05/01/2005: I hate it when we get the important stuff wrong like that....
According to a team of classicists working on newly deciphered manuscripts, it appears that we've been using the wrong Number of the Beast all these years.
A newly discovered fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament indicates that, as far as the Antichrist goes, theologians, scholars, heavy metal groups, and television evangelists have got the wrong number. Instead of 666, it's actually the far less ominous 616.On the other hand, I guess that means that it's now official: 616 (the Grand Rapids, MI area) is now The Area Code Of The Beast.
The new fragment from the Book of Revelation, written in ancient Greek and dating from the late third century, is part of a hoard of previously unintelligible manuscripts discovered in historic dumps outside Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Now a team of expert classicists, using new photographic techniques, are finally deciphering the original writing.
Professor David Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, thinks that 616, although less memorable than 666, is the original. He said: "This is an example of gematria, where numbers are based on the numerical values of letters in people's names. Early Christians would use numbers to hide the identity of people who they were attacking: 616 refers to the Emperor Caligula."
Len on 05.01.05 @ 07:37 PM CST