Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More on Montgomery Documents 1 and 2

From "Appendix 2: Origins of Documents 1 and 2," The God-Kings of Europe:

When I first published these documents in Montgomery Millenium in 2002 I gave an incorrect reference for them. The correct provenance for these documents is as follows:

Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) was the foremost scholar of this day. He studied at the College of Guienne in Bordeaux and later the University of Paris, first under Turnebus and later under Jean Dorat. It was the latter who recommended Scalinger [sic] to Louis de Chastaigner, Lord of La Roche Pozay, with whom he became a lifelong friend and with whom he travelled throughout Europe, studying and buying books and manuscripts.

Scaliger became fluent in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic and acquired a remarkable collection of original manuscripts in those languages. He also had the opportunity to use the Library of a man named Cujas in Valence, whose library consisted of seven or eight rooms with no less than five hundred original manuscripts.

In 1593 he became Professor at the University of Leiden and remained so for the rest of his life. He became the bane of the Roman Catholic Church and the Jesuits, pointing out to them that many of the books on which they relied were either bogus or at least doubtful. In his De emendatione temporum (1583), he revolutionised all the received wisdom on ancient chronology and pointed out that it was necessary to include the chronology of the ancient Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Hebrews, hitherto considered worthless.

When he died in 1609 he left all his books and manuscripts to the University Library, including the Leiden Papyrus, dealing with magical spells supposedly used by Jesus (tous mes livres de langues étrangères, Hebraics, Syriens, Arabics, Ethiopiens).

For complete story see Joseph Scaliger: A Biography, by Jakob Bernays, Berlin, (1855) or Anthony Grafton -- Joseph Scaliger: A Study of Classical Scholarship, 2 vols. (Oxford University Press, 1983 & 1993). See also:

Document 1 is almost certainly a complete or extended version of St. Matthew's Gospel written in Syria around 150 AD (See Morton Smith's book, The Secret Gospel of Mark, p. 142). He discovered a fragment in Greek of the unexpurgated version, which has been authenticated.

William Montgomery (1633-1706) also played a role in these documents. He was educated at the University of Leiden where he studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He translated two of these documents into English (Documents 3 and 4) using an English not dissimilar to the Authorised Version of the Bible. These versions he kept and later put them into the Library of County Down, Ireland, when appointed "Custos Rotulorum" by the Duke of Ormonde. It is also quite likely that he translated the following Document 1 fragment.

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