Andreas, lines 601-695

God continues to quiz Andreas about the reception of Jesus in the world. He asks if the scribes and priests really did plot against Him. Andreas answers that Jesus really did perform many miracles. God ask Andreas more questions, and Andreas finally asks God why He is asking questions to which He already knows the answers.

God replies that it makes him happy to hear about Jesus’ accomplishments.

So Andreas tells a long story. He begins by relating how Jesus had to endure the scorn of the chief priest of the temple, who mocked Him.

Andreas, lines 510-600

God (still disguised as the seacaptain) notes that even the power of the ocean cannot prevail against a sailor who has the consent of God. Then He reveals to Andreas that He is in fact God and that Andreas has the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Andreas blesses God and tells Him how great He is.

God asks why the Jews would not believe that He (as Jesus) had come among them.

Andreas does not really answer the question, but instead tells God about all the wonderful things Jesus did on earth, including miracles of healing, raising the dead, changing water to wine and feeding the multitude with two fish and five loaves. Andreas also tells God that through Jesus’ teaching, men can now reach a future, pleasant joy.

Andreas, lines 415-509

God tells Andreas to tell his men that they should not worry, as God can easily make sure that they are safely transported across the sea. Andreas then tells his men that God will protect them, noting that once before they had been on the waves, which grew fierce, but that God had stilled the waters. The thanes are persuaded.

Andreas then begins speaking to the captain (God), noting that he has never met a better seafarer and complimenting him on his skill at captaining the ship.

Andreas, lines 314-414

Andreas exhorts God and the angels to give him free passage because to do so is God’s will. God (still disguised) agrees, and Andreas and his thanes board the ship. Once aboard, Andreas prays that God will grant honor to the leader of the ship (who, remember, is God). There is then a poetic set-piece of a sea voyage and stormy weather. Andreas prays that God may grant to the captain of the ship (God), food and drink. Andreas notes that his thanes are very worried by the stormy weather on the sea.

The ship’s captain (God) offers to put in to land and allow the thanes to leave, but they refuse to abandon Andreas, noting that everyone in every land would hate them if they abandoned their lord.

Andreas, lines 230-314

Andreas is ready to do God’s bidding and rescue Matthew. He goes with his thanes down to the edge of the sea and, as the sun rises, on the shore he finds a ship with a crew of three individuals, who are in fact God and two angels. Andreas does not know the nature of the crew of the ship and enters into a conversation with disguised God about getting passage to Myrmedonia. God asks Andreas why he is seeking passage without any money, bread or drink.

Andreas, lines 122-229

Matthew is heartened by God’s promise, but the evil warriors gather in a crowd outside his prison. They have written a document which says when a prisoner will be eaten. According to the document, Matthew has only three days before they will tear apart his body and eat him, as is their custom.

God, knowing Matthew’s situation, speaks to Andreas in Achaia, where he is preaching. God tells him to go on a journey to the land of the cannibals to rescue Matthew.

Andreas asks God how he will get to Myrmedonia when it is so far away, and God tells him not to hesitate, but to be ready for the journey.

Andreas, lines 1-121

Like Beowulf, Andreas begins with “Hwaet!” and continues with an introductory passage that summarizes some of the story and establishes it as being heard by “we.”

Matthew, the author of the first gospel, finds himself in the city of the cannibals, whose terrors the poet describes with relish. They blind captives with their spear points and then make them drink a potion that causes them to become like beasts and eat grass.

The cannibals learn that Matthew is in their city to evangelize, so they capture, tie and blind him. They even give him the poison drink. Matthew prays to God for deliverance from this plight.

A bright light comes into Matthew’s prison, and the voice of God tells him that he shall be free him from bonds. God says that he will send Andrew to rescue Matthew in only 27 days.

The Start of the Vercelli Book

We have now finished  the Junius Manuscript ,volume one of The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, and are now moving along to volume two, the Vercelli Book.