Forever Question

Early in the morning at Camp Dundon, Michael and I spoke with low voices while everyone slept. We talked about the time our minister chose Michael to be Jesus, and I Judas in the church passion play. This minister drove me from Bible study saying I asked too many good questions. I began to study with Greg Mel who graduated from Stanford Law School. He came up with our only rule;

“God can stand the questioning!”

In the cybor-world game I am inventing, I will come in as Joseph of Arimathea who came and took dead Jesus ‘The Rose of Sharon’ down from the cross and buried him in his own tomb that was to hold Joseph when he died. One could say he captured this beautiful Jubilee Prophet who had come to set all God’s Children free.

As the Wizard of Oz, and the Phantom of the Opera of this Ros World Quest, part of the Quest will be to earn the right to take Jesus from my tomb, and do with him what you will. But, you will be questioned. You must pass a test. I bid many Bible Groups to come and take your best shot. You ministers of the mega-chruches – send forth your champion!

“You will not pass!”

It is said Joseph drove his staff into the ground, and from it rose a Thorn Tree. Carl Janke and his beloved wife were buried under a great tree that many folks from an ancient land danced around. They killed his dream, and my family in my father’s BRANCH, was dead. I reborn it when I went to the Stuttmeister-Janke tomb in Colma. Janke means Jon, and Stuttmeister meand ‘Master of the Horse’. I am Death, I ride a white horse and carry a banner that reveals the secret of eternal life in the Rose of the World. I am Jon Rose of the World. What is it you want from me?

Above is a photo of Bennett Rosamond a Grand Master of the Orange Order. We look alike. Ion is a form of Jon.

Above is Joseph and his tree captured in a beautiful stainglass window in Saint John’s church. Above is an image of me before a Tiffany window in the Janke tomb. A thorny rose stem rises out of a urn – a Grail.

“Whom does the Grail serve?”

Let your questioning – commence!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2012

The Holy Thorn Tree is a sacred tree that is said to have mysterious origins in the Middle East. It is said that the thorn tree was brought to Glastonbury, England by Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus. It is said that Joseph was the Virgin Mary’s uncle. After Jesus’ resurrection, Joseph came to Glastonbury with the sacred chalice of Jesus’ blood and sweat. Joseph plunged his walking staff into the ground, on what we now know as Wearyall Hill, and it burst into a blooming Thorn tree. Joseph said “Since we be weary all, here we will rest”. Thus the name of the location,It is interesting that this sacred tree blooms every Christmas as if it was still in its country of origin, and again at Easter . . . a normal time for plant to bloom in England. The Holy Thorn Tree is even known to be sacred to the Queen of England who still requests a bloom from this tree every Christmas. All of the Holy Thorn Trees in the area are direct descendants of the original tree at Wearyall Hill. The Thorn Tree is known for the qualities of perseverance and tolerance.

There are several well known Holy Thorn Trees in Glastonbury today: In the old Abby ruins, the original tree atop Wearyall Hill, in front of St. John the Baptist church in Glastonbury, and a few at Chalice Well Gardens. While we were in Glastonbury, only one Thorn Tree was just beginning to bloom one entire month early. This was the one at St. John the Baptist church. It was here at St. John the Baptist church that I was called to make the Holy Thorn Tree Sacred Site Essence.

Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus’ Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.

The Holy Thorn Tree is a sacred tree that is said to have mysterious origins in the Middle East. It is said that the thorn tree was brought to Glastonbury, England by Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus. It is said that Joseph was the Virgin Mary’s uncle. After Jesus’ resurrection, Joseph came to Glastonbury with the sacred chalice of Jesus’ blood and sweat. Joseph plunged his walking staff into the ground, on what we now know as Wearyall Hill, and it burst into a blooming Thorn tree. Joseph said “Since we be weary all, here we will rest”. Thus the name of the location,It is interesting that this sacred tree blooms every Christmas as if it was still in its country of origin, and again at Easter . . . a normal time for plant to bloom in England. The Holy Thorn Tree is even known to be sacred to the Queen of England who still requests a bloom from this tree every Christmas. All of the Holy Thorn Trees in the area are direct descendants of the original tree at Wearyall Hill. The Thorn Tree is known for the qualities of perseverance and tolerance.

There are several well known Holy Thorn Trees in Glastonbury today: In the old Abby ruins, the original tree atop Wearyall Hill, in front of St. John the Baptist church in Glastonbury, and a few at Chalice Well Gardens. While we were in Glastonbury, only one Thorn Tree was just beginning to bloom one entire month early. This was the one at St. John the Baptist church. It was here at St. John the Baptist church that I was called to make the Holy Thorn Tree Sacred Site Essence.

Gospel references
A native of Arimathea, in Judea, Joseph was apparently a man of wealth—and probably a member of the Sanhedrin, which is the way bouleutēs, literally “counsellor”, Luke 23:50 is most often interpreted. According to Mark 15:43, Joseph was an “honourable counsellor, who waited (or “was searching”) for the kingdom of God”. In Matthew 27:57 he is not described as a counsellor, but as a rich man and a disciple of Jesus. In John 19:38 he was secretly a disciple of Jesus: as soon as he heard the news of Jesus’ death, he “went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” R.J. Miller[2] notes this act as “unexpected… Is Joseph in effect bringing Jesus into his family?”
Pilate, reassured by a centurion that the death had taken place, allowed Joseph’s request. Joseph immediately purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46) and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. There, assisted by Nicodemus, Joseph took the body and wrapped it in the fine linen and applied myrrh and aloes (these are substances which Nicodemus had brought, according to John 19:39). Jesus’ body then was conveyed to the place that had been prepared for Joseph’s own body, a man-made cave hewn from rock in the garden of his house nearby. This was done speedily, “for the Sabbath was drawing on”.
According to Roman law, a close family member could come and take away the body of an executed person. But there was no entitlement for a non-relative. There was a risk that a request from a non-relative would be denied and the body dumped, denying it proper burial. Tradition and sentiment also demanded that the body be interred with those of other family members, and not in the tomb of a stranger.[citation needed]
[edit] Veneration
Joseph of Arimathea is venerated as a saint by the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox and some Anglican churches. His feast-day is March 17 in the West, July 31 in the East and in Lutheran churches.[3] The Orthodox also commemorate him on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers—the third Sunday of Pascha (second Sunday after Easter)—as well as on July 31. He appears in some early New Testament apocrypha, and a series of legends grew around him during the Middle Ages, which tied him to Britain and the Holy Grail.
[edit] Old Testament prophecy

Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Major events in Jesus’ life from the Gospels
Nativity of Jesus
Baptism
Temptation
Ministry
Commissioning apostles
Sermon on the Mount
Rejection
Transfiguration
Palm Sunday
Cursing the fig tree
Temple cleansing
Second coming prophecy
Anointing
Last supper
Promising a Paraclete
The passion:
Arrest
Sanhedrin trial
Pilate’s court
Flagellation
Crown of thorns
Crucifixion
Entombment
Resurrection
Empty tomb
Resurrection appearances
Great Commission
Ascension

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Christians interpret Joseph’s role as fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction that the grave of the “Suffering Servant” would be with a rich man (Isaiah 53:9), assuming that Isaiah meant Messiah. The skeptical tradition, which reads the various fulfillment of prophecies in the life of Jesus as inventions designed for that purpose, reads Joseph of Arimathea as a story created to fulfill this prophecy in Isaiah, although the gospel accounts do not claim a prophesied fulfillment at that point. The prophecy in Isaiah chapter 53, is known as the “Man of Sorrows” passage:
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
The Greek Septuagint text:
And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he practised no iniquity, nor craft with his mouth.
In the Qumran community’s Great Isaiah Scroll, dated at c. 100 BC, the words are not identical to the Masoretic text:
And they gave wicked ones his grave and [a scribbled word, probably accusative sign “eth”] rich ones in his death although he worked no violence neither deceit in his mouth.
[edit] Development of legends
Since the 2nd century, a mass of legendary detail has accumulated around the figure of Joseph of Arimathea in addition to the New Testament references. Joseph is referenced in apocryphal and non-canonical accounts such as the Acts of Pilate,[4] a text often appended to the medieval Gospel of Nicodemus and The Narrative of Joseph, and mentioned in the works of early church historians such as Irenaeus (125–189), Hippolytus (170–236), Tertullian (155–222) and Eusebius (260–340), who added details not found in the canonical accounts. Hilary of Poitiers (300–367) enriched the legend, and Saint John Chrysostom (347–407), the Patriarch of Constantinople, was the first to write[5] that Joseph was one of the Seventy Apostles appointed in Luke 10.
During the late 12th century, Joseph became connected with the Arthurian cycle, appearing in them as the first keeper of the Holy Grail. This idea first appears in Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie, in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Britain. This theme is elaborated upon in Boron’s sequels and in subsequent Arthurian works penned by others. Later retellings of the story contend that Joseph of Arimathea himself travelled to Britain and became the first Christian bishop in the Isles.[6]
[edit] Gospel of Nicodemus
The Gospel of Nicodemus, a text appended to the Acts of Pilate, provides additional, though even more mythologized, details about Joseph. For instance, after Joseph asked Pilate for the body of the Christ, and prepared the body with Nicodemus’ help, Christ’s body was delivered to a new tomb that Joseph had built for himself. In the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Jewish elders express anger at Joseph for burying the body of Christ, saying:
And likewise Joseph also stepped out and said to them: Why are you angry against me because I begged the body of Jesus? Behold, I have put him in my new tomb, wrapping in clean linen; and I have rolled a stone to the door of the tomb. And you have acted not well against the just man, because you have not repented of crucifying him, but also have pierced him with a spear.
—Gospel of Nicodemus. Translated by Alexander Walker.
The Jewish elders then captured Joseph, and imprisoned him, and placed a seal on the door to his cell after first posting a guard. Joseph warned the elders:
The Son of God whom you hanged upon the cross, is able to deliver me out of your hands. All your wickedness will return upon you.
Once the elders returned to the cell, the seal was still in place, but Joseph was gone. The elders later discover that Joseph had returned to Arimathea. Having a change in heart, the elders desired to have a more civil conversation with Joseph about his actions and sent a letter of apology to him by means of seven of his friends. Joseph travelled back from Arimathea to Jerusalem to meet with the elders, where they questioned him about his escape. He told them this story;
On the day of the Preparation, about the tenth hour, you shut me in, and I remained there the whole Sabbath in full. And when midnight came, as I was standing and praying, the house where you shut me in was hung up by the four corners, and there was a flashing of light in mine eyes. And I fell to the ground trembling. Then some one lifted me up from the place where I had fallen, and poured over me an abundance of water from the head even to the feet, and put round my nostrils the odour of a wonderful ointment, and rubbed my face with the water itself, as if washing me, and kissed me, and said to me, Joseph, fear not; but open thine eyes, and see who it is that speaks to thee. And looking, I saw Jesus; and being terrified, I thought it was a phantom. And with prayer and the commandments I spoke to him, and he spoke with me. And I said to him: Art thou Rabbi Elias? And he said to me: I am not Elias. And I said: Who art thou, my Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus, whose body thou didst beg from Pilate, and wrap in clean linen; and thou didst lay a napkin on my face, and didst lay me in thy new tomb, and roll a stone to the door of the tomb. Then I said to him that was speaking to me: Show me, Lord, where I laid thee. And he led me, and showed me the place where I laid him, and the linen which I had put on him, and the napkin which I had wrapped upon his face; and I knew that it was Jesus. And he took hold of me with his hand, and put me in the midst of my house though the gates were shut, and put me in my bed, and said to me: Peace to thee! And he kissed me, and said to me: For forty days go not out of thy house; for, lo, I go to my brethren into Galilee.
—Gospel of Nicodemus. Translated by Alexander Walker
According to the Gospel of Nicodemus, Joseph testified to the Jewish elders, and specifically to chief priests Caiaphas and Annas that Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven and he indicated that others were raised from the dead at the resurrection of Christ (repeating Matt 27:52–53). He specifically identified the two sons of the high-priest Simeon (again in Luke 2:25–35). The elders Annas, Caiaphas, Nicodemus, and Joseph himself, along with Gamaliel under whom Paul of Tarsus studied, travelled to Arimathea to interview Simeon’s sons Charinus and Lenthius.
[edit] Other medieval texts
Medieval interest in Joseph centered on two themes, that of Joseph as the founder of British Christianity (even before it had taken hold in Rome), and that of Joseph as the original guardian of the Holy Grail.
[edit] Britain
See also: Early centers of Christianity#Roman Britain
Legends about the arrival of Christianity in Britain abounded during the Middle Ages. Early writers do not connect Joseph to this activity, however. Tertullian (AD 155–222) wrote in Adversus Judaeos that Britain had already received and accepted the Gospel in his lifetime, writing of:[7]
… all the limits of the Spains, and the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons–inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ.
Tertullian does not say how the Gospel came to Britain before AD 222. However, Eusebius of Caesarea, (AD 260–340), one of the earliest and most comprehensive of church historians, wrote of Christ’s disciples in Demonstratio Evangelica, saying that “some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain.”[8] Saint Hilary of Poitiers (AD 300–376) also wrote that the Apostles had built churches and that the Gospel had passed into Britain.[9]
Hippolytus (AD 170–236), considered to have been one of the most learned Christian historians, puts names to the seventy disciples whom Jesus sent forth in Luke 10, includes Aristobulus of Romans 16:10 with Joseph, and states that he ended up becoming a pastor in Britain.[10]
In none of these earliest references to Christianity’s arrival in Britain is Joseph of Arimathea mentioned. The first literary connection of Joseph of Arimathea with Britain had to wait for the ninth-century Life of Mary Magdalene attributed to Rabanus Maurus (AD 766–856), Archbishop of Mainz; however, the earliest authentic copy of the Maurus text is one housed in the Bodleian Library of Oxford University.[11] Rabanus states that Joseph of Arimathea was sent to Britain, and he goes on to detail who travelled with him as far as France, claiming that he was accompanied by “the two Bethany sisters, Mary and Martha, Lazarus (who was raised from the dead), St. Eutropius, St. Salome, St. Cleon, St. Saturnius, St. Mary Magdalen, Marcella (the maid of the Bethany sisters), St. Maxium or Maximin, St. Martial, and St. Trophimus or Restitutus.”[12] Rabanus Maurus describes their voyage to Britain:
Leaving the shores of Asia and favoured by an east wind, they went round about, down the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land to the right. Then happily turning their course to the right, they came near to the city of Marseilles, in the Viennoise province of the Gauls, where the river Rhône is received by the sea. There, having called upon God, the great King of all the world, they parted; each company going to the province where the Holy Spirit directed them; presently preaching everywhere…
The route he describes follows that of a supposed Phoenician trade route to Britain, as described by Diodorus Siculus.
William of Malmesbury mentions Joseph’s going to Britain in one passage of his Chronicle of the English Kings, written in the 1120s. He says Philip the Apostle sent twelve Christians to Britain, one of whom was his dearest friend, Joseph of Arimathea. William does not mention Joseph by name again, but he mentions the twelve evangelists generally. He claims that Glastonbury Abbey was founded by them; Glastonbury would be associated specifically with Joseph in later literature. Cardinal Caesar Baronius,[13] the Vatican Librarian and historian (d. 1609), recorded this voyage by Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Marcella and others in his Annales Ecclesiatici, volume 1, section 35.
The accretion of legends around Joseph of Arimathea in Britain, encapsulated by the poem hymn of William Blake And did those feet in ancient time held as “an almost secret yet passionately held article of faith among certain otherwise quite orthodox Christians”, was critically examined by A. W. Smith in 1989.[14] In its most developed version, Joseph, a tin merchant, visited Cornwall, accompanied by his nephew, the boy Jesus. C.C. Dobson made a case for the authenticity of the Glastonbury legenda.[15]
[edit] Holy Grail
The legend that Joseph was given the responsibility of keeping the Holy Grail was the product of Robert de Boron, who essentially expanded upon stories from Acts of Pilate. In Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathe, Joseph is imprisoned much as in the Acts, but it is the Grail that sustains him during his captivity. Upon his release he founds his company of followers, who take the Grail to Britain. The origin of the association between Joseph and Britain is not entirely clear, but it is probably through this association that Boron attached him to the Grail. In the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, a vast Arthurian composition that took much from Boron, it is not Joseph but his son Josephus who is considered the primary holy man of Britain.
Later authors sometimes mistakenly or deliberately treated the Grail story as truth—John of Glastonbury, who assembled a chronicle of the history of Glastonbury Abbey around 1350, claims that when Joseph came to Britain, he brought with him a wooden cup used in the Last Supper and two cruets, one holding the blood of Christ, and the other his sweat, washed from his wounded body on the Cross. This legend is the source of the Grail claim by the Nanteos Cup on display in the museum in Aberystwyth; however, it should be noted that there is no reference to this tradition in ancient or medieval text. John further claims King Arthur was descended from Joseph, listing the following imaginative pedigree through King Arthur’s mother:
Helaius, Nepos Joseph, Genuit Josus, Josue Genuit Aminadab, Aminadab Genuit Filium, qui Genuit Ygernam, de qua Rex Pen-Dragon, Genuit Nobilem et Famosum Regum Arthurum, per Quod Patet, Quod Rex Arthurus de Stirpe Joseph descendit.
Elizabeth I cited Joseph’s missionary work in England when she told Roman Catholic bishops that the Church of England pre-dated the Roman Church in England.[16]
[edit] Other legends
When Joseph set his walking staff on the ground to sleep, it miraculously took root, leafed out, and blossomed as the “Glastonbury Thorn”. The retelling of such miracles did encourage the pilgrimage trade at Glastonbury until the Abbey was dissolved in 1539, during the English Reformation.
The mytheme of the staff that Joseph of Arimathea set in the ground at Glastonbury, which broke into leaf and flower as the Glastonbury Thorn is a common miracle in hagiography. Such a miracle is told of the Anglo-Saxon saint Etheldreda:
Continuing her flight to Ely, Etheldreda halted for some days at Alfham, near Wintringham, where she founded a church; and near this place occurred the “miracle of her staff.” Wearied with her journey, she one day slept by the wayside, having fixed her staff in the ground at her head. On waking she found the dry staff had burst into leaf; it became an ash tree, the “greatest tree in all that country;” and the place of her rest, where a church was afterwards built, became known as “Etheldredestow.”
—Richard John King, 1862, in: Handbook of the Cathedrals of England; Eastern division: Oxford, Peterborough, Norwich, Ely, Lincoln.[17]
Medieval interest in genealogy raised claims that Joseph was a relative of Jesus; specifically, Mary’s uncle, or according to some genealogies, Joseph’s uncle. A genealogy for the family of Joseph of Arimathea and the history of his further adventures in the east provide material for Holy Grail romances Estoire del Saint Graal, Perlesvaus, and the Queste del Saint Graal.[18] Modern speculation initiated by Sabine Baring-Gould, A Book of Cornwall (1899) makes of him a tin merchant, whose connection with Britain came by the abundant tin mines of Cornwall.[19] One version, popular during the Romantic period, even claims Joseph had taken Jesus to Britain as a boy.[20] This was the inspiration for William Blake’s mystical hymn Jerusalem.
Another legend, as recorded in Flores Historiarum is that Joseph is in fact the Wandering Jew, a man cursed by Jesus to walk the Earth until the Second Coming.[21]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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