Many translations have Revelation 13:18 as "666" as the "number of a man" who represents "the beast." However, we believe the number is actually "600-60-200". This is because the Greek letters are Chi, Xi, Sigma, and respectively, they are the Greek Numerical Values of 600, 60 and 200. Our proof follows shortly.
Terminology used herein
GNV = Greek Numerical Value ( example: Alpha (A) = 1, Beta (B) = 2, Iota (I) = 10 )
GNT = Greek New Testament
To begin our proofs, we start with pictures of a segment of P47 (circa 250 AD). This text has all capital Greek letters, as that is what was used in 250 AD. See Capital Greek Letters, TABLE A, below.
Image 1 shows a segment containing Revelation, Chapters 13 and 14, and can be seen in it "the number of a man" who represents "the beast. "
Image 2 shows Revelation Chapters 13 and 14, magnified a bit.
Image 3 shows a close up of the letters Chi-Xi-Sigma, that is, "the number of a man" who represents "the beast" in Revelation 13:18.
In Image 3, we see a close up of the number and compare it to this word, also from Revelation 13:18 (Image 2):
Image 4, Greek Word "yhfisatw" Containing Sigma, Magnified from Image 2.
Notice the shape of the Sigma in the Greek word "yhfisatw" in Image 4, above, is virtually the same shape of Sigma in Image 3, the last character in the number. A Sigma in this shape is called a "Lunate Sigma." The Lunate Sigma was used from the 4th Century BC to well into the Medieval era, so it is applicable to P47, as in the above images. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma)
Here is one more example as seen in Revelation 14:1, one line below Chi, Xi, Sigma (Image 2) where two Sigmas are known to exist, as seen here:
Image 5, 2 Sigmas, Adjacent, Magnified from Image 2
Again, these Lunate shaped Sigmas are virtually the same shape of the Sigma in Image 3, so put together we see that the letter at the end of the number in Image 3 is a Sigma with GNV = 200, not 6!
If one looks about in Images 1 and 2, one will see many more examples of Lunate Sigmas that are virtually the same as the Lunate Sigma in Image 3.
The Lunate Sigma "C" was an alternative to the standard capital letter Sigma " Σ " and so it was used often, as in this picture below, albeit not "free hand," but formed perfectly:
Image 6, Church Name with Two Lunate Sigmas (C)
Had the author of P47 wanted to use Digamma (GNV = 6), that author would have used something similar to Digamma in Table A, below. None of the letters for Digamma are used in P47, as one can clearly see.
Other examples of Lunate Sigma forms can be seen below.
ARGUMENTS, PRO AND CON
Now Dr Henry More on Sigma argues for Sigma = 200, for "the number of a man." So he supports our argument.
Also, Chris Hopkins, an expert in letters and numbers in Greek supports our argument in http://www.parthia.com/fonts/stigma.htm. He states, as we do, that Sigma is not Stigma and is not Digamma either.
Amazingly, some say a lower case form of Stigma , which did not even exist until the 9th Century(1), was used retroactively in the first 5 centuries AD, such as in mss P47 (~ 250 AD) and P115 (~ 325 AD), and even trying to say that 4th Century Lunate Sigma ( C ) is actually a 9th Century "lower case" Stigma, when they only used "upper case" in the era of P47 and P115 !!!!
Further, some say a flattened cursive shape lunate Sigma was used in the first 5 centuries AD, when it did not come into existence until the Byzantine era(3), that is, sometime after 400 AD. So there is nothing to show that the lunate Sigma, even flattened, was used for the number "6" in the first 5 centuries AD. Only the Digamma represented the number "6" in the first 5 centuries, which is not seen in P47 or P115.
Others still have tried to show that "the number of a man" is "666," based on the Vaticanus, which is said to be from about 350 AD, having a Stigma as the last position in this number. There are two problems with this: (1) this Stigma letter form, as we already mentioned, did not come into existence until the 9th Century, not 350 AD, and (2) Vaticanus did not have Revelation in it in 350 AD !!!!
And what if Sigma has two numerical values simultaneously (6 and 200), as some have suggested? This makes it really difficult to do math with Sigma. For example, Omega (800) plus Sigma (6 or 200) = ???
Now some consider Sigma, when used at the end of a word, to be the value of 6, as if it were a Stigma. However, that principle, even if valid, would work at the end of a word, but this is a number, not a word! Further, if an author wanted us to think it was the number 6 in a series of numbers, he would have to either use Stigma of today, or use Digamma during the first 800 years AD, but what we see is Lunate Sigma (C) in all manuscripts for "the number of a man" in the last letter.
Now today, Stigma is used at end of all words in lieu of Sigma, but only by Hort and Westcott GNT. However, while Stephanus, Erasmus, Byzantine and Scrivener use Stigma at the end of words too, they still used Sigma at the end, when a word was a proper name like "John" ("iwannhs" in the Greek) or proper title, like "The King" ("o basileous" in the Greek). However, Hort and Westcott ignored names and titles.
In summary, the last character in the "number of a man" is a Sigma, not Digamma, thus making the Greek Numerical Values 600-60-200, not 600-60-6. But there is still more evidence, so please read on.
After the introduction of lower-case Greek letters in the Medieval era, authors like Erasmus and Stephanus also used Sigma as the last character in "the number of a man." This is backed up by the authors of the Byzantine GNT.
ERASMUS GREEK NEW TESTAMENT
|STEPHANUS GREEK NEW
Now both Erasmus and Stephanus were educated Catholics. Since the Latin used "six-hundred sixty-six", it is significant to see both of these two use Sigma instead of Stigma in "the number of a man," since Sigma disagrees with the Latin "six" (spelled "sex"). It also seems to indicate that their Greek sources disagreed with the Latin, and they were willing to put their reputations on the line to oppose the official Latin of the Catholic Church (as well as over 3000 other cases as well).
OUR AMAZING STEPHANUS GNT GNV STUDY
It turns out that "Amazing Stephanus" (click on link), proves that 600-60-200 is correct by having Sigma used, not a Stigma, for the last letter of "the number of the man," thus eliminating 666 and 616 as the "number of the beast," as that would cause our CRC calculations to destroy the astronomically high odds of so many coincidences and patterns being present.
Put another way, only Chi-Xi-Sigma works to keep the odds astronomically high in this Stephanus GNT study, but Stigma as the last letter destroys those odds. This seems to be a "tiebreaker" between the Stigma/Digamma argument and the Sigma argument, favoring Sigma.
Incidental to this, is that Erasmus and Stephanus had a large number of Greek texts available to them and were learned men, with learned assistants, so they can be trusted.
on manuscript P47 (250 AD), Erasmus & Stephanus (both 16th Century) and the
Byzantine evidence, and our study "Amazing Stephanus," we are compelled to conclude the letters used in Revelation 13:18 are
actually "Chi-Xi-Sigma," so "the number of a man" is 600-60-200, not
666, since Sigma has a GNV of 200. This is our learned opinion.
THE NUMBER OF THE MAN
Now the numbers, 600-60-200, when added together equal "860", but there is an issue. You see, in forming Greek numbers, the number for "860" would have to be written as Omega-Xi (800, 60), that is, just two letters ("wx"), not three. But since the numbers are actually 600, 60 and 200, they are not to be summed together, as that violates Greek grammar rules for forming numbers, namely that it should be in hundreds, tens and units order, not hundreds, tens and then hundreds again.
So the three numbers then are to be viewed as a "series" only.
In fact, Revelation 13:18 indicates in the Greek text that each "count" is to be done in separate piles of "pebbles" that would not be summed together, since the purpose of separate piles, is to count each pile separately, not added together.
(So even if the last letter had a GNV=6, it would not by 666, but 600-60-6.)
WHO IS THIS MAN?
So who or what represents "the number of a man" that represents "the beast" (or man) having a number like 600-60-200? Good question.
Well, for one, with a leading zero on the "200" we might have 600-60-0200, which is the form of a US Social Security Number (SSN). However, the whole world must be considered, not just the USA. Also, a number like 600,060,200 could also be considered, not as a sum, but a truncation of sorts.
In any case, the above leaves us with a mystery as to what "600-60-200" could stand for in terms of identifying the "beast.".
IS THIS "A MAN" OR "MANKIND" OR EVEN AN AMIMAL?
In James 3:7, the word for "man" is translated "mankind" but in Revelation 13:18 "a man." The reason is that in James 3:7 the Greek word "anqrwpinh" is feminine and in Revelation 13:18 the Greek word "anqrwpou" is masculine. When an object, human or not, is feminine, it is "corporate" and when it is masculine, it is "individual." Therefore, "a man" is one correct translation.
Grammatical gender, as it is called, has absolutely nothing to do with biological gender! In fact, "the beast" in the Greek is in the neuter, meaning it might not be an individual or corporate entity at all, but something entirely different.
As we said, it is true that "a man" is a possible correct translation for Revelation 13:18, and not "man" or "mankind." The article "a" indicates "one," a singular "man," per the masculine grammatical gender trait "individual." But what biological gender is this "man"? Well, the underlying Greek word is not really "man" but "anqrwpou," that is, literally "anthropod" and that is any living thing that walks on its legs per the dictionary. So is this a man, a woman, a horse, a giraffe, or any "beast" that walks on its legs?
The amount of speculation over whether this "man" is a religious or political figure could fill volumes! And that it is laughable, since it could be a woman or even a rabbit!
And thousands have speculated on the number of the man for the beast using the English alphabet, not the Greek with its numerical values for letters, which makes no sense. Some have said it was Roman ruler Nero, but he lived before Revelation was written, so a prophecy about the past makes no sense.
THE 616 ALTERNATIVE
Some have said, based on P115 above (~ 350 AD), the number might be "616" instead. However, the problem with this is that the P115 text is about 100 years later than the P47 text, making P47 more authoritative, with Xi =60, not Iota = 10. (See images below.)
Furthermore, a vertical line, per TABLE A (above), could be the letter Alpha, Beta, Epsilon, Rho, Sigma, Tau or Phi instead of Iota, depending on the writer's style and the timeframe. Some authorities have even stated that the vertical line was in this context still the letter Xi = 60, due to writing style of the author in that era.
Besides all this, the last letter in "the number of a man" is definitely a Lunate Sigma with a value of 200, not 6, as the above image shows by looking 2 lines down to the word "ecousai" containing a Lunate Sigma ('c' shaped). Some have erred calling this a Stigma in the number, even when Stigma did not exist until about 850 AD, but the Lunate Sigma did exist in 350 AD, the timeframe of P115 and P47.
Look once again at P47, ~ 250 AD, about 100 years earlier. Clearly the middle letter is Xi = 60 and the last letter is a Lunate Sigma. So once again the value is 600, 60, 200 and 3 separate numbers.
|These examples show us what Sigma looked like in the early centuries of New Testament existence. These also verify that Sigma is the shape shown in the images above for Revelation 13:18, and thus a value of 200, not 6.|
|THE NAME SEARCH|
Countless books and web pages make claims as to who might be the person identified by the number of the beast. However, they all are flawed because: