|(There is evidently
some fuzziness in associating the number with the beast per the Greek).
|The first thing to
note is that, despite all mathematics, the number is highly symbolic. 6 is taken to be the number of man, for man
was created on the sixth day; 6 is one
less than seven, the number of perfection, the number of God.
|McGee provides an
easy solution: perhaps the number is
hidden from us -- there is, after all, so much speculation that we may not
know until the time comes.
|To the historicist,
the answer is “the Latin man.” Take
this phrase in Greek and add up the numeric equivalents, you get 666. Do it again in Latin -- different language,
different numbering system -- and again you get 666. This corresponds well with the view that
the papacy is the beast.
|One last point: perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about
the knowing the number of the beast -- as knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!