This a part of a series…
- Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left
- I believe that this is where we now stand
- Armageddon, Gog and Magog
- antichrist – Matthew 23, 24 and 25
- 666 the number of the beast
- antichrist – Luke 21
This is the passage…
15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
In it we can read a few keys which we should look for
- “it is the number of a man” – we are looking for a man, a flesh and blood man, not a spirit
- that person’s “number” is 666
- the number can be “calculated”
- this person will stop people from trading unless they have his “mark”
Ok… so let’s find a “man” who has a “name which can be calculated”… and according to 1 John 2:18 was coming and according to 1 John 4:3 was ALREADY in the world AT THAT TIME.
666 or 616?
“The number of a man. That number is 666.” Really? According to the excellent Wikipedia article “Number of the Beast” many manuscripts give a different number: 616.
The Number of the Beast is described in the passage of Revelation 13:15–18 and the actual number is only mentioned once, in verse 18. In the Greek manuscripts, the number is rendered in Greek numerical form as χξϛʹ, or sometimes literally as ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, hexakósioi hexēkonta héx, “six hundred and sixty-six”.
Although Irenaeus (2nd century AD) affirmed the number to be 666 and reported several scribal errors of the number, there is still doubt by a minority of theologians about the original reading because of the figure 616 being given in two of the best manuscripts: C (Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Paris), by the Latin version of Tyconius (DCXVI, ed. Souter in the Journal of Theology, SE, April 1913), and by an ancient Armenian version (ed. Conybaere, 1907). … ” The NRSV translation for Rev 13:18 includes this translation note: “Other ancient authorities read six hundred and sixteen”. Around 2005, a fragment from Papyrus 115, taken from the Oxyrhynchus site, was discovered at the Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum. It gave the beast’s number as 616. This fragment happens to be the oldest manuscript (about 1,700 years old) of Revelation 13 to date. Another manuscript attesting to 616, even before the P115 finding, is the later Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C, a palimpsest). This text has 616 written in full: ἑξακόσιοι δέκα ἕξ, hexakosioi deka hex (lit. “six hundred and sixteen”). Papyrus 115 and Ephraemi Rescriptus has led some scholars to conclude that 616 is the original number of the beast.
NOTE: So now we are looking for a man whose name can be calculated to be either 666 or 616. Ok, is there anyone who was alive at that time (before AD70) who fits the bill?
Preterist theologians typically support the numerical interpretation that 666 is the equivalent of the name and title, Nero Caesar (Roman Emperor from 54-68). …
An Aramaic scroll from Murabba’at, dated to “the second year of Emperor Nero”, refers to him by his name and title. In Greek it is Nrwn Qsr(Pronounced “Nerōn Kaisar”). In Latin it is Nro Qsr (Pronounced “Nerō Kaisar”).
- Nrwn Qsr
The Greek version of the name and title transliterates into Hebrew as נרונ קסר , and yields a numerical value of 666, as shown:
Resh (ר) Samekh (ס) Qoph (ק) Nun (נ) Vav (ו) Resh (ר) Nun (נ) Sum 200 60 100 50 6 200 50 666
- Nro Qsr
The Latin version of the name drops the second Nun o that it appears as Nro and transliterates into Hebrew as נרו קסר , yielding 616:
Resh (ר) Samekh (ס) Qoph (ק) Vav (ו) Resh (ר) Nun (נ) Sum 200 60 100 6 200 50 616
So Nero was man who had a name which can be calculated to be both 616 and 666.
St Augustine of Hippo
From the Wikipedia article on Nero
In 422, Augustine of Hippo wrote about 2 Thessalonians 2:1–11, where he believed Paul mentioned the coming of the Antichrist. Though he rejects the theory, Augustine mentions that many Christians believed that Nero was the Antichrist or would return as the Antichrist. He wrote, so that in saying, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work,” he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds of Antichrist.
Shortly to take place
In Rev. 1:1 there is a warning about the events that were “shortly” to take place. This was before AD70 when Revelations was written.
Blasphemies against God
In Rev. 13:5-8, the Beast was given a mouth speaking in blasphemies against God and His Name. Inscriptions have been found in Ephesus in which Nero is called “Almighty God” and “Savior”.
In Rev. 17:10 it says
They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. – Rev 17:10
The phrase “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come” clearly shows that the book of Revelation was written during the reign of the “one is” – after the five and before the one which was still to come. If we can find a list of those kinds we will know for sure when the book of Revelations was written.
Suetonius’ and Josephus’ enumeration of the emperors was: Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius (the five kings who have fallen at the time that John is writing), Nero (one “who is”), and Galba – one who “has not yet come, but when he does come, he must remain for a little while” – six months.
More about Galba from Wikipedia
Galba was Roman Emperor for seven months from 68 to69. After Nero’s suicide, Galba assumed the title of Caesar, and marched straight for Rome. Following Nero’s death, Nymphidius Sabinus sought to seize power prior to the arrival of Galba, but he could not win the loyalty of the Praetorian guard and was killed. Upon Galba’s approach to the city in October, he was met by soldiers presenting demands; Galba replied by killing many of them.
Therefore we now know that the book of Revelations was written in AD68 to 69 right before the destruction of the Second Temple.
7 hills and the harlot woman
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. – Rev 13:1 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. – Rev 17:9
Rome was known in antiquity as the city of seven hills
The Seven Hills of Rome (Italian: Sette colli di Roma) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within thewalls of the ancient city. The seven hills are:
The number of a man which can be caclutated, the 7 hills, the 7 kings,m the dating of those kings… it all points to Nero. Add in that St Augustine of Hippo wrote that Christians at that time believed that Nero’s behavior indicated that he was the antichrist.