The Da Vinci Code, written by Dan Brown, is a fictional novel about two scholars, Robert Langdon and Sophie, who investigate the murder of the head of an art museum. They meet an "expert" scholar named Mr. Teabing who reveals to them that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had descendants. They discover an ancient secret organization, the Priory of Sion, dedicated to hiding these facts till the right time to reveal them. Leonardo Da Vinci was supposed to have been a member of this organization and encoded some of these facts in his paintings. But a Catholic organization called Opus Dei, works to keep these facts secret. In the end, Sophie and her brother are revealed as being the sole surviving descendants of Christ.
Why be concerned about this book, especially since it admits it is fiction? The book has sold over 45 million copies in dozens of languages, and is destined to make Dan Brown a billionaire! It has been released as a major movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. The author has been named to Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world!
Our main concern is that the book is the most visible and popular advocate for a host of increasingly popular doctrines.
The book is introduced by a "fact" page that states: "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
In an ABC primetime news special, Brown stated: "I began as a skeptic. As I started researching the Da Vinci Code, I really thought I would disprove a lot of this theory about Mary Magdalene and Holy Blood and all of that. I became a believer." [Bock, p. 3; cf. Kirkwood, p. 15; Olson, p. 81].
So, the author claims that the parts of the book that most concern us are accurate!
The theories of the book are based on other writings that are increasingly defended in society.
The book and its web site directly cite as its sources other books that claim to be, not fiction, but scholarly authorities. Whole hosts of books have been written to defend the views Brown describes. [Olson, pp. 89-98] We seek to examine, not just Brown's book, but the whole pattern of pagan, feminist, and New Age doctrines that he popularizes and advocates. We will increasingly hear about these views and need to be prepared to give a Scriptural response.
(Page number references in these notes refer to The Da Vinci Code, unless otherwise noted by additional information. All emphasis in quotes from Brown is Brown's own emphasis.)
Consider some of the main theories suggested in the book. (Click on a link to study a specific section of this material. See the links at the end of this page for other related Bible topics.)
Copyright 2007, David E. Pratte
Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale. Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.
for God, Jesus, & the Bible
Evidence for Jesus' Resurrection
The Inspiration of the Bible
The Preservation of the Bible
Catholicism in Light of Scripture
Women preachers & Church Leaders
The Occult, Witchcraft, & Psychics
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
The Importance of Bible Knowledge
Free audio Bible
Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.