Saturday, August 13, 2011

WANDERING JEW

The Wandering Jew, or Ahsuerus Ahsverus also called, is a mythical character, part of Christian oral traditions. He would be a contemporary of Jesus Christ, a resident of Jerusalem, and there, worked in a tannery or a shoemaker's workshop, which was one of the streets where those condemned to death by crucifixion passed carrying their crosses. On Friday of the Passion, Jesus Christ, through that road carrying his cross, was plagued with ironies, or verbally or physically assaulted by Ahsverus. Jesus, then, would have cursed, condemned him to wander the world, never die, until his return, in the end of times.

The versions of the incident vary. One is that Jesus Christ would have fallen under the weight of the cross, right in front of the store where he worked and this Ahsverus, mocking, would have shouted to the condemned man to "walk". Jesus would have answered it, that the shoemaker, was the one who would walk the world until the end of time. A variant of the earlier version says that Simon the Cyrene offered to help Jesus to lift the cross, Jesus would have asked for help to Ahsverus, who refused. And a different version of the legend is it that Jesus actually would have stopped before the tannery and asked Ahsverus to give him a cup of water. Ahsverus would then reply: "If you are the Son of God, make it appear a fountain of fresh water from the ground" and Jesus, then cursed him.

It is possible that the legend of the Wandering Jew has been commenced in the fourth century when a bishop of Armenia or Persia, Constantinople visiting or joining the Council of Nicaea, was quoted as saying in response to an unbeliever, who still remained in their country, alive, a witness to the martyrdom of Jesus Christ. Then we have the popular imagination do the rest, sometimes making a confusion with the figure of an employee of Caiaphas called Malchus with a citizen of Jerusalem called Cartáfilo or even Judas Iscariot, who had somehow, survived the self-hanging.

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