The Number of the Beast (Greek: Ἀριθμὸς τοῦ θηρίου, Arithmos tou Thēriou) is the numerical value of the name of the person symbolized by the beast from the sea, the first of two symbolic beasts described in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation. In most manuscripts of the New Testament the number is 666, but the variant 616 is found in critical editions of the Greek text, such as the Novum Testamentum Graece.
Most scholars believe that the number of the beast equates to Emperor Nero, whose name in Greek when transliterated into Hebrew, retains the value of 666, whereas his Latin name transliterated into Hebrew, is 616. The “mark of the beast” is used to distinguish the beast’s followers. Revelation 13:17 says that the mark is “the name of the beast or the number of his name”. Because of this, it is widely thought among dispensationalists that the mark will be some future representation of the actual number 666. It has also been speculated that the “mark” may be an Imperial Roman seal, or the Emperor’s head on Roman coins.
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