The Knights Templar is a monastic organization that has a marked history and changed the way Christian orders are perceived in some countries in the world. However, despite their fame, they are often confused with the Crusaders. Understanding the difference between them is important in order to comprehend the history of Christianity.
To understand the difference between the Knights and the Crusaders, it is important to have a clear definition of both. According to the Latin Christians in the Middle Ages, a Crusade is any military campaign or war deemed by the papacy, which was led by the Pope of Rome back then, to be spiritually meritorious. It’s the just Christian war suggested by San Augustin a long time before the Crusades began. A crusade can’t happen between two Christians. The war has to be beneficial in the eye of God, and its main purpose should be defending its word. With that being taken into consideration, many wars in the 12th and 13th centuries fall into the category.
Shortly before the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem, it was controlled by the Seljuk Turks, who attacked Christina pilgrims coming from Europe. This was when the Templar order was created. Its initial goal was to protect those travelers. Soon after, the order became much more than that. Being a Templar meant indulging in a number of rituals, taking vows of chastity, and also following rules and regulations concerning diet, garments, and social life.
On the other hand, in order to be a Templar, it’s not enough to indulge in a Crusade, but you have to be a member of the order.
The confusion usually associated with the Templars and the Crusaders is not random. In fact, they have many things in common. For instance, both have penitential elements such as renouncing sin and embracing the word of Christ.