The Mark of the Beast | 666 or 616

Is the Mark of the Beast 666 or 616?


Dan Wallace

April 29, 2007

There has been a flurry of interest in the number of the Beast in Canadian and American newspapers of late. The reason for the interest is that the Beast’s number might not be 666.

A few years ago, a papyrus of Revelation was discovered. It was badly damaged, having only about twenty fragments that spanned nine chapters. One fragment, in particular, is of interest. About the size of a postage stamp, it includes part of Revelation 13.18. There we read, “This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, and his number is 666” (NET Bible). But the papyrus (known as P115) has a different number here: 616.

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Gregg F. Swift, J.D.