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The Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey – photo by Sarah Boait



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

Part Six



Joseph of Arimathea Cast Adrift in the Mediterranean

The Rabanus Story of Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene

The Landing Place of Joseph at Ste. Marie de la Camarague near Marseilles

The Assault of James the Just by Shaul Triggers the Exile of Joseph of Arimathea

The Route of the Tin Traders

The Isle of Avalon and the Glastonbury Tor – New Home for the Nazarenes

Building a New Home and School on the Isle of Glass

The Arimathean School at Ynis-wytren on the Isle of Avalon

Apostolic Missionaries to Britain

Celtic Druids, as inheritors of the Ancient Hebrew Faith

The Ancient Wattle Ecclesia built by Christ

The Wattle Church Enclosed in the Lady Chapel at Glastonbury


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, 92)


To this same account other sources add Zaccheus, Mary Salome, the wife of Zebedee and mother to James and John, Joanna and her son, Restitutus, the man born blind and whose sight was restored by Jesus, Simon the Cyrene and Philip the evangelist.  These were all prominent disciples of Jesus and would have attracted hatred and suspicion by the ‘Jews’, the House of Ananus and the Sanhedrin.


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.


The Rabanus Story of Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene


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.


Miriam Magdala with Yahshua


The following Lives of Mary are found in:


  1. 7th c. - Hymn published M. l’Abbe Narbey in supplement to the Acta Sanctorum. – cryptic - Mary and Maximinus leave Palestine after the stoning of Stephen, arrival at Marseilles, missionary labors, their death and burial at Aix.
  2. Lives of St. Mary - Faillon - 10th c. in Paris library - traces original to 6th c.
  3. Lives of St. Mary - Duchesne - 11th to 13th c.
  4. MS Laud 108 of Bodleian - 13th c.
  5. Bucheed Mair Vadlen and Buchedd martha, - Hafod Collection at Cardiff (1604).
  6. Fragment - Llwfyr Gwyn Rhydderch of the Hengwrt MS - British libraries.
  7. Devotional Life of St. Mary Magdalene - Italian unknown - 14th c. - corresponds with the Bethany family story as told in Rabanus.


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


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 boatMaximin 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 location mapApollo. 


Ste Maries de la Mer in the Camarague


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)

Camargue Horse, France 

A band of white horses gallop at speed through the marshy waters of the Camargue. These compact and sturdy animals are descended from a glacial wild horse, cross-bred with Arabian horses.


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.


Black Bulls herded in the Camarague


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)


Flamingos in the marshes at Ste. Marie de la Camargue  


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. 


Lazarus is asserted to have accompanied Joseph. The only records we possess of him beyond the Scripture narrative is in the traditions of the Church of Lyons makes him return with Martha and Mary to Marseilles, of which town he became the first bishop, and there he died.  His name is attached to a very ancient British Triad; ' The Triad of Lazarus’, or the ‘Three councils of Lazarus’ and as such also attaches him to the Celtic traditions of Cornwall, Glastonbury and Wales.  These three triads are:
The Triad of Lazarus of Ancient Britain
“Believe in God who made thee; Love God who saved thee; Fear God who will Judge thee.”
It is difficult to explain how the name and counsel of Lazarus could find their way into these peculiarly British memorials except by his presence and teaching in Britain.


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


The Assault of James the Just by Shaul

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 Route of the Ancient Tin Trader – Map by Stough, in “Dedicated Disciples”


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.”

The Route of the Tin Traders


 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. 


The route of the earliest Christian missions from Jerusalem followed the path of Phoenician colonization / the tin trade, as described by Didorus Siculus

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.


Isle off the Brittany Coast of Morlaix, France


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.


Looking towards St. Michael’s Mount in Southern Cornwall, England as the tide is beginning to go out to the sea


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 BritainJoseph 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)


Mount Tabor near the Sea of Galilee


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.

The Isle of Avalon and the Glastonbury Tor – New Home for the Nazarenes
As they floated in their skiffs nearer to that lofty green hill, the site of a sacred Druidic cor, there was a feeling that they were coming home to also a holy land.  Here at the base of the famous ‘Glastonbury Tor’, they stayed.  By their presence and their mission to this land of the “covenanted people”, a new holy land was consecrated to the “Good News” of their risen Lord.    
The “Tor” was a sloping hill that was jutting up out of the surrounding water protective barrier shield.  Smooth concentric rings flowed around its base as it rose above the marshy islands.  Here was called the ‘Ynes Wyten’ or ‘Isle of Glass’ 
The “Holy Thorn Bush” from the Rod of Joseph of Arimathea  - photo by Sarah Boait
The traditions continue that Joseph of Arimathea weary and exhausted from the long trip, stepped out of the hide covered skiff and planted his wooden staff into the ground very much like mountain climbers plant flags upon the tops of mountains that they scale and conquer. This site is called Weary-all Hill.   At that site the traditions state that the staff of Joseph grew into a thorn bush with beautiful white flowers that bloom at the time of the fall festival of Hanukkah, when the Yahshua was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) in the womb of that young maiden, Mariam, about 7 BCE.  That this sacred event came upon the date of the eve of the 25th day of Kislev (Jewish month equivalent to the month of December) testifies how literal dates and events become transplanted into mythical events such as Christmas (Christ Mass)
This thorn bush also by tradition lived for almost fifteen hundred years until one of Cromwell’s Christians sought to eradicate its memory by chopping it down. The tree grew again from its roots and transplanted in several sites in England, one of which is by the present day Glastonbury Abbey Chapel. 
There at Avalon, Joseph and the disciples were met by a second delegation; this time with King Guiderius of Siluria and an entourage of nobles.  The first official act by Arviragus was to present to Joseph with a charter of twelve hides of land, one hide or the equivalence of 160 acres for each disciple, as a perpetual gift, free of tax.  In total 1920 acres was given by the family of the Silurian royalty for them to dedicate to the first Nazarene mission in the Isles of the Celts in southern Wales and western Bri tain.


Domesday Book - The written record of a census and survey of English landowners and their property made by order of William the Conqueror in 1085-1086.


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. 


Domesday Book of William the Conqueror of England


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.


Building a New Home and School on the Isle of Glass


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.


The Chalice Well Garden - photo by Sarah Boait


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 explorationsHere 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 communesCommunal 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.


Drawing by A. Forestier's (1911) - Glastonbury Lake Village


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)


Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury with the Flowering Almond Staff with the Glastonbury Tor


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. PudentiannaThe 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 SenateLinus, the British prince, was appointed to be the first bishop of the Christian Church in Rome by the Apostle Paul

This ecclesia in Rome was not really a church but was the home ecclesia after the Jewish Sect or Party of the Nazarenes and the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem led by the brother of Jesus, James the Just.  The first and only home ecclesia for the Nazarene and Christian followers of Jesus in the city of Rome until the day of Constantine the Great was the palatial home of the Roman Rufus Pudens, the half brother to the Apostle Paul. 
Rufus’ home was called the Palatium Britannica.  This was so because Rufus’ wife was Gladys, the daughter to the British Pendragon Caradoc who was living in exile in Rome.  It was this home that became the first Ecclesia or Gentile Christian Church of Rome.  The faith of this family of believers was not like the faith of the subsequent orthodox Christian faith of the Roman Christian Church but more akin to the beliefs and worship styles of the Hebrew Nazarenes in Jerusalem. ( Marcellus Britannus, Tungrorum episcopus postea Trevirorum Archiepiscopus,' &c.- Mersaeus, De Archiepiscopis Trevirensium)
Apostolic Missionaries to Britain


Apostle Simon Zelotes - The next missionary to Britain after Joseph of Arimathea and his followers was the Apostle Simon Zelotes. One Menology assigns the martyrologies of Zelotes to Persia in Asia, but others agree in stating he was martyred in Britain. Of these the principal authority is Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre during the reigns of Diocletian and Constantia (300 CE).
Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre“Simon Zelotes traversed all Mauritania, and the regions of the Africans, preaching. He was at last crucified, slain, and buried in Britain.” ( Dorotheus, Synod. de Apostol.; Synopsis ad Simon Zelot. )
The “Holy Thorn Bush” from the Rod of Joseph of Arimathea  - photo by Sarah Boait
Crucifixion was a Roman penalty for runaway slaves, deserters and rebels; but it was not a form of punishment under Druidic, Celtic or ancient British laws. It appears that Simon Zelotes visited and stayed awhile at Avalon and was later martyred in the eastern part of Britain where he went to evangelize that part of the island.  As tradition affirms, in the vicinity of Caistor, he was martyred in the area of Britain which was under the prefecture of Caius Decius, the Roman officer whose atrocities were the immediate cause of the Boudicean war.


Celtic Druids, as inheritors of the Ancient Hebrew Faith


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;

  1. The Druids were the guardians and the interpreters of the law.  They became the religious teachers, the instructors of the sciences and controlled the judiciary which evoked the interpretation of the laws of the Druids.
  2. The Eubates were the working priests who performed the rites in the open megalithic temples of the druids.
  3. The Barb’s duty was to preserve on oral verse the sacred memories of the Celtic people, the stories of the heroes, their historical chronicles that were deem worthy to put to memory, the songs of the Celts and to excite the tribal ruler and people to perform deeds of courage and heroic acts on the day of battle.


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 Ancient Wattle Ecclesia build Photoby Christ


The Wattle Oratory of worship “constructed by the Hands of Christ Himself” with the Twelve Anchorite Huts built by Joseph of Arimathea


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. 


These holy men, thus dwelling in this desert place, were in a little time admonished in a vision by the Archangel Gabriel to build a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in a place to which they were directed. Obedient to the Divine precept, they immediately built a chapel of the form of that which had been shown them: the walls were of osiers wattled together all round.


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. 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


This House of Worship had a sacred memory for according to the testimony of none other than Augustine the Great, bishop of Hippo, doctor of law in the orthodox Roman Church and emissary to Britain to establish the Roman Church in the land already evangelized by the Culdee Hebrew Nazarenes who were called Christians.  According to Augustine:


The ‘Vetusta Ecclesia’ – the Wattle Ecclesia built by Joseph of Arimathea and the twelve disciples

– Stough, Dedicated Disciples pg. 80.


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.


Many scholars interpret this statement by Augustine that Jesus’ oratory or house of worship that He built in Britain was dedicated to his mother Mary.  Yet it was that ecclesia that manifested many miracles and mysterious visitations.  It was a site to be transformed to the world of the Divine. It was the site, where the ancient rites of entering in the spirit into the kebob, the cherubim or chariots of the Lord, that the Rabbi Yahshua (Jesus) and the ancient prophets of Israel used to be mystically transported in heavenly vision to the throne of God. The testimony of Augustine suggests also this site was sacred to Jesus Himself, now sitting on the right Hand of God but recognizing that this site was holy, for the presence of the Father of Yahshua was there. 


This testimony of Augustine also suggests that this site was also sacred to Mary the mother of Yahshua.  Was this site dedicated to Mary and was it to become the first church to be dedicated to the Notre Dame, the Virgin Mary?  No!  It was dedicated to the Father of Yahshua, the God of Abraham.  As such it was also a site sacred to Mary as a House of Adonai and is testimony that Mary the mother of Yahshua lived and worshipped at this site.


This Hebrew Ecclesia was a novel structure in the land of the Celts.  Built by the very building material native to this land, the ecclesia was 60 feet in length, 26 feet in breadth, and built with timbers pillars and framework and wattled with mud and thatched straw very much like the construction of the ancient capital of Rome and the capital of the Celts in Wales. To the Hebrews they built it as an exact model of the Wilderness Tabernacle by Moses at Mount Sinai.  The site of this house of worship was a paradigm shift in the minds of the Druids.


In the Druidic faith, the triads were a foundation of their learning.  To the Druid all Temples were to be built with three essential features: It was to be circular in design.  It was to be hypaethral or open at the top and open at the sides.  It was to be built with megalithic stones, vast huge monoliths, unhewned and untouched by iron, similar to the instruction given to David for the building the Temple of the Lord by his son Solomon.


The Armathaean Ecclesia was truly a design antagonistic to the Druidic temples.  The circular design of the Druids represented the Infinite, the Druidic images of the Almighty One, the Infinite and the Hidden One depicted as the Darkless One. Nearby on the plains of Amesbury and Stonehenge, lines with miles of obelisks, the British Druid would walk to their great cors or religious sites.  Here also at the base of the greatest Tor in the region, the Glastonbury Tor, was built the eglwys of the Wyr Israel (Ecclesia of the men of Israel) to the Hebrew God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that was also the Almighty One, the Ein Clickable map, select a grid square for more detail.Sof or the Hidden One, the One Who was Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient.


Go to the Megalithic Map to explore the Megalithic sites of the ancient Druids in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.


Yet the Druids were a people of tolerance.  They did not persecute ideas of the conscious and knowledge.  They were a people that treasured new ideas and especially knowledge of the universe.  As they watched the Arimathean company build this humble ecclesia, they could smile at this simple faith that could build a temple of such humble design for they knew not the temple model given to Moses the Lawgiver. This model was the model of open air temple at the Garden of Eden. It was the model of the Wilderness Sanctuary, and the model of the Temples of Solomon, Zerubabbel, the Maccabean and Herod.  It was the model of the future Ezekiel temple and a model of the Heavenly Sanctuary constructed in an other-dimensional world that a human being in this three-dimensional world could not enter.


Yet they, the Druids watched and they listened to the story of the risen Christ.  They recognized that Yahshua (Jesus) in Israel was the anticipated future messiah of the Druids called Jesu.  It also resurrected an ancient memory of that people of antiquity when they were of one faith in the plains of Canaan and later in Gishon. It resurrected the memory of their ancestors that lived near Galilee and the fields of central Canaan, of a simple faith that built stone altars to the Unknown God for the first religious megalithic standing stones are found in the land of Israel and the wilderness of Sinai.  From the Land of Israel, megalithic standing stone structures fanned out to the west reaching the isles of the west in Britain and Ireland. 


This humble Hebrew Ecclesia would remain imprinted in the consciousness of the Brits long after they quit worshipping in circular, open air temple of megalithic stones.  To this day, this Armathaean Ecclesia is still imprinted in the Glastonbury landscape and imbedded in stone as it was preserved for almost two thousand years.  The Druidic Celts who later became the Culdees, were more akin to the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem than the Christians Church in Rome.  As we shall soon see the foundation of the Church in Rome came from the teachings and foundation of the Armathaean disciples of the Nazarene faith of Israel. It would be a Culdee, Linus that would be the first bishop of Rome.  It would be a Greek Culdee convert, Clements, who would be the second bishop of Rome


The testimony of the ancient historians show the care and sacredness they felt about the Culdee Ecclesia. It would be called the Vetusta or the Vetusta Ecclesia meaning the ‘ancient church’.  It would remain a sacred image of the indomitable spirit of the Celtic Brit who refused to bow the knee to the ascending corruption of the Roman orthodox church and the imperial power of Rome.


It was the testimony of the historian John Taylor in The Coming of the Saints who said,


John Taylor –“The most remarkable feature of the Glastonbury building is this continued representation of the wooden church of the Britons by the Lady Chapel or chapel of St. Joseph. For, through all the ages since the wattled church was first erected, and through all the vicissitudes affecting the later buildings of the Abbey, the approximate size and shape of the first British church to have been religiously maintained.” (Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK , 74402. 1985. pg 151-152)


As the Hebrew Ecclesia of Israel in Jerusalem is called the ‘Mother Ecclesia” of the Christian Church, so also the ‘Vetusta Ecclesia’ became known as the ‘Mother Church of Britain’.


Charter by Henry I (1185) for rebuilding Glastonbury – It is “The mother and burying-place of the saints, founded by the very disciples of our Lord” (Hitchins, History of Cornwall, vol. I, p. 349, cited by Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. reprinted 1985. pg 151-152)


Charter of Edgar – It is said to be “the first church in the kingdom built by the disciples of Christ.” (Conybeare’s, Roman Britain, p. 254, Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. 1985. pg 151-152)


Lady Chapel at Glastonbury Abbey

The ‘Lady Chapel’ built over the Vetusta Ecclesia – photo Robert Mock MD


This wattle church stood intact for hundreds of years and was preserved as a sacred and hallowed placed, revered by the ancient Culdee Brits.  It would be later encased with boards and covered with lead to preserve its fragile structure.  Later a stone edifice, called the Chapel of Mary was built over it, when a larger chapel in the same proportions was built to the east by Dunstan. 


In the interior of this chapel was housed costly gifts, one of which was recorded an altar of sapphire presented to chapel by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. (Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK , 74402. 1985. pg 155) 


We later hear of this altar in a manuscript in the Bodleian which records it amongst the spoils seized by King Henry VIII is “a superaltare, garnished with silver and gilte, called the greate sapphire of Glasconburye.”  (Footnotes to William of Malmesbury, The Antiquities of Glastonbury, trans Frank Loma, Facsimile reprint, 1992, by J.M.F. Books, Loaners, Felinfach, first published by Talbot, London, n.d., pg 53)


The sarcophagi of Joseph of Marmore from Arimathea – photo Robert Mock MD


William of Malmesbury – “The corporeal remains of many saints are preserved, nor is there a spot on the ashes of saints, so thickly is the pavement strewn with gravestones, so richly are the sides of the altar, yea, the altar itself above and below, heaped up with the choicest reliques!  Good God! How happy are the inhabitants of such a spot, whom reverence herself invited to mingle with the remains of this place.” (William of Malmesbury, The Antiquities of Glastonbury, trans Frank Lomax, Facsimile reprint, 1992, by J.M.F. Books, Llanerch, Felinfach, first published by Talbot, London, n.d., pg 53)


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,

History of Melchin (560 CE) - “The disciples…died in succession and were buried in the cemetery. Among them, Joseph of Marmore, named of Arimathea, received perpetual sleep, and he lies in linea bifurcata near the south corner of the oratorio, which is built of hurdles.” (Melchin, or Melkyn is states by historians to have lived before Merlin and the story of Joseph coming in a boat recorded in a book (see Flores Historiarum, London, 1890, p. 127) cited by cited by Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. 1985. pg 151-152)


The Glastonbury Abbey – The Mary Chapel where the Vetusta Ecclesia was located is at the lower left of the Abbey  - Postcard


In 1184, the chapel and the entire Abbey was destroyed by fire.  For 1100 years the wattle chapel had been preserved as a memorial of the Hebrew Nazarene disciples of Jesus and almost all of the treasures, relics and the entire library of all the histories of antiquity were destroyed. 


Within two years the Chapel was rebuilt in order to preserve the site and dimensions of the Vetusta or the Vetusta Ecclesia, called the ancient church. The memory of the disciples and apostles of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia are imbedded in the name that was preserved in antiquity. 


It was not called a church, but an ecclesia because its original founders and builders were Hebrews who lived and breathed the life as Jewish believers in their Jewish messiah called Yeshua.  As British Culdee historian John W. Taylor wrote,


John W. Taylor – “Still, within two years the old church of St. Mary was rebuilt, ‘where, from the beginning the “Vetusta” has stood, with squared stones of the most perfect workmanship, profusely ornamented’; and lest there should be any later interruption or misconception of the old tradition, a brass plate was subsequently fixed to a pillar in the monk’s churchyard, and on the south side of the chapel containing a representation of the original church of wattles, its dimensions (60 ft. in length and 26 ft. in breadth), and an inscription in Latin.


The plate is still preserved.  It is of an octagon form, 10 in. by 7 in.; the holes by which it was riveted to the stone still remain. The old Latin inscription which covers it in black letters is of uncertain date, but said to be not later than the fourteenth century.  It records the arrival of the first missionaries with Joseph of Arimathea in the year 31, after our Lord’s Passion, and the Divine dedication of this first church to the Blessed Virgin.  It records also the addition of a chancel at the east end of this church, and ‘lest the place and magnitude of the (original) church should be forgotten by this augmentation, a column was erected on a line passing through the two eastern angles of that church protracted to the south, which line divided the aforesaid chancel from it’. (Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK, 74402. 1985. pg 156)


Inside Mary’s Chapel at Glastonbury, England


Looking at the last great Abbey of Glastonbury, we see to the left of the Abbey a small chapelThe Lady Chapel was built over the site of the original Vetusta Ecclesia that was construction by Joseph of Arimathea and the disciples of Jesus.  The dimensions on the interior of this chapel preserve the form of that original Mud and Wattle Chapel built to the dimension of the Wilderness Tabernacle of the Lord at Sinai after it had been enclosed with a wooden frame structure and enclosed in lead. 


As John Taylor would later muse,


John Taylor - “There-reputedly build by Jewish builders-stood the original wattled church or Lady Chapel, built as the Tabernacle was set up, and as the Temple was built, with the House of God to the west of the sacred enclosure; and, opening out front, directly continuous with it, toward the east where we are standing grew the great church-or what has been the great church-of St. Peter and St. Paul, one of the greatest, or perhaps the very greatest of all English churches. (Taylor, John W., The Coming of the Saints, Artisan Sales/Hoffman Printing, POB 1529, Muskogee, OK , 74402. 1985. pg 156)


For hundred of years, the ‘Vetusta Ecclesia’ remained as a Jewish Nazarene testimony of the witness of the first disciples and apostles of Jesus. Members of the Royal Silurian family became members of the Culdee Ecclesia which was more identical to the original Nazarene faith of the apostles.  Though the evangelistic mission of the ecclesia was slow, the roots were imbedded deep in the land of the ‘covenant people’ called the Brits.


Here in the side of the Lady Chapel of the Glastonbury Abbey was carved a unique Stone with the simple words, Jesvs – Maria.  Many historians have speculated the meaning of this stone.  Did Jesus dedicate this chapel to His mother Mary?  Did Mary the mother of Jesus dedicate this site as where Jesus lived, built and worshipped as a youth with His uncle Joseph of Arimathea?  Or was this stone a dedicatory memorial of the site inhabited by both Jesus and Mary during the years of His youth when He visited and stayed awhile to learn more about His Father?


The Ancient Stone (Jesvs-Maria) Engraved on the side of the Lady Chapel

photo by Robert Mock MD


Then the storms of persecution began to flame in the Gallic regions of Lyons and Vienne in 177 CE.  Many of these refugees fled westward to the sanctuary of safety that was founded when the first missionaries that came to Gaul were evangelized by the Hebrew Nazarene disciples.  There they found sanctuary in Britain near Glastonbury.  The zeal of the refugee and the stories of persecution only flamed the Celtic minds of the Culdees to remain steadfast to the ancient druidic cry, “To the Truth against the World.” A personal identity with the message of Joseph, the Bethany three and the other original disciples of Yahshua that was first fostered by Arviragus, Caradoc and Guiniveras began to take on a regional and then a national identity with the Christian faith of the universal Nazarene believers.   


The Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey – photo by Sarah Boait


One of the oldest testaments of the British Culdees came from  Llewrwg or King Lucius (Light) the Great, who when he established a archbishopric in London, wrote to Eleutherius, a Greek, who was the Bishop of Rome between 177 -192 CE.  He was requesting counsel and direction in the proper governance as a Christian king. Two letters of Bishop Eleutherius have been preserved in Rome (Mansi), one written to the Christians of Lyons and Vienne during the great persecution and the other to Lucius, King of Britain


Here the relics of the ancients still testify of the life of one man, Joseph of Arimathea, his life and dedication to his great nephew Jesus the Nazarene, whom he believed as all the other apostles and disciples to be the Son of the Living God.  This testimony is preserved in the relics of stone, legends, manuscripts, official records, and the biblical canon and together they form a composite picture of that dynamic mission of the friends and disciples of Jesus who were cast off from the coast of Judea to float off to obscurity in the Mediterranean Sea.


Go to Part Seven -  

The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia after the Stoning of Stephen



The Nazarene Ecclesia after the Stoning of Stephen

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 Acts of the Apostles from 36-43 CE

The End of the Sacrificial System - Jerusalem (between 36-39 CE)


Return to Beginning


 Go to Part One

The Primitive “Apostolic” Nazarene Ecclesia


Go to Part Two

Jesus (Yahshua) and Joseph of Arimathea


Go to Part Three

The Birth of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem


Go to Part Four

Crisis in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia –

The Sanhedrin and Rabbi Shaul are Coming


Go to Part Five

Joseph of Arimathea and the Friends of Jesus Flee to Caesarea


Go to Part Six

Final Exile of Joseph of Arimathea from Judea to the Isles of Avalon


Go to Part Seven

The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia after the Stoning of Stephen


Go to Part Eight

Antioch and Agrippa – The Nazarenes evangelize the world


Go to Part Nine

The Royal Family of Caradactus and the Roman Christian Church


Go to Part Ten

The Invasion of Rome to Britain and the Exile of the Royal Silurian Family to Rome


Go to Part Eleven 

 Roman Senator Rufus Puden, the Palladium Britannica and the First Bishop of Rome


Go to Part Twelve

 Nero’s Persecution of the Jews and the Deaths of Paul and Peter


Go to Part Thirteen

The Death, Tomb and Ossuary of James the Just brother of Jesus, the high priest of the Nazarenes


Go to Part Fourteen

Murder of 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

Caesarea by Crystal Links
Caesarea by Combined Caesarea Expeditions

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

Glastonbury Photo Library

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


Orthodox Theology

The Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicea by Essene

Blasphemy by Jewish Encyclopedia


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

Paintings by Tiana Marie

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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