Jean de Serres
Henri Estienne II (1528 or 1531-1598) was the most notable of a Parisian family of scholar-printers who later moved to Geneva. In 1578 he published a four volume edition of the works of Plato in Greek and Latin. The Latin translation was a commission from Jean de Serres.
Estienne’s name was Latinised as Henricus Stephanus and as such has been immortalised in the term ‘Stephanus pagination’, which refers to the system of reference and organisation still used in modern versions of Plato based on the layout of his 1578 edition.
He was also responsible in 1555 for the introduction of the chapter and verse divisions of the Latin Bible, which are also still in use today.
A comparable referencing system for the works of Aristotle is known as ‘Bekker numbers’, named after the classical philologist August Immanuel Bekker (1785-1871).
The Bible offers no direct reference to Atlantis, but this is not to be seen as proof of its non-existence, when you consider that in spite of the fact that the Hebrews were in Egypt for hundreds of years, the Bible does not mention the pyramids either and they most certainly did and still do exist.
The Bible has been invoked as justification for everything from war to slavery. It has been one of the most divisive books ever, having been instrumental in the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of competing Christian sects over the last two millennia. It is assumed that any theory, religious or secular that can be shown to have a biblical foundation will automatically have enhanced credibility.
Jean De Serres, the 16th century historian, was probably the first to link Atlantis with the Bible when he wrote that Atlantis had been located in the Holy Land. Lewis Spence[259.33] accused Huet, Borchart and Vossius, in the 16th and 17th centuries of using ‘ingenious misreading of the Pentateuch’ to claim that the Platonic story of Atlantis was in reality a version of patriarchal history. In a similar vein, in 1726 a French lawyer, Claude Olivier, wrote of his conviction that the ten tribes of Israel were to be equated with the ten kingdoms of Atlantis.
The Book of Genesis in particular has inspired speculation regarding a possible link between the Bible and the Atlantis narrative.
Therefore, I advise that any new scriptural interpretation must be treated with extreme caution. With that in mind, I mention that an American researcher, J. D. Brady, who claims to be a scriptural scholar and as such has identified Atlantis, drawing on chapters 26-28 of Ezekiel. He refers to the Atlanteans as Tyrrhenians and names their leader as Satan! He claims that the Tyre referred to in these chapters was in fact an island named Tyrus that Plato knew as Atlantis. He offers a range of data to suggest that this Tyrus was not the Tyre we know today located in Lebanon. Brady claims with great certainty that the remains of Atlantis are to be found in the Bay of Troy! A 2014 book by David Hershiser, Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, has taken up this idea that the reference in Ezekiel was concerned with Atlantis.
Not content with identifying Atlantis, Brady also claims to know the location of the Ark of the Covenant, saying that “It is currently secreted in an underground treasure crypt on Lemnos Island.”(b)
H.S. Bellamy, the Austrian researcher, also produced a volume, The Book of Revelation is History, devoted to demonstrating that the last book of the New Testament is in fact a coded description of the catastrophes that accompanied the capture of our Moon. He claimed that the reference to the ten horns is an allusion to the ten Atlantean kings. He also interpreted the Book of Jeremiah I & II as well as Ezekiel as containing references to aspects of the Atlantis story.
However, R Cedric Leonard does offer(a) an interesting comparison of a passage in the Old Testament with the classical writers:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose…
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same mighty men (heroes) which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-2,4)
Leonard points out that this coincides with Plato’s history of the Atlanteans and highlights that Hesiod referred to the Titans, of which Atlas was one, as the ‘sons of heaven’.
Leonard also offers a more rational translation of Job 26:5-6 that strengthens this view that the Atlanteans and Titans are identical:
“The Titans tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering”.
2011 saw the publication of Atlantis: The Eyewitnessesby Walter Parks in which he also quoted extensively from the Book of Job, having claimed that it was written in 9619 BC and contained an eyewitness account of the catastrophe that destroyed Atlantis!
Thorwald C. Franke has reviewed a range of theories that have sought to associated various aspects of Bible history with elements of the Atlantis story. Most are rather speculative, but Franke concludes(d) that “the Bible should not be underestimated: There could indeed be indirect hints to Plato’s Atlantis in the Bible!”
The biblical references to Tarshish is also used by those who equate it with Tartessos and in turn identify it as Atlantis. The location of Tarshish is a highly contentious issue with scholars unable to arrive at any clear consensus. However, there is some agreement that Tartessos had been located in Southern Spain. Some proponents of that idea not only consider Tarshish identical with Tartessos, but with Atlantis as well. Richard Freund is a proponent of a Spanish Tartessos, which he also identifies with Atlantis and of course with the biblical Tarshish. This Bible connection was taken further in the 2017 James Cameron’s 2017 (a documentary, Atlantis Rising, shows Simcha Jacobovici offering as ‘evidence’ for a linkage between Atlantis and the Jewish Temple, the design of the Hebrew menorah(g), which he claims is a representation of one half the concentric rings of Plato’s city of Atlantis. This foolish idea is not new, as it has already been suggested by Prof. Yahya Ababni(f).
Turning the tables on the idea of the Bible supporting the story of Atlantis, Marjorie Braymer[198.30]wrote that Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th cent. AD) was the first to use Plato’s Atlantis to support the veracity of the Bible.
Another line of investigation might be the suggested parallels between Greek mythology and Genesis(c).
A paper on the Academia.edu website(e) by M. De Rosa argues that Atlantis was the ‘Beast’ in the Book Of Revelations!
*(a) http://www.atlantisquest.com/Myth.html (offline March 2018)