From the second century, people began to use a technique known as “gematria” which means a “manipulation of numbers.”
Using this technique, each letter of the Greek, Hebrew or Latin alphabet had its own numerical value.
Therefore, the number 666 has been the happy hunting ground for all types of speculation. But there are two reasons we should not try to pin the number on anyone we know:
1. As seen in this series so far, Revelation gives numerous points of identification to reveal the beast.
The number 666 is only one of many. Care should be taken not to overemphasise one point while ignoring others, especially when that particular point is widely disputed.
2. The number can be used for many names. Some have suggested that the Latin inscription of “vicarious filii dei” on the papal tiara adds up to 666.
Some maintain the number has been there at times although it is not there at present.
Others have suggestedmthat the names of Nero, Caligula, Muhammad, Napoleon, Hitler, or— more recently—Bill Gates can add up to the number.
Among the more creative suggestions was the association of the number with Ronald Wilson Reagan, because he had six letters in each of his three names.