616, not 666 ?
The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus is the oldest known copy of the Book of Revelation.
Close examination of this fragment indicates the mark of the beast is 616, not 666.
With all the theories out there about who the Antichrist is, I wonder how this affects those theories.
Is this interpretation of this ancient fragment correct?
Sources # 1
Rather than interpreting the mark of the beast found in Revelation 13:18 as either Greek or Aramaic, consider the possibility that the mark was passed down from an even more remote time in the form of Proto-Sinaitic script, the original Hebrew alphabet.
By interpreting these as ancient Hebrew letters [ie, not Greek] we discover a complete message that gives a clear and unmistakable warning.
Each letter in the ancient Hebrew Proto-Sinaitic alphabet had a distinctive meaning; they not only gave a phonic sound to construct words, but also contained a conceptual meaning found in the symbol itself.
This part of the text has traditionally been interpreted as “666”, but in the original text we see it says “616” in Greek letters.
In the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus the symbols are similar to our letters X, I, and C, and if interpreted as Greek letters they give an ambiguous number, leading to endless speculation.
We need to find out what the symbols X, I, and C mean.
In the ancient Hebrew these letters are Tav, Vav, and Lamed, written with the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet.
This ancient form of Hebrew is the oldest written language, and the origin of all alphabetic languages used in the world today.
Hebrew tradition says that this language was used before the tower of Babel, and was used all the way back to the time of Adam.
The oldest Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions found so far date to 1900 BC. Here is what the Proto-Sinaitic letters represent:
X – Tav: is a mark or sign, also written as a cross +
I – Vav: means to attach, like a peg or nail, or fixed into like a hook in a fish.
C – Lamed: means to direct, as in giving instructions, like the goad used to herd oxen. The verb form of Lamed means to prick or puncture as in using a sharp object to pierce the skin.
The question at this point is why would there be letters from the ancient Hebrew language embedded in a Greek text.
The following quotes found in the Bible and the ancient mystic book called the Zohar, provide the connection that associates the X and I symbols to the mark of Cain.
Gen 4:15 … ” And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”
Remember X (Tav) means a mark or a sign in ancient Hebrew!
Remember the verb form of C “Lamed” means to puncture or pierce the skin!
This was not part of the mark per say, but the action taken to apply the mark.
The following chart shows the ancient Proto-Sinaitic alphabet in column 2.
Note the little circle at the top of the I and C in the fragment above.
The little circles at the top of the I and the C in the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus are deliberate.
The symbols decipher to mean: A mark, attached like a peg or hook, as a means to direct or control, applied by a piercing of the skin.
The mark that protected Cain was the X (Tau), which is the cross…..so it will be for us as well.
Source # 2:
It consists of 12 fragments of a papyrus codex which contains parts of the Book of Revelation.
It dates from the mid to late third century, around 225-275 CE.
This particular manuscript was not deciphered and published until the end of the twentieth century and is currently housed at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
A curiosity of this text is that it gives “the number of the beast” as 616 (chi, iota, sigma (ΧΙϚ)), rather than the majority text — 666 (chi, xi, sigma (ΧΞϚ)).
If the letters are Hebrew, then the numeric value would be different from that if the numbers were in Greek.
Tav – vav – lamed =
lamed – vav- tav ( since it reads from right to left) =
30 + 6 + 400 = 436
We have certain choices here:
1. the mark/number is 666
2. the mark/number is 616
3. if the mark is, cryptically, Hebrew letters, and not Greek, then the numeric value is 436