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Johnathyn N. Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 02 Aug 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 04 Aug, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Apostle Paul's Sword?         Reply with quote

I was wanting to make a model of Apostle Pauls' sword but, didn't know where to start. I got some advice from Kirk Spencer who, if I can remember right said, "it wasn't custom for Jewish Disciples to carry swords. So when Paul cut off the ear of the servant, the blade was likely concealed." The blade type recommended was a Sica, which can be small enough to hide in clothing but, but long enough to use in combat. often in stain glass and painted pictures of Paul he has some kind of longsword, or sometimes a wide-tipped, sword similar in shape to a Dussack. The Archdiocesan Museum claims to have an exact copy of the sword Apostle Peter used to cut off the right ear of the high priest's servant at the time of Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane.. Does anyone have advice on the history or shape of Paul's sword?


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This picture make it look as if Paul is wielding a modern day kitchen knife. How trustable are images of history when it comes to weapons?

- Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. -
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Philip Renne




Location: New Jersey
Joined: 11 Jan 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you probably mean St. Peter's sword, right? I'm not aware of any story where Paul uses a sword. (Although I think he is traditionally said to have been martyred by beheading- that's why he is often depicted with a sword, it was the instrument of his death)

Probably the best thing to do would be to read the passage in the Greek and see what word is used for the weapon and go from there, although even that might be ambiguous.
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Philip Renne




Location: New Jersey
Joined: 11 Jan 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 12:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On the same topic, the Germans I believe called a certain knife/falchion thingy "Malchus" after the de-earred (is that a word?) servant in the Bible

John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and smote the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
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Philip Renne




Location: New Jersey
Joined: 11 Jan 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A quick check on Bible Hub shows:

"Machairan" as the greek word used in this instance for "sword"

a sword, machairan 3162 a short sword or dagger perhaps from machomai


The Wiki article on "makhaira" goes into some depth but it basically looks like a choppy khopis like thing.

Sorry, it's late where I am and I'm messing up the links Worried
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Re: Apostle Paul's Sword?         Reply with quote

Johnathyn N. Spencer wrote:
I was wanting to make a model of Apostle Pauls' sword but, didn't know where to start. I got some advice from Kirk Spencer who, if I can remember right said, "it wasn't custom for Jewish Disciples to carry swords. So when Paul cut off the ear of the servant, the blade was likely concealed." The blade type recommended was a Sica, which can be small enough to hide in clothing but, but long enough to use in combat. often in stain glass and painted pictures of Paul he has some kind of longsword, or sometimes a wide-tipped, sword similar in shape to a Dussack. The Archdiocesan Museum claims to have an exact copy of the sword Apostle Peter used to cut off the right ear of the high priest's servant at the time of Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane.. Does anyone have advice on the history or shape of Paul's sword?

I am not an expert on the archaeology of the Levant in the first century CE (and that is where you want to look: books on archaeology of Israel or archaeology of the New Testament) but I would be careful about that "not customary to carry weapons." A lot of modern people assume that carrying weapons was forbidden in the Roman empire, but when you look closely you see that knives, spears, and swords were pretty common but there were some restrictions based on intent or taboos. There is an old forum thread on the subject called "Weapons of Civilians".

In the renaissance painting, the disciple is using an ordinary late medieval Italian knife ... black horn scales fastened with brass nails, typical blade length and shape. Any cutler's shop carried knives like that by the dozen. Renaissance painters couldn't go to Ye Olde Osprey Book, so they read "knife" or "sword" and used their imagination Wink
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,252

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 4:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Renne wrote:
On the same topic, the Germans I believe called a certain knife/falchion thingy "Malchus" after the de-earred (is that a word?) servant in the Bible

John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and smote the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.


It's an auriculectomy, if surgically performed. This thread deals with the topic, including a relic!
https://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=26717

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,228

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kind of odd that I apparently missed that previous thread! As others have pointed out, "machaira" is way too generic a word to be certain about anything. It undoubtedly had nuances of meaning or typically meant one thing more often than another, but for our purposes here it's ambiguous.

We know from Josephus that the army was being supplied with weapons by local craftsmen. This suggests to me that "off the shelf" swords in the area were of Roman style, basically a Mainz or hispaniensis type gladius. BUT we know next to nothing about what swords were common in that region before the Romans took over, and we also don't know if other styles were still being produced alongside whatever the army wanted. Not to mention that the troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, and may not have had strictly "Roman" equipment in the first place!

So we could be looking at something more like a late Greek xiphos or kopis, or something Persian/Parthian, or some mongrel with all kinds of local influence. Insufficient data! Overall I tend to lean towards a gladius, but next week I may change my mind.

But it *does* sound to me like an actual sword was used. Aiming a blow at a man and cutting off his ear seems more like Peter swung overarm at the guy's head, and Malchus flinched enough that it almost missed. It just seems less likely to me that Peter deliberately grabbed the guy and sliced his ear off--what, in self-defence? No, this was a hasty, hot-headed draw-and-swing, as I see it.

Unfortunately, anyone claiming to have an "exact" replica of the weapon in use is at least subject to some wishful thinking.

Matthew
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 195

PostPosted: Sat 05 Aug, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Considering Peter was a fisherman, I would expect the blade he was carrying would have been an every-day working knife, likely on the larger side, sturdy, single-edge, but nothing so specific as a "sword" as we understand that term - so, not likely he was carrying a Roman gladius or similar military blade.

If I were to envision it, it would not be too far off from your illustration, maybe a little longer. Think of a rugger/bauernwehr style of blade but unlikely to have a nagel. I doubt the blade would be any longer than 12" since, personally, I find anything much larger is impractical as a working knife. Your mileage may vary.
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Fisher Lobdell




Location: Kansas city
Joined: 03 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Aug, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The real question is did peter have a sword beforehand, or did he have to sell his cloak and buy one, and if so, what kind of sword could he have bought with the money? Luke 22:36

having one before would change the context, and reasons of obtaining it.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily the evedence of
Absence. Ewart Oakeshotte.
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Marc Blaydoe




Location: Maryland
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Aug, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fisher Lobdell wrote:
The real question is did peter have a sword beforehand, or did he have to sell his cloak and buy one, and if so, what kind of sword could he have bought with the money? Luke 22:36

having one before would change the context, and reasons of obtaining it.


Luke 22:28 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
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Fisher Lobdell




Location: Kansas city
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Reading list: 14 books

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PostPosted: Sat 12 Aug, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You mean 22:38 . Razz sorry, my oversight...
Absence of evidence is not necessarily the evedence of
Absence. Ewart Oakeshotte.
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Marcoantonio Gonzalez




Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Joined: 23 Oct 2015

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PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember my pastor had told me that Peter in his malicious intent accidentally cut his own ear and that is why Jesus said unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
I would say it was a double edged probably a gladius because he was a fisherman and probably didn't know anything about swords
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Johnathyn N. Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 02 Aug 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Falcata/Gladius         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of your replies. Everyone has helped me tremendously with the history of this weapon. I have decided to go with a Falcata/Gladius mix. I'm not going to start working on the 3-Dimensional model of the handle until i have a better idea of what it looked like (Historically). I have decided on the blade being a Falcata but, if you would like to argue another type, please feel free to. I have had many ideas of how i would mix the two but the image i decided on (for the blade) is linked in the post. Again I can't thank the community enough for helping me with this project.


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I have not decided on placing the Gladiator-Type handle on yet. Feel free to give input on what it may be. [ Download ]

- Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. -
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 195

PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marcoantonio Gonzalez wrote:
I remember my pastor had told me that Peter in his malicious intent accidentally cut his own ear and that is why Jesus said unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
I would say it was a double edged probably a gladius because he was a fisherman and probably didn't know anything about swords


Seems your pastor didn't actually read his Bible:

10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) John 18:10, ESV

51And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” Matthew 26:51-54, ESV

49And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. Luke 22:49-50, ESV
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,228

PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Falcata/Gladius         Reply with quote

Johnathyn N. Spencer wrote:
Thanks for all of your replies. Everyone has helped me tremendously with the history of this weapon. I have decided to go with a Falcata/Gladius mix. I'm not going to start working on the 3-Dimensional model of the handle until i have a better idea of what it looked like (Historically). I have decided on the blade being a Falcata but, if you would like to argue another type, please feel free to. I have had many ideas of how i would mix the two but the image i decided on (for the blade) is linked in the post. Again I can't thank the community enough for helping me with this project.


Obviously you can make what you want, just be aware that such a weapon never existed. And the the falcata blade is really more Spanish or early Italian, long out of Roman use by this point in time. It's possible that later variants of the Greek kopis were still around, but they tended to have a blade with a straighter or slightly curved back, not as angular as the falcata. You still wouldn't find one with a gladius hilt. Asymmetrical blades always had asymmetrical hilts.

Matthew
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Johnathyn N. Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 02 Aug 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Falcata/Gladius         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Johnathyn N. Spencer wrote:
Thanks for all of your replies. Everyone has helped me tremendously with the history of this weapon. I have decided to go with a Falcata/Gladius mix. I'm not going to start working on the 3-Dimensional model of the handle until i have a better idea of what it looked like (Historically). I have decided on the blade being a Falcata but, if you would like to argue another type, please feel free to. I have had many ideas of how i would mix the two but the image i decided on (for the blade) is linked in the post. Again I can't thank the community enough for helping me with this project.


Obviously you can make what you want, just be aware that such a weapon never existed. And the the falcata blade is really more Spanish or early Italian, long out of Roman use by this point in time. It's possible that later variants of the Greek kopis were still around, but they tended to have a blade with a straighter or slightly curved back, not as angular as the falcata. You still wouldn't find one with a gladius hilt. Asymmetrical blades always had asymmetrical hilts.

Matthew



I completely agree, I know something is off but, if I were trying to find an idea of what Paul had, the closest thing I would find could be closer to a Sica rather than a Falcata. I feel like something is off about the blade though, when I look at the swords suggested to me it seems as if the blade has a harsh curve on it. I would like to believe that the blade Paul pulled was larger than an average "Fisher Knife". If I wanted to make an interesting mix for a sword, I would combine the Sica blade with a Gladiator-Type handle but, historically it wouldn't make sense. Even if i am incapable to find an exact copy of what Paul's sword looked like, I can still try my best to be close as possible. I don't believe that it will be possible to find a accurate handle but, I do believe that an accurate blade is more than achievable. I just need the right resource. I would assume that the handle would be something very simple, likely made of a cheap material.

- Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. -
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Re: Falcata/Gladius         Reply with quote

Johnathyn N. Spencer wrote:
I completely agree, I know something is off but, if I were trying to find an idea of what Paul had, the closest thing I would find could be closer to a Sica rather than a Falcata. I feel like something is off about the blade though, when I look at the swords suggested to me it seems as if the blade has a harsh curve on it. I would like to believe that the blade Paul pulled was larger than an average "Fisher Knife". If I wanted to make an interesting mix for a sword, I would combine the Sica blade with a Gladiator-Type handle but, historically it wouldn't make sense. Even if i am incapable to find an exact copy of what Paul's sword looked like, I can still try my best to be close as possible. I don't believe that it will be possible to find a accurate handle but, I do believe that an accurate blade is more than achievable. I just need the right resource. I would assume that the handle would be something very simple, likely made of a cheap material.


Not to be sounding like I'm nitpicking, but just to clarify my point of view--to me, "as close as possible" pretty much precludes trying to put parts of different weapons together. We have a pretty good idea of what was available at the time, so why not just go with a known artifact?

Also, "sica" was a known word back then, a very familiar object (though it obviously varied wildly in size and shape). It was a knife, possibly quite large, with a distinctly curved or angled blade. Yet the word used is "machaira", *generally* used more for an actual sword. And since the area had been under Roman domination for a number of generations at that point, the most likely candidate for a sword would be a Roman one, or at least something bearing a strong resemblence to a Roman sword. Jesus and his disciples had been talking about getting *weapons*, not just fisherman's knives.

If you go with a sica, there is a thread about it, with some decent information:

https://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=139506

Nothing wrong with wood or bone for the grip, but even every-day tools back then were often decorated and nicely made. Some of the artifacts identified as sicas have iron guards or even pommels, which to me implies they were meant as weapons. I'd be a little leery of most modern reconstructions of *gladiator* sicas, since too many of them are just a bent gladius. Not right.

Ah, this is the one I was thinking of, clearly a substantial weapon:



That'll take an ear off!

Matthew

PS: Peter, not Paul, eh? Wink
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Falcata/Gladius         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Johnathyn N. Spencer wrote:
I completely agree, I know something is off but, if I were trying to find an idea of what Paul had, the closest thing I would find could be closer to a Sica rather than a Falcata. I feel like something is off about the blade though, when I look at the swords suggested to me it seems as if the blade has a harsh curve on it. I would like to believe that the blade Paul pulled was larger than an average "Fisher Knife". If I wanted to make an interesting mix for a sword, I would combine the Sica blade with a Gladiator-Type handle but, historically it wouldn't make sense. Even if i am incapable to find an exact copy of what Paul's sword looked like, I can still try my best to be close as possible. I don't believe that it will be possible to find a accurate handle but, I do believe that an accurate blade is more than achievable. I just need the right resource. I would assume that the handle would be something very simple, likely made of a cheap material.


Not to be sounding like I'm nitpicking, but just to clarify my point of view--to me, "as close as possible" pretty much precludes trying to put parts of different weapons together. We have a pretty good idea of what was available at the time, so why not just go with a known artifact?

Also, "sica" was a known word back then, a very familiar object (though it obviously varied wildly in size and shape). It was a knife, possibly quite large, with a distinctly curved or angled blade. Yet the word used is "machaira", *generally* used more for an actual sword. And since the area had been under Roman domination for a number of generations at that point, the most likely candidate for a sword would be a Roman one, or at least something bearing a strong resemblence to a Roman sword. Jesus and his disciples had been talking about getting *weapons*, not just fisherman's knives.

If you go with a sica, there is a thread about it, with some decent information:

https://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=139506

Nothing wrong with wood or bone for the grip, but even every-day tools back then were often decorated and nicely made. Some of the artifacts identified as sicas have iron guards or even pommels, which to me implies they were meant as weapons. I'd be a little leery of most modern reconstructions of *gladiator* sicas, since too many of them are just a bent gladius. Not right.

Ah, this is the one I was thinking of, clearly a substantial weapon:



That'll take an ear off!

Matthew

PS: Peter, not Paul, eh? Wink


Hey Johnathyn...

I know what it is like. When I try to find the historic sword "as close as possible," I always find myself wanting to make it "better" by adding and subtracting elements. I suspect this hybridization would be even more of a temptation if I were designing the sword for 3-D printing.

If you like the look of a curved blade and want something more Roman than Greek, you might consider some of the smaller Roman knives... I know they are knives and not swords, however, I have always thought that the "sword" Peter used may very well have been more like a large knife than a sword. I don't think that Rome would have allowed Jewish men to walk the streets with a sword strapped to their hips (I may be wrong here), especially with the Zealot troubles they were having. If this is so, then if Peter had a "sword" it would have to be small enough to conceal. Also to this point... as Matt says, the word used in the New Testament, that is translated "sword," is the Greek word "machaira". If I remember correctly this word has a very broad usage in ancient texts and can mean sword, but can also mean just about any kind of blade. (I noticed that Matt added "generally" is his excellent post in reference to this word meaning "sword." Oddly there is a similar ambiguity with the word "hereb" in Hebrew. It drives people crazy who are trying to relate ancient texts to modern typologies, because the ancients like to use words for lots of very different kinds of things.

Many years ago, I did a study of the phrase "by the edge of the word" which is used many times in the Old Testament and I discovered (going off of memory here too) that the Hebrew word translated edge actually means "mouth," and the word sword (hereb) is used to refer to anything from knives, to razors, to swords implying that it was not so much the shape of the object, but that it had a sharp edge. Thus the phrase "by the edge of the sword" to the ancients probably had the connotation of "by the mouth of the edge." People were being eaten by something really sharp. I may be wrong, but such a perspective would put the "sword" or "knife" or "razor" into a world where it was seen in action, doing what a sharp edge was designed to do (eat things). So Peter's sword may have been a largish Roman knife and these would make a good 3D project, and they have a curved blade... quite beautiful in proportions to... to my eye.

I also noticed you keep robbing Peter of his sword to pay Paul. While I know you mean Peter... it does raise the fascinating question of what kind of blade would the apostle Paul carry... Certainly he must have had some blades.... I mean he was a tent maker Happy Wink

take care,

p.s. Your hybrid design with the curved blade and straight handle does remind me of a very famous sword found in the Bible Lands... however it is Philistine and about 600 years before Paul's time (I mean Peter's time).

ks



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Philistine Knife/ShortSword... c.600BC

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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