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The Hidden History of Jesus and the Holy Grail

Part 1 of 3

The early Christian Church leaders adopted scriptures and teachings that would obscure the truth about the royal bloodline of Jesus.

Part 2 | Part 3

Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 5, Number 2 (February-March 1998).
PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia.
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From a lecture presented by
Sir Laurence Gardner, Kt St Gm, KCD
Author of
Bloodline of the Holy Grail
The Ranch, Yelm, Washington, USA
30 April 1997
Videotape transcribed by Ruth Parnell

I did not decide to write the book [Bloodline of the Holy Grail]. The book happened by accident, not by design. It happened by virtue of the fact that for about the last ten years I have been the appointed historian and sovereign genealogist to thirty-three royal families. It happened because during those early periods I was documenting evidence on the history of those royal families and their noble offshoots, and the chivalric archives of those noble and sovereign families.

What I was doing was putting together written chronological accounts of things that these families knew the substance of but did not necessarily know the detail of. It is the reason why in Britain and Europe I necessarily spend far less time on this biblical aspect, because there's a lot of what we'll talk about tonight that in Europe is taken as read. It was never any secret when my book came out, for the majority of these people, that Jesus was married and that Jesus had heirs, because it was written as such in very many family archives, not necessarily just private but in the open domain. The published papers of Mary, Queen of Scots talk about it at length. The papers of James II of England, who was wasn't deposed until 1688, talk of it at length.

In putting together the detail, generation by generation, of this story, we were actually compiling something for posterity that, at that point in time when I began the work, was locked away in boxes and cupboards, and I was actually in a position where I was presented with things and said, "Look, this says, 'Last opened in 1732!". So, some very, very old documentation, not only last opened in seventeen-whenever, but actually documented and written down hundreds of years before that.

The book happened by accident. Over a period of time-probably, looking back now, ten or twelve years ago-I began this work with separate commissions from separate families, doing work on these genealogies. What happened was they began to converge. It became very apparent-and it took a long time because genealogies have to be done backwards, put together backwards and constructed backwards-but what was happening was that a triangle, from a large top base with numerous family lines, was pulling in to a point.

I suddenly realised what this point was, and I said, "Wow, do you realise what I've found here?"; and they said, "Ah, you know the father of so and so?"; and I said, "No, no, no; I'm actually finding that this comes out of the House of Judah in the first century"; and they said, "Oh, yeah, we know all that; what we wanted you to do was for you..."; and I said, "Well, there are millions of people out there who do not know about it, so let's turn this triangle upside down and turn it into a book!". So that's how the book happened.

On top of that, for the last six years I have been Britain's Grand Prior of the Sacred Kindred of Saint Columba, the royal ecclesiastical seat of the Celtic Church. So I had, also, access to Celtic Church records dating back to AD 37. Because of my attachments to the families, to the knightly orders, I also had access to Templar documents, to the very documents that the Knights Templar brought out in Europe in 1128 and confronted the Church establishment with, and frightened the life out of them with, because these were documents that talked about bloodline and genealogy, and we'll get on to that.

So tonight we're going to embark on a time-honoured quest. Some have called it the ultimate quest. The Christian Church has condemned it as a heresy, and it is, of course, the quest for the Holy Grail.

A heresy is described in all dictionaries as "an opinion which is contrary to the orthodox dogma of the Christian bishops", and, in this regard, those other quests which comprise much of today's scientific and medical research are equally heretical. The word "heresy" is, in essence, nothing more than a derogatory label, a tag used by a fearful Church establishment that has long sought to maintain control of society through fear of the unknown. A heresy can therefore define those aspects of philosophy, research, which quest into the realms of the unknown, and which from time to time provide answers and solutions that are quite contrary to Church doctrine.

Quests are by their very nature intriguing; history and historical research are enlightening; but the findings from neither are of any use whatsoever unless there are present-day applications which, like science and medicine, can sow the seeds of a better future.

History is no more than recorded experience-generally, the experience of its winners. It makes common sense to learn from the experience of yesterday. It's that very experience which holds the moral, cultural, political, social keys of tomorrow, and it's in this context that the Holy Grail supports that which we call "the Messianic Code". This is the code of social practice instituted by Jesus when he washed his apostles' feet at the Last Supper. It pertains to the obligations of giving and receiving service; it determines that those in positions of elected authority and influence should always be aware of their duties as representatives of society, obligated to serve society, not to presume authority over society. It is the essential key to democratic government. This is defined as government by the people, for the people. Without the implementation of the Grail Code, we experience the only-too-familiar government of the people. This is not democratic government.

Now, in the course of our journey we'll be discussing many items which are thoroughly familiar, but we'll be looking at them from a different perspective to that normally conveyed. In this regard it will appear that we are often treading wholly new ground, but in fact it was only the ground that existed before it was carpeted and concealed by those with otherwise vested interests. Only by rolling back this carpet of purposeful concealment can we succeed in our quest for the Holy Grail.

So our quest will begin in the Holy Land of Judaea in the time of Jesus and we'll spend a good while there. I will not move from that era until we break, because it will take that long to set the emergent scene for the next 2,000 years of history.

We'll be travelling through the Dark Ages then, to spend some time in mediaeval Europe. The Grail mystery will then be followed into King Arthur's Britain and, eventually, in time, to the United States of America where the American fathers were among the greatest exponents of the Grail Code. Eminent Americans such as George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Thompson, Thomas Jefferson were as much champions of the Holy Grail as were King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Galahad.

Bloodline of the Holy Grail, the book, has been described as "the book of messianic descent". It was a radio interviewer who called it that; and it's an apt description because the book carries the subtitle, The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed. This of course indicates that Jesus had children and, by implication therefore, that he was married. So was he married? Did Jesus have children? If so, do we know what happened to them? Are there descendants alive today? The answer to each of these questions is yes. We shall be looking at the emergent family in some detail. We will follow the story, their story, century by century; the story of a resolute royal dynasty, the descendant heirs of Jesus who struggled against all odds through the centuries to preserve the Messianic Royal Code down to date.

Tonight's story will be a conspiracy: usurped crowns, prosecutions, assassinations, and the unwarranted concealment of information from the people of the Western world. It's an account of good government and bad government; about how the patriarchal kingship of people was supplanted by dogmatic tyranny and the dictatorial lordship of lands. It's a compelling journey of discovery, a view of past ages, but with its eye firmly set on the future. This is history as it was once written but has never been told.

Let's begin with the most obvious of all questions. What is the Holy Grail? How is the Holy Grail connected with the descendant heirs of Jesus? The fact that Jesus had descendants might come as a surprise to some, but it was widely known in Britain and Europe until the late Middle Ages, just a few hundred years ago.

In mediaeval times, the line of messianic descent was defined by the French word Sangréal. This derived from the two words, Sang Réal, meaning "Blood Royal". This was the Blood Royal of Judah, the kingly line of David which progressed through Jesus and his heirs. In English translation, the definition, Sangréal, became "San Gréal", as in "San" Francisco. When written more fully it was written "Saint Grail", "Saint", of course, relating to "Holy"; and by a natural linguistic process came the more romantically familiar name, "Holy Grail".

From the Middle Ages there were a number of chivalric and military orders specifically attached to the Messianic Blood Royal in Britain and Europe. They included the Order of the Realm of Sion, the Order of the Sacred Sepulchre; but the most prestigious of all was the Sovereign Order of the Sangréal-the Knights of the Holy Grail. This was a dynastic Order of Scotland's Royal House of Stewart.

In symbolic terms the Grail is often portrayed as a chalice that contains the blood of Jesus; alternatively as a vine of grapes. The product of grapes is wine, and it is the chalice and the wine of Grail tradition that sit at the very heart of the Communion, the Mass, the Eucharist; and this sacrament, the Sacred Chalice, contains the wine that represents the perpetual blood of Jesus.

It is quite apparent that although maintaining the ancient Communion custom, the Christian Church has conveniently ignored and elected not to teach the true meaning and origin of that custom. Few people even think to enquire about the ultimate symbolism of the chalice and wine sacrament, believing that it comes simply from some gospel entry relating to the Last Supper. Well, it's the significance of the perpetual blood of Jesus. How is the blood of Jesus, or anyone else for that matter, perpetuated? It is perpetuated through family and lineage.

So why was it that the Church authorities elected to ignore the bloodline significance of the Grail sacrament? They kept the sacrament. Why was it they went so far as to denounce Grail lore and Grail symbolism as heretical?

The fact is that every government and every church teaches the form of history or dogma most conducive to its own vested interest. In this regard we're all conditioned to receiving a very selective form of teaching. We are taught what we're supposed to know, and we are told what we're supposed to believe. But for the most part we learn both political and religious history by way of national or clerical propaganda, and this often becomes absolute dogma, teachings which may not be challenged for fear of reprisals.

With regard to the Church's attitude towards the chalice and the wine, it is blatantly apparent that the original symbolism had to be reinterpreted by the bishops because it denoted that Jesus had offspring and therefore that he must have united with a woman.

But it was not only sacraments and customary ritual that were reinterpreted because of this: the very gospels themselves were corrupted to comply with the male-only establishment of the Church of Rome-much like a modern film editor will adjust and select the tapes to achieve the desired result, the result of the vested interest of the film-maker.

We're all familiar with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but what about the other gospels? What about the Gospel of Philip, of Thomas, of Mary and of Mary Magdalene? What of all the numerous gospels and acts and epistles that were not approved by the Church councils when the New Testament was collated? Why were they excluded when the choices were made?

There were actually two main criteria for selection of gospels for the New Testament. These were determined at the Council of Carthage in the year 397. The first criterion was that the New Testament must be written in the names of Jesus' own apostles. Mark was not an apostle of Jesus, as far as we know; nor was Luke. They were colleagues of the later St Paul. Thomas, on the other hand, was one of the original twelve, and yet the gospel in his name was excluded. Not only that, but along with numerous other gospels and texts it was destined and sentenced to be destroyed.

And so throughout the mediaeval world, Thomas and numerous other unapproved books were buried and hidden in the fifth century. Only in recent times have some of these manuscripts been unearthed, with the greatest find being at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, 1,500 years after the burial of these documents.

Although these books weren't rediscovered until this present century, they were used openly by the early Christians. Certain of them, including the gospels mentioned, along with the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of the Egyptians and others, were actually mentioned in writings by early churchmen. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyon, Origen of Alexandria-they all mention these other gospels.

So why were the gospels of Mark and Luke selected if they were not Jesus' own apostles? Because Mark and Luke actually were apostles of Jesus, and the early Church fathers knew this. In those days before the New Testament was corrupted, they knew full well that Jesus survived the Crucifixion. In these early gospels there was no story of Resurrection; this was added later.

Why were other apostolic gospels not selected? Because there was a second, far more important criterion-the criterion by which, in truth, the gospel selection was really made. And this was a wholly sexist regulation. It precluded anything that upheld the status of women in Church or community, society.

Indeed, the Church's own apostolic constitutions were compiled on this basis. They state, "We do not permit our women to teach in the Church, only to pray and to hear those who teach. Our master, when he sent us the twelve, did nowhere send out a woman; for the head of the woman is the man, and is it not reasonable that the body should govern the head?".

This was rubbish, but it was for this very reason that dozens of gospels were not selected-because they made it quite clear that there were very many active women in the ministry of Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Martha, Helena-Salome, Mary Jacob Cleophas, Joanna. These were not only ministry disciples; they're recorded as priestesses in their own right, running exemplary schools of worship in the Nazarene tradition.

In St Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Paul makes specific mention of his own female helpers: Phoebe, for example, whom he called a sister of the Church; Julia; Priscilla, who laid down her net for the cause. The New Testament is alive with women disciples, but the Church ignored them all. When the Church's precepts of ecclesiastical discipline were drawn up, they stated, "It is not permitted for a woman to speak in Church, nor to claim for herself any share in any masculine function". But the Church itself had decided that this was a masculine function.

The Church was so frightened of women that it instituted a rule of celibacy: a rule for its priests, a rule that became a law in 1138; a law that persists today. Well, this rule has never been quite what it appears on the surface, because, when one reads the rule, when one studies history, one can see that it was never, ever sexual activity as such that bothered the Church. The specific definition that made this rule possible was priestly intimacy with women. Why? Because women become wives and lovers. The very nature of motherhood is a perpetuation of bloodlines. It was this that bothered the Church: a taboo subject-motherhood, bloodlines. This image had to be separated from the necessary image of Jesus.

But it wasn't as if the Bible had said any such thing. St Paul had said in his Epistle to Timothy that a bishop should be married to one wife and that he should have children; that a man with experience in his own family household is actually far better qualified to take care of the Church. Even though the Roman Church authorities claimed to uphold the teaching of St Paul in particular, they chose completely to disregard this explicit directive to suit their own ends, so that Jesus' own marital status could be strategically ignored.

But the Church's celibate, unmarried image of Jesus was fully contradicted in other writings of the era. It was openly contradicted in the public domain until the perpetuation of the truth was proclaimed a punishable heresy only 450 years ago in 1547, the year that Henry VIII died in England.

It's not just the Christian New Testament that suffers from these sexist restrictions. A similar editing process was applied to the Jewish-based Old Testament, and this made it conveniently suitable to be added to the Christian Bible. This is made particularly apparent by a couple of entries that bypassed the editors' scrutiny.

The books of Joshua and 2 Samuel both refer to the much more ancient Book of Jasher. They say it's very important, the Book of Jasher. Where is it? Not in the Bible. Like so many other books, it was purposely left out. But does it still exist? Yes. The nine-foot Hebrew scroll of Jasher still exists. It has been historically important for a long, long time. It was the jewel of the court of Emperor Charlemagne, and the translation of the Book of Jasher was the very reason that the University of Paris was founded, in the year 800. That was about a century before the Old Testament that we know was actually put together.

Jasher was the staff-bearer to Moses. His writings are of enormous significance. The accounts relate to the story of the Israelites in Egypt, to their exodus into Canaan. But these stories differ considerably from the way we know the story today. They explain that it was not Moses who was the spiritual leader of the tribes who crossed the Red Sea to Mount Sinai. The spiritual leader was Miriam.

At that time the Jews had never heard of Jehovah; they worshipped the goddess Asherah. Their spiritual leaders were largely female. Miriam posed, according to the Book of Jasher, such a problem for Moses in his attempt to create a new environment of male dominance that he imprisoned her; and the Jewish nation rose against Moses with their armies to secure Miriam's release. This is not in the Bible.

So let's move to where the Christian story itself began. Let's look at the gospels themselves and, in doing that, let's see what they actually tell us, against what we think they tell us, because we have all learned to go along with what we are taught about the gospels in schoolrooms and churches. But is the teaching correctly related always? Does it conform with the written scriptures? It's actually surprising how much we think we know, but we've learned it just from pulpits or from picture books, not from necessarily studying the texts.

The nativity story itself provides a good example. It's widely accepted, and the Christmas cards keep telling us that Jesus was born in a stable. The gospels don't say that. There is no stable mentioned in any authorised gospel. The nativity is not mentioned at all in Mark or John, and Matthew says quite plainly that Jesus was born in a house.

So where did the stable come from? It came from a misinterpretation, really, of the Gospel of Luke which relates that Jesus was laid in a manger-not born, but laid-and a manger was then, and still is, nothing more than an animal feeding box. One only has to study society history of the time to recognise the fact that it was perfectly common for mangers to be used as cradles, and they were often brought indoors for that very purpose.

So why has it been presumed that this particular manger was in a stable? Because the English translations of Luke tell us that there was no room in the inn. Must then have been in a stable! But the pre-English translations of Luke don't talk about any inn; the manuscript of Luke does not say there was no room in the inn. In fact, there were no inns in the East in those days. There are very few inns there now; and if there are, they're illegal! People lodged then in private houses. It was a common way of life. It was called family hospitality. Homes were open for travellers.

Come to that, if we're really going to be precise about this, there were no stables in the region, either. In fact, "stable" is a wholly English word and it specifically defines a place for keeping horses; horses of a particular stable. Who on earth rode around on horses in Judaea? Oxen, camels; the odd Roman officer might have had a horse, but even the mules and the oxen, if kept under cover, would have been kept under some sort of a shed or out-house, not in a stable.

As for the mythical inn, the Greek text actually does not say there was no room at the inn. By the best translation it actually states that there was no provision in the room. As mentioned in Matthew, Jesus was born in a house and, as correctly translated, Luke reveals that Jesus was laid in a manger, an animal feeding box, because there was no cradle provided in the room.

If we're on the subject of Jesus' birth, I think we ought to look at the chronology here, because this is important as well; because the gospels, the two gospels that deal with the nativity, actually give us two completely different dates for the event.

According to Matthew, Jesus was born in the reign of King Herod, Herod the Great, who debated the event with the Magi and ordered the slaying of the infants. Well, Herod died in 4 BC, and we know from Matthew that Jesus was born before that. And because of that, most standard concordant Bibles and history books imply that Jesus' date of birth was 5 BC, because that is before 4 BC and Herod was still reigning, so that's a good date.

But in Luke, a completely different date is given. Luke doesn't tell us about King Herod or anything like that. Luke says that Jesus was born while Cyrenius was Governor of Syria, the same year that the Emperor Augustus implemented the national census, the census which Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be a part of.

There are relevant points to mention here, and they are both recorded in the first-century Jewish annals (such as The Antiquities of the Jews). Cyrenius was appointed Governor of Syria in AD 6. This was the very year recorded of the national census, put into operation by Cyrenius and ordered by Emperor Augustus. As Luke tells us, it was the first and only ever recorded census for the region.

So Jesus was born before 4 BC and in AD 6. Is this a mistake? No, not necessarily, because in the way it was originally portrayed we're actually looking at two quite specific births.

Both gospels are correct. We're looking at Jesus' physical birth, and we're looking at Jesus' community birth. These were defined at the time as the first and second births, and they applied specifically to people of particular groups and certainly to dynastic heirs.

Second births for boys were performed by way of a ritual of rebirth. It was very physical: they were wrapped in swaddling clothes and born again from their mother's womb. It was a physical ceremony. Second births for boys took place at the age of twelve.

So we know that Jesus was twelve in AD 6. Unfortunately, the latter-day transcribers of Luke completely missed the significance of this, and it was their endeavour to somehow tie in this event about swaddling clothes and being born then, that led to this mention of the nonsense about the stable.

So if Jesus was twelve in AD 6, this means that he was born in 7 BC, which ties in perfectly well with the Matthew account that he was born during the latter reign of King Herod.

But we now discover what appears to be another anomaly, because Luke says later in the gospel that when Jesus was twelve years old, his parents, Mary and Joseph, took him to Jerusalem for the day. They then left the city to walk home for a full day's journey with their friends before they realised that Jesus was not in their party. They then returned to Jerusalem to find him at the temple, discussing his father's business with the doctors. Well, what sort of parents can wander for a whole day in the desert, without knowing their twelve-year-old son's not there?

The fact is that the whole point of the passage has been missed. There was a wealth of difference between a twelve-year-old son and a son in his twelfth year. When a son, on completing his initial twelve years-that is to say, when he was actually on his thirteenth birthday-was initiated into the community at the ceremony of his second birth, he was regarded as commencing his first year. It was the original root of the modern bar mitzvah. His next initiation, the initiation of manhood in the community, took place in his ninth year, when he was twenty-one-the root of the age-twenty-one privilege. Various degrees followed, and the next major test was in his twelfth year-at the end of his twelfth year, at the age of twenty-four, on his twenty-fourth birthday. When Jesus remained at the temple in his twelfth year, he was actually twenty-four. Not surprising that they expected him not perhaps to be wandering around the desert with them!

So his discussion with the doctors related to his next degree. He would have discussed this at the time with the spiritual father, the father of the community; and indeed, he did. It was the father's business he discussed; his father's business. The father of this era is recorded. The spiritual father of the community at that time was Simeon the Essene, and if we look back a few verses in Luke we see that it was exactly this man, the just and devout Simeon, who legitimated Jesus under the law.

So can we trust the gospels? Well, as we can see, the answer is, yes, we can actually trust the gospels to a point, but what we can't trust is the way that they've been convoluted and distorted, and taught to us by people who don't understand what they actually said in the first place.

The present English-language gospels date back effectively to the Authorized Bible, compiled for the Stewart King James I of England in the early 17th century. This was published and set into print no more than 165 years before America's Declaration of Independence; only a few years before the first Pilgrim Fathers set sail from England.

The gospels of the early Church were originally written in second and third century Greek. Along with the Bible as a whole, they were translated into Latin in the fourth century, but it was then to be more than a thousand years before any English translation was made.

Bible translation was risky then, though. Fourteenth century reformer John Wycliffe was denounced as a heretic for translating the Bible into English. His books were burned. In the early 16th century, William Tyndale was strangled as a form of execution, in Belgium, and then burned, just in case he wasn't dead, for translating the Bible into English. A little later, Miles Coverdale, a disciple of his, made another translation; and by that time the Church itself had split up quite nicely, so Coverdale's version was accepted by the Protestant Church-but he was still a heretic in the eyes of Rome.

The problem was that as long as the printed text remained obscure (and it wasn't just ordinary Latin; this was an horrendous form of Church Latin), as long as only the bishops could understand it, they could teach whatever on Earth they wanted. If it were translated into the languages that other people could understand and maybe read for themselves, this would pose a problem because the Church could be called to question.

Part 2 | Part 3

About the Speaker:
Sir Laurence Gardner, Kt St Gm, KCD, is an internationally known sovereign and chivalric genealogist. He holds the position of Grand Prior of the Celtic Church's Sacred Kindred of Saint Columba, and is distinguished as the Chevalier Labhràn de Saint Germain. Sir Laurence is also Presidential Attaché to the European Council of Princes, a constitutional advisory body established in 1946. He is formally attached to the Noble Household Guard of the Royal House of Stewart, founded at St Germain-en-Laye in 1692, and is the Jacobite Historiographer Royal.

Editors' Notes:

  • Correspondence should be addressed to Laurence Gardner, Post Office Box 4, Ottery St Mary EX11 1YR, United Kingdom. Email: Website:
  • Laurence Gardner's book, Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed, was published by Element Books in 1996 (ISBN 1-85230-870-2 h/c), and is now available in paperback, distributed by Penguin Books (ISBN 1-86204-152-0). It was reviewed in NEXUS 4/01.
  • Copies of Laurence Gardner's video presentation can be obtained from NEXUS Office in the UK; and in the USA, from Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, PO Box 1210, Yelm, WA 98597, ph +1 (360) 458 5201, website, Orders from Australia and NZ should be sent to the USA: AUD$46.00 inc. p&h, for both tapes (specify PAL/VHS).