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Saturday, June 15, 2019
Discussion of Number of the Beast
666: What Does It REALLY Mean?
ReligionForBreakfast | 13.VI.2019
1:52 "both Greeks and Hebrews believed that every letter had a corresponding number"
In fact, it is not a matter of belief but of a then current usage. They didn't have Arabic numerals, and Roman numerals were clumsy for the purpose, since most letters had no number value.
As current as in our day ASCII, which for each visible sign (and some non-screen visible ones, commands) has a binary number with a number value ... the visible signs generally reaching from 32 (space) and upward. A to Z have values 65 to 90, a to z 97 to 122. Accented letters have higher values.
2:03 You know one other guy whose name gave 666 in gematria of the Greek alphabet?
Or, if you prefer, isopsephia.
Now, here is a vocative, possibly also genitive.
Yes, modern Greek spells him NEPBAC, but back then it was NEPOYAC.
He was emperor when St John was captive on Patmos, and it was his predecessor, Domitian, who had put St John there after failing to kill him by boiling in oil.
Now, Nerva did not become a very eager persecutor. He freed John from Patmos and he abdicated before dying.
He was probably also the first recipient of the text of Apocalypse, and he probably made the copies to the seven Churches (St. John himself carrying the one to Ephesus).
How so? If you are emperor or other ruler and exile someone to an island, who is a communicator you don't like, it makes sense to allow letters from him only to yourself.
He should be able to apply for grace ... not communicate with the guys you want to suppress.
So, first reader of Apocalypse should have been Nerva. And he seems to have got nervous about persecuting Christians, so, St. John was a free man, and letters were delivered.
3:39 "there is no evidence" - discounting Eusebius, of course ... going along with evaluations by Merrill, Thompson, Willborn.
4:26 Yes, there are manuscripts writing 616 instead of 666.
However, this reading is explicitly refused by St Irenaeus, who came from Asia Minor, where St John had died.
Nero himself back then being the culprit is also excluded by Sts Irenaeus and Hippolytus both referring to a future Antichrist near the end of time.
If Nero were a real candidate to St Irenaeus, why was he excluding 616?
Here are the thing with Hebrew / Greek gematria.
Nero 666 or 616.
Domition, scot free.
And ASCII : Nero and Nerva scot free, Domitian has a vocative DOMITIANE
5:18 "conspiracy theories and predictions of the future"
1) You don't know St John meant Nero, it is an educated guess, but still a guess
2) Predictions of the future are NOT conspiracy theories.
It's a huge difference between believing in Illuminati and believing in Harmageddon.
You may believe in both, I tend to do so, but they are two different types of belief. Believing in Illuminati is a conspiracy theory, believing in upcoming Harmageddon is a prediction of the future. Believing the one is believing some people have been clever and justified in their second guessing of events and known networks, believing the other is believing Christ revealed Apocalypse to St. John.
5:51 The one actually brushing aside the historical context is in fact you.
St Irenaeus and St Hippolytus are near contemporaries to Apocalypse, they take it as precisely a prediction of the future.
You live 1900 years later, you believe it was a polemic with only back then current events being relevant, no predictions of a far future which could be coinciding with our time.
You are not the historical context, neither are the guys second guessing it, Sts Irenaeus and Hippolytus are.