Jesus 'may have visited UK'
Wednesday 25 November 2009
A new film suggests that Jesus may have come to Britain, as described in the hymn Jerusalem, its director said today.
The documentary, And Did Those Feet, explores the story behind the legend which survives in the hymn, for which William Blake wrote the words.
The legend claims Jesus visited several places in the West Country, such as the Roseland peninsula and Glastonbury, with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathaea.
In the film, Scottish researcher Dr Gordon Strachan said it is plausible Jesus may have visited Britain to further his learning.
Ted Harrison, the film's director and producer, said: "There is a very much closer connection between early Christianity and the classical Greek and Roman world than previously thought.
"If somebody was wanting to learn about the spirituality and thinking not just of the Jews but also the classical and Greek world he would have to come to Britain, which was the centre of learning at the time.
"But there is nothing specific by way of archaeological finds; Jesus's shoe has not turned up."
Dr Strachan, a Church of Scotland minister who lives in Edinburgh, lectures on the history of architecture at Edinburgh University.
The film also explores how St Augustine heard the legend of Jesus's visit when he came to England around 597AD.
He heard that Jesus built a chapel in Glastonbury and wrote to the Pope to tell him about it.
Mr Harrison said: "The concrete evidence is this reference by St Augustine that at Glastonbury there was a small building or church that was put up by Jesus, built by the hand of the Lord himself.
"But the medieval Glastonbury Abbey has been built on top of it."
The documentary also claims that Britain was at the forefront of learning and scholarship in the first century AD, particularly in mathematics.
It looks at the maths involved in structures such as Stonehenge and the standing stones in Calanish on the Isle of Lewis, and relates it to mathematics in the Bible, medieval cathedrals and the modern-day credit card.
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