Why would anyone introduce such a thing when Christianity had already been introduced to Europe? Well, because the original message had been lost, along with the search and finding of the "Holy Grail".
This is not a new idea, at least the similarities between the Arthurian legend and Christianity are not new, but I thought I would draw attention to some of those similarities, and to their use in both mainstream and Gnostic Christianity, and also start some thinking as to why both are interpreted by some to be real people, whilst others do not believe there was a single individual identified as Jesus of the New Testament, nor indeed a King Arthur of the Britons.
Jesus is believed to be Divine - born of a human mother but not of her husband; of a father not of this world.
Arthur's father was also not his mother's husband, but a man dwelling in a body that looked like her husband.
Other parallels we could draw would be the common Roman occupation, Guinnvere (the alleged adultress) and Mary Magdalen (the alleged prostitute)
Both are associated with Swords and Stones; Jesus was said to have come not to bring peace, but a sword, and to have referred to his teachings to his disciples as "stones" that would serve them.
So what is being referred to be retrieving a sword from a stone? Well, the Stone is the enlightened, transformed one and the sword they retrieve from this state is what they are now armed with to make their way through life.
Arthur the man of the legends, was the bridge between the earthly realm and the spirit realm, just like early forms of Orpheus were believed to be a sort of shaman, who could also bridge both worlds.
And the twelve Apostles and the twelve knights equal the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve (Kabbalistic) faculties of the superior, or fully conscious, enlightened man. All the history of the Holy Grail and the Round Table are symbolic events we must live inwardly. Gnosticism teaches that we must learn to work our way through the celestial influences of the zodiac and perfeect each one.
Merlin anticipated the darkness into which the world would sink, and made the supreme sacrifice in dedicating himself to teach Arthur, and give him all the knowledge and force of a knight.
The knowledge was translated through the Lady of the Lake, linked to the earthly Waters of life, to love and transmutation which offers us the power and command of creation.
Arthur equals the superior, divine bridge, Kether, the Crown of the Kabbalah. The King.
Guinevere is the sacred woman who gives us the weapons for the hard struggle, transmutation of the waters into creative energy, the symbolic turning of water into wine, the alchemic symbol used in the Bible and described in the story of the wedding feast of Cana. This is another way of expressing the symbolic turning of lead into gold.
Lancelot stands on the bridge, before Arthur, spanning the two worlds, the land of the human (Lancelot) and the land of the Divine (Arthur).
No one is destroyed utterly in their contest; there is only the physical breaking of the sword; through "magic", the Lady of the Lake retrieves this sword.
Lancelot is called "Of the Lake" as it is he who must work with waters; the waters of life. Man must not lock himself away from the world, from temptation and pain and joy; life must be experienced in all its misery and splendour in order for one to learn and grow. He is the Terrestrial Soul, fused of necessity, to the Spiritual Soul as a symbol, not in the way as has been seen as an adulterous liason between he and Guinevere. This is also akin to the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalen, as many here know.
The final comparisons with the Arthurian story, and the Grail sought by Gnostics who wish to find the "Christ" within is as follows.
Man is a triangle, positive, negative and neutral, that should never be divided or separated.
The first stage of the Arthurian legend introduces us to one who lives for himself, without direction. Everything is anarchy and disorder, and this is taken advantage of by those who seek destruction and chaos.
To correspond with Arthur at this point, is Guinevere, sensual and dedicated to youth and beauty, imaginative, full of illusions - in a process of development.
Then we have Lancelot, active, strong, determined to fight in all battles and adventures put before him. Everything is iron will, manifested in the human field, but trapped in immaturity, uncontrolled passion. He has not got the Will of the soul, he is not Master of himself. Because of this, he cannot dwell inside Camelot since he does not dwell within himself
In the second stage, all is different - consciousness shines on all levels of the Being. On one side we have the more mature, experienced Arthur, leading and governing his people, in control. He commands with wisdom, force and power. He is more patient, and reflective in all his decisions. He has become the Bridge to the Cosmos because he has the secrets of creation. The dragonslayer. He is Kether.
In Kether is the DivineWhite Brilliance, the Divine Glory - that Light which lights the universe - that Light which surpasses the glory of the Sun.
On the other side we have the more Spiritual Queen Guinevere, full of love. The magic of Mother Earth is reflected in her.
Lastly, we have Lancelot of the Lake, the Human Soul, or transformed man, who has become a firm and determined Knight with his own consciousness and will. Body, Spirit and Soul - the triangle of the alchemists, often represented as a deer and a unicorn fighting in a forest....or two fishes swimming in the sea.
A conscious soul, Lancelot is now protector of his (own) King and Queen unto death. The King and Queen of the Alchemical Wedding - of the internal "great work". He travels the world as a symbol of the material, terrestrial soul which is within us all, for the development of life and learning the sacred mysteries. A warrior of the Heavens.
Merlin told Arthur not to use his sword unless in a desperate situation, whereby the use of his shield had failed; in which case, he was to take out his sword and use it as well as he could.
The Arthurian story has been traced in many forms up to the point we recognise it today -I've posted a lot on the Mysteries board "sifting through the history of the Grail", that allows us to see how the story evolved. More importantly is WHY it evolved, and how "Arthur" became as real to people as "Jesus". Oh, and both are expected to be returning too......