Have you heard of The Da Vinci Code? It's a book written about Leonardo da Vinci, Opus Dei, and stuff like that? I've read the story and it was about hidden truths in Christianity: Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene, the Bible as a product of men, the books of the Bible are incomplete, the writers of the Bible are just chosen from among many, etc. I was wondering: is this just a fictional book or is the stuff in it somewhat true or what? Because it somehow tries to poison one's mind into believing these things and the way they say it somehow makes sense.
The Da Vinci Code written by Dan Brown has been very popular, making the New York Times bestseller for over two years in its fiction category. But please take careful note: it is listed as fiction because it is a fictional story. Yes, it uses names from the Bible, it cites textual works to give the appearance of reality, but it remains a work of imagination.
The prime source material for The Da Vinci Code is another book called The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, published in 1997. This book set about to "prove" that there existed a conspiracy to hid the fact that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and that his descendants still live in this world. As you might suspect, the book is filled with twisted misapplication of historical documents and outright fabrications. The Da Vinci Code takes this conspiracy theorist book and dresses it up in a fictional story.
The big problem is that people keep forgetting that it is fiction. Mr. Brown does such a good job of disguising made up information as historical facts to give credence to his storyline that people without historical or biblical backgrounds swallow the lies with questioning their truth.
Since I'm interested in biblical accuracy, let us see how this work of fiction holds up to the Bible:
- The book claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children by her. The Bible, however, prophesied"And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living" (Isaiah 53:8). In other words, the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, would die young and without descendants. This is confirmed in the Gospels. Jesus died around the age of 33 without ever marrying. His mother, father, brothers, and sisters are all mentioned, but there is no mention of a wife or children for the simple fact that none existed.
- It claims that it was so unusual for a man to be unmarried in Jesus day that the gospels would have mentioned it if it was the case. Hence, the book admits that the Bible does not support the conclusion< that Jesus was married. However, it also shows ignorance of the history of that day. One of the several Jewish sects of that day were the Essences (the ones who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls). These people lived celibate lives in communes, much like the Catholic's monks and nuns do today. Celibacy was not unheard of in Jesus' day. "His disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry." But He said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it" (Mathew 19:10-12).
- The book claims that the Bible is the product of man and not God. It claims that it has evolved over the years through alterations, revisions, and translations. The Bible claims, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). Further, "no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:20-21). Because its source was God, its message was not to be altered in any way. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-9).
- It claims that Christian documents were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The only problem for the author (besides getting the date of the finding wrong) is that the Dead Sea Scrolls contained Jewish documents and copies of the Old Testament. Their significance is that they give us copies of the Old Testament that predate Jesus by 200 years. Oops! How can a find with documents older than Jesus contain "Christian documents?"
- It claims that Christians worshiped on Saturday until Constantine moved the time to Sunday. This is false. The Bible clearly shows that Christians always worshiped on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2). Writings of early Christians clearly indicate that they did not worship on the Sabbath but on the first day of the week. See "You only worship on Sunday because Constantine changed the day of worship" for more information.
- The book claims that early Christians were biased against women and created a male-only version of the Bible. The Bible says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
- It claims that Jesus was a mortal man and that this view only changed at the council of Nicea. The Bible says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1), and "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).
Please note that the above is a mixed bag of writers, each coming from a different background.