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The Passover Plot
In 1965, almost forty years before The DaVinci Code, Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield set off a firestorm of controversy with his book The Passover Plot which posits an alternate theory of The Crucifixion. Namely, that Yeshua (Jesus) and his Apostles were actually a clever band of revolutionaries engaged in an elaborate scheme to stage his death, resurrection and other miracles in order to position him as the prophesied Messiah and incite Jewish rebellion against the Roman Occupation. In 1976, it was made into a movie and, in a retroactively-amusing twist, Zalman King - later infamous as producer of softcore-erotica franchises like Red Shoe Diaries and 9½ Weeks - played Jesus.