British Israelism

British Israelism (also called Anglo-Israelism) is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David.[1][2] There has never been a single head or an organisational structure to the movement. However, various British Israelite organisations were set up across the British Commonwealth and America from the 1870s, and many still continue to exist.[3] Adherents may hold a diverse set of beliefs and claims that are ancillary to the core genealogical theory, however there are central tenets all British Israelites follow, including Two House Theology which is the core essence of British Israelism.[4] A central teaching of the British Israelites Two House Theology is that while Jews are considered to be Israelites, not all Israelites are considered to be Jews.[5] British Israelites believe that Jews descend only from Judah (and the tribe of Benjamin), while the House of Israel they believe are the White British or Anglo-Saxon-Celtic kindred peoples of North-Western Europe today.[6][7][8]

Contents

History of the movement

The idea that the British descend from the ten lost tribes of Israel is traceable to various fragments of works from the early modern period, although modern adherents of British Israelism claim earlier sources exist, such as ancient or medieval manuscripts. One example is the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath (1320) which connects the Scots to Scythia and Israel.[9] Another is King Alfred's Doom Book (c. 893 AD), which describes a legend that the Anglo-Saxons were once 'strangers in Egypt' hinting a possible belief in Hebrew ancestry.[10]

One of the earliest advocates of British Israelism from the Early Modern Period was M. le Loyer, a French magistrate of Huguenot ancestry, who in 1590 wrote in his book The Ten Lost Tribes Found that "The Israelites came to and founded the English Isles".[11] The idea is also found briefly mentioned in Vincenzo Galilei's Dialogue of Ancient and Modern Music (1581) which notes Galilei's belief that the Irish descend from King David.[12] Modern British Israelites also point out that James I of England (1567–1625) believed he was a king of Israel[10] and that in Sir Francis Drake's famous letter to John Foxe, he equated Britain with Israel.[13]

Elaboration late 17th to mid 19th centuries

British Israelism as an established movement traces itself back to the 17th century. Adriaan van der Schrieck (1560–1621) a Flemish language researcher in 1614 wrote:

...the Netherlanders with the Gauls and Germans together in the earliest times were called: Celts, who are come out of the Hebrews.[14]
Henry Spelman, who in 1620 connected the Danes to the Tribe of Dan

English antiquarian Henry Spelman by 1620 had claimed that the Danes were the Israelite Tribe of Dan (see Nordic Israelism). One of the first published accounts of the theory of an Israelite genealogy of the British was The Rights of the Kingdom by John Sadler, published in 1649.[15] But, it was only in the late 18th century, during a religious climate of Millenarianism, that British Israelism became a distinct ideology, based on the preaching and writings of two men, Richard Brothers and John Wilson.[16]

It is generally considered that British Israelism as an 'ideology' was first founded in England, from where it spread to the United States.[17] The belief appears to have gained momentum since the English Revolution of the 17th century. It increased during the "Christian Restorationism" movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Title page of Richard Brothers's book A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophesies and Times, from 1795.

Brothers was the first to expound upon his version of British Israelism, but he lacked credibility due to alleged mental illness. Having prophesied the end of the British monarchy, he was imprisoned in an asylum as criminally insane.[18][19] Modern adherents of British Israelism however have denounced the view that Richard Brothers had anything to do with originating their doctrine. They point out that Brothers only considered himself a descendant of King David, and not the British monarchy. As the Canadian British Israel Association for example notes:

'This is not British-Israel belief; we teach that it is the royal family of Great Britain who are descended from King David, not Richard Brothers!'.[20]

Modern British Israelites however accept that John Wilson was a British Israelite, but point out that he converted to this view after reading Robert Henry's six-volume History Of Great Britain on a new plan (1771) and therefore point out that there must have been earlier British Israelites.[21] Wilson adopted and promoted the idea that the "European 'race', in particular the Anglo-Saxons, were descended from certain Scythian tribes, and these Scythian tribes (as many had previously stated from the Middle Ages onward) were in turn descended from the ten Lost Tribes of Israel." (Parfitt, 2003. p. 54)[22] Wilson's ideas were to be refined, and new ideas were developed, well into the second half of the 19th century. Wilson gave public lectures to spread his message but did not form any organisation or movement. Cruden's Concordance once contained an opening note in its second edition (printed June 11, 1761) declaring that King George III descended from Hezekiah, the 14th King of Judah.[23]

Other books from this period detailing the British Israel theory were Jakob Abbadie's Triomphe de la Providence et de la Religion (1723) which notes "Unless the Ten Tribes have flown into the air, or have been plunged to the centres of the earth, they must be sought for in the north and west... and in the British Isles."[21] Abbadie believed the ten lost tribes were Goths who moved into Britain and France (see French Israelism). Another key text of this period was Ezra Stiles' The United States elevated to Glory and Honor (1783), and Richard Brothers' A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times (1794). Also cited as an early original work is Rev. John Wilson's Our Israelitish Origins (1840). Julius Oppert's Gutian-Goth theory was also embraced by British Israelites during this period.

Heyday late 19th and early 20th centuries

In the latter half of the 19th century, Canon Samuel Lysons, Edward Hine, Hibbert Newton, John Cox Gawler, Charles Ottley Groom Napier, John Pym Yeatman, Herbert Aldersmith, William Carpenter, Elieser Bassin, William H. Poole, Thomas Rosling Howlett, Charles Piazzi Smyth, George Moore, C. A. L. Totten and Edward Wheeler Bird developed the ideas further. Hine departed England for the United States in 1884, where he promoted the idea that Americans were the lost tribe of Manasseh, whereas England was the lost tribe of Ephraim.[24] He also first developed the link between Germany and ancient Assyria (see Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism and linked sub-beliefs below). John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher (1841–1920) was also a prominent early British Israelite. Of Britain, Admiral Fisher said:

"Why we win, in spite of our incredible blunders, is that we are the lost ten tribes of Israel."[25]

The British-Israel movement achieved organisational status from the 1870s onwards in a melee of rival groups and amalgamations. In 1875, the British-Israel Association and the Anglo-Israel Association were formed followed by the British-Israel Conference Association, in 1876, the Metropolitan Anglo-Israel Association, in 1879, and The British-Israel Identity Corporation, in 1880. Amalgamation under The Earl of Dysart led to The British-Israel Association in 1886, which mutated to the Imperial British-Israel Association, in 1908 and finally the British-Israel-World Federation, in 1919.[26] The Banner of Israel, first published in 1877 by Robert Banks of Fleet Street, London, continued until its incorporation in The National Message in 1926. The National Message quarterly magazine was first published in 1922 by the British-Israel-World Federation, and continued until 1981.[27]

By the end of the 19th century there were over two million British Israelites in England and the United States.[28]

William Pascoe Goard Vice-President of the British-Israel-World Federation (1921-1937).

In 1892, an 'enquirers' book of British Israelism was printed entitled British-Israel Truth written by Denis Hanan. It was highly popular, reprinted, and sold about 75000 copies, while Hine's book The British Nation identified with Lost Israel (1871) sold up to 250,000.[28] In 1922 the British-Israel-World Federation set up its own book publisher called Covenant Publishing which still exists today.[29] During this time, several prominent figures patronized the organisation: Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was Patron-in-chief in pre-World War II days. One of the most notable members was William Massey, then Prime Minister of New Zealand. Due to the expansive nature of the British Empire, believers in British Israelism spread worldwide. It became most prevalent in the United States, England, and various Commonwealth nations. The theory was widely promoted in the United States during the 20th century. Key British Israelite writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries included Richard Reader Harris, as well as J. H. Allen who wrote several books, one now considered a 'classic' by modern British Israelites called Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright (1902), another was John Cox Gawler (1830–1882), a Colonel and Keeper of the Monarch's Crown Jewels.[30] Gawler is best remembered for his books Dan: The Pioneer of Israel (1880) and Our Scythian Ancestors (1875) both of which have been republished numerous times. Another key figure was William Pascoe Goard who in 1921 become Vice-President of the British-Israel-World Federation and remained so until the time of his death in 1937. He authored over a dozen books on the British Israel teaching most notably including: Our Heritage: the Bible (1926), The Empire In Solution With Chapters On Anglo-Saxon Civilization (1931) and The Post-Captivity Names of Israel (1934). The Canadian geologist and professor Edward Faraday Odlum was also an influential British Israelite during this period, he wrote God's Covenant Man: British-Israel (1927). Another prominent British Israelite of this period was evangelist F. F. Bosworth whose 1920 radio lecture entitled The Bible Distinction Between the House of Israel and the House of Judah was printed as a popular booklet. Another was L.G.A. Roberts who wrote 'British History Traced From Egypt And Palestine' (1927) which is still popular amongst British Israelites today. Howard Rand promoted the British Israelite theory and became National Commissioner of the Anglo-Saxon Federation of America in 1928. He published The Bulletin, later renamed The Messenger of the Covenant. More recently[when?], it has been renamed Destiny. It is issued by Destiny Publishers.[31]

One of the most prolific authors just before and during the Second World War promoting the British Israel message was Alexander James Ferris, who authored: British-Israel teaching concerning the Signs of the approaching end of the age (1933), The Coronation and The Throne of David (1937), Great Britain & The U.S.A. Revealed as Israel The New Order (1941), The British Commonwealth & The United States Foretold in The Bible (1941) and Germany's Doom Foretold (1942) which sold 60,000 copies and was reviewed by George Orwell.[32]

Covenant Publishing have reprinted many old British Israelite texts from the 19th and early 20th century in their "Classic Series" including many of the above cited.[33]

Persecution by Nazis

British Israelites, or adherents of related offshoots (e.g. Nordic Israelism) were persecuted or suppressed by the Nazis during World War II.[34] In Nazi occupied territories in Europe, British Israelite or related literature was banned because it was considered as having a Jewish agenda or considered to be anti-German (see Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism). Nederlandsche Israël-Kring, a Netherlands based organisation teaching the Dutch offshoot of British Israelism was closed down by the Nazis.[34] Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other minority Christian groups who were persecuted by the Nazis, British Israelites or related adherents of offshoot teachings were arrested by the Gestapo and placed in Nazi concentration camps (see Purple triangle), where some died.[35] The son of Nordic Israelite identity preacher Albert Hiorth, Frederik Hiorth, died in a Nazi concentration camp for his related British Israelite beliefs.[36] While most British Israelites or related offshoots were persecuted by the Nazis because they were philo-semites (Philo-Semitism), paradoxically the Christian Identity movement which sprung from British Israelism turned into antisemitism and supported Nazism.[37]

Mid 20th century

J. Llewellyn Thomas in defense of British Israelism wrote Objections to British Israel Teachings Examined (1951). The theory of British Israelism was also vigorously promoted by Herbert W. Armstrong in the 1950s [38] founder and former Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God. Armstrong wrote United States in Prophecy (also printed as "United States and Britain in Prophecy") published in 1945, followed by further editions. Armstrong believed the was a key to understanding biblical prophecy: "One might ask, were not biblical prophecies closed and sealed? Indeed they were—until now! And even now they can be understood only by those who possess the master key to unlock them." (Armstrong, 1967, p. 5)[39] Armstrong believed that he was called by God to proclaim the prophecies to the "ten lost tribes of Israel" before the "End Times".[40]

Front Cover of Herbert Armstrong's United States and Britain in Prophecy (1945)

Armstrong's belief caused his separation from the Church of God Seventh Day because of its refusal to adopt the theory. Armstrong created his own church, first called the "Radio Church of God" and later renamed the "Worldwide Church of God".[40] He described British Israelism as a "central plank" of his theology.[41] (See 'Armstrongism'.)

After Armstrong's death, his former church, which changed its name to Grace Communion International (GCI) in 2009, abandoned its belief in British Israelism. It offers an explanation of the doctrine's origin and its abandonment by the church at its official website.[42] Church members who disagreed with such doctrinal changes left the Worldwide Church of God/GCI to form offshoot churches. Many of these organizations, including the Philadelphia Church of God and the United Church of God, still teach British Israelism. Armstrong promoted other genealogical history theories, such as teaching that modern-day Germany now represents ancient Assyria. He wrote in chapter 5 of his Mystery of the Ages (1985), "The Assyrians settled in central Europe, and the Germans, undoubtedly, are, in part, the descendants of the ancient Assyrians." (p. 183).

The late Professor Roger Rusk (1906–1994), brother of former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, was a prominent teacher of British Israelism. He worked for 13 years as a public school teacher. After completing his doctorate in physics, he worked for 28 years as a professor at the University of Tennessee, where he became Emeritus Professor of Physics. He was also a member of the American Physical Society and the "Tennessee Academy of Science". In 1976, the British Israelite and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society William Howard Bennett published Symbols of our Celto-Saxon heritage with the aim of establishing an Israelite origin of British heraldry. The poetess Patience Strong (1907–1990) was also a British Israelite.[43]

In 1961 George F. Jowett published The Drama of the Lost Disciples which as of 2009 has gone through 16 printed editions by Covenant Publishing and has sold many thousands of copies. Despite modern works on British Israelism continue to be published, Jowett's book is considered to be the last prominent British Israelite work of notable success.[44]

Contemporary movement

The British-Israel-World Federation organisation continues to exist, with its main headquarters located in Bishop Auckland in County Durham. It maintains local chapters throughout the British Isles. The most recently established chapter is in BIWF-USA, based in Heber Springs, Arkansas. In London the Orange Street Congregational Church[45] teaches a form of British Israelism, and the Ensign Trust publishes The Ensign Message in its furtherance. In Australia the Christian Revival Crusade, founded by Leo Harris, once taught this theology but abandoned it. The Revival Centres International, a prominent group that separated from the Crusade, and other splinter groups, continue to teach the doctrine. The "Churches of God" in Ireland are also known for their teaching on this subject. There is also the "British-Israel Church of God" [5]. British Israelite literature also continues to be produced. Historical Research Projects is a modern British Israelite based publisher and research group who have published In Search of... The Origin of Nations (2003) which mainly attempts to establish Northern Europeans descended from Shem.[46] Another modern British Israelite author is Steven M. Collins, who has published at least three books tracing the Israelite origins of certain European nations.[47] A recent source puts only 5,000 members or adherents of British Israelism in Britain, with an unknown amount in America or the British Commonwealth.[48]

Brit-Am is an organization (founded ca.1993) based in Israel, which also identifies the Lost Ten Tribes with the British and related peoples. Brit-Am uses biblical and rabbinical exegesis to justify its beliefs, supplemented by secular studies.

Offshoots

There are various linked offshoots to British Israelism, most which emerged in the late 19th or early 20th century: Dutch Israelism, Nordic Israelism and French Israelism. A more racialized form of British Israelism which promotes antisemitism emerged in the 1920s and 1930s called Christian Identity.[49] Paradoxically while early British Israelites were philo-semites, such as Edward Hine and John Wilson, Christian Identity emerged to be strongly anti-Jewish, teaching that Jews do not descend from Judah (as British Israelites maintain) but instead Satan.[50] Another key teaching of Christian Identity is that non-Caucasian people do not have a soul and therefore cannot be saved.[51]

Support

British Israelism has received support from many notable individuals, including scholars, historians, members of British royalty, scientists, theologians, politicians, military generals, as well as clergymen and bishops of various Christian denominations.[11][52] Adherents of British Israelism cite many of these individuals (particularly believers of mainstream Christian denominations) to prove they are not a cult.[53]

A research paper, published in 2002 on the British-Israel movement has noted:

...The British-Israel movement crossed denominational lines but was predominantly Anglican but despite an anchor in the Church of England, British-Israel appealed across multi-denominational Protestantism. The key to this was its literal interpretation of the Old Testament in stressing its identity with the British Empire, as opposed to divisive spiritual interpretations.[54]

Anglican

William Bennett Bond the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (1904–1906) was a British Israelite.[11]

Jonathan Holt Titcomb the first Anglican bishop of Rangoon in the 19th century published several works on his belief in British Israelism. One of his works was republished in 1928 by Covenant Publishing as "British-Israel: How I Came to Believe It", Titcomb believed that during End Times the two Houses (Judah and Israel) would be re-united, and that the Teutonic or Celtic peoples were Israel:

...we should have a representation of the Teutonic and Keltic races, or, at least, a large portion of them, lying in Britain, Gaul, Germany, Denmark, and Scandinavia, waiting to be collected into one nationalized mass."[55]

Samuel Thornton (bishop) was an eminent Anglican bishop of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia who wrote:

......British-Israel truth is most wonderful. I wish I had known it twenty-five years earlier. It makes clear so many things that had been obscure.[56]

Methodist

J. H. Allen's Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright (1902)

William H. Poole, a Methodist minister, published Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race?: Proved to be the Lost Tribes of Israel (1899).

J. H. Allen of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, who later founded the Church of God (Holiness) wrote Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright (1902), which is still today considered a 'classic' text by modern British Israelites.[11]

The prominent English barrister, King's Counsel and Methodist minister Richard Reader Harris (KC) in 1908 wrote his book The Lost Tribes of Israel, which expressed his belief in the theory that the Anglo-Saxons are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes:

... Such then are the Scriptures that appear to me to furnish strong evidence in favour of the contention of those who believe that in the Anglo-Saxon race God possesses today the descendants of the house of Israel. If this be true, it adds tremendously to our responsibilities, and opens before us in a way that no human tongue can describe, spiritual possibilities, temporal possibilities, national possibilities, and universal possibilities.[57]

Robert Bradford, a Methodist clergymen, who served as an Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament from 1974–1981, was a British Israelite.[11]

William Pascoe Goard who in 1921 become Vice-President of the British-Israel-World Federation was a Methodist minister.

Baptist

A famous baptist who believed in British Israelism include Mordecai Ham (1877–1961). Ham gave a speech at the Seventh Annual Conference of the British-Israel-World Federation on October 4, 1926.[58] His speech was recorded and published in 1954 and as of 2002 continues to be reprinted in booklet form by British Israelites.[59]

Revd T. R. Howlett B.A. minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington D.C was a British Israelite who wrote Anglo-Israel, the Jewish Problem: The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel Found and identified in the Anglo-Saxon Race (1896).

English Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Rev. James Mountain authored British Israel Truth Defended (1926) and The Triumph of British-Israel (1930) both of which have been republished apart of Covenant Publishing's "classic" series in 2004.[60]

Congregationalist

Martin Lyman Streator (1843–1926) one of the early founders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1900 published Anglo-American Alliance in Prophecy, which is considered one of the earliest key publications of British Israelism in America.[61]

Pentecostal

Pentecostalism has a long history with British Israelism. Many early founders of pentecostalism were British Israelites including Charles Fox Parham.[62]

George Jeffreys (pastor) who founded the Elim Pentecostal Church was a British Israelite.[63]

Christian Revival Crusade (CRC Churches International) a Pentecostal Protestant Christian denomination based in Australia, which was founded by Leo Cecil Harris in 1945 originally subscribed to British Israelism.

Faith Healer

Frank Sandford (1862–1948) was a British Israelite.

Faith healer John Alexander Dowie who founded the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church believed in British Israelism. Covenant Publishing sell a 34 page booklet entitled "Leaves of Healing" which quotes Dowie's identification of Britain with Israel from his miscellaneous writings.[64]

The famous faith healer and author of Christ the Healer F. F. Bosworth in 1920 broadcast a radio lecture entitled The Bible Distinction Between the House of Israel and the House of Judah which promoted his views on British Israelism and Two House Theology.[11]

Atheist

Several atheists from the 19th century embraced the identification of Britain with the Ten lost tribes but rejected the religious or Christian aspect of standard British Israelism. Charles Bradlaugh for example, one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century after going to hear a speech on British Israelism, declared:

"I love to come, it is most wonderful what light British-Israel truth throws on the Bible."[65]

Christian Science

A well known British Israelite advocate A. A. Beauchamp converted to Christian Science in 1924. A. A. Beauchamp was the owner and publisher of a popular British Israelite magazine called The Watchman of Israel. Beauchamp’s conversion to Christian Science was due to the complex interaction between Christian Science and British Israelism which had began In Mary Baker Eddy’s lifetime by a number of well known Christian Scientists. Julia Field King, an American Christian Scientist from Iowa who was a friend and student of Mrs Eddy, sailed to England under Mary Baker Eddy's orders to study British Israelism in 1896. She had already read the works of the Anglo Israelite C. A. L. Totten and was impressed by the works of Totten. Totten engaged in a genealogical exercise, attempting to prove the Davidic ancestry of the British royal family. Julia Field King put extensive research into trying to prove this; she went even further into trying to prove that Mary Baker Eddy herself was a descendant of King David. Mrs Eddy came to be a believer in British Israelism; Eddy was also attracted to this notion as she believed it may boost the Christian Science movement in England.[66] In 1898, Mary Baker Eddy wrote a poem titled “The United States To Great Britain” In this poem, Mrs. Eddy refers to the United States and Great Britain as "Anglo-Israel," and our "brother," Great Britain, as "Judah's sceptred race".[67]

In a letter in 1902 to Julia Field King of a work tracing the lineage of Queen Victoria back to King David, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "Your work, The Royal House of Britain an Enduring Dynasty, is indeed masterful: one of the most remarkable Biblical researches in that direction ever accomplished. Its data and the logic of its events sustain its authenticity, and its grandeur sparkles in the words, 'King Jesus.'" In the words of Jeremiah, quoted in the book: "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the House of Israel." (Jer. 33:17) Mrs. Eddy states: "Christian Science ... restores the lost Israel." In many of Mary Baker Eddy's writings, she addressed the Israelites as Christian Scientists. Until her death Mary Baker Eddy continued to keep an interest in British Israelism, early members of the Christian Science Mother Church accepted the Anglo Israel message of Mrs Eddy however after Mrs Eddy’s death in 1910 The Mother Church denied anything to do with British Israelism and any Christian Scientists supporting British Israelism in The Mother Church were excommunicated. The attractions of British Israelism in the Christian Science movement still remained after Mary Baker Eddy’s death. Because The Mother Church no longer wanted to teach British Israelism, a number of offshoot Christian Science Churches and groups were set up to continue teaching British Israelism. One notable example was the British Israelite Christian Science Church called “The Christian Science Parent Church”. It was organised by an English Christian Scientist Annie Cecilia Bill. Annie Bill became convinced that she was the true successor of Mary Baker Eddy and in 1912 organized what became known as the Christian Science Parent Church. After World War I, she moved to the United States and in 1924 established the church in America.[68][69] As soon as Annie Bill set up The Christian Science Parent Church many Christian Scientists left The Mother Church to join it. Annie Bill believed The Mother Church was no longer teaching Christian Science the way it should be taught. Annie Bill wrote The Universal Design of Life (1924) that acknowledged Eddy's authority. The Church was a mixture of Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science with Annie Bill’s teachings on British Israelism and spirituality. The Christian Science Parent Church had high respect for Mrs Eddy they would read her textbook Science and Health with Keys to the Scriptures as well as Annie bill's textbook, the members of the church believed the English speaking peoples were the lost tribes of Israel and were in bible prophecy.[68]

Another Christian Scientist who was a firm believer in British Israelism was John V Dittmore he joined Annie Bill's Christian Science Parent Church, he was a well known contributor to A. A. Beauchamp's British Israel magazine called The Watchman of Israel, he communicated with A. A. Beauchamp and told her Annie Bill's doctrines were correct, later A. A. Beauchamp joined the Christian Science Parent Church.[68] A. A. Beauchamp’s magazine, published on behalf of British Israelism, became the magazine of the Parent Church and the central perspective adopted by Bill. The Christian Science Parent Church had a messianic view of history they believed the English speaking peoples were the lost Israel and that they were in bible prophecy to bring about spiritual perfection on earth, Annie Bill believed the northern and western European and North American peoples were the descendants of the ten ancient tribes of Israel and destined to lead world, spiritually, to the millennial dispensation. A number of members also came to believe in pyramidology, the idea that the measurements and geometric design of the Great Pyramid in Egypt had religious and prophetic significance.[69]

The British Israelism of Beauchamp and Dittmore brought many members to the church many who were already Anglo Israelites. Many of the members of The Watchman of Israel magazine became full time Christian Scientists. In 1924 Beauchamp left the church and pursued other interests but rejoined in the 1940s. The census of religious bodies reported that in 1926 the church had 29 congregations and 582 members in the United States. There were over 44 churches in Great Britain, Australia and Canada by 1928, by 1930 there was 88 churches and over 1200 members. In the late 1920s Annie Bill denounced Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, she wrote a new textbook called “The Science of Reality” which replaced her other textbook which acknowledged Eddy’s authority. The Christian Science Parent Church was renamed The Church of Universal Design.[68] Annie Bill led the church up until her death which was in 1937. After her death a new leader Francis J Mott took over, he continued the Anglo Israel message and the work of Annie Bill and renamed the Church The Society of Life in 1937. The Church later changed its name to the Church of Integration. A. A. Beauchamp’s British Israel magazine The Watchman became The Universal Design, A Journal of Applied Metaphysics. Mott initially published his views in a several books published by A. A. Beauchamp. The British branch of the church was destroyed in the chaos of World War II. In America the church survived and briefly revived after the war. A new magazine, Integration, was issued from the church's headquarters in Washington, D.C., beginning in 1946. Eventually, however, the church, which was never numerically strong, dissolved. At least one follower of Bill who opposed Mott's leadership, Mary Sayles Atkins, continued to write, under her pen name, Mary Sayles Moore, about Bill and during the 1950s published several volumes with A. A. Beauchamp, who had left the Church of Integration in the 1940s. Her most important volume was Conquest of Chaos, which reviewed Bill's career and the rise of Mott.

Mary Beecher Longyear (1851–1931), the founder of the Longyear Museum was a British Israel proponent. Mrs. Longyear and her husband John were very helpful to Eddy and the early Christian Science church in providing the funds to purchase land for the church and for the Christian Science Benevolent Association in Chestnut Hill. Mrs. Longyear was a pioneer in the field of historic preservation. She searched the back roads of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to locate and purchase four houses in which Eddy once lived. She had portraits painted of Mrs. Eddy and Mrs. Eddy's early students and had reminiscences written by many of those who knew her. For over three-quarters of a century, the Longyear Museum has provided exhibits and resources about the life and achievements of Mary Baker Eddy. The Museum moved into its new building in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.[70]

The Christian Science Endtime Center founded in 1996 by Stanley C. Larkin is the only active Christian Science organisation which supports Mary Baker Eddy's Anglo Israel studies.[71]

British Royal Family

James I of England (1567–1625) believed he was a king of Israel.

In 1996, The Independent, reprinted the facsimile of a 1922 letter by George VI (then Duke of York). He wrote:

...I am sure the British Israelite business is true. I have read a lot about it lately and everything no matter how large or small points to our being ’the chosen race.’[72]

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone was a chief patron of the British-Israel-World Federation from 1920 until her death. Her daughter Lady May Abel Smith was also a patron of the Federation until her own death in 1994.[73]

It is also claimed by modern British Israelites that Queen Victoria believed herself she descended from King David, they quote a letter she wrote supposedly supporting this view that she occupied the throne of David.[74] In 1876, The Banner of Israel proudly announced that both Queen Victoria and Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll had both accepted copies of John Wilson's Our Israelitish Origin.[75] On the occasion of Queen Victoria ’s Diamond Jubilee, in 1897, the British-Israel Association presented an illuminated parchment stating:

...It is the profound belief of your Memorialists that the high and pre-eminent position allowed by the British Nation and Empire under Your Majesty ’s long and prosperous reign will ever continue and increase by virtue of our Abrahamic Descent, we being the chosen people of God, as daily proclaimed in our National Church Service’ and further referred to the Queen as ‘The Royal Lion of Judah’.[75]

Scholars, academics, and others

Numerous prominent scholars, academics and other notable figures have supported British Israelism including: the Canadian geologist and Bible scholar Edward Faraday Odlum, M.A., B.Sc., F.R.F.S. (1850–1935); Roger Rusk the brother of US secretary of state Dean Rusk, Hebrew scholar and professor in physics for 28 years at the University of Tennessee; British General Sir Walter Walker KCB, CBE, DSO & bar (1912–2001); William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1912–1925; Patience Strong (1907–1990), English Poetess; John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher (1841–1920), GCB, OM, GCVO, Admiral of the Fleet; C. A. L. Totten, professor of Military Tactics at Yale University (1889–1892); John Cox Gawler (1830–1882), Keeper of the Monarch's Crown Jewels; John Bracken, PC (1883–1969), 11th Premier of Manitoba (1922–1943) and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1942–1948); Thomas Bavin KCMG (1874–1941), 24th Premier of New South Wales; Robert Randolph Bruce, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia (1926–1931), Arthur Cherep-Spiridovich (1858—1926); Sir Standish G. Crauford, Brigadier-General, Bart., C.B., C.M.G., C.I.E., D.S.O, author of Our Celtic Heritage (1867); David Davidson, Esq., C.E., M.C., F.R.S.A., (1844–1956), famous British structural engineer; Sir Errol Manners K.B.E (1883–1953), distinguished Royal Navy admiral; Lt.-Col. J.A.McQueen, D.S.O., M.C. Military Intelligence; Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale PC, KCVO, Bt, Lord Mayor of London (1901–1902); William Henry Fasken, Brigadier-General, author of Israel's Racial Origin and Migrations (1934); James Bernard Nicklin, (b. 1881); inventor and author of Testimony in Stone (1961), Sir George Grey, KCB (1812–1898), Governor-General of New Zealand; Reader Harris, K.C. (1847–1909), barrister and King's Counsel; George Jowett (1891–1969), world-class gymnast, author of The Drama of the Lost Disciples (1961); Oliver Lodge FRS (1851–1940), prominent British physicist; L.G.A. Roberts, Commander of the Royal Navy, author of British History Traced From Egypt And Palestine (1927); Herbert Aldersmith, F.R.C.S M.B. LSA (1847–1918), renowned English physician, Adam Rutherford, F.R.A.S., F.R.G.S.; founder of the Institute for Pyramidology and E. Raymond Capt[11][52][63]

As late as the 1860s and 1870s, several highly-educated men such as Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, Dr. George Moore, Member of the Royal College of Physicians, John Pym Yeatman, Esq., Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, C.O. Groom Napier, geologist and Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Dr. Herbert Aldersmith, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and others – though not professional anthropologists or ethnologists – were able to authoritatively voice the British-Israel message, which won over many converts.[76][77] Charles Marston, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London who funded major archaeological excavations across Palestine between 1929-1938 was also a notable academic proponent of British Israelism.

Reactions

British Israelism has had opposition and criticism by some Christian groups since the 19th century, and in modern times has received less attention from the broad spectrum of Christian denominations.[78]

Despite a significant clerical membership of British Israelites, it was admitted, by British-Israel in 1880, that British-Israelism was reviled by the clergy, as a whole.[79]

In the Church Times, of 12 June 1885, British-Israel was compared to the Mormons in what was declared to be the latest development of “Chosen Peopleism”, a phenomenon which has ‘perpetually appeared and re-appeared in the world, but always with disastrous results’, dismissing British-Israel as a religious equivalent of craving for aristocratic distinction.[80]

The broad spectrum of Christian denominations do not teach British Israelism, and some consider it speculative.[78] Some critics have claimed British Israelism to be a cult or racist.[81][82][83]

Modern British Israelites have responded that these criticisms and accusations do not represent their views and further claim their beliefs are neither cult like, nor racist.[84][85]

Christadelphians

The Christadelphian movement, since its foundation by John Thomas, has been a strong opponent of the British Israel doctrine because of its own interpretations of Israelite identity.[86] Robert Roberts an early Christadelphian founder debated British Israelite pioneer Edward Hine, at least twice, the first in Birmingham where he delivered his speech Anglo-Israelism Refuted followed by a further lengthy debate hosted over three days, held on April 21–23, 1879, at Exeter Hall, London, with Lord William Lennox presiding.[87] The latter debate was later published in booklet form in 1919 as "Are Englishmen Israelites?", (Birmingham: C. C. Walker).

Catholics

The Roman Catholic Church does not teach British Israelism as a doctrine. It became recognized as a distinct teaching under Edward Hine and John Wilson in the 19th century.[54] The Roman Catholic Church has no official statement on the British Israelism belief that a church was founded in Britain by Joseph of Arimathea during the Roman Empire. Roman Catholics believe that the first church began in Rome.[54] For this reason Edward Hine, John Wilson and most other early British Israelites were strongly anti-Catholic.[88] Edward Hine regarded nuns as ‘silly women’ with cross appendages round their necks and priests were ‘feminine men', while John Wilson wrote the pope was the anti-christ.[89] The Two Babylons is a popular anti-Catholic work still cited by British Israelites.[90][91]

Jews

Many Jews reject Two House Theology, and therefore strongly oppose British Israelism.[28] There are very few Jews who support British Israelism.[92].

Several early Jewish sources are used to support Two House Theology, which is a key tenet of British Israelism. However these sources do not state where the ten lost tribes of Israel are located, neither if they were really lost. The Babylonian Talmud (Mishnah) Sanhedrin 110b for example notes:

...THE TEN TRIBES WILL NOT RETURN [TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL], FOR IT IS SAID, AND CAST THEM INTO ANOTHER LAND, AS IS THIS DAY: JUST AS THE DAY GOES AND DOES NOT RETURN, SO THEY TOO WENT AND WILL NOT RETURN: THIS IS R. AKIBA'S VIEW. R. ELIEZER SAID: AS THIS DAY — JUST AS THE DAY DARKENS AND THEN BECOMES LIGHT AGAIN, SO THE TEN TRIBES — EVEN AS IT WENT DARK FOR THEM, SO WILL IT BECOME LIGHT FOR THEM[93]

Most Jews have never subscribed to Two House Theology, and continue to reject this doctrine and therefore oppose British Israelism.[28] Despite this, there have been few historic Jews who talked about "lost tribes". Several Medieval Rabbis and Jewish Torah scholars began to locate the ten lost tribes, but the location greatly varied. Modern British Israelites often quote from Maimonides who wrote:

...I believe the Ten Tribes to be in various parts of Europe.[94]

Brit-Am has compiled many more of these Rabbinic sources, including the testimony of Nahmanides who placed the lost tribes of Israel in France and Northern Europe.[95][96]

Moses ben Isaac Edrehi

Moses ben Isaac Edrehi (1774–1842), a Moroccan-born Rabbi and Kabbalist believed the lost tribes of Israel were also located in Europe, writing in his Historical Account Of The Ten Tribes (1836):

...Orteleus, that great geographer, giving the description of Tartary, notices the kingdom of Arsareth, where the Ten Tribes, retiring, succeeded [other] Scythian inhabitants, and took the name Gauther [Goths], because they were very jealous for the glory of God. In another place, he found the Naphtalites, who had their hordes there. He also discovered the tribe of Dan in the north, which has preserved its name. ...They further add, that the remains of ancient Israel were more numerous here than in Muscovy and Poland - from which it was concluded, that their habitation was fixed in Tartary [ie Scythia] from whence they passed into neighbouring places ... it is no wonder to find the Ten Tribes dispersed there; since it was no great way to go from Assyria, whither they were transplanted, having only Armenia betwixt them.[97]

Dr. Moses Margoliouth, an anglican priest from Jewish heritage, in his History of the Jews in Great Britain (1851) wrote:

...the Israelites must have visited the western countries (of Europe) in the days of Solomon.[98]

Elieser Bassin, a 19th century Russian Jew of aristocratic origins and a convert to Christianity, in his British and Jewish Fraternity (1884) equated Britain with the Israelite tribe of Ephraim:

...The Hebrew Scriptures point to the British Isles as the home of God's first-born (i.e. Ephraim, the collective name for the Ten Tribes, Jeremiah 31:9)...It is my conviction that Britain is the nation with whom God has from first to last identified Himself. I, an Israelite of the House of Judah claim you as Israelites of the House of Ephraim (Le. the House of Israel). As believers in the faithfulness of our covenant-keeping God, I call you to awake from your sleep.[99]

After Bassin's publication more Jews began to embrace British Israelism from the late 19th century.[100]

The Jewish Encyclopedia, although not supporting the British Israel teachings, noticed: "The identification of the Sacae, or Scythians, with the Ten Tribes because they appear in history at the same time, and very nearly in the same place, as the Israelites removed by Shalmanesar, is one of the chief supports of the theory which identifies the English people, and indeed the whole Teutonic race, with the Ten tribes" (Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901, Vol. 12, p. 250).

In 1900, SJ Deutschberger, a Jew and head of ‘The Industrial Mission to the Jews’ became General Secretary of the British-Israel Association.[101]

Since British Israelism teaches Jews descend from Judah, while the British and related kindred from the other tribes it was not perceived to be antisemitic. However, Christian Identity, an offshoot sect which sprung from British Israelism in the 1920s emerged to be strongly antisemitic teaching that the Jews do not descend from Judah, but instead Satan or the Edomite-Khazars.[48] The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes the emergence of Christian Identity from British Israelism as an 'ugly turn':

...An Ugly Turn - Once on American shores, British-Israelism began to evolve. Originally, believers viewed contemporary Jews as descendants of those ancient Israelites who had never been "lost." They might be seen critically but, given their significant role in the British-Israel genealogical scheme, not usually with animosity. By the 1930s, however, in the U.S., a strain of anti-Semitism started to permeate the movement (though some maintained traditional beliefs - and a small number of traditionalists still exist in the U.S.).[48]

The Anti-Defamation League, and most other modern Jews do not consider British Israelism to be antisemitic, only its offshoot Christian Identity. There are even modern Jewish proponents of British Israelism, and modern British Israelites usually cite these authorities or sources to refute the often confusion between British Israelism and Christian Identity regarding antisemitism.[84]

Politics

British Israelism was not ostensibly a political movement but it was inevitable that any association that interpreted Biblical prophecy against the background of actual historic, real-time and future events would attempt to influence, take credit or comment on the relevance of those events. Primarily an Anglican organisation, it was inevitable that the British-Israel movemant would contribute to political issues concerning the Jews, Catholics and Palestine. In essence, the character of movement was pro-Conservative, Nationalist, Imperialist and anti-Home Rule. British Israelism did have followers in both legislative houses from the 19th century, however, limited by significant elected representation it promoted, through various publications, those influential public figures who blindly reflected its own theologically driven policies and prophecies. It is only in from the 1870s that the British-Israel press really started to roll enabling commentary on their domestic political stance.[54][102] Prior to the United Kingdom general election, 1874 Edward Hine asserted, that the British-Israel movement had "no motive to endeavour to operate any influence, in a political sense", however, in the same year, Hine appealed for representatives in Parliament and stressed the importance of selecting MPs indoctrinated by British-Israel philosophy. There was is no record of how successful his campaign was but in the event the Conservatives, under Disraeli, won with a majority of 52 seats which pleased the British-Israel pundits. Hine was not alone and Viscount Folkestone, president of the Metropolitan Anglo-Israel Association and MP, asserted, in 1880:

...I am sure that this association, in the course of time…will assume a very prominent position in the history of the nation. I have no doubt but that it will exercise a great influence on the policy, both home and foreign of our future governments.[103]

This 1880 election did, however, indicate the low influence of British-Israel in the hustings. Despite pleading its non-political stance, British-Israel backed Disraeli. British-Israelites encouraged the nation to support the party that would achieve God’s destiny. The Liberals, under Gladstone, won by a majority of 176 seats but true to form they found biblical prophecy to cover the non-Imperial policies of Gladstone ‘Come, My people, enter those into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ (Isa. 16:20) to mark Britain's withdrawal from expansion. It followed that British-Israel did not expect Liberals to have long enough in power to affect foreign policies.[54][104] Post 1880 election, British-Israel were gladdened to hear the Liberals intended maintaining the empire but deplored its repudiation of further colonial annexations therefore not fulfilling Britain’s destiny to rule the world. Sure enough the appropriate biblical prophecy was found ’And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him’ (Daniel 7:27).[105] Palestine was the apex of the British-Israel geographical agenda due to the Biblical prophecy ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’ (Genesis 15:18). British-Israel believed that promises to Israel, as contracted with Judah, must be fulfilled.[106] The key biblical passage indicated that Palestine would be shared with the Jews and ‘In these day the house of Judah shall walk to or with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.’ (Jer. iii. 18, 19). Most British-Israelites of the 19th century and early 20th century were therefore Christian Zionists, as many continue to be.[54] British-Israelites in the late 19th century equated Edom with the Ottoman empire hence the deposition of the Sultan could only be actioned by Anglo-Saxon Israel in the form of England ‘I will inflict vengeance upon Edom by the hand of My people Israel‘ (eze. 25:14). In 1902, noting the stormy political situation in the Balkans exasperating the Turkish, British-Israel declared on Palestine ‘The land must be cleansed, and the intruder turned out of it, to allow of the return of the People of Zion’.[107] Disraeli’s acquisition of the Suez Canal and Cyprus between 1874 and 1878 made physical conquest of Palestine inevitable. British-Israel applauded the government’s bold stroke in acquiring half the shares in the Suez canal proclaiming it as the beginning of the restoration movement and an Act of God.[108] The Suez Canal shortened the sea trip to India by 5000 miles and part fulfilled biblical prophecy ‘in the same day the Lord made a Covenant with Abraham, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this Land, from the River of Egypt into the great river, the river Euphrates’.

A Young Disraeli
by Sir Francis Grant, 1852

Disraeli was also praised by British-Israelites in that his surname ‘Of Israel’ was seen as fulfillment of ‘One shall say, I [am] the LORD'S; and another shall call [himself] by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe [with] his hand unto the LORD, and surname [himself] by the name of Israel‘. In 1875, Lionel de Rothschild supplied Disraeli with the £4 million to purchase the Khedive of Egypt’s controlling shares in the Suez Canal Company. However, there was one problem here in that Biblical prophecy maintained of Ephraim ‘He shall not return to Egypt.’ Hine remarked on the coincidence that at a time, national identity with Israel, Benjamin Disraeli was selected as Prime Minister and ‘I have faith to look upon this man as one specially raised by God as a deliverer for our nation’ and ‘under the auspices of a Premier, of Jewish or Israelitish origin, and raised, we cannot but believe, to his high and influential position by Divine Providence to exert a prominent influence on the coming events’.[109] His prophetic feelings were backed up by staff writer Harrison Oxley in ‘We identify Benjamin Disraeli, Esq., as one called in a most distinguished manner to lead the Nation to glory, and by the Identity, we see clearly how Judah and Israel became united, how Palestine comes into the possession of the British Nation’.[110] One offshoot of The Anglo-Israel Association was The International Universal Alliance whose purpose was ‘to secure the neutralisation of Palestine under the guarantee of the great Powers, with the view of assuring the security of Christian and Israelitish populations.[111]

British-Israel maintained that British Imperialism was a direct result of Gladstone’s Home Rule policy, which was viewed as sign of weakness in that electors had to choose between Britain existing as an Empire or falling to pieces by a series of secessions. In 1880, British-Israel commentating on foreign policy asked ‘Shall the colonies be retained by Israel? Shall the great “company of nations” in federation with the “little island of the North” fulfill their grand destiny as marked out in the Word of God? “Nay”, say the Opposition, “federation is a mistake; the greatest injury that might happen to this empire.’[104] Imperialism strengthened ties with the Mother country and British-Israel dived this into Political and Biblical. Under Biblical Imperialism, Britain’s appointed destiny was to annex regions of the world in fulfillment of Biblical covenant such as Palestine. Judah had been employed for this purpose in that a Jew, Disraeli, had purchased the Suez canal shares and a Jew, Rothschild, had financed the acquisition. British-Israel referred to Salisbury’s election, in 1900’ as a thoroughly Imperial party and attributed election victory to Joseph Chamberlain, whose role as Colonial secretary, had struck blows against Home rule and Kruger’s Boers, and proof that electors wanted an extension of the Empire. In fact British-Israel displayed intense relief that, in their opinion, the two greatest disasters of modern times - the handing of Transvaal to the Boers and the abandonment of Sudan - were now behind the country. The establishment, in 1907, of a permanent annual Imperial Conference was seen as part fulfillment of the prophecy of ‘Company of Nations’ and attributed to the enterprise ‘ the chosen race’ topped by the inauguration of Empire Day in 1909.[54]

In order to fulfill biblical prophecy, British-Israelites wished to see unification of the colonies under the security of a United Empire of Great Britain. In this respect they were buoyed by the 1897 Federal Convention of Australia to unify the antipodean colonies based on successes in Canada. As with Disraeli, they used an influential individual as a symbolic vehicle for their Imperial aspirations - Joseph Chamberlain. Speaking at the Royal Colonial Institute, in 1897, ‘As regards the self-governing Colonies, we no longer talk of them as dependencies. We think of them and we speak of them as part of ourselves, as part of the British Empire.’ They applauded him for acting ‘honourably, generously and nobly’ to the defeated Boers and opined that South Africa would bloom under Britain as had other lands brought under subjection. A subject they reminded Edward VII, on his coronation:

...that your Reign may witness the Federation of the Anglo-Saxon Race by consolidating the ties which unite the Colonies with the Mother Country.’[112]

Joseph Chamberlain had great sympathy with the Jewish Community. He promoted the aims of Zionism aiding Herzl’s project to found a Jewish settlement between Egypt and Palestine securing an offer from the British government for a Zionist colony in East Africa and in particular appealing to British-Israel through his aversion to Home Rule. In an obituary to Joseph Chamberlain, ‘the missionary of Empire‘, British-Israelites proclaimed:

...He leaves, indeed, to British-Israelites, an imperishable memory, an endearing influence, and an instructive message.‘[54]

While most British-Israelites well received Zionism in the early 20th century, they criticised most Jewish Zionists as being forgetful of all what the Biblical prophecy implied, as do modern British Israel adherents. Since British Israelism maintains both Houses (Judah and Israel) would one day be re-united, British Israelites only viewed the Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948) as fulfilling part of the Biblical prophecy (Jer. 3: 18) and continue to do so. Most modern British-Israelites claim to be apolitical, or supporters of monarchism.[113] However some British Israelite members or groups support British Nationalism. During the British National Party leaked membership list in 2008, it was revealed several BNP members belonged to the British-Israel-World Federation.[114] British-Israelism is also popular in Northern Ireland, amongst Ulster Loyalists.[115] Tara (Northern Ireland) was a British-Israelite Loyalist faction, it existed from the 1960s - 1980's.

Tenets

Hebrew-English language connection

That Hebrew is linked to the English, Welsh, Cornish or Manx languages is a core tenent of British Israelism.[116] Numerous scholars since the 18th century have attempted to link British tongue to Hebrew or a Semitic origin, James Cowles Pritchard connected the Celtic languages to Hebrew in his Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations (1857), writing that the Celtic language "forms an intermediate link between [the Indo-European] and the Semitic, or perhaps indicates a state of transition" (p. 349).[117] Earlier, Henry Rowlands (1655–1723) author of Mona Antiqua Restaurata: An Archaeological Discourse on the Antiquities, Natural and Historical, of the Isle of Anglesey, the Ancient Seat of the British Druids (1723) already connected British dialect to Hebrew.[118] However, there was an even earlier publication linking Hebrew to Welsh, written by Charles Edwards in 1676 entitled Hebraismorum Cambro-Britannicorum specimen.[119] John Wilson quoted Dr James Andrew, who in his Hebrew Dictionary and Grammar (1823) maintained ‘The dispersion and incorporation of the Ten Tribes of Israel amongst the Assyrian and other northern nations, accounts most satisfactorily for the numerous traces of the Hebrew language that still remain amongst the languages of Europe’.[120] Another early authority British Israelites cite on language is Charles Vallancey who in his An Essay on the Antiquity of the Irish Language (1772) wrote of similarities between Phoenician and Irish.[121] Distinguished Celtic scholar John Rhys, also usually is found referenced by British Israelites, since in his book The Welsh People (with D. B. Jones, 1900) he wrote of, "convincing evidence of the presence of some element other than Celtic... We allude to an important group of Irish names formed much in the same way as Hebrew names are represented in the Old Testament."[117] A research paper was presented to the British Archaeological Association in 1877 which proposed that the very names the Welsh used for their own people, “Gael” and “Kymry”, were “of purely Hebrew origin.”[122] This paper is usually found cited in British Israelite literature, amongst others.[117][123]

British Israelites also quote William Tyndale who famously wrote:

...The English tongue agreeth with the Hebrew a thousand times more than with the Latin.[124]

As well as the ancient Welsh poet Taliesin in the Book of Taliesin:

...My lore is written in the Hebrew tongue.[125]

British Israelites believe that the Israelites lost their original language (Hebrew) after they were captured and resettled by the Assyrians, they usually quote Isaiah 28: 11 which notes: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people”. This was first cited by Edward Hine as one of his identity evidences.[126]

Jewish or Phoenician miners in Cornwall

Map of Europe based on Strabo's geography, showing the Cassiterides just off the northwest tip of Iberia

British Israelites often cite legends and historical sources which establish an early Jewish (Judahite) or Phoenician miner settlement in Cornwall, well before the mainstream accepted date of the first Jews in England (1070). According to British Israelites there were supposedly several hundred Jewish miners having traveled there in early BC times for tin for Solomon's Temple.[127] The British Isle's were well known for tin mines in classical antiquity (see Cassiterides). The idea that early Jewish miners were in Cornwall is found in numerous history books on Cornwall from the 19th century, including Richard Polwhele's History of Cornwall (1803) which notes that the oldest pits containing smelted tin in Cornwall were nicknamed Jew's Houses.[128] A very old town in Cornwall is also known as Market Jew and British Israelites and others point out that this suggests an early Jewish settlement. Max Muller however opposed this idea and wrote an article entitled Are there Jews in Cornwall? attempting to debunk it.[129] The idea continued to be discussed in later works, Albert Montefiore Hyamson dedicated a chapter in his History of the Jews in England (1928) discussing the legends and historical sources of an early Jewish miner presence in Cornwall.[130]

Physiognomy

A key factor of British Israelism is the belief that the ancient physical appearance of the Hebrews, Jews (Judahites) or Israelites (lost ten tribes) closely matches that of the White British or Nordic race related kindred.[131] British Israelites point out that King David is described as adomi meaning ruddy (reddish or rosy) in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16: 12; 17: 42) which means he either had red hair[132] or that he had a rosy complexion, which is a notable trait of Caucasians who throughout history have been known to blush or have rosy cheeks.[133] Red hair is most frequent in northern and western Europe, with Scotland and Ireland who have the highest percentage of redheads in the world.[134] It has never been agreed by any Bible scholar as to what adomi precisely means in 1 Samuel 16: 12 and 17: 42 (either the hair colour or the skin complexion of David). Adam Clarke for example in his Commentary on the Bible (1831) wrote that these passages related to red hair colour,[135] Bible translations also vary either translating adomi as red hair or a ruddy skin complexion.[136]

British Israelites often quote the ethnological work of Assyriologist Archibald Sayce who discovered from ancient artwork and tablet descriptions in Palestine, that the Amorites (Akkadian: Amurru) were a pale skinned, blue eyed, red haired race. Flinders Petrie also wrote they were fair haired.[137] British Israelites point out that these Amorites were not the descendants of Canaan who sprung from Ham (Genesis 10: 6) but that the term Amorite or Amurru became applied to non-Hamitic groups who inhabited that same region. Cambridge Ancient History (Vol 1, 1929, p. 230) for examples notes that the term Amurru was used to label more than one ethnic-group, but who occupied the same region. British Israelites therefore conclude that the pale skinned fair haired Amurru Sayce and Petrie wrote about were a Hebrew kindred peoples.[131] These Amorite features of red hair, blue eyes and pale skin are pointed out to be Nordic (or Northern European) racial features, thus establishing a link between ancient Hebrew physiognomy and the Nordic race. Often cited as further evidence is the ancient Egyptian mural on Seti I's tomb which depicts four racial types - the Asiatic, Nubian, Libyan and Egyptian. British Israelites point out that the Asiatic (who they consider a Hebrew) has painted blue eyes, and a reddish beard.[138]

The race of Jesus is also a recurrent theme in British Israelism literature. Since the early 19th century British Israelites have maintained that Jesus was white skinned and fair haired.[133] They often quote the testimony of William Holman Hunt who studied Hebrew physiognomy for 10 years before painting his The Light of the World which depicts Jesus as blonde haired and pale skinned.[139] Apocryphal historical texts are also often cited which describe Jesus as golden or red haired, these include the Description of Jesus by Publius Lentulus which describes the hair of Jesus as chestnut (reddish-brown) and his eyes bright blue (see Publius Lentulus).[133]

British Israelites however believe the physiognomy of the Jews (Judahites) changed in 538 BCE (see below).

Two House Theology

British Israelites are advocates of Two House Theology.[140] They believe while most modern Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardi) are lineal descendants (purely or partly) of the tribe of Judah[141] (or in some cases from the tribe of Benjamin[142]) that the other tribes (see ten lost tribes) are not Jewish, but that the White British or Northern European related kindred descend from them. It is accepted by British Israelites that during the United Monarchy of Israel (1020 BCE - c. 930 BCE) all the tribes became known as Israel under King David.[140] For example II Samuel 5: 5 mentions King David ruling over over all Israel and Judah, while I Kings 2: 11 describes David ruling Israel for 40 years (meaning all tribes). Jacob who all twelve tribes of Israel descended from was also named Israel (Genesis 32: 28). British Israelites therefore assert that while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews.[143] The Jews (Judahites) they point descend only from the tribe of Judah (or Benjamin) who split with the other ten tribes during the collapse of the United Monarchy (930 BCE).[144] After the collapse of the United Monarchy during the succession of Solomon's son Rehoboam, the ten tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel in the north (with its first capital Shechem, followed by Samaria), while the tribe of Judah formed the Southern Kingdom of Judah (containing Jerusalem). British Israelites point out that after the split of United Monarchy and formation of the two kingdoms, the ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel became known as a distinctive 'House' which differentiated them to the southern Judahites.[92]

Old Testament passages which show the House of Israel (northern 10 tribes) to be distinct or separate from the House of Judah (Jews) are cited by British Israelites to support their Two House Theology. Examples include 1 Samuel 11: 8; Jeremiah 3: 18; 13: 11; 31: 31; 37; 33: 24; Ezekiel 8: 1; 14: 1.[145] British Israelites also note that the House of Israel (ten lost tribes) were never called Jewish or Jews, and that the first place the Judahites (or Jews) appear in the Bible (II Kings 6: 6) is when they were at war with the House of Israel.[146] British Israelites believe the two 'Houses' will be united during End Times and cite the prophecies in Ezekiel chapter 37 which notes that one day the two 'Houses' will be united under a King from the stock of David (see Davidic line). As further evidence, British Israelites cite the geographical description in Jeremiah 3: 18, which notes when the two 'Houses' will be united they will come from the far north, which British Israelites interpret to mean Northern Europe or Britain.[147]

Critics of the above interpretation point out that Jeremiah 3: 18 describes both 'Houses' coming from the north (and not just the House of Israel).[148] However British Israelites point out that according to II Kings 18: 13, a small portion of the tribe of Judah was deported with the House of Israel (10 lost tribes).[149] This happened when Sennacherib invaded a portion of Judah in the 8th century BC during the reign of Hezekiah, but did not manage to capture its capital Jerusalem. Most Judahites (Jews) therefore were not captured and deported but remained in their land until the Babylonian Captivity (6th century BC). As secular evidence, British Israelites often quote from the prism of Sennacherib (see Taylor and Sennacherib Prisms) which records that 200,150 Judahites (Jews) were captured and deported by Sennacherib from 46 towns across Judah. Most archeologists today consider this number to be an exaggeration and that the figure was actually 2,150.[150] Nonetheless the accuracy of II Kings 18: 13 of a real historic event has been verified by archeology. British Israelites believe that this small portion of deported Judahites (who joined the deported House of Israel, see II Kings 17), whether 2,150 or 200,150 founded a Davidic bloodline and monarchy in Ireland or Britain (confirming the north location of the House of Judah in Jeremiah 3: 18).[151]

This small portion of Jews or Judahites who left Judah centuries before the Babylonian Captivity are contrasted by British Israelites to the Jews who remained there (from who the modern Jews they believe descend). British Israelites maintain that the physiognomy of the Jew changed when they were freed by Cyrus in 538 BCE and returned to Judah, where they mixed with other racial or ethnic types who had settled there when the Judahites had been deported by the Babylonians.[152] As scriptural evidence, British Israelites point to Isaiah 3: 9 which notes that the people of Judah changed in countenance or their faces (i.e. skin complexion, or facial features).[153] This teaching was first published by Edward Hine in his The British Nation identified with Lost Israel (1871). British Israelites therefore point out the physical appearance of Jews has changed, but that prior to the Babylonian Captivity, the Jews physically resembled the Israelites, and were a Nordic racial type.[154]

Claims of an unmixed race

A key teaching of British Israelism is that the Israelites are a homogeneous race and are unmixed.[155] British Israelites often point out Bible passages and laws which condemn the Israelites (or Hebrews) from intermarriage or mixing with other races, and for them to remain a separate people (Amos 9: 9; Deuteronomy 7: 3; Exodus 34: 16). They also often point out that Isaac was not allowed to marry outside of his own people (Genesis 24: 4; 28: 1), nor Jacob (Genesis 28: 6) and that the sin of Solomon was taking wives from other ethnic-groups or races (1 Kings 11: 2). Critics of this (particularly mainstream Christians[156]) state that the reason the ancient Israelites and Hebrews were not allowed to intermarry was because other races or ethnic-groups were idolaters and it would lead the Israelites astray. Therefore they teach it was not racial or ethnocentric related but religious. In response, British Israelites point to Biblical passages which seem to refute this position, for example Deuteronomy 23: 2 which notes that the ancient Israelites were not to produce mamzers.[157] British Israelites cite James Strong's Hebrew Dictionary (1890) which defines a mamzer as a mongrel, the Luther Bible (1584) which defines it as a mischling (mixed race or cross-breed) as well as Webster's Dictionary which also defines mamzer as a mongrel or mixed race.[158] British Israelites point out the racial nature of this verse (and others[159]), proves that the Old Testament law concerning the Israelites was established so they were to remain unmixed, as apart of God's plan of ethnic preservation and essentialism.

Critics of the British Israelite teaching that the Israelites are an unmixed race often attempt to debunk the theory by asserting that the White British are mixed of many different ethnicities or ancient tribes, for example the Celts, Picts, Anglo-Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Normans.[21] British Israelites however defend their position and teaching by explaining that these ancient peoples all sprung from the same root and were kinsmen of the same blood.[160] British Israelite literature on this topic typically quotes several notable 19th century scientists and historians who agreed with their position that the British race is unmixed. For example Edward Augustus Freeman wrote in his Origin of the English Nation (1879):

...Tribe after tribe, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, poured across the sea to make new homes in the Isle of Britain. Thus grew up the English nation - a nation formed by union of various tribes of the same stock. The Dane hardly needed assimilation. He was another kindred tribe, coming later than the others. Even the Norman was a kinsman.[152]

Fate of the Israelites

As advocates of Two House Theology, British Israelites believe that the House of Israel became lost (see lost ten tribes) after they were captured and deported by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC. The core essence of British Israelism rests on the belief that the House of Israel never returned to the Kingdom of Israel.[141] As evidence British Israelites cite Biblical passages such as II Kings 15: 29; 17: 6; 18: 11 which note that the Israelites were taken by the Assyrians and settled in several Assyrian cities (see Halah) as well as the Medes, and II Kings 17: 18 which notes only the tribe of Judah was left (with some Benjamites and Levites amongst them [140]). Also cited is secular evidence from archeology which records the Assyrian deportation of the House of Israel, namely the Nimrud Prism which records that Sargon II deported 27,290 Israelites to Assyria.[161]

However despite the Israelites becoming lost themselves (which British Israelites point out fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 62: 2 which states the Israelites were to lose their name i.e. identity[162]) after their deportation and settlement in the Medes, British Israelites have always maintained that the authors of the New Testament (and others, such as Josephus) knew who the Israelites were and where they settled.[163] Hence British Israelites maintain that Jesus knew where precisely the Israelites were when he sent the apostles to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew 10: 6; 15: 24).[164]

British Israelites believe that the deported Israelites in Assyria and the Medes became the ancient Parthian, Scythian (Saka) and Cimmerian peoples of that same region in the 8th or 7th century BC.[165] They often stress two points on this topic (often quoting Encyclopædia Britannica[166]): that the Scythians and Parthians emerged at the exact same time the Israelites were deported and secondly that they sprung up in the exact same region.[167] The geographical linked boundaries or overlaps of Scythia and Parthia with Assyria and the Medes are further cited as establishing a link.[168] British Israelites also note that the author(s) of 2 Kings 17:23 and 1 Chron 5:26 wrote that several tribes of the Israelites (including Gad, Reuben and half the Tribe of Manasseh) were still in the region of the Medes or Assyria during their own day.[169] Since the Book of Chronicles dates to the 5th or 4th century BC, British Israelites believe that the author(s) knew that some tribes of the House of Israel remained in exile during their own period, specifically in the region of the Medes and Assyria (see Neo-Assyrian Empire).[169] Certain tribes however are stressed by British Israelites to have migrated west into Europe since the territory of the Scythians stretched into Ukraine and Romania (see Scythia Minor).[170] The Tribe of Dan is also earlier thought to have migrated into Europe by British Israelites, since they had access to ships (Judges 5: 17.)[171]

Adherents of British Israelism believe that the Behistun Inscription as well as Assyrian tablets connect the Scythians with the people known in Babylonian as Gimirri or Cimmerian to the Israelite House of Omri.[170] The theory suggests that the "Cimmerians / Scythians" are synonymous with the deported Israelites. George Rawlinson wrote:

We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.[172]

British Israelites claim that the Babylonian term Gimirri or Assyrian word Khumri derived from Cimmerian:

It should be made clear from the start that the terms 'Cimmerian' and 'Scythian' were interchangeable: in Akkadian the name Iskuzai (Asguzai) occurs only exceptionally. Gimirrai (Gamir) was the normal designation for 'Cimmerians' as well as 'Scythians' in Akkadian.[173]
Jehu kneeling at the feet of Shalmaneser III on the Black Obelisk.

The archeologist and British Israelite, E. Raymond Capt, claimed that there were similarities between King Jehu's pointed headdress and that of the captive Saka king seen to the far right on the Behistun Inscription.[174] He also posited that the Assyrian word for the House of Israel, Khumri, after Israel's King Omri of the 8th century B.C., is phonetically similar to Gimirri.[174] (Cimmerian)

British Israelites quote the testimony of Josephus, who in his Antiquities of the Jews (93 AD) wrote:

...the entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country [Media]; wherefore there are but two tribes [Judah and Benjamin] in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.[175]

Josephus believed the House of Israel (ten lost tribes) were beyond the Euphrates during his own era, which scholars have asserted was the western border of where he believed the Israelites were located in the 1st century AD.[163] Josephus believed the Israelites during his own time were an immense multitude, and therefore countless which British Israelites claim fulfills the prophecy of Hosea 1: 10: Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered.[162] British Israelites maintain that as the Scythians and Cimmerians extended their territory into Europe (Scythia Minor and Sarmatia) they increased their multitude, and that the Israelites by the early first few centuries AD had a great territory (see Sarmatians).[176]

British Israelites believe that most of the ten tribes of Israel were stationed in Scythia and the Parthian Empire (which included the territory of the ancient Medes as Acts 2: 9 connects them) during the first century AD when Jesus sent the Apostles to these precise regions.[177] One or two of the tribes however British Israelites believe moved into Europe from an earlier time (such as the Tribe of Dan); this teaching began with Edward Hine and John Wilson who noted that Dan were a maritime tribe, and that certain Biblical passages indicated they entered Europe long before the other tribes.[178] As evidence to support their teaching that the apostles were sent to the exact region the Israelites were settled, British Israelites cite 1 Peter 1: 11 which notes the apostle Simon Peter was sent to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia, to 'God's elect' (which British Isralites believes means Israel, quoting Deuteronomy 7: 6) while calling them 'strangers'. British Israelites note that the Greek word translated 'strangers' parepidēmois means a foreigner or someone residing in a strange country.[179] British Israelites note that these regions Peter was sent to were adjacent to Scythia and Parthia, and that they were colonised by Celtic tribes, who sprung from the Scythians.[180] British Israelites quote ancient authors, such as Strabo who connected the Scythians to the Celts, calling them Keltoskythai, Celtic Scythians (Geographica, 11.6.2) while also noting similarity in culture and archeology.[181] British Israelites also point out that Galatia in etymology is related to the Celts and that these supposed Celts were called 'strangers' in 1 Peter 1: 11 because the original inhabitants of those regions were Japhethites, and not from the line of Shem.[179]

The opening verse to the Epistle of James is also cited by British Israelites, which notes:

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.[182]

British Israelites point out that James also was therefore sent only to the lost Israelites, as well as the small segment of Judah who had been deported (II Kings 18: 13).[179] Also cited is Origen's testimony (recorded by Eusebius) concerning where the apostle Saint Andrew went, that being Scythia. British Israelites also quote other historical sources and apocrpyha which places the rest of the apostles in the area of the Scythians or Europe.[179] British Israelites also connect Simon the Zealot to Britain by quoting Dorotheus of Tyre who wrote in the 4th century AD that Simon Zealot visited Britain.[183]

Adherents of British Israelism further connect the Saka-Scythians (whom they believe to be the Lost Tribes of Israel) to being progenitors to other ancient peoples. When the Scythians vanished and Parthian Empire collapsed (2nd - 4th century AD) British Israelites maintain that they became known under other tribal names.[184] British Israelites note that the Sarmatians were also called “Scythians” by the Greeks but Herodotus wrote that the former “Scythians” were called "Germain Scythians" (meaning "True Scythian") whereas the Sarmatians were simply called “Scythians.” It is suggested that the term "Germain Scythian" is synonymous with "Germanii" or, in modern times, "Germanic" or "German." However adherents of the Germany-Assyria equation reject this link (see Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism). The Cimmerians who were connected to the Scythians in territory by Herodotus, are linked to the Cimbri and Cymry (Welsh) by British Israelites, but also by 19th century Celticists. The late 19th-century Celtic language scholar John Rhys for example stated that

...the (Celtic) Kymry were for some time indifferently called Cambria or Cumbria, the Welsh word on which they are based being, as now written, Cymru ... and is there pronounced nearly as an Englishman would treat it if spelled Kumry or KUMRI.[185]

Rhys argued that both Celts and the Scythians came from an area south-east of the Black Sea, and migrated westward to the coast of Europe. He compared the Welsh autonym, Cymru, with the name of the Cimmerians, Kumri. He believed that the names Iberia for Spain, and Hibernia for Ireland were connected to a variation of "Hebrew" and that this was evidenced in philology.[186]

British Israelites link the Scythians to various early British peoples such as the Picts by quoting ancient writers such as Claudian and Virgil, who both considered the Picts to have sprung from the Scythians or Goths.[187] British Israelites also quote Procopius who wrote the Goths sprung from the Thracian Getae, as well as Henry Rawlinson who wrote:

The identity of the Getae with the Goths of later times is more than a plausible conjecture. It may be regarded as historically certain.[188]

Getic (Getae) links to the Picts or Scythian-Gothic-Pictish links are further cited by British Israelites.[189] Examples include the Pictish Chronicle which mentions Scithe et Gothi, 'the scythians and Goths', as being the ancestors of the Picts.[190] The Anglo Saxon Chronicle also opens by stating the Picts came from Scythia. Another link is the Agathyrsi a Thraco-Scythian people who Servius in his Commentary on Aeneid 4.v.146 wrote traveled to Scotland, Raphael Holinshed eleborated on this connection. British Israelites also quote the Historia Brittonum which connects the Scots to Scythia[191] and the Declaration of Arbroath (1320) which links not only the Scots to the Scythians, but also to the Israelites.[192]

Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570) is also quoted by British Israelites as it connects the Scythian to the Thracians (Getae)[184]

Regarding the Anglo Saxons British Israelites quote from Sharon Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons (1799) which links in etymology the Scythians to the Saxons.[193]

British Israelites maintain that all these migrating tribes who sprung from the Scythians and migrated into Northern Europe were all directed into 'Islands' or 'coastlands' - as their final resting place.[194] These 'Islands' are described in Isaiah 24: 15; 42: 4; 49: 1; 51: 5 and Jeremiah 31: 10.[195] British Israelites point out that Isaiah states these 'Islands' sat in the far north, at the ends of the earth i.e Northern Europe.[196] British Israelites thus believe the White British people of Britain and several other Nordic countries, are who the modern Israelites descend from. Who exactly these other Nordic countries are depends on the indidividual view of the British Israelite, there is no standard established identification.

Tribe of Dan

The Danaides (1903), a Pre-Raphaelite interpretation by John William Waterhouse

A key tenet of British Israelism is the belief that the Israelite Tribe of Dan migrated into Europe before the other tribes of Israel because they were a maritime people (Judges 5: 17).[197] John Cox Gawler (1830–1882) wrote Dan: The Pioneer of Israel in 1880 tracing signs of the Tribe of Dan across Europe, but the idea can first be traced to Edward Hine's The British Nation identified with Lost Israel (1871). While some British Israelites place Dan's migration into Europe at the start of the 8th century BC[198] others place the migration even earlier: 1200BC or 1500BC.[199] Gawler believed that the Tribe of Dan had escaped in ships during the Exodus.[200] British Israelites identify the Exodus with the migration of Danaus, which is preserved in ancient Greek historical accounts. They identify in turn Danaus with the Tribe of Dan, often citing Hecataeus of Abdera who wrote:

When they were driven out, the noblest and bravest part of them, as some say, under noble and renowned leaders, Danaus and Cadmus, came to Hellas [Greece]; but the great bulk of them migrated into the land, not far removed from Egypt, which is now called Judea. These emigrants were led by Moses, who was the most distinguished among them for wisdom and bravery.[201]

British Israelites therefore believe a portion of the Tribe of Dan (whom they equate with Danaus) split from the other tribes who were led by Moses out of Egypt.[202] The migration of Danaus from Egypt to Greece is found preserved in Herodotus and Aeschylus. British Israelites believe that an early Israelite colony was established in Greece and quote from Josephus who wrote that the Spartans descended from Abraham and from 1 Maccabees 12: 21 which says the same thing, as well as quoting Stephanus of Byzantium who established genealogical links between the Greeks and Israelites.[197] Links between Danaus and other ancient European peoples are further established in British Israelism literature. J. C Gawler and Edward Hine first connected Danaus or the Danaids (see Daughters of Danaus) to the legendary Irish Tuatha Dé Danann.[203] British Israelites believe the Tribe of Dan left a trail all over Europe, pointing out that Jacob prophesied that Dan would be a 'Serpent by the way, an adder by the path' (Genesis 49: 17) meaning that he would leave a trail wherever he would go.[197] British Israelites specifically believe that this trail would contain the word 'Dan' (or words similar) since Joshua 19: 47 notes that the Tribe of Dan named territory after their own name. Often pointed out where the Tribe of Dan settled across Europe leaving their name are Denmark (Danish: DANmark) and Danube (DANube), amongst many others.[171] British Israelites however believe that the Tribe of Dan's final resting place was the Islands in the far north, meaning the British Isles. Often quoted is a place called Dan's Resting Place in Ireland on Ptolemy's world map.[204]

Davidic origin of British monarchy

One of the core beliefs of British Israelism is that the British monarchy are lineal descendants from King David (see Davidic line).[205] British Israelites cite I Kings 9: 5; I Chron. 17: 12, II Chron, 17: 18 and II Sam. 7: 13 which state that the throne of King David over Israel will be established forever.[206] However the idea that the early British or Irish kings descended from King David is found in numerous early writings from the Early Modern Period, not solely British Israelite literature, for example Vincenzo Galilei's Dialogue of Ancient and Modern Music (1581) notes Galilei's belief that the Irish descend from King David.[12] The idea however became prevalent and central to British Israelite teaching in the 19th century.[205] John Wilson and Edward Hine briefly touched on the subject in their works, but the first thorough research and attempt to link King David to the British monarchy was conducted by Revd F. R. A. Glover, M.A., of London who in 1861 published England, the Remnant of Judah, and the Israel of Ephraim.[207]

Glover in 1861 claimed that the Irish princess Tea Tephi was one of Zedekiah's daughters. Since King Zedekiah of Judah had all his sons killed during the Babylonian Captivity no male successors could continue the bloodline of King David, but as Glover noted Zedekiah had daughters who escaped death (Jeremiah 43: 6).[208] Glover believed that Tea Tephi was a surviving Judahite princess who had escaped and traveled to Ireland, and who married a local High King of Ireland in the 6th century BC.[209] This theory was later expanded upon by Rev. A.B. Grimaldi who published in 1877 a successful chart entitled Pedigree of Queen Victoria from the Bible Kings and later by W.M.H. Milner in his booklet The Royal House of Britain an Enduring Dynasty (1902, revised 1909). The latter work has been republished in over 30 editions, and is still sold by Covenant Publishing.[210] A collection of bardic traditions and Irish manuscripts which detail Tea Tephi were also published by J. A. Goodchild in 1897 as The Book of Tephi. Charles Fox Parham also authored an article tracing Queen Victoria's linage back to King David, and further all the way back to Adam entitled Queen Victoria: Heir to King David's Royal Throne.[211]

Grimaldi and Milner expanded on Glover's research by claiming that Jeremiah himself in the company of his scribe Baruch ben Neriah traveled to Ireland with Tea Tephi, and that they are found described in Irish folklore and old Irish manuscripts. British Israelites identify Baruch ben Neriah with a figure called Simon Berac or Berak in Irish myth, while Jeremiah with Ollom Fotla (or Ollam, Ollamh Fodhla).[212] However there has long been a debate and controversy about these identifications, mainly because of conflicting or inconsistent dates[212] In 2001, the British-Israel-World Federation wrote an article claiming they no longer subscribed to these two identifications, but still strongly stick to the belief that the British monarchy is of Judahite origin.[213] Several other genealogical links are claimed by British Israelites to connect the bloodline of King David to the British monarchy, one identifies Dara (or Darda) the son of Zerah of Judah as Dardanus, an early ancestor of the Trojans in Greek mythology.[214] British Israelites believe an early Trojan colony settled in Britain establishing a monarchy.

Stone of Jacob

British Israelites believe the Stone of Jacob (Genesis 28: 18) is the Stone of Scone, used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland, later the monarchs of England and since 1603, British monarchs.[215] The Stone of Scone has traditionally been known as Jacob's pillow, since Jacob rested on a stone for his pillow (Genesis 28: 11). British Israelites cite early myths and historical writings which identify the Stone of Scone with the Stone of Jacob, as well as pointing out that when the Stone of Scone was housed at Westminister a small plaque next to it reported the legend it was Jacob's Pillow. The stone is a key part of the British Israel teaching, since British Israelites believe wherever the Israelites are today, they would have the stone with them because the stone was a sign of Jacob's birthright.[6]

The Stone of Scone in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey, 1855.

Several works have been published by British Israelites on the subject, most notably The Coronation Stone and England's Interest in It by Ellen M. Rogers (1881, revised 1928) and Stone of Destiny by F. Wallace Connon (1951).

British Empire and America in prophecy

British Israelites have long maintained since their early origins that the British Empire is in Bible prophecy[216] and point out that Abraham was promised to have nations (plural) spring from him (Genesis 17: 4; 6; 18: 18), that the descendants of Jacob (Israel) were to "spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south" (Genesis 28: 14) and that God specifically told Jacob that through him would come "a nation and a company of nations" (Genesis 35: 11).[217] These passages British Israelites interpret as being the British Empire, the nation of Genesis 35: 11 is considered to be Britain whiles its 'company' of nations - the British colonies (see British Commonwealth) which belt the world, west east, north and south (Genesis 28: 14).[218] As the British-Israel-World Federation notes under their statement of beliefs:

Israel was to spread abroad to the West, East, North and South: "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 28:14). It was in that exact sequence that the British Empire was established as the only non-totalitarian empire that the world has seen.[6]

The British-Israel-World Federation also cites Genesis 12: 2 in which God declares to Abraham "And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great", they interpret 'great' as being a reference to Great Britain. Furthermore British Israelites believe that Ephraim is England, quoting Genesis 48: 19 in which Jacob (Israel) revealed that the descendants of Joseph would become two great peoples—brother nationalities. Those that descended through his son Manasseh would become a 'great' people, while those who would come through his other son, Ephraim, would become a group or multitude of nations and would even be more 'greater'.[217] There has long been a dispute between British Israelites on this passage. Traditionally the earliest British Israelites (Edward Hine, John Wilson, J. H. Allen) identified Ephraim with England (or Britain) while Manasseh with America, an early publication on this topic was Ephraim England by Robert Douglas (1886). However some British Israelites in contrast in the early 20th century began to identify Ephraim with America, while Britain or England with Manasseh.[219] This started a slight rift in the British Israel movement, and works have been put out on each identification in attempt to try and refute the other, including most notebly the short booklet Epraim and Manasseh: Role Reversal Refuted.[219] Most British Israelites today however continue traditionally to identify Ephraim with England or Britain, while America with Manesseh. The reverse identification has become the minority position.[219]

Numerous works have been written by British Israelites on the British Empire or America in prophecy. Examples include: Our Inheritance in the Great Seal of Manasseh, the United States of America by C. A. L. Totten (1897), Anglo-American Alliance in Prophecy by Martin Lyman Streator (1900), The British Empire by W.A. Holme Twentyman (1903), The Destiny of the British Empire and the USA by Roadbuilder (1921), The Empire in Solution With Chapters on Anglo-Saxon Civilization by William Pascoe Goard (1931), The British Commonwealth & The United States Foretold in The Bible by A.J. Ferris (1940), Great Britain & The U.S.A. Revealed as Israel The New Order by A.J. Ferris (1941), The Path To Peace In Our Time - Outlined From The Great Pyramid's Prophecy - The Supreme War Objective And Britain And America In Submission by David Davidson (1942) and The British Empire in the Light of Prophecy by Bernard L. Bateson (1947). Herbert Armstrong wrote United States in Prophecy (1945, revised 1951, 1967, 1980).[220]

There are also a minority of British Israelites who believe America is not in prophecy. These British Isrealites hold the position that the Israelites must always have the throne of King David ruling over them (I Chron. 17: 12; II Sam. 7: 13). Since the Thirteen Colonies in 1776 declared their independence and formed the United States of America, they lost their loyalty to the British monarch and no longer had a monarchy to rule over them. Some British Israelites therefore strongly reject the idea that America are Israel (Ephraim or Manessah).[221] An example of a British Israelite who held this minority view was William H. Poole who only believed the nations of the 'British crown' were Israelites, including Canada where he served as a Methodist minister.[221] Since Canada, Australia and New Zealand remain a part of the British Commonwealth, modern British Israelites who hold this minority view within British Israelism have no problem with accepting these countries as Israel, alongside Britain.

Levite origin of Druids

The Israelite or Levite origin of the Druids has been a tenet of British Israelism since the early 20th century.[222] It is not however tracable back to John Wilson or Edward Hine but instead seems to have emerged around as a tenet or teaching around the 1920s. Early British Israelite publications on this topic include Our Descent from Israel (1931, revised 1940) by Hew. B Colquhoun and Druidism in Britain: A Preparation for the Gospel (Covenant Publishing Co., Ltd, 1935) by Rev. L. G. A. Roberts. Both these works argue that Druidism sprung from an early Levite migration to Britain. Often cited as evidence, are earlier sources which attempted to establish this link. William Blake for example in his preface to chapter two of And did those feet in ancient time explained that the British “derived their origin from Abraham, Heber, Shem, and Noah, who were Druids.”[223] Earlier John Milton in his Areopagitica said something very similar about the Hebrew origin of the Druids.[224] British Israelites also quote Charles Hulbert, who in his The Religions of Britain (1826) announced that:

...so near is the resemblance between the Druidical Religion in Britain, and the Patriarchal Religion of the Hebrews, that we hesitate not to pronounce their origin the same.[225]

Other works cited by British Israelites are William Cooke's An Enquiry into the Patriarchal and Druidical Religion, Temples (London, 1754) and Edward Davies, The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, Ascertained by National Documents (London, 1809). British Israelites believe that Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea met Druids in the early 1st century AD, and claim that the Gaulish god known as Esus described in Lucan's Bellum civile was actually Jesus.[226] In recent times, non-British Israelite scholars have stumbled on this topic and have begun to research into the claim that Esus could have been Jesus.[227]

Apostolic origin of British Church

Another major tenet of British Israelism is the belief that the British Church itself is of Apostolic origin.[228] British Israelites believe that many of the apostles visited Britain, including most notably Simon the Zealot. The idea that Simon the Zealot visited Britain is traceable to Dorotheus of Tyre who wrote in the 4th century AD that Simon Zealot visited Britain.[183] Nikephoros I of Constantinople also wrote in the early 9th century AD that:

Simon... the same doctrine he taught to the Occidental Sea, and the Isles called Britanniae.[229]

Caesar Baronius dated Simon's visit to Britain in 44 AD.[229] British Israelites also place Aristobulus of Britannia in Britain around 60 AD and note that an ancient epitaph of his name was unearthed in Dorchester.[230] A popular British Israelite publication discussing these theories that Christianity entered Britain long before the orthodox date of 597 AD (see Gregorian mission) is George F. Jowett's The Drama of the Lost Disciples (1961). Often quoted by British Israelites is Tertullian's and Eusebius's testimony that Christianity had entered the British Isles already by the 1st or 2nd century AD.[228] British Israelites also connect Joseph of Arimathea to Britain, who they believe arrived in Britain in the early 1st century AD, citing Gildas who wrote in his De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae that:

Christ the True Sun afforded his light, the knowledge of his precepts, to our Island in the last year of Tiberius Caesar.[231]

The 'last year' of Tiberius was 37 AD and so British Israelites believe Joseph was in Britain as early as that date. Many legends from Glastonbury also connect Joseph to that region (see Glastonbury Thorn and Chalice Well) and furthermore British Israelites believe Jesus himself may have traveled with Joseph to Glastonbury.[232] Stories of the settlement of Joseph of Arimathea in Britain are best found preserved in Rabanus Maurus's 9th century Life of Mary Magdalene, William of Malmesbury Chronicle of the English Kings (1120), Polydore Virgil, James Ussher and Hugh Paulinus de Cressy's The Church History of Brittanny or England, from the beginning of Christianity to the Norman Conquest (1668). Cressy even claimed he had found an ancient tombstone bearing Joseph's name, dating his death to 82 AD at Glastonbury, which read:

After I had buried the Christ, I came to the Isles of the West; I taught; I entered into my rest.[233]

British Israelites stress the fact that the first four Church councils (Council of Pisa 1409, Council of Constance 1414, Council of Siena 1423 and Council of Basle 1431), all agreed:

... the Churches of France and Spain must yield in points of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain as the latter Church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the passion of Christ.[228]

British Israelites also claim that William of Malmesbury's account of Joseph in Britain has been verified by a passage in the Domesday Book.[234] Malmesbury specifically claimed that Joseph was granted twelve hides of land in England, while the Domesday Book notes that the Church of Glastonbury had twelve hides that never paid tax.[232] British Israelites further believe that Jesus built the first Christian church at Glastonbury. They usually quote from a letter Augustine of Canterbury sent to Pope Gregory I which notes that at Glastonbury a wattle church was constructed by the 'hands of Christ Himself'.[235] Many British Israelite or related works were put out in the 19th and early 20th century discussing all these historical sources and legends which connect Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea and the apostles in Britain. Notable examples include: The Origin and Early History of Christianity in Britain from its dawn to the death of Augustine by Andrew Gray (1897), Christ in Cornwall? by H. A Lewis (1900), The Coming of the Saints by J. W Tarlor (1906), St Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury by Rev L. S Lewis (1924), Glastonbury Traditions Concerning Joseph of Arimathea by H. Kendra Baker (1930), Did Our Lord Visit Britain, as they say in Cornwall and Somerset? by Cyril Comyn Dobson (1936) and Glastonbury by P. W Thompson (1937). Claims of Joseph or Jesus having traveled in Britain are not however limited to British Israelites. In 2009, a documentary was released in support of the British legends claiming Jesus visited Britain by the Church of Scotland minister Dr Gordon Strachan.[236] Recent books on this topic, include Strachan's own work Jesus the Master Builder: Druid Mysteries and the Dawn of Christianity (2000) and more recently The Missing Years Of Jesus: The Extraordinary Evidence that Jesus Visited the British Isles by Dennis Price (1 Nov 2010).

British Israelites also believe that Paul the Apostle 'the apostle (of the Gentiles)' (Romans 11: 13; 2 Timothy 1: 11) visited Britain.[237] As evidence they cite Theodoret of Cyrus' account of Paul who entered Britain in the early 1st century AD[238] and the First Epistle of Clement which notes that Paul traveled to the utmost parts of the west (3: 10–15) which they interpret as meaning the western limits of Europe. R. W Morgan in 1928 published St. Paul in Britain: or, the origin of British as opposed to Papal Christianity which is still highly popular amongst British Israelites today. Some British Israelites also cite the The Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles to support their claims that Paul visited Britain.[239]

Creationism

Since genealogy is a part of the core of British Israelism, virtually all British Israelites are creationists since they believe in a literal historic Adam (see Descent from Adam and Eve) from who they believe the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic kindred or Nordic race ultimately descended from and therefore reject the theory of evolution.[240] Most British Israelites believe that only Caucasians descend from Adam, while the other non-white races sprung from a separate Pre-Adamite creation or a polygenist origin.[241] However a few British Israelites in contrast believe that the whole of mankind (including all races) sprung from Adam, but this remains the minority position.[242] Herbert Armstrong for example took this minority position within the British Israel teaching (which itself is popular in mainstream Christianity[243]), but still maintained that Adam was racially himself a Caucasian and that the races were a result of different ovaries in Eve containing different genes being dispersed at the Tower of Babel through various descendants of Noah.[244] This view has been, and still is though strongly rejected or criticised by most British Israelites, who instead believe Adam and all his descendants were only Caucasian, and that the Bible is a book for the Adamic (white) race only.[241] A notable British Israelite who defended this position included C. A. L. Totten who wrote in his Our Race that pre-adamism is essential to the British Israelite teaching, and Adam was only the father of the Caucasian.[245] British Israelite literature on the internet is well known for rejecting the theory of evolution.[246]

Most British Israelites hold a unique position on the actual creation of the earth or universe and man, accepting the scientific evidence that the universe and earth is old (see Old Earth Creationism) but believing that (Adamic) man is only 6,000 - 20,000 years old.[247] For example Herbert Armstrong was a Gap Creationist believing in an old earth and universe but believed man was only 6,000 years old, the United Church of God (which follows Armstrong's teachings) still holds to this form of creationism.[248] The British-Israel-World Federation has not made it clear what their exact views are on creationism, but their publisher Covenant Publishing, sells Old Earth Creationist and anti-evolution literature[249] while at the same time genealogical charts which date the creation of Adam to around 4,000BC.[250] Most British Israelites also believe the flood of Noah was only local.[251]

Linked Sub-beliefs

Along with the core-tenets there are various sub-beliefs linked to British Israelism.

Pyramidology

German Assyria Equation

There were two original views as to the relationship between the Germans and British-Israel; either the British people, alone, were identified with the Tribes of Israel (Edward Hine) or they included the Germans (John Wilson) and other European peoples (including the Dutch and Scandinavians).[252] Hine maintained that only the Ten Tribes of Israel were included within the British race and excluded the Continental Teutonic or German peoples, who he instead believed descended from Assyrians not Israelites.[253] Hine believed all the tribes of Israel settled in Britain only, with Manasseh who became the Americans (who mostly descended from British stock). Hine had identified the Ten Tribes as being together in Britain in that Ephraim were the drunkards and ritualists, Reuben the farmers, Dan the mariners, Zebulon the lawyers and writers, Asher the soldiers etc, or that these tribes were regional or local people in Britain.[254] Hine's particularist view was received with some hostility by other British-Israelites, who maintained that other Europeans descended from the lost tribes of Israel, not solely Britain.[255] See Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism for a more detailed discussion about this British Israelite sub-belief.

Phoenicianism

Some British Israelites believe in a unique form of Phoenicianism, believing that parts of the British or Irish population are descended from ancient Phoenicians.[256] However most British Israelites believe that the Phoenicians ultimately in origin were Canaanites, Hebrews, or Israelites not a separate ethnic group.[256] Often linked to this is the view that the Phoenicians brought paganism or polytheism to Britain.[225] British Israelites connect the Semitic God Baʿal or Bel of Phoenician Canaanite religion to the Celtic God Belenus as well as Belinus, a legendary king of the Britons, as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth.[257]

British Israelite or related works on Phoenicianism include most notably Phoenician Ireland by by Henry O'Brien (1837) and The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots, and Anglo-Saxons (1924, 2nd Ed. 1925) by British explorer Laurence Waddell, which remains a key text British Isrealites still cite from.[258]

Irish Canaanites

Edward Hine identified the Irish as descending from Canaanites.[259] However this identification remained unpopular, since it later began to contradict claims of the Davidic line having sprung from Ireland. In 1879, a British Israelite publication expanded on Hine's identification of the Irish as Canaanites:

It is Ireland that is the thorn in the side of England at the present moment, and the attitude of Mr Parnell and his agitating friends is disgusting the patrons of this warm-hearted and impulsive nation...[260]

This was referencing Hine's Biblical identification of the Irish with the Canaanites based on Numbers 33: 55, which reads: ‘if the children of Israel did not drive them out then it shall come to pass that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.’ It was Hine's opinion that the Irish were 'thorns in the side' of the English (Israel) because of their complicated relationship with Britain during the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[261]

Research findings

Genetics

Human genetics shows a difference between Jews and Western Europeans. Genetic research on the Y-chromosomes of Jews has found that Jews are closely related to other populations originating in the Middle East, such as Kurds, Turks, Armenians and Arabs, and concluded that:

Middle Eastern populations...are closely related and...their Y chromosome pool is distinct from that of Europeans. (Nebel, 2001.)[262]

Y-DNA Haplogroups J2 and, to a lesser extent, J1 are most commonly identified in Jewish people. Western Europeans are mostly identified as Haplogroup R1b.[263][264][265][266]

Historical criticism and support

Some critics of British Israelism claim that some tenets of the theory are based on speculation. Tudor Parfitt, author of The Lost Tribes: The History of a Myth, states that the proof cited by adherents of British Israelism is "of a feeble composition even by the low standards of the genre." (Parfitt,2003. p. 61.)[7] Other critics note:

“When reading Anglo-Israelite literature, one notices that it generally depends on folklore, legends, quasi-historical genealogies and dubious etymologies. None of these sources prove an Israelite origin for the peoples of northwestern Europe. Rarely, if ever, are the disciplines of archeology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics or historiography applied to Anglo-Israelism. Anglo-Israelism operates outside the sciences. Even the principles of sound biblical exegesis are seldom used, for...whole passages of Scripture that undermine the entire system are generally ignored...Why this unscientific approach? This approach must be taken because to do otherwise is to destroy Anglo-Israelism's foundation.” (Orr, 1995)[8]

Proponents of British Israelism claim numerous links in historical linguistics between ancient Hebrew and various European place names and languages.[267][268] As an example; proponents claim that “British” is derived from the Hebrew words “Berit” and “Ish”, and should therefore be understood as “Covenant Man”. Critics, however, argue that these words have other roots and that this interpretation of the Hebrew is incorrect.[269] Another example is Rhys' assertion of equivalence between Cymry and Cimmerian, which is at odds with the generally accepted derivation of Cymry from an earlier Celtic form *kom-broges, meaning "people of the same country"; only the modern form of the word looks similar.[270][271] Yet another example is the alleged connection between the 'Tuatha Dé Danann' and the Tribe of Dan. Secular sources indicate that the true root of this phrase is the 'People of the Goddess Danu'.[272] Other links are claimed, but cannot be substantiated and contradict the findings of academic linguistic research. This shows conclusively that English belongs to the Indo-European language family and is unrelated to Hebrew, which is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. “No trace of the slightest real connection can be discovered” between English and ancient Hebrew. (Greer, 2004. p74.)[273][274]

Adherents of British Israelism cite various scriptures in support of the argument that the Northern Israelite Tribes were lost. Critics argue that British Israelists misunderstand and misinterpret the meaning of these scriptures.[8][275][276]

  • One such case is the distinction that British Israelists make between the “Jews” of the Southern Kingdom and the “Israelites” of the Northern Kingdom. They believe that the Bible consistently distinguishes between the two groups. Critics counter that many of these scriptures are misinterpreted because the distinction between “Jews” and “Israelites” was lost over time after the captivities.[275][277] They give examples such as the Apostle Paul, who is referred to as both a Jew (Acts 21:39) and an Israelite (2 Corinthians 11:22) and who addressed the Hebrews as both “Men of Judea” and “Fellow Israelites”. (Acts 2:14,22.) (Greer, 2004. p22)[275] Many more examples are cited by critics.
  • British Israelists believe that the Northern Tribes of Israel were “lost” after the captivity in Assyria and that this is reflected in the Bible. Critics disagree with this assertion and argue that only higher ranking Israelites were deported from Israel and many Israelites remained. (Dimont, 1933. p5)[276][277] They cite examples after the Assyrian captivity, such as Josiah, King of Judah, who received money from the tribes of “Manasseh, and Ephraim and all the remnant of Israel”, (2 Chronicles 34:9) and Hezekiah, who sent invitations not only to Judah, but also to northern Israel for the attendance of a Passover in Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 30) (Dimont, 1933.)[276] (Note that British Israelites interpret 2 Chronicles 34:9 as referring to "Scythians" in order to fit with their theory.)
  • British Israelism states that the Bible refers to the Lost Tribes of Israel as dwelling in “isles”, (Isaiah 49:1,3) which they interpret to mean the British Isles. Critics assert that the word “isles” used in English-language bibles should more accurately be interpreted to mean “coasts” or “distant lands” “without any implication of their being surrounded by the sea.” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901. Vol.1, page 600.) For example, some English translations refer to Tyre as an ‘isle’, whereas a more accurate description is that of a ‘coastal town.’ (Greer, 2004. p25)[275]
  • Another is the issue of identity of the Samaritans (an ethno-religious group of the Levant), mentioned in the Gospels, who believe their descent is from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the time of Christ.

Historical speculation

British Israelism rests on linking different ancient populations. This includes links between the "lost" tribes of Israel, the Scythians, Cimmerians, Celts, and modern Western Europeans such as the British. To support these links, adherents claim that similarities exist between various cultural aspects of these population groups, and they argue that these links demonstrate the migration of the "lost" Israelites in a westerly direction. Examples given include burial customs, metalwork, clothing, dietary customs, and more.[278] Critics argue that the customs of the Scythians and the Cimmerians are in contrast with those of the Ancient Israelites.[276][279] Further, the so-called similarities and theories proposed by adherents are contradicted by the weight of evidence and research on the history of ancient populations. It does not provide support for the purported links.[280]

Ideology

Parfitt suggests that the idea of British Israelism was inspired by numerous ideological factors, such as the desire for ordinary people to have a glorious ancestral past, pride in the British Empire, and the belief in the "racial superiority of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants".[267]

Notable adherents

See also

References

  1. ^ "Beliefs of the Orange Street Church", a British-Israelite church
  2. ^ British-Israel World Federation – Beliefs
  3. ^ Helen Bouverie, Countess of Radnor, Notes and Queries on the Origin of British-Israel, 2nd edtn. (London:, Marshall, 1925), p. 11
  4. ^ I’m not a Jew!” Banner of Israel: A Weekly Journal, Edited by Philo-Israel, Advocating the Identity of the British Nation with the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel 6 (286, 21 June 1882), p. 263.
  5. ^ Jarrold, W.T.F. Our Great Heritage, 1927
  6. ^ a b c The British-Israel-World Federation
  7. ^ a b Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 61. ISBN 0297819348. 
  8. ^ a b c Orr, Raplh. "The United States and Britain in Prophecy: An Analysis of the Biblical Evidence". http://www.wcg.org/lit/prophecy/anglo/usbrit1.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  9. ^ Capt, E. Raymond, Scottish Declaration of Independence, Artisan, Feb 1983.
  10. ^ a b Some Historical Background To The British
  11. ^ a b c d e f g The True and Noble Origins of the Anglo-Israel Message
  12. ^ a b Clark, Nora Joan, The story of the Irish harp: its history and influence, North Creek Press, 2003, p. 25
  13. ^ Harleian manuscripts (MS 167f. 104)
  14. ^ E.C. van Petegem-Feij: Aan de Lezers van Troost Troost Mijn Volk, p. 7
  15. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 42. ISBN 0297819348. 
  16. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. pp. 53–57. ISBN 0297819348. 
  17. ^ Parfitt, T: The Lost Tribes of Israel: The history of a myth., page 52–65. Phoenix, 2003.
  18. ^ Banner of Israel. 
  19. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 53. ISBN 0297819348. 
  20. ^ British-Israel
  21. ^ a b c British-Israelism Utterly Refuted
  22. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 54. ISBN 0297819348. 
  23. ^ B.I.W.F. Thesis
  24. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 56. ISBN 0297819348. 
  25. ^ Jarrold, W.T.F. Our Great Heritage With Its Responsibilities, 1927, p. 187
  26. ^ Bouverie, Helen, Countess of Radnor. Notes and Quries on the Origin of British-Israel, 2nd edtn. (London:, Marshall, 1925), p. 11.
  27. ^ B.I.W.F History
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  32. ^ George Orwell Pamphlet Literature
  33. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  34. ^ a b Christian Israelites and National Socialism are Irreconcilable
  35. ^ Boken om Albert Hiorth, 1949, p. 75–76, 126, 146–149.
  36. ^ Harald Stene Dehlin: Boken om Albert Hiorth (1949), p. 65.
  37. ^ Religion and the racist right: the origins of the Christian Identity movement By Michael Barkun, 1997, p. 53
  38. ^ Parfitt, T. The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth, p. 57. Phoenix, 2003.
  39. ^ Armstrong, Herbert (1967). The United States and Britain in Prophecy. p. 5. ISBN 1403342660. 
  40. ^ a b Anglo-Israelism and the United States & Britain in Prophecy | Grace Communion International Orr, R: "How Anglo-Israelism Entered Seventh-day Churches of God: A history of the doctrine from John Wilson to Joseph W. Tkach."
  41. ^ Tkach, Joseph. "Transformed by Truth: The Worldwide Church of God Rejects the Teachings of Founder Herbert W.Armstrong and Embraces Historic Christianity. This is the Inside Story.". pp. Chapter 10.. http://www.wcg.org/lit/booklets/truth/. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
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  44. ^ More case studies in reference work, Denis Joseph Grogan, Linnet Books, 1972, p. 268-275.
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  47. ^ Steven M Collins - Covering the Lost Tribes of Israel and their modern locations
  48. ^ a b c Christian Identity
  49. ^ Religion and the racist right: the origins of the Christian Identity movement By Michael Barkun, 1997, Preface, xii, xiii.
  50. ^ Barkun, pp. 62–97
  51. ^ Quarles, Chester L. (2004). Christian Identity: The Aryan American Bloodline Religion. McFarland & Company. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7864-1892-3. http://books.google.com/?id=r5BzY2eeyngC&pg=PA68&dq=%22christian+identity%22+%22no+soul%22+pre-adamic. 
  52. ^ a b Prominent Believers of the National Israel Message | Christian Assemblies International
  53. ^ The Anglo-Israel Belief - Christian Identity
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  55. ^ British-Israel: How I Came to Believe It
  56. ^ Tourel, p. 138
  57. ^ The Lost Tribes of Israel, preface
  58. ^ Truth in History, Tract #54, p. 2
  59. ^ Truth in History, Tract #54
  60. ^ "The Classic Series": British-Israel Belief and History
  61. ^ In Defense of the Anglo Israel Message - Truth in History
  62. ^ George R. Hawtin - Pentecostal Pioneer for the Kingdom Message - Truth in History
  63. ^ a b Witnesses to the Israelite Origin of the Nordic, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon Peoples
  64. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  65. ^ An Atheist's Testimony to the Anglo-Israel Truth
  66. ^ Religion and the racist right: the origins of the Christian Identity movement By Michael Barkun Page 26 - 28
  67. ^ Mary Baker Eddy's poem addressing the United States and Great Britain as Anglo Israel http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/49020/
  68. ^ a b c d Religion and the racist right: the origins of the Christian Identity movement By Michael Barkun Page 26 – 28
  69. ^ a b When prophets die: the postcharismatic fate of new religious movements By Timothy Miller Page 118 - 122
  70. ^ Longyear – The Longyear Story
  71. ^ CSEC - The Christian Science Standard - October 1, 1989
  72. ^ The Independent, 6 April 1996
  73. ^ The British-Israel-World Federation
  74. ^ Queen Victoria's Testimony
  75. ^ a b The Standard of Israel, 1876,Vol II, p. 87.
  76. ^ Charles Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, F.R.A.S., F.R.SS. L.& E. Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid With Photograph, Map, and Plates (London, 1864); George Moore, M.D., M.R.C.P., The Lost Tribes and the Saxons of the East and the West (London, 1861); idem, An¬cient Pillar Stones of Scotland: Their Significance and Bearing on Ethnology (Edinburgh, 1865); Henry Kilgour, The Hebrew or Iberian Race: Including the Pelasgians, the Phenicians[sic], the Jews, the British, and Others (London, 1872); John Pym Yeatman, F.R.H.S., The Shemetic Origins of the Nations of West¬ern Europe, and More Especially of the English, French and Irish Branches of the Gaelic Race (London, 1879)
  77. ^ William Harris Rule, “Assyriology,” London Quarterly Review 49 (Jan. 1878), 265–96. C.O. Groom Napier, F.G.S., “Where are the Lost Tribes of Israel? A Paper Read at a Meeting of the Lon¬don Anthropological Society, 9 April 1875, Dr. Charnock, F.S.A., in the Chair,” reprinted in Leading the Nation to Glory by Our Identification With Lost Israel: A Weekly Journal 1, No. 18 (9 June 1875), 137–47; no. 19 (16 June 1875), 149–160; no. 20 (23 June 1875), 161–63.
  78. ^ a b What is British Israelism and is it Biblical?
  79. ^ Banner of Israel, 1880, Vol. IV, p. 272.
  80. ^ Banner of Israel, 1885, p. 291.
  81. ^ Cult Help and Information - Why British-Israelism is Wrong
  82. ^ British-Israelism
  83. ^ Debunking British Israelism Racists
  84. ^ a b Britain-Israel, Fact or Fiction?
  85. ^ Is British-Israelism Racist?
  86. ^ British Israelism - Preliminary Points
  87. ^ Anglo-Israelism Refuted
  88. ^ The British-Israel Ecclesia, 1910, p. 559.
  89. ^ Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, p. 184; Watchmen of Ephraim, Vol. I, p. 484.
  90. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  91. ^ How The Popes Gave Ireland To England
  92. ^ a b Two-House Theology (Reality) defined and defended | History
  93. ^ Sanhedrin 110b
  94. ^ British-Israel Identity Foundation Truths
  95. ^ Brit-Am Secular Proofs: Rabbinical Evidence
  96. ^ The Ten Tribes Will Return
  97. ^ Historical Account Of The Ten Tribes, (1836), p. 92
  98. ^ Ancient Israel in Spain and Britain
  99. ^ "Tell Me, Please" - Part 2
  100. ^ Truth in Histories, Tract #53; Additional Jewish Testimonies, November 2003.
  101. ^ Watchmen of Ephraim,, 1867/8, Vol. II, p. 209.
  102. ^ Life From the Dead, 1880, Vol VIII, p. 140.
  103. ^ Banner of Israel, 1880, Vol. IV, p. 269.
  104. ^ a b Banner of Israel, 1880, Vol. IV, p. 117.
  105. ^ Banner of Israel, 1880, Vol. IV, p. 6.
  106. ^ John Wilson, Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, (London: Nisbet, 1876), p. 13.
  107. ^ John Wilson, Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, (London: Nisbet, 1876), p. 109.
  108. ^ Life From The Dead, 1875, Vol. III, pp. 91–92.
  109. ^ Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, p. 159-160.
  110. ^ Life From The Dead, 1875, Vol. III, p. 154
  111. ^ The Standard of Israel, August 1875, p. 65
  112. ^ The National Message
  113. ^ BIWF on Monarchism
  114. ^ The daily irrelevant » I kid you not: Gott mit uns: British fascists and ‘Christian’ racism
  115. ^ Martin Dillon, God and the Gun, Routledge, 1999, p. 235
  116. ^ Colquhuen, p. 77
  117. ^ a b c Hebrew and English
  118. ^ Henry Rowlands, Mona Antiqua Restarata: An Archaeological Discourse on the Antiquities Natural and Historical of the Isle of Anglesey, the Ancient Seat of the British Druids. In Two Essays (Dublin, 1723), p.289.
  119. ^ Edwards, Charles. Hanes y Fydd. University of Oxford, 1675
  120. ^ John Wilson, Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, (London: Nisbet, 1876), p. 190.
  121. ^ Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicus, vol. II (Dublin, 1786), 251–336
  122. ^ Whence the Appellation Kymry: A Paper Read at the Last Congress of the British Archaeological Association,” Hebrew Christian Witness and Prophetic Investigator (Oct. 1877), 455–56.
  123. ^ The Hebraic Origin of the English Language
  124. ^ The Anglo-Saxon People
  125. ^ British-Israel.us - Lesson 19 - Was ENGLISH Derived From HEBREW
  126. ^ Foty-seven Identifications (1878), p. 15
  127. ^ Traditions of Israelite Descent in England
  128. ^ Phoenicia; from Lundy, Isle of Avalon by Mystic Realms
  129. ^ Ellis, Peter, The Cornish language and its literature, Routledge, 1974, p. 140
  130. ^ A History of the Jews in England : Albert Montefiore Hyamson : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
  131. ^ a b Ethnology
  132. ^ As translated by the Bible in Basic English.
  133. ^ a b c Ancient Account Describes Jesus
  134. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Scots ginger 'nuts' appeal
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  136. ^ 1 Samuel 16:12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."
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  142. ^ British Israel World Federation
  143. ^ Are All Israelites Jews? > The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy
  144. ^ Jews and Joes - Because Both Houses Matter!
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  146. ^ CHAPTER 6 - THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BECOME TWO NATIONS
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  148. ^ British-Israel Answers its Critics
  149. ^ The People of the Jews, Covenant Books
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  153. ^ Colquhoun, p. 134.
  154. ^ Fasken, Henry, Israel's Racial Origins and Migrations, Covenant Publishing, 1934.
  155. ^ The Lost Tribes of Israel FAQs, J. Martin Lightfoot, Covenant Publishing, 2009, p. 20
  156. ^ What does the Bible say about interracial marriage?
  157. ^ Fasken, Henry, Israel's Racial Origins and Migrations, Covenant Publishing, 1934 (3rd edition, with added notes).
  158. ^ A mamzer is a mongrel
  159. ^ Blood Lines
  160. ^ Who Are You Calling A Mongrel?
  161. ^ Nimrud Prisms, COS 2.118D, pp. 295–296
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  167. ^ Our Scythian Ancestors Col J. C Gawler, 1875, Sacred Truth Ministries reprint, pp. 13–17.
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  171. ^ a b "The Serpent's Trail" - The Mysterious Tribe of Dan
  172. ^ George Rawlinson, noted in his translation of History of Herodotus, Book VII, p. 378
  173. ^ Maurits Nanning Van Loon. Urartian Art. Its Distinctive Traits in the Light of New Excavations, Istanbul, 1966. p. 16
  174. ^ a b E. Raymond Capt, Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets, Artisan Pub, 1985 ISBN 978-0-934666-15-2
  175. ^ Antiquities of the Jews, 11.5.2, from The Works of Josephus, translated by Whiston, W., Hendrickson Publishers. 1987. 13th Printing. p 294
  176. ^ History Research Projects: Book: "The 'Lost" Ten Tribes of Israel...Found!"
  177. ^ Forty-seven Identifications, Edward Hine, 1878, p. 11
  178. ^ Forty-seven Identifications, Edward Hine, 1878, pp. 20–27.
  179. ^ a b c d Where Did The Twelve Apostles Go?
  180. ^ The Geography of Celtic-Scythian Commerce > The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy
  181. ^ Celts and Scythians Linked by Archaeological Discoveries > The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy
  182. ^ James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings
  183. ^ a b Jowett, F George, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, pp. 159–160, Covenant Publishing, 2009.
  184. ^ a b Our Scythian Ancestors
  185. ^ Sir John Rhys, Early Celtic Britain, p. 142
  186. ^ Early Celtic Britain, pp. 150 & 162–3
  187. ^ Hew. B. Colquhoun, Our Descent from Israel, 1940, pp. 133–140.
  188. ^ Histories, Herodotus, Vol. III, page 84, 1862 edition
  189. ^ Uncovering Scandinavian Roots
  190. ^ Chronicles of the Picts, chronicles of the Scots, William, F. Sken, 1867, p. 3
  191. ^ Who Were The Scots?
  192. ^ Capt, E. Raymond, Scottish Declaration of Independence, Artisan, Feb 1983.
  193. ^ by Sharon Turner
  194. ^ Forty-seven Identifications, Edward Hine, 1878, pp. 20
  195. ^ The Lost Ten Tribes in the Islands: Geographical-Proof
  196. ^ The Ten Lost Tribe at the Ends of the Earth-Geography-Proof
  197. ^ a b c http://www.british-israel.ca/Dan.htm
  198. ^ Hine, p. 11
  199. ^ Gawler, p. 12
  200. ^ Gawler, p. 13
  201. ^ The Other Exodus:
  202. ^ Gawler, p. 10
  203. ^ Hine, p. 12
  204. ^ Evidence of Migration to Britain | Christian Assemblies International
  205. ^ a b The Dynasty of David Established in Great Britain
  206. ^ Hine, p. 30
  207. ^ Queen Victoria:Heir to King David's Royal Throne
  208. ^ Colquhoun, pp. 109–111.
  209. ^ Colquhoun, pp. 109–111
  210. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  211. ^ Truth in History, Tract #54, 2003
  212. ^ a b Anglo-Israel: Ollam Fola of Tara
  213. ^ Tea-Tephi Never Existed? | Christian Assemblies International
  214. ^ The Trojan Origins of European Royalty!
  215. ^ Anglo-Israel: The Stone of Scone
  216. ^ Forty-seven Identifications (1878), Edward Hine, p. 15
  217. ^ a b Does the United States Appear in Bible Prophecy? > The Good News: January/February 2010
  218. ^ Forty-seven Identifications (1878), Edward Hine, pp. 15–17
  219. ^ a b c Ephraim and Manasseh
  220. ^ Herbert W. Armstrong Searchable Library - United States and Britain in Prophecy
  221. ^ a b Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race?: Proved to be the Lost Tribes of Israel, 1889, p. 64
  222. ^ OUR GREAT HERITAGE WITH ITS RESPONSIBILITIES Covenant Publishing; New and rev ed edition (1927).
  223. ^ William Blake, Poetry and Prose, in Geoffrey Keynes (ed.), (London, 1967), 463.
  224. ^ John Milton, “Areopagitica,” in Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Milton (New York, 1950), p.713
  225. ^ a b The Old Testament Roots Of Celtic Mythology
  226. ^ Our Descent from Israel (1931, revised 1940) by Hew. B Colquhoun
  227. ^ Jesus the Master Builder: Druid Mysteries and the Dawn of Christianity by Gordon Strachan, Floris Books (28 Sep 2000).
  228. ^ a b c The British (Covenant) Church
  229. ^ a b Jowett, p. 159
  230. ^ Jowett, p. 161
  231. ^ Spread of Christianity into early Britain; from Lundy, Isle of Avalon by Mystic Realms
  232. ^ a b The Traditions of Glastonbury, E. Raymond Capt, Artisan Sales, 1983
  233. ^ Glastonbury Abbey
  234. ^ Joseph of Arimathea
  235. ^ Keith Hunt - How the Gospel came to Britain #6
  236. ^ BBC News - Jesus 'may have visited England', says Scottish academic
  237. ^ St. Paul's Friends
  238. ^ Jowett, p. 191
  239. ^ Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, E. Raymond Capt, Artisan Publishers, 1982
  240. ^ Our Great Heritage with Its Responsibilities, W.T.F. Jarrold, Covenant Publishing, 1937 (see also C. A. L. Totten's writings).
  241. ^ a b The Bible - For Whom Was It Written?
  242. ^ British-Israel.us - Lesson 15 - The Amazing HISTORY of the WORLD'S Races
  243. ^ Does the Bible say anything about a pre-Adamic race?
  244. ^ Mystery of the Ages
  245. ^ Heraldry
  246. ^ No Evolution Here
  247. ^ For range of dates see table in Preadamites (1888) by Alexander Winchell.
  248. ^ Earth's Age: Does the Bible Indicate a Time Interval Between the First and Second Verses of Genesis? > Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?
  249. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  250. ^ Covenant Publishing Ltd
  251. ^ Facts & Fictions Regarding Noah's Flood
  252. ^ The Standard of Israel, 1876, Vol II, p. 100.
  253. ^ Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, pp. 327–328
  254. ^ Edward Hine, The English Nation Identified with the Lost House of Israel by Twenty-Seven Identifications, (Manchester: Heywood, 1870), p. v.
  255. ^ The Standard of Israel, 1876, Vol. II, p. 101.
  256. ^ a b Merchants of Tarshish
  257. ^ Joachim L. Villanueva, Phoenician Ireland, trans. Henry O’Brien, 2d ed. (London, 1837).
  258. ^ Covenant People
  259. ^ Forty-seven Identifications (1878); see also Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, p. 181.
  260. ^ Banner of Israel, 1880, Vol. IV, p. 91.
  261. ^ Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, p. 181
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  266. ^ Wade, Nicholas (May 9 2000). "Y Chromosome Bears Witness to Story of the Jewish Diaspora". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D02E0D71338F93AA35756C0A9669C8B63. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  267. ^ a b Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. p. 62. ISBN 0297819348. 
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  269. ^ Greer, Nick (2004). The British-Israel Myth. pp. 83–84. 
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  274. ^ Greer, Nick (2004). The British-Israel Myth. p. 74. 
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  276. ^ a b c d Dimont, C (1933). The Legend of British-Israel. http://www.theologicalstudies.org.uk/article_legend_dimont.html. 
  277. ^ a b Baron, David. "The History of the Ten "Lost" Tribes: Anglo-Israelism Examined". pp. Part 2. http://www.wcg.org/lit/prophecy/baron/baron2.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
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  280. ^ (Greer, 2004. pp57–60)Greer, Nick (2004). The British-Israel Myth. p. 62. 

Further reading

  • Kossy, Donna. "The Anglo-Israelites" in Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief, Los Angeles: Feral House, 2001 (2nd ed. exp. from 1994). (ISBN 978-0-922915-67-5)
  • Baron, David. The History of the Ten "Lost" Tribes: Anglo-Israelism Examined. 1915.
  • Darms, Anton. "The Delusion of British Israelism: A comprehensive Treatise." Our Hope, New York.
  • Kellogg. Howard. "British-Israel Identity." American Prophetic League, Los Angeles
  • May, H.G. 16 September 1943. "The Ten Lost Tribes", Biblical Archeologist, volume 16, pp55–60.
  • McQuaid, Elwood. Dec./Jan. 1977–78 "Who Is a Jew? British-Israelism versus the Bible", Israel My Glory, p. 35
  • Wilson, John. Fall 1968. "The Relation Between Ideology and Organization in a Small Religious Group: The British Israelites". The Review of Religious Research, pp51–60.

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