A biblical study in 2023 proposes an Interpretation of the Number of the Beast as the Anno Mundi 5994 (=9x666) in combination with the assumption of a Second Coming of Jesus Christ in Glory in the year Anno Mundi 6001 (the latter being well known hypothesis in the Talmud -only of course as a first coming of the Messiah- as well as all along the Middle Ages-see also Year 6000). According to the Bible, the last seven years prior to the Second Coming of Christ in Glory form the Tribulation, which is also the final (year-)week of Daniel's Prophecy of Seventy Weeks, found in Daniel chapter 9. During the Tribulation the Beast and the Antichrist reign. The year Anno Mundi 5994 (=6001-7) is right at the beginning of the Tribulation period and might be the year in which the Beast/Antichrist rises to power.

So my question is: are there some major medieval theologians who interprete the Anno Mundi 5994 as the year in which the beast will rise to power? Using google I found the following old books

which all associate the number 5994=9x666 with the Number of the Beast, however not exactly the same way with the 2023 study and not as fully developed hypotheses. And I am not quite sure whether the interpretation has been well known and wide spread all along the Middle Ages (just currently not uploaded to google books). So the historians and theologians among us are asked. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Does a major medieval theologian associate the year since Creation 5994=9x666 with the Number of the Beast in Revelation?

The short answer is no.

No one can declare to know when the Beast of Revelation will manifest himself to the world 🌍.

If fact, Our Lord himself assures us that no one can calculate the events that will come to pass towards the end of the world. Middle Age theologians understood this quite well and did not dwell on such possibilities or future circumstances. The Gospels speak for themselves.

But no one knows the day or the hour. No! Not even the angels in heaven know. The Son does not know. Only the Father knows. - Matthew 24:35-37

As for associating the number of the Beast in Revelation with Creation (9x666=5994) is purely speculation by a few modern Christian apologists and theologians.

During the Middle Ages, religious dogma ruled the day and even stifled scientific research and speculation. Nevertheless, some ventured to calculate the age of the since the age of creation, but never to the coming of the Beast of Revelation! The calendar they used became the known as the Anno Mundi.

Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM or A.M., or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:

Since the Middle Ages, the Hebrew calendar has been based on rabbinic calculations of the year of creation from the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Bible. This calendar is used within Jewish communities for religious purposes and is one of two official calendars in Israel. In the Hebrew calendar, the day begins at sunset. The calendar's epoch, corresponding to the calculated date of the world's creation, is equivalent to sunset on the Julian proleptic calendar date 6 October 3761 BCE. The new year begins at Rosh Hashanah, in Tishrei. Anno mundi 5784 (meaning the 5,784th year since the creation of the world) began at sunset on 15 September 2023 according to the Gregorian calendar.

The Byzantine calendar was used in the Eastern Roman Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries and Eastern Orthodox Churches and was based on the Septuagint text of the Bible. That calendar is similar to the Julian calendar except that its reference date is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BCE on the Julian proleptic calendar.

As I mentioned above that during the Middle Ages, religious dogma stifled scientific reason.

During the Middle Ages, religious dogma stifled scientific reason and at times banned it– Galileo Galilei (1564- 1642), for example, was imprisoned for suggesting that the Earth orbited the sun. Early European scientists trying to calculate the age of the Earth did so in terms of religious doctrine. Calculations were based on the assumption that humans (Adam and Eve) were created within the first week of the Earth's creation, so that the history of mankind was the same as the history of the Earth. The German scientist Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), for example, calculated that the Earth was created in the year 3993 BC and Isaac Newton, (1642-1727) believed it to be 3998 BC, but two people famous for dating the age of the Earth were James Ussher and John Lightfoot.

  • John Lightfoot (1602-1675) wrote A Few and New Observations upon the Book of Genesis in 1642, in which he concluded that "Man [was] created by the Trinity about the third hour of the day, or nine of the clock in the morning". Two years later (1644) he published The Harmony of the Four Evangelists: Among Themselves and With the Old Testament in which he stated that that the world was created at the September equinox, 3928 BC. In other words, Lightfoot considered that the Earth was completed on Sunday 12th September 3928 BC and that human beings were created on Friday, September 17, 3928 BC, at 9 o’clock in the morning.

  • James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice- Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin, wrote his chronology, Annales veteris testamenti a prima mundi origine deducti (The Annals of the Old Testament, Deduced from the First Origin of the World) in 1650. Based on the Bible and Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories, he calculated that the creation of the Earth was completed at sunset of the 22nd October 4004 BC so that the first day of creation was on Sunday 23rd. Ussher's chronology was accepted as the true date for the Creation and dominated theological and scientific thinking for over a hundred years.

How old is the Earth?

Calculating approximately a 4000 year span between the moment of creation and the birth of Christ is relatively a common thing in the Anno Mundi dating system.

After the Masoretic Text was published, however, dating creation around 4000 BC became common, and was received with wide support. Proposed calculations of the date of creation using the Masoretic from the 10th century to the 18th century include: Marianus Scotus (4192 BC), Henry Fynes Clinton (4138 BC), Henri Spondanus (4051 BC), Benedict Pereira (4021 BC), Louis Cappel (4005 BC), James Ussher (4004 BC), Augustin Calmet (4002 BC), Isaac Newton (3998 BC)[citation needed], Petavius (3984 BC), Theodore Bibliander (3980 BC), Johannes Kepler (April 27, 3977 BC) [based on his book Mysterium Cosmographicum], Heinrich Bünting (3967 BC), Christen Sørensen Longomontanus (3966 BC), Melanchthon (3964 BC), Martin Luther (3961 BC), Cornelius Cornelii a Lapide (3961 BC), John Lightfoot (3960 BC), Joseph Justus Scaliger (3949 BC), Christoph Helvig (3947 BC), Gerardus Mercator (3928 BC), Matthieu Brouard (3927 BC), Benito Arias Montano (3849 BC), Andreas Helwig (3836 BC). - Dating Creation

By adding 2000 years to this since the birth of Christ, one is able to bring a date of 6000 years to our present moment in time. But to say it is the time of the Beast of Revelation is pure modern conjecture of some individuals, like Valentin S. Dimitrov.

  • +1 Thanks @Ken Graham for the good answer. Just a remark: in my opinion (and according to at least 2 exegetes I am listening to) the non-predictability depicted in Matthew 24:35-37 refers solely to the Rapture as can be seen 3 verses further: Matthew 24:40 “Two men will be working in a field. One will be taken and the other will be left”. As for the Second Coming in Glory, there will be a Judgement see Matthew 25:31-46 (The Sheep and the Goats).
    – Valentin
    Commented May 24 at 5:14

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