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.
Do you read Arabic too Mike? How many ancient and modern languages can you read?
I don’t read Arabic. Don’t have to for this — it’s just about shapes.
The website post points to Walid Shoebat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtquNNEO7Fw
The golden image doesn’t have the two other counterparts from what I can see and understand but Walid is still referencing what he sees in greek muniscule scripts and not necessarily the golden image on its own. But as you point out, it doesnt drive at all.
yeah – where is the correlation and coherence?
It comes from Walid Shoebat and ex Muslim PLO member turned Christian end times prophecy enthusiast of the dispensational variety. He was reading through the Bible and said he saw Islam throughout but on the wrong side. He now advocates the view that Islam is the beast system. Some of his stuff is compelling. He said something along the lines of “what if John saw into the future and tried to write down what he saw…” His idea was John didn’t understand what it was but put down what he saw as best he could. So in this scenario it would not matter that Arabic wasn’t in existence. However it really doesn’t even match and this isn’t John’s autograph manuscript, so it’s still paleobabble. Still yet, praise God for his conversion!
Walid Shoebat converted from Islam after reading the bible and seeing Islam all through it, albeit on the wrong side. He’s now a dispensational endtimes prophecy guy – has a book out. His idea was that John had a vision of the future and just wrote what he saw, not knowing what it was… so it wouldn’t matter that Arabic wasn’t used. However, it doesn’t match that closely and the Vaticanus is not John’s autograph so it’s still Paleobabble.
This actually *does* matter. John in Revelation 13:18 and elsewhere is very clear — he is speaking about “the NUMBER of a man” (also could be translated, “a human number”). John gives the number: 666 (616 is a minority text-critical reading). This means that John wasn’t writing about SHAPES he saw — which shapes do *not* correspond to known spellings of known numbers. I can appreciate Shoebat’s journey, but this is bogus.
Well, the Arabic has been manipulated. It’s been turned on it’s side and reversed. Are Xtians saying John was dyslexic?
Salman Rushdie got death threats; this guy gets ridicule. Telling isn’t it?
I know the word eschatology is from a Greek root word and it is the study of the last of days or end times essentially. But with every doomsday weirdo like Walid having a website and ebook. It is ironic that eschatology is now very synonymous with E (for electronic) – Shat (as in biological exhaust)-ology. Kudos to the good Doctor’s website here for providing a respite.
where is the visual counterpart to the other 2 letters?
Answer: the first symbol are muslim cross swords.
The 3rd symbol is the communist flag.
Check it out!
A communist flag? The codex vaticanus image look less like a hammer and sickle to me and more like an old hand drill. Maybe God is telling us that the anti-Christ is a Luddite. Hey, maybe the unibomber was the anti-Christ! No, he was probably just the false prophet since he had that manifesto and all.
See how silly we can get when we ignore that plain text of the Bible?
It is good proof just as much as all the other antichrist theories ie. Illuminati, UN, Pope or the queen of england. Perhaps we should try to match up the other parts in islam the fit with the ‘Antichrist’ title such as unbelievers will get their head chopped off for not submitting to islam etc. Historicaly i would in a way agree islam being the antichrist though some would say that catholism created islam in order to obtane Isreal. Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 & 5 where you will read that the saints have no need to be concerned about the end times etc.
If all the other theories are nonsense (and they are), this is nonsense as well.
the 3rd symbol is the communist flag. and i am not ignoring any bible. in fact the bible supports this! See ezek. 38 where there is a conferedation of islamic and communism nations. learn more at http://www.isawthelightministries.com/mark.html or just turn on the news or read the newspapers. clearly we can see the beast of islamic communist confederation in the works every day more and more as each day passes. Wake Up!
Abraham descendants :
ismael =islam= against Jews=against God
However there is not just one Antichrist, whole world is under evil one, he is the ruler of this world.
There’s no point in chasing Antichrist everyone not in Christ could be the evil one’s king. But islam gives the best candidates so far.
Ishmael wasn’t a Muslim (unless you are using the Qur’an as your authority, which would be ironic, to say the least).
insteresting< i wonder what Ishmael and Isaac were.. I just read the controversy where Ishmael
is claimed as being the promised son.. What are the odds Islam is right when this religion claim that the descendents of Isaac falsified the Bible?
MHS would you please comment on this claim if your time permit?
zero – Muhammed was born centuries after the Hebrew Bible was written, edited, and copied many times. The Qu’ran came centuries later and borrows heavily from both the OT and NT, changing various items for its own religious teaching.
The odds are 0. More than that there seem to be no link between Ishmael and Muhamad. More likely Ishmael formed an egyptian dinasty.
Isn’t the point of prophecy that it concerns things of the future?
Your point (which is accurate) about modern Arabic not being a formalized written language until hundreds of years after john saw whatever he saw is surely not relevant if John actually saw something from the future.
You made a point that only the middle letter is present, but miss the point that Mr. Shoebat was making that he believes that what he can see is called in Arabic Bism’Allah (meaning “the name of Allah”) and this is where he claims to see the two letters, we translate as Xi & Stigma. You criticism of Mr Shoebat seemed almost to be a straw man argument of taking a picture (above) that only contains one word/letter and saying the the other word/letter is missing. there are other pictures you could have used.
I think his point is that he claimed to see the shahada (statement of faith) in these two letters (albeit with the use of a mirror). this is significant as this is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and represent the statement one makes publicly in order to become a Muslim.
Incidentally, there is no problem in Arabic with turning letters on their side, so his point can still be valid that he can read Bism’allah in the Greek letters.
p.s. sorry this was a long reply. I’m not saying you are wrong, just questioning some of your reasoning in your academic refutation of Mr. Shoebat (who I have met personally), but have no association with whatsoever and i am not attempting to defend him, just to ensure that teh debate is fair on both sides of the argument.
give me anything in Revelation that speaks to a Muslim context. Prophecy is intended to make sense to the people to whom it is written (as was the case with many hundreds of OT prophecies). This can’t be done, of course, since Muhammed was only born centuries after Revelation was written.
Biblical writers didn’t write nonsense – that is, material perceived to be nonsensical having no relation to anyone’s knowledge base living at the time of the writing. Prophecy is still comprehensible communication.
John was Jewish. He may have written what he was told to write in his native language which was later copied & translated for the Greek speaking congregations. As more and more gentiles came into the faith they would have copies made in Greek. Those letters could have been ancient Hebrew or could have been Arabic that would be known in the future. Persia is mentioned in prophecy but is now called Iran so the fact that a language didn’t exist them has no bearing as Iran is not n phrophecies only Persia is. Someone mentioned they don’t really resemble arabic letters too well;they aren’t perfect Greek ones either. There are also copies that say 616, not 666. “Count” can also mean to reckon, decide, discern. “Number” can also mean indefiite number or multitude. Could the text have stated “the mutitude of a man”, identified by these symbols? It would seem responable to me that if I were a Greek copyist and was making a copy and came across these symbols I might believe they were Greek letters because they were similar to letters in my alphabet and I had to put something down or copy them exactly even if they didn’t match my language. When you also take into consideration that people who refuse this “Mark”(or declaration) are beheaded (what religion beheads their enemies and on film yet?) Something to think about….
New Testament and most writtings were written originally in greek. That is because they needed the people they talked to to understand them. That is why they where given by the holy spirit the power to speak foreign languages. Saying the gospels were in hebrew makes no sense generally. Maybe Peter who mostly preached in Judea and Samaria preached in hebrew but not the rest. And no Peter was not the first Pope.
I personally think the third character looks like an upside down person… maybe they are falling… maybe from a great height like.. a TOWER! Maybe our dyslexic multilingualist of future dialects and predictor of vague political ideologies also predicted 911??? Or man going to space and floating upside down in zero gravity. Or maybe the islamocommunist conspiracy is going to force us all to walk upside down until we accept their fundamentalist religion mixed with anti-religious political beliefs.
Or maybe its all just hogwash. i know where my vote is going for tis years Bunkagesis award. Unfortunately they didn’t leave their name with their post.
It looks pretty close to me. Funny how we really don’t know what the mark of the beast is yet. Theories are welcome, and people can believe what they want. True believers will certainly know when the time comes.
why does the papyri shown above have 616 instead of 666?
Some of the oldest manuscripts read 616 and not 666. This is one of the reasons some scholars postulate that the number points to Nero (the fear that the dead Nero was going to return) – Nero’s name is the only ancient candidate for the beast whose name can be calculated both ways, depending on how it is spelled (it had variants in Latin and Greek). But all that assumes the point of the number is gematria that points to a name. It may be gematria pointing to other things.
I came looking for the truth about the “allah/666” thing because I suspected it was wrong.
However I got a chuckle out of your page as well.
It always amazes me how those desperate to dismiss the miraculous or prophetic blind themselves to it.
*IF* there proves to be any correlation between allah & 666 I hope you have the ability to reason out that the fact that arabic coming along far later actually offeres great support to the notion that this is something beyond coincidence.
First of the description of the muslim mesiah coincides with that of the antichrist. More than that islam is a religion that fits the antichristic view. And even more than that the Qumran involuntary identifies Allah with Lucifer calling him the greatest of schemers/deveivers. The last point is that muslims throughout centuries forced everyone under threat of death to say the shahada saying they can keep their belief as long as they say this. So there are many paralels and the claim is plausible. Is it the right interpretation? I do not know. What I know is your rebuttal is full of weak or false claims. No on rally puts value on codex Vqticanus anyway and many see the Pope which is a heretic ss the prophet of the antichrist.