The origin of the word is a Greek translation of Latin and it does reference exactly what you pointed out (that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens). First degree is also right, but wherein does the answer lie my brother?
Acheiropoieta also called “Icons Not Made by Hand” are a particular kind of icon which are alleged to have come into existence miraculously, not created by a human painter, which are usually images of either Jesus or the Virgin Mary. The works are believed to be so wondrous and beautiful, that no mere man could have created them. The most notable examples are, in the Eastern church the Image of Edessa or Mandylion, and in the West, the Veil of Veronica and the Shroud of Turin. More importantly for western Masons is the Shroud of Turin (burial shroud or linen that purportedly has an image of Jesus Christ after crucifixion but before resurrection). What is really important is that it is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Reportedly, the shroud was one of the sacred relics that our Templar forebears kept as part of their treasure. (No wonder it is kept in a church dedicated to the memory of the Holy St. John the Baptist…) All of these icons have been known to heal miraculously. So why is there no emphasis on the Mandylion like there is for the Shroud of Turin?
So, to sum it all up, we as masons are to fashion our minds, as living stones to fit in that wondrous and beautiful spiritual building…that house not made with hands (human) eternal in the heavens! But where in the bible brother, does this particular part of our ritual come from? Surely it didn’t just crop up out of nowhere? We tell new initiates and our younger brothers that our Rule and Guide offers an explanation for everything in Masonic rituals and it does (Scroll down to see the answer below). Good job…
Mark 14:53-63 (King James Version)
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death ; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together . And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying , We heard him say , I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together . And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying , Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace , and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said , I am : and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith , What need we any further witnesses?
(This is more than Jesus talking about tearing down a physical temple, he was specifically talking about tearing down this body to prepare for that spiritual building, not made with hands eternal in the heavens)
2 Corinthians 5:1 (King James Version) – For we know that if the house of this tabernacle were dissolved , we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Remember, in Masonry there are always several layers. So the next puzzler is one question with multiple parts, each digging deeper than the last:
- After being taught to wear your apron as an EA, what were you then asked? Why was there no metallic sound heard at the building of King Solomon’s Temple (it may have something to do with acheiropoieta from earlier today)? Why did King Solomon decree that no metallic sound would be heard during the building of the temple? Are there other biblical references (laws in the Old or New Testament) that King Solomon used to justify his actions? And finally, after you answer all of those questions, WHY is all of this important?
- You will probably start in the ritual, but remember brothers, the ritual is just the beginning and will only get you the esoteric stuff. Let’s see how our ritual is grounded in the Rule and Guide (and for our Brothers who practice the faith of Islam, I have also researched this in the Qur’an and found the answers, so please help those of us who do not practice the “peaceful way” understand how this unfolds for you in your search).
KEY WORD: “Silence”
Answer to Puzzle 3