Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Devil Made Him Do It

A bible written with the devils help. And the devil appears to wear a diaper. And bears an uncanny resemblance to the Predator.

A hand points out illustration of the devil in the Devil's Bible, the world's biggest manuscript, which is on display in Prague's Klementinum, Czech Republic, during a preview on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007. The world's largest manuscript is considered to be one of the most valuable medieval works that testify to the period level of knowledge. The Devil's Bible, or Codex Gigas in Latin, was created at the beginning of the 13th century in the Benedictine monastery in Podlazice, eastern Bohemia. (AP Photo/CTK, Stanislav Zbynek)

I guess they covered him up so that the bible would be the biggest object.

A journalist studies an illustration of the devil in the Devil's Bible, the world's biggest manuscript, which is on display in Prague's Klementinum, Czech Republic, during a preview on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007. The world's largest manuscript is considered to be one of the most valuable medieval works that testify to the period level of knowledge. The Devil's Bible, or Codex Gigas in Latin, was created at the beginning of the 13th century in the Benedictine monastery in Podlazice, eastern Bohemia. (AP Photo/CTK, Stanislav Zbynek)

Codex Gigas, also known as the Devil's Bible - a medieval manuscript said to have been written 800 years ago with the devil's help - has returned to Prague after an absence of 359 years

The priceless piece, considered the biggest medieval book, was taken from the Prague Castle by Swedish troops at the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648. It is in Prague on loan from Sweden's Royal Library in Stockholm. It was put on display last week under high security at the Czech National Library.

According to myth, a Benedictine monk promised to write the book overnight to atone for his sins. When he realized the task was impossible, he asked the devil for help. The page with the illustration of the devil is the one visitors see.

The manuscript was likely written by one monk from the Benedictine monastery in Podlazice located some 100 kilometres east of Prague sometime at the beginning of the 13th century, said Zdenek Uhlir, a specialist on medieval manuscripts at the National Library.

It contains "a sum of the Benedictine order's knowledge" of the time, including the Old and New Testament, "The War of the Jews" by the first-century historian Josephus Flavius, a list of saints, or a guideline how to determine the date of Easter, Uhlir said.

"I would estimate it took him between 10 and 12 years to write," he said about the piece, which weighs 75 kilograms. Originally, it had 640 pages, of which 624 survived in relatively good condition, he said.


With the publication of the War of the Jews in this bible one has to ask if it is the original or the latter Christianized account. For if it is the latter, which I suspect it is, being it was originally of Slavic origin and it was in circulation at the time of writing of this bible. If it is then like the grain of sand in the oyster, this maybe another example of the origin of Antisemitism within Christianity in Medieval Germania and Eastern Europe.


In 93, the Jewish historian Josephus published his work Antiquities of the Jews. The extant copies of this work, which all derive from Christian sources, even the recently recovered Arabic version, contain two passages about Jesus.

"The problem here is that Josephus' account is too good to be true, too confessional to be impartial, too Christian to be Jewish." Three passages stood out: "if it be lawful to call him a man … He was [the] Christ … for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." To some these seem directly to address Christological debates of the early 4th century. Consequently, some scholars regard at least these parts of the Testimonium as later interpolations.

The entire passage is also found in one manuscript of Josephus' earlier work, The Jewish War, in an Old Russian translation written c.1250. Interestingly, the passage dealing with Jesus is not the only significant difference from the usual collations; Robert Eisler has suggested that it was produced from one of Josephus's drafts (noting that the "Slavonic Version" has Josephus escaping his fellow Jews at Jotapata when "he counted the numbers [of the lot cast in the suicide pact] cunningly and so managed to deceive all the others", which is in striking contrast to the conventional version's account:

"Without hesitation each man in turn offered his throat for the next man to cut, in the belief that a moment later his commander would die too. Life was sweet, but not so sweet as death if Josephus died with them! But Josephus - shall we put it down to divine providence or just luck - was left with one other man....he used persuasion, they made a pact, and both remained alive.


The fact is that this 'Old Russian translation' coincides with the publication date of the Devils Bible which would have been available for translation from Latin at the time. And Prague was home to many Jews at the time. Thus our Benedictine monk would have been familiar with the Jews of Prague. And at the time of this bibles publication the Jews were being subjected to the Blood Libel campaign across Europe.

With the inclusion of Josephus perhaps it was not Satan who helped the priest but since this versi0n of his text is Anti-Semitic it may be that by including a history of Jews in the bible to prove Jesus existed the author considered that he was making a compact with the Devil. When this bible was written Jews were seen by Medieval Christians as demons, devils, dragons, etc. all in league with the coming Anti-Christ.


During the crusades, Ethiopians, Jews, Muslims, and Mongols were branded enemies of the Christian majority. Illustrated with strikingly imaginative and still disturbing images, this book reveals the outrageously pejorative ways these rejected social groups were represented--often as monsters, demons, or freaks of nature. Such monstrous images of non-Christians were not rare displays but a routine aspect of medieval public and private life. These images, which reached a broad and socially varied audience across western Europe, appeared in virtually all artistic media, including illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, sculpture, metalwork, and tapestry. Debra Higgs Strickland introduces and decodes images of the "monstrous races," from demonlike Jews and man-eating Tartars to Saracens with dog heads or animal bodies. Strickland traces the origins of the negative pictorial code used to portray monsters, demons, and non-Christian peoples to pseudoscientific theories of astrology, climate, and physiognomy, some dating back to classical times. She also considers the code in light of contemporary Christian eschatological beliefs and concepts of monstrosity and rejection. This is the first study to situate representations of the enemies of medieval Christendom within the broader cultural context of literature, theology, and politics. It is also the first to explore the elements of that imagery as a code and to elucidate the artistic means by which boundaries were effectively blurred between imaginary monsters and rejected social groups.

Debra Higgs Strickland, Saracens, Demons, and Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2003. 336 pp.

This book is the history of an imaginary people -- the Red Jews -- in vernacular sources from medieval and early modern Germany. From the twelfth to the seventeenth century, German-language texts repeated and embroidered on an antisemitic tale concerning an epochal threat to Christianity, the Red Jews. This term, which expresses a medieval conflation of three separate traditions (the biblical destroyers Gog and Magog, the 'unclean peoples' enclosed by Alexander, and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel), is a hostile designation of wickedness. The Red Jews played a major role in late medieval popular exegesis and literature, and appeared in a hitherto-unnoticed series of sixteenth-century pamphlets, in which they functioned as the medieval 'spectacles' through which contemporaries viewed such events as Turkish advances in the Near and Middle East. The Red Jews disappear from the sources after 1600, and consequently never found their way into historical scholarship.


The Red Jews: Antisemitism in an Apocalyptic Age; 1200-1600.


Blood, Jews and Monsters in Medieval Culture

The Monstrous Middle Ages


Josephus was a reliable historian and historical source so attempts to reinterpret him as a 'Christian' would give veracity to revisionist claims of biblical authors like that of the Codex Gigas. This bible then is probably the original source of the pseudo-Josephus, the so called Christian Jospehus.

Some Biblical literaltists, including followers of St. John of Chrysostom who was revered by the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Church was a notorious anti-Semite, interpret this as being proof that Jesus existed, and that all biblical miracles and prophecies were fulfilled by the fall of the Second Temple. Thus there was no need for the continuation of the Jewish religion it had been superseded by Christianity. Thus if you eliminate their religion you effectively eliminate the Jews.

Thus this Devils Bible is devilish because it includes a historical text by a Jewish historian. It is devilish work because it revises his writings to make him appear as a convert to Christianity.

Recently a tunnel described by Josephus has been discovered in old Jerusalem and earlier this year King Herod's tomb was discovered, as described in the War of the Jews.

Under threat from Romans ransacking Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, many of the city's Jewish residents crowded into an underground drainage channel to hide and later flee the chaos through Jerusalem's southern end.

The ancient tunnel was recently discovered beneath rubble, a monument to one of the great dramatic scenes of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D.

The tunnel was dug beneath what would become the main road of Jerusalem, the archeology dig's directors, Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said Sunday. Shukron said excavators looking for the road happened upon a small drainage channel that led them to the discovery two weeks ago of the massive tunnel.

As the temple was being destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, people took shelter in the drainage tunnel and lived inside it until they fled Jerusalem through its southern end, according to Josephus Flavius, a first century historian who wrote "The War of the Jews."

An Israeli archeologist walked in a tunnel discovered near Jerusalem's Old City.
An Israeli archeologist walked in a tunnel discovered near Jerusalem's Old City. (emilio morenatti/associated press)

herod.jpg


Lost, Then Found: Herod’s Tomb
By Mike Nizza

For decades, archaeologists looking for the tomb of King Herod have focused on one site in particular, based on an account in the first volume of “The Wars of the Jews,” written by the first-century historian Flavius Josephus.

Josephus wrote that a 25-mile funeral procession for the Roman Empire’s man in Judea and the great builder of Jerusalem ended at “Herodium, where he had given order to be buried,” according to a translation at The Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Instead of continuing on about the procession’s final steps, and perhaps revealing further clues about the tomb’s location, the historian evidently considered the chapter done with the next sentence.

“And this shall suffice for the conclusion of the life of Herod,” he wrote.
The omission sets up what The Los Angeles Times has called “one of the Holy Land’s greatest archeological mysteries.”

Chasing that mystery and others for the past 35 years has been Professor Ehud Netzer of Hebrew University.

Today, he was finally able to announce an answer: The tomb was on the northeastern slope of Mount Herodium, a site that his team has been excavating since last summer.

Herodium, which Mr. Netzer called “the most outstanding among King Herod’s building projects,” may have been best described by Josephus in an earlier section of “the War of the Jews:”
Joseph Atwill contends that Josephus proves that the Jesus mythos was developed by the Roman Empire in its dying days to create a new state religion. One that of course was based on divorcing Jesus from his Jewish roots. And thus an attempt to destroy the Jewish Messianic movements, which themselves were militantly anti-Rome.

Caesar's Messiah - The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus

Joseph Atwill makes the incredibly compelling case that the Christian Gospels were actually written under the direction of first-century Roman emperors. The purpose of these texts was to establish a peaceful Jewish sect to counterbalance the militaristic Jewish forces that had just been defeated by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D.

Atwill uncovered the secret key to this story in the writings of Josephus, the famed first-century Roman historian. Reading Josephus's chronicle, The War of the Jews, the author found detail after detail that closely paralleled events recounted in the Gospels.

Atwill skillfully demonstrates that the emperors used the Gospels to spark a new religious movement that would aid them in maintaining power and order. What's more, by including hidden literary clues, they took the story of the Emperor Titus's glorious military victory, as recounted by Josephus, and embedded that story in the Gospels - a sly and satirical way of glorifying the emperors through the ages.



Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus

Joseph Atwill

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1569754578

Feb. 2005

Condensed blurb:

>>The Christian Gospels were written under the direction of first-century Roman emperors. The purpose of these texts was to establish a peaceful Jewish sect to counterbalance the militaristic Jewish forces that had just been defeated by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. The key to this story is in the writings of Josephus, the first-century Roman historian. Josephus's chronicle The War of the Jews parallels events recounted in the Gospels.

>>The emperors used the Gospels to spark a new religious movement that would aid them in maintaining power and order. By including hidden literary clues, they took the story of the Emperor Titus's glorious military victory, as recounted by Josephus, and embedded that story in the Gospels - a sly and satirical way of glorifying the emperors through the ages.

The Roman Origins of Christianity

Book by Joe Atwill

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0974092800

July 2003

Publisher: Joe Atwill

ISBN: 0974092800

http://www.joeatwill.com -- "...the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius created Christianity to replace the Jewish Messianic movement that waged war against the Empire with a pacifistic, pro-Roman religion. Titus also designed the story line of Jesus' ministry in the New Testament as a satire of his military campaign through Judea so that posterity would learn that he had invented Christianity and recognize his genius. Though the New Testament had always been seen as a religious document it is actually a monument to the vanity of a Caesar."

SEE:

Kabbalistic Kommunism

Gnostic Easter

Pauline Origins of Social Conservatism

Snake Oil Saint

Judas the Obscure

Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani

Bulgarian Women Abused



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4 comments:

Mike said...

My understanding that textual criticism of Josephus indicates that all references to Jesus were inserted long after the passages were written and, when read in context, are clearly not written by the same person. They were thought to be "pious forgeries" by Origen.

Have you been to Paul Tobin's site?

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/

Mike said...

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/sources.html

More pertinent link...

eugene plawiuk said...

That was my point, that the Codex Gigas is probably the source of the insertion, since it coincides with time that the unnamed Russian/Slavic source appeared.

I have added a hyper link.http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/sources.html

Mike said...

Yeah, Sorry Eugene, I read it pretty late last night and it makes more sense now.

Good article BTW.