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Encyclopedia > Mark of the Beast
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It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Number of the Beast (numerology). (Discuss)

The Mark of the Beast is mentioned in the Book of Revelation of the Christian Bible. It is closely associated with the Number of the Beast. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Number of the Beast is mentioned in the Book of Revelation of the Christian Bible and has long been accepted to be 666. ... Jump to: navigation, search Visions of John the Evangelist, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... Jump to: navigation, search As a noun, Christian is an appellation and moniker deriving from the appellation Christ, which many people associate exclusively with Jesus of Nazareth. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Bible (sometimes The Book, Good Book, Word of God, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, plural of βιβλιον, biblion, book, originally a diminutive of βιβλος, biblos, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos, meaning papyrus, from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported this... The Number of the Beast is mentioned in the Book of Revelation of the Christian Bible and has long been accepted to be 666. ...


References from the Bible

Revelation 13:17 states:

"... no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or name of the beast, or the number of his name."

Theological interpretations

Versions of Christian eschatology which hold that these prophecies refer to future events, typically hold that the Mark of the Beast is one way in which the antichrist will exercise power over the earth, during the period known as the Tribulation in the book of Revelation. Opinions as to what form it will take are varied. The literal interpretation is that its will be the number 666 imprinted on the skin, but conspiracy theorists imagine all sorts of devious possibilities tied in with recent technological developments. The notion that the mark is required for all commerce implies that the mark might actually be a special credit card or that we might have to have our fingerprints scanned into a worldwide database in order to be recognized in business. Or the mark might be some kind of smart chip implanted into the body, such as the Verichip, manufactured by the company Digital Angel (AMEX:DOC). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Prophecy, in a broad sense, is the prediction of future events. ... In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist is a person or other entity that is the embodiment of evil and utterly opposed to truth. ... This proposed logo for a U.S. government agency was dropped due to fears that its Masonic symbolism would provoke conspiracy theories. ... An RFID identification product from VeriChip Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions, a Florida corporation. ... Digital Angel (AMEX:DOC) is an American company that produces animal identification and tracking systems using RFID. External links Official website The mark of the devil. ...

Problems with various literal and conspiratorial approaches

The first problem is that the book of Revelation may not have been written to be interpreted literally but symbolically. In this sense, then, the "Mark of the Beast" is no more a literal mark on a person's hand or forehead than the "beast from the sea" in 13:1 and the "beast from the earth" in 13.11 can be considered actual, bodily creatures. For many interpreters, it stands to reason that when a section of text is to be interpreted symbolically, then the reader must not suddenly decide to read a section in a literal sense. If the "beasts" are symbols of what was or what is to come, then it is also logical that the mark of the beast is itself symbolic and not a literal mark on a person's hand or forehead.

The second problem is that, in the verse that immediately follows - 14:1 - there is a description of the 144,000 who had the name of Jesus and the name of the Father written on their foreheads. Most mainstream Christian interpreters see the 144,000 as a non-literal number of people who represent all of God's people - the church. Yet to many interpreters it seems strange to view the mark of the beast as a literal mark, since it logically means that the 144,000 in 14:1 would have a literal mark of Jesus and the Father upon their foreheads also. Many interpreters view both marks as being symbolic of a person's commitment to either God or the Devil.

The third problem is that, if the verse is to be understood in a literalistic sense, then the mark can only be effectual if it is placed upon the right hand or the forehead. If the mark is placed, for example, upon the left hand or the shoulder, then it is no longer considered the mark of the beast.

The fourth problem is that, if the mark could be considered a microchip implant, then it no longer functions as a "mark" since it is invisible. The Greek word charagma (mark) denotes a stamp or an impression upon the skin - ie something that is visible to the naked eye and whose function depends upon this visibility. Within the Christian community there are many who argue that the word charagma is based on the word charax, which is said to mean stick into, or, sharpen to a point or palisade (fence); they could also say that charasso on which charax is derived also means sharpen to a point. This would support their notion that a microchip is "stuck into" a person's skin. Such an argument, however, does not appear to be backed up by New Testament scholars. Ulrich Witkins, a contributor to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (vol 9, page 416), writes the following about charagma:

(it) is an engraved, etched, branded or inscribed "mark" or "sign". Closest to (its) original sense.. is the earliest example in Soph. Phil., 267, where (it) denotes the bite of a snake. Elsewhere the term means "inscription"... or anything written..., and especially the impressed or branded "stamp" eg a brand to mark camels.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Mark of the Beast (1713 words)
This mark is of great debate as to what it is and is a significant piece of the puzzle during the time of Great Tribulation.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
  More results at FactBites »



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