Heard a preacher on the radio saying that the early Christians who were persecuted under Nero regarded him as the Antichrist and that his name Nero Caesar can be calculated in Hebrew or Greek, it wasn't clear which he meant, to add up to 666. When I've looked it up I've found it very hard to find a clearcut proof of this, it usually involves adding a letter or a title and I'm still not clear whether it's in Hebrew or Greek that it's supposed to be calculated. Here, see the Wikipedia article that discusses this. The original is Hebrew but it's worked back from the Greek, and there's even a form in Latin. I don't find any of this very convincing, especially considering how convincing the Latin title of the Pope is that so clearly adds up to 666 without any fuss or bother.
This is a favorite view of Preterist eschatology, which interprets much of New Testament prophecy as over and done with in the past, which is of course the case with this view of the Antichrist. No need to think about it any further, no big final Antichrist in our future, all over and done with. I wonder who might have a vested interest in promoting this viewpoint, hm?
If I find a convincing calculation for Nero, OK, but even if I did I could only think of him as the first of the line of official Antichrists, the papacy having picked up the role down the centuries to the present. This could be justified since the papacy in so many respects is clearly a continuation of Roman paganism, from the weird garb to the title "pontiff" from "Pontifex Maximus" to the godification as it were of the Pope with his supposed infallibility and kissing his ring or foot or whatever. And for the papacy there IS a definite 666 that can be calculated from the Pope's title Vicarivs Filii Dei ("In the place of the Son of God"), in LATIN of course, because the Antichrist is to be the leader of the revived ROMAN EMPIRE according to other Biblical prophecies (Think Holy Roman Empire with its failed version the Third Reich, and now the European Union).
Now of course you will find all this challenged by those with a vested interest in avoiding the connection with the papacy. And a lot of deceived Protestants have bought into it too.
You will for instance find the title itself challenged as never having been an official title of the Pope. But then Chris Pinto did prove that it is, only I'm lousy at keeping notes so I'll have to go find that information again.
And of course there is the papacy's masterpiece of deception, the "oldest" Bible manuscripts which have 616 instead of 666. And everybody eats that up too, although Codex Vaticanus is surely a forgery and Codex Sinaiticus is highly questionable if not proven to be a forgery. At least it is certainly a corruption created in the early centuries as John Burgon believed. But since these two manuscripts only showed up in the 19th century we can at least say "Hm, I wonder what vested interests might benefit from that little discovery?" But Chris Pinto is a much better researcher than I am, he has all the info on this so go check out his site, Noise of Thunder Radio.
When Words Become Stumbling Blocks
1 month ago