THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 155 -
Snake venom as a remedy.


1
(Mathael:) "As I was standing there, completely turned to the inside of me, I heard a voice as if someone was whispering in my ear: 'Catch a rattle snake and a grass snake, chop off their heads, cook them properly and give such soup for the widow to drink, and show her, that the court which she so endlessly fears, cannot have anything against her, and she will immediately get healthy again! Should, however, someone in future starts to waste away by her poisonous breath, see to it that he drinks the soup of the said snakes, whereby also the old Aesculapian's emaciation can be cured, and soon he will recover completely! The said snakes, however, one can find in abundance on the southern slopes of the Horeb.'
 
2
This advice which I very clearly heard, I conveyed briefly to my father. He, completely beyond himself with joy, said immediately to the widow that she should not worry; since he will surely help her. However, foremost she should not be in the slightest way concerned about the court regarding the Greek doctor, since she does not carry any guilt about his death. He himself was quite familiar with Roman law and does not know, that such a case ever was suitable for prosecution.
 
3
The completely serious representation of the innocence of the widow calmed her down to such an extend, that the blueish smoke above her bed disappeared completely, what I immediately conveyed to my father, about which he felt a lot of joy, and he immediately send for Horeb for the said snakes. There lived some of the best snake catchers and -spellers, and within a few days a few pieces of each specie arrived, of course already decapitated and properly sealed in clay, so that they properly were sealed from the air, and were prevented from decaying; since at the Horeb a kind of fatty, yellow clay could be found, in which corpses could be preserved for hundreds of years without decaying.
 
4
After the snakes were transported on a camel, a section of them was cleaned from the clay, depending on how much was required at one time, and then put on a fire in a good pot and cooked for about three hours, without the widow, still lying in bed, knowing anything about it. The time from sending a request for the medicine to Horeb until the actual cooking, took four days, during which time my father had to console the widow a couple of times per day and promised her a full recovery within already four days. Because of that the widow day by day became visibly better and already wanted to get out of bed on the fourth day. But father didn't wanted her to leave the bed, keeping her away from the preparation of the snake brew; because if she had seen something about the preparation the healing of the widow would become highly improbable. By keeping her in bed, she did not saw anything, and when my father handed her the brew to drink, she drank it with noticeable pleasure until the last drop and finally admitted that the brew-like medicine tasted quite well.
 
5
After a couple of hours father gave her another final portion of the brew, and afterwards the widow started to feel better, so that it was nearly impossible to keep her in bed for the fourth day. But on strict orders from father she had to stay in bed at least for also half of the fifth day since we have arrived here, after which she left the bed fresh and completely recovered. She rewarded my father extremely copiously and did not forgot about me either.
 
6
When we departed she asked my father confidentially if he knew the Greek doctor and if he would be able to help him.
 
7
But my father said: 'Yes indeed, I have known this wretched charlatan quite well; he surely never have helped anybody - except into the grave!'
 
8
With this remark the lovely widow was quite content and send us on our way with a lot of goodwill. Father carefully packed the remaining sections of the in clay preserved snakes and together with other things and items of great value, tied them on the back of the camel; we also mounted our dromedaries and travelled quite cheerfully back home.
 
9
With this medicine of the most strange nature, my father afterwards had healed many emaciating sick people, thereby earning a lot of money and a famous name. Of course, because of that, he was not very much favoured by the temple clerics and also not by the Essenes; but instead the Romans respected him even more, gave him all protection, elevated his art and science up to the stars and gave him the honorary name Aesculapius Junior. Whenever the snakes were used up, my father immediately order a new shipment from Horeb and cured with it the emaciating, of which, in all seriousness, nobody died."