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I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

06/06/06: Apocalyptic or Ordinary Day?

The title link is from a story regarding Tuesday's date: 06/06/06. A tour of the web will show you stories of how this day carries the mark of the beast and will mark the end of the world. Other sites mention how the day is being capitalized on, such as using it as the release day for the new Omen movie (satanic thriller), the new Anne Coulter book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" and the next book in the Left Behind series, "The Rapture". I think it's interesting how worked up some people can get over a date, especially one that has little relevancy to the original prophesy that has everyone is trying to link it to. Here are some quotes from the story:

Most modern scholars attribute the writing of the book of Revelation to John of Patmos. He is said to have received visions on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, most likely around 90 A.D., that make up the book's contents.


But here, Tuesday is likely to be just another day - especially since the Gregorian calendar was not adopted by most of Christendom until 1500 years after Revelation was written.

For those not familiar with the history of the modern calendar, our current calendar system is known as the Gregorian calendar, and was adopted by the Catholic world on the orders of Pope Gregory in 1582. The purpose of this new calendar was to correct the correlation between Easter and the Vernal Equinox. (It was believed that under the old Julian calendar, Easter had drifted 10 days from it's proper date.) As part of this correction, the days Oct 5 - October 10, 1582, were stricken from the calendar in order to jump ahead 10 days that year. Thus, even if the Book of Revelations had placed some significance on the date 06/06/06 (it didn't), the date it would have been referring to would have been on the pre-Gregorian calendar and thus would have referred to a day 10 days from today. Don’t forget that the Roman calendar that was used as the basis of the Julian and Gregorian calendars had been extensively tampered with by Julius Caesar and other emperors. The number of months in a year and the number of days in each month were often capriciously modified as recently as 45 BC, so it is entirely possible we don't even have a perfect translation of how a 06/06/06 date from John's time would translate onto our current calendar.

Before people start wondering about 6/16/06 as the real beastly day, remember that modern scholars don't actually know if 666 is really supposed to be the number of the beast. Here's another quote from the story:

John writes that the beast places a mark on the right hand or forehead of all but the servants of God. It is that mark - 666 - that has so intrigued people through the centuries. Most scholars now agree that what John was up to was gematria, or Hebrew numerology.

"Back then there were no separate symbols for numerical values," said the Rev. Louis A. Brighton, a professor of New Testament interpretation at Concordia Seminary. So letters did double-duty as numbers. The Hebrew consonants that spelled out "Nero Caesar," in the Greek form of the name, add up to 666. (Transliterated into the Latin form of Nero Caesar, the numbers add up to 616.)

Keep in mind, John, the author of Revelations, was a Christian of Jewish origin who supposedly received the visions while on a Greek island. He sent his Revelations to 7 churches in what is now modern day Turkey. Thus, deriving John's number of the beast would involve trying to correctly identity which translation of "Nero Caesar" should be converted into a number and then guessing which calendar that number would be relevant to. Assuming it is even possible to do this 2000 years after John had these visions, we still come back to the fact that the so called mark of the beast isn't directly related to a date in the Book of Revelations and is instead described as an identifying mark for those who are not servants of god. No matter how you look at it, today's date of 06/06/06 is unlikely to have prophetic significance, unless of course some nutty group decides to blow up something or performs a massive attack in order to give this date the meaning that they believe in



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