Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: 666 and Nero (was Response to Mr. Nordgreen)

Expand Messages
  • Ian Paul
    ... is ... Indeed. But why should misuse of enumeration by others rule out its proper use if that was a possibility for the author or first audience? As you
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Ed Garcia wrote:
      >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
      >surprise.

      Indeed. But why should misuse of enumeration by others rule out its proper
      use if that was a possibility for the author or first audience? As you say
      later, we know that this was very widespread in different cultures within
      the ancient world, and there is much evidence of the use of various forms of
      numerology (including this kind) elsewhere in Revelation.
      >
      >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.

      ..and yet every stage of this has ancient precedent. The values used in this
      enumeration are widespread; the addition of the nun in spelling of Nero is
      found in a contemporary papyrus (at Murabba'at); the enumeration in Hebrew
      of words in Greek occurs in 3 Baruch (which probably comes from a similar
      period to Revelation) and elsewhere in Revelation itself (in 21.17 the
      phrase 'human measure' parallels 'human number' in 13.18, but here it is the
      number of an angel, not of a beast. 'Beast' = 666 in this enumeration;
      'angel' = 144). I am not sure what you mean by 'translating the result into
      Greek'.

      It may all sound highly contrived--but it appears to be just the sort of
      contrivance that John and his readers would have been familiar with.

      >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
      >numbers.

      I would be interested to know of any other enumeration that could account
      for both the majority reading and the textual variant in one go.

      >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.

      Not so. This solution does require that we calculate the number of the beast
      'therion', which is 666, and isopsephia is precisely about calculating the
      numbers of names (note that the word for 'calculate' used here is a
      cognate). To be sure, the other name is not given, but is not this which
      requires wisdom?

      >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?

      Jesus climbs up an 'oros' in Matt 5, yet the significance is rather more
      literary/theological than geographical.

      Over to you...

      Ian Paul
      .......................
      Revd Dr Ian Paul 32 Penn Hill Avenue, Poole, Dorset BH14 9LZ
      01202 745963 fax 01202 385539
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.