Our Namesake: The Number 666

“Is the number 666 really evil/sign of the beast?” How often do you come across this question? The number 666 is one that invokes controversy, fear, and is misunderstood by many people. To some, more so the Christians, it is seen as a devilish sign, while others (Muslims) see it as a holy number. For many centuries, scholars, religious teachers, astronomers, code readers have tried to demystify the number. Is it really evil or just a myth that has been passed on from generation to generation? In fact, the mystery surrounding this number has led to many books, documentaries, and movies based on it. And a great divide has erupted between religious sects as each side takes a strong stand.

Why Do Some People Say it’s Evil?
Talk or mention the number “666” to a Christian and what comes to mind is the Devil. According to the Bible, which is the holy book for Christians, the number symbolizes the “mark of the Beast” also known as Satan. He will in the last days cause havoc and destruction to mankind and the only way a person will be able to survive is having the number permanently stamped or tattooed on either the right hand or forehead. Anyone who defies this rule/order will be unable to purchase goods or services and may be tortured to death. The number was decoded or deciphered from “Revelation”, the final book in the Bible which talks about the end of the world. In Rev 13:18, Christians are told to be weary of the number/mark of the beast which is Six hundred threescore [and] six or simply 666.

Why Some See It as NOT Evil
While some people see the number to be symbolic of the beast that will bring suffering to the world, some are of a different opinion. In fact, they say that the “Mark of the Beast” should be 616 and not 666. The earlier scholars or readers erred while deciphering the coded writings. A closer look at the Quran, the Holy Book for Muslims, and the number 666 shouldn’t be feared but rather respected. When the symbols are decoded based on Arabic writings, the number spells out “Bismillah” which means “in the name of Allah or God”. Many Muslims or believers of Islam believe that 666 is a holy number and signify purity. They also believe that the ideology of it being Evil was created by some people who wanted to derail the doctrines and teachings as inspired by “God.”

Why the Great Controversy?
To some, the number 666 is evil while to others it’s not. It all comes to deciphering codes. In early days, codes were used to symbolize things and events, and were seen as a good way of stopping evil from spreading. Unfortunately, the mode of coding is to be blamed for the controversies, myths, and lack of clarity. For instance, it’s said that the early bible was written in Greek hence the symbols were Greek. However, Christians decoded the ancient writings using Hebrew while Muslims used Arabic, and each language bringsout a different meaning. In 2005, after decoding some Egyptian writings believed to be related to the biblical prophecy, the sign of the beast turned out to be 616 and not 666. “Is the number 666 really evil/sign of the beast?” You tell me!

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