Thursday, May 5, 2005
The new and improved number of the beast.
So it turns out that 666 — the infamous number of the beast — is wrong. Whoops! Scholars have been using some high-tech methods to examine a cache of ancient Greek manuscripts called the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and have discovered the earliest known version of Revelation 13:18. Instead of 666, it gives the unglamorous number 616 instead.
National Geographic says that the documents aren't only of interest to biblical scholars and apocalyptically-minded Christians; classicists are rejoicing, too:
Using a technique called multi-spectral imaging, researchers have uncovered texts that include
• parts of a lost tragedy by Sophocles, the 5th-century B.C. Athenian playwright;
•sections of a long-vanished novel by Lucian, the second-century Greek writer; and
• an epic poem by Archilochos, which describes events that led to the Trojan War.
Hellenistic culture wasn't all literature and revelation, though:
About 10 percent of the Oxyrhynchus hoard is literary. The rest consists of documents, including wills, bills, horoscopes, tax assessments, and private letters.
Oxyrhynchus Hoard: It's a blog name waiting to happen.
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 5 May 2005 at 6:27 AM