Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

June 6 Focuses Attention on "666" Superstitions

June 02, 2006
"Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six." (Revelation 13:16-18, New Revised Standard Version)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The number 666 — the "number of the beast," according to the Book of Revelation — conjures devilish images for many, so forecasts of evil, even doom, are rampant regarding dates or places where the number occurs, including next Tuesday, June 6, or 6-6-06.

Fears of 666, long believed to be the dreaded mark of Satan, are based on a "widespread misinterpretation" of the chapter in Revelation — appropriately, chapter 13 — in which the number is discussed, according to a University at Buffalo expert on the origins, nature and meaning of cults, superstitions and cultural identities.

Phillips Stevens, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, explains that "like most superstitions, the avoidance of the numbers 13 and 666 are examples of magical thinking.

"People everywhere believe that things associated with other things, through actual contact or just some similarity, have causal relationships, even over space and time," Stevens says. "Things associated with good events or great people can bring good fortune; things associated with failure, disastrous events or evil people carry some of that negativity with them."

And, like many superstitions, the one regarding 666 is based on incorrect data: the "beast" referred to in the chapter is not Satan, but, in fact, several other entities.

"Revelation is a complex and confusing book, and is rarely read closely by lay people. Biblical scholars have pointed out that there are several 'beasts,' in Chapter 13 and elsewhere, and they all refer variously to Rome, Roman emperors and Roman cults of god- and emperor-worship," Stevens says.

"Revelation" author, John of Patmos, traditionally believed to be St. John the Apostle, was writing to other persecuted Christians in code, according to Stevens, so "many of the strange elements in 'Revelation' signify events, people or institutions familiar to first-century Christians.

"The mark of the beast, 666, signifies those in thrall to the emperor and thus opposed to Christianity, and is most probably the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters for Nero," Stevens says.

The First and Second Letters of John use the term "Antichrist" to denote lapsed Christians. Over subsequent centuries, the legend developed that the "end times" would be foreshadowed by the arrival of the Antichrist, an evil figure commissioned by Satan to prepare the world for his coming.

"Many perceived enemies of Christianity have been labeled the Antichrist, and Nero was one of the first," Stevens says, adding that there is an ever-growing, ever-changing list of persons considered the Antichrist that features "a long string of mostly historical figures — Saladin was on the list, as was Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. The list varies according to who compiles it. Early Reformation-era Protestants had some popes on their list."

Chapter 13 in Revelation declares that the Antichrist was empowered by Satan, who is described as a dragon.

"So, although 'the beast' is not Satan, in Christian tradition 'the mark of the beast' was authorized by Satan," Stevens says. "And so, like that other Christian superstition, Friday the 13th — from the Last Supper, where there were 13 people at the table, and the Crucifixion occurred the next day, a Friday — 666 has become a strong taboo, avoided because of its negative association."

Generations have shunned the number to the point that it is erased or changed if and when it appears, Stevens notes. Authorities have re-numbered various U.S. highways previously numbered 666, and the town of Bel Air, Calif., changed the 666 street number of the house that President Ronald Reagan purchased upon leaving Washington, D.C.

Beyond mere superstition, many others believe conspiracy theories that have cropped up regarding the number 666, Stevens adds.

"They believe the sinister number 666 is encoded in our nation's banking system, in our medical and governmental records, and in our very identity, in personal documents and in UPC bar codes — this latter is evidence of the fulfillment of Revelation prophecy," he says.

No surprise, then, that someone has found a way to make money off all these fears: coming soon is a remake of the 1976 horror film, "The Omen," the story of a modern-day birth of an Antichrist figure in the form of an evil boy named Damien (the original starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick). Producers have scheduled the movie's release date for — when else? — next Tuesday, June 6, 2006.

Perhaps tickets should be sold for $6.66?

The University at Buffalo


Related 666 Current Events and 666 News Articles


UEA research reveals catastrophic loss of Cambodia's tropical flooded grasslands
The seasonally flooded grasslands around the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, are of great importance for biodiversity and a refuge for 11 globally-threatened bird species. They are also a vital fishing, grazing, and traditional rice farming resource for around 1.1 million people.

Top risk of stroke for normal-weight adults: Getting under 6 hours of sleep
Habitually sleeping less than six hours a night significantly increases the risk of stroke symptoms among middle-age to older adults who are of normal weight and at low risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study of 5,666 people followed for up to three years.

Report using private health claims data shows prices are driving health spending growth
Rising prices for care were the chief driver of health care costs for privately insured Americans in 2010, according to the first report from the newly formed Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

Can sound science guide dispersant use during subsea oil spills?
Two years ago this week, oil began streaming from the seafloor into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform.

Women with certain type of ovarian cancer and BRCA gene mutation have improved survival at 5 years
Among women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, patients having a germline (gene change in a reproductive cell that could be passed to offspring) mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes was associated with improved 5-year overall survival, with BRCA2 carriers having the best prognosis.

African-American women with gestational diabetes face high long-term diabetes risk
African American women who develop gestational diabetes mellitus during pregnancy face a 52 percent increased risk of developing diabetes in the future compared to white women who develop GDM during pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the journal Diabetologia.

Woman with a higher social standing and educational attainment breastfeed for longer
New research analyses maternal breastfeeding in Spain throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Experts believe that its development is associated with socio-demographic factors such as the advice of healthcare professionals, longer maternity leave, a woman's integration into the workplace and her level of education.

Census of Marine Life celebrates 'decade of discovery'
The Census of Marine Life, a ten-year initiative to describe the distribution and diversity of ocean life, draws to a close today with a celebration, symposium and press conference in London.

Uninsured More Likely to Die from Trauma than Patients with Insurance, Study Finds
Trauma patients without insurance are more likely to die of their injuries from auto accidents and gunshot wounds than privately insured patients with similar injuries, according to findings of an analysis of 193,804 patients from 649 facilities conducted by University Buffalo emergency medicine physicians.

Transplant drug 2-year study outcomes show superior kidney function
Two-year results from phase III clinical trials show the experimental immunosuppressive drug belatacept can better preserve kidney function in kidney transplant recipients while preventing graft rejection when compared with the standard immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine.
More 666 Current Events and 666 News Articles

666

666
by Jay Anson (Author)


Book

666

666
by Salem Kirban Ph.D (Author), Salem Kirban (Author)


666 is a novel. Therefore much of it should be considered fictional. However, what this story is based on is from the Bible itself and should be considered factual in those situations.First event depicted is the rapture of believers from the earth where Christians go to meet Jesus Christ in the air as He appears to take them to heaven with Him. This event is followed by a period of seven years called the tribulation period, marked especially at the halfway point by the Abomination of Desolation committed by the Anti-christ, named Brother Batholomew, denoting the beginning of the Great Tribulation period spoken of in the book of the Revelation.Using the technologies of the day, the Anti-christ will create a common market bringing all humans under his control for both commerce and religion....

666 Park Avenue: A Novel

666 Park Avenue: A Novel
by Gabriella Pierce (Author)


“Both chilling and chic, frightening, yet fashionable—pure evil has never been this much fun!”
—New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks,

“Dark secrets and truly wicked socialites—666 Park Avenue is a thrill to the very last page.”
—New York Times bestselling author Zoey Dean Elite Upper East Side Witches Rule Park Avenue! 666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce kicks off a wonderfully  high concept   and  richly gothic contemporary series about the darkness lurking behind the gilded halls of New York City high society. For the original Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries fan who’s grown up and is ready for an edgier, more sophisticated read, 666 Park Avenue is the perfect paranormal...

666 By Salem Kirban

666 By Salem Kirban
by Salem Kirban (Author)


CONTENTS: I SAW THE SAINTS RISE, THE GREAT REASSURANCE, THE SINISTER PLOT, FLIGHT TO MOSCOW, CLOUD OF DEATH, INVASION FROM THE NORTH, TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECRET FLIGHT TO BABYLON, STARTLING PRONOUNCEMENT, SEARCH FOR SAFETY, THE SHOCKING SPECTACLE, THE STRANGE DESTROYER, THE SOUND OF DEATH, MARCH ON MEGIDDO, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW

666: The Number of the Beast

666: The Number of the Beast
by Various (Author)


Will you dare to be scared? This chilling new collection of terrifying stories from today's top horror writers is sure to keep you up at night!

This anthology brings together the best of today's horror writers in one spine-tingling collection. All of these stories are guaranteed to terrify!

So lock the door. Turn on the lights. Don't answer the phone. Open the book...if you dare...

The Dark Glamour: A 666 Park Avenue Novel

The Dark Glamour: A 666 Park Avenue Novel
by Gabriella Pierce (Author)


“Pure evil has never been this much fun!”
 —Kerrelyn Sparks, New York Times bestselling authorGossip Girl meets Charmed in Gabriella Pierce’s fabulous follow-up to her debut supernatural romp, 666 Park Avenue. Continuing her phenomenal gothic chronicle of witches, covens, and curses, and the darkness lurking behind the glitter of New York high society, Pierce enchants us once again with The Dark Glamour. Fans of Meg Cabot’s Insatiable and LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries will love this edgy paranormal tale, as the unfortunate bride whose Prince Charming turned out to be the son of an elite Upper East Side witch must now reenter the Park Avenue mansion of horrors she only barely escaped with her life. But this time she has a whole new look…and some powerful new magic tricks...

The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel

The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel
by Gabriella Pierce (Author)


Jane Boyle has long since known that her mother-in-law is evil, but she'd never imagined Lynne Doran was actually the embodiment of a powerful, ancient body-snatching demon. Now that Jane has uncovered 666 Park Avenue's dark truth, she must race against the clock to find a way to destroy Lynne before she finds her next unwilling host. As Jane attempts to tap into powers stronger than her enemy's, her estranged husband, Malcolm, arrives in time to join the fight . . . but can she possibly learn to trust him again—before it's too late?

666 and 1000 (Two Bestsellers in One Volume)

666 and 1000 (Two Bestsellers in One Volume)
by Salem Kirban (Author)


To VERY GOOd, no marks, solid reading copy, fast shipping usually same day.

SEAL Team 666: A Novel

SEAL Team 666: A Novel
by Weston Ochse (Author)


Weston Ochse's SEAL Team 666 follows Cadet Jack Walker. Halfway through SEAL training, he's still green but showing incredible promise when he's whisked away to join four SEALs—and their dog—for a special ops mission. Walker soon finds himself in a whirlwind of otherworldly creatures and events as he finds out the true nature of this “special ops” team: SEAL Team 666. Battling demons, possessed humans, mass-murdering cults, and evil in its most dark and primeval form, SEAL Team 666 has their work cut out for them. And it’s not long before they realize that the threat isn’t just directed against the U.S.—an ancient and deadly cult has bigger plans, and Walker is at the center of a supernatural conflict with the entire world at stake.

Son of Perdition - End Of This Age - Book 1 (Monster's in The Bible - Trilogy)

Son of Perdition - End Of This Age - Book 1 (Monster's in The Bible - Trilogy)
by T.M.Sparks


The contents here is for biblical understanding in the matter of the anti-Christ, martyrs, the harlot and the tribulation. Many Christians believe they will disappear before we encounter these things.But on the other hand Christians are being martyred for their beliefs in Jesus Christ every day.Be-headings are daily occurrences now, also being burned alive slowly, and one limb at a time. Rapture?

This compilation has been brought forth as an inspiration and help to those who have attained some biblical knowledge of the End Times over the years, but have not been able to achieve a full perspective or understanding. So in simple to comprehend analogy, I have assembled an easy to understand account of them from the Holy Scriptures. There are current events today offering...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com