Hiram Abiff

Hiram Abiff was the name of the architect of Solomon's Temple. He was sent to work for Solomon by King Hiram of Tyre. His name figures predominantly in Masonic lore, where he is also known as "the son of the widow" in reference to 1 Kings 7 : 14 (1 Kings 7).

St. James

Also known as "St. James the Lesser", "James the Just" or, possibly, "The Teacher Of Righteousness" from the Dead Sea scrolls. His real name would have been Yakaab ben Yosef. "James" is a Greek corruption of the name "Jacob" which is in turn an English corruption of the Hebrew name "Yakaab". "Ben Yosef" translates to "son of Joseph".

James was one of Jesus' brothers who took over the Nazorean church after the crucifiction of Jesus. Their other brothers were : Judas Thomas Didymos (Jesus' twin brother, also known as Doubting Thomas), Joses (also known as Joseph), and Simon (Matthew 13 : 55, Mark 6 :3). Although they did have sisters, their names are not given (Matthew 13 : 56, Mark 6 : 3).

The Hand of St. James is currently wrapped in red ribbon and kept in a gold box in a janitor's closet in St. Peter's church in England. Now black and withered, the hand was supposedly separated 2000 years ago when James' executioner attempted to behead him and James raised his arm in defence. Pilgrims still visit the church to see the hand which supposedly has mystical healing properties. Some claim to have been healed by drinking water in which the hand had been placed. Yuck.

Some sources identify James the Just as the same person as Joseph of Arimathea.

St. John the Baptist

Son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple of Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, sister to Mary, mother of Jesus. John lived alone in the desert of Judea until around 27 AD. When he was around thirty, he began to preach along the banks of the Jordan River. Being a descendant of the tribe of Levi (as was Jesus, through his mother Mary), John was believed to be the Priestly Messiah that many Jewish people of the time had expected. Shortly after his baptism of Jesus, he was arrested and beheaded by Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Perea and Galilee. According to The Letters of Pilate and Herod, one of Herod's children was beheaded in an accident while playing. Herod took this as a sign that he was wrong to perecute these two cousins.

St. Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea was supposedly a Roman who negotiated with Pilate after the crucifiction for Jesus' body. The body was granted to Joseph who buried Jesus in a cave on his own private property.

Joseph, along with Mary Mag'dalene, her brother Lazarus, and others, eventually travelled via boat to France, brining with them, legend has it, something called the sangraal ("Holy Grail" or "Royal Blood").

Some sources identify James the Just as the same person as Joseph of Arimathea. The Royal houses of Merovee (France) and Stuart (Scotland) are said to be decended from Joseph of Arimathea through his daughter Anna (Enygeus) and her husband Bran (Bron) the Blessed.

St. Longinus

Longinus was the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' side with the Spear of Destiny while he was crucified. He was the centurion responsible for saying "This was the Son of God" in Matthew 27 : 54 and Mark 15 : 39. Legend has it, he then left the army, took instruction from the apostles, and became a monk in Cappadocia where he was later arrested and had his teeth forced out and his tounge cut off. Yet another tradition identifies Longinus as the "Wandering Jew", who offended Jesus. There are currently (at least) two items, both claimed to be the true Spear of Destiny. One is currently contained within one of the four pillars over the alter in the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. The other was actually captured by Germany during World War II, and prized as a religious relic. It was recaptured by Allied forces mere hours before Hitler committed suicide. That Spear is now in the possession of the Royal House of Hapsburg (de jure Kings of Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, and Jerusalem, as well as titular Dukes of Lorraine), who, interstingly enough, can trace their lineage back to the Biblical House of David. A copy of this Spear is kept in Cracow, Poland. Another Spear, also claimed to be the true Spear of Destiny, was taken by St. Louis to Paris, following his return from the crusades in Palestine in the 13th century. On the Fox TV show Roar, it is 400 AD, and Longinus is still alive, nasty, working for Rome, and living in Scotland. Go figure.

Mary Mag'dalene

Sister of Lazarus, and close friend of Jesus. She was the one who annointed Jesus with oil, officially making him the Christ (or "annointed one"). She was present at his crucification and, legend has it, was soon after cast adrift in a boat with her brother Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, and others. The boat supposedly came ashore in France where, eventually, from this group of castaways, decended the Royal Merovinian Dynasty of France and the Scottish House of Stuart.

Simon of Cyre'ne

Was "compelled" to take the cross from Jesus on the way to Gol'gotha. According to Islam, Simon was crucified and Jesus escaped. This may be due in part to Matthew 27 : 32-36, which is quite explict about Simon taking the cross from Jesus, but strangely vague on exactly who was crucified.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas (also known as Judas Thomas Didymos, St. Jude of Thaddaeus, or Doubting Thomas) was one of Jesus' 12 apostles, in addition to being his twin brother. His true name was Judas, "Thomas" and "Didymos" both being ancient words referring to the fact that he was a twin. The Gospel of Thomas was one of the texts discovered in the Nag Hammadi Library. It is a collection of traditional sayings by Jesus. Another writing, also from the same set, is the Book of Thomas the Contender, which is apparently a conversation between Thomas and Jesus that took place some time after the crucifiction and was recorded by the apostle Matthew. Thomas later travelled to Persia as a missionary.

Last Updated : 10/12/2001