With the release of The DaVinci Code, along with its hype, debate from both sides, and a massive media campaign, this may be the time to more closely examine evidence of the allegations made not only in The DaVinci Code, but also in other lesser-known scholarly works that do give historical evidence for hidden codes, a conspiracy, murder, mayhem, and –- Heaven forbid — the idea that Jesus was married and produced children.
For the opening of the door to the widespread knowledge of these revelations, we should thank Dan Brown. His novel hinted at the controversy, but he wisely obscured the details by addressing the issues as a modern-day detective story, leaving the truly devastating and incriminating information for others to reveal. Now, the information is about to cascade over Christendom like the flood waters of the Deluge. While it is not possible to cite all the research here, some links and books have been provided where the readers can begin their own investigation.
From Professor Robert Eisenman’s fabulous works including James the Brother of Jesus, to Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah, from the insights gained from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Elaine Pagel’s The Gnostic Gospels, continuing on to textual criticism (John Dominic Crossan’s Who Killed Jesus) and military analysis of ancient manuscripts (Josephus), we dare not ignore the impact of this long-suppressed information. While many of the leaders of the “faithful” will understandably attack these works, we must require that they not respond to our questions by demanding that we submit to mere blind obedience so that they can save our souls. The evidence is now surfacing that they may actually be the ones who have been keeping our souls in prison all along by silencing honest inquiry and denouncing such inquiry as if it is something for which we should be ashamed.
The study of history should provide us with lessons that teach us how to avoid the same mistakes. But, often, history is biased and the truth hidden either just below the surface or in other places altogether. In the subject at hand, it is helpful to look at the circumstances history tells us of the period, and not just the official versions, but also the new evidence slowly emerging. Again, the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Codices, and other works by recent scholarship point in a direction that is substantial, if not conclusive. In this effort, the researchers must try to ignore the trend of the last to two millennia of basing history, and its interpretation, on religious belief and faith without losing sight of how that faith influenced history subsequent to the events we are examining.
In this study, we find ourselves asking the first question. How does an empire take over a fiercely independent and religiously devout people? The answer is manipulation over time of their most basic beliefs, and the control of their government and destiny. In other words, by redefining what and who they are, and where they are going, using force if necessary, a people will ultimately surrender.
Circa First Century CE (Common Era, otherwise known as A.D.) just such an operation was underway in Palestine to subjugate the Jews and their control over the valuable trade routes to Asia and Egypt. The Roman Empire occupied Palestine, especially Judea and Galilee, extending its power for what it deemed the defense and national security of the Roman people. Of course, it also involved the plunder of the occupied lands to stoke Caesar's treasury.
The Jews fought back. "This is proof that the Uprising against Rome, aside from being popular-which it was most definitely-was also Messianic," wrote Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, p.45.