Reeves, Louisiana ditches 666 prefix

After complaints from religious villagers for forty years, Reeves, Louisiana’s telephone prefix has been changed from 666 to 749. I added a smartass comment on the story that “In other news, Satan has announced that the Antichrist is now going by the number 749,” but a much better response comes from Daniel Rutter on the SKEPTIC list, who points out that the new prefix suffers from a very similar numerological difficulty, which you may see for yourself by multiplying 74 by 9. Doh!

Concerns about 666 as the “number of the beast” come from Revelation 13:18. In 2005, Oxford University researchers reported that the earliest known manuscript of that book of the Bible gives the number as 616 rather than 666, which is also the number given in another very early manuscript. One 11th Century manuscript gives the number as 665.

About Jim Lippard
  • exapologist

    In Jesus’ day, people used numbers to double as letters, thereby speaking gematria or cipher language. The letters of Nero Caesar add up to 616. A slightly more formal version of the name (‘Neron Caesar’) adds up to 666. Hence the numbers in the book of Revelation, and the two variants. All the contextual cues within the book point to Nero as well.

    What’s great about this is that the author of the book of Revelation makes the false prediction that Jesus would return around the time of this person who’s name added up to 666 (i.e., Nero). Thus, in addition to Jesus’ multiple false predictions of the eschaton in his disciples lifetime, and Paul’s reiteration of it in his letters (e.g., 1 Thess.), we have the same false prediction yet again in Revelation!

    Thus, from beginning to end, the New Testament falsifies itself.