Bible Prophecy Revealed

A New Theory About the Mark of the Beast is Proven Wrong

(This is a just revised excerpt (Oct. 27, 2017) from “The Beast and False Prophet Exposed.”)

Walid Shoebat, author of God’s War on Terror, grew up speaking and reading Arabic, so he believed he saw something in the Greek text that most of us could never see, which is that the Greek letters chi xi sigma, which signify 600 60 and 6, look very much like the Arabic word, Bismillah that means, “in the name of Allah,” along with crossed swords, which is found in many Islamic emblems and flags. He believes that John actually saw the Islamic word and the crossed swords and tried to copy it; so what we see as being 666 in the Greek is not that at all. However, there is plenty of evidence that this theory is very wrong.Number of the Beast

Shoebat says the top image is what John saw, and that John actually wrote down something like the bottom image. He says that scribes thought he had written the number 666 as seen in the Codex Vaticanus, seen here:


This new theory has taken off on many websites and; even well-known Bible teacher Chuck Missler has taught it, but it is not accurate for several reasons. First, notice that the scribes would have had to turn the middle squiggle 90 degrees and move the line from beside it to above it. And then also turn the middle letter. That is major editing, not merely writing letters that resembled what John wrote.

Since the early Bibles were handwritten, it is probable that only a few copies of the Bible would resemble Bismillah and crossed swords. If Shoebat were to have seen a different manuscript, he would not have seen anything that looked like Bismillah.chester beatty collection2

This image is from the Chester Beatty Papyri collection. The letters that look like an X and E are Greek letters that appear frequently in Greek documents.

Notice the letters above the white line. They don’t look very much like crossed swords and Bismillah. Look at the bottom line, there is another X and E with a line after it; is that another Bismillah?

Typeset text looks even less like Bismillah, without serious alterations. Here the number set in type: χξϚ ( Here is another typeface of those letters:


Shoebat references the Vaticanus codex found in the Vatican library, but it was not complete, and was pieced together. The book of Revelation was missing, so they added a much later copy of Revelation to make a complete Bible. So Revelation in Vaticanus was not so ancient, but later. Another codex, the Sinaiticus, has 666 written out in words and in capital letters, which do not in any way resemble Bismillah or crossed swords! It was a very common practice to write the Bible in all capital letters.

Also, the number 666 could have been written out in words. Which was in the original text that John wrote? Was it 666, or the words six hundred, sixty, six? We will not know this before the return of Christ, but it makes no difference insofar as this issue is concerned.

However, a piece of evidence does exist that points to the words being written out originally. Notice the line above the letters in the Chester Beatty Papyri above. That line above the text is not part of the numbers, it is a scribal mark that means that the numbers below it are an abbreviation. I do not believe that John would have put that mark there if he wrote numbers originally. To me this means that the number was originally written out in words, six hundred sixty and six. Then a later scribe changed it to numbers and put the “abbreviated” mark above it. You don’t put the “abbreviated” mark above something that was not changed by a scribe.codex-1

This codex has 666 in words, not numbers. The arrow points to the line. Notice the number “14” on the left. That begins chapter 14.

But more importantly, the text actually says it is a number. The word “number” appears four times in the last two verses, “for it is man’s number. His number is ___” So John was not trying to write something other than a number. Everything John wrote down, he either saw in a vision, or is what an angel told him during the visions; he did not write down impressions or assumptions, and he says it is a number!

But even if he wrote the number, perhaps God intended it to point to Bismillah? No, that is not possible because the verse says it is a number. It also says that we should “count” the number of the beast. How can you count up or calculate something that is not a number?

This inaccurate interpretation includes much twisting of the meaning of the original Greek text in order to smooth out the conflicts. Shoebat and his followers are doing this in an attempt to make the passage make sense with Bismillah. So they have contrived alternate meanings for “count” and “number” and end up making the verse say something very different.

They claim an alternate meaning for “number” (arithmos) (706), is “multitude,” and they use “determine” instead of “count,” so they come up with this; “let him that hath understanding determine the multitude of men belonging to the beast: for it is a multitude of men; and his multitude is (crossed swords, Bismillah).”

They are using the word “multitude” incorrectly, as though it were not connected to arithmos. Using “multitude” this way is dead wrong. Here is what Thayer’s Greek dictionary says about arithmos:

1) a fixed and definite number 2) an indefinite number, a multitude

The word “multitude” as used in the above definition refers to a large number, not a specific group of anything, certainly not a group of people. The way Shoebat and his followers are using it, it refers to a group, the group being the Muslims.

The word “multitude” from the Greek arithmos can be used only if its use retains the original meaning. As in, “he has a multitude of problems.” Notice that the sentence could have been worded this way; “he has a large number of problems.” So it retains the meaning connected to “number.” But as it is being used by Shoebat, it has a totally different meaning which is not in any way even inferred or suggested by its meaning; therefore, it is engaging in the worst kind of twisting.

The Complete Word Study Dictionary, by Spiros Zodhiates, is a thick Greek dictionary, often with much information and several definitions for a word, but it gives only one meaning for arithmos, NUMBER.

If John wanted to convey the meaning of a “multitude” of people, as in a group or company of people, he would have used (plethos) (4128) or “ochlos” (3793). How do I know this? Because Revelation actually contains the word “multitude” and in the Greek it is “ochlos.” It appears three times 7:9; 17:15, & 19:6: “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude . . .” CWD says:

A crowd, throng, confused multitude. . . . With polloi . . . Much, great, many crowds . . . Specifically used for the common people, the rabble . . . Generally a multitude, a great number.

Therefore, if John had intended to mean “multitude” he would have used the word that actually does mean “multitude.”

You may notice that the Greek, arithmos is the exact word from which we get our English word arithmetic, and arithmetic does not have any connection to a group or company of anything. So the correct meaning of arithmos is number, not multitude or group.

If you used this type of alternate meanings, like is described above, with all or any other part of the Bible, you could get anything imaginable in the text. The Bible would be a book without any predictable meaning, as it would say whatever you wanted it to say.

Another thing to consider is that, since there were many Christians in the Middle East down through the centuries who were able to read and write in both Greek and Arabic, how is it that no one has seen crossed swords and Bismillah in the Greek text before now? Because it is not actually in the text, but is contrived to be there.

I believe the whole chapter of Rev. 13 points to Islam as I have shown in this chapter and other chapters, which are my own insights, NOT Shoebat’s. The only thing of his is this nonsense I am refuting. I do not approve of Scripture twisting to show that something points to Islam. STOP the nonsense.


3 Thoughts on “A New Theory About the Mark of the Beast is Proven Wrong

  1. Peter on April 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm said:

    Dear mr. Fortner,
    the clearest indication that Mohammed is the beast of revelations is this
    he died on 6 June 632 (6/6/632). The history books say he died on the 8th of June but this is meant by the evil one to confuse, the error in observing and calculating the crescent moon at that time is easy to understand. Our Lord Jesus birth and crucifixion years are also disputed so the thesis of error is plausible. Many astronomers and astrologers have calculated the feast day on which mohammed died to have been on the 6th of June.
    Furthermore, the mark of the beast is simply the so called prayer bump. Many muslims pray and prostrate but do not aquire a prayer bump. It is indeed the mark of the beast, because it is when these muslims blaspheme against God by attesting to the false teachings of the beast and fervently believe in their prophet mohammed that the mark appears. Most muslims will aquire the mark at some point in their lives and this is the mark referred to in Revelations. Regarding buying and selling and the mark, this is due to something being lost in translation, what is actually means is “to bargain” or “negotiate” or “haggle” as you would at the marketpalce . In todays world no nation can avoid negotiating with the Muslims (nations), for instance to call them out as spawn of the antichrist is unthinkable today because of the diplomatic and practical dangers, therefore lip service is paid to them and their faith is accepted and announced as valid and genuine even by stalworths of christianity such as the Vatican. This is what is means to accept or receive (be receptive of) the mark of the beast.
    I hope you discover more about this the world will fight a final war against the antichrist, the die is cast and things are brewing. For their lack of faith in and abandoning of Christ the Europeans have been invaded by the muslims, soon there will be interfaith civil wars and then the final reckoning will take place.

    God Bless

  2. Pietro on January 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm said:

    In The Book of Daniel it is mentioned vert clearly about a “god of fortress” which in the far future (for Daniel obviously) was going to have a huge, devastating factor in the world to come, until now (and it truly happened, also with hundreds of millions of victims caused by the same anti Christ islamic creed, apart the rest of the huge disasters which all came to be, and continue so far, because of a “man”, a so called prophet named mohammed, a man of doom who elevated himself also to the level of the -alla- (a pagan god of death, among the other many and more gods which were worshipped within the babilonian territories, many thousands of years ago); mohammed stated that, one of his daughters, fatima, was to be highly respected, considered, as the highest among all women, to ever exist in this world, this is what he stated at that time, the arrogant;
    Mary, the second Eve, Mother Of LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD Incarnate, Was Called by The Archangel Gabriel, Blessed among All women: this title, this Truth came directly from LORD GOD’s Will ! Mohammed not only proclamed himself set to be at the same level of -his god-, but also, as arrogant as a brigant could be, didn’t have it enough, so he proclamed to the “world” of the time that his daughter fatima was to be respected, considered as the one woman among all women in the world, before and after; this is typical of a movement, a number of followers who are the followers of the anti Christ (behind to all of this is the arrogant, blasfemous, ecc. “crescent moon and the morning star” who wanted to be at a higher position Than LORD GOD ! Which
    allah is the typical god of fortress, the god also represented by both the infamous crescent moon and the morning star (symbols of several islamic state flags, the same two symbols which clearly show in the Old Testament referring to the fallen angel, and therefore used to described the fallen angel; allah is one of the worst (if not the worst) pagan god/creeds to ever exist, which still pushes its followers to use also human sacrifice for false ways to false heavens: this only tells alot, this tells who is behind the allah name; the three greek letters sigma, chi, and xi, by themselves, don’t mean quite anything within the same context; those numbers who hysterically, under diabolical influences, cry out the slogan “bismillah” while using scimitars are a true number of anti Christs fighting to persecute the Church Of The Living GOD; in Chapter 12, the Lady dressed with a cloak and having a Child has her feet sitting on the moon, and the moon, again, represents the fallen angel as said, and allah is the known -moon god-;

    now, go ahead, and take down our very modest comment, we just wanted to let you know more about the truth;

    in The Holy Name Of Our Most Precious LORD YASHUA, SON Of LORD GOD The FATHER, we Ask To YOU, OH LORD GOD, with deep humbleness, To Enlighten And Fill With The Holy PARACLITE the soul of Your creatures in this world which is very often blind, away from The Truth; Amen !

  3. Islam is the beast out of the sea, the first beast. Coming out of the sea represents multitude of ppls, and also a land at odds with its neighbors. The Worship of the Kabba stone is idolatry, something God in the OT expressway forbids. Coming out of the earth represents coming from a civilized nation. I understand the 2nd beast to be the false prophet(coming from a civilized nation), causing ppl to worship the 1st beast. The false prophet must be one who claims to be a follower of Christ yet will speak blasphemies like the dragon. I assume this to reference fetallah gulch, who calls himself a Christian reformed from radical Islam; however it should be noted the gulen still has an educational empire revolving alround islam, I’m countries around the world. There is a conspiracy which states that fetallah gulen is the spriritual leader of Islam where as the 1st beast will be the political leader. Interesting enough, the person who currently calls himself the leader of the Islamic state, Tayip Recep Erodogan, blames gulden fo an assination attempt on his life, and asserts that gulen, although residing in the United states(a civilized places as compared to the Middle East), has major influences on Islam in turkey and throughout the world. Note that the first beast is one described as having a fatal head wound which was healed. I.E., the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920’s, and returning of this Ottoman Empire in the current world dichotomy. Note, Erdogan has on multiple occasions has asserted his goal to re establish the Ottoman Empire and its territories(all of the Middle East). One should read 1 and 2 Esdras, which give further insight as to the four kingdoms who will play a key role in the end of th age. These kingdoms being, Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Note these countries have no particular love for one another, however will temporarily align together to face a common enemy, the west and Christianity. Tobit, expands even further and states that Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan(others also) will play a role, and will all be targets of Turkey, after Erdogan becomes the official head of the Islamic state. Scripture is very clear, these beasts or kingdoms and their leaders will be in the Middle East. I don’t know what role the vatican Church will take(perhaps they are the second beast). However one thing is For sure, the alliance in the Middle East for one, will not last, as thes countries do not agree with one another except for in that they all practice Islam; furthermore, turkey views all these countries as part of their Ottoman Empire, and thus will conquer or destroy them, despite being in alliance with some of them. The beast is Islam symbolzed, and the ten horns are the leaders of the ten countries who give their power and authority to Turkey(Erdogan), the dictator of such. It should be noted, that Turkey under Erdogans leadership is known to allow radical jihadists into their military. Hope this helps

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Copyright 2014 by Michael D. Fortner