Watchman Willie Martin Archive



       Bertrand L. Comparet


       Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:43:50 ‑0700


       "Bob Jones" <[email protected]>




       "Pastor Bob Jones" <[email protected]>


               By Bertrand L. Comparet

     The four gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, tell

of the life and ministry of Yahshua the

     Christ. The gospel of Matthew traces Him from His birth through

His short sojourn in Egypt, then back

     to Nazareth, still as a baby. He next appears in this gospel in

chapter 3, at the time of His baptism, just

     before His 40 days of temptation at the beginning of His ministry.

In Mark, the baptism, temptations and

     the beginning of His ministry, are all in Chapter 1. In John, as in

Mark, His childhood is not covered;

     chapter 1 covers His baptism and the beginning of His ministry.

     In Luke we have been given more details. Chapters 2 and 3 trace

Him from the return to Nazareth

     through His baptism, temptations and the beginning of His

ministry. Luke 3:23 tells us Yahshua's ministry

     started at the age of thirty. Luke 2:41‑ 52 traces Him on one visit

to Jerusalem when He was 12 years

     old. All four gospels are silent on the 18 years between His 12th

and 30th years. Where was He, what

     was He doing during those years? It can be well demonstrated

that He was absent from Palestine for at

     least part of this period, let's trace this absence.

     Luke 1:36, 39‑56 tells us that Elizabeth, mother of John the

Baptist, was a cousin of Mary the mother of

     Yahshua the Christ. There was a very close, friendly relationship

between the two families. Immediately

     after the angel told Mary she was to bear Yahshua, she went to

the home of her cousin Elizabeth and

     stayed in Elizabeth's home for about 3 months. It is only natural

that this close friendship would endure

     throughout the years thereafter.

     The law required that all the men and male children must come

to Jerusalem at three feasts each year.

     Deuteronomy 16:16 states, "Three times in a year shall all the

males appear before Yahweh thy God in

     the place which He shall choose: in the feast of unleavened

bread and in the feast of weeks and in the

     feast of tabernacles." The feast of weeks was held 50 days after

Passover, in our day is called Pentecost.

     The feast of tabernacles was a weeklong feast, the last of the fall

festivals. The families of Yahshua and

     John the Baptist, had to bring them both to Jerusalem three

times every year. The families, being such

     good friends, surely met and the children must have played

together on those occasions. So, Yahshua

     and John the Baptist were very well acquainted. Between

Yahshua's 12th and 30th years, the Scriptures

     nowhere even hint Yahshua was in Palestine. We find evidence

He was absent from Palestine throughout

     the greater part of that period.

     John 1:29‑33 records the event of Yahshua being baptized by

John the Baptist, in these words. "The next

     day, John seeth Yahshua coming unto him and saith, Behold the

Lamb of Yahweh, which taketh away

     the sins of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me cometh

a man which is preferred before me,

     for He was before me. And John bare record saying, I saw the

Spirit descending from heaven like a

     dove, and it abode on Him. And I knew Him not." John had

received the vision by which he identified

     Yahshua as the Lamb of Yahweh. However, he didn't recognize

him as a person, a relative of his for he

     says, I knew Him not. If John the Baptist had seen his cousin

Yahshua 3 times each year to that time, he

     certainly would have recognized Him. If Yahshua had been in

Palestine during those 18 years, John

     surely would have seen Him. Therefore Yahshua must have

been absent during those years.

     This is not the only evidence  of Yahshua's absence, for He was

required to pay the stranger's tax. In the

     original Greek, Matthew 17:24‑27 reads, "And they having

arrived at Capernaum, the collectors of the

     didrachmas came to Peter and said, Does not your teacher pay

the didrachma? He saith yes. And when

     they had come into the house, Yahshua anticipated him saying,

Which to thee seems right Simon? The

     kings of the earth: from whom do they take custom or head tax?

From their sons or from the aliens? To

     him said Peter, From the aliens. Yahshua said to him, Then the

sons are exempt. But that we may not

     offend them, going to the sea cast thou a hook, and the first fish

ascending take up; and opening the

     mouth of him, thou wilt find a stater; taking that, give it to them

for Me and thee."

     Here is clear proof that Yahshua was regarded as a stranger in

the land. Remember, this took place at

     Capernaum, in His home district of Galilee. Note that the tax,

which He was called upon to pay, the

     didrachma, was a head tax levied by the Romans on all

strangers. This tax of a didrachma, a Greek silver

     coin, was not the Jewish temple tax of a half shekel, paid by all

who were of the Jewish religion. Merely

     to ask if He paid the temple tax would have been an insult as

doubting His citizenship. If this tax had been

     the temple tax, this was not levied on any alien, only on the

Judeans. If this were the case Yahshua could

     not have said that this tax was levied on the aliens and the sons

are exempt. Therefore it was clearly the

     Roman didrachma head tax, levied only on strangers. Also

notice how Yahshua said to pay it. A fish

     would be caught, having in its mouth a stater, which was another

Greek coin. The Jewish temple tax

     could only be paid with a Jewish half‑shekel coin, not a coin

issued by pagans.

     Yahshua spoke of the kings of the earth collecting the tax. The

priests, not by a king, collected the temple

     tax. So we see that Yahshua had been gone so long that, in His

own home district of Galilee, He was not

     recognized as a local resident. He was asked to pay the

stranger's tax, the didrachma.

     If Yahshua was absent from Palestine for many years, between

the age of 12 and 30, where was He

     during this time? The various enemies of Christianity have

originated many legends about this. Some of

     the various forms of devil worship of Asia claim that He spent

these years in their lamaseries in Tibet and

     in the ancient oasis in the Gobi desert, learning their teachings.

Of one thing we can be sure, He who was

     Yahweh in the flesh did not waste His time studying devil

worship among the pagans! He didn't borrow

     any of His teachings from them!

     Where did He spend these years? Before we can go into this, we

must lay a foundation for it. We must

     learn some facts, as background, which will show how likely our

explanation is the true one.

     A fairly prominent character in the New Testament is Joseph of

Arimathea. Arimathea was 8 miles north

     of Jerusalem, the first stopping off place of northbound caravans

and an important commercial center in

     its day. Matthew 27:57 tells us that Joseph of Arimathea was

wealthy, while Mark 15:43 and Luke

     23:50‑51 tell us that he was an honorable counselor or member

of the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem.

     All four gospels praise him as a good man and Matthew and

John further tell us that he was one of

     Yahshua's disciples. However, during Yahshua's life he

remained a secret disciple, for fear of the Jews.

     The Jews would have persecuted Joseph much more savagely

than just a poor nobody, had they known

     he was a follower of Yahshua the Christ.

     This tradition is evidently well founded, for Matthew 27:57‑60

records that Joseph of Arimathea went to

     Pontius Pilate, asked for the body of Yahshua and was given it.

He then buried Yahshua in his own tomb.

     This seems like a highly dangerous thing to have done. This

showed reverence for the remains of one

     who was so bitterly hated by the Jews and who had been

condemned to be killed as a criminal.

     There were two cemeteries outside Jerusalem reserved for the

bodies of condemned criminals. Here was

     a man who, during Yahshua's lifetime, had not dared to openly

admit that he was Yahshua's disciple. He

     now openly shows reverence and affection for the remains of

the One they had killed that very day.

     Pontius Pilate had consented to the murder of Yahshua, after

officially adjudging Him completely innocent

     of any crime at all. He had done this astonishingly evil act to

avoid offending the Jews. It was unlikely that

     he would have authorized an honorable private funeral for

Yahshua, if the leaders of the Jews had not

     consented to it. Only one explanation of this can be found. Under

both Jewish and Roman law, it was the

     duty of the nearest relatives to provide burial for anyone,

regardless of how they died. Despite all their

     hatred, the Jewish authorities could hardly refuse permission to

the uncle to bury his nephew. The

     Palestinian tradition of this relationship was probably correct.

     What if Joseph of Arimathea was our Savior's uncle? Palestinian

tradition is that his wealth came from

     being an importer of tin, from mines that he owned in Cornwall

in the British Isles. Naturally he would

     have frequently gone with his ships to Cornwall, to inspect his

properties there. What would be more

     natural than he would take this wonderful nephew of his along. If

this did occur, there must be some

     record or tradition of it in the place to which they went. Next, let

us look for such evidence,

     First, a little review of what was then known about the tin trade.

The ancient writers agree that the

     Phoenicians were the earliest traders who brought tin from the

islands beyond the Straits of Gibraltar.

     Without tin, it was impossible to make bronze. Copper alone,

without tin to harden and strengthen it, was

     not good enough, so tin was very valuable. Ships of many other

nations tried to follow the Phoenician

     galleys, to find where they were able to get tin. The Phoenicians

were such expert sailors; they were

     usually able to get away from their pursuers.

     Other records tell of one who could not shake off a Roman ship

which followed him and who finally

     wrecked his own ship to avoid being traced to the source of the

tin. This record tells how his countrymen

     reimbursed him for the loss of his ship, being grateful to him for

his having protected the valuable secret at

     so great a cost.

     Ezekiel 27:12, written about 595 B.C., mentions the tin trade of

the ancient city of Tyre. "Tarshish was

     thy merchant, by reason of the multitude of all kinds fiches: with

silver, iron, tin and lead, they traded in

     thy fairs". This tin trade originating in Britain was very ancient,

going back to at least 1500 B.C. A

     tremendous amount of bronze (mistranslated brass in the King

James Bible) was used in the construction

     and equipment of King Solomon's temple. The tin mines of

Cornwall probably supplied most of the tin

     for this bronze. Remember that Ezekiel mentioned tin and lead.

Both of these metals as well as some

     copper were mined in Britain in those days. An ancient pig of

lead has been found, bearing the stamp of

     Britannicus, the son of Claudius. This shows that the mining of

lead in Britain was in progress during the

     time of Yahshua.

     Despite all Phoenician efforts to keep it secret, the Greeks

discovered the source of tin in Britain in the

     year 330 B.C. The Phoenician monopoly was broken. So in

Yahshua's lifetime, his uncle Joseph of

     Arimathea was the owner of tin mines in Cornwall. Did he take

the young Yahshua there?

     The first tradition that he did so is found in Cornwall. In Baring

Gould's Book of Cornwall he writes,

     "Another Cornish tradition is to the effect that Joseph of

Arimathea came in a boat to Cornwall and

     brought the boy Yahshua with him. 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 center of

the ancient lead and copper mines.

     We next find the tradition that Yahshua was brought to Britain, at

Somerset, by his uncle Joseph of

     Arimathea. The tradition says,"They came in a ship of Tarshish

to the Somerland, and sojourned in a

     place called Paradise". The Summerland is Somerset. At the

mouth of the Brue river, which runs down

     from Glastonbury, lies Burnham and Godney. Old ordinance

survey maps give the name of the area

     around Burnham, 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. Godney means

     God's marshlands. The Glastonbury traditions are more

concerned with Yahshua's visit during His


     Tradition also attests that much of Yahshua's sojourn in Britain

was spent at or near Glastonbury. Later

     there was 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. In its day

it was the greatest abbey in Britain.

     Royal charters were signed in the church. King Cnut still in

existence, the one signed by King Ina in 704

     A.D. and one signs two of these there, in 1032 A.D. In 1184 A.D,

the abbey buildings and the famous

     library of Glastonbury, covering a thousand years of history, was

burned. Therefore, today we only have

     scattered references to these things in the works of various

historians of the early days. However, there

     were many of these.

     Taliesin the Druid, the great Welch prince and Bard of the sixth

century wrote, "Christ, the Word from

     the beginning, was from the beginning our teacher, and we

never lost His teachings." The great church

     historian, Hugh Paulinus 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 the

     riches of Divine mercy received the beams of the Son 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 Yahshua's crucifixion. The

     Jews bitterly persecuted the Christians, as we know. John

12:10‑11 tells how even during Yahshua's

     lifetime, the Jews plotted to murder Lazarus, because Yahshua

had raised him from the dead.

     Cardinal Baronius, a very careful church historian who was

librarian to the Vatican, quotes a Vatican

     manuscript dated 35 A.D. This manuscript reports that in that

year the Jews had arrested Joseph of

     Arimathea, the Virgin Mary, Martha, and two other Christians.

They were put in a boat and were set

     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 600 A.D., 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 Paulinius 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 a glorious

     martyrdom. By the testimony of ancient records they were said

to have entered this island because of its

     isolation, the benevolence of the British princes and freedom

from Roman tyranny. This place was more

     opportune and better prepared for entertaining and learning the

gospel of the kingdom, than almost any

     country under the Romans."

     Various historians, of these early times, such as Gildas and

William of Malmesbury, record that the

     British King Arviragus granted to Joseph of Arimathea a

considerable area at Glastonbury. This was 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 proven 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 had been paid. This record called

Domesday Booke was completed in

     1088 A.D. and it contains this record. "The Domus Dei, in the

great monastery of Glastonbury, called the

     secret of Yahweh. 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 Yahweh.

     Joseph of Arimathea and his companions erected a mud and

wattle church at Glastonbury. Among their

     first converts were members of the royal family, children of

Aractious, cousin of King Arviragus of South

     Wales. Still existing royal charters granted by King Ina, dated 704

A.D., and by King Cnut dated 1032

     A.D., attest that these kings in this church signed them.

     Ancient records tell of its being preserved by a shell built around

it of boards covered with lead. Later a

     stone building was erected, enclosing the original church. St.

David erected a large stone church as an

     addition to this in 546 A.D. 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 the Glastonbury church. St.

     Patrick, who had spent considerable time at Glastonbury and

who returned there for the last years of his

     life, no doubt brought the record to Ireland.

     This great abbey was the one destroyed by fire in 1184 A.D.

Immediately thereafter, King Henry II of

     England issued a royal charter for the rebuilding of Glastonbury

Abbey. The charter called the abbey,

     "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 the Christ. I taught, I rest."

     Between 1345 A.D. and 1367 A.D., the body was placed in a

silver casket with a beautiful stone

     sarcophagus, which was still in position in the year 1662 A.D.,

when the St. Joseph chapel containing it

     had become partially ruined.

     Later, out of fear that Puritan fanaticism would result in it being

destroyed as an object of idolatry, the

     sarcophagus was secretly removed by night to the parish

churchyard. Saying that the initials J.A. carved

     on it stood for John Allen concealed its identity. Thus it escaped


     In 1928, it was found nearly buried in the soil. It was 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 dacuceus between the initials. 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. Even today it has been assimilated into

the symbolism of some Christian

     churches. In our own times, the patriarchs of the eastern

churches 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

     common person's grave.

     Therefore we see that not only ancient legends and ancient

historical records, but the official acts and

     records of the kings of the middle ages, have recognized the

close connection of Joseph of Arimathea,

     the uncle of Yahshua the 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 Yahshua spent those 18

     years of His life, which the Bible does not account for. Where

else would we expect Him to go, but to

     what was to become the principal home of His own people


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