On that Maundy Thursday the 13th Nisan, it was exactly thirty-three years and eighteen weeks less one day
|November 20, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter nine||
Quinet might have done better still if he advised the Pope to issue, as a counterblast to the unbelieving critical work of Strauss, the Life of Jesus which had been revealed to the faith of the blessed Anna Katharina Emmerich. How thoroughly this refuted Strauss can be seen from the fragment issued in 1834, “The Bitter Sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” where even the age of Jesus on the day of His death is exactly given. On that Maundy Thursday the 13th Nisan, it was exactly thirty-three years and eighteen weeks less one day. The “pilgrim” Clement Brentano would certainly have consented, had he been asked, to allow his note-books to be used in the sacred cause, and to have given to the world the Life of Jesus as it was revealed to him by this visionary from the end of July 1820 day by day for three years, instead of allowing this treasure to remain hidden for more than twenty years longer. He himself ascribed to these visions the most strictly historical character, and insisted on considering them not merely as reflections on what had happened, but as the immediate reflex of the facts themselves, so that the picture of the life of Jesus is given in them as in a mirror. Hug, it may be mentioned, in his lectures, called attention to the exact agreement of the topography of the passion story in Katharina’s vision with the description of the locality in Josephus. If he had known her complete Life of Jesus he would doubtless have expressed his admiration for the way in which she harmonises John and the Synoptists; and with justice, for the harmony is really ingenious and skilfully planned.
Apart from these merits, too, this Life of Jesus, written, it should be observed, earlier than Strauss’s, contains a wealth of interesting information. John at first baptized at Aenon, but later was directed to remove to Jericho. The baptisms took place in “baptismal springs.”
Peter owned three boats, of which one was fitted up especially for the use of Jesus, and carried a complement of ten persons. Forward and aft there were covered-in spaces where all kinds of gear could be kept, and where also they could wash their feet; along the sides of the boat were hung receptacles for the fish.
When Judas Iscariot became a disciple of Jesus he was twenty-five years old. He had black hair and a red beard, but could not be called really ugly. He had had a stormy past. His mother had been a dancing-woman, and Judas had been born out of wedlock, his father being a military tribune in Damascus. As an infant he had been exposed, but had been saved, and later had been taken charge of by his uncle, a tanner at Iscariot. At the time when he joined the company of Jesus’ disciples he had squandered all his possessions. The disciples at first liked him well enough because of his readiness to make himself useful; he even cleaned the shoes.
The fish with the stater in its mouth was so large that it made a full meal for the whole company.
A work to which Jesus devoted special attention—though this is not mentioned in the Gospels—was the reconciliation of unhappy married couples. Another matter which is not mentioned in the Gospels is the voyage of Jesus to Cyprus, upon which He entered after a farewell meal with His disciples at the house of the Canaanitish woman. This voyage took place during the war between Herod and Aretas while the disciples were making their missionary journey in Palestine. As they could not give an eye-witness report of it they were silent; nor did they make any mention of the feast to which the Proconsul at Salamis invited the Saviour. In regard to another journey, also, which Jesus made to the land of the wise men of the East, the “pilgrim’s” oracle has the advantage of knowing more than the Evangelists.
In spite of these additional traits a certain monotony is caused by the fact that the visionary, in order to fill in the tale of days in the three years, makes the persons known to us from the Gospel history meet with the Saviour on several occasions previous to the meeting narrated in the Gospels. Here the artificial character of the composition comes out too clearly, though in general a lively imagination tends to conceal this. And yet these naive embellishments and inventions have something rather attractive about them; one cannot handle the book without a certain reverence when one thinks amid what pains these revelations were received. If Brentano had published his notes at the time of the excitement produced by Strauss’s Life of Jesus, the work would have had a tremendous success. As it was, when the first two volumes appeared at the end of the fifties, there were sold in one year three thousand and several hundred copies, without reckoning the French edition which appeared contemporaneously.
 Anna Katharina Emmerich was born in 1774 at Flamske near Coesfeld. Her parents were peasants. In 1803 she took up her abode with the Augustinian nuns of the convent of Agnetenberg at Dülmen. After the dissolution of the convent, she lived in a single room in Dülmen itself. The “stigmata” showed themselves first in 1812. She died on the 9th of February 1824. Brentano had been in her neighbourhood since 1819. Das bittere Leiden unseres Herrn Jesu Christi (The Bitter Sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ) was issued by Brentano himself in 1834. The Life of Jesus was published on the basis of notes left by him—he died in 1842— in three volumes, 1858-1860, at Regensburg, under the sanction of the Bishop of Limberg.
First volume.—From the death of St. Joseph to the end of the first year after the Baptism of Jesus in Jordan. Communicated between May 1, 1821, and October 1, 1822.
Second volume.—From the beginning of the second year after the Baptism in Jordan to the close of the second Passover in Jerusalem. Communicated between October 1, 1822, and April 30, 1823. Third volume.—From the close of the second Passover in Jerusalem to the Mission of the Holy Spirit. Communicated between October 21, 1823, and January 8, 1824, and from July 29, 1820, to May 1821. Both works have been frequently reissued, the “Bitter Sufferings” as late as 1894.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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