The Divinci Code, Fact or Fiction?

Comments: 6

I recently saw the move “The DiVinci Code” and just finished reading the book. I found it very interesting as far as the story line goes. It’s a good murder mystery with a wonderfully exotic background, that of the Priory of Sion, the Nights Templar, and the Holy Grail. The book couldn’t have been easy for Dan Brown to write. The research alone must have taken months. However, I feel he came to some incorrect conclusions in his research.

Brown claims the Nights Templar, and the Priory of Sion do exist, as does Opus Dei. I have no doubt these organizations were, or are real, and to at least some degree, secretive. I also don't doubt some of the so-called "scriptures" he uses, i.e. the Gospel of Phillip," and others he makes reference to, might indeed exist. And, they might indeed say that Jesus Christ was merely human and was married. There are a lot of what I would term "apostate," or apocryphal, writings existing from around 300 A.D. and later. Few, of these "apostate" writings exist much before that time, which is about the time of the Council of Nicaea that was called by (who I would call less than Christian) Emperor Constantine in an effort to (as Dan Brown correctly explains in his The DiVinci Code) unite the various Christian and pagan sects under one united, universal (catholic - meaning universal) church. Constantine was NOT a Christian. He had no ecclesiastical, or priesthood, authority to do this. As Dan Brown correctly states, it was done for political reasons, not religious ones. And before anyone castigates me as a heretic, read the history books for yourself.

Brown also makes a big issue of Jesus Christ being married, and probably to Mary Magdalene. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. And, I think Brown’s assertion is correct that the Council of Nicaea tried to stifle that kind of thinking as many people thought the idea that He could have been married somehow makes him less than Devine. I seriously disagree with that assertion. To me, for Jesus to have remained single would have been breaking his own rules, or commandments if you prefer. Jesus, or Jehova as he was known in the Old Testament, gave as the first commandment to man through Adam and Eve that we should be married (i.e. be fruitful and multiply). The Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:11 “... neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” In other words, marriage is ordained by God. It is His plan for happiness and procreation in this world and in the world to come. Surely, Jesus would obey His own commandments, just as he did the commandment to be baptized., though he was sinless. “To fulfill ALL righteousness,” He said.

If Jesus had remained single, he could not have been known as a rabbi. Jewish law required a man desiring to be a rabbi, to be both 30 years old (the age Jesus began his ministry) and married. His Jewish contemporaries would surly have ridiculed him for that, if He hadn’t been married. I think Dan Brown has it partially correct, assuming Jesus was married and had children, that His wife and possible children were kept from the public eye in an effort to protect them. Can you imagine what the Jewish leaders would have done to them if they knew who Jesus’s family were? Hence, no mention is made of any such relationship in the scriptures, though there are some spurious accounts of his having a wife and children in apocryphal texts, plus, I tend to think if He weren’t married, something would have been said about it to explain why he wasn’t married, and how he could still be a rabbi.

Now, this is where Dan Brown’s research gets fuzzy and where he draws some wrong conclusions. Certainly, Jesus’s wife and offspring, assuming there were any, would be protected by the leadership of the church, not some Knights Templar, or Priory of Sion. But let’s give Mr. Brown the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say there was such lineage protected by an organization such as these. Brown’s reasoning falls apart when he accepts the apocryphal texts that depict Jesus Christ as merely a mortal, as equal in authority to the Holy Scriptures that clearly show him as both a mortal man and God. Brown goes on to conclude that it was Mary Magdalene who was a god, not Jesus Christ. She held the power and the authority to run the church. This assertion is strictly wrong. Jesus himself gave the authority to continue the Church the 12 apostles, and in particular to Peter. Brown claims that the apocryphal texts say that Mary Magdalene was in opposition to Peter, but that is definitely in error. True, it was Mary who first saw the resurrected Christ, but to whom did she run to spread the news? None other than the recognized earthly head of the Church, Peter.

I believe the fact that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene was no mere accident, or an act of mercy either. I think it demonstrates a deeper love between Mary and Jesus than that of a mere disciple. Otherwise, why didn’t He first appear to Peter, the chief apostle? That would make more sense, unless Jesus and Mary had a special kind of relationship, possibly that of being husband and wife.

As for Mary and her supposedly sullied past, I have to agree partly with Brown, that she was NEVER a whore. I have to agree with Brown’s assertion that the early Catholic Church leaders, or someone else perhaps, doctored the original text of the early Gospel writers. They possibly confused Mary with the woman Jesus rescued from being stoned. Or, they purposely tried to sully her reputation, as a marriage relationship between her and Jesus would make Him appear less than Godly. To me, however, there is nothing ungodly about the sanctity of marriage, especially when you consider the sacred and eternal nature of the marriage bond. A bond that can last into eternity.

To sum up and repeat my original assertion, I don’t have a problem believing Jesus could have been married, or even had offspring. Dan Brown’s explanation goes too far, however, in his claim that Mary Magdalene was His power and authority.

But remember, as has been stated so many times, The DiVinci Code is fiction. Like I said, I saw the movie and read the book and enjoyed a good murder mystery.

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Monday, July 03, 2006

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  1. That was an great article. Thanks for sharing it Bob. Pastor Steve Holt has done a lot of research into the subject, and I have to agree with him that Dan Brown certainly seems to have an anti-Christian bias in his writings. A bias that makes me nervous, but as long as I realize the book is fiction, I can ignore his bias. The trouble lies in other, uninitiated people who might take his bias as fact. Then again, it just might get people to thinking and cause them to dig deeper into Christianity and firm up their belief structures.

    I found it interesting, however, that with some exceptions, where my theology is different from Pastor Holt's, my quick-and-dirty write up pretty closely parallels Holt's article.

    I have to take a small, but significant exception with Pastor Holt, however. He said no gnostic writings were considered in the Council of Nicea. If that were the case, why was the council called in the first place? From what I’ve read, it was called in part to counter Gnostic and other heretical, or pagan, beliefs that had been creeping into the cannon since the death of the apostles.. Brown is correct in his assertion that part of the council’s goals, at least for Constantine, was to incorporate paganism into Christian worship and beliefs.

    Additionally, for reasons I’ve already written about in my original message, I have to take exception with Pastor Holt about the idea of whether or not Jesus was married. Holt goes to some length to debunk the idea that Jesus could have been married, but as I said earlier, I still don’t have a problem with the idea that He could have been. As I stated earlier, if He hadn’t been married, He certainly would have incurred criticism from the Jewish hierarchy for that issue, but he didn’t.

  2. I don't think Jesus could have been married. Orthodox Christianity states that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Christ's purpose was to ransom the Church with His blood, which is His bride. Human relationships here are a shadowy, flawed reflection of that holy love Christ has for His own.

    There is also the fact that being fully God as well as fully man, any children He fathered would have been of the same substance as God, meaning they were also God, which would have really been impossible to reconcile the Trinity to.

    Jesus' other relationships were spoken of, but nowhere is a wife mentioned, and the husband/wife relationship supercedes the parent/child relationship. If He had been married, it certainly would have been mentioned. Since the biblical teaching is that the marriage bed is holy in the eyes of God, there would be no reason to "hide" a marriage in the original texts or the immediate copies after. People would have been able to accept a marriage, because it was acceptable and holy.

    I've been wanting to read the DaVinci code- thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. :)


  3. whoops, didn't realize you were LDS- what I wrote you wouldn't agree with. I don't normally go to other people's blogs and force my beliefs on their attention- that's what my blog is for- presenting my view- but I found your thoughts interesting.

  4. Some said, "This book could or couldn't be real because it's text."

    But! I belive what it written should be chosen by the reader weather it's fact, or fiction.

    In a sense, one could think of "The Da Vinci Code" to be real, I'm still to young to debate on this but what I think is. It could be a question of what if... for everything Dan Brown writes about..

    p.s. (Read Angels & Demons)

  5. Andrew,

    If you're still waiting for my answer to your post, I just want to say, of course it's fiction. It's a novel which by definition is fiction. I think Dan Brown did a great job of making fiction sound realistic. That's why there's so much controversy over his novel, "The DiVinci Code." His story line is so convincing, some people (idiots in my opinion) actually believed what he wrote was true.

    It's NOT! It just sounds convincing.