When the book of Revelation says that 666 is the number of the Antichrist (Rev. 13:8), who does this designate? Scripture gives the number so that we will understand it: ‘Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast…’
While there is much agnosticism and skepticism on this question today, this has not always been the case. The dominant viewpoint of the early Church, the Medieval Church, and the nearly universal viewpoint of Reformation and Puritan eras, sustaining the majority even up through the 1800’s, was that 666 means in Greek, ‘Lateinos’, or, ‘The Latin One’. This designation is something the original hearers could have understood (and probably did, in light of 2 Thess. 2), that the Antichrist would come out of the Roman empire to rule in the Church, which rising to power happened in the early 600’s by the Papacy (as predicted by many in the early Church).
Recently, Carlos Gonzalez has written a very helpful, brief article giving 5 reasons why 666 does not designate Nero Caesar from the A.D. 60’s, which is one of the more popular interpretations today held by Partial-Preterists. His critique, all of which is factually accurate, may be surprising to some who have never heard the other side of the story. The article is linked on the first page below.
Please give careful consideration to the solid, majority, Reformation and Puritan viewpoint that the Papacy is the Antichrist: