Q. On TV I was watching a show about the book of Revelation. The show said that some people think that 666 was in reference to King Nero because a combination of Nero’s name and title adds up to 666 in a certain Hebrew alphabet. And also that during that time that Nero was referred to as “the beast.” Could you explain why this is incorrect and just coincidence?
A. The opinion that Nero was the anti-Christ has been put forth by some who hold to the Preterist school of thought, which teaches that all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled in history.
Nero was one of the clearest models of the anti-Christ that history provides, probably exceeded only by the Greco-Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 BC). But the fact is that before he could get a statue of himself actually placed in the Temple he died and his order to do so was rendered null and void. This alone disqualifies him from being the anti-Christ.
Some Preterists claim that the Roman eagle, which was mounted on a wall at the entrance to the Temple, fulfilled the requirements of the Abomination of Desolation prophecy. But the Jews of the day didn’t think so, and neither do most scholars today.