Watchman's Teaching Letter #109 May 2007
This is my one hundred and ninth monthly teaching letter and starts my tenth year of composing these publications. Since WTL #88 we have been continuing a series defending the apostle Paul. In the upcoming lessons I will continue commenting on Paul’s writings directly or indirectly. At this time I will bring your attention to some interesting information which may give you a new perspective on some little known evidence that the present-day roman catholic church was not the original church established by Paul at Rome. To do this, it will be necessary to critique several sources to come up with a logical assessment of what the truth might be. I must also state that I do not entirely agree with every minute detail from the sources which I am about to use.
From The Ensign Message, Ap-Jn, 2004, I gleaned some extraordinary evidence under the title “Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?”, and subtitle “Where Are Peter And Paul Buried?” Paraphrasing it: it explains how in the year 656 A.D., Pope Vitalian sent the remains of Peter and Paul to Britain as gifts to king Oswy to be buried there. Cited for this is Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. The imperative question that demands to be asked is: to which church at Rome do we trace our theology? St. Peter’s Church is a replacement for the church built by Constantine between the years 326-361, supposedly over Peter’s tomb. The latter is modeled after the Roman Pantheon (temple of pagan gods), and hardly Christ-honoring! This article reads:
“Where Are Peter and Paul Buried?
“For centuries the Christian world has taken for granted that Peter and Paul are buried in Rome. No one, it seems, has thought to question the tradition. Granted, Paul was brought to Rome about A.D. 67. He was beheaded, then buried on the Ostian Way. But are his remains still there? Granted, too, that universal tradition declared the apostle Peter was also brought to Rome in Nero’s reign and martyred about the same time. Many pieces of ancient literature - some spurious, some factual - confirm that both Simon Magus, the false apostle, who masqueraded as Peter, and Simon Peter himself died at Rome. The question is - which Simon is buried today under the Vatican? Is there proof that the bones of the apostles Peter and Paul were moved from Rome, and are not there now? YES!
“There is a reason the Vatican has been hesitant to claim the apostle Peter’s tomb has been found! They know that it is Simon Magus, the false Peter, who is buried there, not Simon Peter the apostle. Here is what happened. In the year 656 [A.D.] Pope Vitalian decided the Catholic Church was not interested in the remains of the apostles Peter and Paul. THE POPE THEREFORE ORDERED THEM SENT TO OSWY, KING OF BRITAIN! Here is part of his letter to the British king: ‘HOWEVER, WE HAVE ORDERED THE BLESSED GIFTS OF THE HOLY MARTYRS, THAT IS, THE RELICS OF THE BLESSED APOSTLES, PETER AND PAUL, AND OF THE HOLY MARTYRS LAURENTIUS, JOHN, AND PAUL, AND GREGORY, AND PANCRATIUS, TO BE DELIVERED TO THE BEARERS OF THESE OUR LETTERS, TO BE BY THEM DELIVERED TO YOU’ (Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, bk. III, ch. 29). Could anything be more astounding? The bones of Peter and Paul (termed ‘relics’ in the Pope’s letter) sent by the Pope from Rome to Britain - to the land of Israel! About a century and a half earlier Constantius of Lyons took the relics of all the apostles and martyrs from Gaul and buried them in a special tomb at ST. ALBANS IN BRITAIN. (Life of St Germanus.) Is it significant that the work of God and God’s College in Britain are in St. Albans? Think that over!”
Because this is a critical review on the subject, I will quote from an article from the Mar-Apr, 2007, edition of Archaeology, published by the American Institute of Archaeology (AIA):
“WHO’S BURIED IN ST. PAUL’S TOMB?
“The Vatican recently announced the discovery of what may be the tomb of St. Paul in Rome’s second-largest basilica. The first century Christian martyr was long suspected to be buried beneath the main altar of the basilica, St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls, originally built in the late fourth century A.D. Now Vatican Museum archaeologist Giorgio Filippi’s excavation through the wall of the altar has revealed a stone sarcophagus, more than six feet long and three feet tall, near three marble plaques including one bearing the inscription, in Latin, ‘Saint Paul the Martyr.’
“According to the New Testament, Paul joined the early Christian church after his famous conversion on the road to Damascus, when he is said to have heard the voice of Jesus. After spending much of his life proselytizing, he was sent to Rome to stand trial and was executed around A.D. 64. St. Paul was buried at the present-day site of the basilica, where a small church was erected to commemorate him.
“‘Absolute proof that it holds St. Paul’s bones is impossible,’ says Leonard Rutgers, an archaeologist at the University of Utrecht who visited the excavation. According to textual evidence, St. Paul’s remains were removed from the original site in A.D. 258, reburied in another part of Rome, and then finally moved back to the site of the basilica when it was built in the late fourth century. ‘So they were schlepping these bones around a lot,’ says Rutgers. ‘It’s hard to say if the remains in the sarcophagus itself belong to the saint. But it is still a significant late-fourth-century burial.’
“According to Filippi, historians had assumed that St. Paul was buried in a columbarium, or wall niche, which was typical of the period. ‘Instead,’ says Filippi, ‘we are now certain that sarcophagi existed in Rome by the fourth century, when Christianity was just beginning to assert itself.’
“The sarcophagus will remain beneath the altar, as Church law forbids the movement of sacred relics. But further study is still a possibility.
“‘There is a small hole in the upper part of the sarcophagus sealed with mortar,’ says Filippi. ‘Perhaps if the Pope authorized us, we could use an optical probe to study the inside. Naturally for us archaeologists it would be interesting to know if the remains inside really belong to St. Paul’.” (See www.archaeology.org) To this I would add, wouldn’t we all be interested?
The following report by the Associated Press is typical of about 30 to 40 different news agencies carrying the story, of which I will not repeat any of the rest. If the reader wishes, he can go to the Internet and critique each one of them (search for “Filippi”). I am simply quoting these various sources concerning Paul’s arrest, conviction, execution and final burial place/s. I cite these various sources so the reader can pit one against the other and come to his own conclusion:
“USA Today - AP - December 06, 2006: ‘Vatican archaeologists find tomb believed to be that of Apostle Paul’:
“ROME (AP) — Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome’s second largest basilica.
“The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project’s head said this week.
“‘Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible,’ said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls basilica.
“The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored, but Filippi didn’t rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.
“Two ancient churches that once stood at the site of the current basilica were successively built over the spot where tradition said the saint had been buried. The second church, built by the Roman emperor Theodosius in the fourth century, left the tomb visible, first above ground and later in a crypt.
“When a fire destroyed the church in 1823, the current basilica was built and the ancient crypt was filled with earth and covered by a new altar.
“‘We were always certain that the tomb had to be there beneath the papal altar,’ Filippi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“Filippi said that the decision to make the sarcophagus visible again was made after many pilgrims who came to Rome during the Catholic Church’s 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint’s tomb could not be visited or touched.
“The findings of the project will be officially presented during a news conference at the Vatican on Monday.”
If one will go to the following website he will find:
“The details are all wanting. Tradition supplies only a few, which may be true or not. The story is that Paul was beheaded on the Ostian Road. It was customary for criminals of prominence to be executed several miles out of the city so as to avoid the crowds. We may picture the event in a possible manner. One day in late spring or early June the executioners came to Paul’s dungeon and led him out of the city. One is reminded of Jesus as he bore his cross along his (sic the) Via Dolorosa. Paul, as a condemned criminal, would be the victim of the rabble’s sport. He would have no defender. We do not know if Luke was with Paul to the very last. We may at least hope so. If he could, he would surely walk along as near Paul as would be allowed. But no band of Christians followed with him now. He was going out of Rome on his way to the true Eternal City. He knew Rome well, but his eyes were fixed on other things. Outside the city the busy, merry life of the time went on. The crowds flowed into town. Some were going out. Paul was only a criminal going to be beheaded. Few, if any, of the crowds about would know or care anything about him. At a good place on the road some miles out the executioners stopped. The block was laid down. Paul laid his head upon it. The sword (or axe) was raised. The head of the greatest preacher of the ages rolled upon the ground. Tradition says that a Roman ‘matron named Lucina buried the body of St. Paul on her own land, beside the Ostian Road.’ Be that as it may, no Christian can come to Rome, especially by the Ostian Road, without tender thoughts of Paul, the matchless servant of Jesus.” (A.T. Robertson, Epochs In The Life Of Paul, pp. 316-317).
The next reference I will use is from a group which may have splintered off from the Worldwide Church Of God founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. This I also found on the Internet. I am skeptical of almost everything put out by Armstrong, although it was through his The United States And Britain In Prophecy that I first learned of my Israel Identity. I didn’t trust him then, and I still don’t, but I couldn’t refute the scriptures cited. I have heard the allegation made that Armstrong simply plagiarized J.H. Allen’s book Judah’s Sceptre And Joseph’s Birthright. However, the following seems to have been composed by a scholarly person. I have, though, placed my own critique in brackets at one place in the following dissertation which is a question and answer discussion.
“Q&A Church of the Eternal God FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
“Are there any reliable historical records that show how, where and when the apostle Paul died?
“The Holy Scriptures do not record Paul’s death, and although historians agree that Paul was murdered, they are somewhat divided regarding the precise events leading to Paul’s death.
“For instance, the 27th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, copyright 1959, writes on page 394, under ‘Paul’:
“‘Paul’s fate is hardly obscure. He himself saw that the charge against him, unrebutted by independent evidence, must bring him to the executioner’s sword, the last penalty for a Roman citizen. With this late [seco]nd century tradition agrees (Tertullian, ‘De praescr. haer.’ 36), namely the very spot on the Ostian Way, marked by a martyrmemorial (‘tropaion,’ Caius ‘ap.’ Euseb. ii 25), probably at the modern Tre Fontane, some three miles from Rome. But the traditional date (June 29) reaches us only on far later authority. Acts simply suggests summer A.D. 62; and we may perhaps imagine Timothy reaching Rome in time to share Paul’s last days.’
“Historians are by no means in agreement regarding the actual year of Paul’s death.
“The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, by James Hastings, copyright 1917, states on page 694:
“‘The close of Paul’s life, therefore, like its beginning, is enveloped in obscurity. That he suffered martyrdom at Rome there can be no doubt. That it was by beheading, and that the place of execution was three miles outside the city on the Ostian Way, is the consistent tradition of the Roman Church. The date will lie between A.D. 64 and 67, most probably nearer the former date than the latter limit.’
“Historians are divided, whether Paul’s death took place immediately after the end of the events described in Acts 28:30-31, that is, around A.D. 62, or whether a few years after those events, that is, between A.D. 64 and 67. The Broadman Bible Commentary, vol. 10, states on pages 151-152:
“‘Luke brings his book to a close with a summary account of Paul’s stay in Rome and tells us that he had full freedom in his preaching and teaching ... The abruptness of the author’s conclusion has led to much speculation among New Testament scholars. Some believe that the work was unfinished due to the author’s death. Others maintain that the ending of Acts was lost. A few contend that Luke intended to write a third volume ...’
“We might interject here that some feel that Luke ended the account in the book of Acts in such a drastic way, as he was not inspired to reveal, at that time, the location of the lost ten tribes of the house of Israel. The book of Acts does not report the later activities of the original apostles, such as Peter, because, as some contend, they preached the gospel to the lost ten tribes (compare Matthew 10:6).
“The Broadman Bible Commentary continues: ‘Cadbury (The Beginnings of Christianity, V, 333) cites an imperial edict attributed to the reign of Nero which specifies the time limit when cases were dropped. For capital cases in Roman provinces across the sea which were brought to Rome, the accuser and the accused had to appear in court before the maximum limit of 18 months. If the time limit should be exceeded, the case went by default. Perhaps Luke implied that Paul’s case was dropped by telling us that the apostle lived in Rome for two whole years at his own expense. If this was the situation, the author did end his book in a highly dramatic manner. The default was equivalent to an acquittal before Caesar’s court and gave tacit legal approval to the Christian movement ...
“‘Clement of Rome about A.D. 95 says that Paul ‘preached the gospel to the uttermost bounds of the west.’ It is quite possible that Clement’s information is based on Paul’s express hope to go to Spain (Rom. 15:24,28). Tradition also tells us that the apostle, after his release, was arrested again by Roman officials and put in prison at Rome. Further, during the persecution of Christians by Nero in A.D. 64, Paul was put to death by the executioner’s ax. He was spared from crucifixion because he was a Roman citizen.’
“Eusebius explains in The History of the Church, edited 1965, pp. 98-99, that Paul was spared in his first trial, as he was ‘rescued out of the lion’s mouth, the reference being apparently to Nero [or Satan, compare 1 Peter 5:8, using Nero as one of his instruments], because of his bestial cruelty.’ Eusebius also explains that ‘Nero’s tyranny did not begin till A.D. 62, when Paul’s first imprisonment was over.’
“Frank J. Goodwin writes in A Harmony of the Life of St. Paul, edited 1951, on pages 194-196:
“‘Paul was acquitted after his first trial, and was remanded to prison ... After the first trial nothing is certain. ‘That he underwent execution by the sword,’ says Alford, ‘is the constant tradition of antiquity, and would agree with the fact of his Roman citizenship, which would exempt him from death by torture.’ (Proleg., p. 97). Of his last trial and death there is tradition only, but no history (see Conybeare and Howson, II, pp. 488-490).’
“Nevertheless, Conybeare and Howson state, in The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, reprinted 1976, on pages 782 and 783, that Paul was released from prison after his first trial, but subsequently again arrested and killed by the Romans. They point out: ‘The death of St. Paul is recorded by his contemporary Clement ...; also by the Roman presbyter Caius (about 200 A.D.) (who alludes to the Ostian road as the site of St. Paul’s martyrdom), by Tertullian, Eusebius ..., Jerome, and many subsequent writers ... The statement that Paul was beheaded on the Ostian road agrees with the usage of the period, and with the tradition that his decapitation was by the sword not the axe.’
“A handout on the Epistles of Paul, by the Ambassador College of the Worldwide Church of God, in the fall of 1982, stated the following under ‘Rome’:
“‘Rome, an ancient city dating back some 700 years prior to Christ’s birth, was in the time of Paul the powerful capital of a world-ruling empire. The city sat upon seven hills along the Tiber River in what is today modern Italy. The city itself rests nearly fifteen miles inland from Italy’s western coast. [sic Rome sitting on seven hills has no significance here.]
“‘Paul’s first visit was in chains from Caesarea. He arrived in Rome after a long troublesome voyage and immediately held conference with Jewish [sic Judaean] leaders there (Acts 28:16-17). His first imprisonment was in his ‘own hired house’ (Acts 28:30). He received Onesimus here (Philemon 10) as well as Epaphroditus (Philippians 4:18). He wrote the ‘Prison Epistles’ of Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians and Philemon probably in 60-61 A.D. He expected acquittal as recorded in Philemon 22.
“‘Activities between his two Roman imprisonments are rather sketchy. We may wonder if he was able to visit Philippi (Philippians 1:26; 2:24), Colossae (Philemon 22) and Spain (Romans 15:24, 28). We may be rather sure he did visit Ephesus and Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3; 3:14, 15) as well as Crete (Titus 1:5), Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20), Troas (2 Timothy 4:13), Corinth (2 Timothy 4:20) and Nicopolis (Titus 3:12). It was during this time Paul probably wrote Timothy (first epistle) and Titus from Macedonia.
“‘Finally we come to Paul’s second arrest, his imprisonment and martyrdom. He is imprisoned as an evil-doer (2 Timothy 1:8; 2:8, 9), and writes his final epistle to Timothy in anticipation of death between 65-67 A.D. The epistle gives detail to Paul’s situation during his second imprisonment. It was here in Rome that tradition stated Paul was beheaded.’
“In his remarkable book, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, edited 1993, George F. Jowett writes on page 127: ‘In the year A.D. 66 we are told that Claudia, with her husband and children, rescued the murdered body of St. Paul,span style=, interring it in the private burial grounds on the Pudens estate [at Rome], where they were all to rest together.’ He continues, on pages 179-180:
“‘But what of Peter and Paul? Did they remain buried at Rome, in the grave where the loving hands of Claudia, Pudens and their children had placed them?... The positive answer is found in a document written by Pope Vitalian to the British King Oswy, A.D. 656. The letter is still in existence. Probably to the astonishment of many, the letter states that Pope Vitalian permitted the remains of the bodies of St. Paul and St. Peter, with the remains of the martyrs St. Lawrence, St. John, St. Gregory and St. Pancras, to be removed from Rome to England and re-interred in the great church at Canterbury. This historic record is beyond refutation ... The full facts concerning this amazing incident are related by the Venerable Bede, A.D. 673-735, in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.’
“Excerpts from the Pope’s letter to King Oswy read [quoted from Opera Historica, Volume I, p. 501]: ‘But to your messengers, the bearers of this our letter, we have caused to be given the benefits of the saints, that is to say, the relics of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of the holy martyrs, Laurence [or Lawrence], John and Paul and of Gregory and Pancras, all to be delivered truly to your excellency.’
“It is therefore reasonably certain that Paul was murdered under Nero through beheading. He was buried in Rome, but his body was later transferred to England, where it is today. Paul is still dead, lying in his grave, and waiting for his resurrection at the time of Christ’s return to this earth, in a few years from now.” Church of the Eternal God, PO Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198.
While this source did quote from the Drama Of The Lost Disciples near the end of the chapter entitled “The Glorious Cavalcade”, pages 179-180, George F. Jowett’s conclusions to the chapter are quite interesting on pp. 180-181, which read as follows:
“Regardless of the preservation of the letter sent from Pope Vitalian to King Oswy, Bede, being a man of devout character and erudition, would never make a false report on such an important matter as the transfer of those saintly bodies from the care of the Roman Catholic hierarchy at Rome to England if it were not so. His stature in the Augustinian church is noted in the record that the Venerable Bede is a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Calendar.
“The common belief was, and still is among the Roman Catholic laity, that the body of St. Paul rests beneath the high altar in the cathedral at Rome, erected to his honour; but it is well known in the high places in both Christian churches that for many centuries only his empty stone sarcophagus remains in the vault.
“Professor Kinnaman, the learned American scholar and archaeologist, in recent times has in his book Diggers for Facts, this reference to St. Paul’s life work, writing :
“‘The real earthly remains of the Apostle to the Gentiles [sic nations] sleep in the soil of England beyond the reach of the arm of the Roman law.’
“What of the tablet seen in the vault at St. Paul’s Without-the-Walls? Is it the lid of the stone coffin, supplied and inscribed by order of Constantine? The stone sarcophagus is in St. Paul’s Cathedral at Rome, but his body rests with St. Peter and the many other saints in England, described by historians as ‘the most hallowed ground on earth’.”
OTHER MISCONCEIVED CONCEPTS
If the remains of both Peter and Paul are interred in Britain we have an interesting situation, for there are many other saints buried there also, such as Joseph of Arimathea, Mary, the mother of Christ, and Martha, Mary Magdalene, Marcella, Maximin, to mention a few. How many of the bodies of the other apostles and their contemporary company were moved from other locations to Britain would be difficult to ascertain. Not only are most of us mistaken about the burial locations of the saints but also how Yahshua Christ will return. First, let’s check Acts 1:9-12 to see what it says:
“9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Yahshua, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.”
The futurists use this passage, plus Zechariah 14:1-4, to claim that Christ will return to Mount Olivet when He returns at His Second Coming, and neither passage supports such a conclusion. My question is: What is there at that location today that would make it worth His while to return there? Our problem is, we have been mesmerized by all those promoting the futurist doctrine, quoting Zechariah 14:1-4 which says:
“1 Behold, the day of Yahweh cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall Yahweh go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
These four verses are prophecy already fulfilled when the Romans under Titus destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. For anyone who has an Adam Clarke’s Commentary On The Bible, both the original six-volume edition or the abridged edition by Ralph Earle can check this out.
The part that confuses most people is: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem ... Then shall Yahweh go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” One must stop here and consider all the nations that fought against Jerusalem during its history. Psalm 83:5-12 names a few of them which include “The tabernacles of Edom...” which today we would consider as bad-fig-jews. So get it straight here, whom Yahweh is going to fight against! It’s not talking about all the nations on the planet during a so-called future supposed seven year period of tribulation!
At verse 1, Clarke says: “This appears to be a prediction of that war in which Jerusalem was finally destroyed, and the Jews scattered all over the face of the earth, and effects produced by it.” At verse 2, he says: “many were preserved for slaves, and for exhibition in the provincial theaters.” At verse 4, “It was on the Mount of Olives that Titus posted his army to batter Jerusalem ... I really think that these words refer to the intrenchments, etc., which the Romans made while carrying on the siege of this city; and particularly the line or trenches which the army made on Mount Olivet itself.” Clarke’s comments may not be entirely perfect, but at least he correctly identifies to whom the prophecy refers.
The A Commentary On The Holy Bible by Matthew Poole at verse 2 says in part: “... The residue of the people; that small number of Jews [sic Judaeans] which fled to Pella, and who were spared by Titus. Shall not be cut off from the city; literally, were not forbidden to dwell in or about the city; mystically, were not cut off from the church, nor ceased to be a church; this the more likely, for Titus utterly ruined the city.” Thus, Poole also identifies this passage with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. It was to The residue of the people, (v. 2) who were truly pure unmixed seed of the Tribe of Judah that fled to Pella for which Yahweh would fight. And He would use the Romans who were of Zerah-Judah (who were the seed of the woman) to destroy the city and Temple, fulfilling in part Rom. 16:20 & Gen. 3:15. I say in part, for while Titus and his Romans did well, they didn’t complete the job of bruising Satan under their feet. So when it says at verse 4, “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives”, it’s speaking metaphorically of Titus and his Zerah-Judah Romans, and not Yahshua’s Second Coming.
At Zechariah 14:8 we read: “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem ...” Were not these “living waters” the teachings of Christ and the mysteries revealed to Paul which had been hidden from the foundation of the world? Both Clarke and Poole agree that the terms “former sea” and “hinder sea” are simply metaphors for salty unusable waters of the Mediterranean and Dead seas. And was not the gospel launched from Jerusalem when Christ said at Acts 1:8: “... and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth ...”? The rest of the 14th chapter of Zechariah presents other difficulties which we won’t go into here.
Another passage at Zech. 8:23 taken totally out-of-context reads: “Thus saith Yahweh of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Here the word “Jew” should be Judaean and it is speaking of the apostles who were all Benjamites (except Judas), and therefore of the southern kingdom of Judah. The futurists of today try to make us believe that it means the bad-fig-jews presently masquerading as God’s chosen!