Today’s Facebook Find – the Devil’s bible

I feel too lazy to find things to write about sometimes so I think I’ll be grabbing from my Facebook feed once in a while so at least I can post content here more often.

This one from The Beast:

While the technical name for the manuscript is Codex Gigas (literally “giant book” in Latin), it is better known as the ‘Devil’s Bible.’ It is currently housed in the National Library in Stockholm, but it was created in the twelfth century in Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic), possibly at the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice. It was transported to Sweden as part of the booty seized at the conclusion of the Thirty Years’ war in 1648. It would have taken two men to steal it, as the book is around a meter tall and weighs almost 165 pounds.

It got its devilish moniker thanks to a half-meter tall illustration of the devil within it.

According to legend, the enormous book was the work of a single monk who had been sentenced to death by inclusion (being walled up alive). In an effort to delay or forestall his execution, the monk promised to produce in a single night a manuscript that would bring glory to the monastery. The task, it is said, was too enormous, and he turned to Satan for help.

The article reports on further study of the bookmaking itself which suggested a single writer and likely a life’s work put into it — 25 years of penmanship, at least, if the Devil really didn’t help the monk finish it.

Onto other books —

Good Omens is a joint effort written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and in it is an angel character named Aziraphale who’s supposed to be on the lookout for the anti-Christ but sine nobody knows exactly when the apocalypse is going down (he thinks) he bides his time as a rare book collector and has an assortment of Infamous Bibles, handwritten works with transcribing errors that render the original verse meaningless or misunderstood. Some included in the book really exist, but the authors added a couple other ones to Aziraphale’s collection for the sake of levity (pg 50-51 in my paperback copy) including this one:

The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible. The lengthy compositor’s error, if such it may be called, occurs in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse 5…

5. Buggre Alle this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typefettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tight fisted Southwark Knobbefticke. I telle you, onne day laike thif Ennywone withe half an oz. of Sense shoulde bee oute in the Sunneshaine, ande nott Stucke here alle the liuelong dai inn thif mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workefhoppe.

Aziraphale winds up with a book of prophecy by accident and is stunned once he realizes he’s now in possession of the very rare, one of a kind accurate prediction for when the end of days is due.. turns out to be that weekend…

It’s a funny twist on The Omen. Not being into horror, I didn’t know that until recently and have never seen the film. I highly recommend the book.

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