We’ve all heard of holy books….but what about unholy ones?….Perhaps the Devil’s Bible?
Codex Gigas literally translates as Giant Book, and it’s an appropriate name for this Roman Catholic Bible that measures almost three feet tall, two feet wide, and one foot thick. Made from leather vellum pages with a wood cover, it weighs over a hundred and sixty five pounds!
At eight hundred years old, it’s earned a place in history for its gigantic size, mysteries surrounding it, and this creepy full page illustration of the devil which gives the book it’s nickname, The Devil’s Bible. This faces opposite a full page image of the Kingdom of Heaven and symbolizes the contrast of good versus evil.
It appears to be written in the handwriting of just one single scribe, likely a Benedictine monk named Herman the Recluse, and it’s estimated it would have taken over twenty years to complete. What’s unusual about this is that the handwriting style is incredibly consistent from start to finish, and does not reflect any of the expected variances in style caused by mood, illness or aging.
Legend has it, that Herman the Recluse broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to be walled up alive! In a plea bargain to save his life, he promised to bring glory to the monastery forever by creating a wonderful book containing all human knowledge, in a single night.
As the night wore on and he wrestled with the hopelessness of his task, he prayed in desperation to the devil for help, who agreed to complete the codex in exchange for having his image included. Some believe that the Codex is forever cursed to bring diaster and illness to those who posess it.
Could this really be a demonic version of the Bible?….How did this man consistently write a book weighing over a hundred and sixty pounds with the exact same style of handwriting?
Use of the “The Leviathan” picture permitted by Jeff Chang. Check out the rest of his work at
“Devil codex Gigas” by Kungl. biblioteket. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons –
Video credit to Strange Mysteries YouTube channel