From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
666 is not the mark of the beast. It is really 616
Here - a Denver Post staff writer speculates whether nazis, anarchists, the 'antiglobalization movement', or the counterculture will have riots and demonstrations on June 6, 2006, due to the alignment of this day's numbers with the Mark of the Beast - 666. It is too bad that he was not informed about the most recent translation of the Book of Revelation indicates that the Mark of the Beast is really 661, and June 1, 1916, not to mention year 616, year 1616, all passed without satanism.
Ann Coulter actually is going to release a book called 'Godless' on June 6th.
Ann Coulter actually is going to release a book called 'Godless' on June 6th.
"it would necessarily involve neo-Nazi, white- supremacist types. Rather it could be "anarchists and anti-globalists" who are tied into the counterculture and relish "the chance to stick their thumb in the eye of the establishment," he said."
Satanists, apocalypse watchers and heavy metal guitarists may have to adjust their demonic numerology after a recently deciphered ancient biblical text revealed that 666 is not the fabled Number of the Beast after all.
A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, dating to the Third century, gives the more mundane 616 as the mark of the Antichrist.
Ellen Aitken, a professor of early Christian history at McGill University, said the discovery appears to spell the end of 666 as the devil's prime number.
"This is a very nice piece to find," Dr. Aitken said. "Scholars have argued for a long time over this, and it now seems that 616 was the original number of the beast."
The tiny fragment of 1,500-year-old papyrus is written in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, and contains a key passage from the Book of Revelation.
Where more conventional versions of the Bible give 666 as the "number of the beast," or the sign of the anti-Christ whose coming is predicted in the book's apocalyptic verses, the older version uses the Greek letters signifying 616.
"This is very early confirmation of that number, earlier than any other text we've found of that passage," Dr. Aitken said. "It's probably about 100 years before any other version."
The fragment was part of a hoard of previously illegible manuscripts discovered in an ancient garbage dump outside the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus. Although the papyrus was first excavated in 1895, it was badly discoloured and damaged. Classics scholars at Oxford University were only recently able to read it using new advanced imaging techniques.
Elijah Dann, a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Toronto, said the new number is unlikely to make a dent in the popularity of 666.
"Otherwise, a lot of sermons would have to be changed and a lot of movies rewritten," he said with a laugh. "There's always someone with an active imagination who can put another interpretation on it.
"It just shows you that when you study something as cryptic and mystic as the Book of Revelation there's an almost unlimited number of interpretations."
The book is thought to have been written by the disciple John and according to the King James Bible, the traditional translation of the passage reads: "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, responds to this article
Wedding couples pick the 'Devil's date'
Bible Contradictions and Other Difficulties
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F.F. Bruce
The Beast of Revelation
Is the Antichrist Alive Today?
101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions about the End Times
Interpreting the Symbols and Types
But Dr. Aitken said that translation was drawn from much later versions of the New Testament than the fragment found in Oxyrhynchus. "When we're talking about the early biblical texts, we're always talking about copies and they are copies made, at best, 150 to 200 years after [the original] was written," she said.
"They can have mistakes in the copying, changes for political or theological reasons ... it's like a detective story piecing it all together."
Dr. Aitken said, however, that 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.
"It's a number puzzle -- the majority opinion seems to be that it refers to [the Roman emperor] Nero."
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."
"666" sense: Date marked with caution
While some say June 6, 2006, is a day to fear for its biblical significance, officials see little to dread.
By Howard Pankratz
Denver Post Staff Writer
With June 6, 2006, rapidly approaching, authorities in Colorado and elsewhere are carefully watching to see if that date - 6/6/06 - spurs demonstrations or violent activity.
They are aware that 666 signifies the Mark of the Beast or the Antichrist to some organizations and believe June 6 is a date that could trigger problems.
"It's been a conscious question among some of our folks, so they've been on the lookout for something," said Lance Clem, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. "But they haven't seen anything."
Even so, some local police are being vigilant.
"The bottom line is that our intelligence unit is familiar with 666 and its significance, but we don't have any information about anything taking place in Colorado Springs," said Lt. Rafael Cintron of the Colorado Springs Police Department. "However, we are certainly keeping our feelers out to see if anything is happening."
Some dates and anniversaries can be calls to action for white supremacists, racists, and conspiracy and prophecy theorists.
April 19, for example, is the anniversary of the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the raid on white separatist Randy Weaver's home at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
The Number of the Beast, 666, is mentioned in the Bible's book of Revelation and is believed by some to be when the Antichrist will exercise power over Earth.
The Internet is full of websites that predict terrible things could happen June 6.
One website warns that the "Bible Code says 2006 A.D. is the Year of the Beast" and predicts that the Antichrist will reveal himself. It also says there may be a holy war against Israel and that the United States and Russia would be drawn into a dangerous conflict as a result.
Several major law enforcement agencies in the Denver metro area have seen no signs of trouble and aren't planning to beef up manpower.
Since 1970, there have been 60 terrorist attacks on June 6, with just one in the U.S., according to the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City.
Ellis, the institute's research and program coordinator, said he has seen nothing to indicate anything bad will happen June 6.
If something does develop, Ellis does not believe it would necessarily involve neo-Nazi, white- supremacist types. Rather it could be "anarchists and anti-globalists" who are tied into the counterculture and relish "the chance to stick their thumb in the eye of the establishment," he said.
Laird Wilcox, a Kansas-based expert on domestic extremist groups, believes dates can be overemphasized. He cites in particular the concern about the year 2000.
"What I see happening is something like the millennium controversy where everybody was talking about it and then nothing happened," he said. "I think this has occurred on every anniversary. Everybody anticipates some catastrophe, and nothing ever occurs."
But Kerry Noble, a Texas businessman whose life has changed dramatically since the days he was second in command of a paramilitary religious group known as the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, said June 6 carries much significance to fringe groups that may be looking to make a statement.
"Numbers are important in the movement," Noble said. "So anything you could interpret as being symbolic would be even more important. So a symbolic date like June 6 of this year, being 666, would have the equivalence of a 9/11 date or an April 19 date."
Staff writer Howard Pankratz can be reached at 303-820-1939 or hpankratz [at] denverpost.com.
"Omen" film promoters, Ann Coulter and Radio Free Satan all look forward to June 6.
Anyone living and driving in L.A. the past few weeks has seen them. Looming over the city, black and ominous, the billboards and posters announce "You Have Been Warned" and "The Signs Are All Around You." Each is anchored with the date "6/6/06."
Drop the "0," and you get 666. That's "the number of the beast," according to the New Testament's Book of Revelation, just one of many interpretations though all of them are dark and frightening. For some Armageddon believers, it represents the date upon which the Antichrist will spread universal evil over the Earth.
For marketers, 666 has also become an ideal date — to launch movies, records, books and other products or events, particularly those with religious undertones. In the case of 20th Century Fox, which is responsible for the omnipresent apocalyptic ad campaign, it's a once-in-a-century opportunity to unleash the remake of "The Omen," about a couple and their devil incarnate spawn. For Crown Forum publishers, it's a perfect time to fan the flames of ideological controversy with the release of provocative author Ann Coulter's new book, "Godless." For certain musical groups, it is the date to release records and, in the case of heavy-metal legends Slayer, their Unholy Alliance Tour — Preaching to the Perverted.
"People have different reactions when they hear 666," said Jeffrey Godsick, executive vice president of marketing for 20th Century Fox. "It's partly superstition, partly fear, partly reality, maybe it's a little cultural. These numbers seem to have a significant impact."
Beast's real mark devalued to '616'
Bible scholar responds to article on 'the number of the Beast'
Wedding couples pick the 'Devil's date'
What is the meaning of 666?
Interpreting the Bible's Symbols and Types
A month ago, Fox first launched "The Omen" campaign with airplanes towing "You Have Been Warned" banners above key spring break cities. They definitely didn't go unnoticed — 911 operators and the FBI fielded a flurry of calls from terrified, bikini-clad beachgoers. In Panama City, Fla., a fighter jet was even dispatched to escort one of the planes down.
Coulter's book probably won't have the military on alert, though it is likely to get political left-leaners up in arms. That won't have as much to do with the release date as what she's had to say about it. In an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News two weeks ago, the bestselling author of "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)" and "Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right" said the release date of "Godless" was her "little tribute to liberals."
According to Crown Senior Vice President and Publisher Steve Ross, the release date was selected before the book was even named and was, predominantly, a marketing decision. June 6 falls on a Tuesday this year and Crown, which releases all its titles on Tuesdays, wanted to ensure that Coulter's "most explosive book yet" came out "early enough in the summer to be one of the summer books that people would be reading."
Now that June 6 has been construed as 666, Crown is, of course, happy to ride on Satan's, er, "The Omen's" coattails. 20th Century Fox, Ross said, "is doing our ad campaign for us."
Tuesdays are also the days albums are released. And while there are plenty of satanically unaffiliated artists' albums whose June 6 release date are entirely coincidental — for example, electronic artist Paul Oakenfold's "A Lively Mind" and David Lee Roth's "Strummin' With the Devil" — others, such as the death metal group Deicide, are taking full advantage. On June 6, the Florida quartet, renowned as much for a statement it issued in support of animal sacrifice as its music, will release "The Stench of Redemption."
Deicide isn't the only satanic group to celebrate the date. The online radio station Radio Free Satan, based in Chicago, is heading to Los Angeles, where it plans to celebrate its sixth year and also ring in the "sin-tennial" with Satan's Rockin' 666 Eve at Zen Sushi in Silver Lake.
The Anton LaVey-founded Church of Satan is hosting a satanic high mass at the Steve Allen Theater, during which Church of Satan High Priest Peter H. Gilmore will bestow his blessing upon those assembled to, as Gilmore puts it, "champion reason, pluralism, skepticism and abundant joy in life."
June 6, 2006, is nothing to be feared, said Gilmore.
"It is just a day, like any other," Gilmore said.
"We think it's entertaining that it concerns people, but it is no more rational or plausible than avoiding stepping on cracks."
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!
If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.
Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.
Search Indybay's Archives Advanced Search
► ▼ IMC Network
"Malachi 2:1-4: And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, ... behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces."
No matter what figures you throw around it all adds up to a load of superstitious nonsense.