Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
As part of my research on my future book, “The Iron Kingdom” (the formation of Christianity), I have read and studied The Inferno in some detail. It is one part of a trilogy by Dante. the man who some consider the greatest Christian poet. In The Inferno is found the most insulting thing ever written about Jesus by a Christian poet. Let me explain.
Dante says that the Devil is in the heart of hell, the lowest level, and of course, those guilty of the most heinous of all crimes is there. Dangling from the Devil’s mouth are three men, their heads and torsos inward, and their legs hanging from his lips (being endlessly chewed, I would imagine). One of these three worst of all sinners is Judas the betrayer, as we would expect. The other two? Not Caiaphas, Israel’s high priest who ordered Jesus arrested and abused. Dante and his “Master”, the Roman poet Virgil, passed Caiaphas earlier in previous, less severe level of hell. The other two were the two leaders of the assassins of Julius Caesar! They were suffering a greater punishment than even the rulers who condemned Jesus unjustly. In other words, the crime of assassinating the tyrant Caesar (the ancient equivalent to a mafia boss) was held by Dante to be a worse sin than Caiaphas’ participation in a murder plot against Jesus, the Prince of life! In one part of his trilogy, Dante even referred to Jesus as “Jove” (Rome’s highest god). I can’t remember right now if that statement is in The Inferno or not, but it is in one of his three poems. Since there were no “Y” or “V” sounds in latin, an ancient Roman would have pronounced “Jove” something like “Yahweh”, and nowadays, one hears Christians called upon that name quite often. Oh, how the spirit of Christianity longs for the glory of Rome to be restored!
But as for the myth about the Devil being in hell, the truth is that Devil has never been to hell, will never go to hell, and has no power to send anyone to or to hold anyone in hell, nor to determine anyone’s degree of punishment in hell. Jesus (Rev. 1:18) said, “I hold the keys of death and of hell.” Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire in the end (Rev. 20:10) and will bypass hell altogether. Hell is too good for him.
Christianity is more than an institution within Western civilization. Christianity IS Western Civilization, or at least used to be, before this modern antipathy toward Jesus arose in Western culture. A noted historian of the early 20th century made this famous statement: “The Faith is Europe, and Europe is the Faith.” This is true. What Jesus showed me is that Christianity is the Roman Empire in drag. (He is dressed up as a woman, the Bride of Christ.) That is why, to the man widely considered to be the greatest of all Christian poets, the sin of Brutus and Cassius was worse than the sin of Caiaphas.