“Master of the Black Arts” on Springbok Club Trip to Kent Megaliths

The latest news from Alan Harvey’s Springbok Club:

In June 2009 the Kent Branch of the Springbok Club held a trip to mid-Kent in order to visit a number of the ancient stone megaliths…Pictured… [is] Dr. John Pope-de Locksley performing a re-enactment of what he believed ceremonies were have been like at the White Horse Stone.

 From the photograph, it seems the ceremony involved reading something from a bit of paper while wearing a funny hat.

John Pope-de Locksley last spoke to the club in December 2007, as I blogged here. He describes himself as “a master of the black arts, a third degree witch and Odinist…a natural shaman and master of Yoga and other preternatural mysteries and systems”; he is also an associate of David Farrant, an occultist who has been providing first-rate tabloid fodder for decades.

Islamic Anti-Christ Claim Revisited

Last year I wrote a couple of blog entries refuting Walid Shoebat’s claim that the word “666” in the Book of Revelation was actually a misreading of the Arabic phrase “in the name of Allah”, supernaturally revealed to the author who copied the Arabic script as he saw it. Shoebat’s claim was laughable: the word is introduced as a number in the Biblical text; it can be numerologically linked to Nero, which fits the historical context; and the earliest discussion of the text, from Irenaeus in the Second Century, discusses the word as being a number. There is no tradition which sees the word as either Arabic or as some mysterious unknown marking.

Shoebat based his claim on having seen the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus, and in a presentation to a group of Christian fundamentalists he told them he had seen this:

1shoebat666

I discovered that this was apparently meant to represent this rendering:

1notthecodexvaticanus666

This has been floating around on the internet for a while, and I was not able to discover where exactly it had come from (one site said “Very Old Text…in glass display at Bob Jones University Library – Greenville, S.C.”, which was less than encouraging). Recently, however, someone sent me a jpeg which confirms that it is from the supplement added to the Codex Vaticanus  in sixteenth-century Italy; the Book of Revelation is absent from the surviving ancient codex, so when it reached Italy somebody decided to fill in the missing end. The style of Greek script used would have been unknown to original scribe, and it is completely different from the main body of the codex, which uses “uncial” lettering. A facsimile of the codex printed in 1868 substitutes this section with a typeset version, which at the time was the only one I could see online:

666-1868-printing

So, does the  Codex Sinaiticus offer any better evidence to favour Shoebat’s claim? The digitised text has just been made available on-line, and the answer is, as expected, “no”. The Codex Sinaiticus actually spells the number out as “six hundred and sixty six”:

666 Sinaiticus

In other words, Shoebat’s claim is an epic fail at all levels, and as regards the Codex Sinaiticus he either lied about seeing it or lied about what he saw.

Some other early manuscripts give “666” as a number rather than as spelt out; the earliest fragment we have, from Oxyrhynchus, uses the “616” variant of the number:

3oxyrhynchus666