666 or 616?
According to the oldest copy of the book of Revelations (~1700 yo) the number of the beast is 616. So the poor chap was already damned to eternal hell 50 days previously!
An American man has brought a wrongful dismissal suit over his former employer's attempt to make him wear the number of the beast - in the guise of a safety record sticker. Billy E Hyatt alleges that he was fired from the Pliant Corp plastics factory in northern Georgia for refusing to wear a sticker declaring the factory had …
In the original text it's not actually written as "666" but as something like νρων κσρ in greek or, in modern hebrew letters, נרון קשר.
This is because, in those days, there was no separate numerical system and both cultures used letters of the alphabet as numbers, adding up various letters until the required total is reached (which is part of the logic behind numerology-based mystery cults like Kabbalah and so forth). A modern equivalent might use A as 1, B as 2 all the way up to J as 9, then K as 10, L as 100, M as 1000 and so forth.
The smart amongst you may have already noticed that the letters above spell "nron ksr" and "nrwn qsr" respectively. When the book of Revelation was written, it was done so in greek, as any literate writer in Israel of the day would have known Greek as well as Aramaic and old Hebrew. The writer may have written in Greek, however he was still thinking in Aramaic and wrote the name "nero ceasar" (or neron kaiser as it would have been in literate circles there, as they all spoke Greek rather than Latin), transliterated from aramaic to greek, as the "number of the beast". Aramaic, like Hebrew and most other semitic languages has no vowels, so the result would be the equivalent of NRWN QSR. With the transition to hindu-arabic numerals the transliteration lost its meaning and the total number was rendered simply as "666".
In some translations from greek to latin a mistake was made by the translator, who assumed that the text should say NRW QSR, resulting in some later texts having the number add up to 616.
So, to end it all, the whole "number of the beast" thing is actually a bit of historical curiosity now rather than a fundamental element of identification of some future "antichrist" figure. It's worth remembering that there is no mention of a single man named "antichrist" in the entire book of revelation. The entire book refers to events that took place around 69 AD, when the romans laid seige to Jerusalem. The beast of the sea was Nero, the beast of the land was the Jewish religious hierarchy, the "harlot" was that same hierarchy, the weeping merchants were the Jewish people and foreigners who traded in Jerusalem as it stood on the crossroads between east and west and so on and so forth. Those "end times" referred to throughout the new testament were a reference to the eventual sack of Jerusalem and the annexation of Israel as part of the Roman Empire, something anyone with a bit of foresight and brain could have predicted if they paid attention to the political motions of the day.
Basically the entire book refers to events in the past. It's over. Finito. Finished. We're living after the end of the book.
Finally someone who puts some sense in Christian Mythology.
I am not a Nihilist, in fact I am baptized christian by choice- but I really have a hard time with fundamentalists of any color who do not care to get the facts and have no sense for of the spiritual side of things.
They rather take unreflected everything as truth that is written down and hand themselves cowardly to whatever authority claims to own that truth. If that's not 100% materialistic, lacking every spark of spirituality.
And worse, they fight everyone who choose to disagree without an inch of tolerance...
You could argue, with the help of some adult beverage, that that's where things went wrong.
Everyone tells us to be tolerant, but I've never understood why I should tolerate such complete, utter, manic, raging, rot-inducing idiocy. Then again, that seems to be the most common state of humanity.
I do wish these sky fairy merchants would occasionally get their facts right. The NOB is not, as explained by the erudite Mr Stephen Fry, 666. More like 620 or thereabouts, though my memory fails to extract the definitive result.
Not sure if this minor inaccuracy deserves sacking though.
The employer is asking for it really, isn't he. And why 666? Why not 600?
If I worked for them I'd go to the first aid room with a paper cut, insisting it be logged. On day 665, after the stickers had been printed, and I'd been asked to unbox them.. you see where this is going.... the irony would make it all worth while.
Why is he working for a company and collecting wages when he should be dedicating himself to the work his Saviour recommended: feeding the poor, looking after the widow and orphan, visiting those in prison, helping people out who need help, laying down his life for others?
Oh, I guess that would be walking the walk. So much more fun to get hung up on the superstitious, mumbo-jumbo bit of your religion and enjoy feeling outraged.
Or he could just be very, very thick.
Tricky thing, helping out the less fortunate if you don't have your own home and income. Cos, you know, you'd *be* one of the less fortunate at that point. How do you feed the poor if you can't afford food? Or the land on which to grow it?
The fact the guy is credulous and a bit daft is reason enough to mock him. So what does your complete failure to understand economics or charity say about you?
If the guy was credulous and daft, I would not mock him. If he were just a simple soul who'd swallowed the whole thing, fuzzy supertitious bits and all, i would pity him. But he was shrewd enough to sue his employer. Nothing like money to sharpen a man's wits. I curl my lip at him not because he is a simple believer, but because he's a canting hypocrite.
When he felt frightened and oppressed, he was supposed to turn the other cheek. What do you think that means? When hurt, humiliated, put into distress, a Christian accepts it joyfully as a way to walk the walk his Saviour set for him and the one He demonstrated. Though wearing the nunber of the beast (although completely out of context), he would have held fast to his faith and trusted his God.
Or can you find somewhere that Jesus said 'Sue the socks off the b*st*rd, matey, get loads of dosh: that's My teaching in a nutshell.'
>>Not much of a fanatic → #
>>In Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'
>>A real religious nutcase would have voluntarily had an industrial accident on day #665, just to stick it to the boss.
a sensible religious nutcase would have organised an industrial accident for his boss. involving nails, or a crown of thorns, or something :)
Let me add like everyone else has that the oldest versions of revelations had the number as 616.
Let me also add that this would have been a front-page bile-spewer in The Daily Fail if this had happened in the UK.
"Another Christian persecuted for beliefs!"
...where he'd be pictured glum-faced with his copy of the Bible and his wife and dogs. The sub-text would then go on about how different it would have been if he'd been Islamic or gay and would then try to wangle in something about peadophilia and secularists.
I had one. It never missed a beat, and was fun as hell with its reasonably advanced suspension design (for the era and market segment), RWD and skinny tyres. I miss that car.
Now every idiot wants one so they can put a rotary engine in it, and as a result they cost far too much.
... For most Christians I know, the number 666 is the number that comes after 665 and before 667. The number itself does have scriptural significance, but to take it out of context like this chap has done just makes him seem silly and unscriptural. Maybe he should refer to what text in Revelation actually says, rather than looking to see what Richard Donner (director of The Omen) said...
"I'm saddened to see how many people think that a person who has a belief different to theirs should be fired."
He wasn't fired for having beliefs. He was fired for refusing to obey instructions. The fact that he thought those instructions were against his irrational beliefs was irrelevant.
I agree that he has been unfairly dismissed, there really are too many stupid people in this world who make and police rules.
@Tony green. Though I understand he didn't follow an instruction. It's only a sticker and I doubt it would make a big difference to the company---then again, I doubt that keeping the stickers would make a big difference to the company, if anything it's a waste of money.
@Sthiat. Maybe not, but as long their belief doesn't affect me, I generally don't care. Not believing in a super-being(s) is still a belief and some practice that by protesting that said being(s) doesn't exist. Not wearing that sticker doesn't affect the company, except from maybe a small loss of printing that sticker.
I'm on the side of the employee here.
Lets get this in perspective. His boss wanted him to wear number 666 for a day, he didn't want to do it. On the next day, i'm assuming that 667 would have been fine and the only problem we'd have going forward will be a couple of years after the next industiral accident.
His boss should have just let it go for one day, then give him the badge for the next day.
Failing that, a "Looking forward to 667 days without an accident" would have been fine. Would "Happily working for over 665 days without an accident" be too much of a stretch?
(by the way, i'm not religious at all, but i reckon that if it's easy to accommodate peoples beliefs then why not?)
to the people suggesting that this guy is a nutter and deserves no sympathy:
all y'all are missing a very important fact-- this happened in Georgia. For our friends across the pond, Georgia is part of the "deep south" and this sort of belief is quite common, and even considered moderate, in that area. I still have memories of visiting a pentacostalist sunday school once where they showed a movie suggesting that demons are real and are responsible for. . . *masturbation* (shock! horror!). At any rate, I'm willing to bet he was not the only one in his factory unwilling to wear a 666 badge. It sounds like besides not wanting to wear a number tag one day, he's probably a fine employee (hey, no accidents in almost two years takes a lot of careful workers). A little bit of respect and accommodation goes a long way towards making work tolerable.
The scripture in question prohibited mixing wool and linen, not any arbitrary fabrics, but *only* wool and linen. It's likely this is due to a ritual requirement that the priests of the day shouldn't wear clothes that make them sweat when they're doing their priestly things which, in a warm environment, would rule out wool in any form for ritual clothing.
It's also possibly because wool tends to shrink in hot, humid environments, whilst linen doesn't, which would result in clothing that goes all squiffy.
Modern translations aside, again, the scripture only refers to wool and linen. And at one point it refers to garments rather than threads.
Cultural context is always necessary when studying these things.
Given the cost and risks in replacing a staff member you don't just do it on a whim.
More likely: the guy kept pushing his faith on others at work and it was really pissing people off. This was the final straw; or the guy was a profilic work misser.
The sticker could read 665+1, 667-1, 333 x 2. Hell, (pun intended), there is an entire field of mathematics (and a couple of nutjobs ^H scientists as well) dedicated to finding means to refer to a number, without actually using it, or even knowing it too, by the most creative means possible.
It is called Algebra.
There is even a challenge on how to write all numbers from 0 to 10, using only four fours.
How do you call that? Witchcraft? Lots of spare time?
Even 665A could go without such a fuss. Or the number of hours (666 x 24).
Go watch Numb3rs to get some ideas. Geez.
The 616/666 thing aside, the bible says [number] is the number of the beast, but doesn't claim that all instances of that number refer to the beast or invoke the power of the beast.
It actually goes on to say how to identify such an instance of the number.
The guy is going to hell not because he had to wear the number. He's going to hell because lying about what the bible says is heresy, and he's an obvious heretic.
Not at all. Being wrong about what the bible says is not heresy, even if you're making unequivocally false statements. In the middle ages, that would have made religious debate impossible, since the loser would immediately have to be burnt; but in fact, it was their most popular intellectual pastime (without, normally, the burning).
"Heresy" is when Mother Church tells you the correct interpretation, takes time to explain it to you in as much detail as you require, and you listen and acknowledge that you understand the teaching - but still insist on rejecting it and keeping your own interpretation. Then you're rejecting the authority of the Church, which is how heresy is really defined in practice.
What kinda employer makes you wear a sticker saying how long the building was accident free? Sorry, but I'm kinda glad to be in our industry, where our dress codes are a little more reasonable.
Hell, that means they are buying enough stickers for all employees everyday, what a phenomenal waste of money. His management should be fired for misusing funds, when a board with flippy-numbers would be just fine!
Not for any religious reason, but considering many American buildings choose to label the 13th Floor as 14 for superstitious reasons, it seems like a very petty boss who would fire someone for not wearing a badge with a temporary integer variable.
On a side note, I played Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast at a bible study once - it was not the most well recieved message I've shared, but I enjoy the odd reaction when I also share that Nicko McBain is a Christian.
1.) No one should be made to wear a badge that isn't essential for their work ( such as ID).
2.) Even if someone does need to, it'snormally a minor transgression.
3) Unless his contract says he can't be a deluded and illogical idiot he's fully entitled to be one. In fact, if you excluded everyone from work they were capable of just for idiocy I can think of a few places that would be very short of staff.
both the termination of the employee over this and the reaction of a whole shedload of commentards. Just because you all think his beliefs are nuts he's not entitled to the same kind of respect for those beliefs that you'd all give someone who shares your own? Get a collective life.
The boss here was CLEARLY in the legal wrong, to say nothing of it just being an a-hole move in the first place. Even in a 'right-to-work' state like Georgia you cannot be legally terminated for acting in accordance to your religious beliefs unless those beliefs cause a significant disruption to your ability to do your job, and even then it's iffy in a lot of states. That's right up there with firing someone for being gay on the list of civil rights. Not wearing a sticker that says you were accident free for 666 days? No affect on his job.
A person earns or commands respect through their actions, not their beliefs.
Your suggestion that this is equivalent to gay/civil rights is way off base because that's a question of human rights. A person certainly should have the right to believe what they want, but when they publicise those beliefs or use them as justification for doing (or not doing) something it immediately becomes a question of evidence and rationality.
Disappointed with some of the other commentards here. This guy is not likely to be the smartest cookie, whereas most of us probably think we're pretty much 'all there'.
I'd like to suggest a few other possibilities.
1) Having been told not to worry, he innocently believed his boss would sort something out.
2) He's actually quite honest, and wouldn't think of throwing a sickie.
3) He has to give at least a months notice to take a day off.
4) His boss was a total control freak, who delighted in causing distress to 'underlings'.
I met number 4 when I was a teenager. He sacked me for refusing to break out of a complex job to go and post a letter, even after I offered to do so at lunch time, and he knew there wasn't another collection till 4pm.
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