I am no historian or a Math major (yet ;)).
Take my word with a grain of salt but I will tell you want I know.
There definitely is a debate in some regard between the true number (whether it is 616 or not). In regards to history I have seen some study Bibles that say the number is in reference to Nero. Revelations to my knowledge is an apocalyptic book of the Bible, so it would be fitting for such a reference to be made. After all, one should always consider the context of the Bible. The Bible is about applying things in the past to our every day life if we are to include it in how we live, which is why context and understanding Revelations in such a fashion is important.
So if the number truly is in reference to Nero, then I accept that from a historical perspective. I have met someone sort of like a mentor that it does not however change the view of Revelations in relation to the future of mankind and can serve as both a future for the time of Nero and our futures.
In regards to which is the true number, then I am not knowledgeable enough to say with complete confidence.
This is my opinion with my current knowledge. Something I should definitely bring up in the RCIA, wonder what answers I’ll get