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The Knights Templar and the Assassins

One of the seals and insignia of the Knights Templar (above) depicts two knights riding into battle on the same horse. It is believed this was to convey the idea that the knights were so poor as to not be able to afford their own mount. Thus, some brother knights needed to ride double to get into the fray.
Pages here on the Knights Templar are provided on order to correct some popular misconceptions about this ancient order of Knighthood. It is relevant to discuss this group to help the reader understand the context within which the Muslim cult of Assassins operated. It also helps to shed light on the motivations of today's radical form of Islam and the terrorism it advocates.

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as the "Templars", were among the 3 or 4 most renowned of the Christian military orders. At its height, the Templar order was a thriving military, religious and banking organization that existed for almost two hundred years during the Middle-Ages.

(above) Another rendering of the Seal of the Templars showing front and back


The Templar order was founded by a French knight from the Champagne region; Hugh De Payens (1070 1136). De payens was the co-founder and first Grandmaster of the Templar order. After the first Crusade, bandits roamed the countryside throughout the Middle East. De Payens banded together with eight other Knights; fellow veterans of the conflict. Their purpose was to escort and protect pilgrims traveling from Europe to the holy land of Israel. Hugh of Payens 10701136, a French knight from the Champagne region:

During their travels, De Payens and his "Band of Brother Knights" discussed guidelines for the conduct of their Christian behavior. They discussed a lifestyle which would be governed by principles such as the ideals of Knighthood, faith in Christ, Valor, Charity, Chivalry and Piety. Out of these discussions they developed a PURPOSE; a way to serve God, and their fellow man, with the skills they had developed as Warriors.


Rule of the Knights Templar" Based on the Rule of Benedict:

De Payens developed the idea of a Christian order of "Warrior-Monks". A religious and MONASTIC ORDER, faithful to God, with the added discipline of a Soldier. Togehter with an influential monk named Bernard of Clairvaux (of France), De Payens created the "Rule" of the Templars; the code of behavior for the Templar order. The rule of the Knights Templar, and the very CORE of their spirituality, was based firmly on the Rule of Benedict (RB). The RB had become the leading guide, in Western Christianity, for monks living together in a monastery. (It is from this rule that we get the term "BENEDICTINE" monks). These monks were pledged to abide by the rule written by St. Benedict. Bernard and De Payens incorporated the RB into the rule of the Templars. The RB was adapted and "customized" to the needs of soldiers living together in the field. This rule for living has become known as the Latin Rule or the "Primitive Rule" of the Templars. (Link Below) See our page on Templar spirituality and practices Primitive Rule of the Templar Order


Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross:

The Templars were among the most skilled and disciplined fighting units of the Crusades. See our page on the Code of Chivalry and the Knights Templar

The "Knights Templar" Get Their Name:

De Payens approached King Baldwin, the ruler of the city of Jerusalem, with his idea of a religiousmilitary order of monks. With the patronage of Bernard of Clairvaux, King Baldwin was inspired to give the newly formed order the Temple Mount as their headquarters and as a stable for their horses. The Temple mount is, according to the Hebrew Bible, the site upon which Solomon had built his temple to God. The Knights Templar order was officially recognized by the Catholic Church in about the year 1129. The order became a much-favored charity throughout the Christen world, and it grew rapidly in money, power and numbers.

Written by a Professor of Medieval European History in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Reading in the UK, (until his retirement in September 2004). The New Kighthood by Malcom Barber. Founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims around Jerusalem, developed into one of the most influential corporations in the medieval world. It has retained its hold on the modern imagination thanks to the dramatic events of the Templars' trial and abolition two hundred years later, and has been invoked in historical mysteries from masonic conspiracy to the survival of the Turin shroud. Malcolm Barber's lucid narrative separates myth from history in this full and detailed account of the Order, from its origins, flourishing and suppression to the Templars' historic legend that has survived to the present day. Professor Barber chose the name of his book because it alludes to a writing of Bernard of Clairvaux, who was a great supporter or the Templar order. Bernard wrote a document called "In Praise of the New Knighthood". This was a Knighthood that combined the virtues of loyal monks, devoted to prayer and to the cause of Christ, with the virtues of a committed, dedicated warrior LOADED with military prowess. Find out what Bernard wrote about the "New Knighthood": In Praise of the New Knighthood Knights Templar Commemorative Coin BARGAIN PRICED!

The Temple of Solomon:

The most passionately debated issue in the Middle East is a matter of religious conviction! : Jews claim the Temple Mount is the location of King Solomon's Temple. Muslims claim this is the location from which their prophet Muhammed ascended to heaven and is the third holiest place in their religion. Muslims also claim that King Solomon's Temple (and King David) NEVER EXISTED! ..."I suppose the Knights Templar just want their headquarters and horse stables back and to see the Jews and Muslims settle their differences in a Christian manner! (THAT WAS A JOKE FOLKS!) See the link to this 33-page report on the actual location of Solomon's Temple as it has been determined thus far in the archeological record: Temple Mount Location Who were the Templar's Deadly Adversaries? The Templar's Deadly Adversary


The Temple Mount Today:

Eventually, Muslim armies recaptured the Jewish Temple Mount area from the Templars. Today it is home to the Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock; two shrines venerated by Muslims. The Temple Mount, once the official headquarters of the Templars, is the most fought-over piece of real estate on earth. In 1948, Israel became a nation again, and there is an Orthodox Jewish movement to re-establish and rebuild the temple and its rituals. LINK -It is called: The Temple Mount and the Land of Israel Faithful Movement "...The goal of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement is the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in our lifetime in accordance with the Word of G-d and all the Hebrew prophets and the liberation of the Temple Mount from Arab (Islamic) occupation so that it may be consecrated to the Name of G-d...How Does the Temple Mount Figure into Bible Prophecy and



(above) END OF DAYS-In this provocative work, seasoned journalist Gershom Gorenberg portrays a deadly mix of religious extremism, violence, and Mideast politics, as expressed in the struggle for the sacred center of Jerusalem. Known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, this thirty-five-acre enclosure at the southeast corner of Jerusalem's Old City is the most contested piece of real estate on earth. Here nationalism combines with fundamentalist faith in a volatile brew. Members of the world's three major monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-hold this spot to be the key to salvation as they await the end of the world, and struggle to fulfill conflicting religious prophecies with dangerous political consequences. Adroitly portraying American radio evangelists of the End, radical Palestinian sheikhs, and Israeli ex-terrorists, Gorenberg explains why believers hope for the End, and why prominent American fundamentalists provide hard-line support for Israel while looking forward to the apocalypse. He makes sense of the messianic fervor that has driven some Israeli settlers to oppose peace. And he describes the Islamic apocalyptic visions that cast Israel's actions in Jerusalem as diabolic plots. The End of Days shows how conflict over Jerusalem and the fiery belief in apocalypse continue to have a potent impact on world politics and why a lasting peace in the Middle East continues to prove elusive.

Knights Templar Lore and Spirituality-the REAL story of:

The Way of the Templar...

Pages here on the Knights Templar are provided on order to correct some popular misconceptions about this ancient order of Knighthood. It is relevant to discuss this group to help the reader understand the context within which the Muslim cult of Assassins operated. It also helps to shed light on the motivations of today's radical form of Islam and the terrorism it advocates. The Knights Templar are a hot topic today. Their myth and legend is written about extensively in popular literature. Websites abound that purport to tell the "lost secrets" of this religious and fraternal order of Knighthood. There have been attempts to connect the beliefs and practices of the Templars to Gnostics, Cathars, Freemasonry and all sorts of occult and new-age mumbo-jumbo. There are new or so-called "revived" orders of the Knights Templar that profess a direct unbroken historical link to this ancient order of Knighthood. The truth is that there is no such link that has ever been validated. The vast majority of this stuff is NONSENSE, speculation and OUTRIGHT LIES by self-professed experts and charlatans; Lies that have very little to do with the historical record. All they are trying to do is capitalize on the "mystery" of the Templars. True historians, those whose opinions deserve to be taken seriously, must include universitytrained scholars; scholars whose work it is to determine, with provable fact and real evidence, what is authentic history and what is FABLE.


One of the world's leading experts on the Knights Templar:

I would submit to the reader, at least one person whose opinions on the Knights Templar should be taken seriously. NOWHERE in his work will you find the gibberish mentioned above. His full Name is Malcolm Charles Barber (born March 4, 1943) Barber is a British scholar of medieval history, described as the world's leading living expert on the Knights Templar. He is considered to have written the two most comprehensive books on the subject, The Trial of the Templars (1978) and The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple (1994). He has been an editor for The Journal of Medieval History and written many articles on the Templars, the Cathars, various elements of the Crusades, and the reign of Philip IV of France. I have had brief eMail contact with professor Barber. I won't presume to speak for him, however, I believe he would agree with my views stated above. (Malcolm if you've passed on, please send me an eMail from heaven, letting me know, so I can correct this web page) To avoid Spam, I give my eMail Thus: richard9r(AT)live(DOT)com As to Templar Spirituality and practices, it has been mentioned elsewhere on this website that the rule by which the Knights Templar governed their daily lives was based on the rule of Benedict (RB) Link; Knights Templar and the Assassins

Saint Benedict is often called the founder of western Christian monasticism:

Saint Benedict of Nursia (480543 AD) is a Christian saint, honored by the Roman Catholic Church. Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the "Rule of the Master". But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness. This persuaded most religious communities (People living in monasteries founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, the Rule of Benedict became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western Christian monasticism. source: Wikipedia The RB is made up of 73 short essays (called "chapters"). Its wisdom is of two kinds: 1. Spiritual-how to live a Christ-Centered life on earth. 2. Administrative-how to run a monastery efficiently. More than half the chapters describe how to develop in oneself the world-view, character and behavior of Jesus Christ; to be obedient and humble, and what to do when a member of the community is not. Benedict describes herein the actual tools to bring about these changes...or more accurately, how to get yourself out of the way so that the Holy Spirit of God can do the work of transformation...

...In his rule, what are these "tools" Benedict describes that we can use to have a powerful personal transformation?

The First of the tools Benedict endorsed is PRAYER. He believed that Prayer changes the PRAY-er; the one who prays. He prescribed prayer both individually and corporately (where the whole community comes together to pray). About one-fourth regulate the work of God (the Opus Dei). Opus Dei, Latin for "the Work of God", prescribes hours and times for recitations of the "Daily Office" The current official version of the Daily Office or "hours" in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church is called the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office in the British Isles. Such prayer times are specified number; generally SEVEN TIMES daily. (see reference to Psalms 119:164 below) This practice of daily prayers grew from the Jewish practice of reciting prayers at set times of the day: for example, in the Book of Acts, Peter and John visit the Temple for the afternoon prayers (Acts 3:1). Psalm 119:164 states: "Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws" which is among the scriptural quotes in the attestation of Saint Symeon of Thessaloniki that commences "The times of prayer and the services are seven in number, like the number of gifts of the Spirit, since the holy prayers are from the Spirit." A "Liturgy" is a type of prayer book. It is a (prescribed and written down) order of conducting services, prayers and recitations at designated hours of the day or night and in a preset order. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms (songs or "chants") supplemented by hymns and readings. The Liturgy is written down in a book called a "Breviary" (below)

Traditional Breviary-By the end of the 5th Century the Liturgy of the Hours was composed of seven offices. Of these seven, Compline seems to have been the last to appear because the 4th-Century Apostolic Constitutions VIII iv 34 do not mention it in the exhortation "Offer up your prayers in the morning, at the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the evening, and at cock-crowing". An eighth office, Prime, was added by Benedict of Nursia in the 6th Century.


These eight are known by the following names: 1. Matins (during the night, at midnight with some); also called Vigils or Nocturns or, in monastic usage, the Night Office Lauds or Dawn Prayer (at Dawn, or 3 a.m.) 2. Prime or Early Morning Prayer (First Hour = approximately 6 a.m.) 3. Terce or Mid-Morning Prayer (Third Hour = approximately 9 a.m.) 4. Sext or Midday Prayer (Sixth Hour = approximately 12 noon) 5. None or Mid-Afternoon Prayer (Ninth Hour = approximately 3 p.m.) 6. Vespers or Evening Prayer ("at the lighting of the lamps", generally at 6 p.m.) 7. Compline or Night Prayer (before retiring, generally at 9 p.m.) Saint Benedict of Nursia (480 543) is credited with having given this organization to the Liturgy of the Hours. However, his scheme was taken from that described by John Cassian, in his two major spiritual works, the Institutes and the Conferences, in which he described the monastic practices of the Desert Fathers of Egypt. source: Wikipedia One-tenth of the rule outlines how, and by whom, the monastery should be managed. 2 chapters specifically describe the abbots pastoral duties.

"Seven times a day will I praise you for your righteous laws"Psalm 119:164

Incidentally, some would argue that the pious Muslim practice of prayer toward Mecca, 5 times daily, is an imitation of the Divine office of the Benedictine Monks, whose custom it is to pray 7 times a day. The 7-times a day custom preceded islam by 650 years!-Rich Dallas The 8th office was added later.

What is the secret to developing unshakable faith in God and REAL PEACE OF MIND? The Spiritual Disciplines of the Knights Templar as prescribed in The Rule of Benedict:

(above)The Rule of Benedict is the very BEDROCK of the faith and motivations of the Knights Templar! Composed nearly fifteen hundred years ago by the father of Western monasticism, The Rule of St. Benedict has for centuries been the guide of religious communities. Incidentally, I am a NON-CATHOLIC. I would challenge any of my "Protestant" brothers and sisters to find anything contrary to scripture in this ancient writing that is so often considered "only for Catholics"-Rich Dallas St. Benedict's rules of community, obedience, humility, and contemplation are not only prerequisites for formal religious societies; they also provide an invaluable model for anyone desiring to live more simply. While they presuppose a certain detachment from the world, they provide guidance and inspiration for ANYONE seeking peace and fulfillment in their home and work communities. As prepared by the Benedictine monk and priest Timothy Fry, this translation of The Rule of St. Benedict can be a lifetransforming book. With a new Preface by Thomas Moore, author of The Care of the Soul. Link to Additional Spiritual Disciplines


Pages here on the Knights Templar are provided on order to correct some popular misconceptions about this ancient order of Knighthood. It is relevant to discuss this group to help the reader understand the context within which the Muslim cult of Assassins operated. It also helps to shed light on the motivations of today's radical form of Islam and the terrorism it advocates.

Spiritual Disciplines of the Knights Templar; a Summary:

The Spiritual Disciplines of the Knights Templar, as we have seen elsewhere on this website, are prescribed in various documents. Thus far, we have seen that the Templars had four documents as sources for their guidance. The Templars: 1. Had a rule of their own (The rule of the Knights Templar) and that this rule was based on the Rule of Benedict (RB):

based on the RULE OF BENEDICT > You may want to checkout the link (below) for a comparison of the RB with the Rule of the Templars 13 pgs written by Steven Grobschmidt: Link to Rule of St Benedict and Rule of the Templars-Compared "Monastic breviary" for the "Divine Office":

2. One of the disciplines prescribed was, just like Benedictine monks, the recitation of the "Divine Office" (liturgy) 7 times a day. This was written down in books called "breviaries" (above).

Chivalry and the Knights Templar 3. (above) Were also guided by the secular Knight's Code of Chivalry; a Warrior's code similar to the code of the Japanese Samurai. 4. (below) Had the support and encouragement of an influential monk by the name of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who wrote "In Praise of the New Knighthood". This document provided additional guidance.

Knights Templar and the Assassins


The Contemplative life of the Knights Templar...

My Perspective-I am a "born again" FUNDAMENTALIST Christian:
(My Pastor HATES the term "fundamentalist"). Yeah...well...It describes where I'm coming from. I hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. I am a "born-again, Bible-believing, blood-bought sinner, saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ"... (Wow! I'm outa breath just I am a non-Catholic. -Rich Dallas In an effort to understand the history and lineage of the ancient Knights Templar, I have taken the opportunity to visit a number of monasteries: One was a Benedictine, and One was a Cistercian Abbey. Cistercians are kind of a "hardcore Benedictine". They call themselves "Order of Cistercian of STRICT Observance" (O.C.S.O.) in Kentucky. This was also the home of Thomas Merton; one of the most prolific Cistercian thinkers of the last 500 years. I also visited a Lutheran monastery in Oxford Michigan. I have had conversations, with a number of the monks in residence, at all of them.

typing that!) And By the way,

Links to the O.C.S.O. :

Order of Cistercian of the Strict Observance Thomas Merton Wiki Thomas Merton Center


I have also read broadly and deeply on what is known as "Monastic Practices" and the "Contemplative Life". As a result of my research, I have uncovered several practices which, it would seem reasonable to assume, were part of the everyday life of the Templars. This assumption is not too much of a stretch since many of the monastic and contemplative practices I have identified have been a part of Christian history since Jesus walked the earth. Those practices that can strictly be called "monastic" have been around since at least before the time Benedict (500 AD). The Knights Templar didn't arrive on the scene until 600 or so years later. (1119 AD)

Genuine, Real & Live Cistercian Monks of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky U.S.A.! These guys aren't just going to a costume party!

Have you ever asked yourself what these guys DO all day?...The Answer may surprise you! The historical record will reflect the fact that the practices and spiritual disciplines of the monks, THE SAME ORDERS OF MONKS AS THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, (Benedictines and Cistercians) have not changed much; not in the 902+ years since the Templars were in full force.

Monks in Choir

Today, one might say that in a certain sense, the spiritual legacy of the Knights Templar is enshrined and preserved in their "descendants", The Order of Saint Benedict (O.S.B.).It is the O.S.B., and all monastic traditions connected to it, that promotes and teaches the R.B. as a way of life. The O.C.S.O., mentioned above, is related to the O.S.B. Link: Order of Saint Benedict

Additional Spiritual Disciplines of the Templars:

Lectio Divina-Latin for "Divine (sacred) Reading". This means reading a Bible passage slowly, with deliberation, perhaps several times. What is important is DWELLING upon each part of the reading, attentively listening for the instruction of the Holy Spirit that somehow speaks to you. Lectio Divina is the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer, and it brings about an intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart. Literacy was not as wide-spread back then as it is today. The Templars would have one individual read biblical passages aloud. This was called: Audio Divina, and it might also include listening to sacred music or chant. Gregorian chant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity, it accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services. It is named after Pope Gregory I, Bishop of Rome from 590 to 604. Gregorian chants are traditionally done in latin. Today however, Chant is done by actual monks in the native languages. heard here: You can listen to a Gregorian chant similar in style to what the Templars may have heard in Latin: Gregorian chant Knights Templar

Meditatio-This means reflecting on the text of the passage and thinking about how it applies to one's own life. This is considered to be a very personal reading of the Scripture and very personal application. OratioResponding in prayer to the passage by opening the heart to God. This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but is thought to be more of the beginning of a conversation with God. Contemplatio-Listening to God. This is a freeing of oneself from one's own thoughts, both mundane and holy, and hearing God talk to us. Opening the mind, heart, and soul to the influence of God. source: got questions org

Try Lectio Divina for Yourself!

Try the ancient Knights Templar Practice of Lectio Divina for yourself using this Lectio Divina Journal: Your Personal Lectio Divina Journal Coming soon: The Templar Spiritual Discipline of FASTING...

The Way of the Templar, like that of the Japanese Samurai, is the Way of the Warrior

The Samurai lived according to the code of "Bushid" meaning "Way of the Warrior-Knight". This is a Japanese word for the way of the Samurai life, very similar in concept to the European Knight's code of Chivalry. Every Knight Templar was not only bound by the Rule of Benedict, but also by the secular (non-religious) Knight's code of Chivalry. These are the historical facts! And they preclude any such nonsense as the claim that Templars were involved in occult practices, devil worship, Gnosticism or black magic rituals of which they were often accused.

The Knights Templar


There seems to be a CONTRADICTION in the Knights Templar. Men whom you would think are men of peace (monks), who train for war, then gird themselves for battle.

The Knights Templar were NOT pacifists!

It was Bernard of Clairvaux who clarified this seeming contradiction, in his writing to Hugh De Payens. In a document he wrote in the early 12th century called "In Praise of the New Knighthood", this Cistercian abbot, gave his encouragement to the fledgling group of Knights. He wrote: "In Praise of the New Knighthood":.. ..."This is, I say, a new kind of Knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens. When someone strongly resists a foe in the flesh, relying solely on the strength of the flesh, I would hardly remark it, since this is common enough. And when war is waged by spiritual strength against vices or demons, this, too, is nothing remarkable, praiseworthy as it is, for the world is full of monks. But when the one sees a man powerfully girding himself with both swords and nobly marking his belt, who would not consider it worthy of all wonder, the more so since it has been hitherto unknown? He is truly a fearless knight and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith just as his body is protected by armor of steel. He is thus doubly armed and need fear neither demons nor men. Not that he fears death--no, he desires it. Why should he fear to live or fear to die when for him to live is Christ, and to die is gain? Gladly and faithfully he stands for Christ, but he would prefer to be dissolved and to be with Christ, by far the better thing"... Link to the Full text of "In Praise of the New Knighthood: