A biblical response
The Truth, Dan Brown, and The Da Vinci Code
By Richard Abanes
Author of The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code
CBN.com The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is one of the most intriguing, yet disturbing, books to ever hit
bestseller lists. It has entertained millions of fiction fans and will probably continue to do so thanks to director Ron Howard's motion picture adaptation of it starring Tom Hanks.
Unfortunately, the saga boldly attacks Christian beliefs relating to the reliability of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the organization of the early church, and the activities of church leaders during Christianity's formative years. It basically condemns the entire faith as nothing less than a wicked fraud. As one book reviewer put it, The Da Vinci Code promotes "the gleefully heretical notion that the entirety of Judeo-Christian culture is founded on a misogynist [woman-hating] lie." Or as the novel itself reads, "Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false" (p. 235).
According to The Da Vinci Code, true Christianity was started by a Jesus Christ whom others viewed as just another prophet. He allegedly made no claims of divinity. Moreover, he was married, and his wife was none other than Mary Magdalene, who not only bore his child, but who also was handpicked by him to lead the church. This plan, however, fell through after
Christ's death because the other apostles, especially Peter, were enraged about Mary being Christ's successor. So she fled in fear of her life to France, where she raised Christ's daughter. There, so the story goes, Christ's lineage intermarried with French royalty, thereby creating the Merovingian bloodline of kings.
Virtually everyone knew this "truth" during Christianity's earliest years, says Brown's book. But
then, by recasting Mary "as a whore in order to erase evidence of her powerful family ties," male church leaders were able to begin "the greatest cover-up in human history." These religious villains also changed the originally pagan, goddess-worshiping church into a Jesus-worshiping, power-crazed den of evildoers who perverted Christ's teachings to further their own political agenda.
In The Da Vinci Code, we also learn that Mary Magdalene's story would have been lost forever had it not been for her protectors. They chronicled Mary's life, and even catalogued her descendants. Nevertheless, the Church relentlessly sought to annihilate all documents relating to her identity and "her family's rightful claim to power." This ongoing attempt by Roman Catholic authorities to eradicate all evidence of "the true story of her life" went on for centuries.
The Church's diabolical plot failed, however, because a group of truth-honoring knights stepped into the conflict. These warriors "known collectively as the Knights Templar" were organized by a brotherhood called the Priory of Sion, a secret group allegedly founded in 1099 by the French king Godefroi de Bouillon. He was a descendant of Jesus and Mary, who according to The Da Vinci Code, formed the Priory so the truth would be protected and passed on to future generations.
Who were the members of the Priory of Sion? This is where Leonardo da Vinci comes into the picture. He and Sir Isaac Newton, along with the Italian painter Botticelli, the French author Victor Hugo, and many other historical figures, were all supposedly Grand Masters of the Priory. For proof of Leonardo's involvement, Brown says that one need only look at some of the artist's most famous paintings. They supposedly contain symbols and codes that reflect Leonardo's own worship of the sacred feminine (or the goddess), his disdain for traditional Christianity, and the truth about Mary Magdalene.
It is difficult to know where to begin dissecting The Da Vinci Code. Brown's story is little more than a well- crafted, cleverly written 454-page diatribe against Christianity, especially its Roman Catholic sector. Equally troubling is the way that he, his publisher, and the media have presented The Da Vinci Code as a "fact-based" expose wherein the characters reveal truths long hidden from, or at the very least ignored by, the general public. To use the author's own words, "When you finish the book, like it or not, you've learned a ton." Nearly every reviewer has parroted this line, which is not surprising since the book itself, on the very first page, reads: "FACT:... All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
The truth, however, is that Brown's story has very little to do with truth. Instead, errors abound in The Da Vinci Code and not just about Christianity either, but also about the Knights Templar, Medieval witch hunts, pagan symbolism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic gospels, and the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. Brown does not even get right the number of glass panes in the Louvre Museum's pyramid (there were 673 panes not 666) or the origins of the Olympic games in ancient Greece (he claims they were based on an eight-year cycle in honor of Venus, when in reality, they ran on a four-year cycle in honor of Zeus).
Such mistakes illustrate the book's main weakness: its lack of accuracy and misrepresentations of history. In other words, beyond the issue of whether or not Christianity is true, readers must also ask themselves several questions that are far more basic to the story:
- Does it correctly present historical events?
- Does it properly interpret classic works of art?
- Does it accurately represent Christian teachings?
Ultimately, the facts will speak for themselves.
More from The Da Vinci Code: A Biblical Response
Order your copy of The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code by Richard Abanes
Related article: The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code
More from Richard Abanes
Richard Abanes is an author and speaker whose ministry focuses on combating cults and false teaching. He formerly worked with the Christian Research Institute. He has also ministered at Saddleback Church and performed in several major musicals. His works oppose not only cults, but also extreme forms of Christianity such as end-time fanaticism, militia movements, and conspiracy theory. His books include: The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code; Fantasy and Your Family; Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings: What You Need to Know about Fantasy Books and Movies; Defending the Faith; End-Time Visions; One Nation Under Gods; Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him; and Becoming Gods.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.