The purpose of the baptism in Christian culture is essentially to ensure he or she who is being baptised is accepted by the church and its people, and that he or she therefore has the chance to make it into heaven once his or her life passes.  Putting the reasoning behind this philosophy aside for the moment, the individual performing the baptism presumably understands the reason for baptizing is for the good of the “child” engaged in this event.  However, in most baptismal events, there is a certain sense of accomplishment that is felt by the provider, which is often more appreciated than the feelings experienced and expressed by the youngest recipients.  I state this in such a fashion because it is important to understanding how an outsider visualizes this spiritual event in life.    Any individual unfamiliar with the baptism even could very well feel that the events bearing performed are in fact a test on the life experience.  Depending upon how the baptism is performed, this spiritual event could appear as though it were an attempt to drown someone else’s child, or in Indian culture and philosophy, another means to test the inner makings and spirit of a child, a process akin to going out on your first night alone in the woods “to be one with the Great Spirit” and to find your “spirit guide.”

Throughout the writings on the missions in North America, there are numerous discussions of the various views Natives had about this experience.  Natives often felt it was the means for promoting “bad spirits”, a synopsis much like the missionary’s view-point about the practices related to shamanism.  A few natives who came to understand this very non-traditional process perhaps saw parallels between this important life event and many of the unique events their own people have engaged in throughout the past.   Once the Moravian missions began to practice baptism on the Mahicans, they had essentially taken the first step towards their final destination–the conversion of all of these people. 

The Mahicans missions offered missionaries a unique opportunity that only exists once per cultural setting.  The missionaries performing the baptism had the chance to rename each person to be baptized with Christian names for the first time.  This meant that the missionary leaders had to really think deeply about what baptismal name each and every person was going to receive.    They couldn’t just misassign a name to an individual without serious thought into this matter.   One had to take personality, social importance, and a matching biblical social context into consideration when selecting a name for a new recipient. 

Such a process must had to have been taken quite seriously by devoted missionaries.  One cannot easily imagine the reasoning a missionary goes through when realizing these first names that are given to the recipients have to fit their character as much as possible.  These barbarians turned neophytes, were in their eyes Christians in need of education.  What better way to initate this process?  They could then continue to consummate this religious education process by doing the same for the newborns, making their traditional names a part of their past, long gone but not forgotten once they became adults.  For this reason, the importance of the events leading up to the renaming of an Indian being baptised had to satisfy Christian goals and philosophy, meanwhile accomplishing the same for the recipients.  To the missionaries, this process was much like they themselves were at during some point in life.  For this reason, the neophytes they were assisting were about to become “children of god”, individuals in need of spiritual guidance for the rest of their lives.  Each of them needed the right Biblical name to match their spiritual lifestyle and needs.

One of the most unusual ways to symbolize the importance of this event, to others more than to the recipients much of the time, is to provide the recipient of the baptismal experience a name most fitting of that individual’s character.  This is one of the key roles the selection of a baptismal name had in Native American settings where the first to receive baptism were often those who would become the most important pillars supporting the new and growing Christian community.  For this reason, the baptism names provided to these early recipients are presumed to have meaning and reason.  There must have been nights when the missionaries, reflecting back upon the day’s events, pulled together these visions of whom in the Old and New Testament each of these individuals in the local society reminded them of.  For this reason it is suggested that in some if not many cases, the names provided to baptised members of the  Shekomeko society, had some underlying reason for the name selection.  This essay reviews such an assumption.  By reviewing the history of each of the famous individuals in the Bible referred to by the baptism names, we may beable to draw some conclusions about the social interactions taking place at this important time in Moravian-Mahican history.

These following names are found in the Shekomeko map, and are presumably the names of each household and/or family leader:

  • Peter
  • David
  • Joseph
  • Cornelius
  • Nicodemus
  • Solomon
  • Jonas
  • Susanna
  • Jephtha
  • Phillip
  • Isaac
  • Nathaniel 

There is also a house that stands alone that has to be noted.  This house is situated just behind the church, and was occupied by Zaccheus.

The several homes with names missing from the above legend are: 6- Abraham’s house (cellar adjacent), 7-John’s house, 8-John’s workshop, 9- Jacob’s house, 10-Boaz’s house, and 11-Peter’s house.  [Reviews of Items 6 through 10 appear at the end of this page.]

Abraham was in charge of provisions that were farmed on the Mahican plot of farmland.  Boaz was positioned adjacent to a stream, on the other side of which resided Jacob and John.

A Geography of People, and Names

The placement of these last few members on the map of the missions is what led me to review the baptism names.  Gazing at the names and the map, it immediately seemed to me that it was no coincidence that John and Jacob resided across the stream.  I knew who they had to be and what roles they played in Mahican and Moravian Christian Indian tradition.  Such a social setting had an important meaning to the Mahicans, which the Moravians were able to come to an understanding with and were willing to accept.   They gave these two people the names they needed to match theirs roles in both of these community settings.

Next, there was the placement of Boaz just across the stream from John and Jacob.  I wondered–what role did Boaz play in the Old Testament?   

This name also had its own line of philosophical reasoning on behalf of the missionaries.  That meant that by better understanding Boaz’s purpose in the Bible, I could learn mor about what the missionaries felt his role in socieity was as well. 

Next, there was the proximity of Ruth to this part of the village.  This further supports my belief that understanding the Christian reasoning for these locations in relation to the baptismal names was important to this study of Christian Indian culture.  This was then  only solidified further by the  locations I saw for others, such as Abraham and Zaccheus, once  I learned about the assignment of special duties to Abraham and possibly the loner is this group, Zaccheus. 

The geography of culture at a personal level is expressed by this map of the village setting.  This makes for a very unique type of map. The Moravians appear to have done their homework, laying out a map of the people they had to convert, as if to assign some obviously symbolic meaning of an Old or New Testament character to their names, depicting the roles each played within the community of Shekomeko, which was now referred to at times as Bethel.

These symbolic meanings of the names assigned by baptism were only made clearer by reviewing those names assigned to other major family members and leaders.  Based on the  assignment of these names by the missionaries, conclusions about what each individual was like could be drawn by other trained missionary agents passing through.  Therefore, once they met each of the individual Christian Indians for the first time, the meanings of these names would immediately be obvious to them. 

The following two maps represent the differences that existed in such a layout for a Mahican village, before and after the cultural transition (although the time periods and settings are pretty far off for these two depictions of a village, the left was constructed to be more permanent then the other, a 17th century setting considered somewhat unusual for the less stable 18th century setting).

An Analysis of Baptismal Names

The following reviews of the baptism names revealed more than originally expected when I began this phase of my review of Moravian-Mahican cultural history.  A number of these Biblical names and characters have specific features that stand out as possibly personality-related features noticed by the missionaries before each Mahican received a Baptism name.   Those personalities which stand out the most are those of the leaders of the tribe positioned at the right end of the map.  In the middle of the community setting are members with names that don’t always have some sort of personality or philosophical meaning immediately interpretable, but such lines of reasoning probably did exist in the minds of the missionaries and so have to be explored in this essay.  

Another way to look at this unusual way I have chosen for reviewing this community of Native Americans is to consider this list of important religious names to represent important personae important to religious history and culture, especially within the Catholic setting.  One Jungian interpretation possible for this methods of analysis is to ascribe to each of these individuals wth specific baptism names their relavence to Christian history.  We need to consider them in a somewhat Jungian sense, trying to define each of these individuals by the personality types of their baptism name sources. 

Now, to step back a little further before delving in detial with this line of reasoning, we can also use this method to get a better idea on how the people behaved within this 18th century social setting.  During this period in missions history, there was already a philosophy on personality types that existed–the theory of temperaments which in turn came from the four humours philosophy of the body. 

Around 370 BC, Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of medicine, defined the following four temperament types, based on Plato’s four humours and four elements theory: cheerful, somber, enthusiastic, calm.  Five hundred and seventy years later, Roman surgeon Galen defined the following four conditions:  sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic.  Over the centuries that followed, numerous new renderings of this theory went in and out of vogue.  A number of times these philosophical interpretations appear in the early writings about journeys to the New World during the 17th century, and at least once they appeared in the Jesuit writings about the Missions in New France.   Much more recent evidence suggesting this way of interpreting people was very important to religious leaders and groups is seen in publications which idealize and formalize this way of interpreting people by the missionaries, one of which was published twice and popularized by a very well known evangelist.

A recent Jungian like interpretation of this four humours theory about personalities was produced by Dave Kieirsey (1998, see  In this tetrad, the characters are based on skillsets and occupational atrtibutes, which were defined as: artisan, guardian, idealist, rationalist.  This model is far too contemporary in nature to attribute to the Mahicans reviewed in this section, but it does set the stage for the Jungian reasons and meaning  these studies were made and reported on by missionaries the old fashioned way–by defining each individual’s baptismal name for the first time.  In a way, assigning baptism names is very much in character with another practice that was popular on and off over the years–astrology (for which here was a Christian form that was popular at times duing the 17th and 18th centuries).

By drawing a relationship between the four humours and the kinds of people there are, the missionaries were on their way to developing thir own method for defining individual characters.   This was not a deliberate route they took to reach this point in btter understanding human psychology, it was taken more in order to better learn how to convince an individual to become Christian.  One way to develop this human interest is to tell someone about a character that he or she my well come to view as an icon, both in form and in personality.  This is the Jungian type of role that the psychology of the Christian baptism played on those who underwent this transformation, even though few really know that such a process could be happening.  By assigning an important Christian name to each individual undergoing baptism, and making sure that name fits the character of he or she who is given that name, the missionaries unknowingly had a strong effect on some of these people.  Once the crowd effect of the missionary religious experience took hold, the sense of meaning and purpose become a part of this form of life change.  In this way not only do Christianized Indians become strong believers, they become strong teachers at times as well, depending upon what we today might call their Jungian character.

The following are examples of these Jungian character types or what have come to be known as archetypes,with my revision of these character types into something more traditionally American Indian in nature and form   (for source and discussion of this list, see 

  • The hero: Rescuer, champion = gluscap, chieftain, warriors
  • The maiden: Purity, desire = unwed daughters
  • The wise old man: Knowledge, guidance  = elder, “grandfather”
  • The magician: Mysterious, powerful = shaman
  • The earth mother: Nature = gluscap, manitou, “grandmother”
  • The witch or sorceress: Dangerous = past shaman,wolf 
  • The trickster: Deceiving, hidden  = crow

We can relate this bit of human psychology and philosophy to missionary thinking.  The baptismal names that were given to the first Mahicans no doubt had reasons for their selection.  The following names may therefore be considered the archetypes of becoming a Christian Indian, in a Moravian sense. [character sources referred to as: OT = Old Testament; NT =New Testament]

Peter [NT]

Simon Peter, the son of John or Jonah, was the first apostle to be ordained by the Church.  Peter is more understanding of the Gospel than his associates, recognizes the meaning of these teachings, but later denies this association three times when questioned by authorities.   Peter, the name, is derived from Petros, meaning the rock.    Peter goes back and forth regarding his belief.  For a moment he stands alongside Jesus as the two walk upon the water, but a moment later his doubt causes him the plunge beneath the surface of Lake Galilee’s waters.  Due to his history of doubt, he ultimately has to reaffirm his devotion to Jesus three times.  The rooster crowed three times for Peter, symbolizing his faults and denials in faith.  In Native American thinking, we need only replace the rooster with the crow.

David [OT]

As warrior, musician, speaker and King of Israel, this David is the David of the ‘David and Goliath’ story.  He was in command over the army during his warrior years and demonstrated his ability to survive very well in the wilderness onhis own.  At one point he loses a child when God “struck the [David’s] child … and it became sick … [And] on the seventh day the child died.”  David is frequently seen crying out to God for help or guidance due to some very personal losses.  He has served his followers at times as a mystic and messiah.   He fasts more often than the rest.

Joseph [NT]

First, there is Joseph the foster-father of Jesus and descendent of David.  Next there is Joseph, the son of Jacob.   Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, is best known as a carpenter or artisan with wood.  Joseph son of David wore the “Coat of many colors” given to him by his father, making his siblings jealous at time.  Joseph had dreams that were important to him.  Others at times, in anger due to the jealousy, tried to kill him.  At one point in time, he saved his people from a local famine.  He was both spiritually gifted and physically attractive.  Which of these two is referred to in the Shekomeko listing is uncertain.

Cornelius [neither]

Probably in reference to Saint Cornelius or Cornelius the Pope (ca. 250AD).  The name Cornelius is a derivative of Cornu for horn.  Cornelius the Pope is considered a Patron Saint of Lovers, a philosophy born in the region near Moravia in Rhinelands.  This original saint was an artist whom the people adored the works of in masses.  He later became a patron saint of farming and livestock as well, in particular a saint of cattle.  Later on, the Church made him the patron saint of domestic animals.   At one period in life, he had epilepsy.

Nicodemus [NT] 

Nicodemus plays an important role three times in Jesus’ life–first at one of his teachings, second during his arrest, and third, following the crucifixion.  Nicodemus illustrated to many the first example of becoming born again, and later was made into a saint by the church.   He has been associated with Nicodemus ben Gurion, a holy man mentioned in the Talmud felt to be gifted with “miraculous powers.”  The church associates him with the bearing of myrrh during masses and on important days, and he has been associated with artistic works in which acheiropoieta takes place–the production of the image, usually of Christ or Mother Mary but possibly some other religious leader, without practicing this art by one’s own hand.  By seeing the face of Christ within a cloud, across the face of a cliff, or atop a forest of trees would satisfy this acheiropoeitic skill.

Solomon [OT]

A shaman-to-be in Native American philosophy, someone by this name had the makings of what Christians called a sorcerer and a person in commune with birds, serpents, and other animals of nature.  Solomon as a king was known to have several hundred wives. His rulership consisted of the many games he would play with his people, as he led them to and fro throughout the Kingdom in search of some means to possess or take advantage of some of his skills.  The Quran, Talmud and Old Testament agree that he was a magician with skills centered on the natural realm.   He was in communication with demons for the knowledge and possession of magical stones, and bore a ring that he used to possess power over the demons–the solomon’s seal or Star of David.  He had the ability to control all of the wildlife, raise exotic plants, and control the angels, beasts and other spirits that were found in his natural settings.  The Qabalah portrays Solomon as sitting on a pedestal  near the heavenly gates, having made his way there by sitting a top an eagle flying through an air of light.   Such a name ascribed to an American Indian could be interpreted as the name ofa shaman,or shaman to be.

Jonas [OT, NT]

This is  Greek variation of the name Jonah.  No reason can be suggested for this change in the spelling.   Jonah is best known for his encounters with a large beast in an ocean setting, which subsequent legends and myths refer to as a whale. In Native American tradition, on could liken this beast to the Manitou, but it seems unlikely this could be the main reason Jonas received this Baptism name.   There is a relationship Jonah had with God, who made it possible for Jonah to survive within the body of a whale for 3 days.  This name Jonas could also be associated with Jesus’ interpretation of this legend, in which He states “For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here.”  There is also the association of Jonah and the plant that grew out of control near his home: God causes a plant to grow over Jonah’s shelter to give him some shade from the sun. Later, God causes a worm to bite the plant’s root and it withers. Jonah, now being exposed to the full force of the sun, becomes faint and desires that God take him out of the world.  Jonah is also associated with the propagation of huge storms and winds (recall Geronimo’s skill in the same), especially those which cause people to be blown from their boats; for this reason Jonah or his idols are carried on board ships to protect them from damage due to the waves, being led astray by winds, and sinking.  As a boy, Jonah was apparently dead for a moment, his body brought back to life by Elijah.  Due to this, Jonah is one of the 12 prophets recognized in the Tenakh of Jewish tradition. 

Susanna [OT]

According to wikipedia, “[Susanna] is derived from Σουσάννα (Sousanna), the Greek form of the Hebrew שושנה Shoshannah, which is derived from the Persian شوشان shoshan meaning lily.”  (  There is another “Lily” famous in American Indian western religion history, the famous Blessed who was also a Mohawk.   The ‘lily’ of the crowd has to be admired for her “beauty”, in a Christian sense, not necessarily in the superficial cosmetic sense.

Jephtha [OT]

Again from wikipedia: Jephthah (also spelled Jephtha or Jephte; Hebrew: יפתח‎, “Yifthaḥ”; Greek: Ιεφθάε; Latin: Jephte) is a character in the Old Testament‘s Book of Judges, serving as a judge over Israel for a period of six years (Judges 12:7). He lived in Gilead and was a member of the Tribe of Manasseh.  The American Indians were often interpreted by scholars to be “the missing tribe” noted in the Old Testament.  This Indian may very well be overly critical of the events taking place at the time, trying often to right those which are taken as wrong by others.

Philip (NT)

More of a skeptic and trouble maker than his close asssociate Nathaniel, Philip is very materialistic.  When asked by Jesus “Where will we buy bread for these people to eat?”  Philip replied “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”  Philip is only mentioned very briefly in the New Testament, and my be considered symbolic of lack of faith.  He became one of the 12 apostles after Jesus’s death, and later became a prophet to some.  His presence in the baptismal naming of Shekomeko Indian suggest that missionaries may have noticed this close assocaition between Philip and the oher Indian name Nathaniel.

Isaac (NT)

His life as a child almost sacrificed by his father Abraham, Isaac grew up to become one of three patriarchs in his Jewish community.  He bore several sons.  His name was not changed over time like the names of other patriarchs.   He lived a very long life, and by some was considered a prophet.   It is said he lost his sight when he got older due to seeing an angel.  For parts of his life he lived as a nomad wandering about the local region.  Like his father, he was willing to following God’s law at risk of martyrdom.

Nathaniel (NT)

Nathaniel (alternate spelling: Nathanael) comes from the Hebrew name נְתַנְאֵל/Nethan’el meaning “God has given” (from the Hebrew words nathan “has given” + el “God”).  Nathaniel is most often referred to due to his skepticism towards the story of Jesus and the Creator.   Jesus related to him as “a man in whom there is no deception.”  In references to the Baptisms, Nathaniel might ask ‘can anything good come out of this?’  Nathaniel was a close associate of Philip.

Zaccheus (NT)

Zacchaeus was the tax-gatherer for Jericho.  According to legend, he lived in a large square tower or house.  His original building shape and place symbolized the climb towards heaven and purity, as if ascending a tree representing or resembling the cross.  In this legend Zacchaeus has been crucified as if he were Jesus, and due to this gift is “able to see God” because he was living so high above.  The Zacchaeus of Jericho gave up half of his possessions to the poor, and lived in complete obedience to God.  The tree that was related to Zacchaeus’s home was a sycamore, the fruits of which were often traditionally fed to the pigs.  The proximity to the church in the Shekomeko map may bear some importance.  Zacchaeus is often related to the Pascha of religious events (Easter), his descending the tree and support of Lent considered symbolic of his conversion.

The Chosen

There are several members of the Shekomeko Mahicans whom I refer to as “The Chosen” because in the Christian Missionary sense, they were the most important leaders to be converted to Christianity.  By converting these individuals to Christianity, the expectation of the Missions  was that it would become much easier to convince the others who were still undecided within this closely knit social setting to undertake baptism.  In some ways this was true for the Shekomekos.  The conversion of the chieftain Tschoop had the strongest impact upon remaining members when compared with most other documented post-baptismal events.  

Another important thing to note about the following individuals is that their baptismal names made three of them very easy to recognize and understand in terms of their purpose within their traditional Mahican society.  The remaining two also have a sense of social purpose assigned to their baptismal names, but on that possibly became evident just before the baptismal event.  As a consequence of this discovery of purpose, their purposes within this social setting at times appear much more symbolic in nature, both realistically and idealistically.

Abraham [OT]

A prominent member and leader whose life was changed by faith, he was a leader and forefather of the remaining people to be converted.  He was the father of Isaac in the Old Testament.  At one time he was tested and asked to demonstrate his devotion by sacrificing this son.    One of the chief promises God offered to Abraham was detailed in Genesis 12, which states that through Abraham’s seed all the people of earth will be blessed.  This implies a possible relationship with Shekomeko’s Isaac (see above).  In real life, Abraham is the elder of the Shekomeko Mahicans.

Boaz [OT]

Originally a rich landowner, Boaz made use of his land to glean grains from its fields.  He at first takes to a relationship with one local widow, Ruth, and later marries this lady.   One of the two frontal columns of Solomon’s Temple was named Boaz, which may not relate at all to the Bible’s famous Boaz.  Boaz’s major energies in life were spent dealing with the grain crops, including wheat and barley.  There is a Ruth also in the Shekomeko community; she may have been the spouse of Boaz, having lost a previous spouse before the arrival of the missionaries.

Ruth [OT]

In the Book of Ruth, Ruth becomes the wife of Boaz.   Whereas Boaz’s role was to glean the grains from local fields, Ruth’s role was to prepare food from these crops.  On the Shekomeko map, Ruth’s house could symbolize the place in which foods were made, using the harvest from the local fields.  Adjacent to Ruth’s home, there is a garden, one in which many of the special food crops might have been grown such as beans, squash, herbs, and other non-grain, non-forage and hay producing plants requiring less growing space.  If this is the case, Ruth probably did not live in this place,but instead with Boaz.  Note that witin this society, Suzanne is the only American Indian lady to be in charge of her own place; she was probably an elder.  It is assumed here that Ruth was united with Boaz, and so lived in his home.

Jacob [NT]

Jacob or Israel is a name that translates to “God contended.”  We know immediately from this Baptismal name selection that Jacob was the Mahican’s shaman.  This makes John, the last of the leading members baptised to undergo review, to be the Mahican’s chieftain. 

Other commentators of the Bible  claim the name Jacob to be from śœarar (“to rule, be strong, have authority over”), suggesting instead that this name means “God rules” or “God judges”.   This Jewish leader is said to have made covenant’s with God, and so one Hebrew interpretation of this name states: “Jacob (Ya`aqob or Ya`aqov, meaning “heel-catcher”, “supplanter”, “leg-puller”, “he who follows upon the heels of one” (wikipedia).  

The application of the baptismal name Jacob to a shaman is probably a common practice amongst other missionary leaders as well.  As noted earlier, another possible Baptismal name for a shaman might be Solomon.

The primary reason for this association of Jcob with the Shamanic experience has to do with Jacob’s experience with the “ladder”.  This ladder was Jacob’s link to God and Heaven, for which an identical theme exists in Native Ameriacn shamanic rituals and practice.   According to one missionary style of interpreting the shamanic practice, the practice of dream catching or engaging in communication with some higher spiritual power might constitute a typical shamanic event.  The Bible’s own Jacob experienced this when he envisioned a staircase that he could follow into heaven if he wanted (the ladder).  Upon this staircase, Jacob saw angels following it in order as they made their descents from and ascents back into Heaven.  Some stories link the ladder of Jacob to the experience of suffering, a route that has to be taken in life for some, again as an example of a unique spiritual or religious experience. Interestingly, this history of Jacob story is also probably linked to the missionary’s own interpretation of their experiences in Shekomeko.  Thus the name of he nearby town “Bethel” which means “God’s Place.”

John [NT]

We are now left with chieftain and medicine man Tschoop, baptised as John.  Wikipedia states:  “John the Apostle, also known as John the Beloved Disciple, (Ancient Greek: Ἰωάννης) (c. 6 – c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds he was the last surviving of the Twelve Apostles and died around the age of 94─the only apostle to die naturally.”

For Tschoop, there is also a possibility he was named inhonor o the other name for John,(from Wikipedia): “Saint John the Evangelist (יוחנן Standard Hebrew Yoḥanan, Tiberian Hebrew Yôḥānān meaning “Yahweh is gracious”, Greek: Εὐαγγελιστής Ἰωάννης) (c. 1 AD – c. 100).  This is the conventional name for the author the Gospel of John. Traditionally he has been identified with the author of all the Johannine works in the New Testament – the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation, written by a John of Patmos – as well as with John the Apostle and the Beloved Disciple[1] mentioned in the Book of John. However, at least some of these connections have been debated since about 200 A.D.”

In Biblical history, John, Peter and James were considered “the pillars of the church.”

Since Tschoop received this Baptismal name, we know that he was the chieftain, not the shaman, and that the other member who travelled closed by his side when the Mahicans met up with Christian Rauch for the first time, was in turn the shaman, baptised as Jacob.  The Bible’s John had as his  legacy the writing of one of the four Gospels along with the Letters and Revelation.

Interestingly, there are some other parallels here worth mentioning.  Bible John’s legacy is worthy of comparison with Tschoop’s, for both were “writers” of their word in a symbolic sense.  It is wort noting that more than likely, Tschoop often just dictated his words in Indian or Dutch to a scribe.  When The Festival of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian takes place, May 8th, the Christians attending this event traditionally try and draw forth from John’s grave some fine ashes, which they used to heal the sick.  The Catholics also celebrate December 27th for this John, calling it ‘The Day of John, the Apostle and Evangelist’. 

Even more important to note is the symbolism of John that appears in some of the European art as an eagle, a symbol of the height he rose to when he wrote the first chapter of his gospel.   The eagle is of course also considered highly symbolic by Native American cultures.  Were Tschoop to have seen this during one of his trips to Bethlehem, he could have made comment to such symbolism, with others witnessing such an event simply standing in awe regarding this piece of art.

Now, I shouldn’t leave this discussion without including mention of Tschoop’s other Biblical name sometimes referred to in some writings–Job.  It is said that Tschoop was given this name due to some similarity with how it is pronounced relative to the name Tschoop.  Another reason Tshoop was called Job, referred to in later writings, is due to Tschoop’s frequent verbal and facial expressions and behaviors, like the forming of tears during many of the philosophical discussions he heard or had with others.  Important to note here is that although many people thought of him as Job, in the end he received John as his baptismal name.  For whatever reasons, Christian Rauch and others thought that his life best represented that of Saint John.