Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Priesthood in England - Part 3

Alice C. Linsley

Given the evidence set forth in Parts 1 and 2 about the priesthood in England, we must consider the possibility of double validity: 1) succession through the priesthood, and 2) succession through the Apostles.

Among the Seventy, there were Jewish priests. One of them was Ananias of Damascus who laid hands on Paul and Paul received the charism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9). This is exactly what the Church believes concerning Apostolic Succession, only Ananias was not one of the Twelve Apostles. This suggests greater continuity between the priesthood of old and the priesthood of the Church than is generally recognized.

I would like to expand on that. In the early centuries Christians in the Roman empire tended to stress the Resurrection of Jesus more than Baptism because they were baptized by blood (martyrdom). However, on the edges of the empire, Baptism was stressed more often. For example, in Armenia where icons of Ananias depict him baptizing Paul. This 12th century Italian icon is an example.

The Armeni origins have been traced to Neolithic populations of the Caucasus and to dispersed African populations, largely Sub-Saharan Nilotes (c. 3000 BC). Armenian DNA studies show they have a mixture of these gene flows. Findings in linguistics, DNA studies, migration patterns, routes of tin mining, toponyms, archaeology, and anthropology support the possibility of two streams of authority for the priesthood of the Church.

The Evidence from Cornwall

Oral tradition in Cornwall holds that the ruler-priest Joseph Arimathea came there in connection to mining. Joseph of the venerable (Ar) clan of Matthew (Ar-Mathea) was a mining expert who probably did assessments for the Romans. He may have had relatives and/or Hebrew business associates living in Cornwall and Devon, as evidenced by the many Semitic places names in that region of southern England.

Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin, a council of ruling priests. In the ancient world, ruler-priests were responsible for metal work, surface and tunnel mining operations, and the construction of royal tombs.

No one knows when surface mining began in Cornwall and Devon, but it was well before 2150 B.C. Tin ore was mined in Cornwall as early as the Bronze age. Dolcoath dates from the late 1500's, but Ding Dong, with its proximity to the Nine maidens stone circle, is considered 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)

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 Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin.

The legend concerning Joseph of Arimathea's connection to Britain has support from the sciences. Genetic studies have confirmed about 70% of native British men has Y-DNA R1b ancestry, which is the same genetic group as King Tut. 

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. 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. 

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 smiths of Cornwall also worked gold. This golden lunula from Cornwall dates to between 2400-2000 BC.

The Hebrew living in the British Isles also exhibited great skill in the construction of stone monuments, as did their ancestors who built monuments at Karnak and Heliopolis on the Nile, and stone fortresses like Meroe on the Orontes. Their ancestors probably built Göbekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk. Their mining expertise was evident in the construction of excavated tombs, stone tombs, and tomb mounds such as those found in Bosnia and the Tarum Valley of China. In Orkney the intricate and extraordinary cairn at Maeshowe (shown below) is chambered exactly like that of ancient royal tombs found in Bosnia.

Maeshowe in Orkney

Prehistoric cairns, henges, and brochs are 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 have been found at the entrance of some cairns. These are shaped to fit a passageway leading to the burial chambers of high-status individuals. 

Stonework such as this required the skills of a specialized group of men. From ancient times this work was done by priests.

The pyramids, stone monuments, temples, shrine cities, and 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 stonework also connect the craftsmen of tombs, monuments and crosses to the ancient 6-prong solar symbol of the dispersed Hebrew. That motif is found on the ossuaries of the ruling families in Jerusalem and on some Celtic crosses. This is the ossuary of Miriam, a granddaughter of the High Priest Caiaphas.

Among the early Hebrew ruler-priests the Sun was the emblem of the High God. It is not surprising that solar symbols appear in Cornwall. St. Piran's Cross (below) is an example. Saint Piran was an early 6th-century Cornish abbot and the patron saint of tin-miners. Isotopic analyses have shown that tin from Cornwall was traded as far away as the Aegean and other eastern Mediterranean regions.

Related reading: The Ar RulersThe Neolithic and Bronze Age Periods in Cornwall, The Priesthood in England - Part 1; The Priesthood in England - Part 2; The Priesthood in England - Conclusion; Was King Arthur a Descendant of Nilotic Rulers?; The Ancient Tumuli of Nobles; Stonework of the Ancient World

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