Re the Jewish Sauniere theory and if it looks like a duck. Tracking ideas is interesting. The Quran and Cathars and Nag Hamm agree the crucifixion is a scam. Look at Cathar belief, which has crossover with some gnostic christian themes and Kabbalist ideas, it suggests inheritance or cross pollination.
Cathar conceptions per Occitan author Yves Rouquette
1. Jesus wasn't a human more an apparition (that BOGMILS say Mary found in a grotto) and did not die on a cross or he was substituted with some one else ie a thief or devil (per Nag Hammadi; Jesus in the Apocalypse of Peter says 'they crucified another one')
2. Reincarnation (also in Nag Hammadi and apparently an idea Jesus advocated)
3. Hell is this world which lasts till all souls return to God
Cathars taught that their true Savior Jesus the Christ was pure spirit, never human, and thus was never subjected to crucifixion as he never walked the earth. The crucified Jesus, to them, was an evil, terrestrial, human Jesus whose concubine was the "whore" Mary Magdalene. Hardly the objects of veneration.
The muslims took /jewish/Christian Narbonne in the 700's
719, to be precise; and lost it in 759.
Machir or Theirry as he was also known was the count
Makhir Natronai was never known as a "count" (Narbonne having been a Christian viscounty and bishopric, albeit with a substantial Jewish ghetto); Thierry of Autun was a Burgundian and only nominally "count" of Toulouse, which at the time was an appointed benefice, not hereditary. Thierry married Aude, daughter of Charles Martel and was the father of Guillaume de Gellone well before Makhir Natronai arrived in Narbonne.
and recognised by Muslims as seed of David
Because the Jews of Babylon themselves recognized him as a Davidic descendant, it was a prerequisite for the job of Resh Galuta.
Jews had been led by their 'royals' abroad since deportation by Nebuchadnezzar 600 BC.
In 792 Machirs son established a rabbinical college and Jewish library
That was Makhir Natronai himself, according to Jewish sources.
= later taken over by Benedictines.. so the books were likely accessible to Sauniere and his brother whether kept in Narbonne (Jewish for Ner Binah "the light of understanding") or buried away in the Vatican.
Or burned in 1306 when the Jews were expelled from Narbonne. Or taken with them.
Hanging on the wall in the now Catholic Abbey of Guillaume (Machirs Jewish son) is a remarkable clue to its past. A ninth century painting showing a Madonna wearing a breastplate studded with 12 precious stones exactly like the breastplate worn by Aaron and the high priests in the Jerusalem temple. The mother of Jesus in the attire of a Jewish high priest!
It was the Church that argued for the purported Aaronic priestly lineage of Jesus coming through his mother - something that would have been entirely impossible to Jews.
Gnosticism survived in the dark ages. While moderns may have lost much tangible trace until the Nag Hammadi was found there is evidence its content was well known all along to those in the know in the Continent ie France/Germany etc (hence the Catholics heretic hunts).
Gnosticism came to Europe from the Balkans, its trace has never been intangible.
The text Schweister Katrei circa 1330 by a female disciple of Meister Eckhart in Germany not only refers to Magdalene in ways reminiscent of Cathar ways but it contains phrases about Mary otherwise only found in the Nag Hammadi eg refers to her tension with Peter and superiority in understanding over him. Clearly the Nag Hammadi texts and so forth giving fuller info about the bible 'story' were still in use in Europe at the time of the inquisition!
That would blow the theory about Gnostic codices being seized and burnt a thousand years prior. And while Schwester Katrei may have had an understanding of the Gnostic Magdalene it certainly wasn't indicative of the Cathars' take on her.
The Templars largely came from Southern France and likely decided to go on a Temple dig because they too had received gnostic/jewish knowledge or bloodlines that provoked them to go after something.
The original Templars who were established in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were northerners.
How did the Templars have the cipher and an interest in Sophia? The cipher could have been recovered from Eastern gnostics that never followed Pauline heresies as cemented at Nicea (along with the Tiwas), or given over by Spanish Jews to Templars, if it was not always in one of the Templar families' possession over a millenia.
The Council of Nicea dealt with the Arian
heresy - not Gnosticism. And if something in the possession of Spanish Jews or southern nobles spurred the Templars on to Jerusalem in search of "whatever", then why were the original Templars northerners?
The conclusion most fitting with Occams razor is that the majority of Templars, hailing from Southern France, were of Jewish noble stock or were gnostics (even if outwardly garden variety christian). In tune most probably with a lot of the high ups in Catholicism who were doubtless secret gnostics while showing a Pauline face to the world.
I'm afraid Occam's Razor would determine otherwise. Occam's Razor is the simplification of facts, not conjectures.
But did the Templars hook up with Muslims to do their digging - after all it seems they had an arabic translation of the ?aramaic tiwas that belonged in the holy of Solomons holies to help them. Chicken and egg though. Did they find the original then collect an Arab copy later or did they take an Arab copy with them to give them protection on their dig??
And what do you have to show that backs this up?