Superstition and Other Silliness: May 2005 Archives

May 7, 2005

Just another day at the office

Ireland: Some people have more interesting jobs than others. A friend of mine works in a shop selling beads, crystals and a handful of New Age books. Not normally a very interesting job, except today:

The phone rang. I answered it. An adolescent male voice asked Do you sell Ouija Boards? No I said. Why not? he asked. We can't get them, I replied. Well, what do you use, then? he asked. Use for what? said I. To summon demons, he replied. He seemed surprised when I told him that we didn't feel any real need to.

A phonecall at work, Pádraig Ó Méalóid's LiveJournal, 7th May 2005.

May 1, 2005

Beast changes number, no longer at 666

A fragment of the oldest known New Testament has been discovered, and it seems the number of the beast has been mistranscribed in subsequent editions. It isn't 666, but 616.

The new fragment from the Book of Revelation, written in ancient Greek and dating from the late third century, is part of a hoard of previously unintelligible manuscripts discovered in historic dumps outside Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Now a team of expert classicists, using new photographic techniques, are finally deciphering the original writing.

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. He said: This is an example of gematria, where numbers are based on the numerical values of letters in people's names. Early Christians would use numbers to hide the identity of people who they were attacking: 616 refers to the Emperor Caligula.

A representative of the Church of Satan was unfazed. Peter Gilmore told the press By using 666 we're using something that the Christians fear. Mind you, if they do switch to 616 being the number of the beast then we'll start using that.

Revelation! 666 is not the number of the beast (it's a devilish 616) - The Independent on Sunday, 1st May 2005 (thanks, Rick).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Superstition and Other Silliness category from May 2005.

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