The hypothesis behind the much hyped book/movie “The Da Vinci Code” which were very popular a few years ago is not new. It’s been around for two thousand years. True or not, it’s been a subject that helped create and uncreate kings and kingdoms across Europe. Some say there could be a race issue behind this but let’s not get into that here.
No I don’t exactly buy the idea behind the DaVinci Code but it makes for great myth, legend and of course literature. This is why I devoured the Arthurian legends as a kid in ways that youngsters these days take in Harry Potter. It was absolutely great reading. One of many quests that King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embarked on was the search for the Holy Grail, the Sangraal, the cup that bears the blood of Jesus. That was around 300AD and they were looking for an actual cup.
It wasn’t until the rise of the Knights Templar around 1100AD that a different picture of the Holy Grail surfaced. According to the Da Vinci Code, it was a secret the Templars were sworn to protect. That secret was that the Holy Grail was actually a woman in the person of Mary Magdalene who escaped to France after Jesus was crucified. She supposedly had a daughter by Jesus named Sara who married into French royalty and propagated a line of “kings” in southern France. The Templars according to the story, unearthed this “secret” during the crusades. It is said that when they told the church leaders in Europe about it, they were paid hush money to keep it secret. Whether this story is true or not, it is a well known fact that the Knights Templar became wealthy and powerful during those times.
I heard the Magdalene story initially from my maternal great grandfather (a Freemason) when I was around 10 years old. He told me that Mary Magdalene wasn’t a prostitute but was actually a disciple and spouse of Jesus. I remember my mom got angry at great gramps for telling me that story. And depending on one’s faith, that’s probably all it is to most people. A story. True or not, people will believe what they want to believe.
How realistic are those paintings of Jesus by the European masters anyway? Take Leonardo’s ‘The Last Supper”. OK, Da Vinci was a genius but he was still trying to depict a world that existed more than a thousand years before his time. How accurate can he be? Allow me to be historically/architecturally correct here. I don’t think tables were common furniture in Palestine in Jesus’ time most particularly among the proletariat. The last supper was most likely held at some inn with dirt floor maybe with a low table (or none at all) where the diners had to squat or sit on the floor.
Most of these paintings depicted Jesus as having blondish hair. Oh yeah? Were blondes a common sight in the Middle East in those days? And by the way, the cup that Jesus drank from during the last supper, what do you think it looked like? Was it an ostentatious silver chalice adorned with gold like the ones pictured in early church paintings or . . . was it a plain wooden cup? Remember, Jesus was a carpenter.
For an image of what Jesus may have looked like based on anthropology and science, go to: http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/25/face.jesus/