Addendum added in 2001

The following addendum of the book is of particular interest and for this reason we quote it in its entirety. 

After "Jesus and the Essenes" was printed in England in 1992 I began to travel and lecture about the book. Most notably, I spoke at the Essene Network Summer School in Dorset for several years. During one of the first lectures a man in the audience asked a question that made me think. I was talking about Jesus' travels with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, and that he was a rich merchant trading tin and cloth. The man asked, "Where did Joseph get the tin?" I replied that I didn't know, I hadn't thought about it. Then the audience said there were many old legends in that part of England about the tin mines, and that Joseph came there.

I had heard of his connection with Glastonbury and the Chalice Well, but I had not heard about the tin mines. They said the local people there still sing a song "Joseph was a tin man." I found this fascinating because it was verifying yet another part of the story we had received. I told the audience I would certainly like to know more about these legends. As a result in the next few years I received books and pamphlets from my readers in England. The research done by the authors seem to be based on solid records and history. I decided that if this book was ever printed in the U.S. that I would add an addendum that would include this research. It is utterly amazing how the entire story continues to hold up under scrutiny, and pieces continue to be added.

"The Drama of the Lost Disciples", by George F. Jowett, 1993, Covenant Publishing Co. Ltd., London. This book is highly recommended as the most complete history I have read. It was probably the inspiration of the others. While the other books hinted that the entire story of Joseph in England might be a myth or legend, this book quotes from ancient historical records dating back to Roman times and before. His sources cannot be disputed. It is a forgotten story of the founding of the Christian religion that needs to be retold and brought back to our time, even though it will probably upset many who are entrenched in church dogma. It is a privilege and a God-given right to think for oneself and to constantly search for knowledge. This is the only way to find the answers, no matter how distasteful they may seem. We must constantly strive to restore "lost" history, and to preserve it for our posterity. To this aim my work is devoted.

Joseph of Arimathea is given only a passing mention in the Bible. He is referred to as the rich man who claimed the body of Christ, and gave up his tomb for the burial after the Crucifixion. According to both Jewish and Roman law, unless the body of an executed criminal was immediately claimed by the next of kin the body was cast into a common pit with others where all physical record of them was completely obliterated. Joseph, the family guardian, personally went to Pilate for permission to claim the body, remove it from the cross and prepare it for burial in his private sepulcher on his estate. However, there is much, much more to his story that has been forgotten and "lost" down through time. The story is glorious and needs to be brought back to the people of our generation.

Joseph of Arimathea was indeed Jesus' uncle, related to Mary. He was the younger brother of her father. He was one of the wealthiest men in the world, not just in Jerusalem. He was a metal magnate controlling the tin and lead industry. Tin was as valuable as gold in those days, the chief metal used in the production of bronze. It was ultimate necessity in all countries and in great demand by the warring Romans. Joseph's world control of tin and lead was due to his vast holdings in the ancient tin mines of Britain. He had acquired and developed this trade many years before Jesus began his ministry. The world's major portion of tin was mined in Cornwall, smelted into ingots and exported throughout the civilized world, chiefly in Joseph's ships. He owned one of the largest private merchant shipping fleets afloat that traded in all the ports of the known world.

Joseph was also an influential member of the Sanhedrin, and a legislative member of the provincial Roman senate. He owned a palatial home in the holy city and a fine country residence just outside Jerusalem. Several miles north he possessed another spacious estate at Arimathea, located on the populous caravan route between Nazareth and Jerusalem. He was a man of importance and influence within both the Jewish and Roman hierarchies.

After Joseph, the father of Jesus, died when Jesus was quite young, Joseph of Arimathea was appointed legal guardian of the family as next of kin. This explains Jesus' association with his uncle from an early age, and his ability to travel with him on his voyages.

There are many legends in England that say when Joseph came to the islands to obtain the tin he often brought his nephew Jesus with him. Less often Mary, the mother of Jesus, accompanied them, especially when Jesus was younger. This would seem only an interesting sidelight, except that we know from the story in this book that Jesus went with Joseph to all the countries of the known world under the disguise of merely traveling on the trading missions. He actually was being taken to study with the various wise teachers, and to study the mysteries of the ancient teachings. This fit very well with the stories of Jesus and Joseph visiting England to transport the valuable tin.

For many centuries Britain was the only country in the world where tin was mined and refined, and was called "The Tin Island." In the making of bronze, tin was the main alloy. Thus it can be safely said that the Bronze Age had its inception in Britain. The tin trade existed as early as 1500 BC, and was the source of the world's supply. The Phoenicians were the original inhabitants of Britain and the miners of lead and tin.

Many ancient writers say that the Phoenicians first came to Cornwall for tin over 4000 years before the birth of Christ. They had the monopoly on the tin trade and jealously guarded the secret of where the tin mines were located. Later when the Romans tried to follow their ships to find the location, the Phoenicians would deliberately wreck their vessel.

The Phoenicians were a mysterious race. They were tall men with red hair and blue eyes - not a Mediterranean people. Scholars have had great difficulty tracing their origin, because Phoenician means "red headed men", and was not what they called themselves. They were known by various names in different parts of the world. In early Biblical records they are referred to as the people of Tarshish. There are some who believe they were the inhabitants of the lost continent of Atlantis! One thing for certain, whatever name they went by, they were connected with the tin trade from Britain.

Another mystery is how, four thousand years before the birth of Christ, they knew there was tin in Cornwall. How were they able to sail unknown seas, find a land they did not know existed, and then dig for a metal which they knew nothing about? Then they found that mixing this new metal with copper would make bronze? Many scholars believe, and there is much evidence to support this theory, that before the great flood there lived in Britain a very advanced civilization, with great practical knowledge of Science, and which knew more about metallurgy than we do today.

Thus they claim that they did not sail to Britain from Europe, but were originally inhabitants of Atlantis, and that part of Britain is the surviving remnant of that lost continent. These facts are not crucial to our story of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea, but they are a mystery and an interesting sideline.

Glastonbury, where the bulk of the history abounds, was also the cultural centre of the Druids. Druidism was nationally organized since 1800 BC. The Romans later tried to make people think there were only barbarians living in the British Isles as that time, and they started the vicious rumors that the Druids conducted human sacrifice during their religious ceremonies.

Both of these claims have proven false. The Romans considered anyone who was not Roman to be barbaric. The truth was that there were large cities, cultural centers, libraries, and forty huge universities (containing at times as many as 60,000 students) in England that would rival anything we have today, as far as knowledge and education is concerned. London was founded 270 years before Rome in 1020 BC.

The Druids had beliefs that were remarkably similar to the Judaic beliefs, and are believed to have a common root. They had been looking for a Savior, a Messiah, and they even called him Yesu, the only recorded mention of the name. This can be explained because the Druids are believed to have been an offshoot of Jews that settled in the British Isles in ancient times. They naturally would have some of the same beliefs. They had a mystery school steeped in the Kaballah (among other subjects, such as: natural philosophy, astronomy, arithmetic geometry, jurisprudence, medicine, poetry and oratory).

It normally would take twenty years to complete all of the studies, but we know that Jesus was not the normal student. He had the capacity and the ability to absorb information at an incredibly fast rate. This was evident in the short amount of time he spent studying with the Essenes. By the time he returned to Jerusalem to begin his ministry, he had already been taught by all the wise teachers in all the mystery schools in the world. There are many other stories and legends from many countries to confirm this. So this was a missing piece of the puzzle, why he spent so much time in England.

Yet there is much, much more to the remarkable story of Joseph of Arimathea, and what he accomplished after the death of Christ. After the Crucifixion the disciples and followers of Jesus feared for their lives. The Romans were afraid that, even though they had disposed of the main instigator (Jesus), his followers might still have the ability to spread revolt through their dramatically different teachings.

Many followers were hunted down and killed. Joseph was the protector of the small band of disciples during the perilous years following the Crucifixion, the head of the Christian underground in Judea, and the guardian of Christ's mother, Mary. Joseph was too rich and powerful to be killed outright, so a unique method of disposal was devised for him and his accomplices. He and his group were put in an open ship without sails, oars or rudder, and set adrift in the Mediterranean. A sure sentence of death, under normal circumstances, but nothing in the story of Jesus was ever considered normal.

Various existing records agree that among the occupants of the castaway boat were: Joseph of Arimathea and his family and servants. On the list were: the three Marys (Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, the wife of Cleopas), Martha, two servants: Marcella and the black maid Sarah, and twelve disciples (including some of the originals). Also among the group were Lazarus, Jesus' cousin whom He raised from the dead, and Maximin the man whose sight Jesus restored. Some other names listed were: Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John. Eutropius, Trophimus, Martial, Clean, Sidonius (Restitutus), and Saturninus. Marcella probably went along in her old capacity of handmaiden to the Bethany sisters, and not one of the missionary band. Joseph of Arimathea was Mary's guardian until her death. As she was under his protection he would not have left her in Jerusalem where she would have been in extreme danger. She was definitely accompanying him, even though the sea voyage had been designed to kill them all.

The Romans thought this was a unique way of getting rid of these trouble-makers, because there was no way they could survive in the open sea in a boat that could not be maneuvered. But a current caught the boat and brought them safely ashore on the coast of France. The location is now called "Saintes Maries de la Mer" or Saint Marys of the Sea. Here Lazarus and some of the others settled, and eventually founded the first church of France (then called "Gaul").

The rest of the group continued on (in a much more seaworthy boat) to Britain. Their friends, the Druids, were there, and Joseph had connections with the ruling families of Britain (his daughter Anna was married to the King's youngest brother). They returned to Glastonbury, where they had been many times before and were given land by the King of Britain.

Here Joseph established the first Christian Church in the world, within three years after the death of Christ. It was not called "Christian" until hundreds of years later in 250 AD. In those early days the religion was known as "The Way", and they were known as the "Followers of the Way", because Jesus had said, "I am The Way." They referred to Christ and his spiritual philosophy as "The Way."

Joseph sent the disciples out to spread the teachings of Jesus, and through Lazarus and the other disciples established on the continent, succeeded in spreading Christianity throughout Britain, France and Spain. There were always twelve, and whenever one died another took his place in order to keep the number constant at twelve. Joseph lived 50 years after the Crucifixion, and his contributions to Jesus were called "The Golden Age of Christianity."

Mary lived at Glastonbury until her death, and she is buried where the old church stood. When Joseph died he was also buried there, and eventually all of the disciples. The epitaph on Joseph's grave read: "I came to the Britons after I buried Christ. I taught. I rest." This sacred ground is called "the holiest ground on Earth." John was the last apostle to die and be interred there. He lived to be 101.

Their descendants even established the first church in Rome hundreds of years before the Vatican even existed. Another remarkable fact: all of the royal line of British kings and queens, down to the present Queen Elizabeth II, have descended directly from Joseph of Arimathea. Thus they are all related through a long unbroken line of ancestry to Jesus.

There is much, much more to this story, but it is too long for this addendum. At that period in history Britain was the only free country in the world. The Romans never conquered England. In 120 AD Britain was incorporated (by treaty - not conquest). There were many bloody wars as Rome tried unsuccessfully to take over the birthplace of Christianity, and many false tales spread when Rome finally was converted three hundred years later. They tried to topple Britain as being the first country to accept the teachings of Christ. Many years later in the 1400s there was a big debate with the Vatican over which was the oldest church or the first church. Was it England, France or Spain? They were all founded during the same time period within three years after the crucifixion of Christ. It was finally agreed, and became part of the Vatican record, that the church at Glastonbury was the first church.

They tried to deny all the wonderful work that Joseph of Arimathea and the apostles did to spread the teachings, in the way Jesus wanted, immediately after his death. The story of Joseph's accomplishments was held in such great importance that immediately after the invention of printing, when books were so scare, his story was printed. (1516 and 1520).

Joseph should be remembered and honoured for following Jesus' example when he build the first Christian church in the world. It was hundreds of years before the rest of the world caught up, while Joseph and his band of 12 disciples were establishing the beginnings of Christianity. Today few people know this remarkable story, and accept the Roman Catholic version of the origins of Christianity. For the entire narrative, based on solid historical documents, I suggest reading "The Drama of the Lost Disciples". It will open many eyes to the "rest of the story."