Holy Blood, Holy Grail, written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Licoln, presents us with some fascinating evidence of quite a different story of Jesus. Could it be true?
These authors did an enormous amount of research for this book, much of the time leading them to more questions than answers.
As they take us through ancient history, they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the Priory of Sion, and the truth of the Holy Grail.
What exactly was the Holy Grail, anyway? Whatever it was, it seemed to be related to Jesus in some way. Some traditions held that it was the cup that Jesus and his disciples drank from at the Last Supper.
Others believed it to be the cup Joseph of Arimathea caught Jesus' blood in as he hung on the cross. According to yet other traditions it was both of these.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail suggests that perhaps the Holy Grail has nothing to do with a cup at all, as many of us have believed for centuries, but that it actually refers to a bloodline that goes back to Jesus.
The authors point out that although the gospels say nothing about him being married - or not being married - that according to Judaic custom at the time, he likely would have been.
They say that, not only was it usual but almost mandatory, that a man be married. A man was also expected to have children.
According to some theological scholars, celibacy in the Jewish context of that time would have been highly unusual, and would have been sure to create quite a stir. Therefore, it would seem to indicate that since there is no mention of Jesus' martial status, we could easily assume that he was married.
Jesus did not teach celibacy. He tells us that "...a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh".
This, too, would seem to imply he was married. Would he teach one thing and practice another?
If Jesus was married, was Mary Magdalene his wife? The authors of this book tell us that since she followed him from place to place, she must have been married to someone. It would have been unthinkable for a woman to travel alone.
Some traditions claim she was married to one of Jesus' disciples. But what of her "special relationship" with Jesus? Wouldn't that have led to at least suspicions of adultery?
The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail have given us much material to consider.
The ideas in this book were widely discredited by historians and scholars. But that did not keep it from being regarded as blasphemous and therefore banned in the Philippines and other Roman Catholic countries.
I find the thoughts put forth in this book interesting and as believable as anything I've ever heard on the subject.
It makes sense, and that's more than I can say for other versions of this story! And it makes no difference to me whether or not Jesus was married.