One of the Grail Quest's unconscious assumptions is also its greatest fallacy: the assumption that Jesus of Nazareth was a white man and that Mary Magdalene was a white woman.
This assumption is set forward unconsciously in Dan Brown's descriptions of Mary Magdalene as interpreted by Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper." We must first acknowledge that European artists painted Biblical heroes to look rather like Europeans. Even as late as the twentieth century, artist Warner Salman captured the face of Christ, perhaps the most published and famous image of them all, complete with light hair and blue eyes.
Da Vinci painted white people in the last supper. It is no great shock that the person at the right hand of Jesus, traditionally viewed as John but interpreted by the esoteric Grail Quest as Mary Magdalene, is shown with red hair.
This is no great shock when we understand the mindset and world-view of Europeans throughout the Middle Ages and persisting, in many cases, to the present: God had made Europe to be Christendom, so it follows that the Bible heroes would look like the Christians known today, rather than like the peoples of the desert and levant that became Muslim.
Ethno-centered portrayals of Christ and Bible heroes is not only accomplished by artists of European extraction. Artists in Africa frequently render icons and images of Bible heroes that look obviously African in origin. Artists in the far east do the same.
The unconscious assumption surfaces when we read a book from the point of view of the esoteric Grail Quest, in which one evidence that Mary Magdalene is the direct ancestor of Sofie is that Sofie is red-haired. Here we have the author, Dan Brown, relying on the imagination of Da Vinci, rather than any accurate anthropology of anceint Israel.
The facts are these: By the 5th Century before Christ, the Jews themselves identified two centers of origin. One center of origin was the Persian Gulf basin, currently Iraq, and the other center of origin was the Nile basin of Africa. Thus in their composition and collection of stories, the Jews were specific in identifying their Semitic and African origins. To the Jews, the descendants of Japeth who settled to the north and west, on the northern shores of the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains, in other words, White People, were remote and alien.
In their own experience, the Jews connected to the Semitic cultures of the Persian Gulf, and the cultures of Africa. Ancestral names themselves hearken to these origins: "Cushi," an ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah, is the Hebrew word that referred to Ethiopia.
Jesus was not a white man, an Aryan, an Anglo, or a Frank. Neither was Mary Magdalene. Ethno-centered art might shape our perceptions, but it cannot alter the truth.