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In a video that's posted on Youtube and is making the rounds in popular Christian circles, an Arab Christian claims that there are three Arabic words in Revelation 13.18, the passage that speaks about the number of the beast.
Here's the link to the video: Walid Shoebat – Mark of the Beast
Walid Shoebat claims in this video that the mark of the beast is Islam itself. Certainly, Christians can recognize that Islam denies the deity of Christ, vicarious atonement, and bodily resurrection; for this reason, Islam is a false religion. We can also recognize that there are small groups of Muslims who are radical and would like to destroy Israel and America. But does this make Islam the Antichrist? That's rather doubtful.
Shoebat's basis is this: "When I first saw the Codex Vaticanus, I was literally shocked because I could read the text. It was Arabic! … 'In the name of Allah.'"
But Shoebat did not read Codex Vaticanus. This codex is the famous fourth-century Greek New Testament (and Old Testament) manuscript that ends at Hebrews 9.13. The material added after Heb 9.13 is all in a much later hand. According to the authoritative Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, 2nd edition (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1994), the supplement (known as codex 1957) was written in the 15th century. What Shoebat saw was not technically Codex Vaticanus but Codex 1957, a text written over a thousand years after Vaticanus.
In his video, he explains how the three Greek letters ÷îò in Revelation 13.18 are not really Greek at all, but Arabic. On top of the stretch to make the Arabic words fit, there are other severe problems with Shoebat's claims. As much as some Christians would like for Shoebat's interpretation to be correct, it fails at many levels. Let's examine Shoebat's claims.
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