A Christian heresy is described as ’an opinion which is contrary to the orthodox dogma of the Christian bishops’ and, in this regard, those other quests which comprise much of today’s scientific and medical research are equally heretical. The word ’heresy’ is, in essence, nothing more than a derogatory label - a tag used by a fearful Church establishment that has long sought to maintain control of society through fear of the unknown. A heresy can therefore define those aspects of philosophy and research which quest into the realms of the unknown and which, from time to time, provide answers and solutions that are quite contrary to Church doctrine.
In Christian terms, most of the world’s population is heretical, because the Christian Church (which defines its own heresies) represents little more than a quarter of that population. As for the remaining three-quarters - the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and others - they are all, by definition, heretics and infidel.
Only 365 years ago, the Italian scientist Galileo announced that the Earth was in motion around the sun (a discovery by the Polish astronomer, Copernicus) and for this the Church proclaimed him a heretic. As a result, Galileo was hauled before the Catholic Inquisition and kept under house arrest for ten years until he died.
Soon afterwards, Isaac Newton pursued the concept of orbital force, but he too was condemned and it was not until recently, in 1992, that the Church finally admitted that the Earth was in solar orbit. Indeed, it was not until the summer of 1996 that the notion of Hell was abolished by the General Synod of the Anglican Church, and it was this very notion which had caused such problems for Galileo, Newton and others. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, maintains the notion of Hell - and so, in the eyes of Rome, the Anglican Protestants have now become heretics in this regard.
Historically, as far as the Christian Church was concerned, the Earth was flat and at the centre of the Universe. Heaven was above the Earth and Hell was below. Consequently, the Earth had to be motionless and could not possibly be in orbital motion unless Heaven and Hell moved as well - which, it was maintained, they did not. 1996 was also the year when Pope John Paul formally acknowledged Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution - proclaiming it to be ’quite compatible’ with the Christian faith. But, hitherto, all scientists and scholars who upheld the principles of evolution were classified as heretics.
Additionally, the Vatican has now established a Miracles Council, consisting of scientists, medical men and theologians. Their brief is straightforward: to investigate ancient and modern miracles so as to determine what does and what does not fall into the category. If a plausible and acceptable reasoning can be found for a said miracle, then it is taken off the miracles list. If not, then it stays on the list until such time as a logical explanation is put forward by the Council.
And so, one by one, yesterday’s heresies (for which so many have been persecuted and executed) are being accepted by the Church’s more rational members. But there is, nevertheless, a significant element that prefers to retain the old dogma - creating a modern schism in the very structure of the Church itself.
As the years progress, it is evident that scientific and medical discovery must overturn much of the medieval religious dogma that has persisted to modern times. And, in this regard, some previously cited heresies are already being taken on board by a Church that has little option to do otherwise. But there are also other forms of heresy: heresies with an essentially spiritual base - the heresies which may be called pagan or occult and those which form the very roots of religions other than Christianity.
Then there are the historical heresies: those which do not immediately fall within the realms of science, medicine or philosophy, but whose testing and questing fall mainly to historians, linguists and theologians. It is in this particular category that we find the Quest for the Holy Grail and, in pursuing the Quest, it becomes increasingly apparent why the Church pronounced Grail lore to be a heresy when society at large perceives the Grail to be a thoroughly Christian relic.
Quests are, by their very nature, intriguing and historical research is enlightening, but the findings from neither are of any use whatever unless there are present-day applications which, like science and medicine, can sow the seeds of a better future.
History is no more than recorded experience - generally the experience of its winners - and it is common sense to learn from the experience of yesterday. Indeed, it is that very experience which holds the moral, cultural, political and social keys of tomorrow - and it is in this context that the Holy Grail supports its own Messianic code. This is the code of social practice instituted by Jesus when he washed his apostles’ feet at the Last Supper.
In the course of our journey, we shall discuss many items which are thoroughly familiar, but we shall be looking at them from a different perspective to that normally conveyed. In this regard it will appear that we are often treading wholly new ground, but it was, in fact, only the ground that existed before it was carpeted and concealed by those with otherwise vested interests. Only by rolling back this carpet of purposeful concealment can we succeed in our quest for the Holy Grail.
Our quest will begin in the Holy Land of Judaea in the time of Jesus, and we shall spend a good while there so as to set the emergent scene. We shall then progress through 2000 years of history to the present day - travelling through the Dark Ages to spend some time in medieval Europe. The Grail mystery will then be followed into King Arthur’s Britain and, eventually, even to the United States, where the American fathers were among the greatest exponents of the Grail Code.
We shall be looking at the emergent family in some detail, following their story, century by century - the story of a resolute royal dynasty: the descendant heirs ofJesus, who struggled against all odds to preserve the Messianic initiative of the Holy Grail.
Our story is one of conspiracy; of usurped crowns, persecutions, assassinations and the unwarranted concealment of information from the people of the Christian world. It is an account of good government and bad government; about how the patriarchal kingship of people was supplanted by dogmatic tyranny and the dictatorial lordship of lands. It is a compelling journey of discovery: a view of past ages, but with its eye firmly set upon the future. This is history as it was once written, but has never been told.
Let us begin with the most obvious of all questions:
- What is the Holy Grail?
- How is the Holy Grail connected with the descendant heirs of Jesus?
In medieval times, the line of Messianic descent was defined by the French word Sangréal - deriving from the two words Sang Réal, meaning ’Blood Royal’. This was the Blood Royal of Judah: the kingly line of David which progressed through Jesus and his heirs. In English translation, the definition Sangréal became ’San Graal’ (as in San Francisco). When written more fully it was ’Saint Grail’ - the word ’saint’, of course, relating to ’holy’. Then, by a natural linguistic process, came the more romantically familiar term, ’Holy Grail’.
From the Middle Ages there were a number of chivalric and military orders specifically attached to the Messianic Blood Royal in Britain and Europe. They included the Order of the Realm of Sion and the Order of the Sacred Sepulchre. But the most prestigious of all was the Sovereign Order of the Sangréal - the Knights of the Holy Grail. This was a dynastic Order of Scotland’s Royal House of Stewart.
In symbolic terms the Grail is often portrayed as a chalice that contains the blood of Jesus; alternatively as a vine of grapes. The product of grapes is wine, and it is the chalice and the wine of Grail tradition that sit at the very heart of the Holy Communion (the Eucharist). In this sacrament, the sacred chalice contains the wine that represents the perpetual blood of Jesus.
It is quite apparent that, although maintaining the ancient Communion custom, the Christian Church has conveniently ignored and elected not to teach the true meaning and origin of the custom. Few people even think to enquire about the ultimate symbolism of the Chalice and Wine sacrament, believing that it comes simply from some Gospel entries relating to the Last Supper.
What is the significance of the perpetual blood of Jesus? How is the blood of Jesus (or of anyone else for that matter) perpetuated? It is perpetuated through family and lineage. So why was it that the Church authorities elected to ignore the ’bloodline’ significance of the Grail sacrament? Indeed, why was it that they went so far as to denounce Grail lore and Grail symbolism as heretical?
The fact is that every Government and every Church teaches the form of history or dogma most conducive to its own vested interest. In this regard we are all conditioned to receiving a very selective form of teaching. We are taught what we are supposed to know, and we are told what we’re supposed to believe. But, for the most part, we learn both political and religious history by way of national or clerical propaganda, and this often becomes absolute dogma: teachings which may not be challenged for fear of reprisals.
With regard to the Church’s attitude towards the chalice and the wine, it is blatantly apparent that the original symbolism had to be reinterpreted by the bishops because it denoted that Jesus had offspring and, therefore, that he must have united with a woman.
But it was not only sacraments and customary ritual that were reinterpreted; the very Gospels themselves were corrupted to comply with the ’male-only’ establishment of the Church of Rome - much like a modern film editor will adjust and select the takes to achieve the desired result.
We are all familiar with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - but what about the other Gospels: those of Philip, of Thomas, of Mary and of Mary Magdalene? What of all the numerous Gospels, Acts and Epistles that were not approved by the Church councils when the New Testament was compiled? Why were they excluded when the choices were made?
There were actually two main criteria for selection, and these (from an earlier short-list prepared by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria) were originally determined at the Council of Carthage in the year AD 397, to be finally ratified in the later Renaissance era. The first criterion was that the New Testament Gospels must be written in the names of Jesus’s own apostles. Matthew was, of course, an apostle, as was John - but Mark was not an apostle of Jesus as far as we know; neither was Luke; they were both colleagues of the later St Paul.
Thomas, on the other hand, was one of the original twelve, and yet the Gospel in his name was excluded. Not only that but, along with various other texts, it was sentenced to be destroyed. And so, throughout the Mediterranean world, numerous unapproved books were buried and hidden in the 5th century. Only in recent times have some of these early manuscripts been unearthed, with the greatest of all discoveries made (after 1500 years) in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt.
Although these books were not rediscovered until this present century, they were used openly by the early Christians. Certain of them, including the Gospels mentioned, along with the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of the Egyptians and others, were actually mentioned in the 2nd-century writings of early churchmen such asClement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyon and Origen of Alexandria.
So, why were these and other apostolic Gospels not selected? Because there was a second, far more important criterion to consider - the criterion by which, in truth, the Gospel selection was really made. It was, in fact, a wholly sexist regulation which precluded anything that upheld the status of women in Church or community society. Indeed, the Church’s own Apostolic Constitutions were formulated on this basis. They state,
’We do not permit our women to teach in the Church, only to pray and to hear those who teach. Our master, when he sent us the twelve, did nowhere send out a woman; for the head of the woman is the man, and it is not reasonable that the body should govern the head’.
In his Epistle to the Romans, St Paul makes specific mention of his own female helpers: Phoebe, for example, whom he called a ’sister of the Church’ - along withJulia, and Priscilla who ’laid down her neck for the Cause’. Writings of the Gospel era are simply alive with women disciples, but the Church ignored them all. When the Precepts of Ecclesiastical Discipline were drawn up, they stated,
’It is not permitted for a woman to speak in Church, nor to claim for herself a share in any masculine function’.
However, it was not as if the Bible had said any such thing. In fact, quite the reverse was the case. St Paul had actually said in his first Epistle to Timothy that a bishop should be married to one wife and that he should have children, for a man with experience in his own family household is actually far better qualified to take care of the Church.
But, even though the Roman Church authorities claimed to uphold the teaching of St Paul in particular, they chose completely to disregard this explicit directive to suit their own ends, so that Jesus’s marital status could be strategically ignored.
Notwithstanding this, the Church’s celibate, unmarried image of Jesus was at variance with other writings of the Gospel era, and it was openly contradicted in the public domain until the perpetuation of the truth was proclaimed a punishable heresy (only 450 years ago) at the Italian Council of Trento in 1547 (the year that Henry VIII Tudor died in England).
It is, however, not just the Christian New Testament which suffers from these sexist restrictions. A similar editing process was applied to the Hebrew Old Testament, making it conveniently suitable to be added to the Christian Bible. This is made particularly apparent by a couple of entries that bypassed the editors’ scrutiny. The books of Joshua and 2-Samuel both refer to the importance of the more ancient book of Jasher. But where is this book? Like so many others of equal importance, it is not to be found in the Bible!
Does the book of Jasher still exist? It certainly does. The nine-foot Hebrew scroll was a jewel of the Court of Emperor Charlemagne and the translation of the book of Jasher was the very reason that the University of Paris was founded in the year 800 - more than a century before the now familiar version of the Old Testament was compiled.
Jasher was the personal staff-bearer to Moses, and the writings attributed to him are of enormous significance. The accounts relate to the Israelite sojourn in Egypt and tell of their exodus into Canaan. But they differ considerably from the version of the story that we know today. They explain that it was not Moses, but Miriam who was the spiritual leader of the tribes who crossed the Red Sea to Mount Sinai.
Let us now move to where the Christian story began - to the Gospels themselves. And, in doing this, let us first consider what the Gospels actually tell us, against what we perhaps think they tell us.
We have all learned to go along with what we are taught about the Gospels in schoolrooms and churches. But is the teaching correctly related? Does it always conform with the written scriptures? It is actually quite surprising how much we learn from pulpits or picture-books without checking the biblical text. The Nativity story itself provides a good example.
It is widely accepted (as the Christmas cards keep reminding us) that Jesus was born in a stable - but the Gospels do not say that. In fact, there is no ’stable’ mentioned in any authorized Gospel. The Nativity is not mentioned at all in Mark or John, and Matthew makes it quite plain that Jesus was born ’in a house’.
So where did the stable idea come from? It came from a misinterpretation of the Gospel of Luke which relates that Jesus was ’laid in a manger’ (not ’born’, as often misquoted, but ’laid’) and a manger was, and still is, nothing more than an animal feeding-box. In practice, it was perfectly common for mangers to be used as emergency cradles and they were often brought indoors for that very purpose.
So why has it been presumed that this particular manger was in a stable? Because the English translations of Luke tell us that there was ’no room in the inn’. But the old manuscript of Luke did not say that. In fact, there were no inns in the region - travellers lodged in private houses and family hospitality was a normal way of life in those days.
In fact, if we are really going to be precise, there were no stables in the region either. ’Stable’ is an English word that specifically defines a place for keeping horses. But few (apart from some Roman officers) ever used horses in 1st-century Judaea - they mainly used mules and oxen which, if kept under cover at all, would have been in some type of outhouse - certainly not a stable.
As for the mythical inn, the original Greek text of Luke does not relate that there was ’no room in the inn’. By the best translation it actually states that there was ’no provision in the room’ (i.e. ’no topos in the kataluma’). As previously mentioned, Matthew states that Jesus was born in a house and, when correctly translated, Luke reveals that Jesus was laid in a manger (an animal feeding box) because there was no cradle provided in the room.
While on the subject of Jesus’s birth, we ought to look at the chronology here, because the two Gospels which deal with the Nativity actually give different dates for the event. According to Matthew, Jesus was born in the reign of Herod the Great, who debated the event with the Magi and apparently ordered the slaying of the infants. King Herod died in the notional year 4 BC - so we know from Matthew that Jesus was born before that. Indeed, because of this, most standard concordance Bibles give 5 BC as Jesus’s date of birth.
In Luke, however, a completely different date is given. This Gospel states that Jesus was born while Cyrenius was Governor of Syria - the same year that EmperorAugustus implemented the national taxing census which caused Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem.
There are two relevant points to mention here, both of which are recorded in the 1st-century Jewish annals (such as The Antiquities of the Jews). Cyrenius was not appointed Governor of Syria until AD 6, and this was the very year that Emperor Augustus implemented the census, which was supervised by Cyrenius himself.
So Jesus appears to have been born on two separate occasions: ’before 4 BC’ and again ’in AD 6’. Is there a mistake in one of the Gospels? Not necessarily - at least not in the way things were originally portrayed. We are actually looking at two quite specific births: Jesus’s ’physical’ birth and his ’community’ birth. These were defined as the ’first’ and ’second’ births - the second being an initiation into society by way of a ritual ceremony of rebirth.
Second births for boys took place at the age of twelve (a ceremony in which they were ritualistically born again from their mother’s womb). And so we know from Luke that Jesus was twelve in AD 6. Unfortunately, the latter-day Gospel translators and transcribers completely missed the significance of this, while subsequent Church teachings combined the Matthew and Luke accounts into one, giving rise to the spurious nonsense about a Nativity scene in a stable.
Since Jesus was twelve in AD 6 (as given in Luke), then he was actually born in 7 BC, which was indeed during the late reign of Herod the Great as related in Matthew. But we now discover what appears to be another anomaly. The Luke Gospel then says that when Jesus was twelve years old, his parents, Mary and Joseph, took him to Jerusalem for the day - only to walk homewards for a full day’s journey with their friends before they realized that Jesus was not in their party. Then they returned to Jerusalem to find him at the temple discussing his father’s business with the doctors.
In reality, what sort of parents would wander for a whole day in the desert, without knowing their twelve-year-old son was not with them? The fact is that the whole point of the passage has been lost in the translation, for there was a wealth of difference between a twelve-year-old son and a son in his twelfth year.
It is, therefore, apparent that when Jesus remained at the temple in his twelfth year, he was actually twenty-four years-old - not twelve. As for his discussion with the doctors, this would have related to his next degree - the degree set by his spiritual father, whose business he discussed. At that time, his spiritual father (the overall patriarch) was Simeon the Essene - and we see, in Luke, that it was precisely this man (the ’just and devout Simeon’) who had legitimated Jesus under the law.
So, can we trust the Gospels? The answer to this question is ’yes’, we can trust them to a point, but we cannot trust the convoluted and distorted versions which are published and presented to us today. Subsequent to the original apostolic writings, the Gospels of the early Church were written in 2nd and 3rd century Greek. Along with the Bible as a whole, they were translated into Church Latin in the 4th century, but it was then to be more than a thousand years before any English translation was made.
The present English-language Gospels date back to the Authorized Bible compiled for King James VI Stuart of Scots (James I of England) in the early 17th century. This was published and set into print no more than 165 years before America’s Declaration of Independence - only a few years before the first Pilgrim Fathers set sail from England.
Bible translation was, however, a risky business in those days. For daring to translate the Bible into English, the 14th-century reformer John Wycliffe was denounced as a heretic and his books were burned. In the early 16th century William Tyndale was executed by strangulation in Belgium, and then burned just to ensure his death, for translating the Bible into English. A little later, Miles Coverdale (a Tyndale disciple) made another translation but, at that stage, the Church had split into two main factions. As a result, Coverdale’s version was accepted by the Protestant Church, although he remained a heretic in the eyes of Rome.
It is the Bible translated for King James upon which the majority of subsequent English-language editions have been based. But, in practice, this 17th-centuryAuthorized Version was not a direct translation from anything; it was mostly translated from the Greek, partly from the Latin and, to some extent, from the works of others who had made previous illegitimate translations.
In their rendering of the New Testament, King James’s linguists endeavoured to appease both the Protestants and the Catholics. This was the only way to produce a generally acceptable text, but their ambition was not entirely successful. The Catholics thought the translators were siding with the Protestants and tried to blow up King James in the Houses of Parliament (the famous Gunpowder Plot), while the Protestants maintained that the King was in league with the Catholics!
The translators were not only concerned with denominational appeasement; they also tried for something that we would today call ’political correctness’. In one instance the direct translation referred to a group of people called ’heavenly soldiers’, but this was crossed out and ’heavenly army’ was inserted instead. This, however, was deleted yet again (since the concept of an armed unit was not acceptable) to be replaced with ’heavenly host’. The problem was that no one knew precisely what a ’host’ was; the word had been resurrected after centuries of obscurity to enter the dictionaries of the era with the vague description: ’a lot of people’.
It is actually quite surprising how many ambiguous words were brought back into use to facilitate political correctness for the King James Bible while, at the same time, William Shakespeare was doing likewise in his plays. Indeed, the English-language vocabulary was increased by more than fifty percent as a result of words invented or brought back from the mists of time by the writers of the period.
So, although eminently poetic, the language of the Authorized English Bible is quite unlike that ever spoken by anyone in England or anywhere else but, from this approved canonical interpretation, all other English-language Bibles have emerged in their various forms. However, for all its faults and its beautifully designed verse pattern, it remains the closest of all translations from the original Greek manuscripts.
To facilitate the best possible trust in the Gospels, we must go back to the original Greek manuscripts with their often used Hebrew and Aramaic words and phrases. In this respect, we discover that (just as with the Nativity story) a good deal of relevant content has been misrepresented, misunderstood, mistranslated, or simply just lost in the telling. Sometimes this has happened because original words have no direct counterpart in other languages.
Christians are taught that Jesus’s father Joseph was a carpenter, as explained in the English-language Gospels. But it did not say that in the original Gospels. By the best translation, it actually said that Joseph was a Master of the Craft or Master Craftsman. The word ’carpenter’ was simply a translator’s concept of a craftsman. Anyone associated with modern Freemasonry will recognize the term ’the Craft’ and it has nothing whatever to do with woodwork. The text simply denoted that Joseph was a masterly, learned and scholarly man, and the description was especially concerned with matters of scientific metallurgy.
Another example is the concept of the Virgin Birth. English-language Gospels tell us that Jesus’s mother Mary was a ’virgin’ and, as we understand the word, it denotes a woman with no experience of sexual union. But this was translated not from the Greek initially but from the Latin, which referred to her as being a virgo, meaning nothing more than a ’young woman’. To have meant the same thing as ’virgin’ does today, the Latin would have been virgo intacta - that is to say, a ’young woman intact’.
Looking back beyond the Latin text we discover that the word translated to virgo (a young woman) was the old Semitic word almah which meant the very same: a ’young woman’, and it had no sexual connotation whatever. Had Mary actually been physically virgo intacta, the Semitic word used would have been bethulah, notalmah.
So, have we been completely misguided by the Gospels? No; we have been misguided by the English translations of the Gospels. Also by a Church establishment that has done everything in its power to deny women any normal lifestyle in the Gospel story. Hence, the New Testament’s key women are portrayed as virgins,whores and sometimes widows - but never everyday girlfriends, wives or mothers, and certainly never priestesses or holy sisters.
Notwithstanding the Virgin Birth dogma, the Gospels tell us time and time again that Jesus was descended from King David through his father Joseph. Even St Paul explains this in his Epistle to the Hebrews. But Christians are taught that Jesus’s father was a lowly carpenter, while his mother was a virgin - neither of which descriptions can be found in any original text. It follows, therefore, that to get the best out of the Gospels we have to read them as they were written, not as they have been interpreted according to Church doctrine and modern language.
Precisely when the four main Gospels were written is uncertain. What we do know is that they were first published at various stages in the second half of the first century. They were unanimous initially in revealing that Jesus was a Nazarene. This is actually upheld in the Roman annals. Additionally, the 1st-century Jewish chronicles, along with the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles, confirms that both Jesus’s brother James and St Paul were leaders of the sect of the Nazarenes.
This Nazarene definition is very important to the Grail story because it has been so often misrepresented to suggest that Jesus came from the town of Nazareth. For the past 400 years, English-language Gospels have perpetuated the error by wrongly translating ’Jesus the Nazarene’ as ’Jesus of Nazareth’, albeit there was no historical connection between Nazareth and the Nazarenes. In fact, the settlement at Nazareth was established in the AD 60s, thirty years or so after the Crucifixion. Nobody in Jesus’s early life came from Nazareth - it was not there!
The Nazarenes were a liberal Jewish sect opposed to the strict Hebrew regime of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Nazarene culture and language were heavily influenced by the philosophers of ancient Greece and their community supported the concept of equal opportunity for men and women. Documents of the time referred not to Nazareth but to the Nazarene community, wherein priestesses coexisted in equal status with priests. It has to be remembered, therefore, that Jesuswas not a Christian: he was a Nazarene - a radical, westernized Jew. The Christian movement was founded by others in the wake of his own mission, with the word ’Christian’ first recorded in AD 44 in Antioch, Syria.
In the Arab world, the word used to describe Jesus and his followers is nazara. This is confirmed in the Islamic Koran and the word means ’keepers’ or ’guardians’. The full definition is Nazara ha-Brit: ’Keepers of the Covenant’.
In the time of Jesus, the Nazarenes lived in Galilee and in that mystical realm which the Bible calls the ’wilderness’, which was actually a very defined place. It was essentially the land around the main settlement at Qumrân which spread out to Mird and other places near the Dead Sea. It was, of course, at Qumrân that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1948.
Through many centuries the Celtic Church, with its Nazarene culture, was directly opposed to the Church of Rome - the main difference being that the Celtic faith was based upon the teachings, codes and practices of Jesus himself. Roman Christianity, on the other hand, turned Jesus into the object of its religious veneration, forsaking his teachings to create an Imperial ’hybrid’ faith for the benefit of the emperors and popes. It exists, in fact, not as Christianity, but as ’churchianity’.
Apart from straightforward misunderstandings, misinterpretations and mistranslations, the canonical Gospels suffer from numerous purposeful amendments. Some original entries have been changed or deleted, while other entries have been added to suit the Church’s vested interest. The majority of these edits and amendments were made in the 4th century, when the texts were translated into Latin from their original Greek and Semitic tongues.
Even earlier, in about AD 195, Bishop Clement of Alexandria made the first known amendment to the Gospel texts. He deleted a substantial section from the Gospel of Mark (written more than a hundred years before that time) and justified his action in a letter, stating:
’For even if they should say something true, one who loves the truth should not, even so, agree with them - for not all true things are to be said to all men’.
Today, this section deleted by St Clement is still missing from the Gospel of Mark. But when Mark is compared with the Gospel that we know today, we find that today’s Gospel is a good deal longer than the original, having had spurious additions made. One of these additional sections comprises the whole of the Resurrection sequence - amounting to twelve full verses at the end of Mark, chapter 16. It is now known that everything told here about the events after the Crucifixion was added by Church scribes sometime in the late 4th century.
But what exactly was in this section of Mark that Clement saw fit to remove? It was the item which dealt with the raising of Lazarus. In the context of the original Mark text, however, Lazarus was portrayed in a state of excommunication: spiritual death by decree, not in a state of physical death. The account even had Lazarus and Jesus calling to each other before the tomb was opened. This, of course, defeated the bishops’ desire to portray the raising of Lazarus as a spiritual ’miracle’, not as a straightforward release from excommunication. More importantly, it set the scene for the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus himself, whose own subsequent raising from spiritual death was determined by the same three-day rule that applied to Lazarus.
Jesus was raised (released or resurrected) from death by decree on the statutory third day but, in the case of Lazarus, Jesus flouted the rules by raising his friend after the three-day period of symbolic sickness. At that point, civil death would have become absolute in the eyes of the legal elders of the Sanhedrin Council, whereupon Lazarus would have been wrapped in sacking and buried alive. His crime was that he had led a violent people’s revolt to safeguard the public water supply which had been diverted through a new Roman aqueduct in Jerusalem. What made the Lazarus raising special was that Jesus performed the release while not holding any priestly entitlement to do so - subsequent to which Herod-Antipas of Galilee compelled the High Priest of Jerusalem to acknowledge the unprecedented event.
There was, however, rather more to the removed section of Mark because, in telling the story of Lazarus, the account made it perfectly clear that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife. The Lazarus story now appears only in the Gospel of John, but contains a strange sequence which has Martha coming from the Lazarus house to greet Jesus, whereas her sister, Mary Magdalene, remains inside until summoned by Jesus. In contrast to this, the original Mark account related that Mary did come out of the house with Martha, but was then chastised by the disciples and sent back indoors to await Jesus’s instruction. This was a specific requirement of Judaic law, whereby a wife in ritual mourning was not allowed to emerge from the property until instructed by her husband.
There is a good deal of information outside the Bible to confirm that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. But is there anything relevant in the Gospels today - anything which perhaps the editors missed? Indeed there is.
There are seven lists given in the Gospels of the women who were Jesus’s regular companions. These lists all include his mother, but in six of these seven lists the first name given (even ahead of Jesus’s mother) is that of Mary Magdalene, making it plain that she was, in fact, the First Lady: the Messianic Queen.
But is the marriage itself detailed in the Gospels? Actually, it is. Many have suggested that the wedding at Cana was the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene - but this was not the wedding ceremony as such, being simply the pre-marital betrothal feast. The marriage is defined by the quite separate anointings of Jesus by Mary at Bethany. Chronologically, these anointings (as given in the Gospels) were two-and-a-half years apart.
Readers of the 1st century would have been fully conversant with the two-part ritual of the sacred marriage of a dynastic heir. Jesus, as we know, was a Messiah, which means quite simply an ’Anointed One’. In fact, all anointed senior priests and Davidic kings were Messiahs; Jesus was not unique in this regard. Although not an ordained priest, he gained his right to Messiah status by way of descent from King David and the kingly line, but he did not achieve that status until he was ritually anointed by Mary Magdalene in her capacity as a bridal high priestess.
The word ’Messiah’ comes from the Hebrew verb mashiach: ’to anoint’, which derives from the Egyptian messeh: ’the holy crocodile’. It was with the fat of themesseh that the Pharaoh’s sister-brides anointed their husbands on marriage, and the Egyptian custom sprang from kingly practice in old Mesopotamia. In the Old Testament’s Song of Solomon we learn of the bridal anointing of the king. It is detailed that the oil used in Judah was the fragrant ointment of spikenard (an expensive root oil from the Himalayas) and it is explained that this ritual was performed while the kingly husband sat at the table.
In the New Testament, the anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was indeed performed while he sat at the table, and specifically with the bridal ointment ofspikenard. Afterwards, Mary wiped Jesus’s feet with her hair and, on the first occasion of the two-part ceremony, she wept. All of these things signify the marital anointing of a dynastic heir.
Other anointings of Messiahs (whether on coronation or admission to the senior priesthood) were always conducted by men: by the High Zadok or the High Priest. The oil used was olive oil, mixed with cinnamon and other spices, but never spikenard. This oil was the express prerogative of a Messianic bride who had to be a ’Mary’ - a sister of a sacred order. Jesus’s mother was a Mary; so too would his wife have been a Mary, by title at least if not by baptismal name. Some conventual orders still maintain the tradition by adding the title ’Mary’ to the baptismal names of their nuns: Sister Mary Theresa, Sister Mary Louise, for example.
Messianic marriages were always conducted in two stages. The first (the anointing in Luke) was the legal commitment to wedlock, while the second (the later anointing in Matthew, Mark and John) was the cementing of the contract. In Jesus and Mary’s case the second anointing was of particular significance for, as explained by Flavius Josephus in the 1st-century Antiquities of the Jews, the second part of the marriage ceremony was never conducted until the wife was three months pregnant.
Dynastic heirs such as Jesus were expressly required to perpetuate their lines. Marriage was essential, but community law protected the dynasts against marriage to women who proved barren or kept miscarrying. This protection was provided by the three-month pregnancy rule. Miscarriages would not often happen after that term, subsequent to which it was considered safe enough to complete the marriage contract.
When anointing her husband at that stage, the Messianic bride was said to be anointing him for burial, as confirmed in the Gospels. From that day she would carry a vial of spikenard around her neck, throughout her husband’s life, to be used again on his entombment. It was for this very purpose that Mary Magdalene would have gone to Jesus’s tomb, as she did on the Sabbath after the Crucifixion.
’Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her’.
To the esoteric Grail Church and the Knights Templars, however, Mary Magdalene was always regarded as a saint. She is still revered as such by many today, but the interesting fact of this sainthood is that Mary is the recognized patron saint of wine-growers: the guardian of the Vine. Hence, she is the guardian of the sacred Bloodline of the Holy Grail.
There is much in the Gospels that we do not presume to be there because we are never encouraged to look beyond a superficial level. However, we have been aided greatly in this regard in recent years by the Dead Sea Scrolls and by the extraordinary research of Australian theologian Dr Barbara Thiering. The Scrolls not only explain the offices of the Messiah of Israel; they tell about the council of twelve delegate apostles appointed to preside over specific aspects of government and ritual. In turn, this leads to a greater awareness of the apostles themselves through understanding their duties and community standing.
We now know that there are allegories within the Gospels: the use of words that have hitherto been misunderstood. We know that baptismal priests were called ’fishers’, while those who aided them by hauling the baptismal candidates into the boats in large nets were called ’fishermen’, with the candidates themselves being called ’fishes’. The apostles James and John were both ordained ’fishers’, but the brothers Peter and Andrew were lay ’fishermen’, to whom Jesus promised ministerial status, saying, ’I will make you to become fishers of men’.
Also, we now know there was a particular jargon of the Gospel era, a jargon that would have been readily understood by readers of the time, embodying words that have been lost to later interpretation. Today, for example, we call our theatre investors ’angels’ and our top entertainers ’stars’, but what would a reader from some distant culture in two thousand years’ time make of a statement such as ’The angel went to talk to the stars’?
Through our knowledge of this scribal cryptology, we can now determine dates and locations with very great accuracy. We can uncover many hidden meanings in the Gospels, to the extent that the miracles themselves take on a whole new context. This does not in any way decry the fact that Jesus might have had special powers, but the Gospel ’miracles’ were not in themselves supernatural events. They gained prominence because, in the prevailing political arena, they were thoroughly unprecedented actions which successfully flouted the law.
Let us consider the water and wine at Cana by following the story as it is told in the Bible, in contrast to its common pulpit portrayal. Of all the four Gospels, only John records the wedding feast at Cana - an event which embodies the said ’miracle’ of the water and wine transformation. Actually, if this was such an importantmiracle (as Church teaching promotes) one would rightly expect the account to appear in the other Gospels as well. However, in the context of this story, Christians are generally taught that the party ’ran out of wine’ - even though the Bible text does not say that. What it says is: ’When they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said, They have no wine.’
In practice, wine taken at betrothal feasts was only available to priests and celibate Jews, not to married men, novices or any others who were regarded as being unsanctified. They were allowed only water - a purification ritual, as stated in John. When the time came for this ritual, Jesus’s mother (clearly not happy about the discrimination and directing Jesus’s attention to the unsanctified guests) said: ’They have no wine’.
Having not yet been anointed to Messiah status, Jesus responded, ’Mine hour is not yet come’, at which Mary forced the issue and Jesus then flouted convention, abandoning the water to provide wine for everyone. The Ruler of the Feast made no comment whatsoever about any miracle; he simply expressed his amazement that the wine had turned up at that stage of the proceedings.
It has often been suggested that the feast at Cana was Jesus’s own wedding ceremony because he and his mother displayed a right of command that would not be associated with ordinary guests. However, this event can be dated to the summer of AD 30, in the month equivalent to our modern June. First weddings were always held in the month of Atonement (modern September) and betrothal feasts were held three months before that. In this particular instance, we find that the first marital anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was at the Atonement of AD 30, three months after the Cana ceremony which appears to have been their own betrothal feast.
Aspects of the Gospels (though not always in agreement with each other) can actually be followed outside the Bible; even the trial and crucifixion of Jesus are mentioned in the Annals of Imperial Rome. We can now determine from chronological survey that the Crucifixion took place at the March Passover of AD 33, while the Bethany second marriage anointing was in the week prior to that. We also know that, at that stage, Mary Magdalene had to have been three months pregnant - which means she should have given birth in September of AD 33.
If the Gospels are read as they are written, Jesus appears as a liberating dynast, endeavouring to unite the people of the region against the oppression of the Roman Empire. Judaea at the time was just like France under German occupation in World War II. The authorities were controlled by the military occupational force and resistance movements were a part of everyday life. Jesus was awaited, expected and, by the end of the Gospel story, had become an anointed Messiah. Interestingly, in the Antiquities of the Jews, Jesus is called a ’wise man’, a ’teacher’ and the ’King’, but there is no mention whatever about about his being divine, as contrived in later ’churchianity’.
While the Dead Sea Scrolls identify the Messiah as the supreme Military commander of Israel, the New Testament also makes it clear that the apostles were armed. From the time of recruitment, Jesus checked that they all had swords and, at Jesus’s arrest, Peter drew his sword against Malchus. Even Jesus himself said, ’I came not to send peace but a sword’.
Many of the high-ranking Jews in Jerusalem were quite content to hold positions of power backed by a foreign military regime. Apart from that, the Hebrew groups were sectarian and did not want to share their God Jehovah with anybody else, certainly not with unclean Gentiles (Arabs and other non-Jews). To the Phariseesand Sadducees, the Jews were God’s ’chosen people’: he belonged to them; they belonged to him. But there were other Jews - in particular the Nazarenes andEssenes, who were influenced by a more liberal, western doctrine. In the event, Jesus’s mission failed because the sectarian rift was insurmountable - and the rift is still there today.
As for Jesus’s death on the cross, it is perfectly clear this was spiritual death, not physical death, as determined by the three-day rule that everybody in the 1st century would have understood.
In civil and legal terms, Jesus was already dead when he was placed on the cross, prior to which he was denounced, scourged and prepared for death by decree (excommunication). For three days Jesus would have been nominally ’sick’, with absolute death coming on the fourth day. On that day he would be entombed (buried alive), but during the first three days he could, in fact, be raised or resurrected, as he had predicted would be the case.
Raisings and resurrections (apart from the fact that Jesus once flouted the rule with Lazarus) could only be performed by the High Priest or by the Father of the Community. The High Priest at that time was Joseph Caiaphas (the very man who condemned Jesus), therefore the raising had to be performed by the patriarchal Father. There are Gospel accounts of Jesus talking to the Father from the cross, culminating in ’Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit’, and the appointed Father of the day was the Magian apostle Simon Zelotes.
Christians are taught that Jesus’s physical death was proved by the blood and water that flowed when he was pierced by the spear, but this has been very badly translated. The original word does not translate to ’pierced’ ; it translates to ’pricked ’ or ’scratched ’. This in turn was mistranslated into the Latin verb ’to open’, and then into the English word ’pierced’. Indeed, just like today, a common test for reflex action was scratching, prodding or pricking the skin with a sharp instrument.
A surgeon of the British Medical Association recently stated:
’Medically, the outflow of water is impossible to explain. Blood flowing from a stab wound is evidence of life, not death. It would take a large, gaping laceration for any drop of blood to flow from a dead body because there is no vascular action’.
We know from the Gospels that Joseph of Arimathea negotiated with Pontius Pilate to have Jesus removed from the cross after only a few hours of hanging, but the Gospels do not actually agree on the precise timing of events. This is because of the notional time change, when three hours disappeared from the day, to be replaced with three night-time hours (that is to say, daylight hours were substituted with hours of darkness).
On that evening the Hebrews began their Sabbath at the old nine o’clock, but the Essenes and Magians still had three hours to go before their Sabbath. It was those extra three hours which enabled them to work with Jesus during a period of time wherein others were not allowed to undertake any physical activity.
And so we come to one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible - the Ascension. And in consideration of this, the births of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s three children become apparent.
We know from Gospel chronology that the Bethany second-marriage anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was in the week before the Crucifixion (at the time of the March Passover). Also that, at that stage, Mary was three-months pregnant and should, therefore, have given birth six months later. So, what do the Gospels tell us about events in the notional month of September AD 33? In fact, they tell us nothing, but the story is taken up in the Acts of the Apostles, which detail for that month the event which we have come to know as the Ascension.
One thing which the Acts do not do, however, is to call the event the ’Ascension’. This was a tag established by way of a Roman Church doctrine more than three centuries later. What the Bible text actually says is:
’And when he had spoken these things ... he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight’.
’Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus ... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go’.
Given that this was the very month in which Mary Magdalene’s child was due, is there perhaps some connection between Mary’s confinement and the so-called Ascension? There certainly is - and the connection is made by virtue of the said ’time of restitution’. Not only were there rules to govern the marriage ceremony of a Messianic heir, but so too were there rules to govern the marriage itself. The rules of dynastic wedlock were quite unlike the Jewish family norm, and Messianic parents were formally separated at the birth of a child. Even prior to this, intimacy between a dynastic husband and wife was only allowed in December, so that births of heirs would always fall in the month of September - the month of Atonement, the holiest month of the calendar.
Indeed, it was this very rule which Jesus’s own parents (Joseph and Mary) had themselves broken. And this was the reason why the Jews were split in opinion as to whether Jesus was, in fact, their true Messiah. When a dynastic child was conceived at the wrong time of year, the mother was generally placed in monastic custody for the birth so as to avoid public embarrassment. This was called being ’put away privily’ and Matthew states quite plainly that, when Mary’s pregnancy was discovered, ’Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily’.
In this instance, special dispensation for the birth was granted by the angelic priest Simeon who, at that time, held the distinction of ’Gabriel’, being the archangel in charge. The Dead Sea Scrolls detail that the archangels (or chief ambassadors) were the senior priests at Qumrân who retained the traditional Old Testament titles ofMichael, Gabriel, Raphael, Sariel, etc. In the case of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, however, the rules of wedlock had been obeyed to the letter, and their first child was properly conceived in December AD 32, to be born in September AD 33.
From the moment of a dynastic birth, the parents were physically separated - for six years if the child was a boy and for three years if the child was a girl. Their marriage would only be recommenced at the designated ’time of restitution’. Meanwhile, the mother and child would enter the equivalent of a convent and the father would enter the ’kingdom of heaven’. This kingdom was actually the Essene high monastery at Mird, by the Dead Sea, and the ceremony of entry was conducted by the angelic priests under the supervision of the appointed Leader of the Pilgrims. In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Israelite pilgrims were led into the Holy Land by a cloud and, in accordance with this continued Exodus imagery, the priestly Leader of the Pilgrims was designated with the title ’Cloud’.
So, if we now read the Acts verses as they were intended to be understood, we see that Jesus was taken up by the Cloud (the Leader of the Pilgrims) to the kingdom of heaven (the high monastery), whereupon the man in white (an angelic priest) said that Jesus would return at the time of restitution (when his earthly marriage was restored).
If we now look at St Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews we discover that he explains the said Ascension event in some greater detail. Paul actually tells of how Jesus was admitted to the priesthood of heaven when he actually had no entitlement to such a sacred office. He explains that Jesus was born (through his father Joseph) into the Davidic line of Judah - a line which held the right of kingship but had no right to priesthood, for this was the sole prerogative of the line of Aaron and Levi.
In September AD 33, therefore, the first child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was born, and Jesus duly entered the kingdom of heaven. There is no reference to this child being a son (as there is for the two subsequent births) and, given that Jesus returned three years later (in AD 36), we know that Mary must have had a daughteron this occasion.
By following the chronology of the Acts, we see that in September AD 37 a second child was born, followed by another in AD 44. The period from the first of these two births to the second restitution in AD 43 was six years, which denotes that the AD 37 child was a son. This fact is also conveyed by the use of cryptic wording - the same cryptic wording afforded to the AD 44 child - so we know that this third child was also a son.
Messages conveying information about fertility and new life are established in the Parable of the Sower, whose seed ’bore fruit and increased’. Thus, when it is said that ’the Word of God increased’, those ’with ears to hear’ would recognize at once that Jesus increased - that is to say, he had a son. There are two such entries in the Acts, and they fall precisely on cue in AD 37 and AD 44.
Probably the most misrepresented book of the New Testament is the book of The Revelation of St John the Divine - misrepresented by the Church, that is, not by the book itself. This book is quite unlike any other in the Bible. It is dubbed with terrible supernatural overtones and its straightforward imagery has been savagely corrupted by the Church to present the text as some form of foreboding or prophecy of warning. But the book is not called The Prophecy or The Warning’; it is called The Revelation.
So, what does the book reveal? Chronologically, its story follows the Acts of the Apostles and the book of The Revelation is, in fact, the continuing story of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their sons - particularly the elder son, Jesus Justus. It follows his life and details his marriage, along with the birth of his own son. This much misunderstood New Testament book is not a foreboding or a warning as the fearful Church would have us believe. It is precisely what it says it is: a revelation.
As we saw earlier, ordained priests of the era were called ’fishers’; their helpers were called ’fishermen’ and baptismal candidates were called ’fishes’. Jesus became an ordained fisher when he entered the Kingdom of Heaven, but until that time (as explained by St Paul) he held no priestly office. In the rite of ordination, the officiating Levite priests of the Sanctuary would administer five loaves of bread and two fish to the candidates, but the law was very firm in that such candidates had to be circumcised Jews.
Apart from eventually becoming a fisher, Jesus was also referred to as the Christ - a Greek definition (from Khristos) which meant the King. In saying the nameJesus Christ, we are actually saying King Jesus, and his kingly heritage was of the Royal House of Judah (the House of David), as mentioned numerous times in the Gospels and in the Epistles of St Paul.
From AD 33, therefore, Jesus emerged with the dual status of a Priest Christ or, as is more commonly cited in Grail lore, a Fisher King. This definition, as we shall see, was to become the hereditary and dynastic office of Jesus’s heirs, and the succeeding Fisher Kings were paramount in the continuing Bloodline of the Holy Grail.
Prior to the birth of her second son in AD 44, Mary Magdalene was exiled from Judaea following a political uprising in which she was implicated. Along with Philip, Lazarus and a few retainers, she travelled (by arrangement with King Herod-Agrippa II) to live at the Herodian estate near Lyon, in Gaul (which later becameFrance).
From the earliest times, through the medieval era, to the great Renaissance, Mary’s flight was portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and great artworks alike. Her life and work in France, especially in Provence and the Languedoc region, appeared not only in works of European history but also in the Roman Church liturgy - until her story was suppressed by the Vatican.
Mary Magdalene’s exile is related in the book of The Revelation, which describes that she was pregnant at the time. It tells also of how the Roman authorities subsequently persecuted Mary, her son and his heirs:
’And she, being with child, cried and pained to be delivered. And behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and seven crowns stood before the woman for to devour her child. And she brought forth a man-child. And the woman fled into the wilderness. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war forever with the remnant of her seed - which have the testimony of Jesus Christ’.
The equivalent traditional symbol of the male was a blade or a horn, usually represented by a sword or a unicorn. In the Old Testament’s Song of Solomon and in thePsalms of David, the fertile unicorn is associated with the kingly line of Judah - and it was for this very reason that the Cathars of Provence used the mystical beast to symbolize the Grail bloodline.
Mary Magdalene died in Provence in AD 63 and, in that very year, Joseph of Arimathea built the famous chapel at Glastonbury in England as a memorial to theMessianic Queen. This was the first above-ground Christian chapel in the world, and in the following year Mary’s son Jesus Justus dedicated it to his mother. Jesusthe younger had previously been to England with Joseph of Arimathea at the age of twelve, in AD 49. It was this event which inspired William Blake’s famous songJerusalem: ’And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green’.
But who was Joseph of Arimathea - the man who assumed full control of affairs at the Crucifixion? And why was it that Jesus’s mother, his wife and the rest of the family accepted Joseph’s intervention without question?
As late as the year 900, the Byzantine Church (which had split from the Church of Rome) decided to announce that Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Jesus’smother Mary. And from that time, portrayals of Joseph have shown him as being rather elderly at the Crucifixion, when Mother Mary was herself in her fifties. Prior to the Church announcement, however, the historical records of Joseph depicted a much younger man. He was recorded to have died at the age of 80 on 27 July AD 82, and would therefore have been aged 32 at the time of the Crucifixion.
In fact, Joseph of Arimathea was none other than Jesus Christ’s own brother James, and his title had nothing whatever to with a place-name. In fact (like Nazareth), the place later dubbed Arimathea never existed in those times. It therefore comes as no surprise that Joseph negotiated with Pilate to place Jesus in his own family tomb.
The hereditary ’Arimathea’ title was an English corruption of the Graeco-Hebrew style ha-Rama-Theo, meaning ’of the Divine Highness’, or ’Royal Highness’ as we use the term today. Since Jesus was the senior Messianic heir (the Christ, or King), then his younger brother was the Crown Prince - the Divine (Royal) Highness,Rama-Theo. In the Nazarene hierarchy, the Crown Prince always held the patriarchal title of ’Joseph’ - just as Jesus was a titular ’David’ and his wife was a conventual ’Mary’.
In the early 5th century, Jesus and Mary’s descendent Fisher Kings became united by marriage to the Sicambrian Franks, and from them emerged a whole new reigning dynasty. They were the noted Merovingian Kings who founded the French monarchy and introduced the well-known fleur-de-lys (the ancient gladiolus symbol of circumcision) as the royal emblem of France.
From the Merovingian succession, another strain of the family established a wholly independent Jewish kingdom in southern France: the kingdom of Septimania, which we now know as Languedoc. Also, the early princes of Toulouse, Aquitaine and Provence were all descended in the Messianic bloodline. Septimania was specifically granted to the Royal House of David in 768, and Prince Bernard of Septimania later married a daughter of Emperor Charlemagne.
Also from the Fisher Kings came another important parallel line of succession in Gaul. Whereas the Merovingian Kings continued the patrilinear heritage of Jesus, this other line perpetuated the matrilinear heritage of Mary Magdalene. They were the dynastic Queens of Avallon in Burgundy: the House del Acqs - meaning ’of the waters’, a style granted to Mary Magdalene in the early days when she voyaged on the sea to Provence.
Those familiar with Arthurian and Grail lore will by now have recognized the ultimate significance of this Messianic family: the Fisher Kings, the Queens of Avallonand the House del Acqs (corrupted in Arthurian romance to du Lac).
Jesus was born in 7 BC and his birthday was on the equivalent of 1 March, with an official royal birthday on 15 September to comply with dynastic regulation and the month of Atonement. But, when establishing the Roman Church in the 4th century, Emperor Constantine ignored both of these dates and supplemented 25 December as the new Christ’s Mass Day - to coincide with the pagan Sun Festival with which his Imperial subjects were familiar. Later, at the Synod of Whitby held in England in 664, the bishops also expropriated the Celtic festival of Easter (Eostre), the Goddess of Spring and Fertility, and attached a wholly new Christian significance by aligning it with the Resurrection of Jesus. In so doing, they actually changed the date of the old festival to sever its traditional association with the Jewish Passover.
Hence, today’s two main Christian festivals (Christmas and Easter) are spurious Roman inventions and, historically, they have nothing whatever to do withJesus. Christianity, as we know it, has evolved as a composite religion quite unlike any other. If Jesus was its living catalyst, then Christianity should rightly be based on the teachings of Jesus himself - the moral and social codes of a fair-minded, tolerant ministry, with the people as its benefactors. But orthodox Christianity (’churchianity’) is not based on the teachings of Jesus: it centers upon the teachings of the bishops, which are entirely different.
There are a number of reasons for this, the foremost of which is that Jesus was deliberately sidestepped in favour of the alternative teachings of Peter and Paul: teachings which were thoroughly denounced by the Nazarene Church of Jesus and his brother James - teachings which the Nazarenes called ’the faith of fools’.
Only by removing Jesus from the front-line could the popes and cardinals reign supreme. When formally instituting Christianity as the State religion of Rome, Constantine declared that he alone was the true Saviour Messiah - not Jesus! As for the Bishops of Rome (the popes), they were granted a fabricated Apostolic descent from St Peter, since the legitimate Messianic descent from Jesus and his brothers was retained within the parallel Nazarene Church.
The only way for the Roman Church to restrain the heirs of Mary Magdalene was to discredit Mary herself and to deny her bridal relationship with Jesus. But what ofJesus’s brother James? He too had heirs, as did their other brothers, Simon, Joses and Jude. For all its effort to forge a new scriptural history, the Church could not escape the Gospels, which state quite clearly that Jesus was the Blessed Mary’s ’firstborn son’, and so Mary’s own motherhood also had to be repressed.
As a result, the bishops portrayed Mother Mary as a virgin and Mary Magdalene as a whore - neither of which description was mentioned in any original Gospel. Then, just to cement Mother Mary’s position outside the natural domain, her own mother, Anna, was eventually said to have borne her daughter by way of immaculate conception!
Over the course of time, these contrived doctrines have had widespread effect. But in the early days it took rather more to cement the ideas because the original women of the Nazarene mission had a significant following in the Celtic Church. These included Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary-Jacob Cleophas and Helena-Salome, each of whom had run schools and social missions throughout the Mediterranean world. These women had all been disciples of Jesus and close friends of his mother, accompanying her to the Crucifixion, as confirmed in the Gospels.
In the face of such records, the Church’s only salvation was to denigrate women altogether; to deny them not only rights to ecclesiastical office, but to deny them rights to any status in society. Hence, the Church declared that women were all heretics and sorceresses!
In this, the bishops were aided by the words of Peter and Paul, and on the basis of their teachings the Roman Church was enabled to become wholly sexist. In his first Epistle to Timothy, Paul wrote: ’I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp any authority over the man, but to be in silence’. In the Gospel of Philip, Peter is quoted as saying that ’Women are not worthy of life’. The bishops even quoted the words of Genesis, wherein God apparently spoke to Eve about Adam, saying ’He shall rule over thee’.
The Church Father Tertullian summed up the whole Roman attitude when writing about the emergent disciples of Mary Magdalene:
’These heretical woman! How dare they! They are brazen enough to teach, to engage in argument, to baptize. It is not permitted for a woman to speak in church, nor to claim a share in any masculine function - least of all in priestly office’.
Notwithstanding the avid sexist movement, the Messianic heirs retained their social positions outside the Roman Church establishment. They progressed their own Nazarene and Celtic Church movements and founded Desposynic (Heirs of the Lord) kingdoms in Britain and Europe. They were a constant threat to the Roman High Church and to the figurehead monarchs and governments empowered by that Church. In fact, they were the very reason for the brutal Catholic Inquisition because they upheld a moral and social code which was contrary to High Church requirement.
This was especially apparent during the Age of Chivalry, which embraced a respect for womanhood, as exemplified by the Knights Templars whose constitutional oath supported a veneration of the Grail Mother, Queen Mary Magdalene.
Despite their present-day image, these impressive Gothic cathedrals had nothing whatever to do with the established Christian Church. They were funded and built by the Knights Templars in collaboration with their Cistercian allies, and they were dedicated to Mary Magdalene - Notre Dame (Our Lady) - whom they called ’the Grail of the world’.
This, of course, defeated every dogma that the High Church had encouraged, and the bishops retaliated by re-dedicating numerous other churches to Mary, the mother of Jesus. But, in so doing, they made a strict decree that all artistic portrayals of Mother Mary (the Madonna) must henceforth show her dressed in ’blue and white only’ - so as not to grant her any rights to ecclesiastical office in the male-only priesthood.
Mary Magdalene, on the other hand, was being portrayed by the world’s greatest artists wearing the red mantle of cardinal status, the black robe of a Nazarite High Priestess, or the green cloak of fertility, and there was nothing the Church could do about it. The bishops’ only option was to proclaim the practice sinful and heretical because, in having previously elected to ignore Mary Magdalene and her heirs, she was for all practical purposes outside their jurisdiction.
It was at that time that Grail lore was itself denounced as a heresy by the Vatican. The 6th-century prophesies of Merlin were expressly banned by the Ecumenical Council, and the original Nazarene Church of Jesus became an underground stream, aided by such notable sponsors as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli. In those days, the Church policed and controlled most literature in the public domain and so, in order to avoid outright censorship, the Grail tradition became allegorical and its message was communicated by way of secret watermarks, esoteric writings, Tarot cards and symbolic artwork.
But why should Grail lore and the prophesies of Merlin have posed such a problem for the Roman Church? Because, within the context of their adventurous texts, they told the descendant story of the Grail bloodline - a bloodline which had been ousted from its dynastic position by the Bishops of Rome who had elected to reign supreme by way of a contrived apostolic succession.
This succession was said to have been handed down from the first bishop, St Peter (indeed, this is still the promoted view), but one only has to consult the Church’s own Apostolic Constitutions to discover that this is simply not true. Peter was never a Bishop of Rome - nor of anywhere else for that matter! The Vatican’s Constitutions record that the first Bishop of Rome was Prince Linus of Britain (the son of Caractacus the Pendragon), who was installed by St Paul in AD 58, during Peter’s own lifetime.
From the 1100s, the powerful Knights Templars and their cathedrals posed an enormous threat to the male-only Church by bringing the heritage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene to the fore in the public domain. The cardinals knew that their whole establishment would tumble if the Messianic descendants gained the upper hand. They had to be crushed - and so the brutal Inquisition was implemented: a hideous persecution of all who dissented from the rule of the bishops.
It all began in 1209, when Pope Innocent III sent 30,000 soldiers into the Languedoc region of southern France. This was the home of the Cathars (the Pure Ones), who were said to be the guardians of a great and sacred treasure -a mysterious secret which could overturn orthodox Christianity. The Pope’s so-called Albigensian Crusade lasted for thirty-six years, during which time tens of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered - but the treasure was never found. In 1231, the main thrust of the Inquisition (or Holy Office as it was called) was instituted by Pope Gregory IX during the course of the Languedoc massacre, and it was set against anyone who supported the Grail heresy. By 1252 the torture of victims was formally authorized, along with execution by burning.
Heresy was a wonderful charge to level against captives, because only the Church could define it. The victims were tortured until they confessed and, having confessed, they were executed. If they did not confess, then the torture continued until they died anyway.
One recorded form of torture was to spread the victim with fat, and then to roast him alive (upwards from the feet) over an open fire. These savage persecutions and tortures were openly waged for more than 400 years, to be extended against Jews, Muslims and Protestant dissenters. But the Catholic Inquisition was never formally terminated. As recently as 1965 it was renamed the Sacred Congregation and its powers are theoretically still in force today.
Undaunted by the Inquisition, the Nazarene movement pursued its own course, and the story of the bloodline was perpetuated in literature such as the Grand Saint Grail and the High History of the Holy Grail. These writings were largely sponsored by the Grail courts of France (the courts of Champagne, Anjou and others) and also by the Knights Templars and the Desposyni.
In all this, however, the Templar hoard was not lost and, while the Vatican emissaries were searching, the treasure and documents were locked away in the Chapter House Treasury vaults of Paris. They were under the protection of the Templar Grand Knights - those styled the Guardian Princes of the Royal Secret - who loaded the hoard one night onto 18 galleys of the Templar fleet at La Rochelle.
Subsequent to the Battle of Bannockburn, Bruce and the Guardian Princes founded the new Order of the Elder Brothers of the Rosy Cross in 1317 - from which time the Kings of Scots became hereditary Grand Masters, with each successive Stewart King holding the honoured title of Prince Saint Germain.
But, why was it that King Arthur, a Celtic commander of the 6th century, was so important to the Knights Templars and the Grail courts of Europe? Quite simply, because Arthur had been unique, with a dual heritage in the Messianic line. King Arthur was by no means mythical, as many have supposed, but he has generally been looked for in the wrong places. Researchers, misguided by the fictional locations of the romances, have searched in vain through the chronicles of Brittany, Wales and the West of England. But the details of Arthur are to be found in the Scots’ and Irish annals. He was indeed the High King of the Celtic Isle and was the sovereign commander of the British troops in the late 6th century.
Arthur was born in 559 and died in battle in 603. His mother was Ygerna del Acqs, the daughter of Queen Viviane of Avallon, in descent from Jesus and Mary Magdalene. His father was High King Aedàn of Dalriada (the Western Highlands of Scotland, now called Argyll), and Aedàn was the British Pendragon (Head Dragonor King of Kings) in descent from Jesus’s brother James. It is for this reason that the stories of Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea are so closely entwined in the Grail romances.
By the 6th century, Messianic descendants had founded Desposynic kingdoms in Wales and across the Strathclyde and Cambrian regions of Britain. Arthur’s father, King Aedàn of Scots, was the first British monarch to be installed by priestly ordination when he was anointed by Saint Columba of the Celtic Church in 574. This, of course, infuriated the Roman bishops because they claimed the sole right to appoint kings who, according to them, were supposed to be crowned by the Pope!
As a direct result of this coronation, Saint Augustine was eventually sent from Rome to dismantle the Celtic Church when St Columba died in 597. He proclaimed himself Archbishop of Canterbury three years later, but his overall mission failed and the Nazarene tradition persisted in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and across the breadth of northern England.
An important fact to remember is that the Grail dynasts were never territorial governors of lands. Like Jesus himself, they were designated guardians of the people. The Merovingians in Gaul, for example, were Kings of the Franks - never Kings of France. King Aedàn, Robert the Bruce and their Stewart successors were Kings of the Scots - never Kings of Scotland. It was this implicitly social concept which the High Church found so difficult to overcome, for the bishops preferred to have dominion over territorial kings who were authorized by the Pope. Only by maintaining ultimate spiritual control over individuals could the Church reign supreme, and so whenever a Grail dynast came to the fore he was met by the wrath of the papal machine.
In 751 the bishops managed to depose the Merovingian succession in Gaul, and they established a new tradition whereby kings of the Carolingian succession (that ofCharlemagne) had to be approved and crowned by the Pope. But the Church could never topple the Desposynic lines in Scotland, even though the old Celtic kingdoms of England had been dismantled by Germanic Anglo-Saxons from the 6th century.
Even into the Middle Ages - long after the Norman Conquest of England - the Nazarene Church and the long prevailing cult of Mary Magdalene were prominent in Europe. Women’s rights of equality were upheld throughout the Celtic structure, and this was an enormous problem for the male-only priesthood of orthodox ’churchianity’.
The underlying principle of the Grail monarchs was always one of Service, in accordance with the Messianic code. Hence, they were kings and common fathers of their realms, but they were never rulers. This key aspect of the Grail Code was perpetuated at the very heart of nursery tale and folklore. Never did a valiant cardinal or bishop ride to the aid of an oppressed subject or a damsel in distress, for this has always been the social realm of Grail princes and their appointed knights.
Throughout the ages, parliaments and governments have had as much trouble as the Church in confronting the Messianic social code, and the position is no different today. Presidents and prime ministers are elected by the people. They are supposed to represent the people - but do they? In actual fact, they do not. They are always affiliated to a political party and they achieve their positions by way of majority party vote.
Jesus confronted a very similar situation in the 1st century. At that time, Jerusalem and Judaea were under Roman occupation, with King Herod and the Governor, Pontius Pilate, both appointed by Rome. But who represented the people? The people were not Romans; they were Holy Land Jews: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the like. Apart from that, there were large numbers of Samaritans and Gentiles (non-Jews; the Arab races). Who represented them? The answer is ’no one’ - untilJesus made it his mission to do so.
Many people have asked me why the hitherto suppressed information in Bloodline of the Holy Grail is coming to light at this particular time. The fact is that the information has never been suppressed by those whom it concerns. It has been suppressed by outside power-seekers who have sought to serve their own interests, rather than serve the communities they are supposed to represent.
Also, the very fabric of the male-dominated Church and governmental structures is being questioned, and it is generally perceived that the old doctrines of spiritual control and territorial management are not working. More and more people are searching for the original, uncluttered roots of their faith and for their purpose in society. They are seeking more effective forms of administration to combat the all too apparent slide into social and moral decline.