Christian Graffiti from Before 125 AD?

There’s a good explanation over at Larry Hurtado’s blog.

Basically, the graffiti says:

Equal Number Values:

Lord – Omega (the number value of the letters in Lord = 800 = the number value of the letter omega)
Faith – Omega (same thing)

Obviously I think this is cool, because “isopsephy” (the number values of Greek letters equaling the number values of Greek words) is a big thing in the Book of Revelation; that’s what the Number of the Beast is about. Fun! It’s a very similar thing to the ancient idea of a word’s etymology (historical or symbolic) having a lot to do with the inner meaning of the word. Not very scientific, but very poetic when the game is played correctly.

For example, a lot of early Christian commentaries are happy to show that Revelation has a lot of Good Guy here, and Bad Guy Imitating Good Guy there. So just like there’s Christ and the Anti-Christ, the Number of the Beast is opposed in the first chapter by the Number of the Dove.

That’s (Alpha = 1) + (Omega = 800) = 801, which is also the number value of P+E+R+I+S+T+E+R+A, the Greek word for dove.

Now, isn’t that pretty? The Son and the Holy Spirit, all together, just like the Son and the Seven Spirits (representing the one Holy Spirit) are together in the first chapter! It might not be the authorial intention, but then again, it could be; and either way, it’s pretty.

Of course, we moderns tend to turn it all into conspiracy theory, which is depressing. But some people did that back in ancient times, too.

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