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British Israelism

Various unorthodox views exist which continue the history of the lost tribes of Israel, placing them variously in England or America. These viewpoints are often described as British Israelism. These viewpoints include those of the LDS church and the views of Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God and others.

These views are generally regarded by others as eccentric, and without any basis in fact.

One of the first documented examples of British Israelism was Richard Brothers' A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times, published in the 1790s.

British Israelitism was not originally anti-Semitic, even though its successor ideology today forms the basis of anti-Semitic groups such as Christian Identity. In some sense, early British Israelites could be regarded as philo-Semitic, and even today, other, similar ideologies are at least neutral.

The teaching of British Israelism took off in the mid 1800s after the ancient rock inscription at Behistun in Persia was deciphered. On the rock, one of the kings of the nations that Darius the Great had subdued was the king of the 'Saka', or the Scythians. The Behistun Rock was a type of Rosetta stone written in three languages. In the Babylonian, the Saka were called the Gimirri, in the Assyrian language there were referred to as the Khumri[?] or Bit-Khumri.

In other Babylonian and Assyrian monuments and tablets the conquests of the Khumri and their eventual captivity were chronicled. The Khumri were also called the Bit-omri or the House of Omri, one of the kings of the northern Tribes of the kingdom of Israel.

According to the hypothesis, the Saka-Scythians migrated west after the time of Christ. The Greeks called the Scyths Sakae and Scyths, the Romans referred to them as the Saxons. The English are known to be descended from the Anglo-Saxons. Hence the connection with the tribes of Israel.

Virtually all scholars reject the etymologies proposed as the basis of the theory.

See also: Israelites

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