Joseph of Arimathea Is Imprisoned But Escapes

Jewish Elders Were Angry With Joseph Of Arimathea —

According to the Gospel of Nicodemus the Jewish elders were angry with Joseph of Arimathea. Perhaps they realized that he had somehow tricked them.

Joseph of Arimathea

Fig (1) Joseph of Arimathea

In the same Gospel Joseph of Arimathea is shown to plead his case with the elders: Why are you angry against me because I begged the body of Jesus? Behold, I have put him in my new tomb, wrapping in clean linen; and I have rolled a stone to the door of the tomb. And you have acted not well against the just man, because you have not repented of crucifying him, but also have pierced him with a spear (1).

However the elders were not satisfied with Joseph of Arimathea’s explanation. They imprisoned him, put a seal on his cell door and placed a guard. Nevertheless Joseph of Arimathea escaped and according to some accounts went away Arimathea. It was probably then that he informed James that his brother Jesus did not die on the cross and that he was now in Ephesus together with Mary Magdalene, Juda and his mother Mary. It was from then on that James himself went to live with the community of Essenes and where James began to preach the word of Jesus. According to some sources Joseph of Arimathea eventually relocated to England. In fact during medieval times he was credited with being the founder of British Christianity and the original custodian of the Holy Grail (2).

Why Did The Jewish Elders Arrest Joseph Of Arimathea?

Why did the Jewish elders arrest Joseph of Arimathea? He did only what was required. No one wanted the body of Jesus hanging on a cross on the day of the Passover. Presumably they were upset because they were convinced that Joseph of Arimathea had tricked them. Perhaps they also suspected that Pilate had a role in the trickery.

According historians William of Malmesbury, Maelgwyn of Llandaff and Polydore Vergil Joseph of Arimathea resettles in Glastonbury, England to continue the mission of Jesus. Even the four Church councils of Pisa 1409, Constance 1417, Sienna 1424 and Basle 1434, mention that “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” (3).

(1) Jones, Robert C. (1997). Joseph of Arimathea: Biblical & Legendary Accounts. Retrieved 2013, from

(2) Joseph of Arimathea. (2012). Retrieved 2011, from

(3) Trustee of the Gospel. (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from

Picture Credits:
(1) Joseph of Arimathea



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