RE: [revelation-list] Response to Mr. Nordgreen
>Point (3) No, I do not see Nero in either 666 or 616.Could you say a little more about this?
One of the problems with using isopsephia or gematria to solve the riddle is
that you can get just about any name out of any string of numbers. This
accounts for the wide variety of oftentimes fantastic solutions, everything
from Computer to Kissinger, to Martin Luther to the Pope. So the fact that
one can also construe Nero from the number of the beast comes as no
As for the solution 'Nero' itself, one nagging problem for me is that (and
my complaint does not originate with me) is that to arrive at the solution
you must take a Latin name, transliterate it into Hebrew, add an extra
letter (a nun if I remember correctly), calculate the numerical value and
then translate the result into Greek. This to me sounds highly contrived.
Apologies if I have
mis-presented the solution. Some may argue that this is what John means
when he calls for one with wisdom. But I don't think so. As I stated earlier
it just proves to me that with enough tinkering you can get just about any
name out of any string of numbers.
Then there's the variant 616. That one can get Nero out of a variant number
again does not surprise me...again just about any name out of any string of
Rev. 13:18a reads 'Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate
the number of the beast,'. The prophecy tells us to 'calculate the number
of the beast'. Isopsephia and gematria calculate a name. We are told to
calculate a number not a name and we are given the number to calculate. With
the Gematria/Isophesia approach it is as though John were saying 'here is a
number, now come up with the name I have in mind.' It would be similar to a
math teacher giving a number to his students and then saying, 'now come up
with the problem I have in mind.'
I do not believe that isopsephia or gematria provide the answer we need.
However they should be kept in mind as examples of how many of the ancients
were fond of ciphers involving words, letters and their corresponding
numbers. For we know that the Greeks, the Hebrews and the Romans were much
practiced in this area. We should keep such History in the back of our mind
as we ponder the number of the beast.
And since I was asked to further comment, one thing still bugs me. I do not
feel that I received a response to what I believe is a very legitimate
question. Namely, why do many expositors understand the Gk. 'oros' in 11:9
as hill and understand it as mountain everywhere else? In this case I do not
believe I am over-stressing a point. The only answer I can see is that it
suits a pre-conceived notion. I consider this to be a very valid question
because it involves a critical verse upon which much rides.
Thanks again for you thoughts and comments.
From: Ian Paul [mailto:ian.b.paul@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Response to Mr. Nordgreen
Ed Garcia wrote:
>Point (3) No, I do not see Nero in either 666 or 616.Could you say a little more about this? The solution of 'Nero[n] Caesar
[Kaisar]' has powerful exegetical credentials, in that:
1. It follows the widespread pattern in both isopsephia and gematria of
equating two things with equal numerical value and so identifying them.
Here, 'beast' (therion) has value 666 when translilterated from Greek to
Hebrew, as does 'Neron Kaisar', and this is the basis of the identification.
2. It makes sense of the variant reading. Taking the genetive theriou and
losing the final 'n' from Nero both give the alternative enumeration of 616.
(Note also that the longer Neron does have the support of contemporary
All this is set out very persuasively by Richard Bauckham in his 'The Climax
of Prophecy' and his CUP 'Theology of the Book of Revelation.'
I have always thought that an alternative understanding to this would need
some very good support.
Revd Dr Ian Paul 32 Penn Hill Avenue, Poole, Dorset BH14 9LZ
01202 745963 fax 01202 385539
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