Corinthian Helmet

October 30, 2014

From an entry entitled, “Weapons” in the Harper’s Bible Dictionary we read:

As in the modern world, advancements in ancient technology were quickly adapted for use in instruments of war. One of the most important steps in the history of weapons was the development of carburized iron, a phenomenon that occurred in the eastern Mediterranean toward the end of the second millennium B.C., but earlier improvements in metallurgy (i.e., the production of copper and bronze) had been applied to arms production for nearly two thousand years before the Iron Age. Naturally, the shape, size, and overall durability of dagger and sword blades and spearheads and arrowheads were affected by such improvements in copper, bronze, and iron technology. Another important weapon that improved over time was the chariot, whose speed and maneuverability were increased by changes in design and construction materials, including metals. Other major steps in the development of ancient weaponry include the invention of the composite bow, piercing battle-ax, “Corinthian” helmet, and siege engines (pp. 1123-1124).

The Metropolitan Museum in NY has several such helmets on display.

Corinthian Style Helmet. Photo by Leon Mauldin. Metropolitan Museum, NY.

Corinthian Style Helmet. Photo by Leon Mauldin. Metropolitan Museum, NY.

This Grecian helmet, made of bronze and dating back to 7th-6th century BC, put me in mind of some biblical texts:

–Isaiah 59:17:  He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. (Reference here is to the Lord, YHWH).

–Ephesians 6:17: And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The above Isaiah text provides background for this Ephesians passage. The New American Standard Bible uses all caps to indicate a quotation from the OT. The helmet is a vital part of the Christian’s armor listed in Eph. 6:10-17.

–1 Thessalonians 5:8: But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. A helmet protects the head. Here the hope of salvation possessed by Christians is said to be a helmet. Keep your helmet on. Keeping the hope of salvation constantly in the forefront of the mind serves to protect one against Satan’s devices.

I believe I’ll keep my helmet on!

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