Du kanske gillar. Permanent Record Edward Snowden Inbunden. Super Attractor Gabrielle Bernstein Inbunden. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. This is the extraordinary story of Knight and Lomas's fourteen year quest to uncover the secret teachings buried beneath Roslin Chapel near Edinburgh. Their quest ends with extraordinary revelations about early human history - the origins of Christianity, of Freemasonry and of science.
They show that all were charged with a belief in a secret cosmic code, linking, for example, the Exodus from Egypt, the founding of Solomon's Temple and the Star of Bethlehem. This book reveals for the first time why there were such high expectations of a Messiah at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Book of Hiram will change everything you thought you knew about both the Bible and Freemasonry.
Passar bra ihop. Their vocabulary and most likely their ability for abstract thought must have been very limited indeed. Travel for all but the most highly skilled master masons was a rare event so secret signs, grips and passwords would not be of much value; and even if they did travel from one building construction to another why would they need. If someone fal sely claimed to be a stonemason it would not take long to spot their inability to work stone.
As many kings and their mightiest lords have been Freemasons from the Order's known beginnings to the present see Appendices , we could not imagine the circumstances in which a band of nobl emen turned up at a stonemasons' gathering asking if they could copy their proceed ings to use them, in a symbolic manner, for their own moral betterment. We found the defi nitive evidence to di spose of the 'stonemason theory' when we studied what are known in Freemasonry as 'The Old Charges', the oldest of which is believed to date back to the late fifteenth century.
It sets out rules of conduct and responsibility for Freemasons and it has always been assumed that these were taken from the codes of conduct belonging to medieval stonemasons' guilds. One of these Charges states that ' no brother is to reveal any legitimate secret of another brother if it might cost him hi s life and propeny'. The only legi timate Masonic secret at that time that would automatically carry such a penalty if di scovered by the state, would have been heresy; a cri me that surely would not have been committed or condoned by simple, Christian stonemasons.
The question we asked ourselves was, h on earth would heresy be antici ossible uil secret of these cast e and cathe a UI ers? Organisations do not evolve important rules in case one of their members might one day be secretly guilty of a crime against the Church; clearly whoever originated this Old Charge was aware that every brother lived with the danger of being branded a heretic.
We were certain that these rules were nol created by simple stonemasons, but for a group that Jived on the fringes of the law of the land. Having satisfied ourselves that there was no evidence to support the stonemason theory and plenty to damn it, we became increasingly puzzled as to what kind of people the ' Ancient Charges' cou ld have referred to.
Another Charge from the same period, much di scussed by hi storians, indicates a very clandestine ancient purpose. This refers to the provision of 'employment ' for a visiting brother for the period of two weeks after which time ' e should then be given some money and put on.
This is the in of treatment at one wou1 expectto be extended to' a man on the run, seeking safe-houses as he goes. There is no link connecting medieval stonemasons to this event, but there most certainly is where the third theory is concerned - the Knights Templar theory. The Knights Te ,nplar, or to give them their full title, the Poor FellowSoldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, were formed almost six hundred years before the establishment of the Grand Lodge of En gland.
IS break has prompted many observers, Masonic and otherwise. More recently available evidence has. Before we look at the formation of this fascinating Order, we examined the circumstances of the building that gave the Templars their name and Freemasonry its theme. The first was that built by IGng Solomon three thousand years ago. Imaginary though this Temple was, it cannot be ignored as it has had a significant effect on later Jewish writings and beliefs that passed down to Christian belief. The third was built by King Zerubbabel in the early part of the six.
Both names are attempts at translating from Hebrew. The Jews themselves had no architectural heritage, and none of them had the building skills required to erect anything more than a simple wall; consequently, e Tern Ie at Jerusalem was built b craftsmen. Despite a commonly held Masonic view that this Temple was a landmark in the history of building" Cl arke and otherexpens consider its style, size and layout to be almoS,la m b.
This, however, would be a mistake as. There are no physical remains of the Temple of Solomon and there are no independent records of it, so no one can be sure whether or not it really I , A New Look!
R, Clarke. They tell us that this, the most famous of all temples, was built of stone and completely lined inside with cedar brought from Tyre. The walls are said to have been nine cubits about 13 foot 6 inches thick at their base and rose to support a flat timber roof of cedar topped with fir. The distinguishing characteristic of the Temple was.. The interior was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide and the whole building was aJigned from west to east with a single entrance at the eastern end.
A partition with a pair of folding doors set into it divided the interior into a two thirds to one third split, creating.!. This wasJhe. Orac,ls of the Old.!. On top of it was a thic k sheet of solid gold andm o woodeIl. These cherubim were not the chubby! They would have been EgyPJian i Utyk" looking exactly like the figure s depicted on the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids.
After the High Priest left, a large chain of gold was placed across the doors sealing off the smaller chamber from the larger. According to later Jewish tradition thi s room was used by the Priests and Levites hereditary priests alone and it contai ned a gold-covered cedar altar placed square on just in front of the doors and. Thi s then was the building that the Tcmplars venerated as the central icon of their Order. But it was the ruins of another Temple that they excavated, built al most exactly a thousand years later on the same site by.
Why then, we wondered, did they choose to name themselves after Solomon 's Temple? We had easily decided that the Stonemason theory of the origin of Freemasonry does not hold up under close examination for the simple rcason that gu ilds of stonemasons did not exist in Britain. The fact that they existed on the Continent is not relevant because Freemasonry did not develop in the areas where these European Guilds were formed.
The protocol found in the Ancient Charges of the Order, with their obli gation to provide work and a concern about ensuri ng the protection of the female relatives of brothers, seemed to us to be much more fitt ed to n secret society rather than a group of itinerant builders. We had searched long and hard, spending hundreds of hours in various li braries immersed in reference books but try as we might wc could not find any connection between King Solomon's Temple and medieval stonemasons. Hi story had told us that there had been three temples of stone on the site and one imaginary one that could not be ignored as it had inspired many people down the ages.
Ibis ArkJXas. The idea that the Order might have come down from Solomon himself as a continuous secret society hidden from the world seemed compl etely impossible. We knew that the first Knights Templar had excavated the site of the last Temple, and many writers had suggested connections between these knights and Masonry.
The Jews of Jerusalem fared little better. They had lived happily side by side with the Muslims for hundreds of years and on 14 June they died beside them ; the bloodlust of the crusaders knew no bounds. One crusader, Raymond of Aguilers, was moved by the sight of the devastated city and the mutilated corpses of its residents to quote Psalm :.
Ihi U1i the day the LotdJlUs At face value they seem so far apart that it would take a massive amount of evidence to claim a direct relationship, bUlas we looked at the details of both s ide by side, the disparity between the two began to shrink surprisingly rapidly. The Muslims had ruled Jerusalem since the seventh century and had allowed Jews and Christians access to the city which was important to all three religions for different reasons. Towards the end of the eleventh century Seljuk Turks took control of Jerusalem and banned C hristians from maki ng pilgrimages. The powers of Christendom were unhappy at this state of affairs and mobilised their forces to recapture the land of Jesus.
In the years that fo llowed the capture of Jerusalem, Christians from all over Europe began to make the pilgrimage to the Holy City, a journey so long and arduous that a fit body and a strong constitution were needed to survive it The growing number of pilgrims lfavelling from the ports of Acre, Tyre and Jaffa to the city of Jerusalem created problems and Ull infrastructure had to be created to provide for them. An important part of these arrangements was the Amalfi Hostelry in Je rusalem, which waN established by the Knights Hospitaller to provide food and lodgi ngs for the constant flow of travellers.
The importance and wealth of the small Ilnd obscure order of monks who ran it grew in proportion to the inc reasing number of visitors, and the new Christian rulers of the CilY rewarded their efforts with generous gifts. Thi s was an organisation whic h probably influ enced a French nobleman from Champagne by the name ofHugues de Payen, because in the same year he and eight other knights established the unofficial Order of the Poor Soldiers of Christ and the Te mple of Solomon. According to tradition King Baldwin II, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, readily gave his support to the new Order and provided quarte rs for them in the eastern part of his palace whi ch adjoined the fonner Al-Aqsa Mosque and stood on the site of King Solomon's Temple.
The Templars, as they are now usually called, were said to have come into existence for the purpose of providing protection for the increasing fl ow of pilgrims as they made their hazardous journeys between the coastal port of Jaffa and Jerusalem. All of these original knights were laymen who took an oath to live as. The image of a brave crusader wearing a white mantle decorated with a red cross and sporting a full beard. The red cross on the white robe was the garb, not of all crusaders but of a group of warrior monks: the Knights T emplar.
Their mysterious ri se from nowhere, their subseque nt massive. The Hiram Key though they were monks, in poverty, chastity and with obedience. Initially they wore no special clothing, but they said prayers at regular intervals and in every way they behaved as though they were members of a religious order.
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This standard account struck us as odd. Why had these , Frenchmen set themselves a task which was extremely optimistic at best and foolhardy at worst?. Surprisingly we found that Fulcher of Chartres, Baldwin n's chaplain, did not make a single mention of them in his extensive chronicles that cover the first nine years of the unofficial Order's existence. The earliest certain evidence of the TempJars dates from , when a certain Count Fulk V of Anjou Lodged with the Templars and thereafter left them an annuity of thirty Angevin livres.
From the evidence available it seems clear that the band of nine knights did not expand for a long time after its establishment. It was not until after they had spent no less than nine years in their lodgings on the site of Herod' s Temple that Hugues de Payen left for the west in search of worthy recruits who would swell the Order to a size more appropriate to the fulfilment of its self-proclaimed mission. What Were They Searching For? We instinctively felt that there was something wrong here. There is no evidence that these founding Templars ever gave protection to pilgrims, but on the other hand we were soon to find that there is conclusive proof that they did conduct extensive excavations under the ruins of Herod 's Temple.
We soon realised that many other writers had had reservations about the accepted version of the Templars' aims; the more we looked, the more we came across theories about the real moti ves of the Templars. In one, the French historian Gaetan Delaforge commented:. He quotes from an Israeli archaeologist's official report which established that these ni ne knights were searching the Temple ruins for something unknown :.
In this case they permitted us only to measure and photograph the exposed section of the tunnel, not to conduct excavation of any kind. Upon concluding this work As our researches for this book were nearing completion, we had the good fortune to meet Robert Brydon, a scholarly Templar archivist based in Scotland, who now has many of these items in his care. Our motive for looking at the origins of the Templars was to try and confinn any direct connection between their Order and modern Freemasonry. As we absorbed the known facts and read official and unofficial perspectives on the first Templars, we concluded that it was clear they were indeed excavating the Temple.
The questions we needed answers to were: what were they looking for, and much more importantly, what did they actually find? For nine years then, these nine devoted 'treasure' hunters had excavated the site of the great Temples of the Jews and during that time. All must have gone reasonably well year after year as they tunnelled through solid rock, inching closer and closer to the base of the ' Holy of Holies'; but then something happened to change the basic plan.
Had they run out of funds and food before their unknown task was completed, or did they wait for Baldwin to die in order to cut him out of any share of treasure? This was finally granted on 3 1 January 11 28 when Hugues de Payen appeared before the specially convened Council of Troyes. This impressive body was presided over by the Cardinal of Albano. The propositi on was carried and the Templars were given the right to wear their own mantles , which at that time were pure white. To the whole world, they were now truly monks as well as knights.
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What fascinated us about the Rule given to the Templars was not so much what it said but much what it did not say. Nowhere was there any mention of pilgrims or their protection. Strange, we thought, how the apparent sole reason for creating the Order could be so totally hi int we were convinced tha Ihin ve overlooked! The original ni ne knights had long been extremely reluctant to take in new recruits, but now they were forced by the need for funds, extra workers and perhaps even clerics to change their attitude.
Their new Rule made joining members probationers for the first year and required from them an immediate vow of poverty, soa new ' brother' had 10 hand over his personal wealth to the Order. All candidates were required to have been born in wedlock, be of noble birth. Upon admission the accepted brother owned only his sword and nothing else; he had no identity apart from his sword.
When he died hi s grave carried no inscription, being marked only with a rectangul ar stone inlO whi ch the shape of his sword was carved. Immediately after the granting of their Rule the Templars' circumstances went from strength to strength. They gained the support of scores of influential landowners and donations started to arrive from all comers of the Christian world.
Bernard had convinced the Pope of their worth and sudden ly they became the fashionable cause with wealth being Ihrust upon them. When Hugues de Payen and Andre de Montbard returned to Jeru salem a mere two years after setting out, the level of their success was outstanding. They had gone west with nothing and came back with a Papal Ru le, money, precious objects, landed wealth and no less than three hundred recruited noblemen to fol low Hugues de Paycn' 8 lead as Grand Master of a major order.
Hugues de Payen must have been producing something very tangible. The Rule of the Order It appears that Payen' s journey had been prompted by a real fear for the continuance of their group. A Ictter he wrote as he travelled through Europe clearly illustrated his concern that his fellow knights back in Jerusalem needed their convictions bolsteri ng. It referred to the knights' original vocation being weakened by the devil and went on to quote biblical passages to reassure his remaining seven knights.
There were only seven left back on the Temple Mount as Payen was accompanied on hi s journey by Andre de Montbard, the uncle of the very young but highl y influential Abbot ofClairvaux destined to become St Bernard. Bernard's words promoting their campaign for assistance left little doubt about his opinion of these knights from Jerusalem: 'They go not headlong into battle, but with care and foresight, peacefully, as true chil dren of Israel.
But as soon as the fight has begun, they rush without delay upon the foe With our curiosity mounting. The new members of the Order were sworn to poverty. Entrants were obl igeato cut their hair but forbidden to cut their beards. This is where the image of the Templar Crusader with the long flowing beard arose. Diet, dress and all other aspects of their daily lives were controlled by the Rule.
We were amazed to find that about ten years after the granting of their original 'Latin Rule ' the Templars began to think so highly of themselves that they unilaterally developed a 'French Rule' to replace the former with one in the working language of the members of the Order. This new Rule contained several significant changes but intriguingfy, it still made no mention of the protection of pilgrims.
In the Latin Rule an instruction read ' However, in the translated and amended French Rule the same sentence became'. This can only imply that they were outside Vatican law. Taken with what we now know of the Templars, I2Qth their arrogance and their suspected deviation from the Church of Rome,! Fis entirely understandable that. IDueason mi. Eventually the Templars' luck was to run out. The Pope and Philip. King of France moved in on the eITant Order, bringing it to its knees in just one terrible day Friday 13 October Ever since that day the number thirteen has been considered unlucky and a Friday the 13th of any month has become a date to keep any overly superstit ious person indoors clinging to their lucky rabbit's foot.
The Seal of tbe Order The first seal of the Templars depicted two knights riding on a single horse and it is usually claimed that this is a device to signify the poverty to which the members were sworn, in that they could not afford a mount ror every knight. This would have made them a very inefficient fighting force had it been based on truth. The French Rule, however, states that the Master 'must have four horses, and one chaplain-brother and one clerk with three horses, and one sergeant brother with two horses, and one gentleman valet to carry his shield and lance, with one horse Clearly there was no shortage of available mounts.
II occurred to us that this seal might represent the two gradcs of knights within the one Order; those who were more advanced who were lowed to share in the Templar secret, and those in the 'back seat' wh. Organisation of the Order The Order did.. There were two lesser classes bcs,wes The first were known as sergeants who were recruited from what we would now describe as the working class, rather than the nobility that was the source for the knights. They undertook such positions as grooms, stewards, sentries and general support troops. Like their betters they wore a red cross, but the mansle itself was a dark brown.
The other group comprised the clerics who looked after the spiritual needs of the knights. They were the only literate members of the Order and were themselves priests. French was the spoken and administrative language of the Templars but these versatile priests could say the Mass in Latin, haggle with local traders in Arabic and be quite capable ofreading the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.
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They served the spiritual needs of the fighting men and were distinguishecLby.. These clerics would consecrate the bread and wine at the Eucharist like a modem-day priest but they took this duty so seriously that they were said to wear white gloves at all times except when actually handling the Host during the service.
As the bread was the body of Christ it was important not to soil it with the dirt of profane day-to-day activities and white gloves were worn to keep their hands clean enough to handle the body of God. No reason has ever been given or this practice. Could this, we wondered, be a Templar connection? Another distant echo of current Masonic practice lies in the Templars' use of sheepskin as their only permitted form of decoration. It is an alarming thought in this age of personal hygiene, but these conscientious knights did not remove their breeches even to wash themselves.
After a few days, let alone the many decades that many of them spent under the desert sun, their chastity must have been totally guaranteed! Whi lst Freemasons today do not wear breeches, they do wear white lambskin aprons in Lodge meetings, which we were told is the badge of innocence and the emblem of friendship. One more similarity struck us as pointing to a possible Templar connection. We found that the Beausant, the Templar battle flag , consisted of two vertical blocks, one white and one black - the black symbolising the world of sin the knight had left behind to enter the Order, and the white reflecting the move from darkness to light.
No one has ever explained why Freemasons wear lambskin and black and white in order to be considered properly clothed. The only reason offered is that 'our ancient brethren a1ways dressed this way'. Whilst there are a number of parallels here we did not seek to make too grt!
These powerful coincidences were circumstantial pieces of evidence, but they did fuel our enthusiasm for exploring the connection between the two Orders more closely. We now had a burning question: What had the Knights Templar found which had so influenced theil' development? If the Templars did hold heretical beliefs anl conduct strange rituals, it seemed to be a rea1 possibility that these could have orginated with a document or documents found by them. Whilst the knights themselves are believed to have been illiterate, Iheir clerics were able to read and write in many languages and were IPmous for their abilities to create and break.
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The term 'Gnostic' is used today as a collective name for a range of hereti cal works which infected the true Church for a while in the distant past but which were outlawed as nonsense imported from other religions. It is a very inexact label and it does not identify a single school of thought. Writings described as Christian Gnosticism range from those with Indian, Persian and other influences to those with more traditionally Jewish concepts at their heart. Some of these works are bizarre in the.
Others are clear and simple philosophical messages altributed to Jesus. The word itself is from the Greek gnosis meaning kn.. An awareness of one's se lf, an appreciation of nature and the natural sciences are pathways to God for the Gnostic. Most Christian Gnostic Gospels have been around at least as long as the New Testament Gospels but these noncanonical works became k. Whilst these particul ar documents date from AD , many are known to be copies of works that are some three hundred years older.
The brothers had smashed the jar open hoping to find treasure but were disappointed to find inside only thirteen papyrus books bound in leather. They took the books home and as they were nice and dry they were thought to be an excellent material for li ghting the family oven. Naturally, the priest saw the possible worth of the documents and sent some to Cairo to be valued; there they passed through the hands of a number of dealers and scholars until a section of the Gospel of Thomas, far older than any he had seen before, finally ended up in the hands of Professor Quispel of the Jung Foundation in Zurich.
He was astounded at what he saw and quickly traced the rest of the hoard, which had understandably by then found its way to the Coptic Museum in Cairo. Once he had the opportunity to study the full documentation Professor Quipel found that he was looking at many previously unknown texts thai had been buried nearly 1, years ago in a period which was critical in the formation of the Roman Catholic Church. The rediscovered works. The Early Christian Censors The twentieth century has been very fruitful in the unearthing of lost manuscripts, the most important discoveries being the so-called 'Dead Sea Scrolls' fo und at Qumran in a series of caves in the desert twenty.
Perhaps, we speculated, the Templars had unearthed a collection of writings si milar to these recent finds but they hid them from the gaze of the general world. Had they not been, Christianity would have developed in a very different direction and the orthodox form of the rei igion that we know today might not have existed at all. Since no one of a Inler generation could have access to Christ in the way that the apostles did during his lifetime and at his resurrection.
The Gnostic Church called this literal view of the resurrection 'the faith of fools' ,claiming those who announced that their dead master had come physically back to life confused a spiritual truth with an actual event. The Gnostics quoted the secret tradition of Jesus's teaching as recorded in his speech to his disciples in Matthew:. The Gnostic Resurrection There were major differences between two early Christian traditions concerning the truth behind the resurrection of Jesus. The same idea can e found in the Gospel oj Philip which ridicules 'ignorant Christians who take the resurrection literally': 'Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error, they must receive the resurrection while Ihey live.
There are major consequences of a literal belief in the resurrection of Jesus's body which later ascended into heaven. All the authority of the Roman Catholic Church stems from the experiences of Jesus's J resurrection by the twelve favoured apostles, an experience which was closed to all newcomers following his ascent into Heaven. This closed.
It restricted the leadership to a small circle of persons who held a position of incontestable authority and conferred on this group the right to ordain future leaders as their successors. This resulted in the view of religious authority which has survived to this day: that the apostles alone held definitive religious authority and that their only legitimate heirs are priests and bishops. It suggests that whoever 'sees the Lord' through inner vision can claim hat his or her own authority equals or surpasses that of the apostles and their successors.
We found that lrenaeus, known as the father of Catholic theology and the most important theologian of the second century AD. They imagine Ilialthey themselves have discovered more than the apostles and that the apostles preached the gospel still under the influence of Jewish opinions, but that they themselves are wiser and more intelligent than the apostles. In addition, many Gnostic teachers also claimed.
In the GnosticApocalypse of Petcr the orthodox Church's claim to religious authority is undermined by an account of the risen Christ explaining to Peter that:. We had found references to the living resurrection element in the Gnostic Gospels but we now needed more infonnation to try to work out what the Templars might have found. The books relating to Thomas in particular gave us additional c1ues. Although they do n.!!! That one is the cornerstone. This point had been picked up and expounded by the scholars who had translated the Gnostic Gospels.
The SCOne which the builders rejected, the same is become rhe head oflhe corner? It legitimised a hierarchy of persons through whose authority all others must approach God. GnosticJ ea. The resurrection also figured very prominently in the ritual of the Masonic Third Degree, but there it was very much a story of a li vi ng resurrection mixed in with the story of an unlawful killing and the. This story is the epitome of the address in the north-cast comer which figures in the Masonic First Degree ritual. Whilst these points were interesting, they did not seem enough to explain the behaviour of the Knights Templar, which was the initial So at this stage, though we had come across tentative connections between Gnostic Christianity and modem Freemasonry, nothing really concrete had emerged.
We had found some core concepts that had parallels with the tenets of Freemasonry, particularly the idea that people should undergo a 'resurrection ' when still alive, but at this point we decided we needed to look far more closeJy at the formation of the Early Christian Church if we were ever to deduce what it was that the Templars found.
We started by considering the uniqueness of the claims made for Jesus himself. We had speculated that the Templars may have found acache of writings which changed their world-view and in an attempt to find out what they had found we had looked into a collection of early Christian writings collectively known as the Gnostic gospels. We concluded that the concept of 'gnosis' knowledge is the opposite of the Church 's concept of 'faith ' and that it is a type of thought process that fits well with Freemasonry.
We had come to the conclusion that much of the selective doctrine of the early Church was based on political expediency as much as religious opinion. The literal belief in the resurrection of Jesus's body, which later ascended into Heaven, was a vital factor in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Thi s authority stems from the claimed experiences of Jesus's resurrection by the twelve favoured apostles, an experience which was then closed to all newcomers following his ascent into Heaven.
This closed and unchallengeable experience was the source of the power of the Bishop of Rome in the political structure of the early Church, and conferred incontestable authority over those who had faith. We had read Gnostic writings which called this literal view of the resurrecti on ' the faith of fools', claiming that anyone who announced that their dead master had come physically back to life mistook a spiritual truth for an actual event and were as 'waterless canals'.
This view was supported by appealing to a secret tradition of Jesus's teaching in Matthew's Gospel. Irenaenus, a second-century theologian, had. Attis: born of the virgin Nama in Phrygia around Be. Indra: born of a virgin in Tibet around BC. Zoroaster: born ofa virgin lBC. Mithra: born of a virgin in a stable on 25 December around BC. His resurrection was celebrated at Easter. Another Virgin Birth [f the Church's version of events surrounding the man we can Jesus Christ were not historically accurate.
We quickly. A fundamental difficulty for the Church lies in the fact that the central Christian myth predates Jesus Christ. The outline of Christ's story is as. This is not a case of similarities; we're talking about total interchangeability. So close was the story of Mithra or Mithras. Here are just some of the ancient figures who were considered gods, who all predate Christ:. It seems that over the centuries guite a lot of innocent young ladie!
Milhraism is a Syrian offshoot of the more ancient Persian cult of Zoroaster, which was introduced into the Roman Empire about 67 BC Its doctrines included baptism, a sacramental meal. Interestingly candles, incense and bells are used in its ceremonies. Its devotees recognised the divinity of the Emperor and were relaxed about coexisting alongside other cults, but it was finally absorbed by the much less tolerant Christians. As we will show later, the true Jesus sect, the Jerusalem Church, had lacked most of these pagan trappings; these were much later Roman additions to create a hybrid theology that would meet the needs of the widest possible number of citizens.
But for a tiny twist of fate in the later years of the Roman empire. Anotheressential problem is the true name of Christ. Most people are aware that the name 'Jesus ChrisI' is a later Greek title, but they do not often bother to wonder what this man-gad's real name was. The name that he was born with is not know n o sure but it is ssible that he was --nOwn in fils- lifetime as Yehoshua,.
In the form that we would recogOlse. J 1le Jesus is simI! Jewish tradition says that Israel's kings were also associated with messiahs. To them the word meant a king-to-be or a king in waiting. These were straightforward, practical meanings:. The nolion oj a transcendental saviour in human form, so important in Zoroastrianism and so central to Christianity, is totally unknown 10 the Hebrew Bible, ,2. Amazingly the word 'messiah ' appears only twice in the Authorised Version of the Old Testament, and is totally absent from the New Testament.
Nonetheless, by the time of Jesus it had became a popular concept amongst the Jews as they looked forward to a time when they would govern themselves again, instead of being under the control of occupiers CKittim', as they called them such as the Syrians, Babylonians or, more particularly for them, the Romans. For these Jewish nationalists of the first centuries BC and AD, once a rightful person took the throne of Israel he would become king and the future-tense title of 'messiah' would no longer apply.
The fact that the word ' messiah' is not used at all in the New Testament can only be explai ned if the translators have used the Greek word 'Christos' wherever the Hebrew word 'messiah' appeared in earl y texts. Over time, the designation 'Christ' has come to be synonymous with Jesus Christ rather than any other messiah, or Christ, although the term was far from unique, and was not restricted to one indi vidual. For the later Gentile hij ackers of Jewish tribal beliefs, the Hebrew usage of the word ' messiah' was far too passive, alien and based in the real world of Jewi sh political aspirations; consequently in the Greek translation the word took on overtones of a Hellenistic mystery cult with the supern atural power to save souls and redeem the whole world.
Norman Cohen succinctly described the situation when he said of the Jewish Messiah: I. That Christians claim an authority for their beliefs from the Old Testament must be very galling for modem Jewish scholars when they can see that their heritage has been used to lend credence to a Roman mystery cult, largely of ancient Persian origin. This plundering of the twenty-two Jewish texts which constituted the core of the Old Testament became widespread as early as the beginning of the second century.
Christians inserted new passages and whole books and then had the audacity to accuse the Jews of having deleted these sections from their own scriptures! This belief became enshri ned in Christian thinking and resulted in many future acts of vandalism. Some early Christian scholars believed that the Old Testament was alien to their new religion but the majority read imag inatively between the lines to see 'obvious' references to their Saviour. The twenty-two books of holy scripture were suitably enlarged to create a 'bumper' Old Testament.
These additions by early Christian writers included Esdras,J udith,. Tobit, Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus.. For a time the Christians were happy with their ' new' Old Testament but as more serious scholars such as the third-century Alexandrian Origen began to study texts afresh, real doubts were raised ::yhich led to a realisation that the original Jewish versiol. The suggestion was made that all of the new scriptures in Christian churches should be destroyed, but these arguments were soon buried in the general Christian desire to be a stand-alone religion with a differentiated scripture.
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But whilst the main Church took the easy option, the debate did not end, and many Christian thinkers remained unconvinced, In the fourth century Cyril of Jerusalem forbade the reading of these extraneous books , even in private, and as late as the eighteenth century some leadi ng Christian thinkers, such as John Damascene, maintained that the Jewish twenty-two were the only components of the true scripture, The same cavalier people who had doctored the Old Testament assembled the New Testament.
To take a considered view of the events that led to the creation of this relatively instant block of brand new scripture. Qlitics and reUgio but it is a mistake to assume t at other countries or other periods of history view things in the same way. Modem Iran , for ' instance, does not recognise any difference whatsoever between the twO subjects, and the people of Judaea and Galilee, two thousand years ago, would have thought you mad if you tried to imply that their relationship with their god was in any way different to their national struggle.
For hundreds of years they had been unworthy, so God had deserted them to the whims of their enenties, but as the devout Jews started to live a more austere life, they started to expect the arrival of a Messiah to begin the process of a return to self rule, There is a very fundamental point here which cannot be ignored: Jlowhere in the Old.. The Jews expected a leader to emerge who was an earthly king in the mould of David and, however much Christians wou ld li ke it to be. However, once the Church acknowledges that the Christinn and Jewish use of the term 'messiah ' have nothing in common, it follows that the Church has no right to use the Old Testament as a source of evidence regarding the conti ng of its Christ.
To do so is bare-faced fraud. We stress the point that the Jews were not expecting a god or a world sav iour; they were simply expecting a political leader with credentials stretching back to their fi rst king - David. The justification for thi s claim amongst Christians is taken from the title that Jesus used for himself - 'Son of God' - which was an ancient title for everyone who was claiming kingship.
As we were researching the whole complex area of the expected role of the messiah we came across a very strange and startling point that no one seems, to the best of our knowledge, to have considered before. It concerns the name of the murderer who was released in stead of Christ al hi s trial. His name, you may recall , was Barabbas. Just another biblical name, you may think, and one that feels to have an evil ring to it: 'Sarabbas the wicked murderer whom the equally wicked Jews chose to release in preference to our Saviour. Whelher or flOC he could clai m licscen!
This intrigued and puuled us but we were staggered when we went on to discover that earlY. So the individual who was released and not crucified at the request of the crowd was, as an indisputable matter of Gospel record, known as 'Jesus, the son of God'. The first pan of the name was deleted from the Gospel of Matthew at a much later date, by those that sought to establish facts to fit their Gentile beliefs. Such selectivity is what we would now euphemistically call 'being economical with the truth', but it is little more than a deceit to avoid difficult questions that the Church would not, or more likely could not, answer.
The plot was certainly thickening. Thus Barabbas was not a criminal but a Jewish fanatic, one facing a similar accusation to the one brought against Jesus. Certam y many of the oldest Christian sects believe that Jesus did not die on the cross because another died for him.
MuslirnSJoj ay The symboli sm of the crucified Christ is absolutely central to mainline Christianity, yet so many groups, both contemporary with the event and modem, hold that he did not die in this manner. Could they be right? The evidence that we had just come across was not from some di sputed Gnostic Gospel but from the New Testament itself, so our inevitable Church critics should have a hard time pushing this truth under the carpet. There is little doubt that some will pretend they did not read it or that it is some sort of mistake that can be rationalised away by the traditional process of talking in circles.
The Book of Hiram: Unlocking the Secrets of the Hiram Key
Had the Roman authorities, threatened by the rise in nationalism in Judaea, moved against all known troublemakers at one moment? The Jews were a small but permanent thorn in the side of the Emperor and the widespread expectation of the arrival of a new messiah to kick out the Romans was getting the local population far too excited. The Sicnri. It would have been quite normal for the Roman authorities to wipe out trouble before it got out of hand.
Our first scenario was that two competing messiahs had sprung up amongst two different groups in Judaea, since it is well documented that there were many claimants for the title of messiah during the first and second centuries. What if two of these messiahs were at their peak of popularity at the same time? At the point of this general pre-emptive arrest, one of these messianic figures may have been known best as 'Jesus, king of the Jews' and the other 'Jesus, son of God'.
As these criminals were paraded in public, Pontius Pilatus became aware that the situation was becoming explosive, and fearing a bloodbath in which he might be a victim, offered to let one of these two captive messiahs go. The crowd had to choose between their kingly messiah or their priestly messiah, and they chose the latter. We call this scenario the SchrOdinger's Cat theory of the Messiah after the famous logic experiment which showed that two mutually exclusive outcomes can co-exist in the strange world of quantum mechanics because it is impossible to say whether the ' real' Jesus of the Ouistian faith was crucified or released.
The stories of both men are now so totally merged that the Christian sects that claim he was never crucified are quite correct, yet so is the mainstream Church which S8yS that he was crucified. Our second scenario was based on the knowledge that there was a traditional requirement for there to be two messiahs.
The Hiram Key hand-in-hand to achieve the final victory of Yahweh and His chosen people. This was expected because according to tradition, Jewi sh. This theory assumes that at the point of the trial both messiahs had been arrested and charged with causing civil insurrection. The Jesus from the royal line of Judah was held and died on the cross whilst the Jesus from the priestly line of Levi went free. Which was which? However, as can be read in the opening verses of the New Testament, this descent, through a string of 'begets', is!
A cruel twi st of cold logic - if he was the son of God, he could not be the royal messiah! The Jesus born to Mary could not technically be a kingly messiah, but he could possibly be the priestly version:. If thi s esus ha ollowed thi s argument it would be clear that it was not he who died on the cross. In this 'double Jesus' situation we had come across an obvious fl aw in the Chri sti an story of the messiah, but apart from discussing these two scenarios as possible solutions we could get no further at this point.
It was not until we had unlocked a deeper Masonic riddle that the real soluti on became clear; this we will cover later in the book. The Principal Groups of Jerusalem The three principal groups amongst the population of Judaea in the first century were Sadducees, Pharisees and the Essenes. The first two are defined in the footnotes of the Douai Bible as follows :. The Sadducees were, by establi shed right, the priestly and aristocratic. They were very conservative in their religious views, not believi ng in any existence beyond the grave and they no doubt considered the complex views and actions of the Phari sees to be the work of superstitious fools.
In most respects they ran the country according 10 Roman requirements rather than Jewi sh ones; they were what we now call Quislings. They maintained the freedom of the individual to shape his own destiny and unlike the Pharisees they believed that history took its own course rathe! I st they were wealthy and of high social standing they were boori sh, rude and extremely hard on anyone who broke the Jawor interfered with their administration.
They were not men of ideas or ideals but they kepI the country running whilst looking after the status quo which was to their advantage. To be fa ir. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were not, snictly speaking priests at all. To assist them in this search for fu]filment of the Law they had developed a tradition of interpretation by which all actions were minutely regulated. They set high standards which became the landmarks of modern orthodox Judaism, and whether one shares their beliefs or not they were impressively single-minded. Traditionally, all worship of Yahweh had been restricted to occurring in His Divine Presence in the Temple at Jerusalem under the control of the high priest, but the Pharisees created he opportunity for the eventual evolution of the structure of the rabbi and the sy nagogue, as a basis for Jews everywhere to have access to God.
Today the fears and the hopes of the Phari sees live on in the form of Orthodox Judaism. Thro ughout the entire world Orthodox Jews will not conduct business on the Sabbath, neither will they drive a motorcar, use publ ic tran sport. Recently a Jewish manager of a kosher hotel in the southern English holiday reson of Boumemouth was sacked for operating the electri cal switch to activate acentraJ heating system on a Saturday morning. The fact that his guests were QOssi bly about to die from hypothermia was no excuse or this blatant abuse of the Law, which stems from the fact that the Torah.
The Essenes remained a less understood group until , when the. Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran twenty miles east of Jerusalem. The scrolls tell us a great deal about these strange men who lived in this dry rocky valley from around the middle of the second century BC to AD There is evidence that the caves were subsequently occupied by a smaller number of people up to AD the time of the final Jewish uprising under another Jesus , but it is uncertain whether or not these later dwellers were Essenes.
It is a measure ofthe all-embracing strictness of the Essene mind that their religious observances made the Pharisees look like carefree hedonists. Although it is now accepted by many scholars that the Essenes and the early Church had numerous features in common, the Church of Rome has always denied any connection between the two.
One of the most obvious common links was the uniquely shared apocalyptic expectation. Both expected their existing world to end abruptly and imminently. The main factor differentiating the Essenes from the Sadducees and the Pharisees was that membership of the Essenes was attained on ly through individual, adult choice, not by virtue of birth. The Qumran Essenes thought of themselves as the sole custodians of the true religious teachings of h raetaiid belie eCl tIlaf This arrangement was reserved solely for the members of the Essene community, ,. Like the Pharisees they had adopted the idea of lesser gods known as i ngels.
That the authors ofthe Dea ea Scrolls. It has been shown by experts, such as. Also subsequently confirmed in a private conversation with Prof. Phillip Davies. How did James divide his time between the two groups? Alternate days or mornings and afternoons perhaps? The inescapable answer is they were both the same thing. For the last three decades of ils existence the Qumran Community was the Jerusalem Church. In spirit the Essenes were ultra-conservative Jews, but in some ways they were progressive and creative beyond measure.
Qumranian vocabulary is present in Christian literature and misunderstandings of its original meaning has given succour to those who would sustain Gentile gods through the valued currency of Judaism. The new vocabulary of the Qumranians began to enter Jewish theological culture in the first century BC and developed in the first century AD, when Targmic literature was commonplace. As services were conducted in little-understood Hebrew, they were simultaneously fTeely translated into Aramaic for the benefit of the general worshipper.
The translators would use terms and phrases that would be understood In the light of their current circumstances, thus Qumranic lines in Christian ritual such as 'Thy kingdom come' , 'the kingdom of the Lord', 'the kingdom of God' and 'The kingdom of the House of David' all referred to the same political objective. George Wesley Buchanan observes:. In the Gospel of John all people are divided into two groups: I those of the world and 2 those not of the world. Those not of the world included Jesus and hisfollowers who believed in him.
They lived on the earth. They were not in heaven, qut they were notlh! They belonged to "the church" in contrast to "the world". If you followed the independence movement you were in the 'Kingdom of God ' and if you were not you were in the ordinary ' world'. As it is clear from the New Testament that John the Baptist was cenlral to the establishment of Jesus's ministry, such a connection is hard to play down. De Vaux also ignored the fact that both groups used baptism, both shared their possessions as a community, both had a council of twelve leading personalities and both were concerned with Messianic figures and the imminent coming of the 'kingdom of God '.
This is a very long way from anything that any Jesus that is, any 'bringer of victory ' taught in the first century. The Aramai'UY. In effect. The most religious amongst them saw their problems resulting from Yahweh's desertion of them due to their sinfulness in not J. Other independent figures involved complained at the time that they were not being given open access to many of the scrolls, and John Allegro and Edmund Wilson both stated that they felt that there was a deliberate policy to.
YOll go on to talk blithely about what the first Jewish Christians thought in Jerusalem, and no one would guess that your only real evidence - if you can call it that such - is the New Testament. That pretence is now over. To us it seems inescapable that the man who was Jesus the Christ must have been a leading Qumranian figure during the crucial years of the third and fourth decades of the first century.
Book Review: The Hiram Key
The Community's numbers were tiny at that time, possibly no more than two hundred people, and perhaps there were little more than around four thousand Essenes in total. They were a gathering of like-minded people who saw imminent salvation from their problems through holiness and, although they were not hereditary priests, through living a monastic existence. This involved a society that was extremely hierarchical.
Reproduction was an unfortunate necessity of life, but those that chose to indulge in matters of the flesh had a considerable cleansing process to go through before returning to the main community. There were various levels of membership, from a broad outer group to an inner sanctum. We were building up a picture of arevolutionary Jewish group which seemed likely to have included Jesus, and which was central to the Jewish revolt that eventually led to the destruction of JerusaJem and its Temple once again.
When looking at Gnostic Christianity we had found that there was a link between it, the New Testament and Freemasonry in that all three had references to 'cornerstones'. We found the same references in the Qumranian texts. Eisenman and Wise make this point amongst other observations regarding linkages between the scrolls and Christianily:. This left a period of no more than seventy years during which the material could have been hidden. The Copper Scroll - so called because it was actually engraved on sheets of copper- found at Qumran tells how the Community hid its treasures and writings under the Temple shortly before AD 70, so we have no need to speculate whose scrolls the Templars found.
And, if we were right, and the Qumran Community and the Jerusalem Church were one and the same thing,;he Templars clearly.
Related The Book Of Hiram: Unlocking the Secrets of the Hiram Key
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