The Real Templar "Treasure" of Sacred Knowledge Facts of the Treasures of the Temple of Solomon as the Heritage of Humanity

O (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgOver the centuries, the Knights Templar have been the subject of much speculation, and many intriguing theories or stories, about some coveted “treasure” of legendary fame, yet of unknown substance. By association with Arthurian legends (written by the Templars to promote chivalry and ancient spirituality), some expect it to be some version of a mythical Holy Grail. From the Templars’ historical wealth, most expect it to be gold, valuables and similar riches. Based on the famous Templar affinity for esoteric knowledge and passion for early Christianity, closer to the truth, many expect it to be a wealth of ancient Egyptian artifacts and other major religious relics.

It is generally considered by historians that the most important “Treasure of the Templars” (apart from their later accumulated wealth, subsequently lost), was “whatever the Templars did find during their excavations of the Temple of Jerusalem”, which is believed by most scholars to be “documents relating to the true nature of Christianity and Biblical matters”. [1]

Archaeology related to the Dead Sea Scrolls has proven that the Temple of Solomon contained a Library of sacred scrolls [2], at the time when it was excavated by the Knights Templar in the 12th century, placed there by the Essenes from Egypt [3] since the 1st century, who had direct access to the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem [4].

Qumran Essenes of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran Essenes of the Dead Sea Scrolls

According to a 12th century Italian Abbot and friend of Richard the Lionheart, “the Templars were the direct recipients of the wisdom of the Essenes, the first-century order of ascetic monks … The Essenes’ traditions, which had magical or supernatural powers, had been passed on to the keepers of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, who in turn had passed them on to the safekeeping of the Templars.”

The Vatican Abbot emphasized that “the true wealth of the Templars lay in centuries-old knowledgenot in anything as transitory as real estate deeds or gold.” [5]

Historians of Templarism agree that “the Grand Masters of the [Templar] Order had learned the secrets and acquired the treasure of [the] Essenes which were handed down from one to the other.” [6] It is precisely that sacred knowledge, from the Library of the Temple of Solomon, which was the true “Templar Treasure” of the original Order of the Temple of Solomon.

This timeless concept was featured towards the end of two “Indiana Jones” movies. In the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy’s father tells him: “She never believed in the Grail, she thought she found a prize. What did you find? Illumination!” In the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, after exactly the same type of female villain met the same type of doom for precisely the same reason as in the previous movie, Indy then tells his son: “Their word for ‘gold’ translates as ‘treasure’. Their treasure wasn’t gold, it was knowledge. Knowledge was their treasure.”

Indeed, the Order of the Temple of Solomon itself was founded precisely because the Cistercians were looking for a “hidden treasure [which] lay buried beneath the Temple Mount”, which was explicitly specified to be ancient Biblical scriptures. [7]

The Temple of Solomon was solidly documented as being a Pharaonic Egyptian Temple [8] [9]. Archaeology has proven that such Temples never held stores of riches, but did feature vast collections of scrolls as libraries, preserved by dedicated scribes. Therefore, it makes sense that the “treasure” of the Temple of Solomon would be none other than the Library of the Temple of Solomon, consisting of ancient sacred scrolls of Holy scriptures.

The Library of the Temple of Solomon contained all scriptures and sacred writings of the Essenes, including additional books of the Old Testament, and the “Lost Gospels” of the New Testament. It was a powerful resource for the Knights Templar Order to possess its own copies of those materials as early as 1118 AD.

The Old Testament Guttenberg Bible was not published until the printing press was invented in 1455 AD (337 years later), and the New Testament was not published until Martin Luther’s translation in 1522 AD (404 years later). Other copies of the Essene scriptures of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Scrolls were not re-discovered and published until the 1950’s (832 years later). (Some scholars have good reason to believe that surviving Templars, who would know by inherited secrets where those “lost” scrolls were buried, played a role in ensuring their re-discovery in the modern era.)

Therefore, for over 800 years, the most sacred supplemental scriptures, which give deeper meaning and more ancient context to Christianity, were truly a “secret”, and genuinely a rare “treasure”, held in the 12th century primarily by the Knights Templar and the Cathars.

Since the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Lost Gospels have been re-discovered and mass published in the modern era, this “Lost Treasure of the Templars” is widely available to the general public. However, the “secret” has continued to be knowledge of the fact that these scriptures were in fact the substance of that same cherished, long sought-after “treasure”.

Despite the diverse writings being in the public domain, the new “treasure” of the modern era is the knowledge of which scrolls are relevant to authentic Templar doctrines and practices. Now, the real “treasure” is the depth of initiatory priestly understanding necessary for the ancient wisdom and sacred knowledge to be fully restored as the collective heritage of humanity, and to be fully applied to strengthen genuine spirituality and religion worldwide. The modern Order of the Temple of Solomon, as the direct continuation of the original Knights Templar, possesses that authentic “treasure”, and is dedicated to working to bring its benefits back to humanity.

The British folk historian Alfred Nutt published a landmark research work, The Legends of the Holy Grail (1902), which confirmed “the earlier belief” that the Templars “were also Celtic priests who predated Christianity”, such that they were a tradition of ancient warrior-priests even before founding the Order at Jerusalem. [10]

This confirms that many of the Knights Templar were initiates of ancient priesthoods, and indicates that some must have received priestly succession from the Essenes. It also evidences the tradition of the Templar Order actively preserving the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, including the most ancient Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek, as the main “treasures” which they excavated from the Temple of Solomon.

 

Dead Sea Scrolls of the Egyptian Essenes – Old Testament

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Dead Sea Scrolls were found in Qumran, a site of ancient Palestine, discovered and collected from 11 caves over a period from 1949-1955. These Qumran scrolls contained almost every book of the Old Testament except for one, and numerous other ancient scriptures totaling 825 manuscripts. [11]

Qumran Essene Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran Essene Dead Sea Scrolls

German scholars proved that the Dead Sea Scrolls were not made by residents of Qumran, but were transported there for storage and safe-keeping, originally coming from the Library of the Temple of Solomon at the site of the Temple Mount. The fact that the scrolls were written in several different scripts during diverse time periods, and that there were major differences in the same texts found in different caves, confirmed that they came from an earlier library, transported as a diverse collection. [12]

Biblical archaeology proved that the Qumran site had been abandoned, but was re-occupied by the Essenes in the “late 1st century BCE” (ca. 25 BC). Thus it was the Essenes who would have collected and stored the library scrolls in the Temple of Solomon, and centuries later moved them to the Qumran site. [13]

University archaeologists found symbolic language in the archaeological data of Qumran, proving that the Dead Sea Scrolls were associated with a particular group of Essenes who were known to have lived in Egypt. [14]

According to Oxford archaeologists, in academia it is widely “the consensus, maintained to this day,” that the Qumran scrolls were preserved and studied by the Essenes. [15]

Oxford scholars concluded that the Essenes were most recorded in history “from about 146 [BC] to about 70 [AD]”, and had major “settlements… located in Jerusalem”. “Surely some of the texts found at Qumran are Essene”. This proves that the Essenes had direct contemporary access to both the library collection from the Temple of Solomon, and also their Qumran settlement where copies of those scrolls were stored and preserved.

“The Essenes disappeared from history sometime after [66-70 AD]”, strongly indicating that the Essenes merged with (or became) the followers of Jesus, the first Coptic Christians ca. 70 AD of the Egyptian Nag Hammadi “Lost Gospel” scrolls.

It is also known that the Essenes had other settlements both in the “land of Damascus” (the major Templar Principality of Antioch), and also in Egypt, occupied by an Essene sect called the “Therapentae” (healers), who were described by the historian Philo. [16]

 

Egyptian Coptic Scrolls of the “Lost Gospels” – New Testament

 

Gnostic Nag Hammadi Scroll: Gospel of Thomas

Gnostic Nag Hammadi Scroll: Gospel of Thomas

E (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgEarly Coptic Christians from the 2nd century AD, with earlier origins from the Essenes and other ancient Egyptian traditions, were also known as “Gnostics”. The famous central theological and historical texts of the Coptic denomination of Christianity, called the “Lost Gospels”, are a collection of codices which are closely related and supplementary to the better known New Testament gospels. These codices, which became famous in modern times since their discovery in 1945 and publication in the early 1950’s, are known by academics as the “Nag Hammadi Scrolls”, and are commonly referred to as the “Gnostic Gospels”.

According to Oxford scholars: “Most of the mythology and doctrine in these codices” of the Egyptian Coptic Christians is generally called “Gnosticism” or “Gnosis”. “The Greek term gnosis (‘knowledge’) in this case refers to special, redeeming revelation about the true nature of humanity’s relation to the divine and to the material world.” [17]

 

The Knights Templar & the Gnostic Cathars

 

Gnostic Cathars Studying Esoteric Lost Gospels

Gnostic Cathars Studying Esoteric Lost Gospels

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe primary priesthood following the Gnostic “Lost Gospels” of the Egyptian Coptic Christians was that of the Cathars. Consistent with the ancient tradition of sacred scriptures being manuscripts copied and preserved by scribes, the medieval Cathars had their own copies of the Lost Gospels, long before the discovery of other copies in Nag Hammadi Egypt.

During the medieval period of the Templars, the Cathars often had a rocky history with the Catholic Church, at times being treated as heretical. However, Gnosticism was never truly at odds with classical Christianity, and many Gnostic doctrines were generally compatible with medieval Christianity:

The first version of the New Testament was collated by the Gnostic named Marcion, the doctrines of Apostolic succession came from the Gnostic Cathars, Saint Augustine was a Manichaean Gnostic, and much of Gnosticism evolved into the Orthodox Church and later converged with Catholicism.

The Coptic Church which originally preserved the Gnostic “Lost Gospels” remains fully recognized among all other major Christian denominations, and is generally regarded as an earlier form of Orthodox Christianity.

The few Gnostic beliefs which were considered heretical in medieval times are now either accepted by the Catholic Church, or are tolerated as harmless spiritual metaphors for enlightenment.

The Templar Order was greatly influenced by Gnosticism from Egypt and Syria as part of its ancient origins. Many noble Cathar families provided knightly recruits to the Templars. The Gnostic Cathar Bertrand de Blanchefort was the 6th Grand Master of the Templar Order from 1156-1169 AD, considered a “reformer” shaping the beliefs and practices of the Knights. Many Cathar Lords such as Bertrand de Blanchefort and Viscount Raymond Roger Trencavel donated substantial funds to the Templar Order. Many of the bankers and some crusaders of the Templars were Gnostic Cathars.

The historian Jessie L. Weston of the Folklore Society found that the historical record closely “link[s] the pre-Christian Knights… to the Gnostic heretics of the fourth century, whose persecuted survivors lived long enough to pass on their secret knowledge to the medieval Templars. Whatever this knowledge was… it was so threatening to Catholic dogma that the Templars’ possession of it preordained their” own later persecution.

This line of scholarship advanced the view that “knowledge, not wealth, sealed their fate”, and confirmed the fact that the true Templar “treasure” of legendary fame was actually sacred knowledge itself, and not wealth. [18]

Especially after the French Inquisitions, since the Templars were persecuted as suspected heretics exactly as the Cathars had sometimes been, even more priests from the Gnostic societies merged into the Templar Order in solidarity.

Even during their occasional persecution, the Cathars regarded and described the Knights Templar as “an organization that was to all intents and purposes autonomous and which shared essentially the same Gnostic world-view as the Cathars: the Order of the Temple.” [19] [20]

According to historians: “During the so-called Crusades of the thirteenth century against the Cathars, members of a heretical sect in Southern France… sought refuge from persecution in the castles of the Templars, whose impregnable fortresses prevented the French from seizing the persecuted group. … Despite the Templars’ protection of the heretical Cathars, the papacy remained the order’s champion for a while.” [21]

 

Templar Sources of “Heretical” Sacred Knowledge

 

I (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgIt is well documented in the historical record, as evidenced by the archaeological record, that the medieval Gnostic Cathars, the colleagues and supporters of the Knights Templar since 1118 AD, possessed their own earlier copies of the Nag Hammadi Scrolls (later “discovered” in 1945), together with earlier copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls (later “discovered” from 1949-1955).

Gnostic Nag Hammadi Fragment (among several others) of Lost Gospel of Mary

Gnostic Nag Hammadi Fragment (among several others) of Lost Gospel of Mary

It was those Gnostic and Essene scrolls, all related to Egyptian origins, which featured key supplements of “Lost Gospels”. Those scrolls were the primary source of various “heretical” beliefs which were central to both the medieval Cathars and the Knights Templar.

For example, it is the “Lost Gospels” from Nag Hammadi in Egypt which contained the famous Gospel of Mary, containing a wealth of information about Mary Magdalene, indications of her relationship with Jesus, and descriptions of her interaction with the Apostles.

It is well known and widely accepted by modern historians that the Knights Templar traditionally believed in a special role of Mary Magdalene, a topic of primary importance to many of their knightly quests and missions as an Order.

Other Coptic scrolls considered somewhat “heretical”, which established many of the beliefs historically held by Templars, are the Gospel of Thomas (featured in the movie “Stigmata”), the Melchizedek Scroll, the Gospel of Truth, and the Concept of Our Great Power. The Gnostic Nag Hammadi Scrolls from Egypt also contained one called the Gospel of the Egyptians, also called the “Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit”.

The heretical Gnostic story, which was passionately believed by many Templars, was that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a daughter, named Sarah, and that with the help of Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus sent Mary on a boat through the Mediterranean Sea to arrive in the South of France, to begin a new life in safety with her daughter Sarah, and to begin teaching and spreading the Gospels as one of the Apostles.

The historical person who was later transformed into the legendary “King Arthur” was the son of the Scottish King Aedan, and thus grandson of King Gabran and Lluan of Brecknock. Lluan was reported to be a direct descendant of the Biblical Joseph of Arimathea. [22] The Templar Magdalene tradition is thus connected to the Arthurian tradition of Templarism, linked by Joseph of Arimathea.

 

Context of Templar Sacred Knowledge for Supporting and Promoting Faith

 

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAncient wisdom and sacred knowledge is the collective world heritage of humanity, and one of the world’s greatest and only true “treasures”. The very essence and purpose of being a Knight, is precisely to serve in an Order of Knights and Dames whose primary historical mission is to preserve and protect the ancient knowledge which belongs to humanity. (Indeed, the Order itself was originally named after the source of their discovery of that sacred knowledge.) The best way to accomplish this mission is through scholarly research, academic writing, and teaching.

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles (ca.1600 AD) Valentin de Boulogne

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles (ca.1600 AD) Valentin de Boulogne

It is the strong belief of the Order and its Grand Mastery, that sacred knowledge from topics of “lost history” (re-discovered) does not actually contradict the true theology and authentic traditions of the Church (of any denomination).

The Knights of the Temple of Solomon fully respect the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles to generations of disciples, and the ecclesiastical master scholars who collected, selected, compiled, translated and interpreted their fundamental Gospels.

Initiates of the Order of the Temple of Solomon generally tend to study and explore parts of the ancient sacred wisdom which were formerly considered “heretical” in medieval times. However, these facts and concepts from the ancient Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Essene and Gnostic priesthoods are never used to “discredit” nor in any way undermine the Catholic faith, nor any other religion.

It is the Templar philosophy, and has been the experience of the Order, that the ancient wisdom in fact serves to strengthen and support faith and spirituality in all religions and denominations. Knights of the Order consistently find that Templar sacred knowledge reconciles apparent “contradictions” in Church teachings as perceived by laypersons. It also reveals the deeper truth, and more profound meaning of traditional religious doctrines, by giving them additional legitimacy in a larger context.

In this way, the sacred knowledge of the Order of the Temple of Solomon actively supports and strengthens spiritual faith itself, as a way of life, inspiring all initiates to better participate in and contribute to their preferred religion or denomination of personal choice. Many people who were disenchanted with their Church or had “lost faith” or belief in Christian teachings, have joined the Knights Templar to learn “The Truth”. Those people often found the ancient teachings to be the “keys” to unlock their renewed and deeper connection with the authentic ecclesiastical doctrines, bringing them back into their preferred denomination with rejuvenated enthusiasm.

 

Academic Source References for this Topic

 

[1] Alan Butler & Stephen Dafoe, The Warriors and Bankers, Lewis Masonic, Surrey, England (2006), p.20.

[2] Karl Heinrich Rengstorf, Hirbet Qumran and the Problem of the Library of the Dead Sea Caves, German edition (1960), Translated by J.R. Wilkie, Leiden Press, Brill (1963).

[3] Minna and Kenneth Lonnqvist, Archaeology of the Hidden Qumran: The New Paradigm, Helsinki University Press, Helsinki (2002).

[4] Eric Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1997), Vol.2, pp.268-269.

[5] French author (unidentified), De la Maçonnerie Parmi Les Chretiens (“On Masonry Among Christians”), Germany (ca. 1750), quoting the 12th century Italian Abbot Joachim of Flora (Calabria), a friend of Richard the Lionheart, in: Frank Sanello, The Knights Templars: God’s Warriors, the Devil’s Bankers, Taylor Trade Publishing, Oxford (2003), p.223.

[6] Piers Paul Read, The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades, 1st Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1999), Phoenix Press, London (2001), Orion Publishing Group, London (2012), p.304, quoting conclusions of historians from “the German Freemasons”.

[7] Michael Lamy, Les Templiers: Ces Grand Seigneurs aux Blancs Manteaux, Auberon (1994), Bordeaux (1997), p.28.

[8] Titus Flavius Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus, Rome (ca. 96 AD); Translation by William Whiston (1736), Loeb Classical Library (1926), Volume I, p.65.

[9] Old Testament, Authorized King James Version (AKJV), Cambridge University Press (1990), Ezekiel describing Egyptian Priesthood inscriptions and figures inside the Temple of Solomon, Genesis 31:9.

[10] Frank Sanello, The Knights Templars: God’s Warriors, the Devil’s Bankers, Taylor Trade Publishing, Oxford (2003), pp.278-279 (citing Alfred Nutt, The Legends of the Holy Grail (1902); Jessie L. Weston, The Quest of the Holy Grail, The Folklore Society).

[11] Eric Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1997), Vol.2, pp.118-119.

[12] Karl Heinrich Rengstorf, Hirbet Qumran and the Problem of the Library of the Dead Sea Caves, German edition (1960), Translated by J.R. Wilkie, Leiden Press, Brill (1963).

[13] Jean-Baptiste Humbert, L’espace sacre a Qumran: Propositions pour l’archeologie, Revue Biblique, Issue No.101 (1994), p.161-214.

[14] Minna and Kenneth Lonnqvist, Archaeology of the Hidden Qumran: The New Paradigm, Helsinki University Press, Helsinki (2002).

[15] Eric Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1997), Vol.2, p.125.

[16] Eric Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, Oxford University Press, Oxford (1997), pp.268-269.

[17] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo (2001), Vol.2, p.485.

[18] Frank Sanello, The Knights Templars: God’s Warriors, the Devil’s Bankers, Taylor Trade Publishing, Oxford (2003), pp.278-279 (citing Alfred Nutt, The Legends of the Holy Grail (1902); Jessie L. Weston, The Quest of the Holy Grail, The Folklore Society).

[19] Keith Laidler, The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars, 1st Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1998), p.199.

[20] Piers Paul Read, The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades, 1st Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1999), Phoenix Press, London (2001), Orion Publishing Group, London (2012), p.306.

[21] Frank Sanello, The Knights Templars: God’s Warriors, the Devil’s Bankers, Taylor Trade Publishing, Oxford (2003), p.111.

[22] Norma Lorre Goodrich, King Arthur, Harper & Row (1989); Merlin, Harper Perennial (1989); Guinevere, Perennial (1992); The Holy Grail, Harper Perennial (1993).