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The Noble Joseph of Arimathea

He was in the TIN trade!

JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA IN BRITAIN


by John D. Keyser


With a brief mention in the four gospels, Joseph of Arimathea
leaves the New Testament record never to be heard from again.
However, this intrepid and fearless man of God is NOT lost from
the pages of secular records. History and tradition records the
incredible story of Joseph's relationship to Christ and the
journeys they made together to the western confines of the Roman
Empire. Joseph's business interests ... makes fascinating reading
and reveals apart of God's intricate plan for the redemption of
His people Israel! No story is more riveting or more exciting
than that of the drama of Joseph of Arimathea and the founding of
the Church of God in the tin islands of Britain!


     We get a fleeting glimpse in the New Testament. This great
man of God strides onto center stage, commands our attention for
a few short verses then, just as quickly, disappears - never to
be heard from again! Yet this man, whose life is just as
fascinating or as intriguing as that of Paul or Peter, performed
a VITAL MISSION in the plan of God!

     Matthew records in chapter 27: Now when evening had come,
there came a RICH MAN from Arimathea, named JOSEPH, Who himself
had also become A DISCIPLE OF JESUS. This man went to Pilate and
asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be
given to him. And when JOSEPH had taken the body, he wrapped it
in a  clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had
hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the
door of the tomb, and departed." (Verses 57-60, NKJV).

     With these words Joseph of Arimathea disappears from the
pages of the Bible.

     The other gospels cover the SAME EVENTS, adding details that
Matthew doesn't mention. We read in Mark:

"Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day,
that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of arimathea, a
PROMINENT COUNCIL MEMBER who was himself WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM
OF GOD, coming in and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked
for the body of Jesus. Pilate marveled that He was already dead;
and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for
some time. And when he found out from the centurion, he granted
the body to Joseph. Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and
wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had
been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of
the tomb" - Verses 42-46, NKJV.

     Luke adds little that is not coveted by Matthew and Mark:

"And behold, there was a man named Joseph, A COUNCIL MEMBER, A
GOOD AND JUST MAN. HE HAD NOT CONSENTED TO THEIR COUNSEL AND
DEED. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was
also waiting for the Kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and
asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in
linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where
no one had ever lain before" (Luke 13:50-53, NKJV).

     John, the apostle of love, tells us a little more:

"After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a DISCIPLE OF JESUS, BUT
SECRETLY, FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS, asked Pilate that he might take
away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he
came and took the body of Jesus. And NICODEMUS, who at first came
to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and
aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus,
and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of
the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified
there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one
had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews'
Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby" - John 19:38-42, NKJV.

     To most readers of the Bible, therefore, Joseph of Arimathea
is remembered in passing as the rich man who took the body of
Christ down from the tree and placed it in his own private
sepulcher. He then silently passes out of the Scriptural record
leaving no trace whatsoever in the Word of God!
     As E. Raymond Capt notes: "Strangely, the Bible has nothing
further to say about Joseph of Arimathea, following the
crucifixion. Surely this man who was a disciple of Jesus; who had
shown rare courage in begging the body of Jesus, would have
become a close follower of Christ after the transforming
experience at Pentecost. The Bible never mentions him again, yet
we are not left in the dark concerning the DOMINANT ROLE Joseph
played in the spreading of Christianity." ("The Traditions of
Glastonbury." Artisan Sales, Thousand Oaks, CA 1983. p.21).

     WHO was this man who, in all probability, risked the wrath
of the Jewish authorities when he requested the body of Christ
for burial?

A Man of Substance!

     In reading these verses from the Bible we can glean a number
of things. First, and foremost, is the fact that he was a RICH
MAN from Arimathea. Ancient traditions note that Joseph was a man
of refinement, well educated and possessing many talents. He
evidently had extraordinary political and business abilities that
helped him to become one of the wealthiest men in the world of
that time. His financial and social standing can be estimated
when we realize that he owned a palatial home in the city of
Jerusalem and a country estate just outside the confines of the
city. These same traditions reveal that Joseph also owned another
spacious estate several miles north of Jerusalem at ARIMATHEA -
which is known today as Ramalleh.
     Ramalleh was the birthplace of Samuel the prophet and is
called, in the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament,
Arimathaim. This town was located on the busy caravan route
between Nazareth and the Holy City, and may therefore have been a
large factor in Joseph's choice of a profession. All the
information we have about Joseph indicates that he was a man of
unusual business abilities within the Jewish and Roman trading
circles of his day.
     All four of the gospels state that he was "a disciple of
Jesus" who was himself "waiting for the kingdom of God." John
adds that Joseph was a disciple of Jesus "secretly, for fear of
the Jews." It is obvious, then, that Joseph of Arimathea was well
aware of the person and ministry of Christ in his homeland and,
in order to protect his standing and business interests, was a
"secret" disciple of Jesus. The religious hierarchy of the day,
made up of the Pharisees and Sadducees, could have easily ruined
Joseph if they were aware of his religious affiliation. Therefore
Joseph chose, at this time, to keep his connection with Christ
secret. However, there is more to Joseph's connection with Christ
than meets the eye!

     Luke mentions that Joseph was a COUNCIL MEMBER, and Mark
adds "PROMINENT" to the term council member. This would indicate
that he was a member of the GREAT COUNCIL or SANHEDRIN of the
Jews -- the supreme national tribunal established at the time of
the Maccabees, or perhaps earlier in the time of Ezra.
     That Joseph was present at the trial of Jesus before the
Sanhedrin is evident by Luke's comment that Joseph "had not
consented to their counsel and deed." In fact, there is evidence
that Joseph of Arimathea led an impassioned defense of Christ at
the trial. In the crowded assembly of the Sanhedrin, Christ was
led to face Caisphas and his father-in-law Annas who, as the
reigning High Priest of Judaism, represented the Sadducean
families of which they were members.

     George F. Jowett relates what transpired:

"Contrary to the common belief that Jesus was completely
surrounded by enemies at that strange midnight trial - the light
of recent findings prove it to have been very much otherwise.    
That Jesus was encompassed by a vengeful, hostile group who
sought His total extinction is substantiated, but THE
BRILLIANT BATTLE FOR THE DEFENCE against the savage demands for
destruction has, unfortunately, never been sufficiently reported.
Today, we know the trial for life was fought out on the floor of
the Sanhedrin with all the stormy violence of a bestial,
prejudiced fury on one side and the granite uncom-promising
courage of the defence by men who knew that by the very act of
their challenge they had signed and sealed their own death
warrant." - "The Drama of the Lost Disciples," Covenant
Publishing Co. Ltd., London, 1980, p.13.
     Jowett goes on to say that "on this particular occasion we
see the opposition potent with prejudice, slashing at Christ with
their verbal darts, subtly fanning the flame of antagonism
against Him. On the other side, we see the champions of the
defence striking back with rapier swiftness. The history of the
Trial, as it has come down to us, shows that the defence fought
back with all the resolute heroism of fearless warriors,
invincible in the courage of their firm convictions."

     The defense of Christ by Joseph and those who supported him
must have been brilliant, and a classic in the legal annals of
Judea at the time. When the vote was cast, forty out of the
seventy-one legislative members of the Sanhedrin voted for the
dismissal  of the case and the freedom of Christ. This the
Sadducees never forgot. They controlled all the wealthy ruling
families of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas - with the
exception of the intrepid Joseph! His influence was so great that
it stretched beyond the boundaries of Jewish politics into the
high places of Roman administration. "He is the man who at this
stage of events quietly moves into the scene. He was the power
behind the throne who backed up the exhortations of the Liberal
Party in the Sanhedrin, and the man who stood behind the defence
of Jesus with his resourceful support on that fateful night."
(Ibid., p.15).

     At this point Caiaphas demanded that Jesus be tried before
Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator of the Roman Province of
Palestine, on the charge of treason. What happened next is
recorded in the pages of the Bible.

The British Tin Industry

     In the Latin Vulgate of the Gospel of Mark (15:43) and Luke
(23:50) we find the term "DECURIO" used instead of "COUNCIL
MEMBER" to describe Joseph's office or occupation. In Jerome's
(Catholic scholar, 345?-420 A.D.) translation of the Vulgate the
term "NOBILIS DECURIO" is used - the NOBLE DECURIO!

     Not only that, but early documents of Britain and Gaul refer
to Joseph in the same manner. The Welshman Maelgwyn of Llandaff
calls Joseph the "NOBILIS DECURIO," as well as Rabanus Maurus
(776-856 A.D.), Archbishop of Mayence and writer of the
manuscript called the "Life of St. Mary Magdalene."
     A copy of this document is to be found in the Magdalen
College Library at Oxford, England, and dates from the early part
of the fifteenth century. No history is known of this manuscript;
but it is neatly written on parchment and beautifully illuminated
in colors and in gold. Experts note that the writing and
illumination is very similar to that of the manuscript copy of
the Tertius Opus of Roger Bacon in the Bodleian Library of the
University of Oxford, which is generally considered to date from
the end of the fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century.
     It is abundantly clear that this copy of the "Life of St.
Mary" from Rabanus' original is written by a professional scribe.
The careful "illumination," the various copying errors, and the
fact that at the end of the manuscript the writer goes on to
transcribe a homily (sermon) of Origen (the celebrated writer,
teacher and theologian of antiquity) on Mary Magdalen, lends
credence to this being a faithful copy of the original.
     As J.W.Taylor notes, "the original work of which this is a
copy was undoubtedly written either by Rabanus himself, or its
author must have made considerable use of the Homilies of
Rabanus, for the general style and composition of the work (as M.
Faillon has well shown) CLOSELY FOLLOWS that of its reputed
author." ("The Coming of the Saints," p.81).

     The book in the Magdalen College Library has been recognized
as a work of Rabanus in past centuries, and appears as such in
the well-known list or catalog of William Cave (Scriptorum
Ecclesiastiicorum Historia Literaria, vol.ii, p.38 Oxford,
1740-1743).

     In the 22nd chapter of this manuscript an account of the
embalming and burial of Christ by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicode-
mus is related, along with a detailed description of the 
mausoleum and sepulcher that Joseph had hewn out of the rock for
his own use. Then the manuscript states that Joseph was known as
the NOBILIS DECURION.

     Gildas Badonicus ( 516-570 A.D.), one of the earliest
British historians, also refers to Joseph as "NOBILIS DECURIO."
What does this Latin title mean?

     In the Roman Empire of the time of Christ, the term
"DECURIO" was commonly used to designate AN OFFICIAL -- UNDER
ROMAN AUTHORITY - WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF METAL MINING. The
implication is that Joseph was a PROVINCIAL ROMAN SENATOR in
charge of Rome's overseas mining interests. Ivor C. Fletcher adds
that "the office seems to have been a lucrative and much coveted
one. Cicero [Roman writer, statesman and orator [106-43 B.C.)]
remarked that it was easier to become a Senator of Rome than a
DECURIO in Pompeii." ("The Incredible History of God's True
Church" Triumph Publishing Co., Altadena, CA. 1984. p.54). The
office of Decurio is also known to have existed UNDER THE ROMAN
ADMINISTRATION IN BRITAIN!

     It is an historical fact that TIN was mined and exported to
the European continent in large quantities from CORNWALL,
ENGLAND, during the Roman period (Funk & Wagnalls New
Encyclopedia, vol.23. pp.163-164). The Encyclopedia Britannica
reports that "tin was IMPORTED FROM CORNWALL INTO ITALY after, if
not before, the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar" (1943
edition. Vol.22, p.233). The tin mines of Cornwall were a major
source of this metal; and in Roman times the metal was IN GREAT
DEMAND because tin was used in the making of alloys.
     In his book entitled "Roman Britain," I.A.Richmond tells of
the development and growth of the British tin industry and trade
with the continent of Europe:


"Much of the most famed of British metals in the days before the
Roman occupation was TIN. The vivid accounts by Diodorus Siculus
[lst century B.C. Greek historian], of overland pack-horse
transport of CORNISH TIN from the Gallic [French] coast of Narbo
(Narbonne) in the FIRST CENTURY B.C., and of the ISLAND EMPORIUM
ON THE BRITISH COAST, from which merchants obtained it, as speak
of a brisk and flourishing early trade, monopolized in Caesar's
day by the Beneti of Brittany" - Page 156.

     Diodorus Siculus himself, in book V of his history of the
world, details the British tin industry:

"They that inhabit THE BRITISH PROMONTORY OF BELERIUM [old name
for Cornwall], by reason of their converse with merchants, are
more civilized and courteous to strangers than the rest. THESE
ARE THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THE TIN, which with a great deal of care
and labour they dig out of the ground, and that being rocky, the
metal is mixed with force veins of earth, out of which they melt
the metal and then refine it. Then they beat it into four square
pieces like a die and carry it TO A BRITISH ISLE, near at hand,
CALLED ICTIS. For at low tide, all bang dry between them and the
island, they convey over in carts ABUNDANCE OF TIN. But there is
one thing that is peculiar to these islands which lie between
Britain and Europe. For at full sea they appear to be islands,
but at low water for a long way they look like so many
peninsulas. Hence the merchants transport the tin they buy of the
inhabitants of Gaul, and for thirty days journey they carry it in
packs upon horses' backs THROUGH GAUL TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER
RHONE."

And again:

"This TIN METAL is transported OUT OF BRITAIN INTO GAUL the
merchants carrying it on horse-back THROUGH THE HEART
OF CELTICA TO MARSEILLES and the city called NARBO" - "Diodorus
Siculus," Booth's translation, vol.i, p.311.

     The promontory of Cornwall is rich in the remains of old
mining works and debris. The Phoenicians were probably the first
to utilize Cornish tin; and some mines, like the Ding-Dong Mine,
can be traced to a high antiquity. The oldest crude pits
containing smelted tin are called "JEWS' HOUSES," the tradition
being that THE TIN MINES OF CORNWALL were "WROUGHT BY THE JEWS
with pickaxes of holm, box and hartshom - tools sometimes found
among the rubble of such works." These date to very remote times.
There is hardly a tinbearing spot in Cornwall that has not been
worked over by the "OLD MEN." -- as the ancient miners of the
land are always called. "....upon whatever spot the OLD MINER has
worked there we are told the Phoenician has been or THE JEW has
mined. The existence of the terms JEWS' HOUSES,' 'JEWS' TIN,'
'JEWS' LEAVINGS,' 'ATALLI' and 'ATALLI SARACEN,' prove the
connection of these strangers with the Cornish miners" ("Romances
of the West," by Hunt. London, 1872).



     In Polwhele's "History of Cornwall" (Falmouth, 1803) we read
that "the OLDEST smelting-places are called 'JEWS' HOUSES,' the
old blocks of tin occasionally found are called 'JEWS' PIECES,'
and the stream works of tin that have been formerly deserted by
the labourers are called 'JEWS' WORKS' or 'ATTALL SARACEN.' The
JEWS appear to have called themselves, or were called by the
Britons of Cornwall, 'SARACENS.'"

     All through the land of Cornwall the ancient presence and
influence of the JEWS is marked by names and places like
"BOJEWYAN" (ABODE OF THE JEWS), "TREJEWAS" (JEWS' VILLAGE) and
"MARKET JEW." These, as well as the historical "JEWISH WINDOWS"
in St.Neot's church and other Jewish monuments and memories,
abundantly supplement the older traditions of the "JEWS' HOUSES"
and "JEWS' LEAVINGS."

     The Encyclopedia Britannica (1943 edition) notes that "the
wealth of CORNWALL ... lies not so much in the soil, as
UNDERGROUND and in the surrounding sea. Hence the favourite
Cornish toast, "fish, tin and copper." The tin of Cornwall has
been known and worked FROM THE BRONZE AGE. By ancient charters
the "TINNERS" were exempt from all jurisdiction (save in cases
affecting land, life and limb) other than that of the Stannary
Courts, and peculiar laws were enacted in the Stannary
Parliaments. A TAX on the tin, after smelting, was paid to the
earls and dukes of Cornwall."
(Vol.6, p.453).

     What does all this have to do with Joseph of Arimathea? Just
this: 

     Along with the traditions of Jewish presence in Cornwall,
THERE ARE TRADITIONS OF JOSEPH having visited the area in the
course of his mining business. Fragments of poems and miners'
songs, handed down through the centuries, make FREQUENT REFERENCE
TO JOSEPH. One refrain runs, "Joseph was a tin man, Joseph was in
the tin trade." (Cornwall, by S.Baring-Gould, p.57). In the
"Guide to Penzance, Land's End and Scilly," the author states
that "there is a traditional story that JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA was
connected with MARAZION [a small seaport of Cornwall - 2 miles
east of Penzance] when he and other Jews traded with the ancient
tin-miners of Cornwall" (5th edition, Ward, Lock and Co.,
London).

     Is it really so incredible that Joseph of Arimathea had 
commercial interests in the British Isles -- the Cassiterides or
"Tin-Islands" of the ancient world? After all SENECA, the Roman
philosopher, dramatist and statesman who was appointed tutor to
Nero and had great influence with the emperor, amassed great
wealth as a result of his business interests and investments in
Britain. Unfortunately, Seneca obtained his vast fortune by
trickery and promoting usurious loans to the British. Joseph, on
the other hand, was impeccably honest in all his business
transactions. Virtually all the early records and traditions
concerning Joseph ASSOCIATE HIM WITH THE MINING ACTIVITIES OF
CORNWALL AND THE MENDIP HILLS OF SOMERSET!

The Royal Link

     Some early historical manuscripts refer to Joseph as
"Joseph-de MARMORE" as well as "Joseph of Arimathea." "Mar" is an
Eastern term for LORD and "more" or "mawe" signifies GREAT.
Therefore, his title would mean "the Great Lord Joseph of
Arimathea" -- a title that has great significance, as we shall
soon see!
     WHY would Joseph be given such a title in the  manuscripts?
WHY would he be called "the Great Lord Joseph of Arimathee"?

     BECAUSE HE WAS OF THE ROYAL LINE DESCENDED FROM KING DAVID,
and this title was in keeping with his birth as A PRINCE OF THE
HOUSE OF DAVID! That makes him rehated to Christ!

     Ivor C. Fletcher reveals why this is apparent:

"The gospel record of Joseph burying the body of Jesus in his own
sepulchre STRONGLY SUPPORTS THIS TRADITION. A casual reading of
the account would lead one to assume that Joseph claimed the body
from Pilate on the grounds of being a friend or follower of the
dead man. This is far from the case, however. The chief priests,
with the permission of Pilate, had made special arrangements
regarding the security of the body of Jesus for the express
purpose of keeping it out of the hands of His followers (Matt.
27:62-66). We are told that Joseph did not reveal at that time
that he was a follower of Jesus. He was a disciple 'secretly for
fear of the Jews' (John 19:38). If Joseph did not approach Pilate
on the grounds of being a disciple, WHAT EXACTLY WAS HIS STATUS?
The only grounds which he could have had which would be in
agreement with Jewish AND Roman law and at the same time avoid
giving offence to the chief priests, would be as THE NEAREST 
RELATIVE OF THE DEAD MAN."

With that pronouncentent Fletcher continues: 


"Under both Jewish and Roman Law it was the responsibility of the
NEAREST RELATIVES to dispose of the dead, regardless of the
circumstances of death. Mary, the mother of Jesus, would clearly
be in no fit emotional state for such a task, which would have
been considered 'men's work' anyway. The brothers of Jesus as
young men or teenagers would have lacked the maturdy to perform
such a duty, LEAVING JOSEPH (ACCORDING TO TRADITION THE UNCLE OF
MARY) THE NEXT IN LINE. Unless Joseph had STRONG LEGAL GROUNDS,
as described, for claiming the body, the Jews would have RESISTED
the idea of a man - whom they hated and had caused to be executed
- given the honour of being buried in a private sepulchre,
instead of the official burial place for criminals. The last time
that Joseph, the legal FATHER of Jesus, is mentioned in scripture
is when Jesus is twelve years old (Luke 2:44-52). From then on
the Bible speaks only of His mother and brothers. The clear
implication is that Joseph died when Jesus was a yang man
or teenager. The people of his home town of Nazareth asked the
question, 'Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? (Mark
6:3).' A son would only be spoken of in this way if the father
were dead. Under Jewish law THE NEAREST MALE RELATIVE would have
the clear responsibility to assist the widow and her children. As
we saw earlier, this role would almost certainly be taken up by
JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA" -- "The Incredible History of God's True
Church" pp.53-54.

     E. Raymond Capt also SHOWS that it had to be a RELATIVE who
claimed the body of christ.

"It is quite obvious that the husband (Joseph the widower and
carpenter) of Mary died while Jesus was young. Under both ROMAN
AND HEBREW LAW, the NEXT MALE KIN automatically becomes the LEGAL
GUARDIAN of the family. In this case it was Joseph of
Arimathea....
We also cannot overlook the fact that Joseph 'went in BOLDLY unto
Pilate...and (Pilate) gave the body to Jo-saph.' (Mark 15:43-45)
The Sanhedrin had declared Jesus a criminal. According to both
ROMAN AND JEWISH LAW, unless the body of an executed criminal was
immediately claimed BY THE NEXT OF KIN, the body of the victim
was cast into a common pit, where as with others, all physical
record of them was completely obliterated. Certainly, the
fanatical Sedducean element of the Sanhedrin who sought the total
extinction of Jesus, even in death, would have allowed NOTHING
SHORT OF A LEGAL CLAIM on the body of Christ" -- "The Traditions
of Glastonbury," pp.19-20.

     We must also realize that Joseph of Arimathea was a man whom
the Sadducees DARED NOT OPPOSE without running up against the
Roman administration of the land. Joseph's influence was so great
it stretched beyond the borders of Judea into the upper echelons
of Roman authority. The Sadducees, therefore, had to defer to
Joseph's claim. Joseph's act of claiming the body of Christ made
him a MARKED MAN, and the hatred of the Sadducees toward him must
have been surpassed only by their hatred of Jesus. Also, we must
remember, it was Joseph who led the defense of Jesus before the
Sanhedrin. This did not win him too many points with the
authorities!

     Ancient traditions, held close to the heart of the Eastern
Church, claim that Joseph was related to Christ and was, in fact,
His GREAT-UNCLE. The Jewish TALMUD states that Joseph was the
YOUNGER BROTHER OF THE FATHER OF MARY, and therefore was her
uncle and a GREAT-UNCLE TO JESUS. George F. Jowett, in his book
"The Drama of tke Lost Disciples," also states that "according to
the Talmud, Joseph was the YOUNGER BROTHER OF THE FATHER OF THE
VIRGIN MARY. He was her uncle, and therefore a great-uncle to
Jesus." (p.18). The "Harlein Manuscripts" in the British Museum
(38-59f, 1936) further support the claims that Joseph of
Arimathea was uncle to Mary the mother of Jesus. One of the
manuscripts adds that he had a daughter, ANNA, calling her
"consobrina" or COUSIN OF MARY. In the "High History of the Holy
Grail" it plainly states that "Joseph was his [Christ's] mother's
uncle" and "this Joseph, as the Scripture witnesseth, was his
[Christ's] UNCLE" (Appendix M, "The Coming of the Saints," by
J.W. Taylor. p.245). This explains, the close relationship Christ
had with Joseph of Arimathea.

     George F. Jowett remarks on this relationship:

"During the life-time of Jesus there constantly appears reference
to his association with a RELATIVE at Jerusalem profane history
is mere positive on the matter, identifying the connection with
Joseph. As we study the old records we find there is a valid
reason for the close association of Jesus and his family with
Joseph. It is quite obvious that the husband of Mary died while
Jesus was young. Under Jewish law such a circumstance
automatically appointed THE NEXT MALE KIN OF THE HUSBAND, in this
case Joseph, legel guardian of the family. This fact explains
many things. History and tradition report Jesus, as a boy,
frequently in the company of His UNCLE, particularly at the time
of the religious feasts, and declares that JESUS MADE VOYAGES TO
BRITAIN with Joseph in his ships. CORNISH TRADITIONS abound with
this testimony and numerous ancient landmarks bear HEBREW NAMES
recording these visits."

Jowett continues:

"Even during the short period of the ministry of Jesus there is
definitely shown to exist A CLOSE AFFINITY between then far
greater than one would expect from an ordinary guardianship. It
was fatherly, loyal, with a mutual affection death could not
sever.
We know that Joseph never forsook his nephew. He stood by Him as
a bold fearless defender at the notorious , trial, and DEFIED THE
SANHEDRIN by going to Pilate and boldly claiming the body when
all others feared to do so. His amrs were the first to cradle the
broken corpse when taken down from the cross and place it in the
tomb. After death he continued to protect the mutilated body
of Jesus from the conspiring minds of the Sadducess. He risked
his all, wealth, power and position in those crucial years
fulfilling his obligation as guardian of Jesus and of the family
of Mary. He loved Jesus dearly. The disciples spoke of Joseph
with an affectionate regard. They wrote he was a "just man," a
"good man," "honourable," and "a disciple of Jesus." The letter
dearly indicates that all through their association Joseph must
have encouraged Jesus in His great work and that he was aware of
the mystery of His birth and probably His destiny. ALL evidence
proves that Joseph believed in the validity of all Jesus taught
and ultimately suffered for" -  "Drama of the Lost Disciples,"
pp.18-19.

                             ................

To be continued

Entered on this Website February 2008

NOTE:
     
Truly a fascinating historical and Biblical record of the noble
Joseph of Arimathea - Keith Hunt


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