The Final Exile of Joseph of Arimathea
From Israel to the Isle of Avalon
Study into the Kahal (Hebrew)
Nazarene Ecclesia (Congregation) of Yisra’el (Israel)
Called by Christians ‘The Jerusalem Church’
Commentary by Robert D. Mock M.D.
February 6, 1999
Rewritten August, 2003
Reedited November, 2005
Joseph of Arimathea Cast Adrift in the Mediterranean
The Exile of Joseph of Arimathea, the Bethany Family and possibly Mary, the Mother of Jesus
According to Cardinal Baronius, appointed librarian of the Vatican in 1596 and noted historian for the Roman Catholic Church, in his magnum opus, Annales Ecclesiastica, that took him over thirty years to complete, he wrote under the year AD 35 the following:
Cardinal Baronius - “In that year the party mentioned was exposed to the sea in a vessel without sails or oars. The vessel drifted finally to Marseilles and they were saved. From Marseilles Joseph and his company passed into Britain and after preaching the Gospel there, died.” (Cited by Lionel Smithett Lewes, late Vicar of Glastonbury, St. Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury or the Apostolic Church of Britain, James Clarke & Co. Ltd, Cambridge, PO Box 60, Cambridge, CBI 2NT, 1922, 1955, 1988.pg. 92)
Mary Magdalene and the Disciples off the coast of Ste. Marie de la Camargue in southern Provence, France
This date of exodus from Caesarea on the coast of Judea has been a date in dispute amongst various historians of the early Christian Church. Many date the exodus after the beheading of James the Greater, the brother of the Apostle John in 41-42 CE by the newly anointed King Herod Agrippa I now living in Herod’s Palace in Caesarea. Other scholars date this exodus by boat just after the stoning of Stephen by the Sanhedrin and the assault by the rabbinic student Shaul of Tarsus on the life of James the Just in Jerusalem during his debate with the great Jewish scholar Gamaliel on the inner steps of the temple.
With a 30 CE date for the death of Jesus, three years before the more traditional date of 33 CE date for the crucifixion, most modern Christian historians date the death of Stephen in 36 CE, near the date when Pontius Pilate and Caiphas are deposed by the Roman legate. If the date for the crucifixion were to be put forward to an earlier date of 30 CE, then the early growth and development of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia had almost six years of growth before fierce opposition came against them by the House of Annas now by the ascending “Man of the Year” in Jewish religion and politics, the Rabbi Shaul, student of Gamaliel.
With the persecution of the Hebrew Ecclesia in Jerusalem by the Pharisee student Shaul (Saul), many of the official members of the Nazarene Ecclesia fled the city. In this political drama, we find the direct assault of the ‘enemy’, which appears to be the Shaul the Pharisee against James the Just as he was in debate with Gamaliel on the steps of the temple of Herod. At this time the wounded James the Just quickly escapes from Jerusalem and flees to Jericho in the region of Qumran. Many of the Nazarene followers continue onward to Perea to the east of the Jordan River.
Also around 36 CE would be the most appropriate date for the exodus of Joseph of Arimathea from the land of Palestine. Yet the date of the exodus of James the Just to Jericho and the date of the forced exile of Joseph of Arimathea and those under his protective care off the coast of Caesarea appear to be before the death of Stephen by stoning by the members of the Sanhedrin.
In Magdalene College Library in Oxford University in England, there is a remarkable and beautiful manuscript of Life of Mary Magdalene, which professes to be a copy of an original manuscript written by the Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mayence (776-850 AD). This copy of the text has been dated to the early 1400’s.
Its history is unknown but is written in high quality parchment style with multicolor gold embossed illuminations done by a professional scribe, similar to the Tertius Opus by Robert Bacon found in the same library. (Taylor 80-81) Scholars accept that this is probably a copy of the original or the original author followed closely the style of writing found in the Homilies of Rabanus, whose manuscript is known. The Rabanus document was also known and accepted as authentic by the well-known cataloger, William Cave in his Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria. (Cave, Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria, vol ii, p. 38 fol., Oxford, 1740-1743)
This document in fifty chapters chronicles the life of Mary Magdalene (and Martha) in a style that the late Gaskoin, in his analysis of Rabanus Maurus states,
Gaskoin - “The writings of the Fathers, on which his commentaries were based, were literally produced, the share of the compiler in the composition being designedly and almost ostentatiously reduced to the smallest possible proportions.” (Gaskoin , in Alcuin, his Life and Work, London, 1904, cited by John W. Taylor, The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK 74402. 1985, pg. 82)
This document can now be compared to several other manuscripts on the life of Mary Magdalene. The manuscript of Rabanus, like the following all profess to be copies of older documents which were in themselves were copies of older histories. They tend to record in literary and plain details the historical facts of life and death, without the abundance of miraculous accounts which abounded in the writings of the middle ages. Though Rabanus is a longer story, it also is literal with very little miraculous elements.
The following Lives of Mary are found in:
In chapter 37 of the Acts of Mary Magdalene, Rabanus Maurus continues to describe this dangerous journey.
Rabanus Maurus - “Leaving the shores of Asia and favored by an east wind, they went round about, down the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land of Italy to the right. They happily turning their course to the right, they came near to the city of Marseilles, in the Viennese province of the Gauls, where the River Rhone is received by the sea. There, having called upon God, the great King of all the world, they parted; each company going to the province where the Holy Spirit had directed them, presently preaching everywhere, ‘the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.’”
Though traditions are sketchy, within this boat was a company of twelve that included: (Cardinal Baronius, Ecclesiastical Annals, quoting from Mistral, in Mireio and another Vatican document, cited by Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Pub., Co, 8 Blades Court, Deodar Road, London SW15 2NU, 1961, 1993, pg 70)
Joseph of Arimathea plus
1. Mary Cleopas was present yet Cleopas who was walking with Luke 6-7 years earlier is absent.
2. Mary Salome and Sarah handmaiden
3. Lazarus, who became bishop of Marseilles
4. Mary Magdalene
5. Martha with Marcella her handmaid
6. Maximinus – ‘Rich young Ruler’ became the paranymphos of Mary Magdalene - went to Maximinus, France
7. Trophimus – became the paranymphos of Martha’s - went to Arles, France
8. Clemon – the convert of Barnabus, Clementos Romanus visiting with Peter and Joseph in Caesarea who became the third Bishop of Rome
9. Eutropius, who later went to Orange
10. Sidonius - “Man born blind”, called St. Restitutes, who later went to Aix, France
11. Martian, who later went to Limogenes, France
12. Saturinus, who later went to Toulouse, Toulouse.
It was Gervais de Tilbury, the Marshall of the kingdom of Arles (along the Rhone in central France) wrote in his book, Otis Imperialis in the year 1212 in dedication to Otho IV, the following about the old chapel of Les Saintes Maries in the Camaroque:
Gervais de Tilbury – “on the seacoast, one sees the first of Continental churches which was founded in honour of the most blessed of our Lord, and consecrated by many of the seventy-two disciples who were driven from Judea and exposed to the sea in an oarless boat: Maximin of Aix, Lazarus of Marseilles, the brother of Martha and Mary, Eutrope of Orange, George of Velay, Saturinus of Toulouse, Martial of Limoges in the presence of Martha, Mary Magdalene and many others. (Gervais de Tolbury, Otis Imperialis, cited in Joseph of Arimathea and David’s Throne in Britain, Triumph Prophetic Ministries, Altaden CA, pg 19-20)
And then there is the testimony of Faillon in Monuments Inedits, which states,
Faillon – The tradition of Joseph of Arimathea and his companions in the oarless boat was accepted by the whole Latin Church for over a thousand years. For proof of this we have only to turn to the Breviary (book of prayers, hymns, psalms and reading used by Roman Catholic priests) at St. Martha’s Day, July 29. There we find a lection for the second nocturne (night) which tells how Mary, Martha and Lazarus, with their servant Marcella, and Maximin, one of the seventy-two disciples, were seized by the Jews, placed in a boat without sails or oars, and carried safely to the port of Marseilles. Moved by this remarkable fact, the people of the neighboring lands were speedily converted to Christianity; Lazarus became the bishop of Marseilles, Maximinus at Aix…and…Martha…died on the fourth day before the Kalends of August, and was buried with great honour at Tarascon.” (Faillon, vol. ii, pg 114, cited in Joseph of Arimathea and David’s Throne in Britain, Triumph Prophetic Ministries, Altaden CA, pg 19-20)
Raymond Capt, in The Traditions of Glastonbury quotes another source,
Raymond Capt – “without sails and oars, they drifted with the wind and the currents arriving unharmed at Cyrene, in northern Africa. After obtaining sails and oars, the little party of refugees followed the trade route of the Phoenician merchant ships as far west as Marseilles, France.” (Raymond Capt, The Traditions of Glastonbury, cited by Joseph of Arimathea and David’s Throne in Britain, Triumph Prophetic Ministries, Altaden CA, pg 21)
The 9th century fortress basilica at Les Marie de la Camargue – Photo by Robert Mock MD
The Landing Place of Joseph at
Ste. Marie de la Camarague near Marseilles
Near their landing site at Les St. Marie de la Camarague, the boat with the thirteen occupants and two children landed. This was about twenty miles from one of four of the greatest cities of the Roman world in the first century, the ancient city of Masilla (Marsella), and now called Marseilles, France.
The city of Marseilles on the southern coast of southern France was the capital of the province of Bouches-du-Rhone. To the west of the city, was the mouth of the mighty Rhone River and on the white sandy shores there was a rock harbor with dry docks and an armory. The Ephesium was the prized temple dedicated to Diana of Ephesus. Also in the city was a temple dedicated to the Delphians of Apollo.
The city was controlled by a well regulated aristocracy called the Timuchi or the council of 600. It was this city that Joseph had traversed many times as it was the exit point of the tin traders as they brought the tin overland Gaul from the city of Morlaix on the Atlantic coast. The city was an ancient city at the time of Joseph, founded about 600 BCE by the Phoenician mariners and was called Massilia, meaning ‘settlement’. It became one of the great maritime cities with large natural harbor possessing dry-docks and amouries with many vessels, arms and siege machines. Not only was commerce its greatest asset, but developed into a great learning center of the west, vying for importance with Ephesus, Athens and Rome. (Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. 1985. pg. 111-113)
Here along the marshy shores of the delta of the Rhone is now a nature preserve, the Camarague, where wild grey horses and native black bulls roam the marsh lands of the Rhone delta along with flamingos, eagles, hawks and harriers. It was here that the disciples with Joseph disembarked and from there the earliest traditions of the church depict that France was one of the first to hear the message of the risen Christ.
While Joseph and the disciples were resting near Marseilles, the Apostle Philip was traveling with the instructions by the Apostle Peter to scout out the region of Gaul and begin to establish the mission of the Nazarenes on the European continent above province of Spain which had already been started by James the Greater, the brother to John. (Stough, Henry W., Dedicated Disciples, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK 74402.1987. pg 78)
At this time, Lazarus took a great interest in the cosmopolitan city of Marseilles. His father was a Syrian governor, called Theophilus and his mother a Jewess. He lived most of his life as a landed gentry in Judea, was very comfortable conversing with the educated and the commercial minded citizens in this great city. Though we have testimony in the traditions of the Church in Lyons on the Rhine in southern France that Lazarus along with Martha and Mary Magdalene in later years returned to Marseilles, it can be assumed at this time that he passed through this city to live with his friend Joseph of Arimathea. It was to the great city of Marseilles that Lazarus eventually returned to live the last seven years of his life as the Bishop of Marseilles.
Some traditions state that when the oarless and sailless boat landed at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, the Apostle Philip under the instruction of Peter was awaiting them, taking charge of the company. He dedicated Joseph with the apostolic commission to Britain.
Southern coast of Provence France on the Mediterranean
The logistics of this seem impossible except that the commission to be the Apostle to the British was given to Joseph of Arimathea by Philip in his home on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Caesarea. This event must have occurred when the fires of persecution in Jerusalem sent the flaming firebrand Shaul (Paul) to Caesarea. Is this a fact? No, we do not have any testimony by name, but who else was on the warpath of persecution except Shaul under the directed orders of Ananus and Caiaphas in Jerusalem? There under the nose of the Roman centurion and the Italic troops, Shaul and his security guards rounded up Joseph and his followers and put them into a boat to be carried on western flowing currents out to the middle of the Mediterranean.
Triggers the Exile of Joseph of Arimathea
There is an interesting statement in the Ascent of Jacob describing the scene when the ‘enemy’, whom we identify as Shaul (Saul), attacked and assaulted James the Just. In the midst of the debate, the ‘enemy’ arrives and began to revile and harass the priests, trying to raise up a furor so that they would allow their murderous thoughts to flame into living reality. And then the account continues:
Ascents of Jacob - “Much blood is shed; there is a confused flight, in the midst of which that enemy attacked Jacob (James the Just), and threw him headlong from the top of the steps; and supposing him to be dead, he cared not to inflict further violence upon him. But our friends lifted him up, for they were both more numerous and powerful than the others; but, from fear of God, they rather allowed themselves to be killed by an inferior force than they would kill others. But when the evening came the priest shut up the Temple and we returned to Jacob’s house, and spent the night there in prayer. Then before daylight we went down to Jericho, to the number of five thousand men.” (Ascents of Jacob, quoted in the Recognitions of Clements liii to lxxi as quoted by Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p)
The young and tempestuous Shaul, who would someday become the Apostle to the Gentiles, had a rabid temper and when he lost his cool, he did not focus on details. Throwing James the Just violently down the stairs, he left James thinking that he was dead not checking to make sure. Shaul had a different ‘plan of execution’ to deal with Joseph of Arimathea. The power of Joseph in this Roman controlled cosmopolitan city was enormous. Overt violence would not be tolerated on the streets of Caesarea. Shaul was too smart for that. Besides being a Roman citizen himself, he did not want Roman laws convicting him in the Roman courts. He knew that there was a weakness in the Romans. They did not want to stir up trouble. Though they methodically did their military duties, as a whole they were very tolerant of the people that they were to govern.
So Shaul quietly escorted the entire company of Nazarenes to a beach north of the city, according to some traditions and there they had a prearranged boat beached on the sandy beach. All the occupants were ordered in the boat and pushed out to sea. No oars and no sail. Not even a rudder. The elements would be at their mercy and their death would be an “Act of God”. There on the beach they watch the boat drift westward until it was out of their sight. No violence and no bloodshed. If anyone inquired, they could truthfully say, “They left by ship last night going west.”
Like any detective story, the elements of the picture are all there. The traditions for over a thousand years all seem to converge that the forced exile of Joseph of Arimathea included a drifting boat without oars or sails headed out to sea and by a miracle of the Lord, they all landed safely on a beach on the opposite side of the Mediterranean.
Initially from the cities and the towns along the Phoenician / Syrian coast to Antioch (1). Then all the main Phoenician settlements Cyprus (2), Crete (3), Sicily (4), Cyrenia (5), Massilia (Marseilles) (7), Sardinia (6), Spain (8) and ultimately Southwest Britain (9).
How long Joseph of Arimathea and his company lived in the vicinity of Marseilles we do not know. That Joseph of Arimathea did have provisions, plus plenty of business friends and associates in that maritime city can be expected.
There appears to be a strong hint that a message was sent to Britain by courier to Siluria on the southern Wales coast with request for permission to enter the country of Britain, Cornwall and Wales to live. The only clue is that we do find hints of Joseph along the path of the ancient Tin traders.
It was from here in Marseilles that Joseph with twelve companions followed this same path of the tin traders... From Marseilles, they traveled to Narbonne on the southern coast of France. They then traveled by horseback across central Celtica or France up the route through Figeac, Rocamadour, Limoges and on to Morlaix on the western coastal peninsula of France.
How long did it take from their exile from Caesarea to the landing in Marseilles? This passageway in an oarless and sailless boat to the northern coast of Africa and finally to the maritime city of Marseilles could have taken months. How long did Joseph of Arimathea and his followers live in the vicinity of Marseilles?
Did Joseph send word by a fast courier to the royal House of Siluria of the story of their exile and ask for asylum within their country? Somehow the word reached the royal court of the Celtic King of Wales and Cornwall.
Somehow Joseph knew when it was time to leave the city of Marseilles, for there at Morlaix on the Atlantic coast, so the traditions say, Joseph and his company were met by a British Druidic delegation led by Arviragus, the crown prince of the Silurian tribe in the Dukedom of Cornwall. He was the son of Cunobelinus, the Cymbeline of Shakespeare fame, and cousin to the renowned British Pendragon and warrior, Caradactus. It was this Pendragon called Caradactus, the most feared warrior by Rome, the Tudor Kings and Queens claim their descent. This tribe represented the most powerful tribal confederation on the Isle of Britain. (Stough, Henry W., Dedicated Disciples, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK 74402.1987. pg 78)
It was on the Isle off the Brittany coast of Morlaix, France, where the ancient ships of Joseph that carried the mined tin ingots from the Isle of Ictus (St. Michael’s Mount), landed after traversing across the watery strait. From ancient Britain to the ancient land of Gaul the first path of transport for this valuable commodity to Rome began.
Here again was Morlaix, a city well known to Joseph of Arimathea. As the tin and lead ingots were unloaded off his ships that were docked at the harbor, he then had them loaded unto pack animals and there taken by protective escort of Roman soldiers across the southern part of France to the city of Marseilles. The site of Morlaix was well known to the ancient Brits for it also was the site of entry by the invading Brits into French Gaul in the Middle Ages. Where they invaded they also left their name on this ancient land, the land of Brittany.
The British royal and druidic delegation was there to greet and persuade Joseph and his followers to live near their homeland in the western isles of Britain. As Freculphus said,
Glastonbury Tor on the Isle of Avalon – photo by Sarah Boait
Freculphus – “Joseph and his company, including Lazarus, Mary, Martha, Marcella and Maximin came at the invitation of certain Druids of high rank ('Negotium habuit cum Druidis quorum primi precipuique doctores erant in Britannia.') from Marseilles into Britain, circa AD 38-39; were located at Yens Avalon, the seat of a Druidic cor, which was subsequently made over to them in free gift by Arviragus. Here they build the first church, which became the centre and mother of Christianity in Britain. Joseph died and was interred in 76 AD. (Freculphus, apud God., p.10 cited in Morgan, R.W., St. Paul in Britain, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK 1984 pg 73)
Three years after being exiled from Judea, they took small ships across the English Channel to St. Michael’s Mount called Ictis. There they landed in the small wharf which was the loading dock for the tin that was shipped towards Rome to the east from the town of Marazion. As they disembarked from their boats, they waited until the tides went out and were able to walk across the dried out bay to the small Celtic town of Marazion.
From Marazion, the company of Yahshua’s disciples along with Joseph traveled on hide covered skiffs around Lands End in southern Cornwall and up the western coast of Cornwall. There in what was called the Severn Sea they weaved in and out of island mounds that jutted out of this mystical land. In the distance they could see the Glastonbury Tor. Memories swelled up in their heads of the beautiful Mount Tabor jutting nineteen hundred feet from the Galilean plains southwest of the between modern day Nazareth and Nain.
At this site was a special house of worship that already had been built years before. . Through the centuries this ‘Old Church’ would be called an ecclesia and the memory of the building of this ecclesia would be of the Hebrews who came to bring the news of the death and resurrection of the expectant messiah to the Druids whom they were expecting and called Jesu. The disciples of Jesus built this small and humble ecclesia almost a decade prior to the evangelistic mission to the city of Antioch where Nazarenes were first called “Christians". This mud and wattle built church is also a testimony that the British Culdee Ecclesia was the first Nazarene mission of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia at Jerusalem.
This charter of Arviragus is extant today and recorded in the British royal archives and visible for any historian to see. It was recorded in the Domesday Book, recorded by authority of William I the Conqueror who became first Norman king in England in 1066 CE. (Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Pub., Co, 8 Blades Court, Deodar Road, London SW15 2NU, 1961, 1993, pg. 70) Here in isolation and protection, one of the greatest mission stations of the Nazarenes was built.
What do missionaries do after they arrive in a foreign land and become peoples of the faith who have migrated permanently to another land? The first task is to build residential places for people to live, gardens to plant and develop a self-contained village with renewable resources for permanent habitation. As with all people who migrate from one land to another, their sites of inhabitation were built near sites where water can be found; wells, springs, lake, creeks and rivers. So it was with the transplanted disciples of Jesus.
The Chalice Well – photo by Robert Mock MD
Here according to the best traditions they found a small round mud and wattle hut built to the designs of Celtic architecture that Joseph and Mary testified was the site where Yahshua as a young man lived, studied and worshipped while living in this area.
This land is ripe with traditions that are very strong that Yahshua (Jesus) came to Britain as a child with his great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea a Roman Decurion, to scout for tin and lead mines so that these metals could be shipped back to Rome. The purported site where the original Josephean settlement was built was around the oratory that was built by the hands of Jesus. Twelve mud and wattle huts similar to the construction of homes in ancient Britain surrounded this place of worship near an ancient native spring now called the Chalice Well.
Here they were truly isolated from the civilization as they knew it. For hundreds of years the long arm of the Roman Empire using the best generals tried but could not penetrate the wall of fierce resistance of the Celtic Silurian tribes. As a combined tribal force under the command of a Pendragon, their battle skills and tactics were formidable.
Here the site of the first ecclesia (church) built above ground by the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene was in an area of protection from destruction. Here they lived, worshipped and taught the principles of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem inspired by the Jewish rabbi, Yahshua who gave up His life as the Son of God. They taught that Yahshua’s death fulfilled the ‘sin sacrifices’ portrayed in the spring festivals of Pesach (Passover) as the Lamb of God. They also taught that the death of Yahshua fulfilled the ‘sin and purification sacrifice’ of the Red Heifer that was used to cleanse and purify the Temple, people and the Land.
Here on this island lived Joseph of Arimathea, the great uncle of Jesus; it was he who watched Yahshua’s birth, possibly had a hand in planning the escape of Joseph and Mary to protective custody in Egypt. It was he who may have assisted in finding them a home in the Essene villages of the Notzris near Galilee, kept Jesus in his custody when Joseph, his nephew in law died and let Yahshua travel with him to Britain on his tin and lead explorations. Here was built the first apostolic mission station in Britain that was supervised by Joseph of Arimathea and whose instructors, teachers and educators included Lazarus, Martha and Mary of Magdala, Zaccheus, the ‘Rich Young Ruler’ called Maximinus, Trophimus, the “Man born Blind” called Restitute. Here were the friends, relatives and disciples of Jesus who were the closest to or their lives were affected the most by the healing and the spiritual ministry of Yahshua. Here were the great minds of those who listened to the parables and teaching of Christ, who heard the “oral teachings of Rabbi Yahshua” as He would in private teach His disciples after a long day of teaching thousands on the hills of Galilee. They were not only privy to the spoken word of the Son of God but also the expanded teaching and the hidden meanings of the parables in which He spoke.
It has been a modern misconception that with the early Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem living and sharing all their possessions that the people all lived in communes. Communal living suggests to the modern thought large dormitories or residential units where people lived and slept in an area open to all. The faithful Jewish believers in the land of Judea were not party to open commune lifestyle in mixed dormitory style residential homes. This is a modern corruption of commune lifestyle.
The first home built for Joseph of Arimathea and the twelve disciples of Jesus who was with Joseph was an enclosed and protected area built in a circle with individual huts or residential units built for each member. Here they had privacy and also a solitary place to worship and to study. Here was a proto-type of the later monastic cell used by each monk living in a monastery.
The home site was more akin to the ancient Celtic villages uncovered by the archeologist’s shovel first in the winter of 1853-54 when a lake-dwelling village was excavated near Meilen, Switzerland. This stimulated the mind of an Englishman, Arthur Bulleid who felt that the ancestors of Glastonbury also lived in similar villages. In March, 1892, a mound near the village of Glastonbury was excavated on the land of Edward Bath and there they also uncovered an undisturbed Celtic village, now known as the Glastonbury Lake Village, on a ‘crannog’ or a man made island, complete with the foundation, flooring of all the houses, the pottery, basket, wood-work and metal ware. Here the timber poles were mixed with the tubs, wheels, spoons, looms, trenchers, bowls all depicting the life of the Celtic villages living near the era of Joseph of Arimathea and the friends and disciples of Jesus.
Yet the goal of the Hebrew disciples was not to live, dwell and die, but to proclaim the ‘Good News’ of the risen Christ. This Good News was encapsulated in the Hebrew imagery of the festivals of the Lord, living a life of Torah, the belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the belief that members of every kingdom and tribe were to learn about salvation through Yahshua, the Only Begotten Son of God.
Here in the land who people and culture prized learning and scholarship, the Hebrews with an ancestry of almost fifteen hundred years of learning and teaching Torah as given by Yahweh from Mount Sinai began to build their university, a school of higher learning in the land and competing with the institutions of higher learning by the Druids. It was a simple home and a modest school, yet soon their reputation spread. Soon the kings of the other Celtic tribes began to send their children to what was known as the Arimathaean School.
The Arimathean School at Ynis-wytren on the Isle of Avalon
It was under the instruction of Joseph and Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and others that the first British were instructed and trained as emissaries for Christ. It was to them that Macnessa, King of Ulster, sent his priests to Avalon to commit the Christian law and its teachings into writing, which they named ‘The Celestial Judgments’. (cf. Lewis and Old History of Ulster, Irish Tourist Bureau cited by Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Pub., Co, 8 Blades Court, Deodar Road, London SW15 2NU, 1961, 1993, pg 80)
It was also here at Avalon, that Lazarus life is identified, in the Celtic MSS, known as The Triads (Laws) of Lazarus. (Capgrave, De Sancto Joseph ab Aramathea, quoting ancient manuscript and the Book of the Holy Grail, quoted in Jowett 163) And it was from here that Lazarus, returned to Gaul, the area of Provence, France with Mary and Martha. In the ancient church records of Lyon it states, ‘Lazarus returned to Gaul from Britain to Marseilles, taking with him Mary Magdalene and Martha. He was the first appointed bishop. He died there seven years later.” (Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Publ., Co, 8 Blades Court, Deodar Road, London SW15 2NU, 1961, 1993, pg 164)
It was this, the Avalon school that the children of the Silurian Pendragon Caradactus; Gladys, Linus and Eurgain, were baptized and taught the message of our Lord. It was they, who with their father, as Roman military captive, went to Rome, and after his clemency, they lived at the Palatium Britannica. Here was the site of the first Christian church in Rome that met with the Apostle Paul. This site is preserved today in the Church of St. Pudentianna. The remains of the house of Roman Senator Rufus Pudens have been excavated and preserved there today on Viminale Hill in Rome.
We can only imagine the type of education that was taught at the Arimathean University at Avalon. The first teachers included Lazarus, the dearest friend of Yeshua, Mary Magdalene His closest female companion, Martha who was the foundation of hospitality to the numerous friends and disciples of Yahshua, and Restitute who was healed by Jesus of congenital blindness. Here they set up a yeshiva, or a Jewish school to teach the Torah as espoused and interpreted by the Jewish Rabbi Yahshua, who had lived, worshipped and studied here many years earlier. Soon converts from the Torah Yeshiva at Avalon or the Arimathean University at Avalon were being sent back as graduates to the European continent to proclaim the “Good News”.
These early Culdee graduates included: Beatus was born of noble parents in Britain and at the school of Avalon was converted and baptized. He became a missionary to the Helvi in the mountain of modern Switzerland and became the founder of the Helvetian church. His death occurred in the cell, still shown at Underseven, on the Lake of Thun, in AD 96. (Theatre. Magn. Britan., lib. vi. p. 9).
Clementus Romanus (Clement) was by tradition a Greek youth who was probably was sent to the universities in Britain as many of rich and noble youth of other countries did. He became a convert of Joseph of Arimathea and later returned back to Rome. There he met with Barnabus, the brother-in-law to the Apostle Peter who made the first evangelistic mission to the capital seat of the Roman Empire. Around 34-35 CE, we find Clement’s testimony written in the Recognitions of Clements, when Barnabus and he return to the Sabbatical Passover feast in Jerusalem. In route they stopped by Caesarea and met with Joseph of Arimathea, his spiritual mentor, and all the disciples of Jesus living there with the Apostle Philip and his family along with the Apostle Peter. We later find Clements in the boat cast out to sea with Joseph of Arimathea. Sometimes after his Gauline mission with Mansuetos, Clements is found back in Rome in the final days of Simon Peter before he is crucified in the Circus of Nero. There Clementus Romanus was appointed by the Apostle Peter to be the second official bishop of the Christian Church in Rome.
Mansuetos was born in Hibernia and in his youth was sent to the schools of Britain. There he was converted and baptized in Avalon and was later sent from Rome with Clement (Clementus Romanus) to preach the Gospel in Gaul. “He founded the Lotharingian Church, fixing his mission at Toul, where after extending his labors to Illyria. He was eventually martyred in 110 CE.” ( Pantaleon, De Viris Illus. Germaniae, pars. I; Guliel. Eisengren, cent. 2, p. 5; Petrus Mersaeus, De Sanctis German.; Franciscus Gulliman, Helvetiorum Historia, lib. i. c. 15; Petrus de Natalibus, Episcop. Regal. Tallensis.)
Marcellus, a noble Briton, was also converted at Avalon and later sent as a missionary to the region of Tongres. He was the founder of the early Christian Church in Gaul and appointed its bishop at Treves. This church and diocese for many centuries was the chief church and authority in the early Gallic church.
Linus was the prince heir to the throne of Siluria and a student and convert of the Joseph of Arimathea and the Bethany family at Avalon. He was the son of the British Pendragon Caradactus. When Caradoc was captured by the Romans, his entire family was taken to Rome which included his children Linus and Gladys.
Linus remained in Rome when his family returned seven years later after Caradoc’s pardon and clemency by the Roman Senate. Linus, the British prince, was appointed to be the first bishop of the Christian Church in Rome by the Apostle Paul.
Within the Celtic culture, the religious, spiritual leadership and education was entrusted into the hands of the Druidic priests. Druidism was introduced into the British Isles more than two thousand years before the birth of Christ by Hu Gadarn, the Mighty who is recognized as the person who colonized this island. The population on the southern and the western part of the island was under the influence of the Druidic faith with the Silurian tribes. On the eastern side of the island was the tribe of Iceni, famed for its female warrior, Boudicea as she was also Druidic.
The eastern part of the islands though early came under the domination and influenced by the early Angle and Saxon invaders which formed the foundation of the modern kingdom of England. The name England came from the tribal name of ‘Angle’ yet the governance of England was influenced more by the descendants of Isaac. As the ancient prophecy said:
Genesis 21:12, Romans 9:7 - “In Isaac shall thy seed be called (or named).”
As the ‘sons of Isaac”, or the lost tribes of the Northern Nation of Israel were called over the centuries the Saki, Sacae, Sacchi, Sakasani, Beth Sak, Saxones, Sachsen, and Saxons.
The Druidical priesthood had three priestly orders;
The religion of the Druids was kept by oral laws and nothing was written in parchment or stone. The Triads were committed to memory on the simple beliefs of God and the trinities of life, nature, and worship. Some of these triads have been preserved from antiquity.
The educational system of the Druids was the most extensive educational system in the ancient world. There were forty known universities which were located in the forty tribal capitals of the Druids. These tribes eventually formed the boundaries of the modern counties in England and depict the ancient tribal boundaries.
It is reputed that the Druidic universities enrolled a total of sixty thousand youth which included most of the younger nobility of Britain and they attracted thousands of youth from the continent of Europe including the Senatorial families of Rome. To master the entire curriculum of knowledge taught by the druids required at least twenty years to complete. This curriculum included: natural philosophy, astronomy, arithmetic, botany, geometry, law, medicine, poetry, oratory and natural theology. Splendid mental powers of the students of the druidic institutions were attested in antiquity by those who conversed with the Greeks, Romans and citizens of other parts of the world.
In the annals of Julius Caesar he records that the students are instructed in the movement of the heavenly bodies and the grandeur of the universe. Their knowledge of mathematics excelled as they had the capacity to apply mathematics to the measurements of the earth and the distance and movements of the stars. Their knowledge of physics and mechanics as depicted in the movement of megalithic stones for hundreds of miles, transporting them over hills and across water to build their sacred sites called cors.
The most sacred of all the ‘Cors’ is Stonehenge, called hanging stones, which was built on the plain of Salisbury. Its structure consisted of 139 megalithic blocks from five to twenty two feet high, arranged in a circle. This temple and cairn is dated to about 3500 years ago at 1500 BCE or the age of the exodus of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt.
All citizens living in the lands of the druids had to have a known genealogy at least nine generations. The pedigree was essential to establish blood lines and tribal bases, one’s ancestral station in life and to own and keep property. Any person without a pedigree was an outlaw, without a family, a tribe or a nation. These genealogical records were jealously guarded and recorded with precise exactness by the herald-bards of each clan. When a child reached the age of fifteen, he underwent a public ceremony with the clan and the family genealogy was publicly proclaimed. Any challengers to the genealogies were command to voice their dissent. By common law every Briton held as his birthright ten acres of lands.
To become a member of the Druids and a candidate to enter the initiation of the Order had to prove his ancestry for nine successive generations of free forefathers. No slave could be a Druid, and if he became a slave, he forfeited his Druidic Order and the privileges within the Order. Herein lay the fundamental principles of the freedom that the early British coveted and fought to preserve. Here was the reason for the long and stubborn resistance to the Roman armies seeking to subdue their island. The Island of Britain was never conquered by Rome. It was not until 120 CE that Britain signed a treaty with Rome and became a part of the dominions of Rome. Even so, the British citizens retained their own kings, their own laws and their property. In return they agreed by treaty to provide three legions of soldiers for the defense of the Roman empire.
It was the ancient British slogan that went: “Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd”
“The truth against the world”
Every druidic congress opened with these words: “The country is above the king”. The authority of the Druids and their influence in their social culture showed that their popularity was equal to their greatness. Of all the penalties of the Druids and the one most feared was that of excommunication. The fear in the minds of the citizen to cast away from society and family was enough that it was rarely abused or used. If the decree of excommunication was placed upon any person, he was no longer considered to be a human being. He had no civil rights, could not inherit any land nor could he sue to recover debt. Anyone had the right to destroy his property. No one could feed or give aid to him. Even his nearest relatives would reject and flee from him in aversion.
One year later, a public ceremony was performed: He had one year and a day to make amends for his offense. If he failed to do so, he was brought before the congress and the ‘Sword of the Tribe’ was unsheathed against the name of the offender. His name was erased from all tribal records and genealogies. His badge was taken, his sword was broken, his head was shaved and his executioner drew blood from his forehead and pouring this blood on his own head exclaimed, “The blood of this accursed man be on his own head.” His forehead was then branded and he was led by a herald, “this man hath no name nor family nor tribe. Henceforth let no man touch him nor speak to him, nor eye look upon him nor hand bury him, and let perpetual darkness be upon him.” Unable to sustain these horrors which to him were worse than death, the person excommunicated crawled away to become an unburied skeleton.
The Druids, clad in white and wearing ornaments of gold, they celebrated their mystic rites in the depths of the forest. The groves of oak were their chosen retreats. The Druids held the mistletoe with highest veneration and when growing on an oak tree it represented man, a creature totally dependant upon God for support and yet an individual existence and will of his own. Marriage to one woman was early established among the Britons. They treated their wives with a respect which could only have existed amongst a people where marriage elevated woman to a level with man, and often they were willingly governed by the widow of their kings who, in more than one instance, conducted them in battle. (Taken almost complete from John S. Wurts of Hedgefield, Germantown, Pa, “The Druids”, Magna Charta, Brookfield Publishing Co, PO Box 4933, Philadelphia, Pa., reprint March 1945 as the Crown Edition, reprinted 1964, pg 150-153,)
The knowledge of the Druidic faith, confirms that they were waiting for the coming of the messiah. In fact, in the Druidic faith, they were awaiting the anointed One, Jesu and it was with willing hearts that the message of Christ found immediate reception in the Royal Silurian family, including Bron, who was the Arch Druid of Britain, later known as Bran the Blessed.
British historians, documented what they feel are legitimate migration routes of the Celtoi tribes, feel that they can trace these tribes to the lost tribes of Israel. It was these same Druids, who in their “Celtic Triads”, who wrote prior to the coming of Christ, and recorded by Procopius in De Gotthici:
‘The Lord our God is One,
Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be
ye lifted up, ye everlasting door, and the
King of Glory shall come in.
Who is the King of Glory? The Lord Jesu;
He is the King of Glory.’
(cf. Procopius, De Gothici, bk 3, cited by Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Pub., Co, 8 Blades Court, Deodar Road, London SW15 2NU, 1961, 1993, pg 78)
The most intact and credible account of the first ecclesia built above the ground of the Arimathean mission was by William of Malmesbury, the historian of Glastonbury. The Antiquities of Glastonbury was written in 1126 CE and it states:
William of Malmesbury – “In the year of our Lord, 63, (‘from the incarnation of our Lord’ which would be about 56 CE if Jesus was born in 7 BCE) twelve holy missionaries, with Joseph of Arimathea (who had buried the Lord) at their head, came over to Britain, preaching the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The king of the country and his subjects refused to become proselytes to their teachings, but in consideration that they had come a long journey, and being somewhat pleased with their soberness of life and unexceptional behavior, the king, at their petition, gave them for their habitation a certain island bordering on his region, covered with trees and bramble bushes and surrounded by marshes, called Ynis-wytren (and later Glastonbury).
Afterwards two other kings, successively, although pagans, having in formation of their remarkable sanctity of life, each gave of them a portion of ground, and this, at their request, according to the custom of the country, was confirmed to them – from whence the ‘twelve Hides of Glastonbury’, it is believed, derive their origin.
This was finished in the one-and-thirtieth year (61 CE) after our Lord’s Passion, and though rude and misshapen in form, was in many ways adorned with heavenly virtues; and being the first church in this region, the Son of God was pleased to grace it with particular dignity, dedicating it Himself in honor of His Mother.” (William of Malmesbury, The Antiquities of Glastonbury, Chapter 1, cited by Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. 1985.pg 151-152)
Yet this was not the first house of worship. The first structures built by the disciples of Jesus with Joseph of Arimathea were in the model of a Celtic village with a spring nearby, with individual dwellings surrounding a house of worship. These homes were later called anchorite huts, which became the tradition of the anchorites and the early monastic believers of Christianity which lasted for hundred of years. Whenever one anchorite leave or die, another anchorite would be appointed in its place.
Augustine the Great – “In the western confines of Britain there is a certain royal island of large extent, surrounded by water, abounding in all the beauties of nature and necessaries of life. In it the first neophytes of Catholic Law, God beforehand acquainting them, found a Church constructed by no human art, but by the Hands of Christ Himself, for the salvation of His people. The Almighty has made it manifest by many miracles and mysterious visitations that He continues to watch over it as sacred to Himself, and to Mary, the Mother of God.”
As the librarian and historian of the Glastonbury Abbey, William of Malmesbury, takes his authority from ‘the writings of the ancients’ and probably from the history of Melchin around 560 CE, whose writings are not intact but was quoted by John of Glastonbury in the following,
Go to Part Seven -
The Account of Acts after the Stoning of Stephen
Saul’s Trip to Damascus
Philip the evangelical Nazarene in Samaria
The Christian Gnostics & the Simonites (Cult of Simon Magmus)
The Apostle Philip and the Eunuch of Ethiopia
The End of the Sacrificial System - Jerusalem (between 36-39 CE)
James the Just and the Blood Libel of “The Jews”, the House of Ananus
Go to Part Fifteen
Symeon ben Clopus, high
priest of the Nazarenes, the cousin of Jesus
Go to Part Sixteen The Royal Davidian and Priestly Zadokian
lineage of Jesus, James the Just and Simeon ben Cleopas Go to Part Seventeen The Flight of the Hebrew Nazarene to the
Wilderness of Perea
Go to Part Eighteen The Pharisee and Scribes of the Jews
Go to Part Nineteen The Excommunication of the Nazarenes by the
Sanhedrin of Yavneh Go to Part Twenty The Last of the Nazarenes Roman Government in the Province of Judea Provinces
of Rome by Livius The Province of
Judea by Livius Establishing
the Province of Judea (6CE) by Livius The Pontifex
Maximus (the Roman High Priest) by Livius Praetorian
Prefect, the Roman magistrate by Livius Provincial
Governors of Rome by Livius The Prefects
and Procurators of Rome by Livius The Procurators
of Judea by Livius Procurators
in Judea by the Jewish Encyclopedia Procurators
in Judea by Bible History Pontius Pilate the Procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate
by Livius Pontius Pilate by
the Catholic Encyclopedia Herod
the Great by the Jewish Encyclopedia Herod the Great, the King of Judea King
Herod the Great by Livius King
Herod Archelaus by Livius King
Herod Archelaus by Jewish Encyclopedia King Herod
Agrippa I by Livius King
Herod Agrippa I by Jewish Encyclopedia King Herod
Agrippa I by In His Own King
Julius Marcus Agrippa II by Livius King
Julius Marcus Agrippa II by Jewish Encyclopedia Herod
Antipas by Livius The House of Annas and Caiphas – High Priests in Jerusalem High
Priest House of Annas by the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia High Priest House of
Annas by the Catholic Encyclopedia High Priest House
of Annas by the Latter Rain High
Priest Caiphas by Jewish Encyclopedia Caiphas by the
Catholic Encyclopedia Caesarea the City of Protection for the Disciples of Christ Virtual
Caesarea Maritima by Sebastos Caesarea Maritima
by Biblical Places Saintes
Maries de la Mer on the Camarague by Provenceweb Saintes Maries
de la Mer on the Camarague by Beyond France Joseph of Arimathea, the Uncle of Jesus and the Roman Decurion Joseph
of Arimathea by the Jewish Encyclopedia Joseph
of Arimathea by Britannia Joseph of Arimathea
by Catholic Encyclopedia Joseph of
Arimathea by Rev. L Smithett Lewis Joseph of Arimathea, the
Holy Grail and the Turin Shroud by Daniel Scavone Joseph of Arimathea by
Arthur and Rosalind Eadle Joseph of
Arimathea by Robert de Boron Joseph of
Arimathea by David Nash Ford Joseph of Arimathea and David’s Throne in Britain by Triumph Prophetic Ministries of the Church of God Ancient Celtic Britain The Tin Islands
by Arthur and Rosalind Eadle Museum of Welch Life,
St. Fagans by National Museum and Galleries of Wales The
Sacred Megalithic Landscapes of Britain by Lisa Evans Ley Lines from
Glastonbury by Isle of Avalon Glastonbury
Ley Lines by Visit Glastonbury Glastonbury
Go to Part Fifteen
Symeon ben Clopus, high priest of the Nazarenes, the cousin of Jesus
Go to Part Sixteen
The Royal Davidian and Priestly Zadokian lineage of Jesus, James the Just and Simeon ben Cleopas
Go to Part Seventeen
The Flight of the Hebrew Nazarene to the Wilderness of Perea
Go to Part Eighteen
The Pharisee and Scribes of the Jews
Go to Part Nineteen
The Excommunication of the Nazarenes by the Sanhedrin of Yavneh
Go to Part Twenty
The Last of the Nazarenes
Roman Government in the Province of Judea
Provinces of Rome by Livius
The Province of Judea by Livius
Establishing the Province of Judea (6CE) by Livius
The Pontifex Maximus (the Roman High Priest) by Livius
Praetorian Prefect, the Roman magistrate by Livius
Provincial Governors of Rome by Livius
The Prefects and Procurators of Rome by Livius
The Procurators of Judea by Livius
Procurators in Judea by the Jewish Encyclopedia
Procurators in Judea by Bible History
Pontius Pilate the Procurator of Judea
Pontius Pilate by Livius
Pontius Pilate by the Catholic Encyclopedia
Herod the Great by the Jewish Encyclopedia
Herod the Great, the King of Judea
King Herod the Great by Livius
King Herod Archelaus by Livius
King Herod Archelaus by Jewish Encyclopedia
King Herod Agrippa I by Livius
King Herod Agrippa I by Jewish Encyclopedia
King Herod Agrippa I by In His Own
King Julius Marcus Agrippa II by Livius
King Julius Marcus Agrippa II by Jewish Encyclopedia
Herod Antipas by Livius
The House of Annas and Caiphas – High Priests in Jerusalem
High Priest House of Annas by the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
High Priest House of Annas by the Catholic Encyclopedia
High Priest House of Annas by the Latter Rain
High Priest Caiphas by Jewish Encyclopedia
Caiphas by the Catholic Encyclopedia
Caesarea the City of Protection for the Disciples of Christ
Virtual Caesarea Maritima by Sebastos
Caesarea Maritima by Biblical Places
Saintes Maries de la Mer on the Camarague by Provenceweb
Saintes Maries de la Mer on the Camarague by Beyond France
Joseph of Arimathea, the Uncle of Jesus and the Roman Decurion
Joseph of Arimathea by the Jewish Encyclopedia
Joseph of Arimathea by Britannia
Joseph of Arimathea by Catholic Encyclopedia
Joseph of Arimathea by Rev. L Smithett Lewis
Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and the Turin Shroud by Daniel Scavone
Joseph of Arimathea by Arthur and Rosalind Eadle
Joseph of Arimathea by Robert de Boron
Joseph of Arimathea by David Nash Ford
Joseph of Arimathea and David’s Throne in Britain by Triumph Prophetic Ministries of the Church of God
Ancient Celtic Britain
The Tin Islands by Arthur and Rosalind Eadle
Museum of Welch Life, St. Fagans by National Museum and Galleries of Wales
The Sacred Megalithic Landscapes of Britain by Lisa Evans
Ley Lines from Glastonbury by Isle of Avalon
Glastonbury Ley Lines by Visit Glastonbury
Glastonbury, the Home of Joseph of Arimathea
Glastonbury Abbey Official Web Site
Visitor’s Guide to Glastonbury by Glastonbury Online
Glastonbury Circle Official Web Site
Virtual Glastonbury by Avalon Connections
Glastonbury County UK Official Web Site
Glastonbury Photo Library by Sarah Boait - Recommended Site
Archive of Glastonbury Pictures by Bill Glenn
Isle of Avalon by the Isle of Avalon
Glastonbury Lake Village by Somerset County Council
Lake Village Museum by Glastonbury Online
The Glastonbury Well Gardens by Glastonbury Online
Gog and Magog, the last of the Druidic Oak Groves by Glastonbury Online
Glastonbury Tor by Glastonbury Online
Panorama View from Glastonbury Tor by Heather and Barry Hoon
Sunset and Sunrise Pictures of Glastonbury Tor by Isle of Avalon
Ley Lines from Glastonbury by Isle of Avalon
Glastonbury Ley Lines by Visit Glastonbury
The Josephean Nazarene Mission to Celtic Britain
Glastonbury, the first Christian Church by Straight Talk
Christ in Glastonbury by Delphos
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus by Mystic Realms
Early Christian Gravestones on the Island of Lundy by Mystic Realms
The Spread of Christianity to Britain by Mystic Realms
St. Patrick and the Irish Martyrs – Glastonbury Histories by Armine le S. Campbell
Celtic Villages of Mud and Wattle Construction
Building ‘model’ Residential Dwellings in the Holy Land by Monolith Designs
Building ‘model’ Wattle and Stick Residences by Monolith Designs
Building an Iron Age Residence by Trewern Outdoor Residential Centre
Bookstore in the UK
Mount Tabor and Glastonbury Tor – Type/anti-Type
Israel Slide Show by Zola Levitt Ministries
Mount Tabor interactive Tour by Mustard Seed
Mount Tabor by Franciscan CyberSpot
Holy Land Interactive Tour by Mustard Seed
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