#066: What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast?

My goal this week is to share with you the Catholic Church’s teaching on Revelation 13, the Mark of the Beast, 666, and the history of Rome as it relates to both topics.

Last month we had an episode called Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation Episode 62. It was so popular that I wanted to do a sequel to it. So in this episode (Episode 66) we’ll look at the idea of the Antichrist and 666 in more detail.


Click to Listen: #066: What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast?

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  • Proverb of the week: Prov 23:10
  • Featured Segment: What is 666 and the Mark of the Beast?
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  • Tip of the week: Saint Augustine in 50 Pages
  • Latin word of the week: antichristus

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Podcast Archive
# Title Released
065 40 Days of Joy 02/26/2015
064 Why did God make you? Luke 19 Gives the Answer 02/11/2015
063 Is Being A Christian Hard or Easy? 01/21/2015
062 Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation 01/14/2015
061 When Other People Really Hurt You 01/07/2015
060 Is Saint George Still a Saint? 01/01/2015
059 Revolution in Catholic Education – Jennifer Fulwiler Interviews Taylor Marshall 12/31/2014
058 The Hidden Theology in Sword and Serpent with St George and Sabra 12/11/2014
057 Advent Total Consecration to Mary 11/13/2014
056 Top 5 Advent Devotions 11/07/2014
055 Why Do We Baptize Babies? The Covenantal Argument 10/22/2014
054 Is God Male or Female – The Catholic Teaching 10/08/2014
053 Lucifer vs. Saint Michael 10/01/2014
052 1 Year Anniversary Special Edition: Essentialism What is the Essence of Your Life? 09/24/2014
051 The Price of Your Anger 09/17/2014
050 The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 09/15/2014
049 6 Obstacles in Your Life (How to Conquer Them) 09/10/2014
048 Brain Science, Your Soul & Prayer 09/03/2014
047 Don’t Swallow the Camel 08/27/2014
046 The Secret Life of Thomas Aquinas 08/22/2014
045 Did Saint Paul Teach Once Saved Always Saved? 08/06/2014
044 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 2 07/30/2014
043 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 1 07/24/2014
042 Golf Cart Saints 07/15/2014
041 5 Intellectual Virtues and Pornography, Art, and Culture 07/02/2014
040 Taylor and Joy Talk About Their Marriage 06/25/2014
039 How Was the Bible Assembled? (plus Joy joins me) 06/18/2014
038 Should You Budget Time (or Money)? 06/04/2014
037 The Theology of Vacation, Leisure, and Recreation 05/28/2014
036 Noah Movie Review – Rock Monsters? 05/21/2014
035 Children Need Fortitude 05/14/2014
034 Jokes of Saint John XXIII 05/07/2014
033 Divine Mercy: 5 Common Questions 04/30/2014
032 4 Sections of Hell 04/23/2014
031 Meet the Saint Version of You 04/16/2014
030 Should You Be an Optimist? 04/09/2014
029 Finding Fellowship like Samwise Gamgee 04/01/2014
028 Demons, Snakes, and Ticks: Lessons from a Hunting Trip 03/26/2014
027 How to Make an Eternal Impact with Your Life 03/19/2014
026 Thoughts on My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe 02/26/2014
025 Why is the Catholic Church Roman? 02/19/2014
024 The Seven Lies We Believe About Our Failures 02/11/2014
023 How to Restart Your Mental Computer 02/06/2014
022 Top Five Productivity Tips from Thomas Aquinas 01/29/2014
021 Did You Miss God’s Plan for Your Life? 01/23/2014
020 When Prayer Becomes a Chore 01/15/2014
019 12 Attributes of a Baptized Christian 01/08/2014
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013
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  • susan

    I love listening to your commentaries. but…..I forget and have to go back and say “was it this or that” and have to listen again. are there texts of them?

  • Mark Burns

    In regard to not “moving the cornerstone”…I can understand referring back to the wisdom of those who came before us, and learning from them. However, it sounds as though you are advocating for revering “ancient wisdom” without questioning it. I think that this is bad advice. Just because someone came before us is not enough reason to think that they are correct. When you said that you should respect it even if you don’t understand it, you’re advocating for blindly following “wisdom” for no good reason. How can we learn and grow if we follow this mentality of blindly believing things just because someone before us believed it? Are we not learning new things in modern society that ancient wisdom did not have access to? How does your advice take this into account?

    • One should not follow something because it is old. Rather, one should revere the approved magisterial sources of Christian teaching. Gnostic theology is as old as Patristic theology, but the Gnostic is not revered and the Patristic is revered.

      • Mark Burns

        Dr. Marshall, I think we would agree that Patristic theology took hold in the early centuries of the modern era, and also that Gnostic teachings were simultaneously diminished.

        I would suggest that this is almost exclusively the doings of Constantine who supported the early Christian church and united its factions by sponsoring the first Council of Nicaea, thereby creating a uniform canon of Scripture, and devaluing the Gnostic texts as uninspired writings. Being the emperor of arguably the most powerful nation in the region at the time, it seems to me that it was very arbitrarily Patristic theology that took root due to Constantine’s support and a “might makes right” effect. I think the primary (and perhaps only) reason that the current Biblical texts became “approved…teachings” (in your words) are because of the support of Constantine and the power of the Roman empire at the time.

        In your opinion, Dr. Marshall, would you agree or disagree with this, and why?

      • Mark Burns

        Additionally, I did not mean to focus on following something because it is old. I am more interested in the reasons one should follow teachings blindly, when the reasons to do so are not understood/understandable. That is primarily what I found to be bad advice and would appreciate your insight on.

        Have I mischaracterized you, or is that a fair summary of your position in the podcast?

      • Mark Burns

        Lost interest in the thread?

        • jacobum

          Your questions are loaded with straw men and sophistry. Your dog don’t hunt here.

          • Mark Burns

            Well, I pride myself on correcting my logical fallacies because I find it to be very important. Please identify my straw men and I will gladly retort or admit that I’m wrong. Until then, your dismissiveness sounds suspiciously like you are in some sort of a mutual ‘pat each other on the back’ club, where it’s easier to dismiss skeptical questions than to answer them.

          • jacobum

            Nice try. Good bye.

          • Mark Burns

            That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          • jacobum

            My exact thought as well. Ciao

          • Mark Burns

            Hahaha…I’m not the one avoiding questions. You’re all talk. I’m glad you’re leaving the conversation as your input is nothing but a waste of time. You’ve essentially wrote to say nothing but, “I won’t talk to you.” Fine. Stop talking, but you don’t get to then pretend that you’ve got some moral superior position. Keep your ostrich head in the sand if you’d like, but kindly stop involving me.

          • jacobum

            Wow. A giant ego and and imagination as well. No attention and name calling begins. Ciao

          • Mark Burns

            Name calling? “Ostrich head in the sand” is what one calls a metaphor, not a personal insult. Try again.

  • Raphael Amor

    Another great commentary, thanks a lot. Just a remark as to “beating the bounds”, which is an English tradition, not so much on the European mainland. I think that you have gotten your story a little mixed up with some old and typically English, sarcastic jokes. The children were not beaten!!!!! It is a parish ceremony and it involved making a procession around the bounds of the parish beating sticks or rods together (sometimes also simple drums, but this is unusual). At the same time the (geographical) parish was blessed by the priest with holy water and incense – it was a liturgical event. It was not done by private families neither were children beaten.
    Still, it is great to hear your talks, they are interesting and refreshing in areas of philosophy and theology that your average priest has little time to keep fresh. I’m looking forward to the Augustine book too, am sure that it will be as super as the Thomas in 50 pages was – fantastic. Keep up the good work Taylor and God bless you and your family+ Fr. Raphael

    • Nel

      Thanks for this. As someone who heard about ‘beating the bounds’ while studying at Oxford, where the tradition is still upheld, I was very surprised to hear that children were beaten, since it was never part of beating the bounds that I ever saw or heard about in Oxford. It’s called ‘beating the bounds’ because the bounds were beaten.

      A connection to what Dr Marshall talked about in the podcast is that beating the bounds of the parish/village also had the important function of fixing the bounds in the minds of the people – including young people (which is why young boys were involved in the procession and in beating the bounds). Making an event out of walking the bounds, even hitting the boundary stones and having them blessed, meant that everyone knew the precise borders of their own parish and thus his village, including public grazing land.

      This means that if there was ever a dispute between communities as to who had the right for example to graze cattle in a particular place, everyone in either community would have a clear memory of beating the bounds going back generations. Nobody could sneakily move the boundaries or dispute the boundaries, if everyone from the town nonagenarian down to the youngest boy – and the parish priest – can all attest to the boundaries having always been at certain points. The boundaries were fixed in popular memory and passed down from generation to generation in this way.

      Some sources say that ‘sometimes’ the young boys might be hit with the rods to help them remember. There’s a record of 1747 saying that boys were whipped ‘by way of remembrance’ (perhaps like Benvenuto Cellini’s father hitting him to help him remember the first time he saw a chameleon) .

      But beating the children at the boundaries is not by any means a major part of the ceremony.

  • Carolina Michel-Franco

    Dr. Marshall, thanks for sharing your podcast with all of us.

  • Paradox

    It’s only fitting that the high-priest tore his garments: with the Crucifixion, the New Covenant began, and the Pharisees and Sadducees refused to take part in it.

  • avnrulz

    Ironically (or coincidentally), the zip code for the hate group WBC contains ‘666’.