THIS dark Bible was allegdly created overnight by Satan in return for a monk’s soul, but did the devil himself really write it?
The ‘Devil’s Bible’ is an enormous handwritten book which earned its name because of the huge illustration of Satan inside it, and because of the dark legend which surrounds the text.
The book itself is also known as the Codex Gigas or ‘Giant Book’, thanks to its huge size and the vast number of works included within it.
In fact, the Devil’s Bible is the world’s largest surviving medieval manuscript, weighing in at nearly 12 stone, with 310 vellum pages allegedly made from the skin of 160 donkeys.
The book, which is currently on show at the National Library in Stockholm, Sweden, isn’t just unusual thanks to its huge size, since its contents are just as eyebrow raising.
As well as containing the entirety of the Latin version of the Bible, the book contains ancient medical texts, work by a Jewish historian called Josephus and an extensive encyclopaedia.
Created in the early 12th Century in what is now the Czech Republic, the book has the been the subject of much speculation and historical interest, largely thanks to the chilling story behind its origin.
Legend has it that the book was penned by a monk who broke his vows to the Benedictine monastery of Podlazice, and was sentenced to death by being walled up in a coffin-like room and abandoned.
As a desperate, last-ditch attempt to escape his fate, he promised to make a book in one day which would include all human knowledge and glorify the monastery forever.
As he approached midnight, he realised that he had undertaken an impossible task, so he prayed for help.
However, rather than praying to god, he prayed to the devil, asking him to complete the huge book overnight in return for his soul.
The devil allegedly delivered, and the monk drew the illustration of the devil as a way of thanking him for completing the work.
It has been calculated since that it would take five years of non-stop writing to complete the text alone, taking closer to 25 years if the author stopped for food and sleep breaks, and added the illustrations and embellishments the text.
Throughout the entire book, the handwriting doesn’t change at all, and has been proven by scientists to belong to the same person, suggesting that the enormous book was written over a very short time period.
Just as strange is the fact that ten pages are missing, leading to the claim that this missing section contained demonic spells or curses which were removed by religious censors.
The book is made more sinister by legend that death and disaster have followed the manuscript ever since it was written, with its owners destined to suffer ill fates.
One previous owner was driven mad after the book allegedly caused other texts to dance around the room, as well as making a clock chime constantly until the owner was reduced to tears and admitted to an asylum.
The mystery of the book is set to continue, as scientists puzzle over how someone could have created such a huge work without exhibiting any changes in handwriting at all as they worked on it.
Perhaps the book really was penned by the devil overnight, or perhaps there’s a simple explanation of its origins just waiting to be exposed.