posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 01:09 PM
The original number is 616 not 666.There has been debates on this for century's and the end results always end up coming up as being 616.
It was changed possibly on purpose to hide it.
In May 2005, it was reported that scholars at Oxford University using advanced imaging techniques had been able to read previously illegible
portions of the earliest known record of the Book of Revelation, from the Oxyrhynchus site, Papyrus 115 or P115, dating to the mid to late third
century. The fragment gives the Number of the Beast as 616 (chi, iota, stigma), rather than the majority text 666 (chi, xi, stigma).The other early
witness Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus has it written in full: hexakosiai deka hex (lit. six hundred sixteen).
Professor David Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, thinks that 616, although
less memorable than 666, is the original. Dr. Ellen Aitken said, “Scholars have argued for a long time over this, and it now seems that 616 was the
original number of the beast. It's probably about 100 years before any other version."
The early Church father Irenaeus knew several occurrences of the 616-variant but regarded them as a scribal error and affirmed that the number 666
stood "in all the most approved and ancient copies" and is attested by "those men who saw John face to face".
Saint Irenaeus (Greek: Ειρηναίος), (2nd century AD - c. 202 AD) was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, Roman Empire