Hannukkah and Christmas

This display celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas with illustrations of these two festivals from Bibles in the Ramseyer Bible Collection. When the angels appeared to the shepherds at the Nativity, the original Greek says that they had phobon megan. This was translated by Saint Jerome in the Vulgate Version as timore magno and in the King James Version as they were sore afraid. When this phrase reaches the New International Version it is terrified, but in the Glasgow Scots version they wir aw gobsmacked. 

However you think it ought to be expressed, artists have tried to render it in many ways, and this scene and others from the Hanukkah and Nativity stories will be shown in illustrations from the Ramseyer Bible Collection. Many family Bibles owned by the immigrants to Minnesota were decorated with engravings by Gustave Dore,as well as many other artists, and pulpit Bibles were often illustrated with Renaissance paintings and decorated with illuminated initial letters. 

The actual events which Hanukkah celebrates are not illustrated in the Bibles, since the story of Hanukkah is told, not in the Scriptures, but in the Talmud. However, the Maccabees, who were the main actors in the Jewish revolt of that time, are told of in the Apocryphal books of the Maccabees, and the illustrations from family Bibles are from that portion of the Scriptures. 

The facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible will also be open to the Nativity story in Luke, with a transcription of the Latin from the Gothic black letter of the printing, and a translation, as it appears in the King James Version.

Hanukkah

The Festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple at Jerusalem in 165 BCE.  The Books of the Maccabees describe how the Jews rebelled against the Greek rule of Antiochus, first under Mattathias, and then under his five sons, led by Judas Maccabeus.  When the Temple was reclaimed, it had been polluted by the building of an altar to Zeus. This was thrown down and the Temple re-dedicated, an occasion which has been celebrated ever since. 

Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of  Chislev. 

I  MACCABEES  4:59

 

[click thumbnail for large view]

Detailed pen drawing
(Bible) Den Heliga Skrift Innehallande Gamla och Nya Testamentet jemte Apochrypha, med Nödiga anmärkningar af H. M. Melin, ... 1889. #1566 ]
Detailed pen drawing
(Bible) Den Heliga Skrift Innehallande Gamla och Nya Testamentet jemte Apochrypha, med Nödiga anmärkningar af H. M. Melin, ... 1889. #1566

 

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