Keith Hunt - Missing 18 years of Jesus' Life #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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The Missing 18 Years of Jesus' Life #2

Historic records!


by Steven Collins

The Life of Jesus Christ - The Untold Story

Continued from previous page:

     Indeed the event at the Temple indicates that Jesus was in
the process of separating from his parents to pursue the divine
mission that he had been born to fulfill. It is the contention of
this book that soon after the Temple incident, Jesus left
Palestine altogether for eighteen years. There is biblical
evidence supporting such a conclusion.
     The account of Matthew 13:54-56 indicates that after this
eighteen year period, Jesus was scarcely remembered in his own
home town. Whereas, at age twelve, Jesus is amazing the teachers
in the Jerusalem Temple with his wisdom, the common folk in his
home town synagogue are asking themselves eighteen years later
(after hearing Jesus speak): "Where did this man (Jesus) get this
wisdom?" If the uncommon wisdom of Jesus had been present in
Nazareth for those eighteen years, such a question would have
been ludicrous. Note also verses 55-56 where the listeners ask:
"Isn't this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary?
and his brethren James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? and his
sisters, are they not all with us?" This indicates that the
members of his home town synagogue were struggling to identify or
remember who Jesus was. The fact that they easily named all his
immediate family members, and said "are they not all with us?"
indicates that Jesus had not been "with them" as were his other
family members. Their quizzical response to Jesus indicates that
while Jesus had been gone from Nazareth for a long time, his
immediate family members had remained there in the community.
Obviously, if Jesus had been a hard-working carpenter in Nazareth
all his life, the local citizenry would have easily recognized
him. Yet they spoke as having never previously witnessed either
his wisdom or power!
     Jesus' wisdom had awed the most learned Jewish leaders in
the nation at age twelve! To believe that Jesus lived the next
eighteen years in Nazareth as a "humble carpenter" while showing
no wisdom at all until age thirty, one has to believe that for
eighteen years Jesus "quenched" the Holy Spirit that was burning
brightly in him at age twelve! Christians are forbidden in I
Thessalonians 5:19 to "quench the spirit." Did Jesus do what
Christians are forbidden to do? Hardly! Yet traditional dogma
(that Jesus lived inconspicuously in Nazareth until age thirty)
advocates just such a view.
     The logical conclusion is that Jesus did not work as a
carpenter in Nazareth during the "missing eighteen years." In
fact, the Bible offers no statement that Jesus was ever employed
as a carpenter during his adult life. Matthew 13:55 refers to
Jesus as a "carpenter's son," not as a "carpenter." Luke's
account about Jesus' meeting with the Temple elders at age 12
records Jesus declaring that his future was not linked to the
profession of his physical father, but with the calling of his
spiritual Father in heaven. When his parents chided Jesus for
being in the Temple rather than with them, Jesus replied "know
you not that I must be about my Father's business?" This does not
portray Jesus as a "rebel" since verse 51 shows that he was an
obedient youth, but it shows that as early as age twelve, God's
Spirit was drawing Jesus away from the carpenter "business" of
Joseph, and toward the spiritual "business" of God.
     As a child growing up in a carpenter's household, Jesus was
certainly familiar with carpentry, but the Bible does not assert
that he was a carpenter in Nazareth during the "missing years."
Mark's account of Jesus' visit to his old home synagogue (Mark
6:1-6) does quote townsfolk as calling Jesus a "carpenter."
However, these were the same townsfolk who struggled to identify
Jesus, as the context confirms. Note that the Bible itself does
not declare "Jesus was a carpenter," but rather quotes the
comments of those who did not know very well. That some hometown
folk would call him a "carpenter" is consistent with the
likelihood that Jesus had been a carpenter's apprentice to Joseph
when they had last seen him.
     This passage also declares that Jesus had four brothers and
at least two sisters. Jesus was an oldest son in a family of at
least seven siblings. Whatever the number of siblings, it is
clear that Mary had a large family after Jesus was born.
The Bible never mentions Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, after
the episode of Jesus being in the Temple at age twelve. Since
Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the siblings of Jesus are cited as
living in Nazareth when Jesus is 30 years old and Joseph is not
mentioned, it is apparent that Joseph died during those "missing
years." Since Joseph of Arimathea was already spending a lot of
time with Jesus at age twelve, he likely became Jesus' guardian
after Joseph died. Joseph of Arimathea was surely a good role
model for Jesus as Luke 23:50 refers to him as "good" and "just."
Given the fact that Joseph of Arimathea was a man of prominence
in the Jewish community, and Jesus' precocious wisdom was known
to the Temple elders in his pre-teen years, how is it possible
that no record of Jesus' activities in Palestine exists for the
missing eighteen years of Jesus' life? The logical answer is that
he was not present in Palestine during that time!
     Ordinarily, with the death of a father, the oldest son (even
a young one like Jesus) would have been compelled to begin
working for a living to support the family. However, since Joseph
of Arimathea was a wealthy relative (who could guarantee the
economic health of the family), Jesus was free to pursue his real
calling in life. Also, the Parthian Magi had lavished gifts of
gold, frankincense, and myrrh upon Jesus when they had visited
him shortly after his birth. Since this large sum of wealth would
have been held "in trust" for him by either his parents or Joseph
of Arimathea, Jesus could have tapped that wealth to provide for
his family's needs without having to work as a carpenter.
     In The Traditions of Glastonbury, E. Raymond Capt cites
evidence that Joseph of Arimathea was an international merchant
involved with the tin trade in the British Isles. Earlier
chapters of this book documented that the British Isles were
Israelite regions since at least the reign of Solomon. Also,
chapter four presented evidence that large bodies of the tribes
of Simeon and Dan entered Briton and Ireland around 721 B.C. when
ancient Israel fell to Assyria, adding more Israelites to the
population base of the British Isles. It is hardly surprising
that Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the tribe of
Judah, would be trading with people descended from the other
tribes of Israel.
     Capt cites the account of Gildas Badonicus (an early British
historian of the sixth century A.D.) which refers to Joseph of
Arimathea as a "nobilis decurio." 20  The very fact that an early
historian of Britain discusses Joseph of Arimathea at all gives
weight to accounts that Joseph was involved with the events of
early Briton. Capt asserts that Joseph's role was as follows:
"The same title 'Decurio' [applied to Joseph of Arimathea] is
used by St. Jerome in his translation of the Vulgate of St.
Mark's 'honourable counsellor' (Mark 15.43) and St. Luke's
'counsellor.' (Luke 23.50) In the Roman world, a 'decurio'
denoted an important Roman office, usually. connected with the
general management of a mining district. The implication is that
Joseph was in charge of Rome's mining interests in Britain. Such
a position would require Joseph to spend a considerable amount of
time away from his homeland." 21
     Indeed, Joseph had to be a prominent man in the Roman world
to receive immediate access to Pilate, the Roman administrator of
Judea, during the intense political turmoil surrounding the
crucifixion (Mark 15:43-45). Unless Joseph of Arimathea was both
known to and trusted by Pilate and the Roman rulers of Judea, he
would not have been allowed swift access to Pontius Pilate at so
sensitive and critical a time. Capt also states that during that
period, both Roman and Jewish law called for the disposal of the
bodies of criminals in common pits with all memory of them
removed, unless the body was promptly claimed by a relative. 22
The fact that Joseph of Arimathea came forward to claim Jesus'
body is convincing evidence that he was a relative of Jesus. That
he obtained such approval not by going to an lower official, but
to Pilate himself, indicates that he was used to doing business
with the highest Roman officials.
     However, what of the activities of Joseph of Arimathea and
Jesus during the "missing eighteen years?" If Jesus were under
Joseph of Arimathea's tutelage during those years, he would have
spent considerable time traveling, given that Joseph's business
involved international trade between. the nations of that day.
While the information which follows is based on legends and
traditions, they are buttressed by the Bible's implication that
Jesus was absent from Palestine for a prolonged period of time.
Obviously, Jesus went somewhere during that time, and legends and
traditions offer the only evidence that exists.
     Many traditions assert that Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus
were not only present in Britain, but had homes in the area of
Glastonbury, England. Supporting these traditions, Capt cites
evidence that Glastonbury bore two titles from ancient times  -
"Secretum Domini" and "Domus Dei" (Latin for "The Secret of the
Lord," and "The House of God"). 23 William Steuart McBirnie, in
his book, The Search for the Twelve Apostles, also wrote
concerning these traditions:

"There certainly is no other tradition known concerning the
history of St. Joseph of Arimathea and since the British
tradition is vigorous we see no reason to challenge it ... If in
any country there is a strong tradition concerning some Apostolic
figures, and no counter-tradition elsewhere, then we at least
stand on the ground of possibility and even probability. So it is
with ... St. Joseph. " 24

     Capt also lists a fifteenth century document that Joseph
Arimathea converted King Arviragus of first century A.D. Britain
the Christian religion, and that this early king in Britain gave
Joseph and his party twelve portions of tax-free land in the area
of Glastonbury. 25 This tax-free land in Glastonbury is confirmed
in the Domesday Book of early English history under the title
"Domus Dei." 26 The fact that there were twelve portions of land
is significant. Did God inspire this symbolism ... one portion
for each of the twelve tribes of Israel?
     Another fact cited by Capt is that the Druids worshipped a
"trinity" of gods "known as 'Bell,' the Creator as regards the
past; 'Taran,' the controlling providence of the present, and
'Yesu,' the coming saviour of the future." 27 The name "Bell"
preserves a Hebrew word for "Lord", 28 and in its expectation of
a coming "Yesu" savior, "Druidism thus anticipated Christianity
and pointed to the coming saviour under the very name by which
Christ was called." 29 The name of "Jesus" is from the Greek, but
the Hebrew name of Jesus was likely "Yeshuah," meaning
"salvation." 30  The presence of Hebrew words in Britain's
Druidic religion indicates that it had some roots in the religion
of the ancient Israelites. This is logical given the dominant
presence of Israelites in Britain throughout the first millennium
     Other ancient legends assert that Jesus travelled as far
east as India and Nepal. 31 There is a biblical basis for legends
that Jesus could have travelled both in the British Isles, and as
far into Asia as India. In Matthew 15:24, Jesus said: "I am not
sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel." The House
of Israel refers to the ten tribes of Israel who have been
identified in earlier chapters as including the early Britons,
the Sacae/Saka Scythians and the Parthians in Asia. Since the
area of Parthian/Saka dominance extended as far as India, 32
groups of the ten tribes of Israel could be found that far into
Asia. Since Jesus said he was "sent" to those ten tribes, it is
logical that he travelled to where the various tribes of the
House of Israel lived in the first century A.D. Since the British
Isles and even portions of India (at the eastern edge of
Parthia's empire) were then inhabited by the tribes of Israel,
Jesus' presence among these people would be a fulfillment of that
     As seen earlier, Jesus lived during a period of peace
between Parthia and Rome. During this period, trade flourished
between the merchants of both empires. Rawlinson records that
this trade was "considerable," and that merchants brought
"various metals and numerous manufactured articles" from Rome
into Parthia. 33 Given the indications that Joseph of Arimathea
was involved in the Roman mining (metals) trade, and that
Joseph's homeland in Judea was ideally located to facilitate
exports into Parthia and Asia via overland trade routes, it is
likely that Joseph's business included the export of metal
products into Parthia and Asia. As Jesus grew, he likely became a
trusted member of Joseph's international trading business. Who
could possibly be better suited than Jesus to supervise Joseph's
business trade with Parthian territories? Jesus had already been
worshipped by members of the Magi, the Parthian ruling elite!
Jesus was assured of a very warm reception in Parthia due to the
Magi's favor, and would have been given access to any portion of
Parthia's sphere of influence that he wished to visit. Jesus'
participation in Joseph's international trading business gave him
an ideal opportunity to visit those regions to which the ten
tribes of Israel had migrated (Briton, Parthia, Scythia and other
Asian locations).
     One other possibility exists. Earlier chapters have shown
that both the Israelite/Phoenician and the Carthaginian Empires
of the first millennium B.C. planted colonies of Israelites in
North America.

     It was also shown that some Carthaginians likely fled North
Africa to seek refuge in their North American colony after the
fall of Carthage. In chapter five we also saw evidence that this
Punic colony in North America lasted until about 500 A.D., so
there was a significant Israelite civilization in North America
during the life of Christ. Since Christ was visiting the regions
of the earth inhabited by the descendants of the ten tribes,
could he have visited ancient North America as well? The
surprising answer may be "Yes!"
     Consider the Quetzalcoatl legends of the ancient New World.
While "Quetzalcoatl" is usually depicted as a serpent god, the
legends record that some Quetzalcoatl legends are quite
     In Voyages to the New World, Nigel Davies includes a
compilation of various Quetzelcoatl legends. These legends
include the assertions that Quetzelcoatl "had a white skin and
... was tradi tionally expected to return ... but once only, in
human form," that "amid the lamentations of his people,
Quetzelcoatl thereafter set out on his long journey to the place
in the East where he wag destined to meet his end," that "he rose
to heaven and entered therein," and that "he remained four days
in the land of the dead and, on the eighth day, reappeared as the
Morning Star." 34 (Emphasis added throughout) Davies also
comments that Quetzelcoatl is depicted as being a "god in human
form," and that he was the "creator God". 35 It is also
significant that the humanized Quetzelcoatl legends appear only
in the Christian era.
     There are additional Peruvian legends about a deity named
Viracocha, who "departed across the sea," but was "destined to
return." 36 Viracocha is also portrayed in Spanish sources "like
Quetzelcoatl - as a benevolent figure who travelled from place to
place, preaching repentance and performing miracles." 37 Charles
Boland's book, "They All Discovered America," adds that "the
first Quetzelcoatl is said to have sprung from a virgin birth."
     Old World legends about a human-deity who was a benevolent
white (Semitic) person, preached repentance, performed miracles,
was both divine and human at the same time, was born of a virgin,
was from the Old World, took a long journey to the East (across
the Atlantic toward the Old World) on a mission of sel-sacrifice,
was dead, but was resurrected and rose to heaven, and who would
return at a future time unmistakably point to one (and only one)
historical person: Jesus Christ. Indeed, many of the doctrines
about the humanized Quetzelcoatl parallel Christian teachings
about Jesus Christ! Even Quetzelcoatl's title (the "Morning
Star"), is one of Jesus Christ's biblical titles (Revelation
22:16). The many Christian themes attached to the early
Quetzelcoatl strongly indicate that the humanized Quetzelcoatl
represented Jesus Christ who visited the New World during the
"lost" years of his life. These ancient New World legends even
record that he returned to the Old World aware of the destiny of
self-sacrifice which was ahead of him.
     The fanciful legends depicting Quetzelcoatl as a serpent god
do not, of course, apply to Jesus Christ. Since Satan is depicted
as a "serpent" in the Bible (Genesis 3:1-13, Revelation 12:9-15),
it is apparent that the worship of Quetzelcoatl was subverted
from biblical themes into a form of Satan-worship (even including
rites of human sacrifice). The separate legendary figure of
Viracocha may also be based on Jesus Christ, or even one of the
Apostles who were sent by Christ to "all nations" (Matthew
     Earlier chapters presented much evidence that Israelite
civilizations were established in the New World by the
HebrewPhoenicians, Carthaginians, and Iberians. These Israelites,
by bringing Old World knowledge and customs to the New World, had
a large role in the founding of New World civilizations. For
example, the Carthaginians who colonized the New World were
Israelites who practiced human sacrifice as part of their Baal
worship. The fact that ancient New World cultures practiced human
sacrifice indicates this grisly practice was planted in the New
World by the Carthaginians. Since Carthaginians were also North
Africans (familiar with Egypt's pyramids), it is also likely that
the presence of pyramids in the MesoAmerican civilizations of the
New World attests to linkages between the two regions.

     At this juncture, we will digress to examine this subject.
While this will not directly involve the life of Christ, it will
support the contention that Jesus Christ was in the New World by
establishing that the Christian religion was present in the New
World soon after the lifetime of Jesus Christ - demonstrating
that the sea route to the New World was known during Christ's
lifetime. To the extent people in the New World were Israelites,
it provides a biblical basis for Jesus Christ to visit the New
World as Matthew 15:24 records that he was "sent to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel (the ten tribes)."
     Matthew 15 contains a persuasive argument on this point. In
Matthew 15:21-28, a gentile woman asked Jesus to heal her
daughter (something that Jesus readily did for Jews). Jesus
initially refused to help, stating he was sent only to "the lost
sheep of the house of Israel." Only via a repeated, humble
approach did this gentile woman move Jesus to help her. Jesus'
reluctance to help gentiles "in his own backyard" argues that he
would not have wasted any time journeying across the Atlantic to
visit or evangelize inhabitants of the New World unless they were

     We have already seen much evidence documenting that there
was a substantial Israelite presence in the New World both before
and during Christ's lifetime. There is also evidence that
Israelites were present well after his lifetime as well. Some of
this evidence will be examined to demonstrate that transatlantic
voyages werepossible at many times in the Christian era,
including the first century A.D.
     The Toltec civilization flourished in Meso-America from 900
A.D. until 1200 A.D. The Encyclopedia Americana states:

"Their capital was Tollan, now Tula...the name 'Toltec' is
derived from the name of their capital ... the most important
figure in Toltec history was... Topiltzin." 39

     One of the branches of the Israelite tribe of Issachar was
named after "Tola" (Numbers 26:23). Notice the similarity between
the Israelite name Tola and the root words Tollan, Tula, and
Toltec, indicating the tribe of Issachar was involved in founding
the Toltec civilization. An intermediate location where they may
have also left their tribal name is found in Thule, Greenland.]
An analysis of Topiltzin s name points to a Viking/Scandinavian
origin. His name concludes with the syllable "zin." The letters
"z" and "s" are phonetically similar. Substituting an "s" for the
"z" in his name, we get Topilt-sin, or Topilt-son. The suffix
"-son" or "-sen" is very common at the ends of Scandinavian
names. The consonants "S-N" or "Z-N" at the end of Topiltzin's
name argue for a Scandinavian origin for this man.
     An article by Lawrence Athy, Jr. printed in the Epigraphic
Society Occasional Publications, and entitled "Foreign Influences
on the Priesthood and Nobility of Pre-Columbian America"
maintains that the Olmec and Toltec civilizations were ruled and
directed by foreign elites who were tall and bearded. This
foreign elite was in sharp contrast to the squat, flat-nosed and
rarely-bearded Indian peasants over whom the foreign elites
ruled. Clearly, the foreign elites exhibited characteristics of
Semitic people from the Old World. Atby notes that by the time of
the founding of the Toltec civilization, these "tall bearded
elites" had been present in the New World for over two thousand
years." 40
     The Toltec ruler named Topiltzin was "a venerable and devout
person ... an old man with a long red beard turning white ... who
had come from a foreign country." 41 Athy further relates:

"Topiltzin and his Toltecs were gentle people, were opposed by a
wicked leader of many of the native people, and were persecuted
to the point that the 'Toltecs abandoned this country and
returned to their place of origin.' Topiltzin called together the
people of Tula explaining that he was leaving due to persecution,
and prophesied the arrival of strangers who would come ... from
the east'...thus the people were to be punished for their
mistreatment of the Toltecs.'...Topiltzin also told them that the
arrival of the strangers would not be witnessed by them ... but
would be seen by the fourth or fifth generation.'" 42

     The Spaniards under Cortez arrived approximately three
hundred years later and fulfilled Topiltzin's prophecy about the
destruction of the Aztec culture (which had followed the
Toltecs). Athy adds:

"Cortez had arrived in the year 1 Reed in the Aztec calendar ...
the year in which Topiltzin had been born - the year in which the
return of his sons had been forecast." 43

     In chapter five, it was noted that Christian inscriptions
dating from the first to the third centuries A.D. were found in
the Mayan ruins of Comalcalco, indicating Christianity existed in
the New World very soon after the life of Jesus Christ. There is
further evidence that Christianity was at one time
well-established and widespread in the New World, but that it had
degenerated over time as Christian symbols and practices were
blended into the sun-worship religion of the native populations
found by the Spaniards. Consider the following:

"Many of the Catholic rituals taught to the Maya were already
familiar to them, to the great surprise of the early
missionaries. The Maya practiced baptism in water, confirma-tion,
fasting ... The cross was a familiar ikon ... When     the friars
explained that the cross was the sign of God, who had died on the
Tree of Good and Evil and now lives in the heavens, the Maya
accepted it as another version of a story they already knew." 44

     The cross, in particular, was a well-known symbol in the New
World, especially among the ruling elites. Walter Stender wrote:
"When the Spaniards conquered Peru, they were astonished and
puzzled to find crosses in the temples and palaces of the royal
Inca family ... For the Incas the use of the cross was a
continuance from preceding cultures ... it becomes evident that
the cross had a religious significance." 45 (Emphasis added)
Stender also records the following:

"The Mayas used it [the cross] .. in one of their glyphs...
Legends exist from various sites in South America that white men
came to the natives to teach them a better way of social life. A
similarity is obvious with the well-known Mesoamerican
traditions, where white men arrived and tried to develop the
cultural level of the natives ... all these white men ... were
bearded,  and another feature is particularly remarkable: the
garments of these white visitors have been decorated with white
and black crosses ... At the time of the Spanish conquest there
was a broad awareness in South America of an early presence of
white residents ... 46 (Emphasis added)

     Stender's article documents that the symbol of the cross had
been present in the New World at least as early as the middle of
the first millennium. Combined with the evidence (from chapter
five) that a Christian inscription had been placed at Comalcalco
in the first to the third centuries A.D., it can be seen that
Christianity had been present in the New World from virtually the
beginning of the Christian era!
     During the Middle Ages, there were Christian Norseman allied
with the Catholic Church of Rome. The Epigraphic Society
Occasional Publications has reproduced a series of letters from
three different popes, dated 1282, 1448 and 1492 A.D., written to
Norse bishops and a church in Greenland. 47 The letter of Pope
Martin IV to a Norwegian Archbishop in 1282 A.D. concerned the
tithes of the Greenland churches, and the letter of Pope Nicolaus
V in 1448 A.D. acknowledged that Christians in Greenland "For
almost 600 years [had] kept the faith of Christ...48. This
extraordinary papal letter places Christians in Greenland in the
ninth century A.D.
     Viking voyages to the New World had been taking place for
centuries prior to Pope Nicolaus V's letter, and Icelandic
history records that a Catholic bishop named Eric Gnuppson
travelled from Iceland to the New World (Vinland) in the year
1121 A.D.49

     This concludes the above digression on the evidence of
Christianity in the New World. It was deemed necessary to confirm
that Christians were voyaging to the New World not only in the
first century A.D., but at many other times prior to the arrival
of Columbus or Cortez. While not directly relating to the life of
Jesus Christ, it does provide background information indicating
that it is not so revolutionary a proposal to assert the Jesus
Christ visited the New World during the eighteen year period
about which the Bible is silent. We will now examine specific
evidence that it was possible for Jesus Christ to have made a
journey to the New World in his lifetime.

     There is no doubt that the means for Jesus Christ to travel
to the New World did exist. Earlier chapters have shown that huge
Phoenician and Carthaginian vessels crossed the Atlantic

To be continued

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