Probably familiar to everyone here - Rev 13:18:
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding reckon the number of the beast: for it is a human number; it is Six hundred threescore and six.
In many English translations of the Bible, Rev 13:18 has, linguistically speaking, two possible interpretations:
1. (the common interpretation) the number refers to a human, acting as some sort of code word for that person.
2. (alternate interpretation) it actually refers to several persons, who number 666 in total - some sort of sect, council, secret society, cabal, or such...
One thing that speaks in favor of the latter is that several early English translations of the bible apparently (from what I heard) used the word "count" instead of "number", which emphasizes even more strongly that it is not a code word for one man, but a figure referring to the number of persons who together constitute the beast. This is analogous to how "The Whore of Babylon" is sometimes claimed to refer to the Babylonian Talmud and/or the practicioners of its ideas. Now the main purpose of this thread was not to discuss whether #2 is a reasonable interpretation or not from a biblical context - it is only my belief that it may be the right interpretation and I do not necessarily want to convert anyone else to believing in that idea.
Rather, the question I wanted to discuss in the thread is this: is it in the same way linguistically possible to make interpretation #2 also in the original language - Greek or Aramaic. Can anyone with wisdom in either of these languages give the answer (obviously with using as old and close to original Greek and Aramaic versions as is possible)?