The Mystery & History of 666

Published: Jun. 6, 2006 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 5:45 AM CST
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It's the sixth day of sixth month of sixth year of the century, otherwise known as 666. Those three numbers are causing a stir nationwide.

If you look hard enough, you can find it just about anywhere. In bar codes at the supermarket, in product logos, encoded in the names of the famous and the infamous and of course on the calendar. Tuesday, June 6th, 2006, theoretically 06-06-06, but some people are just seeing the three 6s, and it's turning some heads, figuratively speaking.

So what's the history and mystery behind the ever so curious list of numbers, 666?

"The only time it's mentioned in the New Testament is Revelations. The number 666 usually represents the unholy trinity. That's generally used to represent the antichrist or the mark of the beast," Tim Radkey said.

Radkey is the senior pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Lubbock. He says numbers are symbolic throughout the bible and there's no reason to fear the number 666.

"When I was in seminary, the address of the house me and my wife lived in was 8666, and I still made it through seminary unscathed," Radkey said.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, which has three hexes, is actually a fear of the numbers 666.

In 2003 New Mexico renumbered its share of U.S. Highway 666, or "The Devil's Highway," into the less ominous Highway 491. Colorado and Utah followed suit.

When leaving the White House and heading to the Los Angeles suburb, Bel-Air, Ronald Reagan changed his address from 666 St. Cloud Road to 668.

"I think people are always intrigued by maybe there's some inherent power in the number 666," Radkey said.

Hollywood is capitalizing on the number - focusing on the devilish date. "The Omen" opened on a Tuesday, almost unheard of in Hollywood.

It's a remake of the 1976 horror classic about a murderous boy, Damien, the son of Satan, marked with a 6-6-6 on his scalp.

"When a date only comes around once in a century, it's the best thing for you to possibly do to take advantage of that," Terry Stanley with Advertising Age said.

Some expectant mothers are even praying they don't deliver on this day.

But if the world doesn't end today, and since it didn't end on June 6, 1906 or in the year 666, we're probably safe.

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