666 is NOT the number of the beast

Mirabilis carries the story of the earliest fragment of Revelation. It also answers the question of Who is 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.”

originally from The Independent which requires registration

Note: I am not sure that 666 is actually the wrong number. One source, even if it is older, is unlikely to refute the evidence of the other sources. That particular piece could have been altered to give a number that made sense to the people of the time.

Also, if they are deciphering previously unintelligible sources with new photography, are they sure they are getting the right pictures?

And a question: what are the written differences in the original between 666 and 616? Not being a Greek scholar, sorry Mr. Johnston, I don’t even know if this was written out or not.