The Holy Grail

Posted: July 31, 2011 in Conspiracy Theories, History Related
Tags: , , , , ,

You may have heard about it in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Monty Python’s the Holy Grail, both of which center around the search for the fabled lost Holy Grail. A prized object of Christianity that’s been shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years, the grail has been one of the many lost artifacts any archaeologist would dream of discovering… if it were real. Or at least, more than just a mere cup.

 

In case you don’t know what the Holy Grail is, turn to Matthew 26, in which you will read of the Last Supper of Jesus. While dining, Jesus turned to his disciples and mentioned his cup of wine stating, “This is my blood of the new covenant.” This is actually the only place in the Bible Jesus’ cup is mentioned (excluding the other 3 gospel accounts of course). But legend has gone much farther with the cup (grail) than the Bible has.

 

Legend holds that Joseph of Arimathea used the cup to capture the blood dripping off Christ has he hung on the cross.[1] Many magical powers were also associated with the grail. In the middle ages Catholics taught that the Holy Communion became the actual blood of Christ. As religious expert J. Stephen Lang points out, “Christians assumed that if their own cup of wine could turn magically become Jesus’ blood, imagine the power of the cup Jesus had used.”[2] Overtime the grail became connected with legends about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table[3], who sought after the grail for its healing powers. Hence why it was used to heal Indiana Jones’ father. But it is this characteristic that leads scholars to believe that Holy Grail legend stems from a much earlier Celtic myth of the “horn (capsule) of plenty,” a container that was the source of all good, power, and healing.[4]  Whether it is related or not, what scholars do know for sure is that these legends all developed during the twelve and thirteenth centuries, which lie within the Dark Ages. It is understood that Europe was spiritually lost during this time and people began reaching out towards religious idols, most notably the Celtics.[5] Hence the Holy Grail legend takes flight.

 

No scholars logically believe the legends of the Holy Grail are true due to the legend’s emergence so far removed from the lifetime of Christ. But that doesn’t stop many Jesus conspiracy theorists (most notably Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code) from using legends of the grail to further add mystery and a sense of church corruption to their stories. An accurate knowledge of history, plus some common sense, leaves one to the obvious conclusion that it is nothing more than legend.

 

Again, the Bible makes no mention of the grail outside Jesus’ usage during the last supper. Furthermore the Bible teaches not to worship man made idols (which is exactly what this legend is) in so many places there’s no need to reference them here. Flip open to a random page in the Bible and there is a good chance there will be a passage commanding followers not to engage in idolatry. God’s power is not found in worldly objects. It’s not found in a cup.


[1] J. Stephen Lang, “1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible,” (Barnes & Noble, Inc.New York:NY 2010) Pg. 394

[2] J. Stephen Lang, “1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible,” (Barnes & Noble, Inc.New York:NY 2010) 1 Pg. 395

[3] Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea traveled toBritain with the grail where it was handed off to followers there. This is how the grail became connected to King Arthur.

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