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Johnathyn N. Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 02 Aug 2017

Posts: 1

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: 17

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: 17

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: 17

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: 381

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: 1,226

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: 1,206

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: 193

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
Reading list: 14 books

Posts: 58

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
Joined: 29 Sep 2006

Posts: 72

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.”

The Second Amendment is a solemn promise to the American people that the government will strive to not make us so angry that we want to shoot them.
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Fisher Lobdell




Location: Kansas city
Joined: 03 Nov 2016
Reading list: 14 books

Posts: 58

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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