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“666” Superstitions

by Mary Cochrane
“Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.” (Revelation 13:16-18, New Revised Standard Version) The number 666 — the “number of the beast,” according to the Book of Revelation — conjures devilish images for many, so forecasts of evil, even doom, are rampant regarding dates or places where the number occurs, including next Tuesday, June 6, or 6-6-06. Fears of 666, long believed to be the dreaded mark of Satan, are based on a “widespread misinterpretation” of the chapter in Revelation — appropriately, chapter 13 — in which the number is discussed, according to a University at Buffalo expert on the origins, nature and meaning of cults, superstitions and cultural identities. Phillips Stevens, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, explains that “like most superstitions, the avoidance of the numbers 13 and 666 are examples of magical thinking.

Read the original article at: NewsCenter

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