Thoughts on ancient gospels and the like

19 August 2007

More 666 stuff

Filed under: dates,Gemetria,islam — markandmore @ 16:29

Previously I published a posting on the not usually mentioned fact that the Gospel of Mark has 666 verses as long as one deducts Mark 16:9-14 as all the better commentaries seem to tell us to do.

If you google ‘mark “verse count” 666 gospel’ my posting is the first two of the returns, and in fact is the only return to even discuss the issue. This does somewhat surprise me. I stumbled on the factoid whilst reading something or other on the Q hypothesis, where it said something like ‘of the 666 verses of Mark, X are found in Matthew and Y in Luke’, and I noted the 666. I already had the King James text in Excel, and so I added a column to count the verses. And lo and behold it checked out. How come nobody else had noted this?

Last month I added the following (with a reference to my blog posting) to the Wikipedia page, ‘Number of the Beast’:

The Gospel of Mark in the King James Bible has 678 verses, but of course the KJB has Mark as including 16:9-14, which are not in the best early Greek manuscripts, and scholarly consensus says that these twelve verses should not be included. Therefore 678 – 12 = 666.

The verse count of Mark is 666 !!!

Austin Ferrar, a theologian who did not use Gematria, describes the first six chapters of the Gospel of Mark as the ‘little gospel’ in that they foreshadow the entire Gospel. The verse count of the first six chapters is 248. Now 247 (in Gemetria one is allowed ±1) is the value of θηριον (therion=beast, as per Revelation 13:11), while 666, the full gospel, is the value of το μεγα θηριον (to mega therion = the great beast).

It survived there almost a week before some editor person removed it with the comment that ‘original research’ does not belong in Wikipedia !!!

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Also removed at the same time was the equally interesting fact:

666 is also the year of Islam’s founding, using the Julian calendar, which was in effect at the time Revelation was written. The Gregorian date of Islam’s founding (621 AD) is equivalent to year 666 in the Julian calendar, since we must add 45 years to a Gregorian date to convert it to the equivalent Julian date, i.e., 621 + 45 = 666.

Is this true?

  • The Romans did start using the Calendar that we call ‘Julian’ in 45 BCE or 709 AUC, although they would not understand either of these counters. The calendar was actually devised by the Egyptian astronomer Sosgenes (on whom there is no Wiki page, nor any other web page), but named for the boss, as was the Napoleonic Code.
  • 1 Muharram year 1 in Hijra, the Islamic Calendar, occurred on what the Christian Julian Calendar designates as 16 July 622. 622 Anno Domini (as Common Era used to be called) is 1375 AUC.
  • 1375 AUC – 709 = 666
  • 622 + 45 = 667. However there is no year Zero (0) in the Christian Calendar, so we deduct 1, and therefore get 666.

So the Wikipedia entry was essentially right, but needed to be better stated.

How do flukey numbers like this come to happen? We can of course say that it is one of Azathoth’s little jokes. Could the joke be Muhammad’s or that of one of his close associates’ who knew that the Julian count was around 666 and pushed for that date as the start as opposed to other candidates?

Whilst we are identifying weird coincidences, let us look at the word ‘hijra’ which means a journey in Arabic. In India the same homophone is used for the Indian transgendered tradition.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

30 March 2007

666 the mark of Mark

Filed under: Gemetria,Mark,structure — markandmore @ 16:13

There is a slight whiff of sulphur in the idea that Mark – the gospel wherein only the demons know who Jesus is, where we are told that the teachings are in parables otherwise they might be understood, where the only witnesses to the resurrection do not tell anyone, and so we cannot know, the gospel of unreliable narration – that Mark, alone in the Bible, has 666 verses.

There is an interesting structural appropriateness.The first six chapters of Mark have been described as “the little gospel”.These six chapters have 248 verses.Now 247 (apparently in Gemetria one is allowed ±1) is the value of θηριον (therion=beast, as per Revelation 13:11), while 666, the full gospel, is the value of τομεγαθηριον(to mega therion = the great beast).

Is this true?Well, like many other things biblical, it depends on which translation you are using.The classic King James Bible has 678 verses, but of course the KJB has Mark as including 16:9-20, which are not in the best early Greek manuscripts, and scholarly consensus says that these twelve verses should not be included.

678 – 12 = 666, so the answer is yes.

Except!If we look at a modern scholarly translation such as that of The Complete Gospels by Scholars Press, the end of Mark is at 16:8, but the verse-count is still not 666.By the same process of textual criticism that removed 16:9-20, some other verses have also been removed: 9:44 and 9:46 (both identical to 9:48); 11:26; 11:28 – which gives a verse-count of 662.

The 248-666 structure is tempting, and leads one to want it to be true that the original version of Mark (which of course we do not have) had 248 verses in the first six chapters, and 666 verses in total.However, this would require that we retroject the versification back into the first century, when it was certainly not in use.

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