History of the Spear of Destiny case study

Spear of Destany

The history of civilization is full of legends and myths that have cut across cultural barriers and are nowadays some of the most well-known stories related to the old times of religion and civilization. One of these myths include, among others, the Holy Graal, the Shroud of Turin, or the Spear of Destiny, both of them linked to the life and death of Jesus Christ.

The present research provides a detailed account of the history of the Spear of Destiny, or the Holy Spear, which is considered to have been the one that eventually killed Jesus on the Cross. The accounts of this artifact is important and to some extend crucial for the history of Christianity in particular because of the role it played in the final hours of Jesus’ life and, at the same time, due to the mysticism and meaning that has been attributed to it along the centuries. It is said to have been an object of belief not only for the religious believers but also for the military and the Church. Currently, it is said to be sheltered in the United States, at the military center of Fort Knox, after having been retrieved from the Germans at the end of the Second World War. However, there are no clear documented accounts of the whereabouts of the Spear and the mystery surrounding it has offered both common people and scientists alike to provide a variety of versions of the history of the Spear.

The research takes into account several aspects. In order to have a complex overview of the Spear and its meaning in present times, it is important to take into account the events to which this Spear was linked and the role it played in taking the life out of Jesus in its final hours on the cross. From this point-of-view, an important part of this research is focused on the accounts of the events that took place in Jerusalem in AD 33, when, as per religious sources, the Roman soldiers crucified the Son of the Lord, Jesus Christ. His sacrifice led to the redemption and salvation of human kind and allowed humanity to follow a course of action that is accounted for in history references to this day.

As a second focus of the research, the Spear had a tumultuous history after it had achieved its goal of piercing Christ simply because it became a symbol of a holy element and hence an artifact of early Christianity. Therefore, the meanings and symbols that have been attributed to the Spear have been numerous and the search for it and the need to have it has determined endless retrieval attempts, starting from the Roman soldiers in the early days of Christianity, to the Knights Templers and more recently to Adolf Hitler, who, during the Second World War considered the Spear to be a source of mysticism that would allow him to leave the war victorious against the Allied Forces. As mentioned above, the history of the Spear is at a stall at this moment, with most voices attributing the Spear to the United States and its military headquarters in Fort Knox. This approach is again important in order to underline the way in which the myth and the meanings that have been attributed to the Spear have fueled the desire and need of humans to possess this artifact. At the same time, it is important to take into account the massive number of actions that have engaged some of the most well-known names and personalities in history and which have determined such a vivid and exciting historical variations of the Spear. Moreover, this approach provides a link between the Spear and other objects that have been historically and scientifically linked to Jesus Christ and his life and death.

Finally, despite its long history, or particularly because of the long history of the Spear, this artifact has ensured a special place in religious adulation and in the history of human civilization. The controversy surrounding the Spear is hugely important for the historical truth and at the same time to reveal the actual considerations of the Spear as either a holy element of Christianity of in fact a mere fighting tool. The discussions on the actual number of the spears, the location of them and even who actually possesses the Spear that spiked Jesus Christ are crucial for an overall image of the Spear as fact, fiction, or legend.

Role of the Spear of Destiny in early Christianity — Jesus Christ

One of the most important artifacts in the history of civilization is a spear. However, this is not an ordinary spear. The basic information about this object is that a craftsman in Damascus, current Syria, created it. It is said to have been made out of a special material, similar to what is know today as a moonstone. However the legends surrounding the manufacturing and symbolism of the Spear have been numerous. One specialized lecturer on this subject points out the endless numbers of legends that the Spear, a military object at the time of the Roman presence in Jerusalem, entailed, “from its mythical creation by Tubal-Cain, seventh generation grandson of Adam, to its appearance at the Crucifixion; its use by Constantine, Rome’s first Christian Caesar; to Charlemagne’s claim that with it he ruled the Holy Roman Empire by Divine Right; and on through twelve hundred years of kings and emperors, until it came within Adolf Hitler’s grasp — and beyond! Did it really rest for a while in Antarctic ice? Is it now hidden in Europe, awaiting the next person to claim its power to shape the destiny of mankind? Or is it just an old spearhead, with no powers of its own?” (Smith, 2006) This comes to point out the fact that there have been numerous legends surrounding this artifact particularly because of the mystery that surrounds the events taking place at the moment of the crossing of Christ.

The actual history of the making of the Spear is rather straightforward, although there are no major written accounts on it, but legends point out that this Spear was made by a craftsman in Damascus and was sold to a Roman soldier for am impressive amount of money at the time (Ravenscrof, 1982). Furthermore, the legend points out that the spear had been said to have supernatural powers and would not be a waste of money for the soldier.

In order to understand the role of the Spear at that time, it is important to take into account the Roman soldier that purchased the spear and who eventually drove the spear through Christ. Therefore, “according to the Gospel of John (19:31-37) as Jesus hung on the Cross a Roman centurion pierced his side with a spear. Christian tradition later named that soldier as Gaius Cassius Longinus” (Jerry E. Smith and George Piccard, n.d.) . The Gospel of John is among the few biblical accounts of the moment in which the Roman centurion pierced the body of Christ with the Spear. This account is rather detailed and points out to ancient beliefs of the need to have blood and water flow from a man in order to assess his death. More precisely, “Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (Don Schwager, n.d. )

There are several points to consider. First and foremost, the legend focuses not only on the spear but also takes into account the person that listened to the word of God and did not intervene as all the other soldiers would have wanted, but rather minimized the suffering of Christ by spiking Him. Secondly the role of the myth through which blood and water must pour from a man’s body in order for him to die was upheld in the sense that there was no clear medical account of such a truth or at least not one that a Roman soldier would have access to at the time. Yet, the legends and myths were kept and the role of Word of God listened to.

One of the first merits of the Spear and of the soldier that handled it was the fact that it put Christ of the pain He was in on the cross. The crucifixion is a very important and painful process of torture that ultimately brings death. More precisely, “Roman crucifixion was only used since probably about a century before Christ. Crucifixion was considered such a humiliating form of punishment that if you were a Roman citizen, you couldn’t be crucified, no matter what the offense. It was usually the execution of choice… For slaves and people considered beneath the dignity of Roman citizenship. It was a very slow and agonizing form of death. Victims of crucifixion could languish in agony on the cross for up to several days. The dying process could be shortened by breaking the victim’s legs so that the victim could no longer push up with their feet for gasps of air. The thieves on both sides of Jesus had their legs broken, but when the Roman soldiers reached Jesus, one of them, reportedly a centurion named Gaius Cassius Longinus saw he was already dead and proved it to his fellows by using his spear to pierce the Christ’s side. Blood and water poured out. There was no need to break his bones. One must remember, that prior to the cross Jesus has already been tortured via a brutal, all night scourging by Roman soldiers and probably was weak before being nailed to the cross” (Bible Probe, n.d.).

There are numerous controversies surrounding the issue and history of the Spear. Among it, the actual name of the Roman soldier that drove the Spear through Christ. Most legends and sources suggest that his name was Longinus and that the spearing of Christ and His blood eventually cured him of blindness. At the same time though there are sources that suggest in fact that the name was different and that there are numerous holes in the legend / myth. More precisely, “in a miniature of the famous Syriac manuscript of the Laurentian Library at Florence, illuminated by one Rabulas in the year 586, the incident of the opening of Christ’s side is given a prominence which is highly significant. Moreover, the name Longinus — if, indeed, this is not a later addition — is written in Greek characters (LOGINOS) above the head of the soldier who is thrusting his lance into our Saviour’s side. This seems to show that the legend which assigns this name to the soldier (who, according to the same tradition, was healed of ophthalmia and converted by a drop of the precious blood spurting from the wound) is as old as the sixth century. And further it is tempting, even if rash, to conjecture that the name Logginos, or Logchinos is in some way connected with the lance (logche)” (Thurston, 1910) Therefore, it can be said that indeed, the legends and the myths surrounding the Spear have made it become an even greater mystery to scientists.

From the accounts mentioned above, the legend points out that in fact the Spear did not kill Christ, but rather that it was used as a means to prove the death of Christ and that there was no need to break his legs. From this point-of-view, the legends are numerous, as mentioned previously. However, what counts for the Spear element is that, regardless of the motives, touched Christ and His blood in plain sight and this action spurred and fueled the following legends and alleged mystical powers of the Spear. At the same time and in the same register, these legends are similar to the ones that eventually led to books being written about the actual crucifixion of Christ and how the depiction of the act in the biblical texts and the imagery are in fact not a reflection of the historical truth. More precisely, there are opinions that suggest the crucifixion is impossible to have been done as suggested in the images that are nowadays famous with Christ on the Cross because the nails had to be pushed through the joints of the members and not thru the feet and palms as this process would not have been able to support the weight of the body of the person on the Cross. This assumption led to the justification of the wounds of the Stigmatas and those of Father Pio, the first to experience the Stigmata wounds which are considered to be the same as those suffered by Christ. Overall, it can be said that given the subject at hand, it is very difficult to have an actual account of the origins and actual purpose of the Spear particularly because of the limited amount of written first hand resources available; the sources that are indeed available for research are most often legends that have been embellished through time, something that is very common for all religious, Christ related artifacts.

The use of the Spear to ensure that none of the bones of Christ is broken is significant for the subsequent legends related to the sacrifice that is brought about every Easter in religious beliefs. The role of legends is from this point-of-view extremely important particularly because it provided religious thoughts with aspects to be invoked and therefore build a support for traditions. More precisely, related to the aspect of broken bones, in the Bible and in particular the Gospel of John, “John sees a prophetic fulfillment in the fact that none of Jesus’ bones were broken. The law of Moses stated that the lamb sacrificed for the Passover feast must not have any bones broken. “They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it.” (Numbers 9:12). Jesus is the true Passover Lamb who delivers his people from death and who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)” (Bible Probe, n.d.) This symbol together with other elements of the moment of Christ’s crucifixion make the elements of the religious belief come together and place the Spear as part of a wider prophecy and therefore the spiking of Jesus with this particular Spear was not a random event, but rather one that links directly to God and the plans for civilization. From this point-of-view, the numerous people and personalities that tried to retrieve the Spear have been fueled by such beliefs and connections.

As mentioned previously, the Spear is part of a wider series of artifacts that have been attributed to Christ. This is particularly because historians, religious people and scientists consider it alike that the elements that touched the blood of Christ are holy in their nature. This assumption comes on the basis that Christ, through the fact that he bled, was in fact human, but of divine origins. On this principle, all other objects that are considered to have been touched by the body of Christ or His blood are seen as extremely valuable for Christianity and scientists alike. In this sense, “Anything that touched the blood of Christ is said to be sacred and the Holy Spear was added to the list of holy relics in which the medieval world became obsessed with. Men pursued sacred objects like the spear of destiny, the Holy Grail, the Shroud of Turin, and pieces of the true cross of Christ’s crucifixion to no end. It was said that whoever controlled the Holy Spear, controlled the destiny of the entire world, and if the wielder of the spear lost possession of it, the ruler would perish” (Mystic Order of Noble Knowledge, 2014).

The power of these artifacts as they have been portrayed throughout history has made them reason enough for wars, crusades, and even are reported to have stood at the basis of ethnic cleansing as conducted by Hitler during the Second World War. However, it must be underlined that the meanings of these artifacts are as those given by myths constructed by humans and rarely are there cases in which these meanings have been proven by scientists.

There are several physical descriptions of the Spear, especially during the years of Constantine, in the beginnings of Christianity in Europe. One account provides a detailed description of the artifact. “Eusebius of Caesarea, who became a spiritual advisor to Constantine described the Holy Lance as it was at the height of Constantine’s power in the Fourth Century: It was a long spear, overlaid with gold. On the top was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones, and within this the symbol of the Savior’s name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters — those letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later period. From the spear was also suspended a cloth, a royal piece, covered with a profuse embroidery of most brilliant precious stones and which, being also richly interlaced with gold, presented an indescribable degree of beauty to the beholder. The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that it should be carried at the head of all his armies” (Smith, n.d.).

Most recently, the Spear is considered to be located in Vienna, at the museum where Adolf Hitler first saw it. The description however, is no longer the same, as centuries of existence of the Spear made it subject to constant repairs and embellishments. At the same time though, this offers a very good starting point for the scientist in their analysis of the artifact. A recent description of the Spear portrays it as follows: “At the core of the spear is the original blade, now broken, and combined with an iron pinion that is reputed to be a nail taken from the cross. Holding the broken spearhead and the ‘nail’ together is some silver wire believed to have been added around 600 AD, at the same time as the “wings” – two extra blades that were added to adorn the base of the spear. Covering most of this, and concealing the repairs from view are two separate metal sheaths, one in silver and another over the top of this in gold, dating from the 11th and 14th centuries respectively, and bearing a complex variety of inscriptions that could yet yield any number of historic revelations when analysed” (HubPages, 2014).

Legends and strives for the Spear

The actual “journey” of the Spear and exact locations of its existence throughout the centuries is rather hard to provide especially given the fact that nothing except for its existence can actually be proven yet. However, ancient writings and stories have managed to provide a somewhat accurate account for the Spear along history. In this sense, after being used to spear Christ, “the spear then makes a remarkable journey across historical Europe, appearing from time to time in ancient texts, usually being used by rulers as a means to try and legitimise themselves and their rule, or alternatively being credited with military victory. For instance, Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome is said to have carried the spear victoriously into the Battle of Milvian Bridge, 312 AD. Soon the spear was attributed with a presence at almost every successful moment crucial to the survival of European Christianity” (HubPages, 2014).

Given the massive attention received by this artifact as a result of the numerous myths and meanings which have been attributed to the Spear, some of the most prominent personalities in history have tried to retrieve this artifact and use the symbolism to their own benefit. Among the first accounts connecting important historical personalities and the Spear are from the 4th century AD when Constantine the Great is assumed to have had it. During that century, the Spear also rested with Emperor Theodosius. More precisely, “Constantine rises to power and carries the spear at the battle of the Milvian Bridge that ensures his place as emperor. Emperor Theodosius holds the spear as the Goths are held back from Constantinople. Alaric claims the spear after his sack of Rome” (The Druid Way, 2014).

These first accounts of the Spear after it left Jerusalem are important because they provide a more structured image of the meaning that people and believers gave to this artifact. The actual name, “Spear of Destiny” or “Holy Lance” as it is also known gives an idea of the mysticism surrounding this object and the reason for which most medieval emperors or kings wanted to have it. An interesting case in this sense is that of Charlemagne, a 9th century king that is said to have connected his destiny to the Spear. “Charlemagne was the founder of the Carolingian Empire, ruling from 768 until his death in 814. According to legend, Charlemagne had wielded the Spear of Destiny, which allowed him to expand his kingdom into an Empire encompassing most of Europe. Legend claims that Charlemagne had carried the Spear of Destiny through 47 battles, but died soon after dropping it” (Above Top Secret, 2014). Indeed there are no scientifically facts surrounding this event, yet the fact that there are legends connecting great kings and a mystical object leads to the belief that at that time, the Spear was truly seen as a divine tool.

Other stories point out to the relations between emperors and the Spear and how that Spear is said to have aided them into conquering and expanding the territories of their kingdoms. In this sense, the example of Barbarossa stands out. “Frederick Barbarossa was the King of Germany in 1152, but was eventually instated as a Roman Emperor in 1155 (having pushed his way into Italy). It is stated that the Spear of Destiny was what aided him in his campaigns. It was said to be the reason he was eventually instated as an Emperor. Legend has it that Frederick Barbarossa succumbed to death after misplacing the Spear of Destiny while crossing a stream. Barbarossa did indeed drown while crossing the Saleph river in Turkey. Instead of crossing the bridge, Barbarossa instead wanted to cross through the water. With the current being too strong, the horse lost balance. Barbarossa fell off of the horse. Wearing heavy armour, Barbarossa was unable to swim. Thus, Barbarossa died an untimely death by way of drowning” (Above Top Secret, 2014).

Charles Martel is believed to be another major personality that made use of the Spear in the Battle of Tours in the 8th century when he managed to fight against the Moorish invasion of France. It is believed that he used it in the battle to give him protection and to succeed in securing the win.

As a general assessment related to the path of the Spear and its origins, it is important to consider the rationale behind an artifact that would help some of the most violent people in human history succeed. This is to say that during ancient times the wars that had been fought by all the personalities mentioned above had been among the deadliest wars in human history. Yet, legend has it, that these personalities had been helped by a divine object of war to achieve this. This consideration is a matter of mere morality and common sense, but the question would arise as to why a holy artifact would ensure victory for kings and emperors that would in their turn cause human loss and damage. A plausible explanation would be that the emperors and kings that used this Spear in battle did it in the name of the Church and Christianity. At the time and given the nature of the Christian religion, the wars conducted in the name of spreading the Christian faith were fully supported by the Church and even more, the fact that the kind was also the head of the Church was a strong indication of the place of religion in that state or kingdom. At the same time however, this justification could be applied to the fact that Adolf Hitler also possessed the Spear for several years, before the end of the Second World War. Yet, despite this, it is considered that during the years of the war, “the spear was in the possession of Himmler as he devised the ‘Final solution’ and was used until late 1944 when it was hidden in Nurnberg and found there by the allied forces 6 hours after Hitler’s death” (The Druid Way, 2014).

One of the best known cases in which the leverage and meaning of the Spear have made it popular is related to the actual Adolf Hitler’s desire to have the Spear as he thought this would make him invincible in the world conflagration. However, as the war was lost, it may be that the Spear was not meant to help Hitler secure his victory over the Allied Forces.

Hitler’s interest in the Spear dated back to the beginning of the 20th century and came about as he was studying occult sciences. More precisely, “According to the account of Dr. Walter Stein, the young Hitler whilst living as a down and out in Vienna undertook a penetrating study of the Occult meanings underlying Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s Thirteenth Century Grail Romance, ‘Parsival’. Stein through various contacts with Hitler became convinced that he was deeply involved with the Occult and had an experienced spiritual mentor, possibly linked to the infamous ‘Blood Lodge of Guido Von Liszt” (Harris, 1996). It is rather well-known the fact that Hitler was vividly and actively interested in the study of out of the ordinary phenomena and was eager to ensure his strength from every source available. However, the desire to have the Spear was particularly based on the assumption of its divine powers.

The personal background of Adolf Hitler somewhat smothered his belief in the powers of the Spear in particular because of the Catholic upbringing and a clear orientation towards the teachings of the Church. More precisely, according to historians, “Adolf Hitler was brought up as Roman Catholic, a denomination which by the age of eleven, he had accepted with a deep earnestness and devotion. The few friends of the family who knew Hilter in his early formative years in Linz have spoken of his capacity for warmth of heart and unselfishness and all were deeply touched by the patience tenderness and love with which he nursed his dying mother. We know too just how deeply his youthgul sourl entered into such works as Dante’s Divine Comedy of Goethe’s Faust. After he had seen the Ariel Scene of Faust with its powerful theme of Christian redemption ‘he spoke of nothing else for days'” (Ravenscroft, 1973). Despite these elements that had been seen in his early upbringing, the personality of Adolf Hitler was one which allowed him to be influenced by others, whether it was a personal point-of-view, or a reading. In this sense, soon after he started to read some of the classic German philosophers such as Schopenhauer’s “The World as Will and Idea,” the questions surrounding the truths being told by the Catholic Church started to loom and Hitler slowly started to lose the blind confidence he had in the teachings of the Church. This transformation happened in time but eventually marked the steps to his dramatic change and became one of the most atrocious figures of modern history.

The readings that he would eventually undergo from that point onwards not only made him question the beliefs of the Church but also opened the door to a new type of understanding of life, associated with the occult concepts that would eventually draw him towards finding and securing the Spear. It must be pointed out that the Spear and the mysticism surrounding it appealed to people and communities that had clear understanding and interest in the belief of an outside more powerful world than that of the living. Furthermore, in the case of Hitler, the appeal for the Spear was also nurtured by the need to secure a symbol that would somehow enable him to gather a supernatural strength that would increase his power at all levels. More precisely, once he entered the world of occult studies he had to have a symbol that would be part of that world. This symbol had been previously connected to other civilizations and most importantly to the oldest of them all, the Christian civilization. Therefore, having this symbol was more than possessing an artifact, it represented the connection with the greatest civilizations of all times and insured him the power and the historical recognition.

Another aspect to be taken into account when discussing the reasons for which Hitler would have wanted the Spear is related to the actual events that took place with Christ and the Spear. More precisely, as mentioned previously, the spiking of Christ had several meanings and interpretations. One of them relates to the assumption that the need to have blood pour from His body proved his dual existence, human and divine. The Spear was therefore a means to achieve this. Hitler believed that the Spear then was a divine tool and this would enable him to connect the two worlds. Even more, “following the rise and fall of the ancient civilizations, he noticed how their very sequence in history traced the perceptible loss of spiritual faculties. And he began to consider whether such an atrophy of spirit- vision could be related to the waning magic of the blood of the races, the two influences together bringing about the gradual emergence and dominion of materialistic thinking. He came to the conclusion that with the passing of time humanity had entered a kind of canyon of sleep so that former golden ages, in which man had enjoyed a magical relationship with the Universe had been forgotten the only evidence of such sublime conditions lying hidden in myths and legends in which nobody any longer believed” (Ravenscroft, 1973).

The first encounter with the Spear Hitler had been in the Hofburg Museum in Vienna where he saw it in September 1912. He would later go on to say about this experience that “I stood there quietly gazing upon it for several minutes quite oblivious to the scene around me. It seemed to carry some hidden inner meaning which evaded me, a meaning which I felt I inwardly knew yet could not bring to consciousness…I felt as though I myself had held it before in some earlier century of history. That I myself had once claimed it as my talisman of power and held the destiny of the world in my hands…” (The Museum of Unnatural Mistery, 2014) The clear consideration for this artifact was also due to the fact that numerous other personalities had possessed it previously, as presented above.

Although Hitler’s obsession with the Spear was extreme, this holy relict was not the only relict that drew his attention. According to historical discoveries in time, Hitler had also engaged in full fledged expeditions in Tibet to find the Holy Graal, that was used by Christ at his last supper. Even more, he organized the theft of Jan van Eycke’s masterpiece, “Adulation of a mystic lamb” which in his view represented the map to retrieve the Holy Graal and the Spear of Destiny among others. More precisely, “there may also have been a more fantastic reason why Hitler wanted this painting above all others. Rumor had it that he was convinced that the painting contained a coded map to lost Catholic treasures, the so-called Arma Christi, or instruments of Christ’s Passion, including the Crown of Thorns, the Holy Grail, and the Spear of Destiny. Hitler believed that the possession of the Arma Christi would grant their owner supernatural powers. As the tide of the war turned ever more against the Nazis, Hitler cranked up his efforts to seek some supernatural way to bring victory to the Third Reich”(Charney, 2013).

During the time the Spear of Destiny was kept with Hitler, sources suggest that the Spear, no longer an actual fighting object, was used in secret rituals and was handled with great care by Hitler’s subordinates. More precisely, “After Hitler’s rise to power many relics are taken and empowered by the Nazis to use against the allied forces in an attempt to secure world domination. The spear is kept hidden and used in rituals in secret locations such as Schloss Wewelsburg, which had become the HQ of the Gestapo” (The Druid Way, 2014).

The Spear failed to follow the legend according to which “those who wielded the spear would be powerful (and remain so), but once they lost it, death would befall them” (Above Top Secret, 2014). Adolf Hitler died of his own hand towards the end of the Second World War in order to ensure that he is not captured by the Allies. The whereabouts of the Spear during the war were clear. In this sense, “After the annexation of Austria in 1938, Hitler had the museum’s contents (along with the spear) moved to Nuremburg, where it would remain for most of the war. After the war turned in the allies favor, Hitler ordered the contents to an underground vault, where the items would be protected from heavy bombing. It is said that on April 30th, 1945, at 2:10 PM, advancing American forces took possession of the vault and the spear. Eighty minutes later Adolf Hitler had died, by his own hand, in a bunker in Berlin.” (Above Top Secret, 2014)

Controversies surrounding the Spear

The Spear that allegedly spiked Christ, according to most accounts, is currently residing in Vienna, Austria. However, there are numerous voices that point out the fact that there is more than one Spear. According to present day researchers and historians that look at the issue of the Spear, “the Vatican says it has the original spear. Another museum in Vienna also claims to have the spear. Meanwhile, Brad met a man during his research named Chris Blake, a professional chauffeur and bodyguard, who claims it was his boss who actually had the original” (Meltzer, 2014). Among the nations that have claimed to host the original Spear, the Armenians claim that the Spear hosted in Vagharshapat is the real one. The Vatican writes that “It is believed that the spear was brought in the country by the Apostle Thaddeus. However, based on its history, there is great doubt as to it being the real Holy Spear that was used to strike the side of Jesus.” The Catholic Church is more restrained in calling out a fake the Spear in Vienna, “displayed in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna., Austria. This spear started being used in the coronation ceremonies. It had some golden and silver bands with the inscription “Nail of Our Lord.” This particular spear is known as the lance of St. Maurice”(Vatican.com, 2014). However, from the perspective of the Church, any other controversies surrounding this artifact are not taken into consideration.

Brad Meltzer is one of the writers extremely interested in the controversy of the Spear particularly because of the existence of several versions to the actual story on the artifacts. During researches, “We found a guy who years ago approached me and told me that the real Spear of Destiny that pierced Christ’s side, it was actually taken years ago. They took it from Hitler and gave him a fake one. [Blake] worked for a powerful man, who had the ear of a U.S. president. We checked out where he worked. He worked for this man, and he said years ago he was told his boss had the real spear. His boss belonged to a group called the Sons of the Fallen… ” (Meltzer, 2014) As part of this controversy, the name of the person part of this society was never revealed and remains secret to this day. Yet the simple fact that there is a discussion surrounding a holy element of Christianity and a secret society that is opposed to the divine acts and kindness points out the place the Spear has in the myth and the urban legends.

The perspective provided by Meltzer in his book, “History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time” in which he deals with the Spear of Destiny controversy among other historical enigmas, is rather challenging for anybody that is interested in the mysticism of the artifact. This is particularly because the author suggests that the Spear is being sought by this occult secret society, Sons of the Fallen, and even, that this society in fact may hold the real Spear, whereas all others spears — be it the one in the Vatican or the one in Vienna — are in fact replicas and not the real spear that had spiked Christ.

If researched, the term “Sons of the Fallen” is not a search that would provide any information. Yet, the meaning of the name focuses on the fallen angels and sons of God that in theory have embraced Evil as the Good. More precisely, “it ought to be considered that the term “sons of God” might have originally referred to sons of God in heaven, Christed ones of whom Jesus was one. Some of these sons of God might have fallen, out of the misplaced ambition to create on Earth by their Christic seed a super race who could lead mere earthlings or the creation of the Nephilim on the paths of righteousness and to ultimate reunion with God. Though well intended in their desire to upgrade the evolutions of the planet, these sons of God might not have had the divine approbation. Therefore the Watchers once fallen and judged as unworthy of the ascent to God, having lost the sacred fire of their original anointing, would have determined in any case to dominate the scene of earth life with their superior intellect and overwhelming presence yet residual from their lost estate. If in fact the Watchers were the fallen sons of God and the Nephilim the fallen angels, we can understand both the difference of their modus operandi and reason for being and the dissimilarity of their natures which remains observable to the present.” (Prophet, 2000)

The Watchers on the other hand, as mentioned above, are seen as a secret society and in particular the oldest secret society in the world. Thus, “These Watchers were also known as Urshu and were classed as being less divine than the gods, although in this instance, as Graham Hancock points out in Fingerprint of the Gods, the Urshu speak of the Neteru (Ntr) as if it were they who were the gods and the Urshu the Watchers. Whatever the truth in this matter, it is no wonder that confusion has arisen over so many thousands of years. The fact remains though, that the ancients spoke of a time when there were gods or shining ones who ruled up and down Sumeria and Egypt and who employed watchers over the ordinary folk. In the same way a Pharaoh of Egypt was a god-on-Earth, so too priests of the Elohim (stars) were stars-on-Earth” (Gardiner, n.d.).

The issue with secret societies and ancient artifacts that are now being worshiped and subject of legends and deep consideration and meaning is related to the fact that one cannot be nurtured without the other. During Hitler’s time, the SS started off as a secret society, not in the meaning that is known today, but the secret meetings, the specific behavior and the overall sense of belonging to an occult club were clearly part of the organization of the SS. Furthermore, in order to allow for a better union among the members of a secret gathering and especially given the reasons for which Hitler had set the foundation of the SS, a divine or supra natural element or symbol was crucial. Given Hitler’s obsession with the Spear, this object would have been perfect as a connecting point and adulation object for the SS. However, despite possible truth in such an assumption, there is no clear evidence of actual rituals taking place using the Spear. As mentioned in a previous section, the Spear was in the possession of the German high command, yet actual evidence of rituals having been undergone with the Spear is not available.

The relevance of the discussion on secret societies however can be pointed out by yet another example from Hitler’s background in order to better portray the meaning the Spear and other relicts had for Hitler as well as his entourage. In this sense it must be underlined that one of the most famous secret societies in the history was the actual Nazi party. Thus, “The Nazi Party actually began as an occult fraternity, before it morphed into a political party. Himmler’s SS, ostensibly Hitler’s bodyguard but in practice the leading special forces of the Nazi Army, was wholly designed based on occult beliefs. Wewelsburg, the castle headquarters of the SS, was the site of initiation rituals for twelve SS “knights” that was modeled on Arthurian legend. (…) Nazis tried to create super-soldiers, using steroids, in a twisted interpretation of Nietzsche’s ubermensch, and they sought to reanimate the dead — coffins of famous Germanic warriors were found hidden in a mine, with plans to bring them back to life at the war’s end.

The discussion on the location of the actual Spear is important from a religious point-of-view as well as historically speaking. From a religious point-of-view, it is extremely important for the Church to be the guardian of the real Spear particularly because it represents one of the Holy relicts from the time of Christ. Together with the Spear, the Holy Graal is another artifact that is known to have been the subject of utter debate between scientists and the Church. However, in the case of the Holy Graal, the Church does not posess it, nor are there any clear indications of its whereabouts. Therefore, from the perspective of the Catholic Church, the Spear is equally significant especially seeing that this relict is real and in reach. Therefore, from the perspective of the Church the Spear that is now sitting in the Vatican is most likely the one that speared Christ, although given that there are other nations claiming to have the Spear, the Vatican is restrained in its declaration. Therefore, according to the Vatican, “Many people believe that the holy spear is the relic that is today housed in St. Peters basilica although it is very hard to prove this” (Vatican.com, 2014).

At the same time though, given the fact that the issue of the Spear focuses greatly on aspects that cannot be accounted for scientifically, the ones that believe in the positive force of the Spear will also believe in the negative aspects of it if the Spear is possessed by groups with ill intentions. From this point-of-view, the discussion on the Sons of the Fallen is significant. Meltzer suggests that if the Spear is acquired by occult groups, these groups could use it in various means and bring about misfortune on the face of the Earth (Meltzer, n.d.)

A proper example in this sense is the occult groups that were established by Hitler during his time in order to channel energy and determine advancements of his troops and eventual victory in the war. Thus, “The Ahnenerbe (which literally means “Inheritance of the Forefathers”) was a paranormal research group, established by order of SS head Heinrich Himmler on 1 July 1935. It was expanded during the Second World War on direct orders from the Fuhrer. Hitler and other top Nazi leaders’ (Himmler foremost among them) interest in the occult is well and widely documented. (…)The magical powers of runes were invoked, and the Ahnenerbe logo features rune-style lettering. Psychics and astrologers were employed to attack the enemy and plan tactics based on the alignment of the stars.” (Charney, 2013) Seeing the purposes of Hitler for the world, the actions undertaken by these groups would have harmed humanity. “This pseudo-scientific institute both sought supernatural advantages for the Nazi war effort, but also had a propagandistic agenda, to seek “scientific” evidence to support Nazi beliefs, like Aryan racial superiority.” (Charney, 2013)

From a historical perspective, finding the actual Spear from the first century AD would be a tremendous discovery which would put an end to the controversy surrounding the actual existence of the Spear. However, at this moment, the Museum where the Spear is located in Vienna is waiting for scientists and historians to analyze the Spear and advice on its authenticity. The constant improvements and mending the Spear has experienced throughout time would enable scientists to offer a very conclusive view on the origin and age of the Spear. Even so, it is without a doubt a subject that would still make a matter of mysticism and legend.


The Spear of Destiny, together with the Holy Grail, the Crown of Thorns, and the Shroud of Turin are perhaps some of the most important holy relicts in the history of the Christian faith. All of these are surrounded by mystery and legend and to this day, an actual account and confirmation on either of them being linked to Jesus Christ is still not possible. The Shroud of Turin has been analyzed using some of the most advanced techniques in the world and to this day there is no clear confirmation that this shroud covered the body of Christ in the first century AD. For the rest of the items mentioned above, their existence or identity is still not confirmed and there are few hopes of this situation changing in the near future. However, all these items are covered in mysticism and legends that provide these artifacts with super natural power and symbolism.

From the perspective of the Spear of Destiny, the name comes precisely from the legend surrounding this otherwise standard weapon of war. The legend points out that the one that goes to battle with this spear would have success and would survive. The Spear has proven this quality to numerous emperors and kings throughout the time including with Adolf Hitler in the first years of the war with the Allied Forces. From Constantine the Great to Adolf Hitler, the Spear was seen as a source of power and supra natural assistance. At the same time though, the legends surrounding this Spear also suggested that the one that looses the Spear also loses his life prematurely. This part of the prophecy was as well met every time.

The meaning of the Spear and the aspect that gave it power in the eyes of humanity relates to the role it played in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was the spear that stabbed Christ after He died on the Cross and which proved the mortality of Christ and its divine nature at the same time. Also, through his handler, a Roman soldier whose identity is still subject to certain controversy, the prophecy from the Bible according to which no bone in the body of Jesus Christ would be broken, was met. This further provided a new layer of mysticism to the Spear.

Similar to other holy artifacts, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Spear of Destiny, from its whereabouts to the actual existence. Currently, there are at least three places acknowledged by the Catholic Church in which the real Spear could be located: in Rome, in Vienna or in Armenia. The actual location of the real Spear is rather difficult to find and label as being the holder of the real Spear that spiked Christ. However, for the Church and for Historians, it is important to a certain extent that these controversies find resolution in particular because the Spear and all the legends surrounding it have determined a certain sense of belief especially among Catholic Church believers and occult science adherents.

Overall, it can be concluded that the Spear remains one of humanity’s most interesting artifacts and a source of constant legend, myth, and mysticism.

Works Cited

Above Top Secret. (2014). The Spear of Destiny and Its Victims: From Jesus to Hitler . Retrieved March 14, 2014, from http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread914336/pg1

Bible Probe. (n.d.). Search for the real Holy Lance. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://www.bibleprobe.com/holy_lance.htm

Charney, N. (2013, Dec 21). Hitler’s Hunt for the Holy Grail and the Ghent Altarpiece. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/21/hitler-s-hunt-for-the-holy-grail-and-the-ghent-altarpiece.html

Don Schwager. (n.d. ). Daily readings and Meditation. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/john1931.htm

Harris, M. (n.d.). Hitler and The Spear of Destiny. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://web.org.uk/picasso/spear.html

Jerry E. Smith and George Piccard. (n.d.). EXPLORING THE ANTARCTIC REICH: The Final Secret of the Holy Lance. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from AhnenGreyFalcon Website: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/antarctica/antartica10.htm

Museum of Un Natural Mystery . (1997). The Holy Lance. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from http://www.unmuseum.org/spear.htm

Mystic Order of Noble Knowledge. (2014). Hitler and the Spear of Destiny. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://www.ancientmonks.com/mystical-order-of-neglected-knowledge/6th-degree-master-bishop-of-the-arcane-secret/spear-of-destiny

Prophet, E. (2000). Fallen Angels and the Origins of Evil . Montana: Summit University Press.

Ravenscrof, T. (1982). The Spear of Destiny. Boston: Red Wheel / Weiser Llc.

Smith, J. (2006). Smith and Piccard explore unexpectedly vast territory in Secrets of the Holy Lance. Nexus: New Times Magazine, 13 (Jan).

The Druid Way . (n.d.). Elements of the Spear. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from The Order of the Bards, the Ovids and the Druids: http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/arthurian-lore/arthurian-lore-audio-lectures-professor-roland-2

The Hub Pages. (2014). The Spear of Destiny: The Holy Lance of Longinus. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://ignatiusjreilly.hubpages.com/hub/The-Spear-of-Christ-The-Holy-Lance-of-Longinus

Thurston, H. (1910). The Holy Lance. The Catholic Encyclopedia .

Vatican.com. (2014). The Holy Spear. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://vatican.com/articles/info/the_holy_spear-a3113

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