So much legend and fiction has been written about him that one is almost led to believe that there were two individuals—the real Patrick and the fictitious Patrick.
—Benjamin George Wilkinson—
In modern society every year there is a holiday named after a Roman Catholic “Saint” by the name of Patrick. “Saints”, of course, are essentially the deified characters of men and women who the Roman Catholic Church has considered to have done great works in their lifetime. So why would I take time to write about what is essentially one of the many gods of Roman Catholicism and who is typically celebrated by people getting drunk on beer dyed green?
Well, the simple answer is because, like most things in Replacement Theology, I have come to a conclusion that Patrick was not in any way even remotely the man he is portrayed to be today. It seems, as can be shown with others whose character and true legacy was stolen by the Catholic religion, that Patrick was not at all connected with the early Romanized version of Christianity initiated by the Emperor Constantine.
The reality of it is that Roman Catholicism is ultimately a pagan religion. The term pagan in its proper use in religion is a religious faith that follows multiple gods. The Greco-Roman religion prior to Constantine worshiped gods and goddess like Zeus/Jupiter, Cronus/Saturn, Poseidon/Neptune, and Artemis/Diana. Historians and archaeologists will show that these gods generally trace back to a real person who held some prominence in antiquity. This is similar to how the Egyptians deified their Pharaohs.
In the Roman Catholic religion, what was originally labeled by Constantine “The New Roman Religion”, prominent figures of the faith—whether they held to Catholic doctrines or not—are labeled “Saints”. These “Saints” are prayed to and have feast days held for them, which is what “Saint Patrick’s Day” is—the feast to the deified version of Patrick in the Roman religion. Even the biblical Apostles and angelic beings like Michael the Archangel are given the “Saint” title. It is not difficult to see the parallels of this practice to both the pre-existing Greco-Roman religion and even the Egyptian religious practices, among other pagan religions.
Another aspect of Roman “Saints” is that they are given special authority as “patron saints” over various things. As the source of this study focuses on Patrick, to give an example of this, one Roman Catholic website I looked at says: “Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, snakes and engineers. He was said to have banished all the snakes from Ireland. We pray to him for his intercession in our lives.”
Even in the region where Patrick and others we will look at in this study lived, there were prominent pagan religions among the Germanic, Nordic, and Druid peoples. These religions live on today in both Wiccan and Roman Catholic traditions. Today many Christians are embracing ecumenical views and consider Roman Catholicism just another part of Christianity. The fact of the matter is that Roman Catholicism is a demonic pagan religion that has no place in the life of a follower of Yeshua.
And it is for this reason that I have chosen to write this article on Patrick of Ireland, who for the rest of this message will not—apart from citations that refer to him as such—be referred to as “Saint” Patrick as he is, it seems, not the character most have been led to believe him to be.
Patrick, A Jew?
There are indications that Patrick of Ireland was of Jewish descent. As the story goes, his family was among those who were part of a Jewish dispersion that resulted in his family making their way to Britain. The location of his birth remains unknown and debated, with scholars proposing locations in what is modern-day England, Wales, or Scotland—some areas that have been proposed are Glannoventa (modern-day Ravenglass), Carlisle, Birdoswald, Bonnevan, and Kilpatrick. A fifteenth century Gaelic work known as the Book of Lismore says:
The learned declare that he was of the Jews by origin, since it is manifest from the miracles which God wrought for him, that he was of the children of Israel, for of them were the Jews besides. For when the vengeance was inflicted by Titus and Vespasian, the Jews were scattered throughout the world, and Patrick’s original kindred came to Britain, and there a heritage was gotten by them, for in a certain book of his epistles Patrick himself declares Nos disperse sumus per multas regiones terrarum propter peccata nostra, eo quod Domini praecepta et mandata eius non custodiuimus. Wherefore from that dispersion his original kindred came to Britain.
Apart from this statement, the rest of the work seems to be part of the effort to make Patrick appear to have been part of the Roman Catholic clergy. As we will see as this study goes on, this is likely not the case at all.
In addition to this record, there is also a Medieval written record, originally in Gaelic as well, titled the Book of Leinster. In this it is stated:
Patrick may have been descended from the Sons of Israel. When the Sons of Israel were banished by Titus and Vespasian into slavery to the four corners of the world in revenge for the blood of Christ, his ancestors came to Britain. The tract from which this comes also says that it is because of Patrick’s descent from the Sons of Israel that God gave him lordship of baptism and belief in Ireland and the banishment of demons from it.
In these two records we find a pretty conclusive argument, directly from ancient Irish historical records, that this man known today only as Patrick was a Jew. Some have argued that He was a Messianic Jew, which I suppose such a statement would be acceptable as a Jewish man who follows Yeshua would be called such in modern times. I am not so certain, however, that such a term would have been used of him in his own lifetime, particularly in the region where he lived and ministered. To build on these two records of Patrick, the book The Roots Of Irish Monasticism by Winthrop Palmer Boswell proposes that the Irish of Patrick’s time were of Samaritan descent, claiming his own belief that there were direct links between Samaria and Ireland. He then says:
The links must account for the Hebrew quality of Irish monasticism, for modern Jewish authorities affirm that the remaining remnants of the Samaritan sect represent the purest form of the ancient Hebrew stock. The Samaritans were part of the northern tribes of Israel and their capital, Shechem was destroyed by Vespasian in 70 A.D. Since St. Patrick is said to be the descendant of an Israelite family who were scattered by Vespasian and Titus “in bondage throughout the four quarters of the world” and who came to Britain, it is possible that Patrick himself was of Samaritan ancestry.
Israelitish features in Irish monasticism include the use of an Eastern type liturgy visible in the Antiphonary if Bangor, the festal observance of Saturday in the same manner as the Jews, evidence for a Pharisaic observance of Sunday, the prominence of Hebrew features in Irish canon law collections (including Biblical Cities of Refuge and Jubilee Years), together with Mosaic prohibitions on diet, and injunctions on tithes likewise Hebraic in inspiration. There was also a Hebrew treatment of the sanctuary as already noted in the case of St. Columbanus, and finally there were numerous Hebrew words occurring in cryptographic monastic Irish works such as Hisperica Famina.
Patrick is said to have been born approximately 386 A.D. under the name Maewyn Succat. This is particularly interesting, as Succat is a variation still in use today, though certainly a less common form, of the Hebrew word Sukkot. In searching this name/word I found a Jewish ministry in Israel called Succat Hallel, which means “Tent of Praise”. They have a facility that overlooks Mount Zion and the old city providing 24-hours a day 7 days a week worship and praise.
While some modern sources do link the name Succat to Irish heritage as meaning “war-like”, it would appear that as Patrick—born to a Jewish family—holds a birth name that is derived directly from the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. There is a good amount of evidence that the Celtic language was rooted in Hebrew. The book EREUNA: An Investigation Of The Etymons Of Words And Names, Classical And Scriptural, Through The Medium Of Celtic Together With Some Remarks On Hebraeo-Celtic Affinities demonstrates a great number of words that are essentially the same in both Hebrew and Celtic.
The above records indicate that Patrick was the descendant of Jewish parentage connected with those who fled Jerusalem during the time of the war led by Titus and Vespasian that resulted in the destruction of The Jerusalem Temple. I find this of particular interest when looking deeper at who exactly it may have been that fled Jerusalem and ultimately landed in Britain. Let’s take a look at some records of these events.
Epiphanius of Salamis was among the early Romanized writers who is known for his writings against what became considered heresies following the famed Council of Nicaea. One of his most significant works is called Panarion, which some have come to refer to as Adversus Haereses, "Against Heresies". In this work he shares his thoughts on a group known as the Nazarenes:
Nazoraeans, who confess that Christ Jesus is Son of God, but all of whose customs are in accordance with the Law.
This sect of Nazoraeans is to be found in Beroea near Coele-syria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called Cocabe—Khokhabe in Hebrew. For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after their remove from Jerusalem—Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdraw from it because of the siege it was about to undergo. And they settled in Peraea for this reason and, as I said, lived their lives there. It was from this that the Nazoraean sect had its origin.
Epiphanius is not the only early Roman Church writer to propose concern with this group known as the Nazarenes. Correspondence in letters between Jerome and Augustine in 404 A.D. also discusses this group, in stating:
The matter in debate, therefore, or I should rather say your opinion regarding it, is summed up in this: that since the preaching of the gospel of Christ, the believing Jews do well in observing the precepts of the law, i.e. in offering sacrifices as Paul did, in circumcising their children, as Paul did in the case of Timothy, and keeping the Jewish Sabbath, as all the Jews have been accustomed to do. … In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other.
Now, if you are a student of The Bible you may be familiar with this group known as the Nazarenes. Acts 24:5, where charges are being brought against the Apostle Paul, it is said: “For we have found this man to be a pest, stirring up riots among all the Jewish people throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Natzratim.” Of course, Paul responds and sums up his entire defense against these charges in verse 14 with the statement: “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way (which they call a sect), I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything written in the Torah and the Prophets.” You see, this scenario already played out in Scripture and Paul declared that the truth was this belief of a group called The Way and the Nazarenes who followed BOTH Yeshua (The Gospel) and kept The Torah (The Law)—keep this in mind as we look into the life of Patrick of Ireland. We find this reiterated in Revelation 14:12 where John writes: “Here is the perseverance of the kedoshim—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Yeshua.”
But by the late fourth and early fifth century this was an issue again. People were questioning those who would dare to follow the whole Bible and follow both Yeshua and The Torah. This is still the issue in popular religion today. There is a vast majority in modern “Christianity” that believe through gross misinterpretation of Scripture that they do not have to follow The Torah. On the other hand, there is a large movement in Judaism often referred to as Counter-Missionaries who seek to lead Believers to renounce Yeshua as The Messiah. This demonic war against the whole truth, as I will show, followed the true Believers and sought to overtake truth and create a false religion that today is what most people know as “Christianity”. It remains the world’s largest religion, and yet in reality it is Satan’s greatest creation of deception.
Jonathan Bourgel wrote an excellent piece to examine the exodus from Jerusalem by what he refers to as Jewish-Christians around the time period surrounding the efforts of Titus and Vespasian, and the destruction of The Jerusalem Temple. His article titled The Jewish Christians’ Move From Jerusalem As A Pragmatic Choice is part of the academic book Studies in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: Text and Context by Dan Jaffé. In the opening statements of his contribution Bourgel states:
According to the Church Fathers Eusebius and Epiphanius, the members of the Church of Jerusalem were commanded by an oracle to leave the Holy City before its destruction in 70 C.E. and to take refuge in the city of Pella on the east bank of the Jordan River. This episode, which is known as the “Flight to Pella,” is considered to be a central issue in the historiography of Jewish-Christianity in the postapostolic period.
Pella is a region in Greece, close to Thessaloniki (think of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians). If you were to follow the path from Jerusalem to Pella and continue in that direction, it would take you straight to Britain. So it is reasonable to state that Patrick’s family was among those Jewish-Christians, as Bourgel refers to them—very likely the Nazarenes associated with Paul, or possibly another group like the Ebionites or, as Boswell proposes, the Samaritans, who also held the view that both Yeshua and Torah are to be equally followed, came from this exact community. After all, the later but still ancient Irish Gaelic records associate Patrick with those of Israelite descent who fled Jerusalem during the time of Titus and Vespasian.
There are indications that some of these Jews who followed both Yeshua and Torah returned to Jerusalem after the war. But apparently there were those who continued west into European regions, to include Britain from where Patrick was born. Tertullian, writing in the early part of the third century, mentions in his work An Answer To The Jews: “…the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons — inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ…”—the region of the Gauls being the land of the Celts and the Britons the land of Britain from where Patrick was born. I find it interesting that this is all leading to a region where Believers of Jewish descent who followed both Yeshua and Torah settled and where the influences of the growing Roman religion could not seem to reach.
Is it a coincidence that there would be concerns within the Romanized church of a group still called the Nazarenes who followed both Yeshua and The Torah by “Church Fathers” like Epiphanius, Jerome, and Augustine in the regions between Rome and Jerusalem and then we have this Patrick who, as you will see, clearly seems to have held the same views? I think it’s apparent that there is at least a logical case to be made that Patrick was a Jewish follower of Yeshua who came directly from the lineage of the Nazarenes or a similar group of the time who were led directly by the first century Apostles and followed both Yeshua and Torah.
Benjamin George Wilkinson, Ph.D., in his book Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness, which I will cite more than once in this message, states: “Two centuries elapsed after Patrick’s death before any writer attempted to connect Patrick’s work with a papal commission. No pope ever mentioned him, neither is there anything in the ecclesiastical records of Rome concerning him.” It would seem that during Patrick’s lifetime and long after the powerful Roman religion of Catholicism had no real interest in him. It wasn’t until later when they saw a value in deifying him into “Sainthood” that Patrick became important to the Roman church—much like Nicholas of Myra who was rather insignificant, apart from an actual cult that rose up in worship of him, until the Roman Catholic Church needed to rebrand and replace the Norse god Odin and so deified him to “Saint Nicholas”, known better today as Santa Claus.
Patrick was not the mystical figure so often presented by popular religion. While it appears he did some very mighty works for the Kingdom of God, it equally appears he was not connected with the Roman Catholic Church (and later the Protestant Churches) until a time came when they needed a deified “Saint” figure in the region for which he was known. So, who then was this Patrick of Ireland?
Patrick The Sabbath-Keeper
In the book The Lord’s Day authors Russell and Colin Standish say regarding the earliest groups of Yeshua followers, especially those prior to the influences and edicts made under Constantine: “The more distantly the nations of Europe, Asia and Africa were located from Rome, the more resistant they were to the substitution of Sunday worship for Sabbath worship.” Alexander Clarence Flick, Professor of History and Political Science at Syracuse University from 1899-1923, says in his book The Rise Of The Mediaeval Church: “The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday.” T. Ratcliffe Barnett in his book Margaret of Scotland: Queen and Saint writes of men like Patrick and later his disciple Columba, who we will briefly examine later in this message, “…it is plain that according to the old Columban rule, what we now call Saturday was considered to be the Day of Rest…”. Alphonso Bellesheim states in his book History Of The Church Of Scotland: From The Introduction Of Christianity To The Present Day, “The Scots in this manner had no doubt kept the traditional practice of the ancient monastic Church of Ireland, which observed Saturday instead of Sunday as the day of rest.” I find it interesting that these groups—whether or not “churches” is actually an appropriate term for them—held to keeping The Sabbath Day from The Bible and not the established “Sunday” model instituted by the Roman Church under Constantine. In his book The Celtic Church In Britain author Leslie Hardinge states:
Since the Celtic Church began when Sabbath observance had not been relinquished by Christians at large, it would be surprising, were the Sabbath not revered among them. The early life of Patrick by Muirchu has two stories indicating Patrick’s attitude towards the seventh day. These traditions persisted for more than two centuries after the saint’s death.
Hardinge goes on to indicate that Patrick and the Celtic Church even observed The Sabbath from sunset to sunset, as is in harmony with Scripture and the Hebrew reckoning of a day. He notes that Patrick would resume his devotions at sunset on Saturday and continue them until dawn on Monday, stating that the Celtic Christians, like the Jewish people, began their day at sundown. To add to this, James C. Moffat, D.D. says in his book The Church In Scotland: A History Of Its Antecedents, Its Conflicts And Its Advocates:
It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor, and Sunday, commemorative of the Lord’s resurrection, as one of rejoicing, with exercises of public worship. In that case they obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week—the day on which the Lord lay in the grave—and did not understand the precept about resting from labor to apply to the day of rejoicing over his resurrection.
This is consistent with what I point out in my article Sunday Is NOT The Sabbath about early practices in the first and second centuries where Yeshua-followers kept The Sabbath on The Sabbath as a day to cease from their ordinary work according to the commandment but also gathered on the evening following The Sabbath, which they considered the beginning of the first day of the week.
The Biblical Food Laws
It is no secret that I have done a lot of extensive research into the biblical food laws from Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. As such, I was particularly excited when I first learned that Patrick was a proponent of these laws as well. Again turning to Hardinge’s work:
The rules of the Old Testament which shaped the theocracy of Israel were followed by the Celts as a natural consequence of their view of biblical authority. The role of the Liber ex Lege Moisi was paramount. The laws defining clean and unclean animals which might or might not be used as food, the methods of slaughtering animals, the advice on hygiene applying to both men and women, the Levirite marriage, the precepts modifying usury and slavery, the treatment of widows and orphans, as well as the payment of tithes and the offerings of first fruits, all were thought necessary.
There are two written works attributed to Patrick: A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus and Confessio. The Confessio appears to be a letter written by a man late in his life. However, there appears to be reason to believe that this was not really written by Patrick, or at least not the true Patrick. Josiah Cox Russell provides a very good argument in his article The Problem Of St. Patrick The Missionary that these two writings were penned by two different men. He goes as far as saying that the Confessio was written with the Letter to Coroticus before him as a point of reference to help make the two have enough similarities. For example, both start out with the declaration: “I am Patrick, a sinner…”
One thing that seems particularly concerning from the Confessio is a record of a miracle that occurred when confronted by men who questioned his faith and his God. The record reads:
And after three days we reached land, and for twenty-eight days journeyed through uninhabited country, and the food ran out and hunger overtook them; and one day the steersman began saying: 'Why is it, Christian? You say your God is great and all-powerful; then why can you not pray for us? For we may perish of hunger; it is unlikely indeed that we shall ever see another human being.' In fact, I said to them, confidently: 'Be converted by faith with all your heart to my Lord God, because nothing is impossible for him, so that today he will send food for you on your road, until you be sated, because everywhere he abounds.' And with God's help this came to pass; and behold, a herd of swine appeared on the road before our eyes, and they slew many of them, and remained there for two nights, and the were full of their meat and well restored, for many of them had fainted and would otherwise have been left half dead by the wayside. And after this they gave the utmost thanks to God, and I was esteemed in their eyes, and from that day they had food abundantly. They discovered wild honey, besides, and they offered a share to me, and one of them said: 'It is a sacrifice.' Thanks be to God, I tasted none of it.
This seems extremely questionable considering that first of all it appears to be well established through historical records that the true Patrick of Ireland was of Israelite descent and a follower of The Torah—including the food laws—secondly it clearly is contrary to Scripture that God would answer a prayer for sustenance with unclean animals like swine, and thirdly Yeshua used a herd of swine to cast devils into, not to feed the crowd—he did that with biblically clean foods like bread and fish. I would go so far as to say, based on everything I have read about Patrick both in researching for this study and in the past, that this may be an early part of the effort to rewrite Patrick’s history to fit with his being deified to a Roman Catholic “Saint”.
It is well-known that in efforts like The Spanish Inquisition refusal to eat pork was used by those of the Roman religion to identify Jews. It would make a lot of sense that a fabricated document attributed to a “Sainted” version of Patrick would refer to him first as working great miracles and one of those portraying a clear approval by God to eat swine’s flesh. This would greatly aid in swaying people of that region to come under the authority of the Roman religion and embrace eating what The Bible deems unclean.
There are many outlandish legends about Patrick. Some of them seem harmless enough, like the claim that he used a shamrock to teach the Irish about the harmony between The Father, The Son, and The Spirit. Others are quite bizarre, like one that claims he banished snakes from Ireland or that he would thrust his walking staff into the ground and it would take root and become a living tree. While such things are no more or less miraculous than what we read in The Bible, it is also well-known that the Roman religion has a history of coming up with such legends for all of their “Saints”, which are essentially a pantheon of pagan gods.
The Confessio is an odd writing. While reading it I felt like I was reading the hopeless lament of a self-defeated man, inflicting himself with insults in an effort toward self-humility. The Letter to Coroticus, on the other hand, is a bold and scathing rebuke against those who would dare to defy the ways of God. While there is really no way, so far as I can tell, that either letter can be authenticated to the hand of Patrick himself, the Letter to Coroticus certainly does sound more like the work of a man wholly committed to the totality of Scripture. This includes a statement that would loosely support a Torah-positive view of the food laws:
Which of the saints would not refuse to feast and decline the company of such men? See how they have filled their houses with the spoils of dead Christians? Why, they devote their lives to plunder! Miserable men, they have no idea how they feed poison, food that surely kills, to their friends and even to their own children; just as Eve never realized that she was handing out certain death to her own man, her husband. It is always the same with those who do evil: they labor long only to yield death as their everlasting punishment.
I often point out that the first act of sin was the breaking of a biblical food law. There was a single tree that was deemed off limits, but along came the serpent (which is confirmed to be Satan himself in Revelation 12:9). That serpent asked a single question—Hath God said?—and from it began all religion that questions and then rejects the commandments of God. Remember that the next time some lawless Christian says something like “we’re not under the law” or “those laws were abolished by Jesus”.
While we can’t know with full certainty if Patrick understood the application of the food laws as a prevention of eating things that poison and kill, that is certainly a known aspect of these commandments in modern times through research done by committed Believers who work and research in areas of nutrition and healthcare. However, Hardinge does state that, “The impression left by the few sources which touch on this point is that some of the leading early Celtic Christians had a high regard for the place of healthful living in maintaining Christian character,” and that Columba, who we will look closer at in a moment, and others went as far as practicing a form of vegetarianism and teetotalism because of these beliefs.
Of course, I do personally believe and teach that it appears to be an unbiblical and anti-Torah practice to shun eating clean meats altogether—a good example is how we are commanded to prepare lamb with bitter herbs for our family Passover meal—as I discuss in detail in an article titled Faith And God’s Food Laws. However, I also can’t do much about what otherwise seemingly fully committed Torah-positive followers of Yeshua did in antiquity. What seems clear is that to the best of their understanding Patrick and his followers maintained a biblically clean diet, at least to the point of not eating unclean meats even if it meant that some also refused clean meats that The Father provided for our benefit. And the lone major source that would claim otherwise, the Confesio, appears to have a valid case against its authenticity.
Celebrating The Passover
Speaking of Passover, there are claims that Patrick and the early Celtic followers of Yeshua kept the biblical Feasts of Yahweh detailed in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29, and Deuteronomy 16. There appears to be limited information referring to the Feasts of Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles), though Hardinge points to a letter favorable to Sabbath-keeping, possibly associated with Columbanus, and remarks: “The significance of this letter lies in the light it throws on the controversy which was apparently going on regarding the Sabbath and other festivals of the Hebrews.” There is, however, a good indication that the earliest Believers in Ireland and Scotland—those directly influenced by Patrick—conducted their Passover celebration in harmony with Scripture as opposed to the Romanized version of Pascha that would later develop into Easter after being married with a festival honoring the pagan goddess Eostre/Ostara.
There is clear evidence that the biblical Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread were celebrated in Ireland in early “Christian” history. There is a record of an Irish missionary named Columbanus (540-615 A.D.) that shows these Feasts were still celebrated in his lifetime, even though it seems the Celtic churches had already begun to also keep the Easter celebration as well. In fact, it was in this time period of Columbanus where debates were raging about Easter and Passover not being on the same date, showing that they were clearly acknowledged to be two completely different festivals—and as we know, one is commanded in Scripture and one is not even mentioned in Scripture. Of this, Caitlin Corning, Ph.D., Professor of History at George Fox University, states in her book The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church:
Columbanus also accuses Victorius of violating Old Testament Law. He states that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread should only be celebrated between luna 14 and 20 as stated in Deuteronomy. Victorius, by using luna 21–22, added two days that are outside the law of God.
Bede was a Catholic monk whose work is highly regarded for its historical accuracy. It is, after all, Bede’s Reckoning Of Time that provides a definitive record of the link between the Easter celebration and the ancient worship of Eostre, which carries forward to this day through the Wiccan religion. In the book Ecclesiastical History Of The English Nation, as translated in 1870 by the Reverend L. Gidley, M.A., the monk states the following, addressed to Roman Church clergy in the Irish and Scottish lands:
Having opened which, in order that doubt with respect to so great a question should not remain for a long time undispelled, we found that certain of your province, endeavoring to revive a new heresy out of an old one, contrary to the orthodox faith, do, in their cloudy darkness, reject our passover in which Christ was sacrificed, and contend for the celebration of it with the Hebrews, on the fourteenth day of the moon.
It is rather perplexing to me that someone could be so bold as to call it heresy to follow what The Bible says to do, which was in harmony with what Hebrews did. Scripture talks a lot about people doing what is right in their own eyes, a way that seems right to man, and the delusional beliefs that will result from it. It’s amazing to me that some people are able to develop a wealth of knowledge and still make such claims as to call following The Bible a heresy. As a good ministry friend of mine often puts it, when you deviate from Scripture you will always end up making stuff up. The truth always lies with Scripture, and anyone who would say otherwise is a liar.
Here we have a record said to be written in 731 A.D. documenting that there were those in the region evangelized by Patrick and those who came behind him that tells us the Believers held to a biblical celebration of Passover, as opposed to the Romanized version of the celebration more commonly called Pascha and later Easter. Now, I should note that even in the Roman Catholic world the influences of Easter had likely not yet crept in, like the rabbits and the colored eggs. However, the early foundations for the original Passover Feast to eventually be blended with and ultimately overtaken by the pagan Easter festival had already begun the moment the followers of the Roman religion had chosen to deviate from the biblical model because they wanted to separate from any “Jewish” influences.
Columba Carries The Work To Scotland
One of the most regarded of those who carried forward the work of Patrick is Columba. He proceeded to establish the message of the Celtic churches in Scotland. Of the connection between Patrick and Columba, Hardinge says: “Following the example of Patrick, Columba and Celtic Christians for centuries made the Scriptures the foundation for their studies.” As such, I want to take a moment and highlight a few things regarding his efforts. Regarding Columba, Hardinge goes on to say:
Not only were Patrick and the framers of the Senchus Mor interested in the Decalogue, Brigit was also a “keeper of God’s commandments”, and Columba was likewise credited with teaching “the books of the Law completely”…
The early influence of Columba in his persistence to keep God’s Laws must have been quite powerful. There is a longstanding history in Scotland of a “pork taboo”, where the flesh of swine was not considered to be food. This is made evident in Charles Whitlaw’s testimony of the land from his book A Treatise on the Causes and Effects of Inflammation, Fever, Cancer, Scrofula, And Nervous Affections, published in 1831, where he says:
Having carefully studied the Mosaic law, as regards the food prohibited, and the beneficial effects of those restrictions on the health of people; I am amazed at the infinite wisdom displayed in the dietetic code of that nation; and yet we are told by the learned in our days, that many articles of food therein prohibited are wholesome: but this I positively deny to be the case in the climate where the law was delivered. The most of the exceptions, (independent of the hare) as being liable to disease, are equally so in this country, notwithstanding the hog is eaten and strongly recommended as good food. I have never seen a case of the lepra vulgaris but I could trace it to the use of pork, as well as many other cutaneous diseases. Thirty years ago, pork was hardly used in Scotland, because prohibited by the Word of God; the consequence was, that scrofula and lepra were hardly known:—and would it have been for a large portion of the community had they continued to adhere to so wise a lawgiver! For in listening to the council of fools they have brought upon themselves two of the most fearful diseases that afflict the human race. Were all the unfortunate victims of the above disorders assembled, what a contrast would it afford to what was forty years ago, when disease was but little known.
Many have speculated about why the Scottish people held a longstanding aversion to pork. Some have proposed the influences of a religious cult, others economical reasons. I would say the reason is quite clear: Influences that started with the Apostle Paul, through the Nazarenes, taking flight out of Jerusalem by way of Pella and into Britain, landing on a man named Patrick and then passed to Columba drove a revival of keeping the whole counsel of the Word of God to the point were from that time to the turn of the nineteenth century the people in Scotland did not eat what The Bible prohibits.
It is amazing how followers of The Bible actually followed The Bible when they were not overtaken by the Roman religion that started with Constantine and his mandated declarations for converts leading them to formally renounce “all things Jewish”, which is essentially everything in The Bible including The REAL Messiah. The theology that it is acceptable to eat unclean things comes not from Scripture, but from Roman Catholicism late in history. Sources suggest that the actual change was made likely in the eighth or ninth century, but attributed to Pope Eleutherius, named a Pope after his death and probably for this sole purpose. The Catholic Church gives the Pope alone the authority, as the “Vicar of Christ”, to make changes to Scripture. And because this man, who was a Bishop at the time, made a vague statement—“…no kind of food in common use should be rejected especially by the Christian faithful”—they used him to authorize the change.
Notice, even in antiquity the Catholic Church did not dare attribute their so-called abolition of the food laws to any of the Apostles, be it Peter, Paul, or any of the others. They did not say Peter’s vision changed the food laws, they did not say Paul’s letter to Timothy changed the food laws, and they did not even say Yeshua’s statements in Mark 7 changed the food laws. The Catholic Church attributed their change to a Bishop of Rome they named a Pope for this purpose, and Believers in regions free of Romanized influence throughout history appear to have adhered to the Leviticus 11 food laws, kept the biblical Sabbath, celebrated the Feasts of Yahweh instead of the Roman holidays, and followed the whole Bible.
It’s real simple. If you do not follow The Torah, you are not a Protestant Christian, a Pentecostal Christian, or any other form of Christian. Those who reject The Torah are a part of the demonic Roman Catholic Church, the religion of the ancient serpent that is called the devil and Satan (Genesis 3:1-3, Revelation 12:9) that leads people to question and reject the commands of God, even if they claim to be part of the “Christian religion”—claiming to have split away from Roman Catholicism through the “Protestant Reformation”, which was not a return to the faith of the first century as led by the Apostles but the creation of yet another false religion.
One group that is worth mentioning, as we continue to look at Columba’s influence, is the Pents and Papes of the Ornkey Islands, located off the northern tip of Scotland. One of the earliest records of a Torah-keeping people in the regions influenced by Patrick and Columba is related to these people. Of this, the book Historia Norwegia, as translated by Peter Fisher, says:
Originally those islands were inhabited by Pents and Papes. One of these races, the Pents, only a little taller than pygmies, accomplished miraculous achievements by building towns, morning and evening, but at midday every ounce of strength deserted them and they hid for fear in underground chambers. At that period these islands were not called the Orkneys but rather Pentland, so that the sea which separates the islands from Scotland is still known by the natives as the Pentland Firth; here is the most gigantic of all whirlpools, which draws in and swallows the stoutest vessels at ebb-tide, and at high-tide spews up and disgorges their wreckage. Of the place where these Pents came from, we know nothing at all. The Papes were so called on account of the vestments in which they clothed themselves like priests, and for this reason all priests are known as papen in the German tongue. One of the islands is still named Papey from them. However, as the appearance and letter-forms of the books they left there behind them testify, they were from Africa and clove to the Jewish faith.
Modern scholars seriously doubt that the people documented in this work came from Africa, considering the location. As the original document was penned by an anonymous monk probably in the early sixteenth century (currently dated between 1500-1510 A.D.) it would not be unreasonable to suspect that this statement was added to lead people away from the idea that these people were Torah-keeping “Christians”.
I would propose another theory about these Pents (also called Picts) and Papes. As some suspect that the books they left behind were manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible—what most would call “The Old Testament”—I would suggest that these were a people who received the message that originated from Patrick and passed to men like Columba. I propose that this is a reference to Torah-keeping followers of Yeshua and the monk who wrote this history of Norway, whether with malicious intent or because he had himself received bad information, referred to these people as Jews from Africa as part of the overall known and documented effort to rewrite Patrick’s history into something that harmonizes with the Catholic religion. After all, it seems a whole lot more reasonable to think that these were people converted by a man like Columba than to claim that these were African Jews living on islands off the northern tip of Scotland. To add to this, Wilkinson in his previously cited book Truth Triumphant, proposes three reasons he feels Columba chose Scotland as his mission field, the first being that “…a large part of the island, especially the country of the Picts, was still pagan.”
Brigid Of Kildare
Another important figure worthy of mention in this study is Brigid of Kildare (sometimes rendered Brigit). While it is unfortunate that there is little information on her—such is, sadly, all too often the case with prominent women who made great advancements in the spreading of the message of Yeshua and His Torah lifestyle—the book Lives Of Saints From The Book Of Lismore (emphasis added) says:
For everything that Brigit would ask of the Lord was granted her at once. For this was her desire: to satisfy the poor, to expel every hardship, to spare every miserable man. Now there hath never been anyone more bashful, or more modest, or more gentle, or more humble, or sager, or more harmonious than Brigit. She never washed her hands or her feet, or her head among men. She never looked at the face of a man. She never would speak without blushing. She was abstinent, she was innocent, she was prayerful, she was patient: she was glad in God’s commandments: she was firm, she was humble, she was forgiving, she was loving: she was a consecrated casket for keeping Christ’s Body and his Blood: she was a temple of God.
Hardinge notes that Brigid was a proponent of the practice of washing feet. This is certainly in keeping with a practice we see in the life of Yeshua. So it would seem that this woman, too, was a part of the Celtic belief system that held to both following The Torah and following Yeshua.
It is important that we acknowledge the contributions of women in the advancement of a whole Bible faith message. Too often this is not done and has created imbalances in the message of Scripture and in faith practices. Author David Wilber, in his book Is God A Misogynist? Understanding The Bible’s Difficult Passages Concerning Women, addresses such concerns in saying:
When we examine the matter carefully and in context, the Scriptures—both Old and New Testaments—clearly affirm the immense value of women. Along with men, women are created in the image of God and endowed with intrinsic worth and purpose. Even after the fall, the Bible continually points us back toward this creation ideal: God builds much of the Torah on the basis of human dignity and equality, providing care and protection for women. Many women, like many men, are praised for their faith, courage, strength, and wisdom throughout the biblical narrative. They are described as leaders, prophetesses, and as playing crucial roles in God’s unfolding story.
While there seems to be little information about Brigid’s faith built upon being “glad in God’s commandments”, as compared with her male counterparts, it is quite refreshing to see a prominent female figure in this story of the Celtic followers of Yeshua.
Perhaps the more disheartening side of Brigid’s memory is that it is overshadowed by her addition to the Roman pantheon of “saints”. To add to this, there was a goddess of the Druid Celts by the same name associated with fire, generally depicted holding fire in her hand. Some depictions of the Roman religion’s “Saint Brigid” also display her with fire in her hand, showing even further how the Roman religion’s perversion of God’s people, incorporating them into their pantheon of “saints” (aka, gods), has stolen their true identity.
Gildas And The Celtic Churches
In the later part of the sixth century, around 570 A.D., a monk named Gildas Sapiens, also known as Gildas the Wise, made a peculiar statement: “Britones toti mundo contrarii. Moribus Romanii inimici, non solum in missa sed in tonsura etiam cum Judaeis umbrae magis futurorum servientes quam veritati.” The statement translates: The Britains are against the entire world. They are hostile toward the Roman customs, not only in the Mass, but also on their tonsure, serving with the Jews in the shadow rather than the truth.” Deborah K.E. Crawford, in her article St. Joseph In Britain: Reconsidering The Legends, Part 2 as originally published in Folklore Vol. 105 (1994), comments on this statement from Gildas in saying:
Gildas, a Celt of the Roman persuation, noted in the sixth century that Celtic practices did not conform to Roman ways, and accused the Celts of joining the Jews in serving the shadow rather than the truth of divine revelation.
Ah yes, that old accusation that if you are trying to follow the whole Bible you are stuck in the shadow. This idea is taken from a misinterpretation of Colossians 2:16-17, which I have covered in greater detail in an article titled Living In The Shadow, and Hebrews 10:1. This negative view of “the shadow”, embraced by a majority of Christians today, originates from the Roman religion and is not in harmony with what these passages are actually conveying.
As I note in my article on “the shadow”, it is a shadow that reveals something is real. In 2 Corinthians 11:4 we are warned of “another Jesus”, “another gospel”, and “another spirit” than that which was taught by the Apostles—all of whom were Torah-observant Jews following Yeshua the Torah-observant Jewish Rabbi and Hebrew Messiah. Hebrews 10:1 says that The Torah has a shadow of the good things to come. It is The Torah, the shadow, that reveals whether or not you have the REAL Yeshua, the REAL Gospel, and the REAL Spirit of God. If your “Jesus”, your “gospel”, and your “spirit” are opposed to following The Torah, then what you have is a counterfeit of the real thing, an apparition that does not have a shadow.
Crawford continues, affirming what we have already seen through the lives of Patrick and Columba, and the people they influenced:
A central feature [of the Celtic churches] was the profound respect for the authority of the Scripture, and a strong emphasis on the legal aspects of the Old Testament. The Liber ex Lege Moisi survives in four manuscripts of Irish origin, dating from c. 800 (Hardinge 1972, 50). It consists of a series of texts of Old Testament law, covering a variety of topics and situations. The work expresses an unstated assumption that Old Testament law was a prime directive for the proper conduct of everyday life. Hardinge cites a series of parallels between Celtic Christian practices and those of the Old Testament, in which the Celtic is a much closer variant of the original than anything surviving in the other branches of Christianity. The shared elements include the keeping of the Saturday Sabbath, tithing, the definition of “first fruits” and offerings, the establishment of walled precincts for the priestly/monastic families, inheritance of religious office, and fasting and dietary restrictions.
Crawford also notes that the early Celtic churches celebrated the biblical Passover as opposed to the Roman Pascha/Easter, and that Irish clergy viewed themselves as priests and Levites. While clearly they were not Levites, it is interesting that they took the whole counsel of Scripture so serious.
Something else I find interesting is how the history of the people of this region, of which Patrick is the most known name, carried forward a Torah-keeping faith practice for centuries while the influences of Rome remained at bay. But that was about to change.
The Gregorian Mission
The next part of this story is a mission initiated by Pope Gregory at the turn of the seventh century. The Pope commissioned a Bishop named Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the more well-known Augustine of Hippo) to go into the British Isles with the message of the Roman religion.
Many accounts record that upon his arrival to Britain and later Ireland this Augustine was met with conflict by the existing population of Believers. During his time in dispute with these local Believers Augustine sent a letter to the Pope asking a series of questions. Among them was this:
Since there is but one faith, why are the uses of Churches so different, one use of Mass being observed in the Roman Church, and another in the Churches of Gaul?
What were the differences between the Romanized churches and the fellowships in Gaul that Augustine was concerned about? Many sources will say that it was primarily dealing with the Celtic celebration of the resurrection on the date of the biblical Passover instead of the Roman Pascha (what people today call “Easter”, the totally pagan festival named for a spring fertility goddess named Eostre) and the way they baptized. However, it seems the evidence is clear and there was more to the story. It is my opinion, based on everything I have looked at to this point, that Augustine encountered a people who read and obeyed their Bibles, something the Roman churches have a long history of trying to quench.
Another question posed by the Bishop to the Pope was this:
As far as what generation believers ought to be joined in marriage with their kin, and whether it is lawful to be joined in marriage with stepmothers and brothers’ wives?
Now, this may seem an odd question if you are not familiar with Torah, but this concern is rooted in a mitzvot from God’s Laws. Deuteronomy 22:5-10 issues a commandment regarding a man marrying his brother’s widow if she has no son. Now, this is a complex verse and not the source of this study—there are numerous requirements, among them the need for all parties involved to be fully Torah-observant and in agreement with this arrangement—so I want to be clear that I am not endorsing any weird doctrines that people may try to develop today. There are those today—particular in Hebrew Roots Movement circles—who take commandments such as this one or the observance of polygamous practices in The Bible and come up with beliefs that are not really what Scripture endorses. The point here is that Augustine seems to have observed the Celtic churches holding to practices from The Torah that were not accepted by the religion of Rome to which he adhered.
It appears that the conflict between the proponents of the Roman religion and the native Torah-keeping Celtic churches continued for nearly two centuries. Theodore of Tarsus, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 668-690 A.D., issued a decree recorded in the Medieval Handbooks Of Penance that “If one flouts the Council of Nicaea and keeps Easter with the Jews on the fourteenth of the moon, he shall be driven out of every church unless he does penance before his death”. Scholars seem to agree that this was directed at the Celtic churches that were keeping the biblical Passover instead of the Roman Pascha/Easter. Think about that. This man would banish from the church those that did things according to what The Bible says instead of what the Roman religion says.
Hardinge states that “Sometime about 768 the Celtic Christians of South Wales, that is, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, appear to have accepted the Roman usages”. Crawford, from her aforementioned article, says: “The Celtic Christians of this area apparently did not accept the practices of the church of Rome until c. 768, more than 170 years after Augustine’s mission to Britain introduced current Roman usages.” Crawford further states that Theodore, Gildas, and Wilfred (another defender of the Roman religion in the Celtic regions around 664 A.D.) all associated Celtic practices with the Jews. It is very apparent that the influence of Patrick, Columba, and others to live a Torah-based faith practice was strong and not easily overcome by the religion of Rome.
In the end, the powerful Roman Catholic machine won. Compromises to Torah slowly gained control, such as that of Adamnan of Iona (624-704 A.D.) who made modifications to the food laws declaring when it was “acceptable” to eat pork. Though, as noted earlier, it seems swine-eating remained the taboo in Scotland into the 19th century.
Perhaps the final blow to the Torah-positive Celtic expression of faith was in the eleventh century when Queen Margaret of Scotland banned all observance of the biblical Sabbath as a day of rest. But then this is not at all problematic, as Scripture declares that those who follow the true path are the minority, the few who find it (Matthew 7:14), and in order for The Bible to remain prophetically true the overwhelming majority will always follow counterfeit expressions of Bible-based religion that either denies Yeshua as Messiah as seen in many expressions of Judaism or denies Torah (in whole or in part) as seen in practically all expressions of modern and historic Christianity.
Patrick is said to have ensured that he left the Books of The Law and the Books of The Gospels with every community he visited and evangelized. He knew that it was essential to have BOTH The Torah and The Gospel. Do you recall early in this message the Nazarenes, of whom Paul was called their ringleader, that were continually seen as problematic because they followed both Yeshua and Torah? If you do not have BOTH The Torah and The Gospel, you are absolutely following a false religion, whether it be the false religion of Yeshua-denying Judaism or the false religion of Torah-denying Christianity.
Some Final Thoughts
While Torah-keeping expressions of faith may have faded due to the dominance of the Roman religion, it would be from this same region that the message of The Bible would travel across the ocean and into what became The United States of America. Among the earliest peoples to travel to “the new land” were a group known as The Puritans. These were a peculiar people, ostracized from the dominant Church of England that they felt were too aligned with the Roman religion.
Sources say that these Puritans lived among Sephardic Jews prior to their trek across the Atlantic to settle in “the new land”. It is said that they viewed this voyage as a parallel to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. It was these Puritans who initiated what today America celebrates as the holiday of Thanksgiving, and these early celebrations of the feast were modeled after the biblical Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). There are a great number of indications that these Puritans embraced a Hebraic expression of biblical faith, even if it was flawed in some ways. They rejected the Roman religion, even outlawing the celebration of the Roman Christmas festival because of its pagan influences.
I find it interesting that, despite the many denominations of Christianity that have developed and the many deviations from Scripture that have resulted, the Spirit of God is moving again on people throughout the United States and influencing a return to Torah practices that have long been lost. A fire of truth has been ignited in the hearts of many who recognize that what The Bible says and what their churches do are mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed to each other. At times I pose two questions to people whom I am ministering to:
1. How much of what we read about in The Bible is found in modern church practices?
2. How much of what we observe in modern church practices is found in The Bible?
If we were to give an honest answer to both of these questions, it would be: “Not all that much! (if anything at all)”
We need more people like Patrick of Ireland, people who understand the importance of both the Books of The Law (Torah) and the Books of The Gospel (Yeshua). We must reject the false religion of Judaism that rejects Yeshua and the false religion of Christianity that rejects Torah. We must draw a line in the sand and dare people to cross over and follow the whole counsel of Scripture.
Look, the word “Christian” is intended to mean “Christ One”—someone who follows Yeshua and His Torah lifestyle. Sadly, what the majority of the world knows today as Christianity is a totally false religion that has deceived the masses. If Yeshua is your Messiah and Yah is your Elohim then you will follow the whole Bible. It was a whole Bible message that spread first out of Jerusalem westward into Africa and Europe, into the island regions of Britain, Ireland, and Scotland. It was a whole Bible message that ultimately traveled first westward across the ocean into the Americas. And it must be a whole Bible message that now travels out of the Americas into the rest of the world.
The demonic religions of Satan, those that lead people away from Yeshua or away from The Torah, have always been hot on the heels of the truth. But the truth will always prevail. It must prevail. It is the truth.
Though Scripture declares that FEW will be those who find the narrow gate and the path of truth, there are people worldwide who will be receptive to the whole truth. That truth is BOTH The Torah and The Gospel. Not one or the other. Not one overturning the other. Not one “greater than” or “more important than” the other. But both together in a complete message of whole Bible faith. If you are seeking the truth, it will require you to renounce the “trinity” of Satanic religions that has deceived more people than any other: Rabbinic Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Protestant Christianity. None of these religions present a whole Bible belief system, and they must all be rejected from your faith if you want to find that narrow gate that opens to the true path of Torah. Yeshua said “I am the door” (John 10:9), He is the gate that opens to the path of Torah that leads to The Father. If the “Jesus” you have gone through does not open to the path of Torah, you have a counterfeit “Jesus”. If the Torah you are following was not found by going through the door that is Yeshua, you have a counterfeit Torah. Patrick of Ireland left people with the Books of The Law and the Books of The Gospel. It’s about time we start to do the same if we seek to fill heavens courts instead of the pews of unbiblical, blaspheming, heretical churches.
~Blessings and Shalom~ ©2021 Truth Ignited Ministry www.TruthIgnited.com