Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Removal of Wisdom's Tongue

Alice C. Linsley

An African friend recently noted that one focus of Biblical Anthropology is the recovery or unveiling of the African antecedents of the Hebrew (Habiru) and their religion. He wrote that my research has given encouragement and hope to many Africans seeking to connect with the beliefs of their ancestors. He explained, "I've have studied constantly for the past 6 years, and I thought I knew a lot until I read your blogs. What's your secret in piecing your facts together?"

I responded: There is no secret. The work involves using solid principles of kinship analysis and cultural anthropology. Then I double check my data. I find much valuable information in the first 12 chapters of the Hebrew Bible. Many words there are not originally Hebrew, but Nilo-Saharan. The ancient Nilo-Saharan peoples moved many directions inside and outside of Africa. This has been confirmed by artifacts, DNA studies, linguistics and anthropology. The world owes much to the earliest Africans. They are the founders of astronomy, medicine, math, agriculture, animal husbandry, systems of writings, navigation on the great water systems, theology, and philosophy (Plato studied for 13 years under a Horite priest in Memphis, Egypt).

My friend wanted to know about connections between Africa and ancient Sumer. This is what I told him:

There is little doubt that the rulers of the various ancient African kingdoms married within their ruling lines and some of those ruling lines were in Sumer. When we study Africa and the ancient Near East, we must remember that the society of rulers was different than the society of the common people. The rulers were very high, seen as deified, divinely appointed, not to be touched. Powerful men who built kingdoms. The people they ruled over included different clans and castes, but all were
called by the name of the ruler.

The Sumerians were ethnically Kushite,as far as I can tell. They were cattle-herding peoples with darker skin, though some had a lighter red skin tone, more like burnished copper. All physical features found in humans today were already present in ancient African populations. This is why it
is not accurate to speak of Africa as the continent of black people. It is the mother land of all humans! For example, there were red and black Nubians before the time of Abraham. They were brothers, but like tended to marry like; red with red, and black with black. Eventually this led to the distinction between Haplogroups R1a and R1b. 

To this my friend responded: "Can you explain why this information is suppressed from mainstream learning? It would stop all the confusion of the world in a instance. Some leaders have always known this knowledge that you know so well but never utter a word."

To this question, I responded:

There are many reasons why such knowledge is not widely known and embraced.

1. True wisdom is always veiled. It must be pursued. One must draw close to the mystery before God will reveal.

2. The demons wish to keep us from knowing the truth. We struggle against higher powers that always distort, corrupt, tarnish, and make what is pure impure.

3. Racism exists and it cuts many directions. Racism makes people lie about others. It also keeps people from seeing the truth about others.

4. The American system of education is based on the educational philosophy of the Marxist atheist John Dewey. Dewey insisted that students in American public schools should not discuss metaphysical topics such as eternity, the divine nature, the soul, the relationship of humans to other living creatures, the binary feature in the order of creation, God, etc. This means that we can't talk about things that matter very much to Africans.

5. The prevailing Western philosophy is that there is no Truth. There is only opinion and feelings, and one person's opinions/feelings are as valid and good as the other person's. In this context wisdom cannot be recognized. It is as if Wisdom's tongue has been cut out.

6. European and American Bible scholars have neglected the African context of Genesis, but Africans who read this material recognize the African tones immediately.

7. It takes courage to speak the truth. Truth is constantly challenged by those who impose their lies for personal gain. Truth often extracts as high price. That is why they kill prophets in every generation. The tongue that speaks truth is a sacrifice.

Related reading:  Recovering the African Foundations of GenesisWho Laid the Foundations of Science?; Seats of Wisdom; Red and Black Smiths; Common Questions About Genesis; Learning to Question Narratives; Pragmatism and American Education; Abusing Biblical Lists; The Wisdom of Yeshua Ben Sira

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stone Work of the Ancient World

Alice C. Linsley

One of the earliest occupations of Man was stone work. Sharp-edged flakes, flake fragments, and cobbles have been dated to between 2.5 and 2.6 million years. These were discovered at three sites along the Gona River in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Similar stone tools, known as Oldowan, have been found at Omo in southern Ethiopia, Lokalalei in northern Kenya, and Hadar, five miles east of the Gona River study area.

At Kathu in South Africa, archaeologists collected many thousands of stone tools and products of tool making in a few sample pits over a several acres. The archaeologists estimated that there are on average 900 artifacts per 100x100x10 cm volume of material in this area with much of the area up to 2 meters deep in artifact rich soils. This high concentration of stone artifacts along with available source rock in nearby outcrops suggests that this was a tool making center between 800,000 and 500,000 years ago.

On the Arabian Peninsula, the Qafzeh population created stone tools 125,000 years ago at Jebel Faya. These suggest that humans reached the Arabian Peninsula not from the Lower Nile Valley 119,000 to 81,000 years ago or from the Mediterranean shores 65,000 to 40,000 years ago, but much earlier from the Horn of Africa. The oldest tools were dated to approximately 120,000 years ago, and included denticulates, end-scrapers, foliates, hand axes, and side-scrapers.

Stone knapping involved health hazards for the workers. The inhalation of siliceous dust would have led to lung disease. The fact that this work was done most often in the open air improved the working conditions. When mining operations began, the risk of the disease increased. Neolithic miners and Egyptian mine workers suffered from the disease, but the workers who mined in the Lebombo Mountains 90,000 years ago would have suffered from respiratory problems also.

Some prehistoric stone artifacts were not used as tools. The Blombos Cave Plaque, dating to 80,000 years PB, may have served as a calendar or a counting device.

Blombos Cave Plaque
The Lebombo Mountains of South Africa mines were in operation between 100,000 and 80,000 years ago. These were not small hallows in the earth, but major mining operations in which thousands of mining tools have been found. Red ochre was extracted from large mining operations in the Lebombo Mountains. Red ochre was used almost universally in the burial of nobles between 45,000 and 2000 B.C.

The oldest known stone temple is at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. Göbekli Tepe is classified as a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site (PPN). It is designated PPNA (ca 10,500 to 9,500 BC) which puts it in the same class as Jericho, Netiv Hagdud, Nahul Oren, Gesher, Dhar', Jerf al Ahmar, Chogha Golan and Abu Hureyra. This site is located in the "land between the rivers" and was an ancient crossroads. The temple here predates by about 3000 years the oldest temple built by Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors at Nekhen.

Tombs at Nekhen

This early 18th Dynasty tomb is heavily carved as befits a tomb of an Overseer of Stone Carvers.

Many artifacts of great importance have been found at Nekhen. These include funeral masks, statues, jewelry, beer vats, large flint knives, and the pillared halls characteristic of later Egyptian monuments and temples. Nekhen is where the oldest life-sized human statue was found: a priest from the temple of Horus, dated about 3000 BC.

The oldest known temple (c. 5000 BC) to have association with Abraham's ancestors is the predynastic temple at Nekhen. The temple was located on the Nile, making it easier for temple officials to weigh and measure goods and assess tolls on the vessels that docked there. The temple consisted of a large oval courtyard surrounded by a mud-plastered reed fence. The courtyard was paved with multiple layers of compressed mud. This temple closely resembles shrines depicted on seals from the First Dynasty.

A later temple (c.3500 BC) was built within the precincts of the city. The earliest phase of this temple was a circular stone wall surrounding a large mound of sand supported by limestone blocks on which there may have been an Early Dynasty shrine. A number of limestone fragments, likely the footings for large pillars, were found within the stone enclosure wall. The central shrine consisted of three rooms and four 20-foot high wood pillars. Animals, including cattle, goats, fish and crocodiles, were sacrificed in the oval courtyard.

By this time, Nekhen had a population estimated at 10,000 inhabitants and was the most important settlement along the Nile. The city stretched for over two miles along the edge of the floodplain and was an important shrine city and commercial center. There were stone masons, weavers, potters, and beer brewers. Metal workers crafted sacred objects of gold and copper. 

Narmer Palette

In 1898 J.E. Quibell and F.W. Green found the macehead of Scorpion and the macehead and palette of Narmer at the main deposit of the temple of Horus. Also found at Nekhen were a seated red pottery lion and the great gold plumed falcon representing Horus, the son of Ra. Nekhen was named for Horus of the Falcon: Nekheny.

Stone tombs of El-Amarna

The capital of Akhenaten is at ancient Amarna, about 365 miles south of Cairo. It is set between cliffs at a narrow stretch along the Nile. 

Tomb of Tutu
Tutu was a very high ranked ruler-priest of Akhenaten. His titles included:

Overseer of all the craftsmen of the Lord of the Two Lands (Upper and Lower Nile)
Overseer of all the works of His Majesty
Overseer of silver and gold 
Chief spokesman of the entire land

Tombs at Giza and Abusir

Egyptian archaeologists discovered a 4400-year-old tomb, south of the cemetery of the pyramid builders at Giza, Egypt. The ancient tomb was unearthed near the pyramid builder's necropolis. The tomb belongs to a priest named Rudj-Ka (or Rwd-Ka), and is dated to between 2465 and 2323 BCRudj-Ka was a priest who performed purification rituals for those who bore blood guilt and who had become contaminated through contact with blood or a corpse.

The tomb of the priest Shepseskaf-ankh's is the third tomb found at Abusir belonging to a physician. A huge false door inside the offerings chapel carries the names and titles of the tomb owner: “Priest of Re in the Temples of the Sun” and “Priest of Khnum” with other titles that indicate the high rank of this ruler-priest. Originally the huge limestone tomb was marked by a pyramid. The discovery was made at Abusir near Cairo, not at the Abusir in Sudan.

The Czech mission, led by Miroslav Barta, stated that the construction of the tombs in Abusir began during the mid 5th Dynasty and many priests and officials who worked in the Abusir Pyramid complex of the 5th Dynasty and the Sun Temples were buried there.

Tombs built by the Hittite sons of Heth

Sarah died at Hebron (Arba) (Gen. 23:2-11) and Abraham requested a burying place for her of the sons of Heth. They offered him his choice of their stone tombs. It is likely that the deed to the cave with these tombs was part of the property that Abraham passed to his son Isaac (Gen. 25:5–6). According to Genesis 49:29, the cave tombs that Abraham bought with the field of Ephron were used to bury Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah.

Many tombs from the Early to the Middle and Late Bronze Ages have been found throughout Palestine. The most usual tomb was a natural cave or chamber reached through a vertical shaft which could be sealed by a stone slab (see image above). This is probably the type of burial place Abraham purchased from the Hittites who recognized him as "a great prince among us" (Gen. 23:6).  Genesis 10:15-19 indicates that the people of Heth were kinsmen of Abraham. They too were descendants of Noah from whom came Sidon and Heth.

HT is the Hebrew and Arabic root for copper - nahas-het. Nahash means serpent. As an adjective it means shining bright, like burnished copper. The clans of HeT were Bronze Age copper smiths who ranged from Timnah to Anatolia. The serpent image was sacred for them, just as it was for Moses the Horite ruler who fashioned a bronze serpent and set it on the standard (Numbers 21:9).

Royal Tombs in Anatolia

Royal tombs made of stone have been discovered in Alaca Hüyük and Horoztepe in Anatolia, dating to c. 2400–2200. The word "tepe" means hill in Turkish. "Horoz-tepe" is a reference to Horus and his devotees, the Horite ruler-priests, who were in Anatolia.  They are referenced in ancient texts as the Nes. In addition to stone work, they were smiths who introduced iron work to Anatolia. They called themselves the Nes (NS) and their language was called Nesli. Many magnificent artifacts have been recovered from these tombs, including this Sun disk from Alaca Hüyük (shown right).

Other rock tombs in Anatolia include stone sarcophagi and pillar tombs. The rock cut tombs at Myra resemble the rock-cut facades at Petra.

Rock-cut tombs at Myra

Rock-cut tombs at Petra (Note the red Edomite soil.)
Photo: Dennis Jarvis

The 3-story stone temple at Petra exhibits the typical Divine Triad of Supreme God, the Divine Son Horus, and the Mother Goddess Hathor. The connection to the kings of Egypt is evident in the name of Petra's central temple: Qasr al-Bint al-Faroun which means "The Fortress of the Daughter of Pharaoh." Its walls rise to over 75 feet. The temple was built between the late first century BC and the first century AD. Its precinct covers about 81,376 square feet or 7,560 square meters. A large open plaza was lined with 120 columns. The columns were adorned with Asian elephant-head capitals and provide evidence of connections between ancient Edom and India and other lands of the ancient Near East.

Tombs and Mining Operations

Oral tradition holds that the ruler-priest Joseph Ar-Mathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and a follower of Jesus, came to Cornwall in connection to mining operations there. Because mining and tomb construction involve the same skills and knowledge, these were the work of a select group who were related to the ancient priestly families. The same was true for metal work. Aaron fabricated the golden Horus calf and Moses made the bronze serpent. Along the Nile, royal priests were involved in the construction of tombs. From the time of the earliest pharaohs mining and tomb construction were the work of ruler-priests.

There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Joseph Ar-Mathea's connection to Cornwall. He had business in Cornwall as a metal tradesman and a mining expert.  Joseph provided the tomb where Jesus was laid to rest. It was his own tomb, so it was fitting for a priest of an ancient royal bloodline.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blood Guilt and Christ's Priesthood

Alice C. Linsley

Based on their experience and observation, early humans came to think of blood as the substance of life. Life required blood. This is what stands behind Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life."

The earliest humans noted that animals and humans bled when wounded. If a human bled out, he/she died. The spirit left them. There was anxiety that the one who killed would be haunted by that spirit. This is why humans felt anxiety about shedding blood. They regarded blood as having supernatural power. You will recall that the blood of Abel cried to the Creator from the ground.

There is evidence in Genesis that a very early designation for the human was the word blood. Adam is likely derived from ha-dam, meaning "the blood."

The one who shed the blood of another human carried blood guilt. They knew it deep inside and it troubled them. They needed a mediator to stand between them and the Creator to restore them by ritual absolution of the blood guilt. This is the likely origin of the priesthood. You will recall that after combat, Abraham received the ministry of the ruler-priest Melchizedek. This ritual most certainly involved water purification, but it definitely involved bread and wine. Here we have the signs of the two great sacraments given by Christ to his church: Baptism and Eucharist.

Cain, Nimrod, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David were men with blood on their hands. Cain killed Abel. Nimrod was a mighty hunter and a kingdom builder who forged his territory through conquest. Abraham killed in combat. Moses took the life of an Egyptian slave driver. David killed Goliath and arranged for the death of Uriah, Bathsheba's husband. The Bible does not sanitize the lives of these men. They bore blood guilt and they acutely felt the necessity of priestly absolution.

Hebrews 10:4 says, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." The Horite ruler priests of Onn and Nekhen would have understood this. They recognized that the blood sacrifice had to be offered again and again. It did not serve once and for all, as does the blood of the Lamb of God. They lived in expectation of the reveling of the Lamb of God, and John the Baptist announced His appearing: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

The Horim who lived in Palestine tended sheep because the terrain is less hospitable to cattle that the wide grasslands of the wet Sahara. So the Christ is called "Lamb' of God. However, their Nilo-Saharan ancestors were cattle herders, and for them the image of the divine sacrifice was the "Calf" of God. This is the meaning behind the account of the Golden Horus Calf fabricated by Aaron (Ex. 32).

The calf is suggestive of Horus as a child. Horus' anthropomorphic form is either as a adult male who is the patron of kings, or as a boy wearing the sidelock typical of royal Egyptian youth. As a youth he represents the heir to the kingdom who is innocent of blood guilt. He represents both purity and power to subdue. Horus as a child is often shown on cippi dominating crocodiles and serpents. Consider this in light of the Woman, the Child, and the Dragon in Revelation 12. Consider also the red cow of Numbers 19 that stands as a perpetual symbol of Israel's need for cleansing. The cow is sacrificed and burned outside the camp and the ashes used for "water of lustration." (Num. 19:9) Consider this: Jesus, as with his ancestors Adam, Esau, David, and the Horites of Edom, had a distinctive red skin tone. He was sacrificed outside the camp, and through His blood we are washed clean.

Among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors, the Calf's mother was called Hathor. Her animal totem was the long-horned cow and she was depicted with a crown of horns in which the sun rests, as a sign of her divine appointment. This is fulfilled in Mary. The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

Hathor appears on monument walls at Dendera holding her calf child in a manger.

The Proto-Gospel involves other details that have been specifically fulfilled in Mary and Jesus. One is the ancient Horite belief that Horus would rise on the third day. This was ritualized by the priests blessing grain sowed in the fields on the third day after 2 days of mourning the death of Horus at the hands of his own brother. This is what stand behind Jesus explanation to his disciples about HIS impending death: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)

Related reading: Who is Jesus?; Fundamentalism and Syncretism in Hebrew History; Boats and Cows of the Proto-Saharans; Adam Was a Red Man; The Edomites and the Color Red; Blood and Binary Distinctions; Ethical Concerns of Archaic Communities

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Red and Black Smiths

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

Vran in Serbian means black. The Irish equivalent is bran. This figure is likely proto-Celtic and the reference to "black" smith may pertain to more than the soot from the forge. It may be indicate a genetic stock that today is identified as "black Irish." This is haplogroup R1b and the origin is the Nile Valley and Wet Sahara. From the earliest times, populations in the Upper Nile included people of red and black skin. 

The peoples of Tanais included Khazars, Magyars, and Horites. Their territory in Eastern Ukraine was known as "Red Croatia" and its inhabitants were called "Sarmatian" Horites. These peoples were generally classified as "Scythians" by Herodotus. The Idu of Benin, the Horite Edomites, and the Idumeans of Edom were known for their red skin tone.

The word Tanais and Tanaba are probably related to the Ainu word Tanabe. The Tanabe or Tanobe were a royal caste whose work was to tend the Emperor's rice paddies. The emperor's rice paddies were sacred places, as were the circular threshing floors of the Biblical Horites. In II Samuel 24:18, we read that David built an altar at the threshing floor of the Jebusite chief Araunah. Genetic and linguistic studies have demonstrated a connection between African and Asian rice production, trade, and commercial record keeping.

The Ainu were know to have a reddish skin tone and full beards. There is a connection between the Ainu populations worldwide, whose ancestors originated in the Upper Nile Valley. At Nekhen, the oldest known Horite shrine, the redheaded man in Burial no. 79 had a full beard. The presence of long wavy natural red hair and a full beard suggests that this individual may have been Ainu (Annu). The Ainu were among Abraham's ancestors, and although they were already widely dispersed by Abraham's time, the Nile Valley appears to be their point of origin. The Annu built the original shrine of Heliopolis which is called "Onn" in Genesis 41. Joseph married the daughter of the high priest on Onn.

Horite priests were famous for their metal work. Aaron forged the golden calf, a representation of the youthful Horus, and Moses forged the bronze serpent, a symbol of deliverance and healing. The Horites were devotees of Horus who was called "son" of God. His mother was Hathor who conceived by divine overshadowing. Messianic expectation appears to have originated with their Nilotic ancestors.

Copper mine at Faynan

Edom was famous for mining. The Horite rulers of Edom were experienced at mining operations. The copper-rich region of the Faynan is in ancient Edom. Mining operations have run here and at Timna in the Negev for 12,000 years. At both sites smelting of the extracted copper has been done since the Chalcolithic period, 4,500 years ago.  A temple dedicated to Hathor was discovered at the southwest edge of Mt. Timna by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University. The smelting works, slag and flints at this site were found to be identical to those discovered near Beersheba where Abraham spent much of his time.  In his book Timna, Rothenberg concluded that the peoples living in the area were "partners not only in the work but in the worship of Hathor." (p. 183)

Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef draw a social distinction between the low-class miners and the higher-class smelters: “The people engaged in smelting were actually highly skilled craftspersons and were treated as such. This fundamental observation stems from the inherent complexity of the technology that demanded and created an idiosyncratic class of workers.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Priesthood in England - Conclusion

This concludes a four-part anthropological study on the priesthood in England. Parts 1-3 are linked at the bottom of this page.  Readers are encouraged to begin with Part 1 which compares and contrasts the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox narratives touching on the early presence of priests in England.

Alice C. Linsley

Anglicans have held to the Roman account of the priesthood as an order originating with Jesus' Apostles. This idea was beautifully developed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict), who wrote:

Of great importance for our question is the fact that Jesus gave His power to the Apostles in such a way that He made their ministry, as it were, a continuation of His own mission. "He who receives you receives me". He Himself says to the Twelve (Mt 10:40; cf. Lk 10:16; Jn 13:10). Many other texts in which Jesus gives His power to the disciples could here be cited: Mt 9:8: 10:1: 21:23; Mk 0:7: 13:34; Lk 4:6: 9:1; 10:19. The continuity between the mission of Jesus and that of the apostles is once again illustrated with great clarity in the Fourth Gospel: "As the Father has sent me. even so I send you" (20:21: cf. 13:20; 17:18).

The weight of this sentence is evident if we recall what we said above concerning the structure of the mission of Jesus. As we saw, Jesus Himself, sent in the totality of His person, is indeed mission and relation from the Father and to the Father. In this light the great importance of the following parallelism appears: "The Son can do nothing of His own accord" (Jn 5:19-30). "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).

This "nothing" which the disciples share with Jesus expresses at one and the same time both the power and the infirmity of the apostolic ministry. By themselves, of their own strength, they can do none of those things which apostles must do. How could they of their own accord say, "I forgive you your sins"? How could they say, "This is my body"? How could they perform the imposition of hands and say, "Receive the Holy Spirit"? None of those things which constitute apostolic activity are done by one's own authority. But this expropriation of their very powers constitutes a mode of communion with Jesus, who is wholly from the Father, with Him all things and nothing without Him. Their own "nihil posse", their own inability to do anything, draws them into a community of mission with Jesus. Such a ministry, in which a man does and gives through a divine communication what he could never do and give on his own is called by the tradition of the Church a "sacrament".

If Church usage calls ordination to the ministry of priesthood a "sacrament", the following is meant: This man is in no way performing functions for which he is highly qualified by his own natural ability nor is he doing the things that please him most and that are most profitable. On the contrary, the one who receives the sacrament is sent to give what he cannot give of his own strength; he is sent to act in the person of another, to be his living instrument. For this reason no human being can declare himself a priest; for this reason, too. no community can promote a person to this ministry by its own decree.
(From here.)

Catholics and Anglicans traditionally have traced the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics and Anglicans believe this special charism is transmitted through the unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands (Numbers 27:22-23).

There is a serious historical problem with this view, however. The empowering of his disciples to make other disciples cannot be understood as Jesus ordaining these men to the priesthood, and the charisms of the Holy Spirit are granted to all Christians, not just priests. There is nothing in the account of Pentecost to support the idea that the Apostles were priests. As far as we know, none were priests. This is why there is no scholarly documentation of the chain of succession during the very earliest days of the Church. According to this account, the original bishops were consecrated by one or more of the Apostles. These successor bishops later consecrated more bishops. There is documentation tracing the chain of consecration from the early 2nd century, but before that none. The Vatican acknowledges this fact. The 1973 International Theological Commission on Catholic Teaching on Apostolic Succession states:

The absence of documents makes it difficult to say precisely how these transitions came about. By the end of the first century the situation was that the apostles or their closest helpers or eventually their successors directed the local colleges of episkopoi andpresbyteroi. By the beginning of the second century the figure of a single bishop who is the head of the communities appears very clearly in the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who further claims that this institution is established "unto the ends of the earth" (Ad Epk. 3, 2).

During the second century and after the Letter of Clement this institution is explicitly acknowledged to carry with it the apostolic succession. Ordination with imposition of hands, already witnessed to in the pastoral Epistles, appears in the process of clarification to be an important step in preserving the apostolic Tradition and guaranteeing succession in the ministry. The documents of the third century (Tradition of Hippolytus) show that this conviction was arrived at peacefully and was considered to be a necessary institution. (From here.)

When the best Church scholars fail to find evidence for something, it is probable that the evidence does not exist. Perhaps it is time to look at this from a different perspective.

The Apostolic Canons of the Eastern Orthodox require that the consecration of a bishop must be accomplished by at least three. The same applies to episcopal consecrations in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. There is a precedent for this in history. In the Sanhedrin ordination was conferred by a court of three. There were three ruler-priests among Jesus' disciples and it is through them that the succession of the priesthood continued and has continuity with the priesthood "after the order of Melchizedek." All three of these priests were members of the Sanhedrin, and the law did not require that they all be present to lay on hands.  As long as one was present to lay on hands, the other two could consent by messenger or letter.

Only priests belonging to prominent families were members of the Sanhedrin, the Beth Din HaGadol (The Great Court). A "prominent" family was one whose lineages could be traced back to Horite ruler-priests (what Jews call their Horim). These members of the Sanhedrin served under the presidency of the high priest much as priests today served under the presidency of their bishop. The high priest bore the title nasi (ruler, king, prince) and retained this even after the presidency was transferred to other hands. Similarly, in Anglican orders a bishop remains a bishop even after he has stepped down from serving in that office.

As individuals within the Sanhedrin passed away, or became unfit for service, new members were ordained. These ordinations continued in an unbroken succession from Moses to Yehoshua the priest of the two crowns (Zec. 6:11), to the elders of Israel, to the prophets (including Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi), to the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah or "Men of the Great Assembly" founded by Ezra c. 520 B.C., to the sages of the Sanhedrin of the Second Temple (c. 520 - A.D. 70).

The second in charge was a ruler-priest who was called ab bet din (father of the court). The role of the ab bet din appears to have been a combination of the roles of the bishop's chaplain and the chancellor of the diocese who serves as the chief legal consultant to the Bishop. The polity and ordination procedures of the Anglican Church seem to parallel the Sanhedrin. As the ordination (semicha) was abolished in 358 AD, the succession of Christian priests is now the living testimony to Messiah's appearing.

The third century Rabbi Johanan enumerates the qualifications of the members of the Sanhedrin as follows: they must be tall, of imposing appearance, of advanced age, and scholars. They were also required to be adept in the use of foreign languages. When testimony was give to the Sanhedrin in a foreign language, at least two members who spoke that language were required to examine the witness. There was also a third member who understood the language. These three members constituted a minor court of three, who then reported the testimony to the entire Sanhedrin.

Many members of the Sanhedrin did business in foreign parts and visited the local synagogues. Some High Priests lived in exile among foreign peoples (Hyrcanus among the Parthians, for example.)

The only followers of Jesus that are known to be members of the Sanhedrin were James the Just, Nicodemus, and Joseph Ar-Mathea who was called "bouleutēs" (honorable counselor). Joseph was "waiting for the kingdom of God" according to Mark 15:43. He is designated Ar-Mathea, that is, of the ruling line of Matthew. This means he was a kinsman of Jesus. Mary’s parents were Yoachim and Anna. Yoachim was a shepherd-priest and his wife Anna was a daughter of a priest. Hippolytus of Thebes records that Mary’s mother was one of three daughters of a priest named Matthan or Mathea (Matthias).

Apparently, Joseph had business and probably family connections in Cornwall. The Cornish say that he once visited the Ding Dong mining operation. Eusebius of Caesarea (260–340 A.D.) may have been referring to this in Demonstratio Evangelica when he reports that some of Jesus' earliest disciples "have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain." Since one qualification of membership in the Sanhedrin was facility of multiple languages, Joseph would have been able to communicate with the people of Britain.

As a ruler-priest Joseph would have known men who were qualified to serve as Christian priests in Britain and he would have been able to arrange for their ordination. Being of advanced age, he would have been older than Jesus and most of His Apostles. This means that any ordinations he may have arranged in Cornwall could have taken place within a few years of Jesus' death and resurrection.

Priestly and Commercial Records

The hieroglyphs were priestly writings, and the symbolism of each glyph or pictograph pertains to the ancient Egyptian cosmology which changed over time. The oldest of these will be found in the Upper Nile and at the oldest Horite shrine in Nekhen. To understand the Sumerian pictographs we have to look at the earlier roots common to both the Nilotic and Sumerian peoples. Here we will find some very ancient lexemes, like V and W; T/X and the solar symbols O and Y. Many of these lexemes appear in the old Dedanite scripts, and in the Oasis North Arabian alphabets like Thamudic, Dumaitic, and Taymanitic. The urheimat of the Canaanite Y is the Nilo-Saharan cattle herding populations. They are among Abraham's ancestors and Messianic expectation appears to have originated among them.

Orly Goldwasser, professor of Egyptology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argues that the first alphabet, from which all other alphabets developed, was invented by Canaanite miners in the turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai peninsula. The pictorial hieroglyphs of the Nile Valley served as the inspiration for this alphabet.

Other ancient writing forms used by merchants for keeping accounts are found along ancient trade routes; the spice routes, the silk routes, the King's Highway from Egypt through Palestine, the ancient tin route from Spain to Ireland, etc. These involve fewer pictographs and more hatch marks that suggest counting or record keeping. Ogham bears resemblance to these earlier commercial scripts. Some of the elements of the commercial scripts are found in Hebrew and in Ainu, scripts which are clearly related.

A comparison of the Ainu (Kata) and Hebrew scripts reveals a connection that is explained by the fact that the earliest scripts were those used by priests in the service of rulers in many regions, and these priest-scribes kept royal accounts. These ancient rulers are the "mighty men of old" mentioned in Genesis. Among them were the "red" rulers associated with Abraham and the Edomites.

The wide dispersion of the Habiru priests and scribes is evident in the study of ancient texts and through the presence of both priestly and commercial scripts worldwide. This dispersion began at least 10,000 years before Jesus Christ and included movement into Asia Minor, Hungary, Spain, and the British Isles.

There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Joseph Ar-Mathea's connection to Cornwall in spite of the dubious legends from the Middle Ages. He had business in Cornwall as a metal tradesman and a mining expert. From the time of the earliest pharaohs mining and tomb construction were the work of ruler-priests. Joseph was likely engaged in both, even as he was responsible for the tomb where the Lord Jesus was laid to rest. As a high ranking priest of the Sanhedrin, he had authority to ordain priests. As a follower of Jesus Messiah, he is the key to understanding the continuity between the priesthood attached to the promises made to Abraham and his Habiru ancestors and the priesthood of the Church.

Related reading: The Priesthood in England - Part 1; The Priesthood in England - Part 2; The Priesthood in England - Part 3; Why Nekhen is Anthropologically Significant; Luther Was Wrong About the Priesthood; Solving the Ainu MysteryThe Kushite-Kushan Connection; A Kindling of Ancient Memory; Red and Black Smiths

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Priesthood in England - Part 3

This is part 3 of a series on the priesthood in England. You are encouraged to read the entire series. Links are provided at the bottom of this page.

Joseph of the Horite ruler line of Matthew (Ar-Mathea) was a trader in metals.
He likely had relatives or business associates living in Cornwall and Devon.

Alice C. Linsley

Oral tradition in Cornwall holds that the ruler-priest Joseph Ar-Mathea came there in connection to mining. In the ancient world, ruler-priests were responsible for metal work, mining operations, and the construction of royal tombs. This is evident in the case of the earliest Nilotic rulers, c. 3200 B.C. About 80,000 years ago, red ochre was being extracted from large mining operations in the Lebombo Mountains and the red powder was used in the burial of nobles almost universally between 45,000 and 2000 B.C.

Mining in Cornwall and Devon in England began as early as 2150 BC. The Ding Dong mine is one of the oldest mines in Cornwall. 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)

Hawkins, Christopher Hawkins wrote a book titled Observations on the Tin Trade of the Ancients in Cornwall (1811) in which he noted that Cornwall was visited by metal traders from the eastern Mediterranean. One of those metal traders was Joseph of Ar-Mathea.

The legend concerning Joseph of Ar-Mathea's connection to Britain has support from the sciences. Genetic studies have confirmed that the Horite Ainu dispersed widely across the ancient world. Some migrated to Hokkiado and Okinawa. Others came to the British Isles and Scandinavia. From there, some migrated to Greenland, Labrador, and Eastern Canada where they came to be called "Miqmac" by the French. The Ainu have a Nilotic origin and are described as having a red skin tone.

An early population living in the region of Cornwall were Dam-oni which means red people. Dam-oni is likely a reference to the red skin Ainu. They were the builders of the great shrine city of Heliopolis, Biblical On.

A variant spelling is Dumnonii (shown on the map). The Dam-oni may have come from 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. Nak involved the extraction of teeth.

Jews lived in Cornwall from before the Roman Period. They were as tradesmen, artisans, stone masons, metal workers, and miners. Among them were the priests who performed animal sacrifices, circumcision, and the Sun blessing ceremony (Birkat Hachama). Today rabbis perform the ceremony only every 28 years on a Tuesday at sundown, but in the ancient world this ceremony was probably performed by the Habiru at mid-winter, from which point the days would begin to lengthen, and at mid-summer, from which point the days would begin to shorten. The circle at Stonehenge was designed to help the priests know when to perform such ceremonies. The word Samhain is clearly related to the Arabic word for the Sun - shams. Ha-in is probably of Semitic origin also, and may be a variant of ha-on, referring to the sea-faring Ainu/Oni.

The inhabitants of Cornwall were involved in the manufacture of tin ingots. The area has prehistoric tin mines, stone monoliths, and iron age fortresses. This is the region where Joseph of Ar-Mathea is said to have visited, and the presence of Hebrew is evident in place names like Marazion, meaning "sight of Zion" or Menheniot, which is derived from the Hebrew words min oniyot, meaning "from ships." Menheniot was a center of lead mining.

The Hebrews living in the British Isles exhibited great skill in the construction of stone monuments, as did their Kushite-Kushan ancestors who built monuments at Karnak, Heliopolis, Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, and Catalhoyuk in Anatolia. Their mining expertise was evident in the construction of excavated pyramid tombs such as those found in Bosnia and the Tarum Valley of China.

Maeshowe in Orkney

Prehistoric stone work of cairns, henges, and brochs is found throughout the British Isles. Chambered cairns have been found in vast areas of Scotland, some dating to 5,000-6,000 B.C. Huge kerbstones are found at the entrance of some cairns. These are shaped to fit a passageway leading to the royal burial chambers. In Orkney the intricate and extraordinary cairn at Maeshowe (shown above) is chambered exactly like that of ancient royal tombs found in Bosnia.

Similar stone entrances have been discovered in New England also. Compare the Maeshowe entrance to the entrance of the Acton Massachusetts chamber shown below.

The many pyramids, stone monuments, temples, shrine cities, and stone tombs of the ancient world show a remarkable similarity in their construction. They reveal accurate astronomical observations, as has been demonstrated through studies of Stonehenge. Fred Hoyle (California Institute of Technology) observes in his book on Stonehenge that men living 5000 years ago were "meticulous observers of the night sky" who "calculated with numbers" and "communicated sophisticated astronomical knowledge among themselves from generation to generation." From the earliest times, this was the work of priests and that has been shown time again by research into ancient sacred sites.

Men-an-Tol stone near Penzance in Cornwall

The motifs that appear on the stone work also connect the craftsmen of tombs, monuments and crosses to the ancient Habiru emblem of the Creator, the Sun. Those motifs include the 6-prong solar wheel such as that found on the ossuaries of the ruling families in Jerusalem and the Celtic cross. One of the oldest is St. Piran's Cross (below) in Cornwall which is clearly a solar symbol.

Saint Piran or Peran was an early 6th-century Cornish abbot and the patron saint of tin-miners.

Related reading: The Priesthood in England - Part 1; The Priesthood in England - Part 2; The Priesthood in England - ConclusionA Kindling of Ancient Memory; Solving the Ainu Mystery; The Kushite-Kushan Connection; The Pyramids of Bosnia; Who Laid the Foundations of Science?; Mining Blood; Red and Black Smiths

The Priesthood in England - Part 2

The ruler-priest caste was responsible for metal work, record keeping, the construction of royal tombs and astronomical observations. These priests, called "Habiru" in ancient texts, were attached to rulers from Lake Chad to Southern China and from Anatolia to the British Isles.

Alice C. Linsley

In Part 1 we considered the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox accounts of the origins of the Church of England. The information provided in Part 1 was taken from official websites of each of these branches of the catholic Faith. There is only point on which all three accounts agree: Augustine was the official representative of Rome and was based in Canterbury. So it is that the Britons were claimed as a Roman franchise. That historical reality has had ramifications beyond Henry VIII and the Reformation. The Roman narrative has dominated the conversation for so long that the deficiencies of the account are rarely questioned.

Rome is in error when it claims to have brought Christianity to the Britons and that there was no priesthood in Britain prior to Augustine. Father Louis R. Tarsitano expressed the truth when he wrote: ... it is a simple error of fact to claim that the Anglican Church “began” in the Reformation, or even with the late 6th century mission of St. Augustine to evangelize the newly arrived Anglo-Saxon pagans. The bishops of a five-centuries-old Christian Church met Augustine on the beach. (Of Forms and the Anglican Way)

The Eastern Orthodox narrative places greater emphasis on the role of Irish monks and priests and their evangelistic efforts in the 5th and 6th centuries. However, it does not explore the evidence of a priest caste in Ireland well before the Roman Period. These priests served as prophets at oak trees, just as was done in Abraham's time (Genesis 12:6). They sacrificed animals. They believed in the eternal soul. They were wise in astronomy, medicine, construction of stone monuments, and metal work. They performed circumcisions, a practice that persisted among the royal families of Anglo-Celtic heritage. They offered sacrifices and prayers at sacred shrines, and the priests were ordained by ruler-priests. The description of the ruler-priests suggests that they were Hebrew priests who came to Ireland, Wales, and England. Evidently, some settled there.

This is not new information. There is much evidence to attest the dispersal of Hebrew priests across the ancient world. The term "Hebrew" is from Ha-biru/Ha-piru which appears in many ancient texts and refers to a caste of ruler-priests who served at the great shrines and sun temples (O-piru) of the ancient world. These were monuments located at water sources and often at high elevations, indicated by the root AR, as in Armagh (high place). The Ar reference is found in the names of many historical places and persons, including Arba, Aroch, Ar-Shem, Arsames, Artix, Araxes, the Edomite ruler Arêtes, and an obscure figure of first century Briton named Arviragus, the King. Then there is the ruler-priest Joseph of Ar-Mathea and a Jebusite ruler called Araunah who sold King David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar. Threshing floors were built at high flat elevations so that the wind would carry away the chaff. These high places - the Ar places - were where sacred ceremonies took place.

The Ar are identified with the "sea peoples" whose range extended the length of the Mediterranean and to the Black Sea. The rulers were highly effective warriors 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 metal workers who fashioned weapons and symbols of authority. These are called the Nes, Neshi or Nehesi. The Neshi still function as priests in Igboland.  The metal-working Nes of Anatolia are their kin.

Nehesi means "One who serves Hesi." Hesi was another name for Hathor, Horus' mother. Throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic world shrines were dedicated to both Horus and Hathor. These were mound cities with water sources. Tell-Hesi is an example. Other mound shrines included Hazor and Beersheba. In Anatolia they built Catalhoyuk. The houses excavated in Catalhoyuk are dated between 6800-5700 B.C. At Horoztepe, in northern Anatolia, royal tombs have been discovered dating from 2400–2200 BC. These are richly furnished with finely crafted artifacts in bronze, gold, and silver.

It is thought that the Hittites introduced iron work to Anatolia, but the term "Hittite" is an anachronism. They called themselves Nes, or Nus (Nuzi), and their language was called Nesli. They were known for their skill as metal workers and the root of their original name is NS, a symbol for the serpent.

Scythian belt title made of gold
7th century B.C.

In his study of mythology, Joseph Campbell concluded that Scythians were Hittites who intermingled with Celtic and Japhetic tribes, including the Magyar (Hungarians) who claim descent from Noah through his son Japheth. The Nilo-Saharan origin of the Magyar has been confirmed by genetic testing.

Abraham interacted with the Hittite clans of Het who are listed in Genesis 10. HT is the Hebrew and Arabic root for copper - nahas-het. Nahash means serpent. As an adjective it means shining bright, like burnished copper. The clans of HeT were Bronze Age copper smiths who ranged from Timnah to Anatolia. The serpent image was sacred for them, just as it was for Moses the Horite ruler who fashioned a bronze serpent and set it on the standard (Numbers 21:9).

It is evident that the Ar peoples were highly skilled in the construction of stone tombs and monuments. These were shrine centers attended by priests and were circular with large perimeter stones such as those found at Stonehenge and Göbekli Tepe (shown below).

The Ar who controlled the kingdoms of Tyre and Arvad. The Arvadites and Arkites are mentioned in Genesis 10:15-18. They are the peoples of Sidon and Het/Heth. They spread to the northeast with the Kushite expansion. Their Mesopotamian kin are called "Arameans" in the Bible.

The Habiru/Hebrew priests were in the service of rulers in India, Pakistan, Bactria, and throughout the Caucasus. They served Kushite and Kushan rulers from the Sahara to the Tarum Valley of China. Among the Kushites were the Ainu who dispersed out of the Nile to Northern Japan and Okinawa, and to Scandinavia and the Hudson Bay area of Canada. It seems unlikely that they would have avoided the British Isles.

Some of the Hebrew living in the British Isles would have been living in expectation of the Messiah and would have heard about Jesus' death and resurrection from Jews with whom they did business. Men like Joseph of Ar-Mathea would have been missionary merchants and tradesmen who had opportunities to plant a Christian presence among their fellow priests. As a member of the Sanhedrin, Joseph was qualified to perform ordinations.

This suggests that the priesthood among the Celts and Britons has a longer history than has been generally recognized. It is at least as early as the episcopacy of Evodius of Antioch (53–69 A.D.) and the episcopacy of James of Jerusalem (d. 69 A.D.), and the episcopacy of Linus of Rome (67-79 A.D.). According to Gildas's De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae there were already Christians living in Britain in 46 AD. It is likely that these were Hebrew believers who were metal traders and mining experts. Metal working priests were a caste among the Hebrew. They continued an ancient craft that was older than even Aaron who fabricated a golden Horus calf (Exodus 32) and Moses who fabricated the bronze serpent (Numbers 21).

Related reading: The Priesthood in England - Part 1; Who Laid the Foundations of Science?; The Priesthood in England - Part 3; The Priesthood in England - ConclusionWho is Jesus?