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3.8 out of 5 stars13
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on 10 January 2008
Many thinking Christians will already be aware of the part that St Paul and, later, Constantine, had in shaping the religion they know today. This book fills out some historical details which illustrate in an astonishing way the contrast between "gentle Jesus meek and mild" and how much more ruggedly He would have been perceived as The Leader in the context of His time and place. It also proposes that as a Jew it would have been most odd if Jesus had not been married and had children. This unusual slant on Jesus explains in one stroke the many anomalies and inconsistencies in the Gospels as manipulated by Paul and Constantine. This is a challenging section for Christians, but the authors treat your beliefs with utmost respect and assert that what they have come up with is already known to theological students (includes your local priest) and will deepen, rather than wipe out, the beliefs of a serious Christian disciple.
The next section is a cogent, sweeping piece of work which explains the human need for something to believe in, and how 20th century dictatorships stage-managed events to fill those needs. If you ever wondered how a beast like Hitler could charm one of the most civilised peoples on Earth, here is one plausible explanation. Really worth reading, in my opinion.
The last section suggests there is a quasi-secret organisation of aristocratic families who have held "the secret" that Jesus did marry and his bloodline continues today. This society holds an intention that one day the heirs to David's line, through Jesus, will come to rule. It sounds corny in this précis form, but there is hard evidence that this society exists and is both serious and influential.
So, the thread that runs through the book is that Jesus was from the royal lineage of David (undoubtedly true) had children (most probably) and his heirs exist today. I found this argument weakening and running out of steam towards the end, however.
Conspiracy theorists will love it; academics, pedants and fundamentalists will hate it. If you are open-minded, go for it. You will definitely learn a new slant on certain aspects of history.
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The Messianic Legacy

The main section of the book comprising the messianic legacy in the Judaeo/Christian tradition and an interesting look at the way Paul spread the gospel is extremely well done, and as the authors say speculative but I found a convincing theory. Also the alternative take on the nature of Jesus in engrossing.

The authors were obviously anxious to put their case in respect of the criticism they had attracted with their first book "Holy Blood and Holy Grail" and commence with a 38 page response, if this had been condensed into 6 pages it would have been far more effective.

The last 170 pages devoted to the totally discredited Priory of Scion that had formed part of the rationale of HBHG seems pointless as anyone can obtain all the details from the Priory website; however in 1989 the internet was in its infancy and a resource of this nature was not available. Treat as an historical anomaly and ignore.

However the core of this book is detailed, well written, engaging, and well worth investigating.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 February 2008
I purchased this book with some trepidation, why? Well I wondered whether the authors really needed to write this book, particularly as they had just republished The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, or were they simply riding the crest of the wave of publicity surrounding the court case brought by themselves against Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown.

In fact this book does have new facts to compliment their previous efforts and new investigations into the society of the `Prieure de Sion' The Guardians of the Holy Grail. They also delve into the world of politics, Freemasonry and religion.

If you say it sincerely and with conviction you can make a lot of people believe a lot of things. I am not saying that the book is not factually accurate, only that it is down to the individual to put their own interpretation on to the facts that are placed before them. The thing about books like this is that if you do not read them you cannot form an opinion one way or the other.
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on 9 July 2001
Unlike The First Book, The Messianic Legacy leaves the true investigation to the last section and fills the first two sections with theories on the spread of christianity. The first book on the other hand led the reader in with a simple investigation and once the reader was hooked provided the theories, which one would read for satisfaction. In reading this book I dragged myself through the first section, gave up during the second and was about to throw the book away when I realised that the third section could be read in itself without reading the first two.
Ths also led me to question the relevance of the information in the first two sections which appear to serve no purpose other than to fill the book. I had similar reservations in the first book due to the chapter claiming that Lazarus stage managed Jesus Miracles and that the crucifiction had been staged. As it was neither of these points were required to prove the authors initial reasons for turning to christ however they were included despite being obviously inflamatory. This books is similarly only it devotes two thirds to these irrelevant statements insteads of two chapters.
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on 28 September 2000
Without rehashing much of "Holy Blood Holy Grail" [HBHG], Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln have succeeded in sheding more light on the beginings of early Pauline Christianity, the Prieuré of Sion and even the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
Written much in the style of HBHG the authors unravel more intriuging aspects of religion and life as we now know it. Much like HBHG, the reading itself is quite intricate as the authors weave you through decades of historical data, the Old Testament and the New Testament(s). As before the authors do not preach their own beliefs but present their theories in an unbiased and logical manner allowing the reader to accept their findings as fact, interpret their findings as they will or even disregard their theories as pure speculation.
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on 23 June 2013
This was a gift for a friend. They have not gotten
back to me to let me know if they liked it. It was
a good price and good quality.
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on 20 September 2014
Another thriller of a toboggan ride through history (cf review of The Hiram Key) Makes a good read and shakes up some of your thinking.
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on 13 August 2007
The original, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, though wildly innacurate and misleading in places, was at least a ripping yarn. The follow up does not really add much to their findings, and spends a great deal of time speculating about the quest for meaning in everyday life. The biggest let down however, is that they are still taking the word of known French fraudster Pierre Plantard, completely at face value, and there is no indication that they even question the fake lineages and list of Grand Masters of the so called 'Prieure de Sion'. More pseudo history, but this time without such a great story to tell.
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on 22 April 2014
The first thing people should know about this book is that it was written in late 1980s. This was not immediately clear when I downloaded the sample. Secondly, the book is a follow-up to a previous work by the same authors, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail." Thus this book seems to be an attempt to cash in on the success of the first book by including much of the researched material that was not included in the first book. This is the book's first failure; in often lacks a real point.

"The Messianic Legacy" is divided into three parts: the first part is study of the beginnings of Christianity, and questions about the identity and purpose of Jesus; the second part is an essay-type sermon on the meanings of institutions and how humans relate to them; the third and final part is a look at the Priory of Sion (as apparently mentioned in Dan Brown's books, though the book written nearly fifteen years before "The Da Vinci Code"). The problems is that Prior of Sion is really not interesting

Anohter problem with the book is that the authors simply ask too many questions, and give very few (if any) answers. And they take too much at face vale. An example of this is in the middle of the second section when the authors refer to the incident when the Spanish Cortes was hijacked in 1981 by members of the Guardia Civil and the country seemed on the verge of (yet another) civil war. The appearance of King Juan on television pacified the situation. But this was really just another false flag event designed to give the monarchy more credibility. (Since then, the Spanish Royal family and many of the politicians have been systematically raping the country).

In the last section the authors drop numerous names and mention loads of organisations: Allen Dulles; Roberto Calvi; The Knights of Malta; Opus Dei. But they are not critical enough. Richard Cotrell's Gladio, NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis mentions most of the same people and organisations and calls them what they are: corrupt!
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on 4 September 2014
Very happy with the book
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