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Holy Blood, Holy Grail

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Explosive, thought-provoking, fiercely compelling, Holy Blood, Holy Grail breaks bold new ground with its shocking conclusions about the lineage of Christ and the legacy of the Holy Grail. Based on decades of research, filled with eye-opening new evidence and dazzling scholarship, this authoritative work uncovers an alternate history as shocking as it is believable -- as it dares to ask: Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete? Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?...
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Holy Blood, Holy Grail

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Overview

Explosive, thought-provoking, fiercely compelling, Holy Blood, Holy Grail breaks bold new ground with its shocking conclusions about the lineage of Christ and the legacy of the Holy Grail. Based on decades of research, filled with eye-opening new evidence and dazzling scholarship, this authoritative work uncovers an alternate history as shocking as it is believable -- as it dares to ask: Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete? Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross? Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists? Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets in Christendom? Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail? According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible -- they are probably true. So revolutionary, so original, so convincing, the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739339879
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 8 CDs, 9 hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.96 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948 and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University. At one point he gave up a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project. Since 1976 he has lived in England.

Richard Leigh is a novelist and short-story writer with postgraduate degrees in comparative literature and a thorough knowledge of history, philosophy, psychology, and esoterica. He has been working for some years as a university lecturer in the United States, Canada, and Britain.

Henry Lincoln is an author and filmmaker and has written for television.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

In 1969, en route for a summer holiday in the Cévennes, I made the casual purchase of a paperback. Le Trésor Maudit by Gérard de Sède was a mystery story--a lightweight, entertaining blend of historical fact, genuine mystery, and conjecture. It might have remained consigned to the postholiday oblivion of all such reading had I not stumbled upon a curious and glaring omission in its pages.

The "accursed treasure" of the title had apparently been found in the 1890s by a village priest through the decipherment of certain cryptic documents unearthed in his church. Although the purported texts of two of these documents were reproduced, the "secret messages" said to be encoded within them were not. The implication was that the deciphered messages had again been lost. And yet, as I found, a cursory study of the documents reproduced in the book reveals at least one concealed message. Surely the author had found it. In working on his book he must have given the documents more than fleeting attention. He was bound, therefore, to have found what I have found. Moreover, the message was exactly the kind of titillating snippet of "proof" that helps to sell a "pop" paperback. Why had M. de Sède not published it?

During the ensuing months the oddity of the story and the possibility of further discoveries drew me back to it from time to time. The appeal was that of a rather more than usually intriguing crossword puzzle--with the added curiosity of de Sède's silence. As I caught tantalizing new glimpses of layers of meaning buried within the text of the documents, I began to wish I could devote more to the mystery of Rennes-le-Château than mere moments snatched from my working life as a writer for television. And so in the late autumn of 1970, I presented the story as a possible documentary subject to the late Paul Johnstone, executive producer of the BBC's historical and archaeological series Chronicle.

Paul saw the possibilities and I was sent to France to talk to de Sède and explore the prospects for a short film. During Christmas week of 1970 I met de Sède in Paris. At that first meeting I asked the question that had nagged at me for more than a year: "Why didn't you publish the message hidden in the parchments?" His reply astounded me. "What message?"

It seemed inconceivable to me that he was unaware of this elementary message. Why was he fencing with me? Suddenly I found myself reluctant to reveal exactly what I had found. We continued a verbal fencing match for a few minutes and it became apparent that we were both aware of the message. I repeated my question, "Why didn't you publish it?" This time de Sède's answer was calculated. "Because we thought it might interest someone like you to find it for yourself."

That reply, as cryptic as the priest's mysterious documents, was the first clear hint that the mystery of Rennes-le-Château was to prove much more than a simple tale of lost treasure.

With my director, Andrew Maxwell-Hyslop, I began to prepare a Chronicle film in the spring of 1971. It was planned as a simple twenty-minute item for a magazine program. But as we worked, de Sède began to feed us further fragments of information. First came the full text of a major encoded message, which spoke of the painters Poussin and Teniers. This was fascinating. The cipher was unbelievably complex. We were told it had been broken by experts of the French Army Cipher Department, using computers. As I studied the convolutions of the code, I became convinced that this explanation was, to say the least, suspect. I checked with cipher experts of British Intelligence. They agreed with me. "The cipher does not present a valid problem for a computer." The code was unbreakable. Someone, somewhere, must have the key.

And then de Sède dropped his second bombshell. A tomb resembling that in Poussin's famous painting "Les Bergers d'Arcadie" had been found. He would send details as soon as he had them. Some days later the photographs arrived and it was clear that our short film on a small local mystery had begun to assume unexpected dimensions. Paul decided to abandon it and committed us to a full-length Chronicle film. Now there would be more time to research and more screen time to explore the story. Transmission was postponed to the spring of the following year.

The Lost Treasure of Jerusalem? was screened in February 1972 and provoked a very strong reaction. I knew that I had found a subject of consuming interest not merely to myself but to a very large viewing public. Further research would not be self-indulgence. At some time there would have to be a follow-up film. By 1974 I had a mass of new material and Paul assigned Roy Davies to produce my second Chronicle film, The Priest, the Painter and the Devil. Again the reaction of the public proved how much the story had caught the popular imagination. But by now it had grown so complex, so far-reaching in its ramifications, that I knew the detailed research was rapidly exceeding the capabilities of any one person. There were too many different leads to follow. The more I pursued one line of investigation, the more conscious I became of how much material was being neglected. It was at this juncture that chance, which had first tossed the story so casually into my lap, now made sure that the work would not become bogged down.

In 1975 at a summer school where we were both lecturing on aspects of literature, I had the great good fortune to meet Richard Leigh. Richard is a novelist and short-story writer with postgraduate degrees in comparative literature and thorough knowledge of history, philosophy, psychology, and esoterica. He had been working for some years as a university lecturer in the United States, Canada, and Britain.

Between our summer-school talks we spent many hours discussing subjects of mutual interest. I mentioned the Knights Templar, who had assumed an important role in the background to the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. To my delight I found that this shadowy order of medieval warrior-monks had already awakened Richard's profound interest, and he had done considerable research into their history. At one stroke months of work I had seen stretching ahead of me became unnecessary. Richard could answer most of my questions, and was as intrigued as I was by some of the apparent anomalies I had unearthed. More important, he, too, saw the fascination and sensed the significance of the whole research project on which I had embarked. He offered to help me with the aspect involving the Templars. And he brought in Michael Baigent, a psychology graduate who had recently abandoned a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project he had in mind.

Had I set out to search for them, I could not have found two better qualified and more congenial partners with whom to form a team. After years of solitary labor the impetus brought to the project by two fresh brains was exhilarating. The first tangible result of our collaboration was the third Chronicle film on Rennes-le-Château, The Shadow of the Templars, which was produced by Roy Davies in 1979.

The work we did on that film at last brought us face to face with the underlying foundations upon which the entire mystery of Rennes-le-Château had been built. But the film could only hint at what we were beginning to discern. Beneath the surface was something more startling, more significant, and more immediately relevant than we could have believed possible when we began our work on the "intriguing little mystery" of what a French priest might have found in a mountain village.

In 1972 I closed my first film with the words, "Something extraordinary is waiting to be found . . . and in the not too distant future, it will be."

This book explains what that "something" is--and how extraordinary the discovering has been.

Henry Lincoln

January 17, 1981

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Table of Contents

Introduction 23
Part 1 The Mystery
1 Village of Mystery 31
Rennes-le-Chateau and Berenger Sauniere 31
The Possible Treasures 39
The Intrigue 43
2 The Cathars and the Great Heresy 48
The Albigensian Crusade 49
The Siege of Montsegur 55
The Cathar Treasure 57
The Mystery of the Cathars 61
3 The Warrior-Monks 64
Knights Templar--The Orthodox Account 65
Knights Templar--The Mysteries 78
Knights Templar--The Hidden Side 86
4 Secret Documents 96
Part 2 The Secret Society
5 The Order Behind the Scenes 111
The Mystery Surrounding the Foundation of the Knights Templar 115
Louis VII and the Prieure de Sion 118
The "Cutting of the Elm" at Gisors 119
Ormus 121
The Prieure at Orleans 125
The "Head" of the Templars 126
The Grand Masters of the Templars 127
6 The Grand Masters and the Underground Stream 131
Rene d'Anjou 136
Rene and the Theme of Arcadia 138
The Rosicrucian Manifestos 141
The Stuart Dynasty 145
Charles Nodier and His Circle 150
Debussy and the Rose-Croix 127
Jean Cocteau 157
The Two John XXIIIs 159
7 Conspiracy Through the Centuries 162
The Prieure de Sion in France 164
The Dukes of Guise and Lorraine 166
The Bid for the Throne of France 171
The Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement 173
Chateau Barberie 177
Nicolas Fouquet 178
Nicolas Poussin 180
Rosslyn Chapel and Shugborough Hall 183
The Pope's Secret Letter 184
The Rock of Sion 185
The Catholic Modernist Movement 187
The Protocols of Sion 190
The Hieron du Val d'Or 195
8 The Secret Society Today 201
Alain Poher 204
The Lost King 205
Curious Pamphlets in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 207
The Catholic Traditionalists 210
The Convent of 1981 and Cocteau's Statutes 214
M. Plantard de Saint-Clair 220
The Politics of the Prieure de Sion 227
9 The Long-haired Monarchs 234
Legend and the Merovingians 234
The Bear from Arcadia 237
The Sicambrians Enter Gaul 239
Merovee and His Descendants 239
Blood Royal 241
Clovis and His Pact with the Church 242
Dagobert II 245
The Usurpation by the Carolingians 253
The Exclusion of Dagobert II from History 257
Prince Guillem de Gellone, Comte de Razes 259
Prince Ursus 261
The Grail Family 265
The Elusive Mystery 269
10 The Exiled Tribe 271
Part 3 The Bloodline
11 The Holy Grail 283
The Legend of the Holy Grail 285
The Story of Wolfram von Eschenbach 292
The Grail and Cabalism 303
The Play on Words 305
The Lost Kings and the Grail 306
The Need to Synthesize 309
The Hypothesis 313
12 The Priest-King Who Never Ruled 316
Palestine at the Time of Jesus 322
The History of the Gospels 327
The Marital Status of Jesus 330
The Wife of Jesus 333
The Beloved Disciple 338
The Dynasty of Jesus 344
The Crucifixion 347
Who Was Barabbas? 350
The Crucifixion in Detail 352
The Scenario 357
13 The Secret the Church Forbade 360
The Zealots 369
The Gnostic Writings 378
14 The Grail Dynasty 383
Judaism and the Merovingians 387
The Principality in Septimania 389
The Seed of David 395
15 Conclusion and Portents for the Future 398
Appendix The Alleged Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sion 415
Bibliography 439
Notes and References 449
Index 477
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The original Da Vinci Code!

    The amount of meticulous research that went into crafting Holy Blood, Holy Grail is simply breath-taking. This book uses a wealth of historical documents and ancient evidence to support its controversial theories on the Holy Grail and Mary Magdalene and I highly recommend it. Also highly recommended are two other fine Grail books, one non-fiction and the other fiction, and both are by Michael Bradley, a renowned Grail expert who served as a researcher for the Da Vinci Code movie. Bradley's Swords at Sunset is a non-fiction work that traces the Grail to North America, while his fictional novel, The Magdalene Mandala is a wonderfully written thriller with a twisting plot that moves at break-neck speed. It also has well drawn characters and in the view of many is superior to the Da Vince Code. For anyone like me with a growing interest in the Grail, do yourself a favour and discover Holy Blood, Holy Grail; Swords at Sunset and The Magdalene Mandala and Love's Eclipse of the Heart. You'll be very glad you did.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2005

    Blood/Grail is a hard to read text book

    If you are considering buying this book you probably already know what it says. The main premise of the book is not even discussed until page 313 in the paper back edition. Presented as a 450 page research paper it has little entertainment value and is not an easy read. There is no conclusion or proof offered to any of the theories the authors present. Holy Blood, Holy Grail may provoke thought but it is not worth the effort that it takes to read. You can make your own judgment on the content, if you can force yourself to finish reading the text.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2013

    Great book, food for thought. Yes, some people might be appalle

    Great book, food for thought. Yes, some people might be appalled. However, it does not hurt to look at history/archeology/etc. through different eyes. Scientists can get near sighted, where "amateurs" might see a bigger picture. Don't take everything literal. Great starting point to look into it yourself, I for sure did. And no, I did not quite arrive at the same conclusion. As for this not being an easy read, this goes without question. How can a book with this subject matter be an easy read? If you don't like to think, then don't buy it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Entertaining, Interesting, but Spins Wildly Out of Control

    The premise is simple enough: a group of young researchers out to solve the mystery of a mythical treasure discovered by a parish priest about 100 years earlier. Like many folk legends, the tale had a grain of truth, but was ridden with endless interpretations, fantastic theories, and conspiratorial conclusions: that certain statuary and structures had double-meanings, that this treasure, whatever it was, was used to blackmail the Vatican, which, in turn, colluded in keeping the whole story under wraps. As with many rumours, it is difficult to know how these things get started and how it will all end.<BR/><BR/>While the authors' premise and subsequent quest is interesting and entertaining, the last 1/3 of the book spins widely out of control as the authors seem bent on explaining everything and painting every blank area of the canvas regardless of what color, texture, or style they employ. Thus, research into this mystery treasure ends in theories about how Jesus may have survived crucifixion. The book shows us how it got there, but one is left to wonder why it is necessary to go there. The authors claim to be seeking a simple explanation in the beginning, but end up with anything but as they strain to make everything fit.<BR/><BR/>This book is entertaining and interesting - definitely not boring! It is important to approach this book with a critical eye. Yes, I agree one must come to one's own conclusions, and I admit there are some things (coincidences if you will) that continue to perplex me. Nevertheless, when attempting to solve such "puzzles", one must not forget that some mysteries are man-made (and thus may have been placed before you for no other reason than to confound you), while others are divine (and thus unsolvable). <BR/><BR/>Somewhere in between lies the appeal of this book and others like it: whether fiction or non-fiction. There are people who cannot fathom chaos in the midst of the divine, so they rely instead on conspiracy theories of world domination. There are still others who long for a king to set things right... a royal and holy blood line that has been so important to our history up until now. Our own enlightenment leaves room for rationality only, thus denying the divine revelation potential in us all. Therefore, there is no such thing as an accident, or that our own reason can lead us down an absurd path.<BR/><BR/>Please keep this in mind while reading this book. Yes, everything has a purpose, but that purpose cannot always be deduced by human effort. For some context and a foil to the ideas presented in this book, I recommend the works below, particularly "Circular Ruins" by Borges found in the "Labyrinths" collection.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    An excellent book.

    If you have an open mind and are familiar with content then this is a superb book. It was very easy to read and to understand. I thank the writers for enlightening us to other possibilities and yes, you believe what you wish. The key is to explore all the possibilities before forming an opinion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    A Fascinating House of Cards

    I read this after, of course, The Da Vinci Code, and I was interested to see how much of the premise of that book was lifted whole cloth from this one. I found it mostly very readable and extraordinarily well-researched (if the bibilography is truthful and accurate...I haven't looked at any of those sources yet). The detective work is exciting, and the complex history presented very engagingly. It is, though, an intellectual house of cards: conclusions are based on a chain of hypotheticals. Each 'possibility' is ever more remotely linked to the previous one. The authors' technique of declaring a scenario 'incredible,' and then proceeding to assert its truth, is at first persuasive but finally transparent. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book a great deal and am going on to read related history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2005

    A wonderfully researched book

    This book throws light upon the lineage of the Holy Family. It's a very well-researched book and an excellent reference for the royal lineage. I believe that if one stays focussed through the first half of the book which can get very dry at times, one is in for a treat on various perspectives into the truth behind the stories that act as the foundation of Christian faith. Although the authors don't claim any of the perspectives to be true, it gets one thinking about the different possible interpretations of the Christian mythology.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2004

    Could it be worse?

    One of the silliest conspiracy books out there. If you have read any history ever, or even a little basic logic, the inaccuracies become glaringly and possibly deliberately so, obvious. Poor attempt at venting frustrations.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Good book well informed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Liked Da Vinci Code? Then don't read this.

    I read Da Vinci Code and became really interested in the topic of the Holy Grail and finding out more about it. The thing I liked about the Da Vinci Code was that it was very accessable and easy to read. So I came into this book hoping that it would pick up where Dan Brown left off. I was very disappointed. The first half of the book doesn't even mention the Holy Grail and is very dry and unreadable. This book is very academic and not a pleasure to read at all.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    too many liberties with religious history...

    Theories based on weak deductions... for a religious thriller based on biblical theory of the Holy Grail, I would suggest a new novel titled THE GOAT WITHOUT HORNS.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    What a fascinating read! I was raised in a strict Christian home

    What a fascinating read! I was raised in a strict Christian home, with my faith being presented to me on a plate. I am glad that I can make my own choices now, based on research, as well as faith. I am totally fascinated by the theories put forth in this book. I will be reading it again in time.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Far fetched.

    Secret societies, ancient cover-ups, hidden secrets.....where does the B.S. end and real historical research begine? For anyone who has no real knoledge of biblical history then this may seem a bit interesting. But the more you learn about all the early forms of christianity, all the lost texts the church destroyed after the Nicene council in 325 under Constantine, the more you will see the authors of this book as just a bunch of conspiracy therists full of it. The Cathers were just some Gnostics in France. They had no seccret info on the holy grail. You know why? Becouse the holy grail is a myth. Yea, historicle Jesus( Yeshem) had to of ued many cups in his days. Yea, maybe he had something going on with Mary. Who knows and who cares. A blood line? Maybe, but so what. If you want to get an idea of what the real Jesus was probobly like then read an author who knows what the hell he's writting about.Professor John Crossan will give you a good look at the life a Jewish peasant based on anthropologic and biblical study. Jesus' death was, according to most biblical scholars, a shock to his followers. You need to also have an understanding of Jewish belief about how they viewed the comming messiah. According to some Jewish sects, Essens, who Jesus may or may not have been one, believed that the messiah was comming very soon. The Essens believed, according to the book of Daniel, they had the time accuretly pin-poined.And,to them, the messiah was to be a ruler on earth, in Israel. Hence, "the comming kingdom of god" and not "going to the kingdom of god." That's why Jesus told so many thet they" would not taist death." So, Jesus is killed by the Romans, Deff NOT the Jews. His followers go back to their ancient texts trying to fing anything they can in the scriptures that would explain why the one they believed to be the messiah was killed instead of leading the people of Israel in triumph against Roman tyrany. So, the New testament is loaded with ancient prophesy that originally had nothing to do with Jesus,all of a sudden being attributed to him. Also, read Bart Ehrman's several books. One of the best New testament historians. You'll find out all about the many contradictions in the New test. Then go read James Kugel, a Harverd prof. who will give scholarly theorys on who wrote the old tesat. and why. Also, read Richard Friedman: who wrote the Bible? and Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman: The Bible unearthed. You'll see how the idea of the Jewish messiah came about, learn of Documentary Hypothesis: the 4 authors of the Torah and what eara they may have been writen in. To sum it all up, the more you know of REAL hostorical and biblical scholarly reasurch, by highly educated reasurchurs with backgrounds in biblical studies, ancient eastern societies, archeology, ancient semetic language....ect, the more the authors of The Holy Blood Holy grail seem like they are way, WAY out of their league, and all the subject matter pointless when you have a firm understanding of the foundation( Old Test) upon which they base their "conspiracy theorys'. All they can do is speculate. To be true, most educated reasurchers speculate. But their's are far more intelligent. This book contains nothing but useless, speculative noncense. Now, please excuse the quality of my spelling. Believe me, I already know how bad it is.

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    Good

    A lot of names and places to keep straight...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    very interesting topic ! is it real ?

    I reda this book and I also read the Da Vinci Code, I like this book a lot; very good historical background and very good research, facts that cannot be ignored. Is it real ? Not sure, don't know, what I know is that the book is well written and very interesting and easy to read. ths size of the book is not ideal, very small letter (at least the one I bought)

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  • Posted October 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Difficult read

    This book was very information dense, heavy with dates and names. I found it difficult to keep track of who was who.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I FIRST READ THIS BOOK 8 YEARS AGO.

    a copy of this book was given to me, by a good friend. i loaned it out and never got it back. so i was very happy to find another copy. i will reread it soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    Not sure why I picked it up...

    I pretty much found this to be a waste of money. It is not accurate and not entertaining. If you are looking for a religious fantasy that is very similar read the DuhVinci Code. I wouldn't waste your money on this. It is funny that the DuhVinci Code is based on the same fantasy but the DuhVinci code got more readership.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    If you like reading about the Templars

    This book, althought text-like at times, was very well written. It is absorbing and quite educational. Of course, in the end, you must make up your own mind.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2007

    Wow...Bias is Ridiculous

    This book reads like a text often times but if this kind of material interests you, then you will like the reading. Keep in mind that folks come on here to spout their beliefs about faith and Christianity, not the work itself. Like any other research, your bias will often lead your approach to the research and your conclusions. Thus, take each bit of information with a grain of salt. Many people won't accept other truths if it is shot in the face of what they believe. Thus, even if a small minority accepts the research, that alone is not enough to discredit its merits or prove a lack there of.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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