From the Associated Press story here:
REEVES, La. — After decades of living with what Mayor Scott Walker calls a stigma, residents of this southwest Louisiana village are getting a new telephone exchange, one without the biblical connotations attached to their current 666.
Beginning this month, residents and businesses can change the first three digits of their phone numbers from 666 to 749. Walker said he’s made the change on his phone; it’s set to be official for City Hall Jan. 2, and Walker said he’d had “20” people contact him Friday morning — before 10 a.m. — about changing, as well.
“This boils down to, this is a very, very religious community,” Walker said.
For the record, there is nothing wrong in having a choice to change your phone prefix, especially in this age of number portability. However, to change it because of a number that is clearly not related to the telephone when the Bible refers to it as the “mark of the beast” is, at best, silly.
The Scriptures, in Revelation 13, say:
11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
There is plenty to unpack there, but the point is this – the number 666 is powerless in and of itself. It is especially powerless as a phone number, unless of course, you want to call someone.