Tom Anderson writes in the Independent that 666 is NOT the”number of the beast”?that’s actually 616. A newlydiscovered fragment of the book of Revelation, from theoldest copy of the New Testament that’s ever been found, hasbeen deciphered, and theologian David Parker says the numberwas mistakenly translated as 666.

666 is an example of the Hebrew habit of assigning numbersto people’s names. Revelation, instead of being a prophecyof future events, was actually a book written in code, so asnot to get the writers in trouble with the Roman censors.616 (formerly 666) refers to the Emperor Caligula, not tothe “antichrist.”

Other mistranslations in the Bible occurred when the KingJames version was first translated into Enlgish from theoriginal Hebrew and ancient Greek texts. “Thou shall notsuffer (allow) a witch to live” was actually “Thou shall notallow a poisoner to live.” The “Red Sea,” where Moses partedthe waves to allow the Jews to escape the Egyptians, wasactually the “Reed Sea,” probably a marsh. This conjures upimages of the Jews getting away from the pursuing Egyptianson foot by stepping on the plants that grow in marshyconditions, while the Egyptians, with their high technology(for that time) chariots, became trapped in the muck.

The King James version of the Bible was translated intoEnglish in the early 17th century, the same era in whichShakespeare wrote his plays. Those who wish to make aliteral interpretation of the Bible should realize that ifthey can’t easily comprehend Shakespeare’s language, theywon’t readily understand the King James Bible either.

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