“Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666.”
Order of Contents
Intro: 2 Quotes
Wilhelmus A’Brakel †1711
Not To Be Ignored: Commentary on Revelation
“The Greeks calculated with their alphabet. Their letters were also numbers. That means that one word can represent a certain matter, place, or person, as well as a number. This was the number 666. The Greek letters, which were used for this number, were also a number of man, spelling a human name.
Shortly after the time of the apostles [in A.D. 180] the number 666 [was] translated to the name LATEINOZ, the first king of the region where Rome is located. The land was called Latium after him. And the language they spoke was called the Latin language, as it is still called. And so this number 666, which spells [in Greek] Lateinoz, leads as by the hand to Rome and in Rome to the pope, who established himself within the church.
Then it was referred to as the Latin Church, to make a distinction with the Eastern Church, which was referred to as the Greek Church. Until today  the service is still executed in Latin. The pope is still writing his bulls and decrees in the Latin language.
This name and his number clearly show that the pope is the Antichrist, which is described in great detail in PART 1, chapter 24, § 44 until § 51. This became clearer during the time of the Reformation.”
Francis Turretin 1661
“Therefore, we dismiss these [previously mentioned] opinions, while holding firmly to the popular and more commonly accepted view which maintains that the Pontiff, his rank and his rule, are correctly described by this prophecy. In fact, we may compute his name in either Greek or Hebrew, the two languages by which God gave his oracles and prophecies (shrouding them in mystery), yet the sum of their letters will yield the same result.
For, if the computation be made in Greek, which is quite appropriate considering the Revelation was written in Greek to Greeks, no other suitable name occurs than the name Lateinos, as Irenaeus [A.D. 130-202] conjectured. And, if the name Romanus should be counted in the Hebrew characters, it will mean either Roman seat or Roman, as John Foxe [1516-1587] determined. Moreover, the Hebrew term comprises the same meaning as that of the Greek term. For Romanus or Lateinos is the name of the aforementioned Beast and is that name which the Pope imposes on all his disciples [that is, Roman Catholic].
It is on this self-same Beast that all these and additional marks of Antichrist converge; i.e., such marks as causing the whole earth, which follows him, to wonder; his blaspheming the name of God; and the great power he holds over the heads of all people and tongues, etc.
That this name contains the number 666 in both Greek and Hebrew is not a point of dispute [the following is in the Greek alphabet]:
L – λ – 30
a – α – 1
t – τ – 300
e – ε – 5
i – ι – 10
n – ν – 50
o – ο – 70
s – ς – 200
Thus the Roman Pontiff and his Seat is undoubtedly indicated. For he is truly Latin who holds the remains of the Latin empire and the ancient seat.
By no small coincidence, he does not allow public worship to be conducted in any other language than Latin; nor does he publish his official documents and decrees in any other language. Also, the Eastern Orthodox call the Roman Church by the name Latin Church, as seen in the general councils where this distinction was meticulously made between the western fathers or bishops, called Latins, while the rest were called Greeks.
Therefore, the name Lateinos (in Greek) or Romanus (in Hebrew) is fully consistent with the fulfillment of this prophecy, in that it predicts the seat of the Beast to be Rome, where it remains to this day. The truth is out in the open.”
A Select List of Significant Writers who take 666 as Lateinos in Greek, or, ‘The Latin One’ 34
From p. vi of Rabett’s, The Name & Number of the Beast, and other sources
Irenaeus 180 Francis Turretin 1687
Hippolytus †235 Henry More 1687
Ticonius 390 Jacques Bossuet 1704
Aretas 523 Wilhelmus A’Brakel †1711
Primasius 560 Matthew Henry 1714
R.C. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine 1622 Campegius Vitringa 1722
Johannes Piscator 1625 Isaac Newton 1727
George Downame 1634 Phillip Doddridge 1751
Joseph Mede 1638 William Whiston 1752
Archbishop William Laud 1645 Johann Bengel 1752
Hugo Grotius 1645 Adam Clarke 1762
John Diodati 1649 John Gill 1771
The Westminster Annotations 1657 John Brown of Haddington 1787
James Durham 1658 Andrew Fuller 1815
Edward Leigh 1671 Thomas Scott 1821
Matthew Poole 1679 William Cunningham 1861
. David Brown 1871
Sanders, Henry A. – ‘The Number of the Beast in Revelation’ in Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 37 (1918), pp. 95-99
Sanders critiques the view holding 666 to refer to Nero on p. 97, saying that “This statement will hardly bear critical examination.” The pamphlet’s main purpose is to try to explain the how the minority 616 variant arose in the early manuscripts. Though his hypothesis that 616 was original (p. 99 bot) is undoubtebly wrong, yet the article is helpful both historically and grammatically.
Bacchiocchi, Samuele – ‘The Mark & Number of the Beast’ (2005) 28 pp. in Endtime Issues Newsletter, no. 139
Dr. Bacchiocchi was a Seventh Day Adventist professor at Andrews University. The traditional Seventh Day Adventist position has been that 666 refers to the papacy and the title, Vicarius Filli Dei, ‘the Vicar of the Son of God’. This interpretation was also held by Andrews Helwig (c. 1572-1643), a German professor of classical Greek literature, in his book Antichristus Romanus. Dr. Bacchiocchi did susbstantial historical research on the subject and concluded (note that the negative conclusion is erroneous):
“On the positive side, contrary to the criticism of our detractors, the phrase VICARIUS FILLI DEI has been used historically as a major papal title, and possibly it was also inscribed in some papal tiaras or mitres.
On the negative side, the identification of the number 666 with VICARIUS FILII DEI, cannot be exegetically supported by Revelation 13:18, because the text does not say that the meaning of 666 is to be found in the added numerical value of the letters of a name. We noted that such numerical method of interpretation is unknown in the Bible.”
Dr. Bacchiocchi preferred a symbolic interpretation relating to the false worship of God, especially as manifested in the future last show down of the final days. The article is helpful for its historical information on Vicarius Filli Dei on pp. 9-12.
Gonzalez, Carlos – Nero & 666: a Historicist’s Critique n.d. 5 points in 32 paragraphs
Partial-Preterism interprets most of Revelation as happening by A.D. 70 and consequently takes the Antichrist to be Nero, making the case that one form of his name in Hebrew adds up to 666. This article gives the brief case against this view for the following five reasons:
1. The Name is Calculated from the Hebrew Instead of the Greek
2. The Calculation of 666 is not for a Specific Individual
3. It uses an Uncommon Hebrew Spelling for Nero’s Name
4. The ‘616’ Variant Should be Rejected
5. There are no Early Church Interpretations that the Antichrist was Nero
The article, at the end, includes quotes on the majority, historic Reformed view from A’Brakel, Irenaeus, The Westminster Annotations, Hippolytus, Turretin, David Brown, Gill and John Brown of Haddington.
Clarke, John Edward – Dissertation on the Dragon, Beast & False Prophet, of the Apocalypse: In which the Number 666 is Satisfactorily Explained, & Also a Full Illustration of Daniel’s Vision of the Ram & He-Goat (London, 1814) 443 pp. ToC
Clarke takes 666 as signifying ‘He Latina Basileia’, ‘The Latin Kingdom’, and thus Romanism. The derivation of this particular name for 666 appears to have been new to Clarke (though he relies on historical writings to evidence it), yet since the name ultimately refers to Romanism, the in-depth Scriptural and historical data and interpretations of the 400+ page book are on target. Ch. 3 is the most pertinent to issues of calculation and history. On pp. 37-45, Clarke critiques the name ‘Lateinos’.
Reginald, Rabett – The Name & Number of the Beast: Lateinos, or, the Only Proper & Apellative Name of the Man whose Prophetical Number in Greek Numerals is 666 (Rev. 3:18), Demonstrated to be the Ecclesiastical Mark or Name of the Beast, being None Other than the Pope of Rome whose Church & Kingdom are even now are Intrinsically & Appelatively Latin (1835) 306 pp. ToC
On the Post-Reformation
Brady, David – The Contribution of British Writers between 1560 & 1830 to the Interpretation of Revelation 13.16-18 (the Number of the Beast): A Study in the History of Exegesis in ed. Oscar Cullmann et al., Beitrage zur Geschichte der Biblischen Exegese, 27 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1983) 350 pp. ToC