|Every other year
some doomsayer comes up with a new theory about the "mark of the beast" and the
conspiracy to control the world through a computerised big brother system.
The Bible reference to the mark and the number (Revelation 13:18) has "the beast" forcing everyone to receive "a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads" for all buying and selling. And of course, as every heavy metal fan will attest, the number of the beast is 666.
There have been a flood of interpretations down the decades, more recently fuelled by the phenomenal growth in technology and its applications. For example the suggestion that because the Hebrew letter v representing 6 translated in English to w the www of the web indicate a tool of evil. The fact that 10s and hundreds have different values in Hebrew voiding the theory seems to have escaped many of those who continue to spread that urban myth on the aforementioned web.
I admit I am as guilty as anyone of being sucked in by seemingly plausible theories about the mysterious and some say mystical number of the beast and adding fuel to the myth. I became cynical after challenging preachers and others and doing my own homework. I enjoyed learning that the massive computer system in Brussell's which serves the European Community and is nicknamed "the Beast" is managed by a group of Christians who hold prayer meetings every morning before work.
Frustrated with those whove branded technology with the mystical number, I figured the poetic or mystical symbolism used by St John on the Isle of Patmos (circa AD90) must have more practical value if we are to make turn fear into enlightenment. The Book of Revelation itself promises you won't be the same after you read it.
Please explore some of the alternative ways of looking at this interesting number which range from Bible numerics to mysticism, muddled thinking, complete nonsense and just plain old common sense.
Your host - Keith Newman email@example.com