A sea of adventuring pilgrims returned from the Crusades during the 13th Century. Many returned with treasure, gold or plunder; many with the Church’s blessing to positions of prominence; often laden with Holy Relics: bones of the martyrs, bits of splintered wood sworn to be of the "True Cross," or snippets of hair said to be from the heads of the Apostles… and some returned with books scribed in foreign Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek tongues.
Many of these treasured scrolls and codices were locked away in monastery libraries throughout Europe. There were a few of these manuscript troves, however—and in particular one special wooden chest of faded parchments—that found their way to a remote area near the Bristol Channel, to one particular Benedictine Abbey at Glastonbury, on the Isle of Avalon in the old realm of Cornwall.
Among the Oblates and Monks of the Brotherhood there, cloistered behind the gray stone walls that rose into the fog, this locked cache of manuscripts had become a subject of much behind-doors fascination and discrete discussion. On the day when Abbot Anselm announced that he had received an order from His Holiness Pope Boniface VIII himself in Rome to destroy the entire box (and what it contained) however, there were two among the company who absolutely could not resist breaking into the Library Vault that very night to have a peek ...just one peek.
Brother Victor and Brother Sebastian might have counted themselves fortunate to get off with some penance for succumbing to natural curiosity, for thus breaking the Rule of their order …even for defying their Abbot; but when these ancient parchments and papyri were actually in their hands, they both realized that they could not allow these treasures to be destroyed… and the two brethren crossed a line that changed their lives forever.
Br Sebastian fled with the sacred papers, leaving Br Victor behind to daily face the enflamed Abbot and the suspicious Brethren, to go about his duties at the monastery and to bear alone their shared secrets of this life-threatening heresy… and to wait each day for a new morsel of copyings from those ancient manuscripts, sent to him by his faraway, escaped friend!
Before the world became deluged with electronic wonders and instant communication, hand written letters conveyed all of our news, our needs, our thoughts and our feelings to those who dwelt any distance beyond the range of a day’s walk. Only through letters could people share each others’ lives, news and thoughts across great chasms of distance… and when those people were hunted heretics, such sharing became especially dangerous.
This book recounts the discoveries of Br Victor and Br Sebastian in their own words, through the very letters they exchanged, and includes also the apparently even more ancient (and, in some cases, pre-Biblical) manuscripts which they possessed (and which— let’s be frank! —they had stolen!)
These papers were all allegedly unearthed in 1889 by a pair of British scholars, Mr. Rhys and Dr. Evans, who edited and annotated them with the intent of publishing them at that time. While Rhys and Evans appear to have disagreed (sometimes almost to the point of personal violence) on numerous issues, their efforts did manage to preserve the original texts … along with the often wandering (and sometimes plainly contradictory) commentaries and annotations of these two eccentric Nineteenth Century scholars.
Unfortunately, this 1889 project never seems to have actually come into general publication, beyond a few printer’s proofs which were bound for friends of the authors, since their publishing effort was interrupted when both men were sent on "temporary" assignment to supervise a field project for the University of Mesopotamia by their Supervisor at the Archaeological Research Foundation of Trinity College, Dublin, where they had been in resident employment for many years (and apparently spent most of their time bickering with each other and upsetting other staff members).
The undersigned, having each come independently upon one of those exceedingly rare sets of 1889 bound printer’s proofs of the Rhys/Evans work (through the catalogues of separate dealers in esoterica and the occult) were astonished to find that each set of proofs was scribbled all about with a different set of handwritten, barely legible corrections, which we take to have been those, respectively, of Mr. Rhys and Dr. Evans. Consequently, we two amateurs of 2012 decided to collaborate on a new edition of this work, which we feel now contains matter that— if rightly understood— may shake the very underpinnings of the hitherto received history of the Church.
Our readers may reasonably ask themselves: is this fact or fiction? Certainly some of the details of this story are incredible in the extreme. Yet we find a thread of consistency in the letters themselves. While some portions of this tale certainly appear to be so strange as to be utterly fantastic, others appear creditable and even likely. Those who wish to believe that a thing is true will never be convinced that it is fiction; nor will those who wish to believe that a thing is fiction ever be convinced that it is true. We will say only that we believe most things contained herein are to some measure both, and encourage the readers to decide for themselves.
Robert Pohle and Archer Luxley 2012
Medieval Glastonbury was a sparsely populated corner of the world in 1297. There were a few small villages; there were rumors of a colony of Priestesses somewhere beyond Avalon’s mists; and there was a solitary Benedictine Monastery …but none knew much of the business of the others.
The Benedictine Monks went about their daily routines and their vigils, largely oblivious to the unimaginable secret contained within a small wooden chest stored in a musty alcove of their monastery's library. They took little notice of the faded old documents that had miraculously survived the rigors of time and the perils of travel from the Eastern Crusades …that is, until the day a Papal command arrived from Rome ordering Abbot Anselm to destroy by fire …parchments, chest and all!
What were these secret things that the Church of 1297 so urgently wished removed from the world? They were not always so secret. In 325 AD, all the members of the Great Council knew …the Roman Emperor knew, too. But when the votes were cast to establish the future course of the Christian World, few dared even whisper of them. Emperor Constantine surely smiled to himself. The course of Christianity was established for all time to come. His will was done! The Emperor had his reasons for structuring the New Religion as he did; reasons that might have remained a secret to this day, had Fate not spared a few letters carelessly exchanged between some of the Bishops who attended the Council… and a Fifth Gospel that somehow got left out of the momentous book which that Council put together…
These letters would certainly have been destroyed in 1297 (along with the underlying meaning of much Christian mythology and symbolism) had two of the Benedictine Brothers not saved the documents from Pope Boniface VIII’s commanded burning, by stealing them away before they could be destroyed. One fled with the entire cache of script to Scotland while the other remained at the Monastery. As the Scottish War for Independence plunged the entire area into chaos, they managed to hide the translations safely away in "Fairey Land."
Their letters and the mysterious earlier documents might remain there still, hidden and unread along with the ancient and heretofore unpublished Gospel of Esus, had not two 19th Century antiquarian scholars discovered them and launched an unsuccessful attempt to publish them in 1889.
What mysteries were revealed in these letters and this enigmatic Gospel of Esus that survived against such incredible odds? Why did the 13th Century Pope order their destruction? Read the very letters exchanged between these two renegade monks ...read as they did the translated Gospel of Esus and discover the true origins ...the Pagan origins ...of the Christian tradition. ...Did Christianity arise spontaneously to appear brand new in the world like some mist in the morning? ...Or was it rooted directly in mysteries already long ancient by the time of the Common Era?
Come and join the characters of this book as they discover the Great Secret that in the centuries to follow would condemn to the fire any who dared even whisper it aloud. Relive with them the discovery of the heretofore undisclosed Gospel of Esus and share through their own letters the secrets and events that shaped human thinking for the next two millennia, events that have never been understood ...until now!
The Lost Gospel of Avalon reveals these ancient roots, as "that bone most deeply buried" ...and the most elaborately guarded of all secrets. Read for yourself and decide whether this intriguing tale is entertaining fiction …or whether it’s fact!
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