Holy Blood, Holy Grail
by Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, Richard Leigh
Reviewer: Ed Nemeth from California February 21, 2000
Summary: Baigent completed an interesting review of Europe's Royal Bloodlines (Merovingian). His writing style makes the subject come to life and appear to be accurate. However, his ultimate hypothesis rests on very weak and inaccurate biblical quotes demonstrating a cursory research and knowledge of the bible. This issue renders his final hypothesis highly doubtful and his base genealogical research of the Merovingian bloodlines fully under question.
Recommendation: I would recommend Baigent's book as interesting and thought provoking reading, while encouraging self-research and skepticism by the reader. While I found Baigent's book useful in understanding what family the anti-Christ derives from (that is, the lineage of the serpent/dragon that dwells in the "sea"), the average person can be deceived into believing biased suppositions and allegations lacking appropriate research. Overall, it seems as if Baigent is a dupe who has been supported to spout whatever stories the Merovingians need to support their own questionable objectives.
Review: Although, highly offensive to Christians, the book can be relevant to biblically knowledgeable people IF his genealogical research of the royal families from 400 BC forward is accurate. The bizarre myth of the origination of the Merovingians (a pregnant woman being re-impregnated by a serpent/dragon while swimming in the ocean) can be re-interpreted from the bible and its symbolism found in the books of Genesis (Gen 3 - the Serpent) and Revelation (Rev 12 - the dragon). This is the myth that the Merovingian Dynasty relies on in order to re-acquire the throne of Europe leads Christian's to interpret the Merovingians to be the ancestors of the still prophetic world leader (commonly known as the anti-Christ). Further, Baigent touts that this royal family heir should be able to solve the religious problems and bring together the Jews, Christians, Moslems - another Christian prophesy specifically regarding the anti-Christ.
Examples of Feeble Research:
1 Re-interpretation of Catholic Church History
Baigent seems to enjoy re-interpreting the Catholic Church's actions into supporting the tenants of the Merovingian Blood line. But, offers no proof. Numerous times Baigent notes that the Catholic Church "backs" down when "presented" with the Prior de Sion "secret information. However, Baigent never confirms the information presented to the Church, and never provides supporting material to explain the Church's actions and decisions. His only explanation is theory based on conjecture based on assumption based on supposition. The Catholic Church may have many reasons to (correctly, or incorrectly) to make a decision on. The least of the factors affecting the Church's decisions would be information that is not demonstrable, not confirmable, with no sound basis to support a change in Church Doctrine and specifically supports the Church's own prophesies of the Anti-Christ.
This feeble research weakens "Baigent's" base genealogical research. NOTE: This review is not to be interpreted as a defense of the Catholic Church - it stands in its own beliefs, blessings, blood and sins. Nor, is this review a blind defense to Christianity - it is based on valid study of the bible and its text that is verifiable to all readers.
2 Two Genealogies of Christ
Baigent accounts for the differences between the 2 genealogies in Matthew and Luke as demonstrating "mistakes" in the bible. However, the issue is readily understandable: Matthew and Luke present Christ's genealogy for different purposes, and from different perspectives.
Matthew communicates the gospel from viewpoint of Jew - Christ is presented as the Lion of Tribe of Judah. For this, Matthew starts Christ's lineage with Abraham progressing through David and Solomon, then progressing through Christ's legal father, Joseph, and finishing by presenting Christ as the Messiah - the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Luke's genealogy is specifically a very different genealogy, but it states it is of Jesus the "supposed" son of Joseph which is the son of Heli.... and on. This is not a "begotten" genealogy (bloodline), but a Mother's genealogy that is represented in accordance with the Jewish custom - Hebrews did not permit the name of a woman to enter the genealogical tables, but inserted the husband as the son of him who was in reality the father-in-law. That is, Heli is Joseph's Father-in-law. This is consistent with Old Testament lineages of David the show Boaz as David's ancestor, but does not mention Rahab, who is also significant and mentioned in other passages.
Luke was a physician and was preoccupied with presenting Christ as the Son of Man - in his humanity. He showed that Christ was God incarnate. Borne of a Virgin into humanity. Luke starts Christ's genealogy from 1st man - Adam - to King David. However, Luke goes through David directly to David's son Nathan - Solomon's brother. His genealogy is then traced through to Heli, Mary's Father. This demonstrates the actual Blood line of Christ.
Second, these genealogies are very significant in that they comply with every requirement of prophecy and law in the Hebrew scriptures. Including in Genesis 3, where the Messiah had to be born of the Virgin. Second, Jeremiah 22 states that God placed a blood curse on the lineage of David from King Jeconiah forward - that is no one of Jeconiah's descendants shall sit on the throne of David. Joseph was of this bloodline and lineage and therefore disqualified from sitting on the throne of David.
Luke's lineage of Mary (Luke 3) goes through David and not through Solomon, but through Nathan, a branch that avoids the Jeconiah blood curse (Jeremiah 22) "None of His seed will prosper". Thus, Mary, who is the blood "Virgin" parent of Jesus was not cursed and therefore the proper blood forebear of the Christ, while Joseph was the legal heir to the throne, but, not the blood heir of the Messiah.
This issue is in stark contrast to the Merovingian bloodline which requires Joseph's and Christ's bloodline to support its dynastic ruse. The Merovingian genealogy goes through the bloodline of Joseph and therefore is accursed by God (Jeremiah 22) and will specifically never sit upon David's throne.
(Other Genealogical Notes for the Curious) John unabashedly focuses on Christ as the Son of God - Deity - and includes things in his gospel that are quite different than the other gospels. John's gospel demonstrates the genealogy of the pre-existent one who was before all else. He created everything and everything was created by him. Christ pre-existed all of creation. John uses the term "fulfilled" 38 times to focuses on who he was as prophesied in the old testament. Baigent fully misses this genealogy and its full significance of demonstrating Christ as God.
Mark presents Christ as the Suffering Servant who came to earth to serve mankind. Mark does not give Christ's genealogy because no one cares about the bloodline of a servant. Mark continually demonstrates Christ's works, or services to his people - those with faith.
The four gospels are very consistent in how they show Christ and his genealogy as the Messiah in accordance with the Hebrew scriptures: Matthew, the Legal Heir to the Throne of David; Luke the lineage of a man from the first man, Adam; John the lineage of God, who came down as the Messiah; and Mark which shows Christ as the suffering servant, and as such a servant, does not have a lineage.
Michael Baigentwas born in New Zealand in 1948, and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University, Christchurch. Since 1976 he has lived in England.
Richard Leighstudied at Tufts University, Boston, the University of Chicago and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have co-authored a number of other books, including the international bestsellers The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, and most recently, Secret Germany.
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