholars believe that 616 was the original number of the Beast. Paul Louis affirms his belief by mentioning that 616 might be an analogy linked to the number 888. 888 is the number of Jesus—Christ the Redeemer. It is also possible that 666 became the Beast’s number because it is a triangular number, the sum of which is the first thirty-six numbers.
i.e. 1+2+3+4+5+6+…+36 = 666.
The Demonic Representation of 666
Six hundred sixty-six came to represent the number of the Antichrist. But that is a term that does not appear in the Book of Revelation. However, it is possible to find it in Epistles 1 and Epistles 2 of John. It means “One who opposes Christ” and “Those who oppose Christ.”
- The demonic symbol that 666 became is quite vast:
- The Antichrist is the embodiment of the opposite of Jesus Christ.
- It represents the Book of Revelation‘s view of evil, such as the Dragon meaning Satan himself.
- It is also a connection to the First Beast, which in this context is the Roman Empire.
- The Roman priestly and also the government.
The 666 Conspiracy
What no one thought about was how 666 would become a direct influence on conspiracy theories—Conspiracists associate 666 with the papacy, Freemasons, Illuminati, among other secret societies. But, when fallen in the conspiracy theories’ pool, 666 loses its original biblical origin.
666 is a number that remains influential in much artistic work. It is also a source of inspiration for any entertainment. It is not a conspiracy number or a sign of evil. It’s simply a code that man used to pass his teaching along without fearing for his life over 1’700 years ago.
We have proof that it can be 616 or 666. So all we know is that 6 is somehow a connection to the Devil in The Bible. Also, evil comes in three to mock the Trinity—Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. So it is a definite relation that the Devil seems to have with numbers.