Summary: Second in a series that examines The Davinci Code and reveals the false claims of Dan Brown’s book with the truth of history and the Bible.
Decoding The Da Vinci Code – part 2
“Was Jesus Married?” (and why does it matter?)
From U.S. News and World Report, June 7, 2005 – special edition – “Despite its patently fictional content and glaring factual inaccuracies, The Da Vinci Code has been the subject of endless cocktail party chatter and water-cooler discussions.” An interesting book – yes, but accurate in its claims about the origins of the Christian faith? – not even close.
Author Ben Witherington put it this way. “America is a Jesus-haunted culture, but at the same time, it’s a biblically illiterate culture . . . When you have that combination, almost anything can pass for the historical Jesus.” Sad but true. That is why 1 Peter 3:15 is so important.
1 Peter 3:15 – “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. ”
Hopefully this book will serve as a good call to serious Bible study by Christians who need to be able to defend their faith in every day circumstances.
Last week we looked at the basic premise of the book. Today I want to begin to answer some of the claims made in the book and some of the questions that arise as a result. How did Dan Brown even get the idea for this book. The main source for the information in the Da Vinci Code comes from a book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail, first published in 1982. It is a conspiracy theory book. Before it became a book, the three men behind the book first made three very successful documentaries in the 1970’s that questioned the origin of Mary Magdalene and the life of Jesus with her. The BBC aired the documentaries. At the center of the documentaries and then later the book was a small town in France named Rennes-le-Chateau. It was the home of an obscure village priest named Berenger Sauniere, who is said to have made an earth shattering discovery in the late 1800’s in the Church of Mary Magdalene. It was alleged he found documents hidden in the church that he took to the Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris. Suddenly, on his return, he was very wealthy. This story was later revived by Pierre Plantard, in the1950’s who used it to perpetrate an elaborate hoax involving the claim of rediscovering the documents and placing them in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. They became known as the “Dossiers Secrets,” and purportedly proved that the medieval French Merovignian royal dynasty still existed and that they were the living descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. A secret society called the Priory of Scion was said to have been protecting the secret for many centuries. By the 1990’s, the elaborate hoax had been thoroughly uncovered, and the BBC had to pull a “Dan Rather.” They apologized for airing the documentaries and even aired a program that exposed the false claims of the documentaries. Trust me, the BBC would not even begin to consider that unless the hoax was in fact fully uncovered and irrefutable.
Enter Dan Brown. He imitated their technique. In fact, he admits that he drew many of his ideas, so called “facts” from the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. His book has kicked off a new frenzy of Grail enthusiasts, looking for conspiracies and open to ideas that question the accuracy of the New Testament and the legitimacy of the Christian faith. He opens the door to not only questioning the roots of the Christian faith but to replacing it with a faith of one’s own making – a search within – for truth. Dan Brown’s own faith includes a belief in the “sacred feminine,” which was part of pagan religions that pre-dated the time of Christ and were included in the heresy of the Gnostics we spoke about last week. To support his beliefs, he claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that they had a child, that the bloodline of Jesus continues to this day, and that the Church (Roman Catholic Church) suppressed these truths in the third and fourth centuries and continues to try to suppress them even today.
“The marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is part of the historical record.” (p. 245)
“The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians.” (p. 253)
Why does it matter – He is trying to deny the divinity of Jesus and question the N.T. reliability.
Yet, it is a self contradictory concept for Gnosticism and for Dan Brown
For Gnosticism because – they generally believed in the evil nature of the physical. They elevated the status of the spirit of a person. The idea of Jesus marrying in the flesh would have been abhorrent to the Gnostics.