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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No revelations here, 3 April 2006
This review is from: The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History (Hardcover)
Conspiracy theories abound - such is the basis of the wildly popular 'Da Vinci Code', and such is the basis of 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail', another earlier book by Baigent that details in a nonfiction manner much of the same conspiracy theories that are at the heart of the fictional novel by Dan Brown (soon to be a major motion picture, coming to a cinema near you, et cetera...).
There is nothing new in this book. True, some of the photographs are 'never before published' as the press kit will put it, but they aren't really earth-shattering images, just some standard fare imagery apropos to the topic. Baigent explores the history of the Zealots and other sects in first century Judea, their relationship with the Roman dominating apparatus, and the possible motivations behind the writing of the gospels and other writings in the way that they were. There were differing interpretation of the Christian events from the earliest times, and these controversies were not settled for generations (indeed, some still have not been). But this is far different from conspiracy and intrigue that is being hinted at in this publication.
Pointing out inconsistencies in the texts of the Bible is an old game, and many scholars freely acknowledge the difficulties of resolving some of the issues. This doesn't seem to be acknowledged by Baigent in very clear tones.
I am disappointed in this text in that I cannot say much about anything new, as it is a recycling of information to get a publication out when the timing is right, a 'strike while the iron is hot' kind of publishing move. For those unfamiliar with some of these theories, it may be interesting read. For those already acquainted with the issues (even those whose exposure is limited to 'Da Vinci Code' elements), it might prove less worthwhile.
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