The Holy Land of Scotland: Is
it conceivable that two thousand years ago Jesus and members of His family
came to ancient Caledonia, now Scotland. This extraordinary possibility
is examined in detail by Scottish based author Barry Dunford, after having
extensively researched this fascinating and intriguing scenario. This book
reveals that there has been a monumental historical cover up surrounding
the real Jesus story and the true purpose behind His spiritual mission.
English visionary poet William Blake claimed that the real and original
Holy Land of Christ was to be found within the ancient British Isles rather
than Palestine in the Middle East, and there are certainly grounds for giving
some credence to such an intriguing notion. There is reason to believe that
the forbears of Jesus may have been of Celto-Hebraic origin and that while
His immediate family came from gentilic Galilee, their earlier roots may
well have originated in the British Isles, specifically ancient Caledonia,
now Scotland. Related to the foregoing is a possible link between the Jesus
family lineage and the Celtic Royal household of ancient Britain, which
is suggested in documents found in the English College of Arms (the Heralds
Office) and elsewhere. This appears to have had a direct bearing on the
presence of Joseph of Arimathea and a key Apostolic mission in ancient Britain.
The ramifications behind this Christic movement in the British Isles are
far reaching indeed. There
have been a number of inferences from various ecclesiastical sources, together
with many localised legends, encompassing the past two millennia, to the
effect that during the first century A.D, an Apostolic mission in the British
Isles, was at the root of the development of the Church of Christ in Britain.
Several contemporary historians, including Tertullian, the first of the
Latin Church Fathers, and later such authorities as the Roman Catholic Cardinal
Baronius and Sir Henry Spelman, an English antiquary, may be cited in
support of this historical contention. Legends trace the origins of this British
Church of Christ, at least in part, to the presence of Joseph of Arimathea,
the uncle of Jesus Himself, in ancient Britain and at Glastonbury in particular...
Controversial Catholic group Opus Dei has complained to the BBC about what it says is a "defamatory" portrayal in primetime drama Waking The Dead. Two episodes of the crime series, shown last weekend, featured devotees of the religious organisation embroiled in a gruesome double murder. Opus Dei said the BBC broke religious guidelines by showing its members as "murderers, thieves and adulterers". The BBC said it had not yet received an official complaint. Opus Dei was formed in 1928 in Madrid by the priest Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. Its namemeans "the work of God".
It encourages members to see religion as something that should direct every minute of their lives, rather than being a matter of just turning up for Mass and confession. But it has aroused controversy in the past, with critics calling it secretive and ultra-conservative, claims which its members deny. Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel famously painted the organisation as a power-hungry movement bent on covering up the truth about Christ's bloodline. Opus Dei claim it was this portrayal of their organisation that was the inspiration for Waking The Dead. "The three characters portrayed as members are self-serving hypocrites whose mainreason for belonging to Opus Dei is depicted as being their wealth," it said. "This portrayal is lifted from the Da Vinci Code, a book and film which claimed - against all evidence - to be based on fact." The group says the BBC has broken its own editorial guidelines on religion, which state: "We will ensure the religious views and beliefs of an individual, a religion or religious denomination are not misrepresented".
Knights Templars were the earliest founders of the military orders, and are the
type on which the others are modelled. They are marked in history (1) by their
humble beginning, (2) by their marvellous growth, and (3) by their tragic end.
Their Humble Beginning :
Immediately after the deliverance of Jerusalem, the
Crusaders, considering their vow fulfilled, returned in a body to their homes.
The defense of this precarious conquest, surrounded as it was by Mohammedan
neighbours, remained. In 1118, during the reign of Baldwin II, Hugues de Payens,
a knight of Champagne, and eight companions bound themselves by a perpetual vow,
taken in the presence of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to defend the Christian
kingdom. Baldwin accepted their services and assigned them a portion of his
palace, adjoining the temple of the city; hence their title "pauvres chevaliers
du temple" (Poor Knights of the Temple). Poor indeed they were, being reduced to
living on alms, and, so long as they were only nine, they were hardly prepared
to render important services, unless it were as escorts to the pilgrims on their
way from Jerusalem to the banks of the Jordan, then frequented as a place of
devotion. The Templars had as yet neither distinctive habit nor rule. Hugues de
Payens journeyed to the West to seek the approbation of the Church and to obtain
recruits. At the Council of Troyes (1128), at which he assisted and at which St.
Bernard was the leading spirit, the Knights Templars adopted the Rule of St.
Benedict, as recently reformed by the Cistercians. They accepted not only the
three perpetual vows, besides the crusader's vow, but also the austere rules
concerning the chapel, the refectory, and the dormitory. They also adopted the
white habit of the Cistercians, adding to it a red cross. Notwithstanding the
austerity of the monastic rule, recruits flocked to the new order, which
thenceforth comprised four ranks of brethren:
the knights, equipped like the heavy
cavalry of the Middle Ages...
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (retitled Holy Blood,
Holy Grail in the United States) is a controversial book by authors Michael
Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, which was first published in 1982 by
Jonathan Cape in London. The book followed on from a BBC TV documentary, and was
followed by a sequel, The Messianic Legacy, in 1987. It was reissued in an
illustrated hardcover version in 2005. The book was a key source for the
bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. In summary, the authors argue that there is
a possibility that Jesus might have been married to Mary Magdalene, and that
their possible child or children emigrated to what is now southern France. Once
there they established what became the Merovingian dynasty, which is championed
today by a secret society called the Priory of Sion. An international bestseller
upon its release, Holy Blood spurred interest in a number of ideas related to
the authors' thesis. Response from mainstream historians and academics, however,
was all but universally negative. Critics argued that the bulk of the claims,
mysteries and conspiracies presented as fact were concocted by the authors,
making Holy Blood a work of pseudohistory by those critics.
Overview: Holy Blood
details the authors' own quest for the Holy Grail by investigating the alleged
mysteries of the village of Rennes-le-ChÃ¢teau dating from the 1950s in southern
France. After a decade of research and speculation, Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln
came to the following conclusions: There is a secret society known as Priory of
Sion (PS) that has a long and illustrious history dating back to the First
Crusade starting with the creation of the Knights Templar as its military and
financial front. The PS is led by a Grand Master or Nautonnier. It is devoted to
returning the Merovingian dynasty, that ruled the Frankish kingdom from 447 to
751 CE, to the thrones of Europe and Jerusalem. The order protects these royal
claimants because they may be the literal descendants of Jesus and his wife,
Mary Magdalene, or, at the very least, of King David and High Priest Aaron.
The Roman Catholic Church tried to kill off all remnants
of this dynasty and their guardians, the Cathars and the Templars, during the
Inquisition, in order to maintain power through the apostolic succession of
Peter instead of the hereditary succession of Mary Magdalene.
It is generally presumed the authors knew these claims to be at best unprovable,
or false. In fact, Richard Leigh has stated on television that they only set out
to offer a plausible hypothesis, but "never believed it to be true."
Books on this subject with a better historical foundation include Malcolm
Barber's two essential volumes, The Cathars and The Trial of the Templars;
Malcolm Lambert's overview, Medieval Heresy; and Michael Costen's The Cathars
and the Albigensian Crusade...