However, these stories do not exist without a cause. The Templars do possess something that others may not, and they gained it only by going to the Holy Land, dwelling upon the foundation of the Holy Temple, and searching down for what may be found. There are favorite speculations on what they dug up, perhaps the Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail, or something else altogether.
But we must first understand how to find the Sacred Treasure.
Since the Bible was written, there have existed different methods of interpretation, and they tend to break down four ways:
1. Literal Interpretation
2. Allegorical Interpretation
3. Typological Interpretation (Moral of the Story)
4. Eschatological or Anagogic Interpretation
A little Latin rhyme from the Middle Ages has been preserved until today to aid monks in their memory of these methods:
Litera gesta docet, Quid credas allegoria,
Moralis quid agas, Quo tendas anagogia.
The rhyme is roughly translated:
The literal teaches what God and our ancestors did,
The allegory is where our faith and belief is hid,
The moral meaning gives us the rule of daily life,
The anagogy shows us where we end our strife.
Origen, an early church father, suggested the scripture could be interpreted by the Flesh, Soul and Spirit - a system that is roughly analogous to the rhyme.
An example of this in the Scripture would be Paul's Galatians 4:22-26 – An Allegory of Sarah and Hagar, where he says "For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia* and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother."
So What is the Templar Treasure?
We see that Paul saw this literal historical event with spiritual eyes and was able to see a divinely ordained reality that is only revealed when the events are interpreted spiritually. In like manner, all of history is the book of God where events may be seen with spiritual eyes and stories may be heard with spiritual ears - for the people in the Bible were not acting out Bible stories, but were living through history itself as they experienced it.
Here I will enumerate some of the spiritual understanding of the Templars:
1. Their Headquarters was sat upon the Temple Mount, one of the holiest sites in Christendom, yet they were not content to merely dwell upon the surface of the Holy Place. In like manner, a man may possess salvation through Christ and hold the title deed to heaven, and yet never dig, nor strive to obtain the riches of heaven upon earth. The Lord Himself said in Matt. 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." The Templar is one who is sworn to dig, excavate and mine beneath even the Mount of the Temple to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, even at the cost of all he has.
2. Excavating below the Temple Mount would lead you to the place upon which it was built, which is the threshing floor that King David purchased from the Jebusites, as told in 2 Samuel. A threshing floor is a hard surface where grain was thrashed to separate the wheat kernel from the chaff. This act of separation is to be understood as a discerning between useful and not useful, good and bad, spiritual and worldly. This is why it is written in Heb. 5:14, "But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." The Templar, through continuous use of his senses is made to be a threshing flail unto himself, to winnow all things that come before him to sort out truth from falsehood.
3. Below the threshing floor of the Jebusites is the foundation of Mt. Moriah, where Abraham brought his son to sacrifice as an offering to God. Abraham, when he understood what God had asked of him, "rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him." Gen.22:3. In rising early, he demonstrated his prompt obedience, and it was obedience in the face of killing his one and only son. It is this response to Abraham's covenant with God that God himself held his hand and said, "I will provide a sacrifice", and God thus provided His own Only Begotten for the offering. A Templar will trust and obey the Almighty, even though his most beloved is slain before him.
4. Perhaps, having dug this far, one might discover a treasure. One of the most famed objected the Templars are supposed to have found is the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark held the Tablets of the Law, and carried with it the very presence of God upon it. Should a Templar excavate this deep, he will indeed find that within his own heart, the law of God has been written by the finger of God upon the tablet of his heart, with the presence of the Almighty that shall never leave him, nor forsake him. He himself becomes a bearer of the Divine Law, and a carrier of the Holy Presence, and where ever he sets his foot, he stands in the dominion of the Almighty.
5. Lastly, one may discover the cup of Christ, the Holy Grail. Legend states that it was the cup present at the Last Supper, and Joseph of Arimethea used it to collect the blood of Christ at the Crucifixion. It signifies the forgiveness of sin and attainment of immortality. The wine in it symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed while making the supreme sacrifice for the sake of humanity, granting eternal life. If we, as Templars, discover the Grail, it will mean that we have walked the Via Dolorosa with Christ, shared in His sufferings, and the true treasure beneath the Temple - Life Everlasting - is ours.
1st Sgt Daniel Clausen, Priory of St. Michael. OSMTJ Knights Templar of America