Holy Grail Found Say Researchers
Is the search for the Holy Grail finally over? A pair of Spanish researchers says yes. In a new book, Margarita Torres and Jose Ortega del Rio report that the chalice revered by early Christians as the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper is the bejeweled onyx vessel now on display in a basilica in Leon, Spain. It has been there since the eleventh century
In The Kings of the Grail, Torres and Ortega del Rio claim the Leon chalice can be clearly traced back as far AD 400, and they say that whether or not it is the actual cup used by Jesus, there is no doubt that this is the one revered by early Christians as the real thing. The actual age of the cup has been confirmed as indeed from the period 200 BC to AD 100.
It is doubtful, of course, if other potential claimants to the title of being the true Holy Grail will surrender without a fight. In England there are still many who believe the true grail was left in the Chalice Well at Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea. Similar claims have been made for Ireland and other places. Nazi SS head Heinrich Himmler thought an Aryan Holy Grail was to be found in Spanish Montserrat. In their 1980s bestselling book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, authors Michael Baigent, Richard Lee, and Henry Lincoln argued that the real grail is actually a bloodline descending from a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Dan Brown made the idea famous in his novel, The Da Vinci Code. In the meantime, those of a more metaphysical persuasion would suggest that all such literal interpretations are missing the real significance of the Grail story, that it is a symbol or archetype representing the true self of virtuous and enlightened individuals.
Jesus’s Wife Gospel, the Real Deal?
The papyrus fragment, known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” is a real ancient document, not a modern forgery. That is the conclusion of studies undertaken a year-and-a-half ago after its existence was first disclosed. The conclusion drawn by Harvard professor Karen L. King is still that it must be considered compelling evidence that, at the least, early Christians discussed the possibility that Jesus was married and that the idea is not just some modern fiction.
New tests published in April in the Harvard Theological Review date the fragment from about AD 800, later than AD 400, as originally proposed by King, but still ancient. The ink is also said to be authentic. King believes it is copied from older sources.
When King introduced the ancient piece of papyrus in Rome, the story created a worldwide news sensation. The fragment includes a broken Coptic reference to “Jesus’s wife,” and thus makes implications, which are considered nothing short of outrageous to mainstream Christianity.
The new evidence has not stopped detractors though. The latest line of attack appears to be focused on where the fragment may have come from. Brown University professor Leo Depuydt has questioned the truth of King’s claims that it was purchased along with several others by its anonymous owner from a Hans-Ulrich Laukamp in 1999. It is not entirely clear how that might affect the document’s authenticity.
At any rate, the suggestion that Jesus could have been married, as suggested in books and movies like The Da Vinci Code, has yet to be disproven.