From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ominous Odometer

666, thrice.


On my way to town tonight, I pulled up to a stopsign and glanced at the dashboard. The odometer had such a surprising number that I photographed it --66666.

The number 666, traditionally associated with the "number of the beast" in Revelations, appears three times within the number 66666. If I believed in bad omens, I suppose I'd be worried about even seeing that number.  

But maybe 666 isn't even the correct bad number. Recent research on ancient Biblical documents indicates that the number of the beast might be 616, not 666.

Furthermore, there are several views among Christian theologians as to the real identity of the beast. My church (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod -- LCMS) teaches that the beast was a symbol of the Roman Empire that was persecuting Christians mercilessly at the time that Revelations was written.

For more information about the book of Revelations as the LCMS understands it, see "A Lutheran Response to the Left Behind Series" (pdf, 908KB).

That odometer reading does worry me a little though. My car's a few miles overdue for an oil change, and I need to get that done soon!

2 comments:

Nichole said...

The Christian Orthodox believe similar to your church about end times and the beast etc.

Genevieve said...

Nichole, as you probably know, the belief that Revelations reveals the final "dispensations" began in the 1800s. A Lutherandescription of dispensationalism can be read in the online Christian Cyclopedia.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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