Concerning the Da Vinci Code

I know the latest release of the book The Da Vinci Code and the movie has upset many in Christendom. Among evangelical groups, it is being denounced. Some have written books already debunking the book, and these writers, like the writer of the Da Vinci Code stand to make a lot of money from the book and the movie being released.

I am of the opinion that things would have been better if we had done our best to ignore it like so many of the heretical books the church has had to deal with for two thousand years. By our loud opposition to it, we are only advertising the movie, making the producers even richer. We also then will only encourage more movies like this to be made.

I think the best thing a Christian can do is to know the truth of Scripture and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. This is the antidote to such rubbish. We who know the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be led astray because we know the truth. Jesus clearly states: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32 We know the enemy will try to deceive even the very elect if the days were not shortened. Jesus even prays to the Father to keep them by the truth, adding “Thy word is Truth.” We who believe in Jesus Christ have also been given of the Holy Spirit which testifies of Jesus and gives the proper understanding of Scripture. So we should not be concerned when the devil dresses himself up as an angel of light to try to deceive us. Remember, we have been warned.

Obviously, books such as the Da Vinci code are a serious threat to those who are not grounded in the truth of Jesus Christ. There is no one more in danger, or dangerous, than the lazy or rebellious “Christian” who refuses to know his/her Lord. To not come to the truth of God which is revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Scripture and confirmed by the Holy Spirit is to reject the truth. Those who reject the truth are in extreme danger of being deceived and transmit the infection to others. The book of Jude warns clearly of this danger.

I am somewhat torn whether to write this or not, but I feel it is necessary considering the circumstances. I will say up front that I have not read the book, nor seen the movie. Neither do I have any intentions in putting money into the pockets of the writer or the producers of the film. But I will write concerning the issues which are being spread through the Internet and news.

Was Jesus married? This is one of the claims of the book. As I understand, the author alleges that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children, whose descendants now live in the south of France. Scripture nowhere even hints that Jesus was married. This does not say that He could have been married, but that if He was married, it was totally irrelevant to the mission of Jesus, or else it would have been mentioned. I think the likelihood of Jesus being married was extremely remote. As the very most, it is totally irrelevant.

Mary Magdalene is first mentioned in Luke 8 where she was listed as being one of the women who helped support Jesus’ ministry financially, along with Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward, Chuza, Susanna, and other women. It says he also cast out seven devils. She was also the first witness of the resurrected Jesus. Some equate her with Mary of Bethany, although the name Magdalene seems to indicate this Mary was from the Galilean village of Magdala, and therefore a different Mary. Other than this, we have no other Biblical witness to Mary Magdalene. There were indeed other legendary accounts, fairy tales, and romances written about her at later times. But the Bible offers no support to the Da Vinci Code.

So that Jesus was married, and in particular to Mary Magdalene is extremely remote to say the least.

Whether there were children of this alleged marriage—we see Jesus on the cross placing the care of His mother, Mary, into the hand of the Apostle John. Nothing is mentioned of Jesus commending Mary Magdalene, who also was apparently at the crucifixion to the care of John or anyone else. There is no mention at all of children. This should prove conclusively against both the marriage of Jesus and whether He had any children.

Another claim made by the author is that Jesus was not God, but an ordinary human being. He claims that Jesus was not considered Divine until He was by the Emperor Constantine in 325 AD.

This claim is easily refuted. If Jesus was considered an ordinary mortal, then why did thousands of Christians suffer the loss of their goods, their freedom, and even their lives. The records of this Council of Nicaea clearly record the procession of bishops who had lost eyes, hands, and had suffered terrible tortures for the sake of Christ. Archaeological evidence confirms the terrible price Christians paid for their belief.

The Roman Empire would have had no objection to Christianity as a religion so long as it did not make church claims that were contrary to the religion to the state. They were tolerant of the worship of the Greek gods and even foreign ones, so long as their first loyalty was to the state. Even from before the time of Jesus’ appearance and dating back to Julius Caesar himself, the would be first Emperor of Rome, there was an increasing tendency to see the Emperors of Rome as being divine, at least upon their death. Even this idea goes back to the Pharaohs of Egypt who would ferry the sun god in his boat upon death. when an emperor would die, witnesses would come forth and claim they saw the deceased emperor ascend to heaven. The state would then declare him to be a god and build a shrine to his worship. The emperors of Rome held the title of “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” They worshipped their city Rome also as the “Eternal City.” Against this backdrop was the Book of Revelation written claiming that it was Jesus who deserved the title “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, the King of the true Eternal City not made by human hands which would come down from Heaven.

Christianity refused to do homage to the emperor as a god. They would make prayers to God in his behalf like the Jews before them, but they adamantly refused to worship the genius of the emperor. Their sufferings were proof that they believed the claims of Jesus were higher than that of the emperors. They certainly saw Jesus as divine.

In fact, the questions which tore the early church before Constantine seemed to center not in the question whether Jesus was divine, but rather whether He was truly human. The Gnostics fully affirmed the deity of Christ, even above the deity of the Creator of the Earth Himself as they considered the God of the Old Testament to be a lesser god if not a devil for making flesh. There were various Gnostic sects whose beliefs differed, but they certainly saw Jesus as being divine, or at least the Christ spirit in Jesus. Most of these believe that Jesus the man was a person in whom the Divine Christ Spirit came upon Him at baptism and left the earthy Jesus to die on the cross while the Christ spirit hovered over the cross laughing.

The early church had to fight hard against these Gnostics, even from the time of the Apostle John. They fought to affirm the full humanity of Jesus without compromising His Divinity. If Jesus had been married and had children, this would have been perfect proof against the Gnostics. If Jesus had indeed been married and had kids, it would not have compromised His being God. This again speaks against the foolishness of the idea that Jesus was married. It also shows that the church considered Jesus to be Divine long before Constantine. In fact, from the record of Scripture, Jesus was considered to be Divine from the day of His resurrection.

The arguments which centered themselves in the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, and presided over by Constantine, were over exactly how Jesus was divine. A man by the name of Arius, drawing conclusions which may have been mistaken conclusions from Origen and Clement of Alexandria 100 years before, claimed that Jesus was a created being. Arius still saw Jesus as Divine, but less than God the Father. He could still be considered Divine, according to Arius, because he was begotten only of the Father and no one else. Therefore the substance of Jesus was like that of His Father. And because He was only composed of the Divine substance of the Father, he could be truly be called Divine. But the Arians claimed that there was a time when Jesus was not. The Council would decide against Arius, but that was not the end of the story. Even Constantine’s son who followed him on the throne was an Arian.

Again, Constantine did not make Jesus Divine. This, at least in some sense, was the opinion of the vast majority of Christians long before him. Their blood speaks for itself. The last claim is that these alleged secrets about Jesus were kept secret by the Catholic Church hierarchy. This last claim is difficult to deal with because the Catholic Church of Da Vinci’s day, just before the appearance of Martin Luther, was notoriously corrupt. We can read in Schaff’s Church History, a very moderate and well researched account, of the depth of the corruption. There was Pope Leo, often portrayed in his armor, going off to war, not against the heathen Turks, but against His own subjects, who drained millions from His subjects for the building of St. Peter’s by the sale of wretched indulgences and of church offices. We see his predecessor Alexander whom even Catholic historians like Dollinger have to admit was one of the most immoral people who ever lived. His son,Caesar Borgia was the model for Machiavelli’s, “Prince”. His daughter, Lucretia Borgia, was the tragic victim of her father selling her as wife to the highest bidder, getting her divorced or widowed, and then marrying her off to someone else. And Alexander’s predecessor has sixteen children, all by different women, all of whom were married to some one else.

Does the Catholic Church want to keep secrets? Considering the edict of the First Vatican Council which declared not the Scripture to be infallible, but the Roman Pontiff when speaking as Pope. This means the Pope’s congratulations of Catherine De Medici’s slaughter of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, approval of the condemnation of Martin Luther, and the burning of John Hus. The Spanish Inquisition and numerous other atrocities which have been committed by or at least approved by popes of the centuries would need be hidden. And to say the popes would keep things secret is obvious.

However, the thing the Catholic Church wanted to keep secret from the people was not that Jesus was secretly married and had children. What they desperately wanted to hide was the Light of Scripture. It was kept in Latin. And it could only be read by lay persons who knew Latin and also had permission from the Bishop. They fought the printing press tooth and nail, especially the printing of Scripture. Yes the Catholic Church wanted to keep something secret, the Bible Code, which would clearly show how evil their deeds were. The Catholic Church has added many dogma’s in which they say are essential to believe for salvation which are not at all founded upon Scriptures such as the Seven Sacraments, infallibility of the Pope when He speaks from the throne of St. Peter, the Immaculate Conception (the alleged birth of the Virgin Mary without original sin), the elevation of Mary as co-redeemer with Jesus and her title “Queen of Heaven” (Read Jeremiah 44 on this one), and purgatory, just to name a few.

It seems that the only thing that should be hidden is the Bible. Why? The failures of the Catholic Church can not be used as the means of conspiracy that it keep this alleged truth from the people. In fact, it would have been easier for them to justify their doings. Of course it’s all right to do what I am doing. After all, Jesus had children. The truth is that the Catholic Church will promote all kinds of popular superstition, but repress the truth. It is puzzling that the Vatican has recently come out with a statement denouncing “Intelligent Design”. What then do they believe in—“Unintelligent Design”? Yes, they say they believe in evolution with God in it somewhere. You might as well promote the Da Vinci code after that one.

That the author of this book has made glaring historical blunders has already been demonstrated by better historians than me. That book is not about bringing the truth to light. It has been written to make the author lots of money and let him bask in the fame. I say, ignore him and let him have neither. Secondly, it is an attempt to lead those who say they are Christians, and those who claim to be seekers, astray. The best antidote to it is to draw near to Jesus and know His Word.

I am deeply concerned in today’s culture that we are becoming increasingly guilty of hiding the truth and promoting lies. It says in the book of Amos that in the Last Days, there will be a famine, not of bread, but the Word of God. The Bible is called “out of date and irrelevant." We would rather get our “truths” about God from some new revelation of the “Spirit” or the Gospel according to Narnia, popular psychology,or some other mystical source. If one isn’t building on the foundation of Scripture, then just what kind of sand does one build their life upon? People who believe in the Bible are called “Bible Thumpers” and are treated as though they are the cause of every evil on earth. And if we who believe the Bible are thought of as the source of evil, where does everyone else appear? The Bible does declare a woe upon those who call ‘evil’, ‘good’ and ‘good, ‘evil’. It is time for the church to stand up and declare the truth. For as Paul says: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto everyone who believes.”

Copyright 2006 by Mark Barber

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