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Unread 04-20-2012, 12:26 PM   #16
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The tradition that Mark wrote down Peter's account of the life of Christ comes from Papias by way of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, iii, 39 (Philip Schaff's translation):

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And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements. [This is what is related by Papias regarding Mark; but with regard to Matthew he has made the following statements]: Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could. [The same person uses proofs from the First Epistle of John, and from the Epistle of Peter in like manner. And he also gives another story of a woman1 who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is to be found in the Gospel according to the Hebrews.]
So while Papias may or may not be correct, and Eusebius may or may not have reproduced the quotes accurately, it's a strong, early tradition that Mark's Gospel reflects Peter's teaching. The more obvious connection between Mark and Peter comes from the fact that the Jerusalem Church was meeting at Mark's mother's house when Peter was arrested, and it was to this house that Peter went (Acts 12:12); Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark to Rome in 2 Tim 4:11; Peter calls Mark his son and says that he sends greetings from Babylon (Rome, of course) in 1 Pet 5:13. So we have a strong connection between Peter and Mark, between Paul and Mark at Rome, and between Peter and Mark at Rome.

I see Markan priority primarily as a solution to some narrative issues in Luke and Matthew. For example, Mark produces significant character development within healings and faith stories where the others flatten the nameless characters into schematics. For Mark, the failure of the apostles is constantly contrasted with the faith of the marginalized. In Matthew and Luke, these stories are preserved but without the same kind of emphasis on the nameless characters. My dating of Luke-Acts is primarily on the assumption that Acts would have included Paul's martyrdom if it had been written after his death (an argument from silence, but one worth considering).

So, the (first?) imprisonment of Paul in Rome gives us a terminus ad quem for the writing of Acts. Acts is the sequel to Luke, so it precedes Acts. And Markan priority places Mark before Luke. The imprisonment of Paul probably happened in the early 60s, so the terminus a quo for Mark must also be in the early 60s, assuming all three were produced with rapid succession, and a date in the 50s for Mark is supported by evidence that Peter ministered at Rome at that time.

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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 3chords+TRUTH View Post
..the number of Nero's name in a Greek isopsephism totaled 1,005. However, transliterated from the Greek into Hebrew the sum total of "Nero Caesar" equals exactly 666. Moreover, the presence in some ancient manuscripts of a variation in which 666 is rendered 616 lends further credence to the notion that Nero is the intended referent. As John's letter was increasingly circulated among Latin speaking audiences, biblical scribes aided them in identifying the Beast by transliterating from the Latin spelling "Nero Caesar" into Hebrew. The sum of the letters in the Hebrew transliteration from the Latin form of his name totals 616, just as the Hebrew transliteration of the Greek, which includes an additional letter, renders 666. Subtract the additional letter in the Hebrew transliteration from 666, and you are left with 616--the two seemingly unrelated numbers that both amazingly lead you to the same doorstep, that of a beast named Nero Caesar.
You can manipulate my user name, my real name and barnie the purple dinosaur into 666.

616 comes from I believe a varient text, which means that if 616 has a signifagance, 666 does not. It is one or the other, not both.

And to do the nero as 666 you have to be inconsistent and use a title not used until modern times. I actually have done the math there.

My point has nothing to do with Nero here, but of a warning. This sort of thing is all subjective to the operations chosen, titles used and is highly manipulable.

I tend to lean towards the traditional date with it being late. The obvious reason is the genre. Apocalypse always tends to show up, to put it crudely as a sign of divine revenge. That God has not forgotten his destroyed people but is their avenger. Also, the fact that I haven't read the fathers dispute that John went last and that of the dates we are given, revelation always seems late. The fathers did not have a real doctrinal axe to grind based on the date that I have read. As such, their testimony seems the least partial. Irranaeus it seems is probably the best source we have. Interestingly, his apostolic pedigree hails from John, so that should be his area of expertise.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #18
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666 is overwhelmingly the better reading. 616 appears in one uncial (C), one papyrus (P 115 in abbreviated writing), and is recognized as a variant as early as Irenaeus. 615 appears in one minuscule (2344). 666 is attested in multiple uncials of high quality, P 47, the Majority Text, and Irenaeus.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ted Logan View Post
666 is overwhelmingly the better reading. 616 appears in one uncial (C), one papyrus (P 115 in abbreviated writing), and is recognized as a variant as early as Irenaeus. 615 appears in one minuscule (2344). 666 is attested in multiple uncials of high quality, P 47, the Majority Text, and Irenaeus.
Agreed, but my point was that if 616 had significance, (which it likely doesn't) 666 would not. You can't say both simultaneously have a significance to a name. Also, I don't put a lot of stock in the numerical sums of the names because they are highly manipulable.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq

You can manipulate my user name, my real name and barnie the purple dinosaur into 666.

616 comes from I believe a varient text, which means that if 616 has a signifagance, 666 does not. It is one or the other, not both.

And to do the nero as 666 you have to be inconsistent and use a title not used until modern times. I actually have done the math there.

My point has nothing to do with Nero here, but of a warning. This sort of thing is all subjective to the operations chosen, titles used and is highly manipulable.

I tend to lean towards the traditional date with it being late. The obvious reason is the genre. Apocalypse always tends to show up, to put it crudely as a sign of divine revenge. That God has not forgotten his destroyed people but is their avenger. Also, the fact that I haven't read the fathers dispute that John went last and that of the dates we are given, revelation always seems late. The fathers did not have a real doctrinal axe to grind based on the date that I have read. As such, their testimony seems the least partial. Irranaeus it seems is probably the best source we have. Interestingly, his apostolic pedigree hails from John, so that should be his area of expertise.
You do realize that gematria was a often used method of signification in the ancient Mediterranean region, right?
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Unread 04-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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You do realize that gematria was a often used method of signification in the ancient Mediterranean region, right?
Yes, but not frequently in any group that we would consider truly orthodox IIRC. Liver reading was also a familiar practice as were any other number of cultic practices. It being common does not mean it is sound. I recognize it has been used. But I think it is weird to assume that we know exactly what it means.

The problem is, that it can be manipulated and you have to do significant manipulations to get nero into 666.

I have for a class project run the numbers and you have to leave out a name and sub in half an unofficial title to get Nero as 666.

Furthermore, with the content of revelation, why would John be cryptic about Nero as beast? My point was, to do Gematria with Nero as 666 takes some significant gymnastics, the same ones will lead you to the fact that me and barney are 666. It is not as straightforward as some would lead you to believe, because using his name in formal, or informal terms will not lead you to that number unless you massage it in with some tweaks, and you can tweak anything to anything in modern attempts at ancient gematria.

I have bolded what I believe to be the strongest point. Do I know what 666 means? Not the foggiest clue actually.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 06:20 PM   #22
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I agree with what Bill says above in its entirety. The fact is that this is one reason why Revelation was slow in receiving universal recognition - even John's immediate audience had trouble understanding it. I find partial preterist gematria just as silly as dispensational timelines. And I have no idea what 666 means.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Logan
I agree with what Bill says above in its entirety. The fact is that this is one reason why Revelation was slow in receiving universal recognition - even John's immediate audience had trouble understanding it. I find partial preterist gematria just as silly as dispensational timelines. And I have no idea what 666 means.
Can you provide some sources concerning the unintelligibility of the letter even for the original audience? I had assumed there was a degree of confusion, but you make it seem quite a bit more severe than I have assumed it to be.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #24
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Yes, but not frequently in any group that we would consider truly orthodox IIRC. Liver reading was also a familiar practice as were any other number of cultic practices. It being common does not mean it is sound. I recognize it has been used. But I think it is weird to assume that we know exactly what it means.
I don't see the point in "liver readings" here. We aren't talking about a prophetic section or use, as one would expect with reading livers, or the flight of birds.... So, I don't really get your point. It seems to me that if the readers are familiar with the practice for coding someones name, or using a different signification system, it isn't really that big of a deal for them to understand John as meaning Nero, or whatever else he might mean. I really don't think this has anything to do with "orthodox" or not, or cultic. Unless you consider graffiti in Pompeii that reads as "I love her whose number is 545", or "Amerimnus thought upon his lady Harmonia for good. The name of her honorable name is 45" to be cultic in nature...

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Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
The problem is, that it can be manipulated and you have to do significant manipulations to get nero into 666.

I have for a class project run the numbers and you have to leave out a name and sub in half an unofficial title to get Nero as 666.

Furthermore, with the content of revelation, why would John be cryptic about Nero as beast? My point was, to do Gematria with Nero as 666 takes some significant gymnastics, the same ones will lead you to the fact that me and barney are 666. It is not as straightforward as some would lead you to believe, because using his name in formal, or informal terms will not lead you to that number unless you massage it in with some tweaks, and you can tweak anything to anything in modern attempts at ancient gematria.
I guess I understand your point, especially as it may be easy to code a name, but working backwards is a different thing entirely. Nonetheless, it seems reasonable to assume that John's readers, at the least, had an idea as to what he was talking about and referring to.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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I agree with what Bill says above in its entirety. The fact is that this is one reason why Revelation was slow in receiving universal recognition - even John's immediate audience had trouble understanding it. I find partial preterist gematria just as silly as dispensational timelines. And I have no idea what 666 means.
"Partial preterist gematria"? I take a little bit of offense to that. I thought I had made it clear before that I am in no way any sort of preterist....
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Unread 04-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #26
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"Partial preterist gematria"? I take a little bit of offense to that. I thought I had made it clear before that I am in no way any sort of preterist....
The point is important, for coding the name only makes sense if you take a pre-68 ad date of revelation. Past that, Nero is dead, and his ghost wasn't that big of a threat.
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I don't see the point in "liver readings" here. We aren't talking about a prophetic section or use, as one would expect with reading livers, or the flight of birds.... So, I don't really get your point. It seems to me that if the readers are familiar with the practice for coding someones name, or using a different signification system, it isn't really that big of a deal for them to understand John as meaning Nero, or whatever else he might mean. I really don't think this has anything to do with "orthodox" or not, or cultic. Unless you consider graffiti in Pompeii that reads as "I love her whose number is 545", or "Amerimnus thought upon his lady Harmonia for good. The name of her honorable name is 45" to be cultic in nature...
Their are uses for germatria and a lot of them are predictive, very akin to liver readings. My initial post had 2 paragraphs on that, but I deleted them because it might go a different route. I see 3 purposes of germatria here.
1) Magical. A very common usage, and not in line with scripture.
2) Cryptic, hiding something for coding purposes, not unlike the graffiti you mention.
3) Leaving things open ended. John might not know who or what 666 is.

1) I think we can disregard. 2) is pointless if we go with a late date. 3) seems to fly in the face of standard germatria. (In other words, it is backwards)
Quote:
I guess I understand your point, especially as it may be easy to code a name, but working backwards is a different thing entirely. Nonetheless, it seems reasonable to assume that John's readers, at the least, had an idea as to what he was talking about and referring to.
Maybe. There are multiple possibilities. And even if they did, that does not mean we can. I will say, Nero does not fit any way I could find normally. I suspect this passage will make perfect sense to its target audience, be they dead in the past, or not yet born.

I am comfortable with the fact that I don't have to be privy to all the mysteries of revelation.

I think of it like the google maps directions I got in Ireland. They looked barking mad to an American. They looked like total nonsense that would be useless, and yet, somehow when I got on the road, they made perfect sense and really could not have been better. But they didn't make any sense until I was in a place to use them.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Thrash View Post
Can you provide some sources concerning the unintelligibility of the letter even for the original audience? I had assumed there was a degree of confusion, but you make it seem quite a bit more severe than I have assumed it to be.
I take back the statement - I was mis-remembering.

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"Partial preterist gematria"? I take a little bit of offense to that. I thought I had made it clear before that I am in no way any sort of preterist....
Sorry to offend! Just trying to be silly, and I don't assume you're a preterist. Just that most folks who appeal to gematria are partial preterists.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #28
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I take back the statement - I was mis-remembering.



Sorry to offend! Just trying to be silly, and I don't assume you're a preterist. Just that most folks who appeal to gematria are partial preterists.
I didn't think you were genuinely trying to be a jerk, but it's the net.... you never can tell.




As to gematria, I agree with what both you and Bill have said. I guess, if I still hold that it is a viable use to understanding "666", I would be quite in the minority, as I would understand it referring to Domitian still. Which, really, seems to be contrived....

I may have to change my mind on this subject....
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Taylor, you just got drive-by theologied.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #29
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Barack Husein Obamma ....666!!!!
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Unread 04-20-2012, 10:28 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Logan View Post
I agree with what Bill says above in its entirety. The fact is that this is one reason why Revelation was slow in receiving universal recognition - even John's immediate audience had trouble understanding it. I find partial preterist gematria just as silly as dispensational timelines. And I have no idea what 666 means.

Before reading this book where it said to be the number of Nero, I was under the impression (taught from someone with a different perspective) that it had to do with the coming of anti christ at the sixth trump, sixth seal, sixth vial(with the true Christ coming at the seventh of each).

Now I am a new student and haven't even heard of some of the things being discussed here, and had to look up what a preterist was
Before reading the book I hadn't even heard of gematria.
However, right now I'm comfortable with looking at all perspectives and just trying to make the most sense out of it as I can.
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