Sunday, August 16, 2015

Joseph of Ar-Mathea: Fact and Fiction

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Mark 15:42-64

This account is paralleled in the other Gospels. John 19 adds: Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.
Joseph and Nicodemus were fellow members of the Sanhedrin who came to be followers of The Way.

Alice C. Linsley

There is a great deal of medieval elaboration surrounding Joseph of Arimathea. One account says that he brought Jesus as a teenager to England. Local legends say that among the places they visited were St Just in Roseland and St Michael's Mount.  A 12th century account connects Joseph to the Arthurian legends and names him as the first keeper of the Holy Grail. It is said that he hid it in a well at Glastonbury, now called the Chalice Well. There is no evidence to support either of these inventions. The association of Joseph with Glastonbury in Somerset added to the status of Glastonbury by associating it with a prestigious Christian who was known to have been in Cornwall to the southwest.

In Matthew 27:57-8 and John 19:38-40, Joseph is described as a "man of means." Jerome's Vulgate version calls him nobilis decurio. The term decurion was often used for an official in charge of mines. It is also said to be part of Cornish tin-miners folklore that there is a saying and song that "Joseph Was a Tin-Man and the miners loved him well." Joseph apparently had business dealings in Cornwall where it is said he visited the The Ding Dong Mine.

Mining in Cornwall and Devon began as early as 2150 BC. The Ding Dong Mine is one of the oldest mines. An old miner told A. K. Hamilton Jenkin in the early 1940's: "Why, they do say there's only one mine in Cornwall older than Dolcoath, and that's Ding Dong, which was worked before the time of Jesus Christ." (Hamilton Jenkin, A. K. Cornwall and its People. London: J. M. Dent; p. 347)

The inhabitants of Cornwall were involved in the manufacture of tin ingots. The area has prehistoric tin mines, stone monoliths, and iron age fortresses. Joseph probably had Jewish friends and family living in the area. The presence of Hebrew is evident in place names like Marazion, meaning "sight of Zion" and Menheniot, which is derived from the Hebrew words min oniyot, meaning "from ships." Menheniot was a center of lead mining.

These metal workers and miners were among the Damoni, an early population of Cornwall. Dam-oni means "red people." Their ancestors were the builders of the great shrines like Carnac in Brittany because the stone monoliths in Damnonia are like those in Carnac, though smaller. On the Nile the ancient shrine at Karnak was built with huge stones by skillful craftsmen. Kar-nak means place of rituals. The red skin Annu/Onnu/Ainu also built Heliopolis on the Nile, called "On" in Genesis 41. They were the builders of pyramids also.

Kar is a archaic root that refers to a circular place of ritual. Ki-kar refers to a circle, as in Exodus 25:11: ki-kar za-hav ta-hor, meaning "circle of pure gold." (In the Anchor Bible Commentary on Genesis, E.A. Speiser recognizes that kikar refers to a circle.)

Tumulus in Cornwall
The original name for Cornwall was Kernow, which is related to the words Karnak and Karnevo. 

"Terah took a wife and her name was Amsalai, the daughter of Karnevo; and the wife of Terah conceived and bare him a son in those days." Jasher 7:50

The ancient masters of stone monuments, tombs and mining operations also built sacred circles in reverence to the Sun, the emblem of the Creator.

Joseph and the Ar Clans

Joseph was a kinsman of Mary and Jesus. They were of the Horite line of Matthew, and related to the Ar clans. That is the meaning of the name Ar-Mathea.

Many ancient Hebrew are associated by their names with the Ar patrimony. Two examples are Aroch (1 Chr 7:39, Ezr 2:5, Neh 6:18, Neh 7:10) and Ariel (Ezr 8:16, Isa 29:1, Isa 29:1, Isa 29:2, Isa 29:2, Isa 29:7). Ariel means “Scribe/Messenger of God.” It appears that the Ar clans were known as royal scribes, and messengers or prophets. This is further suggested by the name Ar-vad. Vad means “to speak” in Sanskrit.  The root is vd, which also refers to seeing. In Ancient Egyptian vidjet refers to the Eye of Horus, the son of the Creator. In Serbian, vidjet means "to see." There are many connections between ancient Nilotic words and those found in Serbia and Northern India were the Kushite Saka ruled for many thousands of years.

The association of the name Ar with the scribal caste is further demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic scrolls from Arsames, the satrap, who wrote to his Egyptian administrator Psamshek, and to an Egyptian ruler named Nekht-Hor. (A.T. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire, Chicago, 1948, pp.116-117) Numerous historical persons are identified as Ar: Ar-Shem, Arsames, Artix, Araxes, and a Jebusite ruler called Araunah who sold King David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar.

The Ar are identified with the "sea peoples" whose range extended the length of the Mediterranean and to the Black Sea. They also ruled the major water systems of Central Africa. They were highly effective warrior-priests and kingdom builders. Dr. Catherine Acholonu explains, "In Nigeria the caste under reference is the Ar/Aro caste of Igbo Eri priest-kings, who were highly militarized in their philosophy." The rulers were served by expert stone masons and metal workers. The stone masons built their great temples and tombs and the metal workers fashioned weapons and symbols of authority. The metal workers were called the Nes, Neshi or Nehesi. The Neshi still function as priests in Igboland (Nigeria). The metal-working Nes of Anatolia are their kin. The Anatolian Nes (or Nus or Nuzi) spoke a language called Nesli.

Nehesi means "One who serves Hesi." Hesi was another name for Hathor, Horus' mother. Throughout the ancient world shrines were dedicated to both Horus and Hathor. These were mound cities with water sources. Tell-Hesi, a 25-acre archaeological site in Israel, is an example. It was the first major site excavated in Palestine, first by Flinders Petrie in 1890 and later by Frederick Jones Bliss in 1891 and 1892.

In southern Anatolia (modern Turkey) royal stone masons built Catalhoyuk beginning in 7500 BC. The Turkish words catal means fork and hoyuk means mound.) This was a settlement built on two mounds (east and west) and a channel of the Çarşamba River once flowed between them. The houses excavated in Catalhoyuk date between 6800-5700 B.C. Recent excavations have identified a shrine or small temple on the eastern side. At Horoztepe, in northern Anatolia, they built royal tombs dating from 2400–2200 BC. These are richly furnished with finely crafted artifacts in bronze, gold, and silver.

Bronze figure of a smith (7th-8th century B.C.) was discovered in Vranište, Serbia.

Joseph is identified in the New Testament as being of Ar-Mathea. That is not a location. It identifies his lineage and his caste. He was a mining expert and a tomb builder. He provided his own expertly excavated tomb for Jesus’ burial. Joseph visited the Ding Dong Mine in Cornwall.

Mining in Cornwall has existed from the early Bronze Age around 2150 BC. In 1600 BC, Cornwall experienced a trade boom driven by the export of tin across Europe. Pytheas of Massilia, a Greek merchant and explorer, circumnavigated the British Isles between about 330 and 320 BC and produced the first written record of the islands. He described the Cornish as civilized, skilled farmers, usually peaceable, but formidable in war. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus named Cornwall Belerion, meaning “The Shining Land", the first recorded place name in the British Isles. Cornwall was one of the few parts of Britain where the dead were buried in ancient times.

As a member of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of Ar-Mathea was qualified to ordain priests, so it is likely that some of the Christian priests in Cornwall were ordained by him as early as 60 AD. Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260-340) wrote of Christ's disciples in Demonstratio Evangelica, saying that "some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain." This was likely a reference to the Seventy who Christ commissioned (Luke 10) and Joseph is numbered among them, according to John Chrysostom (347-407), the Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote that Joseph was one of the Seventy Apostles.

According to Gildas's De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae there were Christians in Britain as early as 46 AD. Tertullian (AD 155-222) wrote in Adversus Judaeos that Britain had already accepted the Gospel in his lifetime. These Hebrew/Habiru Christians would have had priests among them. We know from the Bible that there were skilled metal workers among the Horite priests. Aaron fabricated a golden calf and Moses made the bronze serpent on a staff. The earliest high ranking rulers in Cornwall would have served as priests with powers equivalent to bishops as early as 46 AD and probably earlier than this. The episcopacy of Evodius of Antioch dates to 53–69 AD. The episcopacy of James of Jerusalem must correspond to that, as he died before 69 AD, and the episcopacy of Linus, the first bishop of Rome, dates to 67-79 AD.

Related reading: Stone Work of the Ancient World; The Priesthood in England; Red and Black Smiths; Was King Arthur a Horite Ruler?; Was Constantine as Saka Ruler?Haplogroup R1b


J Eppinga said...

I've been bouncing around some of the references about this. Some of them refer to the Josheph Ar-Mathea / Cornwall / Ding Dong mine legend. I think there was a wiki (okay .. it's wiki) article somewhere that talked about the legend of JAM bringing a teenage Jesus to Cornwall, but then said it probably wasn't true (not saying whether it was untrue with regards to JAM by himself, or a trip for both JAM and Jesus).

I started to wonder about references for your article.. Then I realized that you were using inductive rather than deductive reasoning - 'Soundings,' as I believe you called them before. This is a new way of thinking for me. It might make for a good series of articles if you were to describe your thought processes "in-between" the soundings, where you might reject one historical assertion, while entertain another (e.g.,).

Apart from that, I've been reading some articles about a Neolithic mass grave - farmers apparently, who had been massacred. Also been thinking about the sort of tree cults that occurred in the Isles as well as on Mainland Europe (the Frisians and the Allemani, e.g.,). It seems strange that priests would settle in Cornwall but completely miss Northern Europe, and only get out there by the time of St. Boniface.

On the other hand, Cornwall's tin was THE tin of that part of the world, for a long long time. Maybe the presence of the tin mine contributed to a 'safe-zone' whereby merchant / priests could set up shop?

Alice Linsley said...

Soundings... yes! Finding what is real and really there. Seeking antecedents. There has to be evidence of anthropological substance. Substance requires duration through time and consistency of pattern. That makes it possible to hypothesize and seek confirmation. Confirmation helps to connect the dots.

That high ranking members of the Sanhedrin were of the ruler-priest caste is a fact. That ruler-priests were involved in monumental stone work, mining, and metal work is also a fact. That the Nilotic cattle-herding Habiru/Hebrew dispersed widely, taking their religious beliefs and practices with them is a fact. That they were in the R1b haplogroup (Y-DNA) that settled in ancient Anatolia is a fact. That some of their ancestors dispersed into Gaul and England is also a fact. See this:

The legends surrounding Joseph that include the thorn bush, the holy grail, Jesus as a teenager, and Mary coming to England are 12th century elaborations. Most saints have such legends attached to them from the high Middle Ages. It was a time when monasteries, bishops and cathedrals sought relics and narratives to bring them prestige. This was just as common in the Eastern churches as in the Latin West. Many miracles were claimed to surround the relics of saints, but these are virtually impossible to verify. In some cases, the miraculous claim was later found to be spurious.

The Habiru were very clannish and went where they had kinsmen. That means they went where there were Kushite rulers who wanted to cull copper, gold and tin.

Anonymous said...


I have only just discovered this little gem of a site. It unfortunately conflicts a little with my own efforts e.g. Sargon of Akkad is Melchisedec not Nimrod, etc. However I would like your help in investigating how my reasoning could be in conflict with kinship analysis al la Prof. Linsley.

Maybe we can both learn a little and I can learn a lot.


Alice Linsley said...

Melek, Sar and Gon all mean king or ruler. Sar-Gon means "high king" or "kings of kings" and points to Jesus Christ. Melchizedec refers to the "Righteous Ruler" - Melchi-tsedeq, a type of Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus Christ is described this way in Psalm 110:4: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." And in Hebrews 7:17: For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

These names are often serve as royal titles and appear in different generations, so it is sometimes difficult to identify the ruler. Other royal titles found among the Horim include Enoch/Enosh; Lamech, Oba/Obadas; Seth/Seti, Kain/Kayan/Qanitti; Seir and Terah. See this: