JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Mary, and thus a great uncle to the Christ by direct relationship. He was a man of great means and great influence, and we know that he was also one of the Essenes, and that he also sat in the Sanhedrin.
Joseph and his niece Mary were Israelites of the house of Judah.
He was the one who had caused the Chalice which Jesus was to use...to be prepared.
He was known as a man of honesty and also had a great determination to see that the program of the Kingdom was advanced. Joseph of Arimathea used his great wealth to try to develop the acceptance of The Christ as the Messiah, and he used that wealth to bring in the necessary equipment and secure the man power for the bringing about of the Coronation of The Christ, as King of Israel.
Joseph of Arimathea went to Pontius Pilate and offered him 'A Pearl of Great Price'--and He said I want the body of The Christ, for I want to lay Him in my own tomb which was prepared for me.
When a man realizes the truth of the Gospel, and the magnificence of his inheritance in it, he lays aside all of his worldly interests and he pursues the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel along with what things it requires of him.
The Romans had nothing to do with this, for this was done by Jewish law, but they did take this powerful man and lock him up and put the Seal of the Temple on the prison door, and then were waiting for the first day of the week, as they couldn’t try him on the Sabbath Day. But they planned to try Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, on the first day of the week. Then Joseph was to tell his own story which is also found in the Gospel of Nicodemus.
Gospel of Nicodemus CHAPTER IX
The Jews took Joseph of Arimathea and threw him in a chamber where there were no windows. They fastened the door and put a seal upon the lock. Then they planned to meet after the Sabbath and see what kind of death they could plan for Joseph, the uncle of the Christ.
Joseph's story was also in the early church records. He said: “as it dawned toward the first day of the week there came a great earthquake, and the cell in which they had locked him was suddenly Illuminated with a great and bright Light, and I looked and there before me stood my heavenly Nephew, there stood Yahshua, this one by whom I have no right to be called a kinsman, for I am not worthy.”
Being a brother of Mary, this Joseph recognized the fact that this body of God was related to him in some strange way. But in this instance there stood before him a radiance of LIGHT, brighter than he had ever beheld. There stood Jesus, and Joseph tells of how Jesus walked thru the bars, and came to him and took his hand, and he saw that this was real, and he felt His hand, but he could not understand what had happened. Then Jesus said to him: “come Joseph, as thou has also given sanctuary to My body, now I shall also protect yours.” then Joseph tells how they just walked right out of this prison, right thru the bars, and went to Joseph’s own home in Arimathea.
Then as it dawned toward the first day of the week, the Jews came to see their prisoner, but when they came to the prison chamber they found that the cell was still locked, but Joseph was gone. They sent out men to find what had happened, and words were brought to them that Joseph was in his own home. That he was telling that THE ONE that had been crucified had let him out of prison. This of course caused great fear to fall upon the Jews.
Gospel of Nicodemus Chapter X
Then the Jews were afraid, and said, ‘If these things become public knowledge, then everyone will believe in Jesus.’ So they gathered a large amount of money and gave it to the soldiers and told them to tell the story that the Disciples of Jesus came and took the body away. And the soldiers spread this story.
One of the most significant things that lies in Rome today is the report of Pontius Pilate as to the happenings of these hours and the great resurrection of the Christ. The magnitude of that moment and also the story of how some of the dead in a second miracle of that hour were brought from their graves and walked in the city of Jerusalem. How Joseph of Arimathea was brought forth from his prison cell and how he was joined with the Christ and was afterwards seen with Christ in Galilee. All this was in the report which later Pontius Pilate reported to Rome. All this was reported to Rome and that report is still there--and that report shows how Joseph of Arimathea was a man of Great influence and was known thru out the Roman Empire, and it tells of how Joseph buried The Christ in his own tomb and how Jewry had seized Joseph and planned to try him for his act of burying the Christ, how they had planned to try him in the Sanhedrin court even though Joseph of Arimathea was a member of this court.
He was not allowed to sit in the Sanhedrin as a Pharisee at the time of the trial of Christ.
At this time also the persecution of Joseph of Arimathea started anew and also the persecution of Mary the mother of Christ, and Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus as well as Lazarus himself whom Christ had called forth from the tomb. This man Lazarus who the Jews seriously and constantly tried to put to death again was now considered a menace to the Jews, so they moved to destroy these people. Then there was also Romulus and Marcellus who were among the Disciples of Christ, and they were Romans who were followers of The Christ, and they were also strong friends of Joseph of Arimathea.
Now; the pressure was put on this group and the Jews prepared to try Joseph of Arimathea for his part in the burial of The Christ. Now none of the Pharisees would sit with Joseph in the Sanhedrin which was now meeting in secret. Gamaliel alone demanded the right to interfere in the case with anything effecting the Pharisees. --But all this time the Jews were also planning secretly how they would have Joseph of Arimathea and Mary the mother of The Christ, and Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, and others of this close knit group put in a small boat and set adrift on the high seas. They had planned to deliver this group to some Nomads hired to do this work for them. Joseph of Arimathea heard of this plan and he also in secret gave orders, and one of his great ships was fitted out with some of his things of value from the land of Judaea and his whole household was put on this ship as well as Mary the mother of Christ, and all these of this close knit group, then Joseph of Arimathea joined them on the ship. Also some of the Essenes of the Blue Tunic Army were in this group helping to bring it about. Thus they set sail on their way to the great holdings of Joseph of Arimathea in the British Isles.
One of the things most significant for us to remember about this time in history--is that this party was heading for Glastonbury in Britain. For here in Britain was the area where Joseph of Arimathea owned great hides of land. In fact the whole site of Glastonbury in Britain belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. This had been the site which Christ before He started His ministry, and between the age of 19 and 20 years, had visited as He sailed on the ships of Joseph of Arimathea, and at that time Christ had been taken to this place, and He had visited the Universities in Britain. Actually at that time there were 40 Universities in Britain, all of which are still in existence today, and whose names are traced back to their names at that ancient time when young Jesus of Nazareth visited them.
So lets take a look again to the lands where Joseph of Arimathea was going---and why was he going there?--He already owned land here but also another cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus lived here. Now you remember the cousin by the name of Elizabeth the wife of Zacharias and the mother of John the Baptist---well here was another cousin and her name was Anna, and this Anna was the wife of King Rufus. So the unique things about this is that Jesus the Christ --as the son of Mary was related to the line from which most of the Welch stock came from in the land of Britain. These people here in Britain were very interested in the teachings of Jesus when He had visited there and had taught the masters of the Universities. And there are records of this---and at that time people said;---this must be the Messiah---even though He stands here as a youth.
The Druids had a long and ancient doctrine and that doctrine was the background of most of the theology of all the people of western Europe. Now it was referred to as Pagan by some who did not know better--but this doctrine taught that a God of spirit had put together the whole universe, as He created it out of His own mind and the energy of His own thoughts. They not only believed that He existed in spirit but that the great triad of His being was soul, spirit and body. The body of deity was called YESHU---this 1000 years before the coming of The Christ to the British Isles, so it was not hard for them to accept the name of Jesus (Yahshua) which was a later name in Druidry, and was also the name which they took from the Apostle Paul's writings to the people of Greece. And Paul used the word in Greek language for the HIGH GOD --embodied as savior, and that word was Yah-Zeus.
Past the white cliffs of Dover and went direct to the 12 hides of land that Joseph of Arimathea owned. Mary the mother of the Christ was brought here and also Lazarus was with them. At this place Joseph of Arimathea built a great Christian Mission and they entered into HIS service and because of this the King of England removed this land from the tax rolls and he said no Church of England would ever have to pay taxes. And that started the tradition of exemption of the church from taxation.
Today our “churches” are 501-C3 compliant. Meaning they get a break on taxes, but the catch is, they can't be political and their curriculum is monitored.
So with this tradition is the connection of this man--Joseph of Arimathea--the uncle of the Virgin Mary who had to flee from Jerusalem because of his stand for Jesus the Christ. And Because he let Him use his own tomb.------Here also in Glastonbury, was the place of rest for the Mother of The Christ. And today you can see the tomb of Mary.
Lazarus came with Joseph of Arimathea and he served 40 years in Britain as he went up and down the countryside teaching and preaching in the early Christian Churches. Also Romulus and Marcellus were with this group and they also were in HIS service, here in Britain.
Then another cousin of Mary whose name was Claudias went to Rome and there she married Rufus of the Roman Senate. This man was a very influential man in the Senate at Rome. He was a friend of the people of Britain. And this family was so well liked that they moved at will thru the Roman Empire and into Britain. And when there was trouble in Britain, Caesar always used this family to help settle those difficulties. There were others of that family that also helped.
Remember that Paul who was in Rome for his trial, was allowed to go to other places. And he went to Britain and he went to Spain (Debatable). And he always sent special greetings to the Royal Family by this family with whom he stayed in Rome and whom he referred to in his Epistles.
–The church which Joseph founded grew and grew into a great Abbey. Ministers then went out from the Abbey to preach. They were called Episcopalians.
Gildas the Wise (born Strathclyde 493 – died 570 A.D.),who reportedly spent some years at Glastonbury Abbey states:
"These islands received the beams of light - that is, the holy precepts of Christ - the true Sun, as we know, at the latter part of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, in whose time this religion was propagated without impediment and death threatened to those who interfered with its professors." - "De Excidio Britanniae" ("The Ruin and Conquest of Britain" probably written between 516 and 547; c. 540) (Matthews, p. 87)
As Tiberius Caesar died in 37 A.D., this reference places Christianity in Britain during the life of Jesus.
"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?"
THE MISSING YEARS IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST By Bertrand L. Comparet
''Another Cornish tradition is to the effect that Joseph of Arimathea came in a boat to Cornwall, and brought the boy Jesus with him: and the latter taught him how to extract tin and purge it of the wolfram. When the tin is flashed, then the tinner shouts "Joseph was in the trade".
We find it again at Priddy, a little village lying at the top of the Mendip Hills, right in the centre of the ancient lead and copper mining area.
We next find the tradition that Jesus was brought to Britain by His uncle Joseph of Arimathea, at Somerset, where the tradition says "They came in a ship of Tarshish to the Summerland, and sojourned in a place called "Paradise.'" "The Summerland" is Somerset, of course. At the mouth of the River Brue, which runs down from Glastonbury, lies Burnham; and old Ordnance Survey Maps give the name of the area around Burnham as "Paradise"; it is still known by that name. Ancient writings have said that Glastonbury was once known as "Paradise". About a mile from Glastonbury lies the village of Godney and Burnharn at the mouth of the River Brue. "Godney" means "God's marsh-island". The Glastonbury traditions are more concerned with Jesus Christ's visit during His manhood.
Tradition also attests that much of Jesus' sojourn in Britain was spent at or near Glastonbury. There was later built at Glastonbury a great Abbey. For almost a thousand years, the greatest kings, bishops, saints and heroes of the British race were buried there, as it was in its day the greatest Abbey in Britain. Royal charters were solemnly signed in the church; two of these are still in existence: one signed by King Ina, in A.D. 704, and one signed there by King Cnut, in A.D. 1032. In 1184, the Abbey buildings and the famous library of Glastonbury, covering a thousand years of history, were burned. Therefore, we have today only scattered references to these things in the works of various historians of the early days, but there are many of these.
Taliesin, the Druid, the great Welsh Prince and Bard of the sixth century, wrote that:
"Christ, the Word from the beginning, was from the beginning our teacher, and we never lost His teaching."
The great Church Historian, Hugh Paullnus de Cressy, writing in 1668 A.D., said,
"This our land of Brittany, though called by the Romans another world, as being divided from the whole then discovered habitable earth, yet by the riches of Divine mercy received the beams of the Sun of Righteousness before many other countries nearer approaching to the place where He first rose."
Further support is lent to these ancient reports by what happened later, after Jesus' crucifixion. The Jews bitterly persecuted the Christians, as we know; and John 11: 10-11 tells how even during Jesus' lifetime, the Jews plotted to murder Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from the dead. Cardinal Baronius, a very careful Church Historian, who was Librarian to the Vatican, quotes a Vatican manuscript dated A.D. 35, which report's that in that year the Jews had arrested Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, the Virgin Mary, Martha, and two other Christians, put them into a boat and set them adrift in the Mediterranean without oars or sails. They finally reached land and went to Britain. Many early historians confirm this. St Gregory of Tours, in his History of the Franks, written shortly before A.D. 600, Haleca, Archbishop of Saragossa; and the Chronicon of Pseudo Dexter, all agree that Joseph of Arimathea was the first to preach the Gospel of Christianity in Britain. Hugh Paulinus de Cressy says,
"Now the most eminent of the primitive disciples, and who contributed most to this heavenly building, was St. Joseph of Arimathea, and eleven of his companions along with him, among whom is reckoned his son of the same name. These, toward the latter end of Nero's reign, and before St. Peter and St. Paul were consummated by horrendous martyrdom, are by the testimony of ancient records said to have entered the British island, as a place for refuge. The benevolence of the British Princes, and the freedom from Roman tyranny, more opportune and better prepared for entertaining the Gospel of peace than almost any country under the Romans".
Various historians of those early times - such as St Gildas and William of Malmesbury - record that the British King Arviragus granted to Joseph of Arimathea a considerable area at Glastonbury, to be held forever free from all taxes, as a site for a church and its accessory buildings and fields. That this is no mere legend is proved by one of the greatest official records of all British history. After conquering England in the year 1066 A D., William the Conqueror had a survey made of all the lands of the kingdom, as to what taxes they had paid. This record called "Domesday Booke", was completed in 1088 AD. It contains this record:
"The Domus Dei, in the great Monastery of Glastonbury, called The Secret of the Lord. This Glastonbury church possesses in its own Villa XII hides of land which have never paid tax."
Note that this official record names this early church "Domus Dei" - "The Home of God" and "The Secret of the Lord".
Joseph of Arimathea and his companions erected a mud and wattle church at Glastonbury; and among their first converts were members of the Royal Family, children of Caracticus, cousin of King Arviragus of South Wales. Still existing royal Charters granted by King Ina, dated A.D. 704, and by King Cnut, dated 1032, attest that they were signed by these kings in this church. Ancient records tell of its being preserved by a shell built around it of boards covered with lead. Then later, a stone church building was erected, enclosing the original church. St. David erected a large stone church as an addition to this, in AD. 546. A record he made of this on a bronze tablet was still in place at the time of the seizure and dissolution of the Monastery under orders from King Henry VIII.
Even in Ireland is found the tradition of Joseph of Arimathea having founded Glastonbury Church; the record no doubt having been brought to Ireland by St Patrick, who had spent considerable time at Glastonbury, and who returned there for the last years of his life.
This great Abbey was the one destroyed by fire in A.D. 1134. Immediately thereafter King Henry II of England issued a royal charter for the rebuilding of Glastonbury Abbey, which the charter called "the mother and burying-place of the saints, founded by the very Disciples of our Lord."
Well substantiated ancient records tell of the death and burial of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury. The epitaph on his tombstone read,
"I came to the Britons after I buried Christ. I taught. I rest."
Between 1345 and 1367, the body was placed in a silver casket, with a beautiful stone sarcophagus, which was still in position in the year 1662, when the St. Joseph's Chapel containing it had become partially ruined. Later, out of fear that Puritan fanaticism would result in its being destroyed as an object of idolatry, the sarcophagus was secretly removed by night to the Parish Churchyard, and its identity concealed by saying that the initials " J.A." carved on it stood for "John Allen." Thus it escaped destruction. In 1928, it was found nearly buried in the soil, and removed into the church, in the North Transept of the ancient St. Katherine's Chapel. Its construction indicates it was made to fit the silver casket. It bears the initials "J.A." with a caduceus between them. The caduceus - a
winged staff with two serpents twined around it - is used today as the emblem of physicians. Originally, it was the badge of Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods. It
has been assimilated into the symbolism of some Christian churches, even today; for in our own times, the Patriarchs of the Eastern Church have a caduceus, not a crozier, carried before them in official processions. It was an official badge, which would not have been put on a mere private person's tomb.
So we see, therefore, that not only ancient legends and ancient historical records, but the official acts and records of kings of the Middle ages, have recognized the close connection of Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus Christ, with Cornwall and Glastonbury, in Britain. All of these lend strong support to the ancient legends and records of these places that it was here that Jesus Christ spent those 18 years of His life which the Bible does not account for. And, where else would we expect Him to go, but to what was to become the principal home of His own people, ISRAEL?