The Way It Happened

Revelation 13:17: Susan B. Anthony and the Beast

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

//No, this isn’t a “beauty and the beast” post. It’s just the opposite.

Many readers of Revelation, in explaining the ability of the beast to prevent buying and selling unless they carry his mark, point out that a “mark” is a common term for an image struck on a coin. The “mark of the beast” way back in the first century was probably the emperor’s head on all those devilish Roman coins. Such coins, for example, had to be traded for acceptable Jewish currency before they could be brought into the Temple. That is why there were money changers in the courtyard of the Temple in Jesus’ day.

Which brings me to the Susan B. Anthony dollar. When it first came out in 1978, it stirred up quite a controversy among fundamentalist congregations. Evangelist Colin Deal puts it this way:

Will this coin signal the end. … Will it also signal the beginning of a “new order of the ages” as predicted by John (Revelation 13)? Watch for the replacement of the American dollar and its symbolic meaning. Isn’t it odd that this new coin, minted in a God-fearing nation, has the bust of Susan B. Anthony, a renowned atheist and the instigator of the present unrest with women’s liberation?

It turns out that even feminism couldn’t bring the Antichrist out of hiding. Life goes on, even with an atheist “mark of the beast” on our coins.

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