Jennifer's Reviews > Holy Blood, Holy Grail

Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent
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Jan 16, 2012

bookshelves: faith, to-read

Speculation, yes. But even the bible contains much speculation (yes, that is my opinion and you don't need to agree with me, that is fine and I am perfectly ok with that). The basis for my opinion is as follows. The new testament wasn't even written until 60 yrs after Jesus' death, by people who most likely never heard him speak. It is really difficult to guess what sort of motives they may have had or wether they were trying very hard to shape the New Testament stories according to the old testament prophecies. Also, the council of Nicea picked and chose what documents could be a part of the New Testament in 325 CE. Would we choose the same books today? In addition, countless re-transcribings of the sacred texts and translations have occurred resulting in uncountable mis-translations and errors.

Did you know:
Mary Magdalene was NOT ever called a prostitute in the bible?
In 1969 the Catholic church issued a Papal Bull recanting the claim they had earlier made that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. That was news to me. And I was never even Catholic.

Jesus, as a rabbi, would have been EXPECTED to be married and have children according to Judaic custom. Of course this is by no means proof that he did marry and have children, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

So of course this book is probably 90% speculation. But I stand by my opinion, that lots of things are speculation.

I heard about this book from a friend in church during our Unitarian Universalist bible study group. When I get the time I look forward to reading it.

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Excerpt from wikipedia article on Mary Magdalene:
Pope Gregory the Great's homily on Luke's gospel dated 14 September 591 first suggested that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute: "She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? ... It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts."(homily XXXIII)[14]

In 1969 the Vatican, without commenting on Pope Gregory's reasoning,[15] implicitly rejected it by separating Luke's sinful woman, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdala via the Roman Missal.[16]

This identification of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute was followed by many writers and artists until the 20th century. Even today it is promulgated by some secular and occasional Christian groups. It is reflected in Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel The Last Temptation of Christ, in José Saramago's The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Jean-Claude La Marre's Color of the Cross and Hal Hartley's The Book of Life.
It was because of this association of Mary as a prostitute that she became the patroness of "wayward women", and "Magdalene houses" became established to help save women from prostitution.[17]
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