Dan Brown: Absolutely all of it. Obviously, Robert Langdon is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies—all of that is historical fact.1
Ok all. It’s coming. The DaVinci Code. I feel a sincere (although I have recently been accused of being insincere – how funny is THAT!) obligation to blog about this film and it’s topic. Prepare yourself to get sick of it cause I will probably do it alot over the next few weeks. You may find that it is mildly educating, enraging and for those of you who think there is an IOTA of validity to Dan Browns heretical novel you will probably think I am off my rocker. I return the thought.
I will try to vary between the religious and non-religious, the lengthy and the brief. Many times I will be quoting information from top theology professors, experts and the like and sometimes I will just spout off myself.
Reason Number One the DaVinci Code should be considered NOTHING more than an entertaining mystery. (Yes, I HAVE read it.)
” There are things Brown claims to be historical which, in fact, are not historical at all. A primary case in point is the Priory of Sion, an organization that is at the very heart of Brown’s story, and which, if proven to be based on bogus history, undermines the entire infrastructure of Brown’s theory. This organization is said to guard the secret of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene. It is claimed to have been founded in Jerusalem in 1099 by a French King. The organization is believed to be watching over Jesus and Mary’s descendants, and waiting for the perfect time to reveal its secret to the world. Because of constant threat of danger from the Roman Catholic Church, the organization has allegedly hidden its message in literature, paintings, and even architecture such that only learned people can decipher the meanings.
Brown makes the following assertion regarding this organization on page one of The Da Vinci Code: “The Priory of Sion—a European secret society founded in 1099—is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.” The question is: Are these parchments reliable?
As a backdrop to answering this question, allow me to point out that Brown obtained much of his information on the Priory of Sion from a book entitled Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. In this book we find a dependency on the above–mentioned parchments which allegedly prove that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, had a baby named Sarah, and, following Jesus’ death on the cross, Mary relocated to a Jewish community in France. Their descendents were French allegedly royalty.
Now, here is the big problem with all this. These parchments are completely bogus. Historically, in 1953, a Frenchman named Pierre Plantard spent time in jail for fraud. In 1954 he founded a small social club named the Priory of Sion. The purpose of the club was to call for low–income housing in France. The organization dissolved in 1957, but Plantard held on to the name. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Plantard put together a number of bogus documents which “proved” the Jesus–Mary Magdalene theory, with French royalty being their descendants. Plantard claimed that he himself was one of the descendents of this couple.
Some time later, a friend of the French president found himself in legal trouble and Plantard ended up being called to testify in the case. While under oath, the judge asked him about these documents about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and he admitted he made the whole thing up. An associate of Plantard’s also conceded that Plantard made the whole thing up. All this has been thoroughly documented by several French books and a BBC special.2
What all this means for The Da Vinci Code is that the Priory of Sion—and the accompanying Jesus–Mary Magdalene theory—is based on bogus information with a capital “B.” Hence, Dan Brown’s claim that his book is based on historical secret societies is flat wrong.“
-Dr.Ron Rhodes (Taken from “Crash Goes the DaVinci Code”)
Dr. Ron Rhodes is President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He currently serves as adjunct professor for the following institutions: Biola University, Dallas Theological, Southern Evangelical and Golden Gate Seminaries. He has authored numerous books and articles including two Silver Medallion winners. Rhodes served as assistant editor of the Christian Research Journal and was a frequent participant on the Christian Research Institute’s popular national broadcast, The Bible Answer Man. He earned his Th.D. and Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary and his B.A. from Houston Baptist University.