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


Benefit of early screening for vascular disorder among extremely preterm infants
Among extremely preterm infants, early screening for the vascular disorder patent ductus arteriosus before day 3 of life was associated with a lower risk of in-hospital death and pulmonary hemorrhage, but not with differences in other severe complications, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of JAMA.

How hospitals can improve outcomes of weekend surgeries
Studies have shown that patients who undergo surgeries on weekends tend to experience longer hospital stays and higher mortality rates and readmissions.

Meta-analysis finds extended DAPT related to increased mortality after DES implantation
Data from a meta-analysis published today in The Lancet found that extended duration dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation was associated with significantly higher rates of mortality compared to shorter DAPT.

Hot flushes are going unrecognized, leaving women vulnerable
Hot flushes are one of the most distressing conditions faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, but they are not being adequately addressed by healthcare professionals and some women consider giving up their post cancer medication to try and stop them, a new study has shown.

School environment affects teacher expectations of their students
The school environment in which teachers work is related to their expectations of students, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal.

Ebola research shows rapid control interventions key factor in preventing spread
New Ebola research demonstrates that quick and forceful implementation of control interventions are necessary to control outbreaks and avoid far worse scenarios.

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.
More 666 Current Events and 666 News Articles

666

666
by Jay Anson (Author)


Book

666 By Salem Kirban

666 By Salem Kirban
by Tyndale House (Publisher)


From the Author, Salem Kirban: "The novel 666 is not a pleasant book to read. It is alarming and filled with tragedy. Yet it leaves a Blessed Hope! And while the book vividly paints a frightening picture, the events of time may show that it is not even half as terrifying as the Scriptures themselves reveal. It was Harold L. Lunquist who said, 'They tried to stamp out the fire of God in Jerusalem, but they scattered the embers all over the world.' Now, more than ever before, the world and its pseudo-religionists will attempt to crush the faint burning embers underneath the heel of their social church. May you and I burn brightly for God in order that the glow of our life might continue burning embers of redeeming light until that day arrives when the King of Light shall appear to claim His...

666

666
by Salem Kirban (Author)


666 [Pictorial book Edition] This Book by Salem Kirban is the pictorial edition of the novel 666. It is in comic book style. It depicts what occurs in the Tribulation Period. Because it is in a pictorial format...young people find this format more informative and interesting on events that will occur after the Rapture. It gives them a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation. Salem Kirban has written 55 books. The novel 666 is a best seller. While a novel...Scripture verses inserted at various intervals point the reader to the Biblical account of future events.

666 Disturbing Deaths and Disappearances

666 Disturbing Deaths and Disappearances


This book is a collection of the most unusual and disturbing deaths and disappearances. I have researched thousands of deaths and disappearances before finding the ones that I believe are the most shocking and the most terrifying. What makes them shocking and terrifying? The fact of how powerless the victim was in each situation. Each death and disappearance has a reference below it that you can use for more information.

Before going down the list, you should know that some of the deaths that I list here occur after gruesome and extremely violent crimes. If that upsets you, then please do NOT read this book. Furthermore, many of the strange and terrifying disappearances that are listed in this book, happen to children at the hands of some of the most violent human beings to...

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!

Now in paperback!

Tales of Evil. Tales of Darkness. Tales of Beasts.

There's the...

Vampire who visits the same girl every night.

Dangerous rumor that turns all too deadly.

Zombie who couldn't look more innocent.

Boarding school plagued by a tortured ghost.

And so much more in this spine-tingling, bone-chilling collections of 18 stories from 18 masters of horror. So lock the door. Turn on the lights. Don't answer the phone. Open the book...if you dare...

666 (31 Horrifying Tales From The Dead Book 4)

666 (31 Horrifying Tales From The Dead Book 4)
by Drac Von Stoller


Evil was about to fall upon the Delany estate that Mike and Samantha could never have imagined. It was Halloween and Samantha`s contractions were unbearable so her husband rushed his pregnant wife to the hospital to deliver their new bundle of joy.

Mike told the doctor and nurse to take great care of his wife. The doctor and nurse reassured Mike they would take very good care of her and not to worry. Mike waited patiently in the waiting room as the doctor and nurse delivered their beautiful baby. After a few hours the baby finally arrived and the doctor entered the waiting room and told Mike to come in the room and see his new baby.

Mike entered and his wife was all smiles and said "Honey, it`s a boy!"

"I think he looks like a Johnny. What do you...

666 and 1000: The Novel on the Tribulation Period and Its Sequel

666 and 1000: The Novel on the Tribulation Period and Its Sequel
by Salem Kirban (Author)




The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)

The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)
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 Park Avenue: A Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)

666 Park Avenue: A Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)
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...

The Dark Glamour: A 666 Park Avenue Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)

The Dark Glamour: A 666 Park Avenue Novel (666 Park Avenue Novels)
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...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com