VICARIVS FILII DEI - 666 or 664?

I am currently answering some objections put forward to me by a Protestant, and one of the things they put forward was the false title, VICARIVS FILII DEI that Protestants claim is a Papal Title, which of course it is not.

Now, I have personally added up the characters, which do add up to 666, however, the characters “VI” also mean the number “6”, and “IV” also mean “4”. When the characters are added with this in mind, it adds up to 664.

Since these characters can be added either separately or together, this really can’t put forward as an argument against the Holy Father, even it was a Papal Title. I just want to know if anyone else has come to the same conclusion, and if so, would it be wise to put this argument forward for the consideration of my “opponent”?

I have read the Church Fathers, I think it was St. Irenaeus, who said that just because a name or title adds up to 666, doesn’t mean anything. I will put forward St. Irenaeus’ argument forward as well.

+Pax Christi+

I’m curious what method you used to “add up” these letters. Many ancient cultures did not have separate symbols for numbers - they used letters for numbers, so words also had a numeric value. But English has never been this way, and letters in English words have no numeric value associated with them.

FWIW, the business of putting smaller numbers in front of larger Roman numerals (such as IV=4) was unknown to the Romans. This was a much later invention of clock makers who sought a more uniform and balanced appearance for their clock faces.

This reminds me of an amusing thread a few years back.

It’s not even a Papal Title. Beyond that, it’s fuzzy math. I’ve read sites where Martin Luther, Mohammed, and Hitler’s names added up to 666. The reality is, this type of number logic is horrible science and has no credibility. Many times, they will take a name in a language, assign numbers to each letter, and add these up. If you try enough languages, you can get most names to add up to 666.

What happened to the “C” and “D”? :wink:

In the seventeenth century, and possibly at other times as well, some people in Britain went in for a form of numerology using the Roman numerals appearing in English or Latin words. However, they took no account of position. They simply used the single letters used as numerals ― I, V, X, L, C, D, and M ― and added them together. In the case of the words you quote here, the total does in fact add up to 666. There are six I’s, total 6; 2 V’s, total 10; and one each of L, C, and D.
6 + 10 + 50 + 100 + 500 = 666.

Does this mean anything? No, of course not. It’s just playing games with numbers.

They do in computer code but only by convention.

I found this answer to a similar question on the New Advent website, here. Just scroll down a bit to find it.
"My daughter recently married a Seventh-Day Adventist (against my husband’s and my intense opposition). He attacks the Catholic Church whenever he gets the chance. One of his main objects of scorn is our Holy Father, who, he says, is the beast spoken of in Revelation 13. He claims he can “prove” this because the pope’s title, Vicarius Filli Dei Latin for Vicar of the Son of God), adds up to 666–the “number of the beast” mentioned in Revelation 13. Is this true? How can we respond?"

"You were right to object to this marriage. No doubt, with his attitude, your son-in-law will do everything he can to rob your daughter of her Catholic faith and wrest her away from the Church (this is why Paul warned us not to be “unequally yoked” [2 Cor. 6:14]. Encourage your daughter to remain steadfast in the faith, and do your best to respond to her husband’s attacks in a charitable but firm way.

Let’s consider this accusation. Latin, Greek, and Hebrew have numerical values assigned to various letters in their alphabets. In Latin the values are: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, M=1,000. By extension W=10 (because W=VV, or two Vs together), and U=V (because there was no letter U for the Romans; where you see the letter U in modern writing, use the letter V instead).

As you can work out for yourself, Vicarius Filii Dei does add up to 666 in Latin: Vicarius=112; Filii=53, Dei=501. (Ignore letters which are not assigned a numerical value.) The problem is that Vicarius Filii Dei is not a title of the pope. One of his titles, in fact his chief title, is Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ), but, unfortunately for Seventh-Day Adventists and other anti-Catholics who attempt to use this ploy, Vicarius Christi adds up to only a measly 214, not the infernal 666.

Since the average person, Catholic or Protestant, hasn’t the foggiest idea what the pope’s titles are in Latin or English, anti-Catholics (some of whom know better) can get away with this subterfuge.

But what if one of the pope’s titles did add up to 666? Would that coincidence prove the pope is the beast? Hardly. It would prove nothing because lots of names and titles add up to 666. By using a nifty little technique you can force a Seventh-Day Adventist to admit that the addition to 666 proves nothing, even when it’s a papal title that’s in question. Here’s how.

Have your son-in-law do the math, and he’ll be shocked to learn that the name of the woman who started Seventh-Day Adventism, Ellen Gould White, adds up to 666: Ellen=100, Gould=555, White=11. Ask him whether this “proves” that the foundress of his religion was the beast? If he says “No,” then the tallying of the name means nothing. If he says “Yes,” then what’s he doing belonging to a church founded by the beast? Either way his argument collapses. (Isn’t apologetics fun?)"
If your friend is SDA, then this answer is even more appropriate for that situation. Either way, it confirms the fact that trying to “prove” that anyone is the “beast” of the Apocalypse by assessing the “number of their name” (or title), is a futile endeavor. There are probably hundreds of names or titles that you could make fit the bill, but it doesn’t prove anything. It’s just a waste of time and energy.

Correct. The papal title is “Vicar of Christ,” not “Vicar of the Son of God,” which is a made-up title concocted by professional anti-Catholics to provide enough letters to fit their absurd numbering scheme, which as pointed out, can be stretched numerous ways to fit a variety of historical figures in a wide range of languages.

This is really pretty old propaganda. look at all these previous threads.

*]Help Me Counter Argue Anti-Catholic allegation
*]Does Vicarius Filii Dei = 666?
*]Prince Charles is the anti-Christ?
*]Vicaious Filii Dei
]Anti-Catholic Friend wrote this - Help me
]Re: protestant? right


Also, why is everyone using Latin numbers? Revelation was written in Greek, so the isopsephy used was also be Greek. So…what are the Pope’s titles in Greek? :hmmm:

And in Greek, every letter corresponded to a number, not just a few. Regardless, the 666 (or 616 in some translations) corresponds to Nero Caesar, whose full name in Hebrew transliterated into Greek ended up adding up to 666.

As for Vicarius Fillii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God), as stated before, it has never been an official title of the Pope. His official titles are (sorry, I don’t know Latin well, so these are the titles translated into English): Vicar of Christ, Successor of Peter, Servant of the Servants of God, (arch)Bishop of Rome, Metropolitan of Rome, Patriarch of Rome (the entire Roman Rite), Supreme Pontiff. The Holy See refers to the (arch)diocese of Rome.

Try these

Episcopus Romanus
Vicarius Iesu Christi
Successor principis apostolorum
Caput Universalis Ecclesiae
Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis[1] vel Pontifex Maximus
Patriarcha Occidentis (unus ex quinque patriarchis antiquis: Romae, Constantinopolis, Alexandriae, Antiochiae, Hierosolymorum; hunc titulum Benedictus XVI in Annuario Pontificio anni 2006 omitti constituit)
Primas Italiae
Archiepiscopus et metropolitanus provinciae ecclesiasticae Romanae
Princeps sui iuris Civitatis Vaticanae
Servus Servorum Dei

The Apocalypse of St. John was written in Greek. From what I’ve heard, Nero’s title Caesar Nero adds up to 666 in Greek. So, a lot of Catholic theologians postulate that Nero was the beast of Revelation.

As Fr. Mitch Pacwa likes to point out, Ellen Gould White, the originator of this claim, ironically had a name that itself added up to six-hundred sixty-six.

Here is one website’s demonstration of this claim:

“Ellen = L+L=100,
White=a double ‘U’ = 2 ‘V’s +1 =11.
Total these three numbers, and we have, 100 + 555 + 11 = 666.
So Ellen Gould White, the prophetess of Seventh Day Adventism, has a name that adds up to 666, and it is the number of a name and not of a title.”

EDIT: I just noticed this information has already been posted, but my quotation gives a detailed breakdown of how this “works,” so I’ll go ahead and leave it up. :slight_smile:

Where do you get the term VICARIVS FILII DEI? Vicarius Filii Dei, is not now, nor has it ever been, a title used by The Catholic Church in any way.
However, the name Ellen Gould White, does add up to 666 in Latin. (L + L + V +D + V + V + I = 666).

I didn’t come up with the title, it is something that Protestants have invented. I am already aware that the title isn’t a Papal Title.

Protestants didn’t make it up per se. This phrase originates in the Donation of Constantine, a forgery, and is applied to the Apostle Peter (the document then calls the Roman Pontiffs representatives of Peter).

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