Someone kindly brought this piece of paleobabble to my attention recently. The site argues that certain Arabic letters/symbols visually resemble the Greek text of “666” in the book of Revelation. More accurately, the Arabic allegedly resembles the common Greek New Testament manuscript abbreviation for “666” (the number is abbreviated to correspond to the numbers “six hundred” – “sixty” – and “six”). Here’s a picture that explains the claim (Maybe it’s just me, but I only see a visual similarity for ONE (the blue line) of the three letters):
1. Arabic as we know it (and as this claim presents it) wasn’t a language until somewhere around the 4th century A.D. — 300 years after Revelation was written.
2. Literary Arabic of the kind this visual represents was even later – around the 7th century A.D.
3. The third letter (the numeral “6”) in the “Codex Vaticanus” manuscript image would likely not have been written that way originally. In earlier manuscripts, such as the papyri, the shape is different. Below is a picture of one of the few papyri of a portion of the book of Revelation that has survived. It is P115 and dates to 225-275 A.D. It has the passage that gives the number of the beast — except this is the famous example that has “616” instead of “666” (the red arrow points to the number). That difference doesn’t matter for us, since the last number/letter is “6”:
Below is also a closeup with the Vaticanus “6” inserted for comparison:
Sorry boys and girls. Just more nonsense . . . er, paleobabble. Believing that the number of the beast points to a Muslim antichrist because of these Arabic letter/symbol shapes requires (among other things) believing that the writer of Revelation, writing in Greek, to be thinking the meaning of his Greek letters was to be found in letter shapes of a literary language that didn’t yet exist. Ridiculous. But fun.