Tuesday, July 12, 2011

JOSEPH OF ARIMATHAEA AND THE LOST CHAPTER OF ACTS


Much of the original records (not all) pertaining to the existence of the very first Christian Church established in Glastonbury, Britain, in A.D. 37, have been lost and/or destroyed. However, sufficient evidence still exists to establish beyond all doubt that the church in Glastonbury was founded by Joseph of Arimathaea, Christ's great-uncle, by the direction of the Apostle, Philip. Although this church later became Romanized, it should not to be confused with the present day Anglican Church of England or with the Roman Catholic Church, for neither of these churches represent any one of the true Churches of Christ, established by none other than Jesus Christ Himself – (Romans 16:16).

TAKE NOTE:

Although I’ve provided the link to the website of the modern-day Churches of Christ in the above paragraph (something I’ve never done before on this blog), members of these non-denominational churches firmly believe only what is written in the Holy Scriptures (and nothing else). Although I’m 100 percent fine with this cautious approach to spiritual matters, I’ve long past the stage where I only read and research what I’m told - for I am no longer a child :-) ... see I Corinthians 13:11. I’ve thus provided the link for those who are looking for a respectable Bible-believing Christian place to worship, which is administered in almost the exact same fashion Jesus would have wanted it to be. Click here for a www directory of these present-day churches worldwide.

This posting should also provide some insight as to why the term "International Judaic" is often used on this blog, and also on the parent blog, Tia Mysoa.

Keep the knowledge I’ve presented here for yourself - in other words - do not run amok with it! May it help you grow spiritually stronger and wiser. May it inspire you to research the Holy Scriptures deeper, and may it also enrich your faith and trust in our Creator, God, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

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Besides the original lost records of the church in Glastonbury, it appears that the Book of Acts may also have some lost records – more specific – an entire final chapter! The Book of Acts ends rather abruptly with Paul kept under house arrest in chapter 28. The book also does not end in the customary fashion with “amen”.
Incidentally, the only other New Testament book, which also does not end with “amen” is the Book of James.

However, before we get to this controversial lost chapter, there are a few other matters that require attention…

In Romans (1:16) we read:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” - (KJV)

What exactly did the Apostel Paul mean by the words: “to the Jew first”?

We know that the reference to “Jew” back in those days meant people belonging to the Tribe of Judah (Judahites). However, in our modern days this scriptural reference to “Jew” has been taken out of context and misinterpreted to such a degree that the majority believe it’s referring to the few Judahites in Rome and Jerusalem only, while in reality there were already an immense number of Judahites already settled in Britain during that time. It will all become clear long before readers have reached the end of this posting - trust me!

Maybe now is a good time for a very brief history lesson about Britain…

Between the years AD 43 and about 410, a part of the island of Great Britain was already controlled by the Roman Empire. The Romans referred to their territory as Britannia, and it eventually consisted of all the island south of the shifting frontier with Caledonia (Scotland) The first Romans to campaign extensively in Britain were the forces of Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, but the first significant conquest did not begin until AD 43, under Claudius. Christ was crucified in A.D. 37. The Romans were thus busy conquering the British Isles six years before Christ’s death.

See the Wikipedia page for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain

The Greeks refer to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", and describe them as being situated somewhere near the west coast of Europe. Now, it’s no big secret that Joseph of Arimathaea was a wealthy an influential man, and that he derived his wealth from tin mines in Cornwall, Britain. He was also the man who, after Jesus’ death on the cross, requested Pontius Pilate to hand over the body for burial. The story can be read in Matthew 27:57-60. - (See also: Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53; and John 19:38-42)

All four of the gospels state that Joseph of Arimathaea was "a disciple of Jesus" who was himself "waiting for the kingdom of God." Luke mentions that Joseph was a COUNCIL MEMBER, and Mark adds "PROMINENT" to the term council member. This would indicate that Joseph of Arimathaea was a member of the GREAT COUNCIL or SANHEDRIN of the Jews -- the supreme national tribunal established at the time of the Maccabees, or perhaps earlier in the time of Ezra. There is thus no doubt that this influential man risked the wrath of the Jewish authorities when he requested the body of Jesus for burial… Yet his name disappears from the pages of the Bible, despite the fact that there’s obviously more to Joseph's connection with the Messiah than meets the eye! Some of these connections are presented brilliantly on the pages of the following (must read) website: http://www.hope-of-israel.org/i000111a.htm

The abovementioned website, including the page at this link, which will take readers to the website of biblestudysite.com, AND what I’m about to present below, all offer more than sufficient evidence to show that the words in Romans 1:16 pertaining to “the Jew first” also included (besides the few Jews in Jerusalem and Rome) - preaching first to the Judahites in Britain -- those to whom the name of Christ was not known! These links, and the external publications presented here, will also provide compelling evidence to show that a younger Jesus travelled with his great-uncle (related of course to His mother, Mary) to the tin mines near Cornwall. Jesus would thus have been well-acquainted with the folk living on the isles, but would not, I presume due to His youthful age, have preached to them.

The journeys of Joseph of Arimathea and other members of Christ’s family (on His mother’s side of course) - a journey which took place after Joseph attended to the burial of Christ in A.D. 37, are briefly touched upon in a book called, Father Abraham's Children, by Perry Edwards Powell, Ph. D., pages 140-142:

"Now we come to the missionary movement of Joseph of Arimathea, who was appointed by Philip the apostle. After the passion of his Nephew [crucifixion of Jesus Christ], persecution fell heavily upon the infant church. The Jew and the Roman were bitter persecutors but he knew where there was no persecution, but protection. However, he was seized, and since the Jew could not kill [under the Law directly], he and Lazarus and Mary and Martha his sisters, Mary Magdalene, Marcella, Maximin, and others, all objects of especial Jewish hostility, were ''exposed to the sea in a vessel without sail or oars.'' They drifted to Marseilles, southern Gaul, where they arrived in a famished condition. The Arimathean knew the territory and friendly traders, and was aided on his way, the destination of which was now Britain. Here they eventually arrived and came to rest in Ynis Avalon, Glastonbury, where he rested and soon began his labors for his Nephew [Jesus Christ]. The year was 37 A.D. On his tomb is the epitaph: Ad Britannos veni post Christum sepelivi ---- Docui ---- Quievi. ''I came to the Britons after I had buried the Christ. I taught. I have entered on my rest.''"
From the book, Father Abraham's Children, by Perry Edwards Powell, Ph. D., pages 140-142.


THE LOST CHAPTER OF THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

The Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, also known as the Sonnini Manuscript, is a short text purporting to be the translation of a manuscript containing the 29th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, detailing St. Paul's journey to Britain, where he preached to a tribe of Israelites on Ludgate Hill, the site of St Paul's Cathedral. Source

The following text, related to the missing last chapter of Acts, has been sourced (word for word) from the following url: http://www.israelect.com/childrenofyahweh/Campbell/lost_chapter.htm

The Bible gives a fairly complete account of the life of St. Paul; his conversion, his missionary journeys, and his martyrdom in Rome. But there is a period of time, approximately six years, of which the Bible remains silent. This would be the period after his trial and acquittal in Rome and before his return to Rome to cast his fate with his many converts. These were his Christian brethren who were being put to death by the thousands during the reign of Emperor Nero.

It would be reasonable to assume that during this period, Paul visited Spain as he had planned (Rom. 15:28) and perhaps re-visited some of the churches in Asia Minor. But, Paul had expressed a desire to preach the Gospel to those to whom the name of Christ was not known. There can be no question that Paul had heard of the "Tin Islands" because the Romans had already conquered the greater part of Britain. The Apostle could have met many in Rome and elsewhere who had been there, either as traders or with the Roman army. Having journeyed so near to Britain as Spain and Gaul, it is altogether reasonable to suppose that Paul would have made the short voyage across the English Channel.

The Sonnini Manuscript, better known as the "Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles" contains the account of Paul's journey in Spain and Britain. The document, purporting to be the concluding portion of the "Acts of the Apostles", covers a portion of the period after Paul's two years enforced residence in Rome, in his own hired house. It is written in the style of the Acts and reads like a continuation.

It was found interleaved in a copy of "Sonnini's Travels in Turkey and Greece", and was purchased at the sale of the library and effects of the late Right Honourable Sir John Newport, Bart., in Ireland. Sir John's family arms were engraved on the cover of the book. It had been in his possession for over thirty years. With the book was a document from the Sultan of Turkey, granting to C.S. Sonnini permission to travel in all parts of the Ottoman dominions. C. S. Sonnini translated the document from the original Greek manuscript found in the Archives at Constantinople, and presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet.

Points in favor of the authenticity of the manuscript are:
  1. Its being preserved in the Archives of Constantinople.
  2. It has all the appearances of being of an ancient date.
  3. It is written in Greek, and in the manner of the Acts.
  4. The places and peoples mentioned are called by their ancient Roman names.
  5. Its Scriptural brevity and conception of the Divine purpose and plan.
  6. Its Gospel-like character is dignified and spiritual.
  7. Its prophetic expressions are in a Biblical style.
  8. Its ending in the word "amen." (The Biblical Acts of the Apostles and the Book of James are the only two New Testament Books not ending in "amen." This has lead some Bible scholars to believe they are incomplete in their present form).

The following is the contents of the title page of Sonnini's work, in which the English translation of the document was found: "Travels in Turkey and Greece undertaken by order of Louis XVI, and with the authority of the Ottoman Court, by Sonnini, member of several scientific or literary societies of the Society of Agriculture of Paris, and of the Observers of Men." Mores multorum videt it ubes. - Hor., London: Printed for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster Row, 1801.

The following is the English translation of the Manuscript, the authenticity of which cannot be vouched for.

COPY OF THE SONNINI MANUSCRIPT

Verse 1. And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determining to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thitherward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain.

Verse 2.
For he had heard on Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to "The Isles afar off" as spoken of by the Prophet [Esdra], and called by the Romans – Britain.

Verse 3. And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles [nations], and to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel [Acts 9:15, 22:21]

Verse 4. And no man hindered Paul; for he testified boldly of Jesus before the tribunes and among the people; and he took with him certain of the brethren which abode with him at Rome, and they took shipping at Ostrium and having the winds fair, were brought safely into a haven of Spain.

Verse 5. And much people were gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion of the Apostles, and the many miracles, which he had wrought.

Verse 6. And Paul preached mightily in Spain, and great multitude believed and were converted, for they perceived he was an Apostle sent from God.

Verse 7. And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing unto Britain, they were therein, and passing along the south coast, they reached a port called Raphinus. (This is the Roman name for Sandwhich, in Kent. In Saxon times there was, still standing in Sandwhich, an old house called the "House of the Apostles" and tradition has it that Paul was one of the Apostles).

Verse 8. Now when it was voiced abroad that the Apostle had landed on their coast, great multitudes of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and lodged in the house of an Hebrew and one of his own nation (tribe).

Verse 9. And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud (Ludgate Hill and Broadway where St. Paul’s Cathedral stands in London, England) and the people thronged at the gate, and they believed the Word and testimony of Jesus.

Verse 10. And even the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, Behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered: and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the gory of their inheritance shine forth before them. The nations shall come to worship on the mount that testifieth of the patience and long suffering of a servant of the Lord.

Verse 11.
And in the latter days new tidings of the gospel shall issue forth out of Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people shall rejoice, and behold, fountains shall be opened, and there shall be no more plague.

Verse 12. In those days there shall be wars and rumor of war; and a king shall rise up, and his sword, shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peacemaking shall abide, and the glory of his kingdom a wonder among princes.

Verse 13. And it shall come to pass that certain of the Druids came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies that they were descended from Jews [Judahites] which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the Apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.

Verse 14. And Paul abode in his lodgings three months confirming in the faith and preaching Christ continually.

Verse 15. And after these things Paul and his brethren departed from Raphinus and sailed unto Atium in Gaul.

Verse 16. And Paul preached in the Roman garrison and among the people, exhorting all men to repent and confess all their sins.

Verse 17.
And there came to him certain of the Belgae to inquire of him the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; and Paul opened his heart unto them and told them all things that had befallen him, howbeit, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed pondering among themselves upon the things which they had heard.

Verse 18. And after much preaching and toil, Paul and his fellow labourers passed into Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus dashed himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.

Verse 19. And immediately a torrent gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces, into a lake.

Verse 20. And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord saying O Lord God, give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate which condemned thine only-begotten Son, plunged down headlong into the pit.

Verse 21. And while Paul was yet speaking, behold, there came a great earth-quake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the form of the lake like unto the Son of Man hanging in an agony upon the Cross.

Verse 22. And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate hath escaped the wrath to come for he washed his hands before the multitude at the blood shedding of the Lord Jesus [Matthew 27:24].

Verse 23. When, therefore, Paul and those that were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, and were mightily strengthened in the spirit.

Verse 24. And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius where stood two pillars, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.

Verse 25. And Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying, Men and brethren these stones which ye see this day shall testify of my journey hence; and I verily say, they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all (Israel) nations, neither shall the way be hindered throughout all generations.

Verse 26. And they went forth and came unto Illitricum, intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches, and they prospered and had peace. Amen!

The above text, pertaining to the missing last chapter of Acts and other interesting info, was sourced from:
http://www.israelect.com/childrenofyahweh/Campbell/lost_chapter.htm

The website also provides further commentary by E. Raymond Capt, plus very interesting information on the Scottish Declaration of Independence (The Declaration of Arbroath), and much more.

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Suggested further online reading:


Related Books from the online Kalahari Bookstore (South Africa):

Authors: Frederic P. Miller; Agnes F. Vandome
Format: Softcover
Publisher: Alphascript Publishing
ISBN: 9786130277284


Authors: Mark Rosson; M. E. Rosson
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing
ISBN: 9781608603190


Author: Lionel Smithett Lewis
Format: Softcover
Publisher: Lutterworth Press
ISBN: 9780718891657

This book tells the story of St Joseph of Arimathea and the legend of his journey to Britain as a metal merchant seeking tin. Tradition states that on this journey he was accompanied by none other than Jesus, who at this stage was a young boy. This title reveals the events of St Joseph's time at Glastonbury, and explores the legend behind this intriguing story. Britain is proverbially rich in monuments of the past, but of all the ancient places with outward and visible links with antiquity this little Somerset town is unique. For it is not only bestowed with visible evidences, wrought in stone, of generations long departed, but it is also steeped in fascinating legend and tradition. One of these later traditions states that Glastonbury was the very cradle of English Christianity, where an infant church was planted by those who personally knew Jesus. This is a truly fascinating and innovative perspective on the story of St Joesph of Arimathea, which promises to enthrall the reader.

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