- The dreaded date June 6, 2006 (6-6-6)
has many expectant mothers-to-be becoming hysterical when they learned
that their child who was scheduled to be born on that terrible day and
might, indeed, be the Antichrist.
- The association of the number 666 with
the Antichrist is derived from Revelation 13:18, in which John the Revelator
is told that that the number of the Beast is 666 and that this number stands
for a person.
- If your child is to be delivered on June
6th, relax. Your baby is not the Antichrist.
- However, if your progeny is born on June
16th, some folks will probably warn you to keep an eye on the little tot
as he or she grows to adolescence. Or maybe the demonic tyke has already
been born on June 1st. It all depends on how you want to read the numbers
- On May 1, 2005, scholars revealed that
a newly discovered fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament,
dating from the third century, indicates that later translators got it
wrong: the Number of the Beast is 616. David Parker, professor of New Testament
textual criticism and paleography at the University of Birmingham, has
said that the numerical value of The Beast given to John in Revelation
should actually be 616.
- Those among you who never attended Sunday
School or who have managed to surf past evangelical or fundamentalist Christian
preachers warning about the Antichrist from their televised pulpits are
asking, what's the big deal about this mysterious figure?
- Although Jesus makes it very clear that
no one knows the hour or day of his Second Coming, some Christian scholars
have steadfastly viewed the rise of the Antichrist to earthly power as
a kind of catalyst that will set in motion Armageddon, the final battle
between good and evil, the ultimate clash between the armies of Jesus Christ
- Although commonly associated with the
apocalyptic New Testament book of Revelation, the word antichrist is nowhere
to be found within that text. In 1 John 2:18, the epistle writer declares
that the "enemy of Christ" has manifested and that many false
teachers have infiltrated the Christian ranks. In verse 22, John names
as the Antichrist anyone who would deny Jesus as the Christ and the Father
and the Son, and in 2 John 7 he declares that there are many deceivers
already at work among the faithful.
- The earliest form of the Antichrist is
probably the warrior king Gog, who appears in the book of Ezekiel and reappears
in Revelation along with his kingdom of Magog, representing those earthly
minions of Satan who will attack the people of God in a final great battle
of good versus evil. Jewish writings about the "end of days"
state that the armies of Gog and Magog will eventually be defeated and
the world will finally be at peace.
- In the prophecies of both Daniel and
John the Revelator, the evil king, the Antichrist, is associated with ten
rulers who give their power and allegiance to him in order to form a short-lived
empire of bloodshed and destruction: "And the ten horns of this kingdom
are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them, and
he shall be diverse . . . and speak great words against the most high God
and shall wear down the saints of the Highest One and think to make changes
in times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand for three and
one half years" (Daniel 7:24).
- Throughout the centuries, Christians
have attempted to determine the Antichrist from among the powerful and
ruthless leaders of their day.
- It seems, though, that contemporary scholarship
solved the mystery quite some time ago. In John the Revelator's world of
the first century, the Beast who ruled the earth would have been the emperor,
the caesar, of the Roman Empire, Nero. Using the Hebrew alphabet, the numerical
value of "Caesar Nero," the merciless persecutor of the early
Christians, works out to the number 666. In 2005, David Parker, professor
of New Testament at the University of Birmingham, said that while earlier
translators gave the numerical value of The Beast to Nero, the correct
number, 616, refers to another nemesis of the early Christians, the emperor
Caligula. With Nero and Caligula long turned to dust, no one should have
to worry any longer about the Beast 666 appearing to bring about Armageddon.
- This, however, seems not to be the case.
Those who maintain that the number 666 is still a potent predictor of the
Antichrist will continue to name their contemporary candidates for the
- The numerical value of Franklin Delano
Roosevelt's name reportedly added up to 666, and since he held the office
of president of the United States for twelve years-and during the Great
Depression and World War II-many of his conservative Christian critics
began thinking of him as the Antichrist. And even Ronald Wilson Reagan,
who in the estimation of many political analysts was one of our nation's
most popular presidents, had certain dissenters calling attention to the
fact that he had six letters in each of his three names-666.
- In recent decades, the term of Antichrist
has been applied to so many individuals in popular culture that it has
lost much of sense of menace. However, those fundamentalist Christians
who believe strongly in the coming time of the Tribulation, the Apocalypse,
the Rapture, and the great final battle of good versus evil at Armageddon
firmly believe that the title of Antichrist maintains its fear factor and
that we must pay serious heed to the signs and warnings of the Beast as
prophesied in the book of Revelation.