Who was Saul of Cyrene?

Extract from Advent:

Chapter 48

Vatican City. December 10, 0748 hours.

“Your Holiness, you had charged the Sacrum ordinem Scolarium to look out for signs of the coming Armageddon, and everywhere we looked -- not just in Revelation but from Samuel to Jeremiah, Isaiah to Ezekiel, the hints, the ominous signs, they were there, staring us in the face,” began Father Jacque.
“We found in particular the obscure writings of Saul of Cyrene, the first century seer to be the most prophetically linked to the signs of recent events.”
            Some of Saul’s writings were recovered in 1887 from an archaeological dig near the village of Shahhat in present-day Libya. Of the many scrolls found, several were later transferred to the Vatican Secret Archives where they were locked away by orders of Pope Leo XIII and few of these were ever studied.
Another cache of scrolls belonging to Saul of Cyrene were discovered much earlier during the time of the Crusades. These were taken by the Crusaders back to their base in Israel where they were said to have been stored in secret beneath the Temple Mount.
Continued Father Jacque: “I could not get my hands on all the scrolls but of those that I was able to, Saul did appear to mention these present events when he wrote:

‘A second star, angry and red, from the east will rise.
Trembling in fear, the tribes witness a temple reborn.
Men will fall, seduced by the false denarius
As the advent of the riders of steed draw near.’

“This seems to describe with chilling accuracy, the events of these past months. Remember what Yusman said in his video. His language was odd for a Muslim terrorist, maybe even biblical perhaps. He openly says the day of reckoning is at hand. He described the nuclear blast as a rising star. It’s almost like he was talking of a second star similar to the one which led the wise men to Bethlehem, promising of a new beginning.”
“But is not the star a symbol of their faith too?”
“Yes Holy Father, you are right, it is. But the star appears again here in the Gold Dinar, the new currency that is causing so much trouble and uncertainty in the world today. Look at the image on the reverse side. It shows a star leading a lone rider on a white horse through the desert. Could this be the first of the four horsemen that Saul predicted, the one who was also described in the Book of Revelation -- the rider bent on conquest?”

* * * * * * 

I first stumbled across the name Saul of Cyrene several years ago while doing some online research on a totally unrelated subject. At that time, there were more than half a dozen websites and an extensive Wikipedia page on Saul complete with links to various other book references as well as and copies of newspaper and magazine reports. Since then however, many of these have curiously ceased to exist although the odd reference to Saul of Cyrene can still be found on Wikipedia and on other sites.  

Did he really exist? I have no idea but I am inclined to believe that this may be true. Over the past 100 years several discoveries of ancient religious writings have been unearthed, the most famous being the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947. 

Since then, other previously unknown texts have come to light including the so-called lost gospels of Judas, Mary Magdalene, Thomas and others. In 2011 UK's Daily Mail reported the discovery of an ancient collection of 70 tiny lead-paged books (pictured above) with early Christian symbols. Found in Jordan in 2006, these books may shed light on the birth and evolution of Christianity. It would therefore not be surprising if the writings of Saul of Cyrene said to have been discovered in the 19th century may one day prove to be authentic.

According to the few unverified sources that remain, Saul was said to have lived at around the same time as Jesus Christ. While he was not described as a disciple, legend has it that he followed Jesus around as he preached and recorded in great detail his life, sermons and the observations he made. Perhaps he was a scribe or maybe just an enthusiastic writer who was inspired to chronicle the extraordinary events he was witnessing.

After the death of Jesus, presumably as the early church was being persecuted by Rome, Saul fled Jerusalem and sought refuge in the town of Cyrene in present-day Libya. Living out his last days as a hermit he was said to have kept volumes of his earlier journals. He also began having prophetic visions of future events which he noted down in cryptic writings. How these visions occurred are not known.

Some of his writings, according to sources, were found hundreds of years later hidden in clay jars in caves outside Cyrene. Conspiracy theorists claim these were suppressed almost immediately by the Church with the help of local government officials.

If the information on Saul of Cyrene is true, it sets him and his journals apart from the four remaining canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These gospels were written decades after the fact. Some only appeared long after the death of the disciple for whom authorship is claimed.

But with Saul, we have an eye-witness account - one man who faithfully jotted down what he saw and heard. In all probability his writings would have offered a different perspective on the daily life and teachings of the Christ, far different from the sanitised gospels which had been heavily edited by the early Church. 

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