Mary Magdalene

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The Other Shroud

BY PHILIP COPPENS

One of the most controversial relics ever, the Turin Shroud, is said to be the burial cloth of Jesus. For some, it is the ultimate relic, proving the reality of his resurrection. For academics, it remains an enigma, since the image embed­ded on the cloth has never been fully reproduced. For others, it is nothing more than a medieval fake, for which a 1988 carbon-dating result provides the only evidence. And yet, recent research has indicated that the swatches taken for dating the shroud came…

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The Mythical Jesus

By Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D.

Did Christianity spring onto the scene two millennia ago as a divine revelation that came directly from the one true God, as to this day some of its more fundamentalist adherents contend? Was there a real individual, a historical per­son, a genuine Jesus Christ—a preacher and, according to his followers, a theurgist and wonder-worker—who was crucified in Jerusalem? Was such a man the Messiah for whom many Jews longed? I would venture to guess that most people who call themselves Christians today (there are estimated…

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The Real Secret Society Behind the DaVinci Code

BY MARK AMARU PINKHAM

As anyone knows, who has read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, the plot revolves around the clandestine activities of an ancient secret society known as the Priory of Sion. The actual existence of this society, claims Brown, is one of the few irrefutable truths woven into his fictional novel. This may have been true when he was writing his manuscript, but recently the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the non-fiction book that introduced Brown to the Priory, public­ly stated that the organization appears…

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News

Did Jesus Have a Wife? Controversy Surrounds Recent Coptic Artifact Discovery A veritable firestorm still rages in archaeological circles over the so-called Gospel of Jesus Wife, a small fourth century papyrus fragment brought to light by scholars at Harvard’s divinity school in September of 2012. Professor Karen King announced the existence of the fragment at an international conference and declared that it was the only existing ancient document in which Jesus spoke explicitly about having a wife. In the text he used the actual words…

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Still More News

Vatican Open to Aliens, but Not Dan Brown As the Vatican has it, there may be alien beings in outer space (perhaps even without original sin). Dan Brown, how­ever, remains unredeemed. In June, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church made itself clear on both the possi­bility of alien life and the chances that the Da Vinci Code and it forthcoming prequel Angels and Demons have any truth in them. Life on Mars cannot be ruled out, says Father Gabriel Funes, the Pope’s chief astronomer….

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Rennes-le-Château and the Tree of Life

By Philip Coppens

The small village of Rennes-le-Château in southern France has been the center of an enigma ever since a century ago a local village priest, Bérenger Saunière, spent millions decorating the church and surrounding buildings. For decades, despite the skepticism of some authors, no one has been able to explain where Saunière got the money to pay for the extravagant building works, which have attracted millions of visitors to this small hilltop village—or, indeed, why he constructed them at all. The history of the village, Saunière’s…

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Jesus & Arthur

By Ralph Ellis

Could the biblical Jesus really be the historical character upon which all of Arthurian mythology was founded? This might sound like a speculation too far—far too far—but bear with me a while, for there is much more to this theory than initial thoughts might suggest. And perhaps I should state, before I start on this radical reassessment of the New Testament, that this is a scholarly, in-depth investigation using the original documents of this early era, including the Tanakh, Talmud, Josephus, Origen, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Herodian,…

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Mystery of the Black Madonna

BY MARK AMARU PINKHAM

Throughout the ages the image of the black madonna has elicited profound veneration, but also intense trepidation and even abhorrence from its observers. While Catholics have sought to denigrate and even to shun the numerous Black Madonnas scattered throughout their own European churches—the followers of the older, nature-centered and alternative faiths have traditionally praised its beauty and uplifting power. In 1952 during a convention of the Ameri­can Association for the Advancement of Science, representatives of the church made their feelings clear when a paper on…

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Getting Left & Right Brains Together

BY CYNTHIA LOGAN

Negotiating the freeway towards San Francisco’s California-Pacific Medical Center, where he is chief of lap-aroscopic surgery, Dr. Leonard Shlain presses the eject button on his new car’s console (past models were Jaguars, but now that he’s a conscious consumer, it’s a Prius). Out comes “The Count of Monte Cristo,” a story that has had him rivet­ed (“I actually had to pull over at one point to find out what happened,” he admits). But he’s going to be operating on someone’s carotid artery this morning and…

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In Search of Hidden Temples

BY MARSHA OAKS

Where most see only scenery, others see temples. The evidence some have assembled to support their unique vision can make for some very intriguing video material and this time out it provides us with three DVDs to talk about. The first two are the work of Henry Lincoln, who, along with Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, is one of the three origi­nal authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the book from which Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code drew much of its inspiration. Baigent and Leigh…

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