Is the number of the beast 666 or 616? Scholars have been deciphering some ancient manuscripts found in Egypt, including a copy of the Book of Revelation. It seems that this particular text has 616. Scholars who study these things (textual critics) compare ancient manuscripts to try and come up with the most accurate readings. While there are many variants in the New Testament manuscripts, very few are significant. But because the number 666 has been so widely known as the number of the beast, it will be interesting to see what the scholarly consensus on this text turns out to be.