The missing Chapter 29 of the Acts of the Apostles
We have seen in our investigation, the persistent rumors of Joseph of Arimathea in Britain and how it is that we have been misdirected as to his burial place by the propaganda put out by Henry Blois. When we start to search into how it is that the Britons have a tradition of St. Paul coming to Britain and whether this is true, it seems any early apostolic tradition has been expunged just as the tradition of Joseph of Arimathea visiting Britain. These traditions as Augustine found in Britain were very much alive when he arrived: “who preferred their own traditions before all the churches in the world”.
From a very early period there could only be one culprit; the very empire which morphed into the self-professed inheritor of Christ…. the corrupt Vatican empire. The Roman church to maintain their monopoly has been behind editing the sequence of events that transpired directly after the crucifixion. Both Joseph of Arimathea and St. Paul came to Britain, but since the very beginning of the Roman Church’s claim to primacy… wherever possible, any evidence of these visits has been purposefully obscured.
One can understand how the tradition of Joseph fell silent as the very core of the Christian religion was kept a secret by the Dumnonians, the inheritors of a portion of the Jews who reached Britain after the Diaspora. The fact that the body of Christ lay on Burgh Island was probably only known by Royalty, until the King, under pressure from the Saxons, bequeathed the Island to Glastonbury. If Melkin was the King whose name is illegible on the 601 charter, it would certainly explain how it is that he is cognizant of where Joseph’s body is.
So, why did St. Paul so wish to visit Spain and the British Isles? We should look at a little known and often dismissed document that has much in common with our investigation. The document is now understood to be chapter 29 of the original Acts of the Apostles and was translated by C. S. Sonnini from an original Greek manuscript found in the Archives at Constantinople and presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet while visiting Constantinople.
It gives an account of trips undertaken by St Paul after his two years enforced residence in Rome in his own hired house. This lost Chapter 29 of the Acts of the Apostles was found interleaved in a copy of the French naturalist Sonnini de Manoncourt ‘Voyage en Grèce et en Turquie’. It was purchased at the sale of the library and effects of the late Right Hon. Sir John Newport, Bart, MP (1756–1843) in Ireland, whose family arms were engraved on the cover of the book. It had been in their possession for more than thirty years, with a copy of the royal decree (firman) of the Sultan of Turkey, granting to C. S. Sonnini, permission to travel in all parts of the Ottoman dominions.
No trace of the original Greek manuscript has been found to date and for this reason the document is considered a fake. Also, the document appeared at a time when supposedly a ‘new theory’ was in vogue that the Britons were part of the lost tribes of Israel. Few have considered that if a Frenchman had been handed the original, he would most certainly have handed it to a Catholic authority for verification. The original would never be heard of again if it glorified holy links to Britain. The title page of Sonnini’s work, in which the English translation of the document was found has this written upon it:
“Travels in Turkey and Greece undertaken by order of Louis XVI, and with the authority of the Ottoman Court by C. S. Sonnini, member of several scientific or literary societies of the Society of Agriculture of Paris, and of the Observers of Men.’Mores multorum videt et ubes.’ — HOR., London; Printed for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster Row, 1801.”
The text first came to light in London in 1871 when it was printed as a six page pamphlet by Geo. J. Stevenson entitled: The long lost chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: containing an account of the Apostle Paul’s journey into Spain and Britain, and other interesting events.
Should we look upon this Chapter 29 document as being eradicated from all extant copies of the Acts of the Apostles by the Roman religion at a very early date, specifically to nullify any notion the British might have of testing primacy over Rome? The manuscripts from the Western text-type (as represented by the Codex Bezae) and the Alexandrian text-type (as represented by the Codex Sinaiticus) are the earliest surviving texts of Acts. The version of Acts preserved in the Western manuscripts contains about 10% more content than the Alexandrian version of Acts. Why should some unadulterated version not exist in Constantinople, far from the desire of those ready to re-write history and who were bent on establishing their own monopoly by extension of the Roman Empire.
It also may have been the long hand of Rome trying to eradicate Father Good’s testimony concerning Montacute as we discussed earlier. The finding of Joseph of Arimathea would confirm the primacy of the British church. Even though Father Good had initially deposited his information in the English College in Rome, had it not been for the existence of Maihew’s Trophea remaining unadulterated in Stillingfleet’s private collection…… perhaps knowledge of Melkin’s marker point on the 104 mile line would have been lost.
Certainly, without this reference point (on a line) there would be less chance of verifying one has found the true location of Ineswitrin. Perhaps, by chance, this extant copy of Chapter 29 has survived; preserved far away from the hands of Rome. The Papacy has perverted the truth about events after the crucifixion and eradicated evidence of St. Paul’s visit to Britain. An argument put forward for Paul’s visit to Britain can be found in a book first published in 1861 subtitled ‘The origin of British as opposed to Papal Christianity’ by the Rev R.W. Morgan better known as ‘St Paul in Britain’.
However, as to the genuineness of Sonnini’s work and the fact that he did witness chapter 29 in Turkey, seems beyond doubt when one considers he was travelling during the reign of Louis XVI, who reigned from 1774 to 1793 and would have published during this period or soon thereafter. Why, one must ask, would a Frenchman fabricate or bear witness to a manuscript which confers on Britain a visit of Saint Paul? This could have been understandable as a work of polemic written by the British, but a work possibly faked by a Frenchman tends to confirm its validity.
In the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:21), St. Paul sends to Timothy the greetings of “Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brethren”. Claudia, the only woman to be mentioned is said by tradition to be the wife of Pudens and that she was the mother or sister of Linus, who was the second Bishop of Rome and St. Peter’s successor after his death. Some have assumed that Claudia Rufina is the same Claudia being greeted and who was married to Aulus Pudens a senator and friend of Martial, the poet.
She was definitely British and described by Martial as `sprung from the woad-stained Britons’. It is not sure if she was the daughter of an exiled British King, living in Rome, Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, who ruled as a Roman client in the late 1st century or the daughter of the British resistance leader Caratacus who gave the famous speech in the Senate. If this is the same Claudia as the friend of St. Paul, Claudia and Pudens were also the hosts of St. Peter and their house (which became the church of St. Pudentiana in Rome) was the place where St. Peter celebrated mass i.e. the First Church in Rome was in fact established by Britons.
The Roman Church founded on St. Peter had been entertained by offspring from a Royal King that had already accepted the truth of Jesus as the Messiah. Such readiness to receive the truth could have been established by the presence of Joseph of Arimathea in Britain straight after the crucifixion. It is this presence of Britons in Rome and persistent rumours of the Holy Family settling in Britain, which at a later time has caused the Roman Church to assert its primacy. Especially, when these pretentions became a point of contention between Bishops partly later, due to a struggle to establish creeds and dogma and also due to the contention of events provided by British sources as to what transpired after the crucifixion. Three hundred years after these contentions, St John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) writes in his ‘Contra Judacos’: “Even the British Isles have felt the power of the Word, for there too churches and altars have been erected: there too, as in the extreme East, or in the South, men may be heard discussing points of Scripture, with different voices, but not with different belief.”
The end result of these events as we can see today is that the Roman Church has nullified into fable or myth any account of Joseph’s arrival. Cornish tradition still survived about Joseph’s contact with the south west. For the Roman Church to sanitize any mention of St. Paul’s visit to England makes one conclude there were early contentions as the Roman Church tried to bring the British traditions into submission which as we have seen is corroborated later on by St. Augustine.
Chapter 29 is written in the style of the Acts and reads like a continuation of it. The places named are the Roman appellations and the peoples named are also likewise in their ancient forms such as Helvetia and Belgae and Lud. The original text would have been written in Greek and in the same style and tone as the Acts of the Apostles. It would seem that a feasible answer as to how it has survived is that it was preserved in the Archives of Constantinople, far from the meddlers of history in Rome. None can say emphatically who the Acts of the Apostles was written by, but it would appear to be Luke ‘the companion of Paul’ (named in Colossians 4:14)…. for reasons that both prefaces are addressed to Theophilus. In the preface of the Acts it explicitly references “my former book”. Acts may well have been a joint venture with anecdotal evidences added by Paul himself or a travelling companion. However, there is no Amen at the end of Chapter 28 and in every book written by Paul it concludes with the word “Amen” just as it does here in Acts 29:26.
Whether St Paul went on to Spain at this occasion as he had planned in Romans 15:24, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while, or again in Romans 15:28, So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way… or was prevented until later, is not evident. He does however state that his visit was only for a short period and can be seen as heading back in the direction of Rome.
Chapter 29 has barely been dealt with by Papal theologians since its discovery as it has largely been ignored. This is probably because it tells of St Paul going to Spain, and then on to the British Isles and this raises too many inconsistencies in the now standardized Roman version of events. The implications of this visit by St. Paul also add credence to the rumours of the Holy Family’s voyage that it has taken the Roman Church millennia to stamp out. The Vatican had managed to reduce the story of Joseph’s voyage to Britain to the rank of rumour, romance or legend, (until Henry Blois finds Melkin’s prophecy), but St. Paul’s visit to Britain would add credibility to the Britons professing primacy in the establishment of the first Church.
Theodoretus, in his commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6 wrote, ‘When Paul was sent by Festus on his appeal to Rome, he travelled, after being acquitted into Spain, and thence extended his travels into other countries and to the islands surrounded by the sea’. This (given that we have a St Paul’s cathedral), surely was the British Isles. Paul’s travels might have occurred after his aquittal. Theodoretus was the Bishop of Cyropolis and he attended the General Council at Ephesus in A.D. 431 and at Chalcedon in A.D. 451 consisting of 600 Bishops…… so his witness should be taken seriously…. since it also concurs with this account given in the chapter 29 version of events. In A.D. 435 Theodoretus wrote, “Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached the Gospel to Britons and others in the West. Our fishermen and publicans (the Disciples) not only persuaded the Romans and their tributaries to acknowledge the Crucified and His laws, but the Britons also and the Cimbri (Cymry).” Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, wrote in A.D. 320, “The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Britannic Isles.” In A.D. 600, Venantius Fortunatus wrote of Britain as having been “evangelized” by St. Paul.
The Sonnini Manuscript is almost certainly the concluding portion of the “Acts of the Apostles” and gives an account of Paul’s journeys after his two years enforced residence in Rome. The following is the English translation of the Sonnini Manuscript, which was originally written in Greek.
Acts 29:1 “And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determining to go into Spain, for he had a long time purposed to journey thitherward, and was minded also to go from thence into Britain.”
Acts 29:2 “For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to the isles afar off,” as spoken by the prophet, and called by the Roman’s Britain.”
Acts 29:3 “And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles, and to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Acts 29:4 “And no man hindered Paul; for he testified boldly of Jesus before the tribunes and among the people and he took with him certain of the brethren which abode with him at Rome, and they took shipping at Ostium, and having the winds fair, were brought safely into an haven of Spain.
Acts 29:5 “And much people were gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion of the apostle, and the many miracles which he had wrought.”
Acts 29:6 “And Paul preached mightily in Spain, and great multitudes believed and were converted, for they perceived he was an apostle sent from God.”
Acts 29:7 “And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailed unto Britain, they went therein, and passing along the South coast they reached a port called Raphinus.”
Acts 29:8 “Now when it was noised abroad that the apostle had landed on their coast, great multitudes of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously, and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and lodged in the house of an Hebrew and one of his own nation.”
Where exactly the port of Raphinus was is not clear, but if this whole chapter was an invention why not use a more plausible port and not one that is unheard of.
Acts 29:9 “And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud; and the people thronged at the gate and assembled in the broadway. He preached Christ unto them, and many believed the word and the testimony of Jesus”.
St Paul’s Cathedral stands today at Ludgate hill in London.
Acts 29:10 “And at even the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered; and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the glory of their inheritance shine forth before them. And nations shall come up to worship on the Mount that testifies to the patience and long suffering of a servant of the Lord.”
Acts 29:11 “And in the latter days, new tidings of the Gospel shall issue forth out of Jerusalem. And the hearts of the people shall rejoice, and behold, fountains shall be opened and there shall be no more plague.”
Acts 29:12 “In those days there shall be wars and rumours of wars; and a King shall rise up, and his sword shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peace making shall abide, and the glory of his Kingdom a wonder among princes.”
Acts 29:13 “And it came to pass that certain of the Druids came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies they were descended from the Jews which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.”
Acts 29:14 “Paul stayed and lived there for three months. He was confirmed in the faith; and preached Christ continually.”
Acts 29:15 “And after these things, Paul and his brethren departed from Raphinus; and sailed unto Atium in Gaul.
Acts 29:16 “And Paul preached in the Roman garrisons and among the people, exhorting all men to repent and confess their sins.”
Acts 29:17 “And there came to him certain of the Belgae to enquire of him of the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; and Paul opened his heart unto them, and told them all things that had befallen him, how be it that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed, pondering among themselves upon the things which they had heard.”
Acts 29:18 “And after much preaching and toil Paul and his fellow labourers passed into Helvetia, and came unto Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus dashed himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.”
After arriving in northern France and travelling through Belgium and Helvetia; the writer seems to think he arrives at the place that Pontius Pilate found death in Switzerland. Eusebius, in his Historia Ecclesiae ii: 7 quotes some early apocryphal accounts (for which he gives no source) which relate that Pilate met with misfortune in Caligula’s reign 37–41 and was exiled to Gaul and eventually committed suicide there in Vienne where a monument called Pilate’s tomb can still be seen.
Acts 29:19 “And immediately a torrent gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces into a lake.”
Acts 29:20 “And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord God give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate, which condemned thine only begotten Son, plunged headlong into the pit.”
Acts 29:21 “And while Paul was yet speaking, behold there came a great earthquake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the form of the lake like unto the Son of Man hanging in the agony upon the cross.”
Acts 29:22 “And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate hath escaped the wrath to come, for he washed his hands before the multitude at the blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus.”
Acts 29:23 “When therefore, Paul and those that were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, and were mightily strengthened in spirit.”
Acts 29:24 “And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius, where stood two pillars, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.”
Paul then travels to “Mount Julius” (the Julian Alps between Italy and Austria) then onto Illyricum, on his way to Macedonia and Asia, from where he wrote the Pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus.
Acts 29:25 “And Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying ‘Men and brethren, these stones which ye see this day shall testify of my journey hence; and verily I say, they shall remain until the out pouring of the spirit upon all nations, neither shall the way be hindered throughout all generation’.”
Acts 29:26 “And they went forth and came unto Illyricum; intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches; and they prospered and had peace. Amen.”
There seems little point to such an invention. One can barely see any advantage even if the chapter were composed by someone British and designed to prove that the British were one of the lost tribes as Pliny already has said that there were Jews in Britain.