When I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail in 1990, I had already begun my novel ‘The Lion of God’ where I depict John the Baptist as the ‘Savior of the Jews’ because Jesus failed to save the Jews – or so they say! In my book, John did not point to Jesus as ‘The One’ because he proved not to be ‘The One’. As a devout Jew, and not a Christian, John had no interest in saving gentiles. Thus, he remains “The greatest prophet born of woman” BUT what became of his prophecy – HIS WORDS?
There is something about the whole Gospel account that just doesn’t seem to flow without some filler. The following is from a book, HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL pp 344-45, that adds some very pertinent detail.
“The gospel account of Matthew states explicitly that Jesus was of royal blood – a genuine king – the lineal descendant of both Solomon and David. If this were true, he would have enjoyed a legitimate claim to the throne of a united Palestine….And the inscription affixed to the cross would have been much more than a sadistic derision…..And thus he would have engendered the opposition precisely by virtue of his role – a priest-king who might possibly unify his country and the Jewish people, thereby posing a serious threat to both Herod and Rome….the very perpetuation of the story would seem to attest to something – some genuine alarm on Herod’s part, some very real anxiety about being deposed. Granted, Herod was an extremely insecure ruler, hated by his enslaved subjects and sustained in power only by Roman cohorts…..If Herod was indeed worried, it could only be by a very real, concrete, political threat – a threat posed by a man with a more legitimate claim to the throne than his own, and who could muster substantial popular support. The “Massacre of the Innocents”…..and the traditions relating to it reflect on Herod’s part some concern about a rival claim, and quite possibly some action to forestall or preclude it. Such a claim could only be political in nature. And it must have warranted being taken seriously…To suggest that Jesus enjoyed such a claim is of course to challenge the popular image of ‘the poor carpenter from Nazareth.’ But there are persuasive reasons for doing so. In the first place, it is not all together certain that Jesus was from Nazareth. ‘Jesus of Nazareth is in fact a corruption or mistranslation of ‘Jesus the Nazorite.’….In the second place there is considerable doubt as to whether the town of Nazareth actually existed in Jesus’ time. It does not occur in any Roman maps, documents or records. It is not mentioned in the Talmud. It is not mentioned in any of the writings of Saint Paul….And Flavius Josephus – the foremost chronicler of the period, who commanded troops in Galilee, and listed the province’s towns, makes no mention of it either. It would seem in short, that Nazareth didn’t exist as a town until some time after the revolt of AD 66-74, and that Jesus’ name became associated with it by virtue of semantic confusion – either accidental or deliberate. And whether Jesus was ‘of Nazareth’ or not, there is no indication that he was ever a ‘poor carpenter.’ Certainly none of the Gospels portray him as such; indeed, their evidence suggests quite the contrary. He seems to have undergone training for the rabbinate, and to have consorted as frequently with wealthy and influential people as with the poor – Joseph of Arimathea for instance and Nicodemus. And the wedding at Cana would seem to be further witness to Jesus’ status and social position. This wedding does not appear to have been a modest, humble festival conducted by the ‘common people.’ On the contrary, it bears all the marks of an extravagant, aristocratic union, a “high society” affair attended by at least several hundred guests. There were abundant servants, for example – who hastened to do both Jesus’ and Mary’s bidding. There was a ‘master of the feast’ or ‘master of ceremonies’ – who in the context would have been a kind of chief butler or an aristocrat himself. Most clearly, there is a positively enormous quantity of wine. When Jesus ‘transmutes’ the water into wine, he produces, according to the Good News Bible, no less than six hundred liters, which is more than eight hundred bottles. All things considered, the wedding at Cana would seem to have been a sumptuous ceremony of the gentry…..his presence at it, and his mother’s would suggest they were members of the same caste. And this alone would explain the servants obedience to them.”